After recently writing about the best exercise equipment I don’t own, it occurred to me that I’ve never actually written a blog post to tell you about all of the best equipment that I do own. If you read my blog regularly, you likely already have a pretty good idea of what my preferred brands are for various types of exercise equipment, but I still figured it would be useful to write a post that has all of that information in one place.
Since I get so much exercise gear for review purposes as well as for filming videos on my YouTube channel, I own and/or have used all of the best brands of exercise equipment in categories such as resistance bands, suspension straps, pull-up bars, dip/row stations, gymnastics rings, jump ropes, pulley trainers, resistance tubing, ab wheels, foam rollers, exercise mats, interval timers, etc. This list covers the best gear that I own in each of those categories, plus I’ll mention the best running shoes I’ve ever worn in my entire life.
Bodylastics · $28.95 and up
Bodylastics makes the highest quality resistance bands on the market. Every aspect of the Bodylastics system is significantly higher quality than other resistance bands systems. Bodylastics has the smoothest and most durable dipped latex rubber tubing, the sturdiest and most comfortable handles, the nicest ankle straps, and the thickest and most well-padded door anchor.
Considering that Bodylastics is a significantly higher quality product than the competition, it wouldn’t be surprising if Bodylastics was more expensive than the competition, but Bodylastics pricing is as low as any resistance band system you’ll find anywhere.
TRX Suspension Trainer · $189.95 and up
I have more brands of suspension straps than any other type of exercise equipment, and my favourite suspension system is the TRX Suspension Trainer. The patented TRX Suspension Trainer features the best anchoring system, the most convenient adjustment, the best foot cradles, the highest degree of portability, and the best craftsmanship of any suspension exercise system currently on the market.
The TRX is a premium product with a premium price. There are countless cheaper alternatives on the market for people on a tight budgets, just keep in mind that those cheaper options are much lower quality and usually a gigantic pain in the ass to setup and adjust. If you want the best suspension trainer, choose the TRX.
Lebert Equalizer · $119.99
I originally chose not to buy a Lebert Equalizer because I (incorrectly) thought the 28.5″ height of the bars would be too close to the ground for me to be able to perform full range dips (I’m 6’2″). So instead I went with a 36″ dip station that gave me more clearance for dips.
But over the years I couldn’t resist picking up a Lebert Equalizer because of the additional variety of exercises that the split design of the Equalizer allows (my favourites are mixed grip rows, triceps extensions, and using the Equalizer bars as hurdles).
When I finally got an Equalizer, I realized that the 28.5″ height of the bars does not limit my range of motion at all when doing dips. So I have absolutely no trouble doing full range dips on the Equalizer, and the split design allows me to position the bars at the width and angle that I prefer, which means that the Equalizer is the most comfortable equipment I’ve ever used for dips.
Body Bands · $42.95 and up
Although I primarily use tubular resistance bands for most of my workouts, I also have flat continuously looped bands that I use for exercises such as deadlifts and resisted pushups, as well as certain functional movements that seem to feel more natural when using flat bands as opposed to tubes.
There are lots of different brands of continuously looped resistance bands on the market, but my strong preference is Body Bands simply because of the combination of extremely high quality, very affordable price, and all of the must-have training accessories.
Again Faster Wood Rings · $82.99
Although I haven’t been able to use them very much because I don’t currently have anywhere at my apartment to set them up (ceilings not high enough, and not enough space even if the ceilings where high enough), my Again Faster Rings are still one of my favourite pieces of exercise equipment.
The quality of the Again Faster Rings is incredible. The wood rings feel amazing in the hands, and the craftsmanship is extremely high quality (there isn’t a single noticeable blemish anywhere on the rings). The straps and cam buckles are also extremely high quality and I’ve had no issues whatsoever with the straps slipping (a problem I had with various other brands of gymnastics rings).
Again Faster Ultra Speed Rope · $13.95
The Again Faster Ultra Speed Rope is the fastest and smoothest jump rope I’ve ever used, but the most important feature that I like about the Again Faster rope is it’s durability.
Every other jump rope I’ve ever used has had a clumsy design that caused the plastic rope to quickly wear out and break right where the rope contacts to (and rubs against) the handles.
With the Again Faster jump rope, the cable rope is connected to the handles via a metal dowel that greatly reduces friction and allows the rope to turn lightning fast, and the materials and design make this rope extremely durable.
GoFit Elevated Chin-Up Station · $39.99
I’ve bought countless doorway mounted chin-up bars over the years, and with the exception of the GoFit Elevated Chin-Up Station, all of the other chin-up bars I’ve bought over the years have had something wrong with them that pretty much made them unusable. Either they’ve ruined my door frame, or the pull-up bars where too close to the inside of the door frame and/or too close to the ground, or the grips were cheap and fell apart, or all of the above.
I discovered the GoFit Elevated Chin-Up Station a few months ago and I absolutely love it. It fits inside my door perfectly and doesn’t cause any damage to the frame; the pull-up bars are positioned perfectly up and out from the door, giving me enough cleaning from the door and the ground to do full range chin-ups, pull-ups, etc; and the high-quality grips are comfortable and durable.
Ultimate Body Press Ab Wheels · $29.99
I used to think that split ab wheels were only available to people willing to MacGyver up a pair using miscellaneous parts from Home Depot. I recently discovered that Ultimate Body Press makes a set of split ab wheels, so I immediately picked up a pair.
I’m extremely happy with the quality of the Ulimate Body Press ab wheels, and the split design allows several additional exercises not possible with traditional ab wheels.
YogaForce A-Line Mat · $79.95
This mat is ridiculously soft and comfortable. Not only is it great for all of the regular exercises that normally benefit from using a mat, but I also really like using it for plyometrics to soften the impact on my joints.
I don’t do yoga, so I’ve never benefited from the “patented alignment lines” (whatever the hell they are) on the YogaForce mat , but I prefer this mat because the rubber is much higher quality than any other mat I’ve ever used.
EVA Foam Roller · $36.04
I purchased my foam roller from a local fitness equipment store in Vancouver, and it doesn’t have a brand name listed anywhere on it. But it’s looks identical to the foam roller pictured in the thumbnail on the right (36″ version). It’s an EVA foam roller with a textured pattern on the outside. The EVA foam is much denser, firmer, and more durable than the cheaper older style foam rollers.
Although I eventually plan to pickup a Rumble Roller, I’ve been very happy with my EVA foam roller, so if you don’t want to spend $80 or so on a Rumble Roller, or you just don’t want a Rumble Roller regardless of the price, I think you’d be very happy with a $35 EVA foam roller.
Gymboss Interval Timer · $19.95
The Gymboss Interval Timer is a cool little gadget that I don’t know what I would do without. The vast majority of my workouts are interval workouts, and circuit training workouts with stations based on time, so I’d be lost without the Gymboss Interval Timer.
I recently discovered that Gymboss is now selling a higher-end model called the Gymboss Max. Although my basic Gymboss does everything I need it to do, whenever I end up buying another Gymboss timer, it will be the Max model.
New Balance Minimus Trail Shoes · $104.99
I absolutely love my New Balance Minimus Trail shoes (mine are the older model MT-10). They’re without a shadow of a doubt the best and most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn in my entire life.
I prefer shoes with extremely low profile soles, but I have no interest in wearing toe shoes because toe shoes look so ridiculously stupid. The New Balance Minimal Trail with Vibram soles are absolutely the best barefoot style shoes I’ve found for people like me who prefer not to look like a total reject by wearing toe shoes.