What is the Best Home Gym? – Top Models Reviewed

Home gyms can be an amazing way of staying in shape from the very comfort of your own living room.

We know how cumbersome going to the gym can get.

And it doesn’t make it easier when you need to digest the harsh reality that they charge a lot of money for equipment which you might never really use.

Multi Gym for Home

Best Home Gyms to Buy

Hence, home gyms are an excellent alternative, especially for those who are into strength and flexibility training and not cardio workouts.

Sure! A good rowing machine will be able to provide you with an excellent full body routine, but when it comes to strengthening the major muscle cores, not many can match the efficiency of a bench press or even a pulley.

And in our article today we will be going over some of our all-time favorite home gyms, along with a buyers guide to help you choose which equipment you should be going for based on your needs.

So, sit back and read along.

1. Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym

  • Budget-friendly and effective
  • Includes a rowing machine rail
  • Comes with 30 different strength training exercises with varying levels of difficulty
  • Includes a rowing machine rail
  • Professionals might find the weight limited
  • Not portable; takes up lots of space

Though the Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym may not be one of the most versatile home gym equipment out in the market, when it comes to strength and conditioning, it simply is one of the best.

This home workout equipment is designed specifically for strength training and comes quite highly rated by both professional trainers and amateur users alike.

Why Go For the Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym?

What attracted us the most towards the Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym is the 30 different formats of strength exercises that it comes with. And each routine is categorized in terms of difficulty so that even beginners will be able to utilize this machine effectively without any problems.

The equipment is also designed with an advanced pulley system along with a row machine rail that provides a full-body routine and is rather effective when it comes to strengthening the core muscles of the body.

In terms of resistance, the Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym provides a range between 5 pounds to 10 pounds, again making the equipment perfect for beginners and intermediate users. However, a lot of the professional trainers might find the 210 pounds max range to be inadequate.

As the upper limit is fixed and you won’t be able to upgrade the maximum weight, many trainers do not prefer this model. Plus it even takes up a significant amount of room, and there is no way to fold it up and store it as well. But for a home gym within the budget, it’s extremely efficient.  

2. Weider Ultimate Body Works

  • Adjustable incline system allows one to use body weight to increase resistance
  • Cable pulley system allows flexibility training along with strength training
  • Beginner-friendly machine with a compact design
  • One of the more affordable home gyms on our list today
  • Doesn’t come with additional weights
  • Not ideal for use by professional trainers due to limited resistance

When it comes to the category of inexpensive home gym setups, the Weider Ultimate Body Works has for some time now been one of the top-rated models. It is small, compact, affordable and absolutely perfect for those users who are just getting started with a home gym and doesn’t want to splash around their savings from the very get-go.

Why Buy the Weider Ultimate Body Works?

The Weider Ultimate Body Works might not look like much at first, but believe us when we say that for the money you pay for the machine, the Weider is a shockingly good home gym.

It is uniquely designed to house over 50 different types of exercise routines where it utilizes the user’s own body weight as a sort of natural resistance. The design includes four power bands which the machine will allow you to adjust and take the resistance all the way up to 50 pounds.

It even has a cable pulley system which allows a wide freedom of motions, so if you want to mix in a bit of flexibility training to your strength training routines, then the Weider Ultimate Body Works will permit you to do just that.

However, the low cost of the equipment means that you will have to buy your own weights. The warranty, unfortunately, lasts for 90 days, and the limited resistance on the model means that it’s not all that viable for the more professional users.

3. Marcy 150-lb Multifunctional Home Gym Station

  • The weights come with their on safety lock that prevents weight-related accidents
  • 30+ strength training exercises for overall body toning
  • Equally works out the lower and upper parts of the body
  • One of the best home gym machines
  • Maximum weight might feel too limited for professional users

The Marcy 150-lb Multifunctional Home Gym Station is an excellent exercise machine . However, building muscle while cutting down on body fat is not the only thing that it does; it strengthens the core muscles as well, along with providing a variety of different strength training exercises.

