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Here are some other tips for maintaining standard equipment:

  1. Treadmills—Clean the motor cover and exposed areas of deck and check the operation of the stop button every week or two. Once a month, vacuum inside the motor electronic compartment and underneath any treadmill that's on carpet. (Keeping treadmills on rubber mats can help keep carpet fiber away from the machines.) For treadmills with automatic wax lubrication systems, check and clean the wax nozzle each month. Do not use cleaning solution to wipe the belt; this will impair the lubrication system. Every two to three months, check the belt tension and tracking, and inspect the hardware (nuts and bolts), belt and deck for wear every three to six months.

  2. Ellipticals/cross-trainers—In addition to cleaning the console and exterior, depending on the manufacturer's suggestions, remove the cover and clean the area around the alternator every two to three months and ensure that the intermediate shaft belt is tight and centered. Inspect the hardware every six months.

  3. Exercise bikes—Check the seat attachment handlebars, pedals and crank arm every other month. Tighten pedals and handlebars as necessary. Every three months, clean and lubricate the pedal shaft and listen for squeaks, grinds and any other trouble signs.

  4. Stairclimbers/steppers—Inspect pedals and tighten as necessary. Check hardware and conduct an audible inspection every three to six months.

  5. Selectorized strength—Every other week, inspect the cable and handgrips and clean guide rods. Even minor visible damage to cables on strength-training machines is cause for immediate repair. Per the manufacturer's specifications, lubricate guide rods with a Teflon spray, not WD-40. Every three months, check that bolts and screws are tight and that pulleys and any other moving parts are operating smoothly.

  6. Plate-loaded strength—Clean frames weekly. Quarterly, check to make sure all bolts and screws are tight.

  7. Free weights—Check the bolts, screws and adjustment mechanisms on dumbbells, racks and benches every other week. At the same time, make sure weight collars fit snugly and inspect the weight plates for cracks.

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