Latest posts by Owen Alexander (see all)


    About Us

    Here at the Gym Lab, we’re passionate about getting fit and staying healthy. We believe that you don’t need to be a member of a gym or have a personal trainer to stay fit – you can work out from the comfort of your own home. We love to test out the latest gym equipment, and we want to pass on everything we’ve learned about how these products work to our readers.

    We’re also passionate about promoting products that provide value for money. Gym equipment doesn’t have to leave you broke – and money shouldn’t be a barrier to fitness.

    We write about alternative protein products at our website AltProtein. So, if you want to know about the latest diets and how they can work with your exercise regime, you can find everything you need to know there.

    Our Mission

    We want to give you all the information you need about the latest and greatest home gym equipment. From treadmills to ellipticals, dumbbells to home gym systems – we review it all, with in-depth reviews that take a look at the pros and cons of each product.

    We also write product comparisons (great if you’re torn between two products) and product guides – so for example, if you want a new treadmill and you don’t even know where to start, we’ll give you a rundown of everything you need to know, saving you from wasting your time and money.

    Our Values

    So, what are our values at The Gym Lab? Here’s what we aim to be:


    At the Gym Lab, we’ll give you an honest rundown about the latest products. We’ll give it to you straight – even if we don’t like a product. If we think it’s not worth your time, we’ll let you know – but if we love it, we’ll explain exactly why. You can trust our writers and contributors to be completely honest with you about how they feel about each product.



    Let’s say you want to buy an under-desk elliptical machine (which is a great way to keep fit while you work). We’ll give you a rundown of the best products, exploring their features and technical specifications, going right into the nitty gritty of how they work. In our buying guides, we try to arm you with the information you need to know before you go shopping – so you’ll know exactly what you need to look for.


    Focused on Value

    Sometimes it can feel that the best gym equipment is out of reach for those on a tighter budget. That’s why we’re passionate about reviewing products with realistic prices. We know that it doesn’t have to cost the earth to get fit and stay healthy – which is why we want to promote products that are affordable. Although you’ll occasionally find a higher-priced product in our reviews, we’ll make sure we give you some lower-priced options, too.


    What You’ll Get from Us

    Every piece of workout equipment and every single piece of fitness gear has been tested out by our team. We aren’t just here to make a product recommendation that we wouldn’t trust our own bodies and health journey with. We want to know all of the strengths and weaknesses a piece of equipment has to offer so you don’t have to figure it out all by yourself.

    We know how difficult it can be to uproot yourself from a comfortable lifestyle and begin to challenge yourself physically. We’ve been there too. As fitness enthusiasts and experts, we eat, sleep, and breathe all things related to the gym. When it comes to sharing our top secrets for a better workout and better gains, we’re more than passionate. We’re obsessed.

    Do you often struggle to meet your weight-loss goals? Are you not bulking up as quickly as you’d like to? Do you feel like your fitness journey is taking too long?

    These may be some of the problems you run into as you’re working on improving yourself. But, we know all too well that there are a lot of other problems that can challenge you along the way. And we hate seeing people get discouraged – we don’t want to see anyone fail.

    That’s why we’re here to help you. And while we may not be able to spot you at the gym, we can spot your wallet and make sure you’re only investing in what will actually work for you. So, whether you’re just starting out or you want to connect with a community of like-minded people, we’re here. Let TheGymLab guide you through to the finish line.

    And how can we do all of that? Well, here’s what we have to offer:

    In-Depth Reviews

    We’re particularly proud of our product reviews. We cover every detail – every feature, all the technical specifications, the pros and cons, the pricing. We love to test new gym equipment, and we know that it’s important to give you the information you need before investing your money into something new for your home gym.

    Here are some of our favorite reviews:

    Bowflex PR1000 Review: Is It Worth Buying in 2022?

    Product Comparisons

    What happens if you’re looking at two different bits of kit and you can’t decide which one to buy? We cover that, too! We directly compare products to see exactly how they stack up against each other – helping you to make the best decision.

    Here’s an example of our product comparisons:

    Total Gym vs Bowflex Home Gyms

    Weider Ultimate Body Works vs Total Gym: Which Is The Best?

    Product Guides

    Finally, there are our product guides. If you want to invest in something new – like a rowing machine – it can be difficult to know where to start looking. We’ll tell you exactly what you need to look for: why you might need one, how they work, what features you want it to have. We’ll also give you a round-up of the best products out there, giving you all the information you need in one place.

    7 Best Total Gyms for Home Use

    How to Find the Best Dumbbells

    How TheGymLab Works

    On TheGymLab, we love connecting with people who are (or want to be) obsessed with their personal health. Our team of fitness and nutritional experts go through and personally test out each product we use before we review it. Our team uses their expertise to figure out if a product is really worth your investment. We only care about one thing here: helping you. And our guides and reviews will help you to decide what’s best for you.