Why Invest in the Marcy 150-lb Multifunctional Home Gym Station?

The Marcy 150-lb Multifunctional Home Gym Station effectively works out both your upper and lower portions of the body to uniformly dissolve all the excess fat, especially around the torso. It offers more than 30 exercises where each routine targets a particular core muscle so that you can strengthen every part of your body.

Its design includes certain fantastic features such as ‘chest press arms,’ ‘leg developer,’ multiple pulleys, an overhead lat station and a vertical butterfly, which will help you to do both strength and flexibility training at the same time.

The Marcy 150-lb also comes with a 150-pound weight stack which comes with its very own safety lock. So if you’re going for tougher weight training exercises, then you can rest assured that the machine is absolutely safe.

However, just like for the Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym, a lot of the professionals find the 150-pound max weight to be quite limited. So if you are extremely serious about your strength training routines and are an above intermediate user, then this home gym may not be the right model for you.

4. Total Gym XLS

  • Has more than 80 possible exercise routines
  • The incline is adjustable and will allow you to increase resistance
  • Fits both family and professional use perfectly well
  • Has a folding feature making it a very compact home gym
  • A bit expensive for a portable gym

The XLS is the much-improved version of Total Gym 1900 and is specifically designed to provide an all-around, well-balanced workout experience. Instead of just focusing on extensive or intensive strengthening, it goes for a more complete approach towards exercising in general, which makes it just perfect for the whole family.

Why Purchase the Total Gym XLS?

The Total Gym XLS is a glide gym that is designed to support a variety of tools, from leg pull accessories and wing attachments to a sophisticated cable-pulley system, the XLS has a lot to offer every user.

This family-friendly home gym is perfect for getting you and your family started on a healthier track. It comes with convenient exercise and diet guides along with five inspirational workout videos and an exercise chart that documents over 80 possible exercise routines, which are categorized in terms of their difficulty levels.

But what’s truly fantastic about the XLS is that it has a maximum weight of 400 pounds, which is exactly why it’s preferred by so many professional users and trainers.

So, all in all, the XLS effortlessly fits a variety of user needs and demands. Not only are the basic exercises easy to do, but the whole routine works to tone the body uniformly as well.

However, even if the XLS is one of the most versatile home gyms on our list today, it disappoints when it comes to warranty. Each of its parts have a mere six months warranty which seems rather underwhelming compared to the high cost that it comes in.

5. Marcy Smith Cage Workout Machine

  • Efficiently exercises both the upper and lower parts of the body
  • Perfect for those who are serious about keeping in shape
  • Strengthens the major muscle groups
  • One of the most complete home gyms on our list
  • Not at all fit for amateur users
  • Weights need to be bought separately

The all in one gym system from Marcy can be the pick of the day for those home gym system enthusiasts who are quite serious about staying in shape. From supporting a dual-function leg developer to a press bar, to a low pulley and a separate Marcy Olympic weight bench, this equipment is packed with features.  

Why Buy the Marcy Smith Cage Workout Machine?

This Marcy gym system is specifically designed to be the ultimate workout equipment that will allow you to accomplish every exercise that you would normally do in the gym. It comes with smith machine functions which are just perfect for presses and squatting exercises.

It even comes with separate arms that allow pec flys, while the high and low pulleys, on the other hand, can be used to work the chest, back, shoulders and arms.

Apart from using the squat rack for your leg exercises, you can also avail the leg developer to perform advanced curls and extensions. This is precisely what makes the Marcy so very efficient when effectively training both the upper and the lower zones of the body.

However, this machine is not beginner-friendly as it’s specifically designed to meet the needs of the more serious users and professional trainers. Moreover, you will have to purchase the weights separately as well, as it doesn’t originally come with the equipment.

