Best Home Gyms Reviewed & Rated for Quality

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Want to know what’s better than waiting in traffic, looking for a parking space, going out in the extreme cold, rain or heat to get a workout at the local gym?  Walking directly to your own workout space in your very own abode. Having convenient options available to you for exercise limit the number of excuses you can make as to why you can’t or won’t do it.  For those of you who don’t feel comfortable and are intimidated by the public environment, you lose that when you are exercising in your own, private space. For those of you gym-rats who want to get a serious workout in the most effective way possible, you won’t have to worry about waiting for a machine if you have one at your place.  The best part for avid exercisers is you can do it whenever for however long you want. No more treadmill time limits for you.

Powertec Fitness
  • Powertec Fitness
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • High build quality
  • Price: See Here
Fitness Reality 810XLT
  • Fitness Reality 810XLT
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Hundreds of possible exercises
  • Price: See Here
Weider Ultimate
  • Weider Ultimate
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Easy to adjust
  • Price: See Here

There is another factor that is really nice to have your own space for exercising, you can control the health of your space.  You keep it clean, you know who is using it, you wipe it down, you don’t have to rely on others and hope that the person before you was hygienic.  Yes, your own workout space full of equipment is an initial investment, sure. But once you have that taken care of, it is done and you can use it whenever.  You aren’t bound to contracts and monthly fees with added, hidden costs creeping up on you. You can figure out your budget and purchase those pieces that compliment and fit it and you can also add as you go. This can help your budget by spacing out your purchases.  

Multifunctional equipment is super helpful and, in general, a space saver in that you can get a multitude of functionality with only one piece of equipment.  You don’t have to have room for random weights everywhere, or balls and benches, one piece can almost do it all. When you are ready to purchase your multifunctional equipment, think about what your fitness goals are, what the size of your space will be able to accommodate, which system you prefer, and finally your budget.  

 

10 Best Home Gyms

 

1. Powertec Fitness

Powertec Fitness has an amazing load capacity of 500 lbs. For press, the cables can take a whopping 300 lbs. Assembly is easy and it won’t take up too much of your precious space.
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All around best

This machine is well made with high-quality materials. It works so well you will be able to get a solid workout anytime you want. It is versatile in its exercises and options. The bench is awesome, it is removable and sturdy, it is solid to support even the largest of body types.

Features

The shoulder press works like a charm. You can do incline as well as decline bench presses and any other exercise benefiting from incline/decline ability. Not many benches allow for both, most are flat or only have incline ability, so that extra decline is really a nice feature. The cables work smoothly and have a terrific feel.

Cost and Value

This is a great set up for any serious exerciser. The assembly is not a problem, it is straightforward and can be done in just a couple of hours. Unilateral lever work is tops over any of the competition. The bench is awesome, big enough and very sturdy and durable.
Pros

Cable has a 300-pound capacity

Newest model on the market

Sliding seat for more adjustments

Accommodates Olympic weights

81.7 inches in height

A great option for serious bodybuilders and individuals with larger body types

Cons

Weights not included

No shipping or selling outside the USA

2. Fitness Reality 810XLT

Here is a bench with the pressing abilities that comes with a cage for countless numbers of exercises. The strength gains you can get using the Fitness Reality 810XLT will save you money on the gym and provide everything you would need, in a durable piece of equipment to get the ultimate workout in the privacy of your own home.
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Durable

Two bars included that can handle that can handle over 800 pounds. So you can pack on the weights and put your fitness and strength to the test with this model. There is some serious duty stress that this system can take so if you are a serious bodybuilding machine or lifter, you are going to really enjoy this product.

Functionality

The bench has a 12-position adjustable backrest and the nicest part is that it easily folds away for nice storage options. Especially having a cage, that the bench being able to fold away and maximize your space will really help those with space limitations. There is even a 2 position adjustable front leg.

Cost and Value

You cannot help but love a multi-exercise machine that can hold a ton of weight so that you can go as hardcore as you want with your squats and lifts. Who doesn’t love a cage? Really, cages are so functional and can offer so many possibilities with your workout, it is an awesome tool to have in your back pocket.
Pros

Has a cage option

800-pound weight capacity

Bench folds for easy storage and space savings

2 position adjustable front leg

Two sets of safety bars

1-year warranty

Little assembly required

Cons

Can be scratched easily

Packaging and shipping could be improved

3. Total Gym 1600

Save your precious time for other activities because with the Total Gym 1600 you can get a full body exercise session done in as little as 10-20 minutes. This machine offers 60 different exercises to help keep you engaged and challenged.
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For everyone

It doesn’t matter if you are a seasoned exerciser or a beginner, this machine is easy enough that anyone can use it and get the health benefits. The variety of exercises, 60 and more with 8 levels of resistance is can provide a fittingly challenging exercise session for every fitness level and age group.

No assembly required

What could be better than getting your machine shipped to you already assembled so you don’t have to go through the mess of finding small parts and reading hard to follow directions. This machine will come right in and ready to use from day one. No need for tools or the need to be handy, it is good to go from the start.

