How lucky would you feel to receive free exercise equipment today?
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If you’ve window-shopped at gym and fitness equipment stores before, you know exactly how expensive every piece of exercise equipment can be.
I discovered 6 places where you can find exercise equipment FREE! Read on to find out…
6 Places to Find Free Exercise Equipment You Can Take Home
I’ve always believed that exercise equipment is one of those items that stay in households forever, but these sources have proven me wrong.
1. Direct From Exercise Equipment Brands
Exercise equipment brands like Proform are aware that their products are expensive and will go out of their way to find new customers through promotions and word-of-mouth.
Make sure you follow the brands that carry exercise equipment you’ve been eyeing since you never know when they’ll host contests and offer giveaways.
Are you coming here with no idea of which company to follow? Here are some companies to begin your hunt:
- Rogue Fitness: Home of CrossFit equipment and other gym accessories
- Life Fitness: Makers of all kinds of exercise machines from treadmills, bikes, power climbers, row machines and more
- Get RXd: Manufactures strength training machines, racks, pull up bars, barbells, etc.
- TONAL: Multi-function strength training equipment with a modern touchscreen display
- Iron Company: MMA and Boxing equipment
- Norditrack: Folding treadmills/cardio equipment for home and gym use
- Precor: Manufactures CrossFit and cardio equipment
- SPEEDIANCE: Smart fitness equipment
Sometimes, these exercise equipment brands host their own workout programs that encourage their customers to maximize the equipment’s potential and reach their fitness goals more successfully. The clincher is the workout classes are often paid. However, if you join these paid programs, you get to claim free exercise equipment.
A good example of this comes from Pro-Form bikes and treadmills, where the free exercise equipment program lets you choose from several machines if you commit to a 3-year iFIT interactive personal training membership. That totals to $1,403 (or $39/month for 36 straight months). The equipment isn’t actually free, but it’s a pretty good deal if you don’t have a thousand bucks to pay upfront.
2. Find Like-Minded Fitness Enthusiasts on Meetup.com
Let’s face it – not everyone has friends and family members who are fitness enthusiasts.
This makes it double hard to hunt for free exercise equipment if you’re relying on your existing network to bring home some unwanted training gear and workout machines.
The solution? Join a community meetup.
The cool thing about meetup.com is you can find people who are planning to go on a hike, starting a strict strength training regimen, beginning yoga, looking for swimming buddies, and others who share your own interests and fitness goals.
Facebook groups should also work similarly.
You just need to find people near you. And once you do, it would be easier to search for free exercise equipment since you’re talking to the right crowd.
3. Local Ads and Community Listings
To find gym equipment and other exercise gear for free, you need to search for people who are planning to dispose of them.
The good news is most fitness equipment could last years, so even if they are going to be discarded, many can still serve their purpose. (You still need to test them out before using them extensively though – just to be on the safe side).
So where do you find gently used, free exercise equipment?
- Community centers – Check if yours have a Facebook page, Discord, Viber group, or other online space where people from the community post giveaway items.
- Craigslist – It’s an old platform, but it is still one of the most used methods of posting items you want to give away. It’s free to post and the process is straightforward.
- Freecycle.org is also one of the earlier websites on this list, but it remains a helpful site for anyone looking items people are giving away for free in your area. Note that free exercise equipment gets taken pretty quickly here.
- Nextdoor – This site encourages people within the same community to come together to greet newcomers, exchange recommendations, read the latest local news, and of course, post wanted or for free listings.
- Facebook Marketplace – The secret to finding exactly the items you need in Facebook Marketplace is to use the right keywords.
You’re going to have to experiment with your search using terms like “free exercise bike,” “free treadmill,” “free exercise equipment” and other similar keywords to be able to get the results you’re looking for.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that you can call dibs on the items if you do find one. They’re mostly given away on a first-come, first-serve basis.
- Yard sale – It can be hard to sell used exercise equipment, especially if it’s large and bulky, which is why many people bring down the prices of these items significantly.
