We tried the most hyped fitness equipment to see if it was worth the money

fitness machines vaha x

Is this money worth it?

As many as 73% of us own expensive fitness equipment that we never use, says a new study from AI-based fitness and lifestyle coaching app Freeletics.

In fact, 26% admit they bought kits on a whim during the lockdown, and 24% said they sprayed out on items they had no real interest in.

According to the study, the least used set is a yoga mat, followed by kettlebells, dumbbells and treadmills.

So now that the cold weather is set in, we look at three of the biggest industry launches in the form of fitness equipment for the home and review whether they really live up to the hype.


Ofmenions: L170 x W62 x D4cm
45 kg


Mirror mirror on the wall ….

What they say: The first interactive fitness mirror, this acts as a personal trainer in your living room.

Classes are streamed with a hologram in the mirror, and 2,000 workouts are offered with 40 new live workouts added each week. Sessions range from cardio, strength, stretching, yoga, bootcamp, pilates, barre and meditation and children – family-friendly training.

You can also book a personal training session with a real PT who connects live to the mirror.

What we think: It’s an incredibly smooth piece of set, but it’s quite cumbersome, and I’m afraid my kids are going to tip it over despite the sturdy stand.

The smaller S version can be wall mounted, which may be a better option for some. Once linked to the VAHA app via your phone, the touch screen is incredibly easy to use and super responsive. The website and writing are clearly visible and the holograms can be seen even when the sun is on the mirror.

By linking your VAHA to Spotify, you can choose to listen to VAHA’s pre-recorded beats for a workout or select something from your playlist.

The device also links to Instagram, Skype, Zoom and TikTok if you want to see content on the 43-inch touch screen.

The workout filter is great for fine-tuning what I need on the day, though this may make choices limited, perhaps because VAHA is not as established as other brands yet. Despite this, there is an abundance of choices and I love that the instructors do the session in real time.


It even corrects your shape while you exercise

Maybe not as motivating as others, USP here for me is form. It’s a great way to see if you’re doing an exercise correctly, and it really helped with the technique for things like squats (I lose my chest) and a triceps throw (my arm was too high).

The real-time instruction also lets you see if you are relaxing with reps, and I had to increase the pace a few times.

On the flip side, it can be quite disturbing to see yourself sweating in the mirror!

I also loved that VAHA’s sensors capture your movements to provide feedback to help you improve, and the end of sessions tells you which muscles you have been working on.

Buy it for £ 1950 (VAHA S, £ 1,150; subscription, £ 39 per month)

Peloton Slidbane

Dimensions: L173 x W84 x H157cm
Weight: 132 kg

Peloton Slidbane

Complete interactive running experience

What they say: This is an interactive fitness platform with thousands of on-demand and live classes added daily.

It offers real-time motivation, performance tracking and a live leaderboard. There is also the option to video call friends during sessions thanks to a 23.8-inch HD touch screen with 8-megapixel front-facing camera.

Classes include running (do-it-yourself and scenic), walking, bootcamps, strength training, cardio, stretching, yoga and meditation.

What we think: This is a really great set. It is much smaller than expected, but large enough to feel comfortable when running. Once you have created a Peloton account, you can link it to your social media and music accounts to train with friends and save ‘suffered songs’.

The touch screen is incredibly easy to navigate, and there are an abundance of on-demand classes that can be filtered by everything from duration and difficulty to music preferences.

The frame is made of carbon steel and feels very strong when I need it to jump off the belt, while the speed and tilt buttons are perfectly positioned to allow a gentle roll up or down while running – a button in the middle of each dial gives opportunity for a more dynamic change.

The screen is large enough for an immersive experience with plenty of features that allow you to track your progress.

What I love most about this piece of equipment is that it is not just a treadmill. This is multifunctional training at its best, and a new stacking system allows you to select multiple workouts, including warming up and cooling down to run one after the other as part of your session.

