How We Review Fitness Products

At Garage Gym Lab, we take product testing seriously. We hands-on test gym equipment, accessories, and other fitness products using a comprehensive methodology. The results of our tests are found throughout our site’s reviews and guides, and they help us form our core lists of product recommendations.

We conduct all our testing in a dedicated lab in Fort Mill, South Carolina. Each product is graded based on a set of criteria customized for its specific category. For example, the performance metrics we use to evaluate a barbell differ from the ones we use for a weight bench.

How do Adjustable Dumbbells Work
How to Pick the Best Weightlifting Shoes

About Our Test Lab

Technically, we have two test labs: the original ‘Garage Gym Lab’ at our founder’s home and our larger studio lab. In either place, we use and perform tests on various products for reviews and data aggregation in our spec database.

The equipment we use for tests depends on the product we are testing. This may include calipers for measurements, calibrated scales for weight accuracy, decibel meters for sound, stopwatches for time, and more.

Because fitness equipment goes beyond specs, we train with each piece extensively to understand how it feels, who it’s most suitable for, etc. We use these more subjective assessments to segment users and offer personalized recommendations.

We then evaluate each product using the same set of performance criteria based on the product we’re reviewing. These grades are weighted based on importance, resulting in a final rating between 1-10.

Testing Weight Accuracy
Testing Shaft Diameter

Why You Can Trust Garage Gym Lab

We are a small team of experts in training, fitness equipment, and building home gyms. We are passionate about the industry and know from personal experience that buying equipment can be expensive and overwhelming.

We don’t take it lightly, and that’s why we choose to be 100% independent. What does that mean?

  • We will never accept money to review a product
  • We will never accept money to alter a review
  • We will never accept money to influence or bias our testing
  • We are not beholden to financial stakeholders

We are funded by you, our readers. If you decide to purchase a product through our links, we may earn a commission from participating companies. Read about how we make money.

While we do receive free products to review from time to time, we do not let that influence our ratings. Companies we work with understand and respect our editorial independence, and they appreciate trustworthy feedback so they can improve their products.

That said, Garage Gym Lab still invests substantial money into products and testing equipment. When we finish a review, we either keep the product for future comparisons, sell it within the local community (if we paid for it), or donate it to nearby homes and organizations.

Adjusting the REP AB 3000
Disadvantages of Adjustable Dumbbells

We Conduct Original Research

There is a lot of marketing jargon in the fitness industry. Our experience and testing methodologies allow us to filter this out or validate it through responsible editorial guidelines.

In addition to in-house testing, we also seek insights from other qualified and credentialed sources. This includes our board of experts and other third-party sources within our network.

Our Information is Up to Date

Fitness equipment is constantly evolving, whether a slight revision to an existing product or a new one entirely. We continually monitor the industry and have systems to identify new products and modifications.

If we have tested a product that is later replaced by a new version, we will create a new review and link to it from the existing one(s). This way, readers can clearly see the changes over time. Training shoes are a shining example of version iterations.

We also frequently update our roundup articles to confirm or change our top recommendations. We may change the order based on new information or replace products with something better. We closely monitor pricing changes and stock to ensure accuracy and availability.

We are Here to Serve

Garage Gym Lab exists to help you along your journey to being strong and fit at home. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions about our testing processes, please contact us. We love hearing from our readers and appreciate your feedback.