Senior’s family dives deep into fitness with home gym

February 11, 2021 — by Eileen Bui
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Welcome to COVID-19 Fit! Location: the Bui Residence. Maximum Occupancy: 4


Entering the building, I made my way to an electronic bike while a treadmill the same height stands nearby. Now, you might say: Eileen, we’re in the middle of a pandemic, aren’t gyms closed? And yes, you would be correct, but I am not in a gym. I am in my 13’ by 10’ living room, which now closely resembles a fitness center. 

While I do miss the actual gym, my parents really took “bringing the gym to us” to another level in recent months, purchasing a Peloton, a Nordic Track treadmill, a gym-quality lifting cage and a concerning number of free weights from Amazon (to our Amazon delivery guy, you’re welcome for the free workout). 

So here I am to give you a review of COVID-19 Fit. Location: Bui Residence, Saratoga, CA. 

On the athleticism scale, I would rank myself a 5/10;even so, I would say I am moderately in shape. Or at least that is what I thought until I started using the NordicTack. 

The NordicTrack is a state-of-the-art treadmill with multiple speed and incline settings, as well as an iPad-like interface that has a number of customized runs with scenery from all over the world as well as a Netflix option. 

Overestimating my athleticism, I chose a run that was ranked as being moderate on the treadmill’s intensity scale. Let’s just say the run left my legs sore and my ego even sorer. While the views of downtown Morocco were very pleasant, the 40 degree incline at a 7 mph pace was not moderate. 

Despite having a bruised ego, I did get a good workout in. The NordicTrack has hundreds of different classes showcasing various locations. Throughout the run the treadmill automatically changes speed and incline depending on the program you choose, almost like you’re actually there. Although I do enjoy the treadmill, it comes at the hefty price tag of $3,800. For that much, I would honestly opt for a run around the neighborhood and put the almost $4,000 toward actually going to Morocco. 

After recovering from my run, I decided to try the Peloton, a stationary bike with a monitor interface that houses different spin classes. There are over a dozen instructors with pre-recorded classes, all of which are lively and upbeat, similar to SoulCycle’s in-person group spin classes. If you are drawn to the competitive aspect of SoulCycle, the Peloton has an option to show you your ranking against people who are also doing the class in real time. A Peloton is a good option for those who miss SoulCycle.

Price-wise, I believe the Peloton is one of the better options for home fitness. To go on a traditional bike ride, you would have to purchase a bike and drive to different places, initially costing about $400 plus gas. A Peloton is in total $1,895. In my opinion, a Peloton is a smart purchase, since you're investing in both a bike and personal trainer (which is about $300 a month, mind you) all in the leisure of your own home at your own pace and convenience. 

The last COVID-19 Fit attraction is its lifting station. While having a weight rack is nice, it is not the most convenient seeing that we have hardwood floors, thus limiting the exercises allotted. Since you cannot simply drop the weight forcefully as you would at a gym, the weight rack is mainly used for routine lifting as opposed to heavyweight or powerlifting. At its $300 price point, I would not say it was worth it. The free weights, however, have definitely been a winner in my book, as you can do basically whatever you please with them. 

My No. 1 drawback of having a home gym has more to do with the surrounding environment, especially the noise. It is not ideal having to listen to my dad’s workouts and footsteps while trying to write an in-class essay. Another factor to take into consideration is air circulation; we’ve had to install three mounted fans to make it so that you’re not dripping sweat if you go above a walk on the treadmill. One of these fans is awkwardly placed so that you get an ugly partial view of a fan when watching television. 

Although having a home gym is convenient right now, I would prefer a scaled down one. All I would need are a couple free weights and my own two feet. Besides, business is bad for gyms right now with COVID-19 Fit at the Bui Residence only at four members, so there’s no way we are making our money back. 


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