6. Body-Solid StrengthTech EXM2500S Home Gym

  • The uniquely designed stations allow one to perform the most complex of strength training exercises
  • Pocket-friendly and comes covered completely in a lifetime warranty
  • Supports a simple design and is a compact home gym
  • Not recommended for flexibility training

The Body-Solid StrengthTech EXM2500S has been voted by Consumer Magazine as the #1 Home Gym equipment because of its simple design and performance. Though minimalist in build, the EXM2500S will help you maximize your everyday workout routine and allow you to perform the most demanding of strength training routines with ease.

Why Go For the Body-Solid StrengthTech EXM2500S Home Gym?

We found the EXM2500S to be absolutely amazing when it came to helping one rapidly achieve muscle growth. You will progress faster in all your exercise routines with the EXM2500S and see visible signs of improvement in your body sooner because of this equipments‘ "precision built biochemically designed stations".

The EXM2500S comes with a Let Bar, a full-sized workout poster,  as well as a bent bar along with an Ab/Triceps strap gym features, which will allow even the most professional of trainers to perform complex strength training routines with ease.

The EXM2500S model from Body-Solid is quite affordable as well. It is easy to maintain and comes covered with a lifetime warranty which covers every aspect of its build, which is something that we find to be fantastic indeed.

However, the EXM2500S is suited more for strength training and hardening the core muscles of the body. It doesn’t allow much utility when it comes to flexibility training; hence it really is rigid when it comes to toning the overall body. Versatility is what the EXM2500S lacks, and we shall not be recommending it for those who want a hybrid working station.

7. XMark Functional Trainer Cable Machine

  • Easy to use ergonomic design
  • Effortlessly allows plyometric exercises dude to the pulley system
  • Pulleys can be adjusted to suit the needs of every user
  • Fits both beginner and serious users extremely well
  • It’s pretty expensive
  • Will take up a lot of space

The XMark Functional Trainer Cable Machine is perhaps one of the most ergonomically designed home gym equipment for weight loss. Offering a dual 200 pounds of weight stack and some of the easiest to use pull up bars and pulleys, the XMark can be a beginner's best friend when it comes to building muscle .

Why Buy the XMark Functional Trainer Cable Machine?

The XMark can indeed turn out to be you and your family’s favorite all in one, multi gym equipment. And the reason behind this is the user-friendly nature of its design.

Each of the cable pulleys that the XMark comes with is fully height adjustable through a range of 19 different positions. This is what makes the machine so very versatile; it allows a wider range of exercise options than just the standard high and low pulley features.

The pull-up bars that are attached to the cross-beam are extremely ergonomic as well and will allow you to do a wide range of upper body exercises. And as the cable pulleys are present on either side of the frame, doing plyometric exercises like pull ups and chin ups will be possible as well.

But, the XMark is a bit on the expensive side and may be out of reach for a lot of the average users. It’s also not as compact as one might think, and fitting it into the corner of a room is not going to be an option. You will need to dedicate an entire room to it.

8. BodyBoss Home Gym 2.0

  • Compact and portable design can be stored away easily
  • Hardly takes up any space
  • Comes with over 300 routines to train and tone every part of the body
  • Allows flexibility training
  • Maximum equipment resistance might feel too low for a lot of professional users

This portable gym set from BodyBoss is just fantastic when it comes to allowing users to perform daily full body workout routines. If you do not want to dedicate an entire corner of the living room to a home exercise equipment, then this compact and portable full body workout machine might just be the way to go.

Why Purchase the BodyBoss Home Gym 2.0? 

The BodyBoss Home Gym 2.0 will let you mimic the moves that you’d generally do with a rack of dumbbells or squat racks. But instead of using the gyms listed here, what you will be employing are cloth-covered resistance bands that attach to a fold-up platform.

However, you might be thinking that these straps won’t provide enough resistance for strength training, but there are plenty of reviews that state otherwise. Sure! The provided max resistance may not be enough for professional use, but it’s more than plenty for beginner and intermediate users.

But strength training is not the only thing that the BodyBoss Home Gym 2.0 is good at, with over 300 exercise routines and additional accessories like collapsible bands, efficient flexibility training is possible as well. This home gym easily trains both the upper and lower body.