If you’re lucky, you may even get them as a freebie as long as you can help bring them out (if it’s located in the attic or basement).
Whichever method you get your preloved treadmill, exercise bike, weight, or other free exercise equipment, make sure to bring a friend or two to help you carry them.
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These machines can be super-heavy for a one-person pickup. Plus, having a second or third person to meet up with strangers (at their homes) is always a good idea for your safety.
4. Non-profit Organizations
Check with the senior center, local community center, and other similar organizations that accept any kind of donated goods that are still useful to other people.
Many used gym equipment go to places like these, especially since most organizations have pick-up programs so donors no longer have to worry about shipping or transporting out bulky exercise machines.
Samples of these orgs include:
- College Hunks Hauling Junk,
- the Salvation Army,
- the local Goodwill,
- The Arc,
- Habitat for Humanity,
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, and
- The Furniture Bank Association, just to name a few.
If you have a branch of these non-profit organizations near you, visit them today and see if they’re willing to donate free exercise equipment to you.
5. Gyms and Fitness Studios
Some fitness studios and big-named gyms sell old equipment at very low prices when they’re replacing them with new equipment.
Owners of smaller gyms and fitness studios are more likely to give them to you for free, especially if you’ve been a loyal member of the place for years.
Just ask. You might be pleasantly surprised by their answer and go home with a new set of weights, an exercise bench, a rowing machine, or other free exercise equipment.
6. Cheap Exercise Equipment from Used Sporting Goods Stores
If you tried all the options above, but had no luck getting free exercise equipment, don’t just go running to buy a brand new set just yet.
If you can’t wait for free equipment to land in your hands, your next best bet is to visit a used sporting goods store such as Play It Again Sports. They encourage owners of fitness equipment and sports gear to sell or trade their goods. What’s great about buying from legitimate stores is that they review the item condition before making deals with sellers, so if you plan to buy from them, you can be rest assured that the equipment underwent some testing.
Dunham Sports isn’t a used sporting goods store, but they might as well be with the never-ending discount programs they offer year-round. Check here if you’re residing near their branch.
Also check out REI if you’re passionate about reusing and recycling.
Free Exercise Equipment in Public Places
If you can’t find free exercise equipment you can take home, try out these places that welcome fitness enthusiasts who are looking for an exercise spot with equipment.
Do you live near a public park with built-in free exercise equipment?
It’s like a children’s playground, except every “ride” is designed to focus on a particular body part similar to how gym equipment is designed. Also known as free “fitness stations,” more and more cities are creating these spots for the local community.
Not sure if you have one nearby? Check this fitness park database if your area has one.
If you don’t, there is also find information there on how to start your own community fitness park and outdoor gym in your city.
Schools are one of the most common places where preloved fitness equipment is donated. This is particularly true for schools known for their roster of athletes.
Check the nearest schools near you if they welcome non-students to use the school gym for free.
Some children’s playgrounds also have a section for grownups to exercise.
Although not as popular as fitness parks, it’s good to be inclusive and enjoy free outdoor gyms while your kids get to play nearby.
Local Fitness Stores
Your favorite exercise clothing brands like Lululemon and Athleta sometimes give away free clothing and fitness gear to their customers.
Hang out at these specialty stores more often and ask about complimentary fitness classes – they host these events regularly.
For example, Lululemon has Sunday fitness classes in select locations, while Athleta has free yoga classes and free BootCamp for its clients. These programs come with no purchase required too, so win-win for you!
Serious About Getting Fit? Here are more Freebies for You
If you’re looking for more freebies to help with your journey to getting fit, check out my guides on:
- how to get free shoes (if you plan to run or play sports, this is super useful),
- how to get free exercise clothes,
- Tried-and-tested tips for getting a free bike,
- Free yoga classes near you, and
- Free workout apps (if you’re like me, who’s a sucker for any apps that could track progress)
I also talked about how to get FIRST MONTH FREE gym memberships in this post.