The biggest feature for me was the motivation in real time. If you think the treadmill is boring or lacks the enthusiasm to push yourself, these guys will make you faster and stronger. It’s an incredibly fat piece of set that has definitely made us train more intensely. The only negative is that you can not pause during on-demand sessions.

Buy it for £ 2,295 (£ 54 per month for 43 months with 0% APR; subscription, £ 39 per month for unlimited classes) from Peleton

Wattbike Atom Next Generation bike

Dimensions: L124 x W50 x H150cm
Weight: 40 kg

Wattbike Atom Next Generation bike

Super compact smart bike

What they say: This is an indoor training smart bike that offers pre-programmed training, manual cycling and fitness testing via the app on your own device.

From HIIT sessions to hill climbs and endurance, this boasts an electromagnetic resistance system that provides a wider resistance range and faster reaction times. It promises to recreate an outdoor cycling experience in your home.

What we think: This is a very technical bike and a great bike when space is tight, as it is easy to maneuver around thanks to wheels in front that engage when the frame is tilted at an angle.

There is no integrated screen with the Atom, so you must either link to indoor cycling apps like Zwift and SYSTM (formerly Sufferfest), book yourself for a spin class with Peloton or link to the Wattbike Hub to stream training.

Thanks to a new cadence sensor and crank angle sensor (hence the Next Generation title) you get better accuracy for simulated gradients in apps – the crank angle sensor reads 48 times per second. revolution compared to Atom’s predecessor, which reads two per. revolution.

Wattbike Atom Next Generation bike

Wattbike helps you cycle your way to success

A link to the Wattbike Hub app gives you a home page that is easy to navigate, with options for quick rides, workouts, health and fitness tests, plans and hikes.

Training ranges from Tabata to improve your maximum power, and on-screen prompts instruct you during the session, while endurance training allows you to increase your aerobic efficiency.

All sessions allow you to monitor everything from your pedal stroke and left / right leg power to cadence and FTP (Functional Threshold Power) etc.

The bike itself is incredibly robust and even at my fastest pace or standing, the base felt reassuring.

The only negative about this for me is the lack of personal interaction in the Hub, but if you are more into precision data and improving the technique, it does not matter. This is a major technical rival to the Peloton bike.

Buy it for £ 1,999.99 (Wattbike Hub subscription is free) from Wattbike

More home sets worth investing in

High dose Infrared Pemf Mat

High Dose Infrared Pemf Mat

Add recovery to your yoga routine

Do not have time for a yoga class? It is claimed that a quick session on this mat can get the same results.

It uses something called PEMF (Pulsed Electromagnetic Field), which sends electromagnetic waves through your body to help speed up the recovery process.

The addition of infrared also penetrates the body to promote healing, increase circulation and reduce inflammation.

Buy it for £ 859 from High Dose

JaxJox Dumbbell Connect

JaxJox Dumbbell Connect

All your lifting needs are sorted

These digital dumbbells could replace an entire stand with weights. At the touch of a button, you can change the weight from 3.6 kg to 22.6 kg, making it great for anyone with limited space.

Sync to the app (30-day free trial) and you can track your workouts and take classes.

Buy it for £ 499 from JaxJox

Bowflex Selecttech 840 Adjustable Kettlebell

Bowflex Selecttech 840 Adjustable Kettlebell

Six weights in one

Another no-brainer when it comes to home appliances, it combines six different ones
kettlebells in one.

It is great for couples who may be at different fitness levels, or those who want to develop as the weight range is 3.5kg to 18kg.

Buy it for £ 222.79 from Fitness Superstore

Les Mills MBX Mat

Les Mills MBX Mat

Choose your page

Convert your space into a multi-gym with a mat with two custom-built surfaces. The red yoga side is padded, which is friendlier for the joints, but still stable and supportive.

The gray side is for dynamic training and has an anti-slip coating to keep your feet anchored.

BBuy it for £ 60 from Les Mills

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on purchases made through one of these links, but this never affects the opinions of our experts. The products are tested and reviewed independently of commercial initiatives.

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