How We Review Products & Programs

Review Process

Here at GymCrafter, we regularly review and make product and programming recommendations for your home and garage gym. Because those recommendations affect your health and your wallet, we take that responsibility seriously.

We train at home just like you do, and we understand how important it is to make decisions that positively impact your health goals.

We hold ourselves to the highest possible standards when evaluating home gym gear and training programs, and we thought you might be interested in exactly what our approach is and how something ends up being recommended here on GymCrafter.

What We Do:

First, and very important these days, ALL content on GymCrafter is written 100% by real people. We NEVER use AI to write any part of our reviews and articles. Every article on GymCrafter is based on personal experience and written by a real live human being (usually me, Tim, the founder of this site).

Here is a list of the things we ALWAYS do before reviewing or recommending a product or program.

✅ We Start By Shopping For Ourselves

We don’t review products or programs simply for the sake of posting reviews. Every single product and program reviewed here on GymCrafter started as something we purchased for ourselves because we wanted it for our own home gyms.

In that process, we do exactly what any smart consumer does: Lots and lots of research.

If we buy a product, you can be sure that we’ve already evaluated all of the options. We’ve read hundreds of customer reviews and watched hours of YouTube.

Only when we are fairly certain we are buying the right product for our goals and budget do we purchase the item or program.

✅ We Buy Everything With Our Own Money

Not a week goes by where we don’t at least get one manufacturer offering us free products in exchange for a posted review. We decline almost all of those offers.

We want to see each product or program through a customer’s eyes. That means buying it in exactly. the same way and at the same price as you do.

None of the big home gym review sites do this. NONE OF THEM!

In our opinion, it is virtually impossible to write an unbiased and honest review if the product was given to you at no charge with the expectation of a positive review.

In the interest of transparency, there are a handful of products that were sent to us at no charge. In those cases, we clearly state this in the review and explain why we decided to review that particular product or program.

✅ We Use Everything For A Minimum Of 6 Months In Our Own Gyms Before Writing A Review

90% of the home gym gear reviews online are done without ever owning or using the product reviewed. In our opinion, this is dishonest at best.

How many times have you bought something that you loved at first but, after thorough use, realized it wasn’t nearly as good as you thought it was? It happens all the time, right?

So what good is a review of a barbell, bench, or program if the reviewer hasn’t spent a good amount of time really getting to know it?

No good. No good at all.

Does this mean we don’t publish reviews on a product’s release date? Yes. Does it also mean our reviews are much more reliable and based on actual facts? It sure does!

✅ We Only Recommend Equipment From Companies With Exceptional Customer Service

Since we buy all this stuff as customers, we not only get to see the front-end buying experience but the entire process. We see how products are shipped. We call or chat with customer service. And we sometimes return things to see how refunds and returns work.

If any of those things are negative, we call them out in the review.

Over time, we’ve developed a trusted group of manufacturers that we are confident will give our readers the best possible experience. These are the companies that we make repeat purchases from and. the companies that end up being reviewed here most often.

✅ We Look For Great Gear First, and Revenue Second

99% of ALL other home gym websites ONLY review gear and companies for which they are an affiliate. This is a huge problem.

When we buy products for our own gyms, we do not care whether or not there is an affiliate program. That has no bearing on whether or not it’s a great product or not. We will write a review and recommendation regardless.

We never make product recommendations or change our opinions based on the potential income of recommending a product.

A great example of this is PowerBlocks dumbbells. PowerBlocks eliminated almost all of their affiliates at the beginning of the pandemic. They didn’t need anyone’s help selling dumbbells at that time.

So, even though we make zero revenue from recommending PowerBlocks dumbbells, we consistently recommend them as the best possible adjustable dumbbell option. That’s because they are. We use PowerBlocks in our gyms, so that’s what we recommend.

Most other sites have moved to recommending NuoBells instead of PowerBlocks. Are they better? NO! Do they pay more than zero? Yes, they do.

GymCrafter will NEVER make a product or program recommendation based on potential income. NEVER.

✅ We Objectively Score Every Item We review

Opinions are great, but you know what they say about opinions… Everyone has one, and most of them stink!

While we think our opinions are a bit different, we still understand that product reviews can be very subjective. That’s why we went to great lengths to develop an objective product scoring system based on repeatable testing.

Every product we review will have a score based on a large number of measurable qualities. This goes way beyond the manufacturer’s specs as we seek to measure the things that will actually matter to the end user.

You can see an in-depth explanation of every product scoring system we’ve developed here.

What We Don’t Do:

There are a few things we NEVER do here on GymCrafter.

❌ Take Sponsorship Fees

On GymCrafter.com, we do not accept paid sponsorships of posts, products, reviews, or any other content. We do not believe that sponsored content offers our readers honesty or integrity, two values we hold dear.

❌ Hide Negative reviews

Sometimes, even with our best research, we buy a product or program that turns out to be. a stinker. In those cases, we post honest, yet negative, reviews. In those reviews, we advise our readers either not to buy the product or we share an alternative that is of higher quality.

❌ Write Reviews Based On Rounding Up Other People’s Reviews

Too many websites simply summarize all the reviews on Amazon when reviewing a product. considering the number of fake and paid-for reviews on Amazon and anywhere else customer reviews are found (Notice how everyone’s products all have 4.5+ out of 5 ratings from thousands of customers without a single bad or critical review? That’s not accurate information.)

We feel that our readers are perfectly capable of reading through customer reviews. We also feel that our readers deserve better. This is why we insist on only reviewing products that we own and use ourselves.