    We find products to review by looking through trending fitness products and finding new releases. We order every single product ourselves and wait for it to arrive. Then, we review every part of the process of ordering the product; from the unboxing, setup, using to, and recording any results we notice – you’ll see it all. After we post our review, we make sure to answer any questions that come up in the community.

    Meet Our Fitness Specialists

    Crystal Schwanke – Certified Personal Trainer

    Crystal Schwanke has been immersed in the fitness and health world since 1999 when she took her first weightlifting class for PE credit and fell in love with feeling strong. Since she began her journey, she’s worked on gaining nutritional knowledge and becoming a certified personal trainer. And as she’s continued her journey working towards these goals, she realized how much she loves helping other people begin their fitness journey. Even if you’ve never been to the gym before, Crystal’s here to help you develop a love for personal fitness.

    Why are you giving advice on The Gym Lab?

    After avoiding P.E. classes as much as possible in school, I fell in love with strength training during my single high school P.E. class (in 2000)- which I waited until my senior year to take. Since then, I’ve tried all kinds of lifting programs, run a few races, enjoyed spin and kickboxing classes, and made yoga and stretching part of my routine. I love all of it. Not just the experience of exercising, but learning and understanding more about the human body and how it works too. So, I’ve signed up for a personal training certification program to dive deeper!

    Why are you motivated to go to the gym?

    Mental and physical strength. Honestly, these days, I’m more focused on the mental side of things as far as workout benefits go. This means I’m less focused on progressing through a specific program. I’m less strict about sticking to a plan other than “move for 30 minutes today” and just do what my body and mind feel would serve me best that day. In the past, I’ve had strength goals or running goals that I wanted to hit. I’m sure there will be more of those in the future.

    What’s your biggest success in the gym?

    Getting out of my shell to try new things. When I first started going to a gym, I stuck to the treadmill, elliptical, and a few machines the gym owner showed me how to use when I signed up. Later, when I’d move to a new town, the gym I joined had a ton of classes to offer. I started signing up for all kinds to see what I liked, meet people, and move my body in different ways. I’m a shy introvert with social anxiety, so that was big for me. And it felt amazing!

    What’s your current workout routine look like? 

    Right now, I’m using my home gym more than anything else. I try to lift weights five times per work for 30-60 minutes (and stretch and/or foam roll for a few minutes after). I aim to get at least 15-20 minutes of cardio in (not necessarily intense) to wake myself up in the mornings. Yoga or more extensive stretching or foam rolling routines happen about once per week, depending on how my body feels. I listen to my body and mind, though. Some days, I may not have it in my to-do the lifting workout I want to do, so maybe I’ll walk more, run, or hop on my bike instead. Or I’ll use an app to do a Pilates, barre, or cardio dance workout.

    What’s one gym hack you’d share to anyone getting ready to go to the gym for the first time?

    If it’s your first time, you’re probably feeling pretty intimidated, but you’re also not likely to be going straight for a heavy barbell-and-plates setup. That means you’re free to grab a couple of dumbbells and whatever else you need and find a quiet spot to go through your routine on your own, without feeling like people are watching. Some gyms have big rooms for classics that aren’t always in use, and those make excellent out-of-the-way places to start getting comfortable at the gym.

    You’ll have mirrors to check your form to you’ll feel more at ease once your finally out in the weight room. Check the class schedule and see if there’s a time you can go when that room won’t be in use. If there’s no room like that, or if it’s using it when you can go, you can find a quiet corner and use it the same way. Before you know it, you’ll be venturing out to other parts of the gym, feeling completely at home. Utilize their cardio equipment for your health or goals, but don’t let that be all you do out of fear of looking silly- everyone there was once a beginner, and most gym-goaers are so focused on their workout, they won’t be paying attention to anyone else.

    What are your social media links?

    You can find me here: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

    Alexandra Gavrilescu – Dedicated Pilates Buff

    Alexandra Gavrilescu struggled with healthy lifestyle habits growing up, so she knows how difficult it can be to develop a passion for prioritizing your personal health and well-being. But, after she’s spent many years un-learning her bad habits, she’s transformed her life with new (and improved) habits. Alexandra swears there isn’t a piece of gym equipment she hasn’t tried out before. Her favorite thing about going to the gym is finding someone who hasn’t ever been before and helping them out during their first workout.

    Why am I giving advice on TheGymLab?

    I admit that as a child, I wasn’t very active. In fact, I led a pretty sedentary life. Don’t get me wrong! I used to play with other children, but when it came to sports, running, and other activities that involved more intense physical movements, I felt out of place and bad at those games. At school, I didn’t like how the gym hours were held and the other kids used o make fun of me because I was chubby.

