Austin Fitness Rentals BBB Business Review
Locally Owned & Operated


Commercial Versus Residential Exercise Equipment 


Star Trac magnetek motor

When I started this company I made the decision that we would carry only commercial, health-club-quality exercise equipment. This decision was based on a great deal of research and discussions with many experts in the fitness equipment industry. I spent close to 2 months researching all of the exercise equipment options and consulted with 9 experts who each had on average 21 years of experience selling, servicing and providing warranty support to over 20 different manufacturers.  


I won’t bore you to death with all of the technical specifications of the differences between a commercial piece of equipment versus one built for residential use. In brief, commercial equipment is designed and built to be used for longer periods of time, by multiple people and will last for many years. Each manufacturer has its own specifications as to their estimated life spans but 10 years isn’t uncommon for commercial grade machines.   There are many excellent and in-depth articles you can search and read to get all of the nitty gritty details such as  

I made the decision to carry only commercial grade equipment based on industry expert opinion as well as my own experience with the machines. I personally test and use each piece of equipment that we carry. If I don’t like it, we don’t carry it.  As a relatively larger athlete (200+ pounds) I put these machines to the test when I put them through their paces.  If I find I don’t like the feel, speed changes of the motors, functionality of the displays, number of programs available or any other feature, you won’t find it in our inventory. I want to ensure that you have an enjoyable and high-quality workout.   

We are constantly on the search to add new pieces to our inventory. When something new comes out, we will give it a thorough review before making it available to our customers. If you have suggestions for us, please feel free to email them to us at and we’d be happy to take a look. Furthermore, if you would like our expert opinion on a piece of equipment that you are considering buying or selling, contact us and we’ll do our best to provide you some guidance.  

The old adage that you get what you pay for certainly holds true for exercise equipment. We receive many calls and emails about broken residential grade equipment that was purchased from a big box store or second hand. The story is usually the same; the consumer could only use the machine for a short period before it failed. Of course, the piece is also out of warranty so they’re now stuck with an expensive and bulky coat rack. Even worse, certain residential models quickly surpass their end-of-life support from manufacturers and it becomes impossible to even find parts should the consumer want to engage in a rather costly repair process. 

Writing this blog post reminds me of the current slew of DirecTV commercials where a series of non-sequitur events leads to something bad happening. Following that theme: When you buy a residential piece of exercise equipment it breaks, when it breaks you get depressed, when you get depressed you stop exercising and eat more, when you eat more you start wearing only sweat pants, when you wear only sweat pants people start avoiding you, don’t have people avoid you - get rid of residential exercise equipment and upgrade to health-club-quality equipment. 

 DrKPMay Sep 30, 2013