Another aspect of this model which we really like, is the Fold-Up Platform. It allows one to either shorten or increase the length of the bands depending on the exercise and the workout difficulty the person is aiming for. 

9. Home Gym Weider

  • One of the most budget-friendly and compact home gym
  • A cable pulley system offers up to 214 pounds of resistance
  • Extremely durable and will last you for years
  • Exercises both the upper and the lower body uniformly
  • Not the ideal home gym for taller users

If you’re searching for a compact, budget-friendly home gym to get your strength routine started, then the Weider Home Gym might just be exactly what you’re looking for. The six different stations on this system include a high pulley, chest press, chest flys, leg developer, preacher curl as well as a low pulley station, for an overall workout experience.

Why Invest in the Home Gym Weider? 

Affordability and compactness is the Weider’s middle name. This gym equipment is perhaps one of the most cost-effective, all in one workout machine you will find in the market.

It’s quite popular among beginners and professionals alike, as it comes with a cable pulley system that offers up to 214 pounds of resistance to work both the upper and lower parts of the body.

And for the price that the machine comes in, it’s surprisingly durable. It has a steel tubing construction which helps it to last for years, while the vinyl eight stacks, on the other hand, keeps the movement of every part fluid and jerk free.

The high pulley and the lateral bars are specifically designed to focus on your back and lats, while the leg developers make sure that your lower body gets as toned as your upper.

However, we will not be recommending this gym system for really tall users. Though the Weider is compact, it is too compact in our opinion; hence, it will be quite difficult for taller users to get a fuller and wider range from motions during their exercises.

10. Bodycraft Galena Pro Home Gym

  • Compact enough to fit into any corner
  • 3 different stations, each reserved for a particular type of workout routine
  • Is a very safe machine to use, even when you don’t have deep knowledge of the techniques
  • Affordable and beginner-friendly
  • Doesn’t train the lower body as effectively as the upper

Another extremely compact home workout equipment on our list today, the Bodycraft Galena Pro Home Gym is an all in one gym system that features unique multi-stations. With features like chest press, dual-functioning pec dec, leg extensions, and leg pulley systems, the Galena is able to cater to the needs of professionals and amateurs alike.

Why Pick the Bodycraft Galena Pro Home Gym Over the Rest?

The Galena is compact enough to fit into any corner of the room, but that doesn’t mean that the reduced size compromises on performance in any way. Equipped with a 200-pound weight stack, the Galena supports three unique stations which are specifically designed for a particular exercise routine.

While the first station is made for seated flys, the second is suited more for upright cable curls, and the third is simply the best for all forms of presses, pull-downs and leg extensions. So, even if you do not have much knowledge of these specific techniques, the Galena will help you perform them easily, and keep you safe from accidents.

However, a maximum of 200-pound weight stack may not be enough for a lot of the professional users. Additionally, just like the other Bodycraft models, the Galena too doesn’t support many lower body exercises. Though you might be able to do some basic curls extensions, the equipment might feel very rigid and limited to those who are looking to tone every part of their body.

A Buyer’s Guide to Purchasing the Right Home Gym

Before selecting the home gym of your choice and going in for the purchase, there are a few things that we believe you should keep in mind: 

1. Versatility

A good home gym equipment is defined by how versatile it can be and how easily it can fit a variety of user needs and demands. No two customers can have the same workout regime and neither will they be looking to get the same advantages from their equipment.

Hence the more versatile a home gym, the better. From supporting a wide variety of cardio-training and muscle-building exercises to basic rowing gear, a feature-rich home gym can offer a lot to every customer.

2. Price

Who is not looking for a budget-friendly home gym? But for an equipment to be cost-effective a lot of the manufacturers compromise on features and quality.

So if affordability is an issue for you and you don’t feel like spending much of your hard earned savings for a home gym, then try searching for one which even if supports lesser features doesn’t compromise in the quality and user safety in any way.