    Then, as a teenager, I wanted to look good so I started to change my lifestyle, bit by bit. I made many mistakes, especially when it comes to my eating habits, and I’ve learned from them and improved myself.

    As a student, I ate pretty clean, with plenty of veggies and fruits. The only type of exercise I was doing was walking a lot. I always loved to walk.

    Around 5 years ago, I discovered Pilates on machines instead of your standard floor mat exercises and I fell in love with it. I love how complex the Pilates reformer is and how versatile all the other machines are.

    Nowadays, I’m living a balanced lifestyle with regular workouts, daily walks, and various foods, including chocolate but in small portions. Many of my friends are asking me for advice and they’re always curious about what health apps I use and what types of exercise I do.

    When serval days pass by without exercising, I don’t feel good. But, as soon as I get up and start moving, my mind and body feel amazing. It’s all about balance! So, after all that trial and error, I’ve accumulated plenty of personal experience and now I want to help others find joy in exercising. I’m not a sporty kind of person, I don’t like all sports. I can’t stand jogging, so I’ve looked and looked until I found some activities I enjoy as much as Pilates, dance, Zumba, and walking. So, find that particular type of exercise that really motivates you.

    I’ve also tried and loved horseback riding but after 3 years, I had to let it go because of a spine problem. I’m still sad about it! I love horses and the connection I’ve made with them.

    Why are you motivated to go to the gym?

    I’m currently going to a Pilates studio and I love it. I work with my own personal trainer and she taught me the right way to breathe during exercises. She teaches me how to strengthen my entire body. Many women want to have appealing bottoms, flat abs, and lean legs, but they forget about their core muscles, back muscles, and arms. I also do standing aerobics, Zumba, and Latino dances, at home with online trainers.

    All of these workouts bring me satisfaction, joy, and a sense of accomplishment. That’s why I keep doing them.

    Plus, I love riding my bike!  Both my husband and I purchased some amazing bikes along with some wonderful biking accessories, and we’re riding around the city, 2-3 times a week. We do this a lot during the warmer months. Our record was around 18 miles in one ride. Our walking record was 16 miles in one day, hiking on the mountains.

    What’s your biggest success in the gym?

    The first time I went to Pilates classes, I wasn’t aware of how sedentary my lifestyle has been, and with the help of my trainer, as well as my personal perseverance and motivation, I changed that. I overcame my mind programs and what I thought were body limits. I built stamina, although at first, after a cardio session, I used to feel dizzy and nauseous. I’m 5 feet fall, so I’m petite.

    When I enrolled in Pilates I had a weight of 121 pounds. After five to six months and taking Pilates three times a week, I achieve a huge milestone: my ideal weight of 101 pounds. It was hard, but totally worth it. No one should compare their measurements with mine since each individual has his or her own path in losing weight, building muscle mass, and feeling and looking better.

    What’s your current workout routine look like?

    With the pandemic and all, I mostly work out from home, follow online trainers, and get inspired by YouTube workout sessions. I personally love Lucy Wyndham-Read, a UK-based trainer. I love her style and the fact that she has so many standing workouts. I work out around 30-4 minutes a day, around 3-4 times per week plus evening walks that last around 1.5-2 hours. On weekends we only go for long 2-3 hour walks.

    I start with one minute of warming up, then I work my abs with standing movements, then my lower body with squats, lunges, focusing especially on my thighs (both inner and outer ones), and finally I work 10 minutes on my arms and back. I conclude the session with 1-2 minutes of stretching.

    What’s one gym hack you’d share with anyone getting ready to go to the gym for the first time? 

    Be gentle with yourself, don’t push your limits too hard, experience multiple types of exercises to see what works with your needs and preferences the most. Have fun and don’t stress about your performance at first, until your stamina increases. I know how intimidating going to the gym can be. I remember my first day at the gym, I was so anxious, and I felt lost, not knowing where they kept the accessories and fitness mats. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help. And, don’t repeat my mistake: take plenty of water with you at the gym.

    Hydrating between exercises is crucial. Mix up your training routine, and if possible, hire a personal trainer.

    What are your social media links?

    Instagram: alexa_raileanu

    About Alt Protein

    Are you looking for help improving your diet too? AltProtein covers protein, diets, supplements, and workouts, in a series of reviews and in-depth, informative guides. So, if you want to know how to achieve a balanced lifestyle through exercise and diet, you should definitely check it out. Try our Guide to Finding the Best Diet Plan or our guide on How to Find the Best Supplements.

    If you’ve got any ideas for articles you’d like to see on our websites, feel free to contact us – we’d love to hear from you.

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