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As the main fitness writer at CNET, the writer’s job includes testing various fitness equipment to provide readers with expert reviews. The methodology used to judge fitness equipment includes evaluating features, software, functionality, assembly, and warranty. The goal is to help consumers make informed decisions about purchasing fitness equipment that best fits their needs. Ratings are given on a 1-5 scale in various categories, with an overall score calculated on a 1-10 scale. Products that score under 6.5 are not recommended.

The process of testing fitness equipment involves requesting products directly from manufacturers, testing at least six machines at once, and striving for a diverse selection of brands and models. The writer, Giselle Castro-Sloboda, has over a decade of experience in wellness and fitness journalism, personal training, and group fitness instruction. She tests a wide range of equipment, including treadmills, ellipticals, rowing machines, dumbbells, and smart fitness mirrors. Testing is conducted at the CNET warehouse and sometimes at home or showrooms.

The testing process involves thorough evaluation of each machine for functionality, usability, design, and connectivity to apps. Testing can take several months leading up to extensive hands-on experience with the equipment. Each machine is tested for about a week for approximately six hours a day, focusing on the user experience from both a beginner and advanced perspective. Notes are kept to document features and functions, with a customer-centric approach to reviewing fitness equipment.

CNET values integrity and unbiased coverage in its reviews, with no compensation accepted for positive coverage or placement. The best list is ordered based on the superlatives given to each product, with a “Best Overall” pick leading the list followed by other valuable recommendations. The editorial team acknowledges all products tested, even if they did not make the best list. Audience engagement metrics may influence the reordering of the list post-publishing, based on reader responses and feedback. Recommendations are based on expert testing and experience with various types of fitness equipment.

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