3. User Safety

Home gyms can be as dangerous as heavy power tools when not carefully used. Even the most compact models will often weigh several hundreds of pounds; hence it’s essential to go for a home gym which is safe to use and has a very sturdy and stable base.

A flimsy home gym can be very accident prone and might lead to serious injuries in the long run.

4. Compactness and Housing Space

The home gym you fancy should be able to effortlessly fit into the space you allot it. It should also have enough space on it to be able to accommodate you and your workout regime completely.

If you’re seeing that you have to adjust the way that you work out, to accommodate yourself to the machine, then you probably have bought the wrong one.

5. Adjustability

The home guy that you want to purchase should be able to meet all your workout needs and fit every part of your workout schedule effortlessly. You should be able to adjust it to your needs so that the machine is accommodating you and you're not accommodating the machine.

The Different Types of Home Gym Setups

The current body training market has a lot of home gym equipment to choose from. From aerobic training machines like treadmills, rowers and stationary bikes to strength training ones like weight benches and holding barbells, the market has a lot to offer.

But today we will be concentrating on strength training and the various setups that it comes in.

1. A Combination of Portable Equipment

This is a basic yet extensible equipment set range that carries a variety of portable equipment such as dumbbells, steps, bands, mats, ab workers, etc. There are a lot of dumbbell sets that have such portable equipment which are quite popular to the home gym market.

2. The Free Weight Station

Adjustable benches, power for holding barbells and round weight plates fall under this category. They mainly comprise of movable equipment which are primarily used for heavy duty use.

3. The Multi-Gyms

These are based on either steel or composite bands and cords. The bands and cords are made to be extremely flexible so that they can create the ideal amount of resistance for strength training. The Bowflex and the Weider Advantage models are quite popular in this regard.

4. The Total Gym Concept

Home Gym models like the Total Gym 1500 uses adjustable heights, inclined benches and sliding seat platforms that use one’s own body weight to increase resistance. It’s a pretty smart concept, and the resulting equipment can be made very compact.

5. Multi-Gyms Based on Stacked Weights

These types of home gyms like the Body Solid EXM series uses a cable and pulley mechanism in its configuration which is then coupled by stacked weights to provide an adequate amount of resistance.

6. Multi-Gyms Based on Weight Plates

Most of the Powertec models come with provisions that support weight plates. These round plates can then be manually fitted onto the barbell extensions to allow a variety of strength training regimes.

7. The Multi Combinations

Multi combinations home gym equipment like the standard Smith machines uses a unique mechanism that constrains the bar of the equipment in one single vertical plane. This is quite the opposite to the free-weight benches and the racks. You can even add some additional attachments to this to make it a very versatile workstation.

Goal Oriented Gym Equipment

The home gym equipment that you get will vary depending on what exactly you want to use it for. So here are some of the categories:

1. For Beginners and Light Exercisers

If your exercising goal primarily revolves around general fitness, weight management, muscle toning, and flexibility, then it’s best to go for a minimal home gym set. You can get several dumbbells; the heavier set can be used during squatting and lunges while the lighter set for overhead and side lifts.

An equipment with an adjustable bench can come rather handy as well. You can add resistance bands and tubes to the bench for variety, and this will help you to make a setup which is versatile enough to support both light and heavy exercise regimes.

Multi-gyms can be very useful for beginner exercisers. They are extremely compact and are available on the same machine and comes with a guidebook that will help describe the exercises you can do.

In terms of price, they are on the affordable side, but that doesn’t mean that the high-end models don’t cost much money. They get much more expensive the more you start to pile on different types of features and quality of build.

2. For Intermediate Users

If you are a lot more serious about your fitness and muscle training, then it’s better to go for a  model that houses a complete set of not only dumbbells but barbells and plates as well. If it carries an exercise bench then all the better, however, a barbell rack of good quality is indeed a necessity. 

