Fitness Superstore - Using Alternators and Batteries to Power Fitness Equipment


Today’s world is all about energy conservation, and using clean and green energy that has a lower adverse impact on the environment. This has led to the advent of renewable energy resources, such as wind turbines, hydro-powered electricity, and solar energy. While scientists and engineers fiddle with the way energy is produced to power up our appliances and devices, we discuss how that energy affects the one thing we love the most - our journey to fitness.

Traditionally, most fitness equipment is operated manually, and doesn’t require any power source. However, machines like treadmills, electronic ellipticals, and most other machines that have a display of some sort need electricity to operate, and we are trying to compare two common energy sources - AC power and battery power.


Today there are numerous gyms around the world that are coming around to the idea of having their fitness equipment and machines run by batteries or alternators. This not only saves thousands of dollars in electricity costs, it also makes for a cleaner energy source.

Even for home gyms, battery-powered machines are more suitable as they allow for more portability and leave you with more options for setting up your gym. Let’s dive deeper and see how batteries and alternators are used to power up fitness equipment and make your lives easier.


In simple terms, an alternator is an electrical generator that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy and outputs it as alternating current, or AC. Special alternators are made for exercise equipment, which are fitted to the machine to provide fixed or variable load. These are designed according to the mechanism of the exercise equipment, so it can work perfectly.

If a variable load alternator is fitted to the machine, it also adjusts the ease with which the machine can be operated, thus impacting your exercise regimen. When you start working out, the rotating mechanism of the alternator starts to rotate with the motion of the machine, and this causes it to produce AC current, which is then used to charge a battery attached to it.


Once the alternator starts to receive mechanical energy through the rotation of the fitness machines, it starts to generate AC current, and a battery has to be attached to it that will store the current. In turn, this stored current can be used to keep the machine going for much longer, thus reducing its dependence on AC power.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons that you should consider when choosing between battery-powered and AC-powered machines:

The Benefits

One of the major benefits to using battery-powered fitness equipment is that it provides a greater deal of portability that you simply can’t get with AC-powered machines. By portability we don’t imply that you get to move your machine around easily, because they are naturally very heavy. But having a battery-powered machine does give you the freedom to place it anywhere you want, be it in your basement, balcony, bedroom, or anywhere else you want. Since it doesn’t require any wall socket to plug into, you can pretty much place it anywhere you like.

Another advantage that comes from using a battery-powered machine is that you don’t have to deal with any wires or connections, and this also prevents any trip hazard. Most of the heavy gym machines require a heavy or dedicated socket, and you will have to call your electrician for that.

Another benefit is the overall lower electric bill you enjoy as you won’t be powering up your fitness equipment with AC power.

The Downsides

A major downside of battery-powered machines is the inconvenience of having to replace the batteries every now and then. No matter how good they are, batteries don’t last too long, and you will have to replace them after every few months or years, which is a recurring cost. Before you think about buying a battery-powered machine, be sure to calculate all the costs and savings.

Moreover, running out of juice can cause the machine’s memory to reboot or erase, which will cause you to lose all of your exercise data.

Another disadvantage you will experience with battery-powered fitness machines is the lack of features that they provide. Machines that run on AC power tend to be more powerful, and also have a lot more features to boast, such as preset programs, digital speed settings, and much more. If you don’t think you will be needing all of these features, you can choose battery-powered machines.


Whether you choose AC-powered fitness machines or their battery-powered variants, both have certain pros and cons. If you are looking for portability and ease of use without the hassle of wiring and electrical connections, then battery-powered machines are the answer.

However, if you’re not down for regularly replacing batteries, especially if you have machines with more digital features and controls, then buying AC-powered machines is a no-brainer for you. However, the end goal is, and always should be, your fitness.