Building the ultimate smart home gym

How to create the perfect connected workout domain

We get it. We know that not everyone likes to step into the gym, park up on an exercise bike and see a room filled of muscle-bound bodies. Sometimes, you just want to work out on your own - especially when things are cold outside and you don't want to budge from the house.

So, what's the solution? Well, you bring the gym home with you. Create your own place to burn the calories and put in those extra miles on the treadmill.

Read this: The best fitness trackers and wearables for the gym

Making a home gym is something fitness loving men and women have done for years, and now the equipment that's up for grabs has become smarter and more connected with phones, fitness trackers, smartwatches and more.

A lot of that equipment still costs a whole heap of cash, but there is a way to kit out that spare room and still get a good sweat on without breaking the bank.

Here's our pick of the kit that can turn your home gym into a connected haven.

Ditch the weights, stream your workouts

If you've already got a nice TV, an Apple TV and don't mind spending a little on a Wahoo Tickr X heart rate monitor chest strap, you can forget about the heavy equipment and focus on bodyweight workouts instead.

Wahoo's monitor is now compatible with the Wahoo 7 Minute Workout app over Bluetooth, so you can punish your body and see heart rate data up on the screen along with calorie burn data.

Apple Watch owners should also check out Hoolio, a Netflix-style streaming service of exercise videos that lets you pair the smartwatch with to see live fitness metrics. There are plans to support other Apple Health compatible devices in the future, too.

$79.99, | Amazon

An exercise bike with heart (and more)

Building the ultimate smart home gym

Not a fan of the connected treadmill? You can always turn to the bike to get that aerobic hit instead. The Peloton indoor exercise bike features a big full HD touchscreen that can deliver cycling metrics in real time including cadence and resistance.

You can also join in on live classes and there's a built in camera so you can talk to other people in the class. The ANT+ wireless support also means you hook up a heart rate monitor, like the MyZone MZ-3, and get an extra layer of insight into your cycling session.


The fitness app friendly treadmill

The treadmill is a staple home gym essential for most and the folks at Life Fitness takes running indoors a little further with its treadmill range that include the company's Track+ console. Compatible with its T5, T3 and F3 treadmills, it'll let you connect a whole host of fitness apps including Fitbit, MyFitnessPal and Apple Health.

You'll need to have an iPhone or Android phone to make it work and a big wad of money to get one inside your living room.


When workout space is a premium

We don't have all have the luxury of a giant studio apartments to work out in, so Hong Kong based startup Move It has come with an all in one gym equipment that takes that fully into consideration.

Made up of an ab wheel, a pair of pushup stands, resistance band and and jump rope, motion sensors built into the handles of the equipment are able to detect reps and calculate calorie burn. It'll let you share and track performance from the Move It smartphone companion app.

When you're done with your session, it all clips back together so you can hide it away out of sight and pretend like you've not just been intensively skipping for 20 minutes.


Sweat it out with Alexa and Stringify

If you've not heard about Stringify, it's a lot like IFTTT letting you customise how connected devices talk to each other and can automate actions to make them do what you want them to do. It's also got support for Amazon's Alexa virtual assistant. If you happen to have an Echo or the Echo Dot along with a Sonos system and even some smart lighting, there's a pretty neat workout mode.

Read this: How to get started with Stringify

Once you've created a Flow (set of automation rules) you can ask Alexa to 'run Workout'. Then it can turn your home gym lights on, start playing music and even log workouts when you're done in Google calendar. You can set a time for an hour, and it'll turn off everything to let you know the workout is done.

Free, Stringify

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