For intermediate users, we will recommend that they go for a more advanced multi-gym. Though most of the more advanced multi-gym may cost a lot of money, you can try and curb on a lot of the expenses by going for the free weights option like with the Weider and the Bowflex band system.

3. For Advanced Trainers

Most if not all, fitness trainers try to replicate a professional gym as much as they can right in the very confines of their homes. These serious bodybuilders go for home equipment that may have free-weight benches set up on them or have a heavy-duty arrangement that can perfectly fit their needs.

The Powertec Workbenches are a classic example of this category, where you can either use the provided free weights or even get some heavy-duty plates as extras.

Some Secondary Information to Keep in Mind Before the Purchase

1. Measuring out the Exact Dimensions of Home Equipment

We wouldn’t like it at all if the equipment we buy don’t fit the room we allot it now, would we? So be sure to have an exact figure on the external dimensions of the assembled unit along will all of the possible attachments and the extensions that may occur during exercise.

Extensions during exercises primarily occur if you’re doing leg extension and chest fly workouts. So if you do a lot of those exercises, then you will have to factor those numbers in as well before selecting your home gym equipment.

If you’re running really low on space then you can look over some of the Body Craft models, as most of their products are designed to fit into a corner.

2. Taking Into Account How Many People Will Be Using the Equipment

If you have a lot of gym equipment users back at home, then instead of fighting every member of your family for your time with the machine it’s better to go for a multi-station equipment. This can house more than one person at a time, and everyone can take turns working on different parts of the machine.

However, these models like the Body Solid EXM machine are much more expensive and can take up a considerable amount of space.

3. Easy installation

Not a lot of the users give delivery and assembly much importance, but in our opinion, they are some of the most essential aspects to keep in mind when getting your home gym.

Gymming equipment that you can assemble yourself can be quite convenient and is something that most fitness enthusiasts go for.

If we’re to give an example, the Total Gym type systems that come with an inclined platform are practically one-piece, and all you have to do is start them up. There are some other minimalist models as well that hardly require much bits and bolts and will take you just a few minutes to assemble, whereas many of the high-end models can take up to hours to put together.

Some Tips and Tricks on Making the Most Out of Your Home Gym

1. Put the machine at a place from where it's constantly visible

Quite often the main reason behind people giving up on their home equipment is that after buying the machine and using it for a few days, they put it somewhere out of sight and more often than not, forget about it.

So it’s better not to store the machine away in enclosed areas. If you have it in full view, then the equipment will constantly remind you to workout every day.

The best place for keeping them in our opinion would be the living room so that you can watch the TV or motivational workout videos during your sessions.

2. Do not make a complicated workout regime

This advice is more for beginners and intermediate workout enthusiasts.

It’s vital to keep your workout routine simple yet effective. Before adding a lot onto every workout session, try and learn each exercise properly and only then move onto the next set.

So try and do fewer sets and repetitions, and use lighter weight until your body gets used to the training. The more you familiarize yourself to the workout, the more variety will you be able to bring to your training.

In the very beginning, it’s quite enough to have a 30-minute workout session 3 times a week, and during this phase try and work every muscle groups of the body. Then gradually increase the amount of time and bring the total session to 1 hour and do it 4-5 times a week.

You can then finally attempt split training where you work two muscle groups on the same day. Most of the home equipment models come with beginner training guides, but there are also a lot for routine online as well. But keep in mind that it’s not routine but consistency which is the most important here.

3. Training should be a habit

Always try and make your workout a habit. One efficient technique of doing this is by jotting down all your workout days of the week on your ‘to-do list/ calendar.’

At the very initial stages sticking to a regular workout schedule will be quite hard and you will feel like giving up and letting go every now and then. However, it’s essential to stay determined and keep working on the schedule; as the more you do it, the easier it gets.

Final Thoughts

Home gyms are an amazing choice when it comes to strength training and toning all the important muscle groups. So, we hope that our list of the best Home Gyms and buying guide today was able to help you with all your workout related needs and problems.

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