Cost and Value

60 different exercises that will keep you engaged, as well as programs designed by fitness professionals, will give you the edge in your workout. You can easily get into a program no matter what your fitness level. Even ages as little as 8 years old can use this machine, and with a nice warranty you can feel confident in it.
Pros

Exercise flip chart

Over 60 exercises

10-20 minutes to have a full body workout

Press up bars for back strengthening

Total body workout DVD included

8 levels of resistance

Cons

Have to change attachments often to do different exercises

Heavy to fold

4. Weider Ultimate

4.   Weider Ultimate
This is a smooth moving bench that slides with any incline you set it to. The Weider Ultimate provides a total body workout using your own bodyweight for resistance. There is also a plethora of exercises you can do with the cable and resistance bands system.
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Shape your body

You can give yourself the ultimate workout, hitting every single muscle group with this piece of equipment. There are more than 50 different options you can try. By simply adjusting the position and making use of accessories you can achieve a tremendous workout.

Space saving design

When you have limited space you have to choose options that can actually fit and won’t overwhelm you. The space-saving design is made to be able to be easily folded away when you aren’t using it.

Cost and Value

There are a ton of different types of exercises you can do that will help shape and tone your entire body. Easily set up for your workout and then folded so that you can put it away when you are done with your session. It is easy on the joints and provides smooth motion and your bodyweight for the resistance you want.
Pros

Uses bodyweight and power bands for resistance

Included is an exercise guide so you can use it properly and ensure your form is correct

Incline bench that rolls

Cable and pulley system

Can fold up and maximize your space

Over 50 exercises

Cons

Pin to adjust the grade is hard to pull

Lower body adjustments can be difficult

5. Bodycraft Galena

5.  Bodycraft Galena
Bodycraft Galena is designed for space savings and effectiveness. It is set up so that you can put it in any corner of any room you have so that there is no wasted space, all space is utilized in the most effective way. Coming to you with a ton of features that will help you keep your workouts fresh and mixed up so you won’t get bored.
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Design

The design of this machine is really unique. Sure it has the bulk you would expect from a system that has so many exercise options, and one that is extra sturdy. But unlike other machines that require a good amount of space this one makes use of the negative space by having the ability to be pushed right up against a corner and leave a lot of space open for any other hobby or interest you have.

Features

So many features and functions. This model has chest press, dual-function pec dec, leg extension, and leg curl, abdominal crunch, low pulley station, lat pull, to help you isolate and strengthen literally every single muscle you have in your body. There is also the option for weight stack shrouds.

Cost and Value

Efficiency in a unique space-saving design as well as so many features that will allow you to have efficiency in your workouts, this is a top-notch option. Backed by a solid warranty with high-quality stitching and materials make this a super solid piece of equipment.
Pros

Lifetime warranty against defects in materials and workmanship

1.25 inch thick, weight plates with EZ glide nylon bushings

Two-by-three-inch wide with two-by-two steel tubing

Double-stitched, heavy gauge, vinyl-covered upholstery

Super dense foam

Lifetime warranty

Designed to fit in any corner

Cons

Installation can be difficult

Pricey

6. XBAR Fitness

6.  XBAR Fitness
Small, small, small. This workout and fitness system is not only small so it easily stored and takes up almost no space at all, it is also easily transported anywhere you go. XBAR fitness uses bands that provide you with both resistance and cardio exercising.
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Lots of exercise options

If over a 100 exercise options gets you excited to workout, then this is your product. It is so versatile and it doesn't just provide a strength workout it also can help with you getting your cardio in. It can be used by all ages and fitness levels and can help you improve no matter what your health and fitness goals are.

Portability

One of the best things that home gyms offer us is convenience and privacy in our workouts. What a better way to keep all those benefits with you at all times if your system can be packed away and travel with you. This system gives you so much flexibility in your schedule while still ensuring you never have to miss a workout no matter where you are.

Cost and Value

If you are looking for a great total body workout that you can do at home or take with you when you travel this is it. The resistance bands provide positive and negative resistance to work all angles of your muscles. You can adjust the level of tension towards what you desire.
Pros

No need for a gym membership or a hotel with a gym, this is portable

Works well for yoga

Fairly sturdy

Easy setup

Over 100 cardio and strength exercises

Cons

Pricey

Loses tension with repeated use

7. Bowflex PR1000

7.  Bowflex PR1000
A leader in the fitness equipment industry, this company is known for putting out quality products. The Bowflex PR1000 is no exception. You can build strength and get some of that necessary cardio in that helps you burn calories and lose weight.
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Responsible company

This is a company that has been designing, engineering and developing some of the most inventive exercise equipment with a commercial durability and quality. They have been in business since 1986 and they are made up of active people who love sport and fitness and who want the best equipment at a price point that makes sense for most everyone to afford.

Exercises

Take part in working out with over 25 exercises and 200 pounds of rod resistance to help you build your strength and stamina. The pulleys that are used to provide tension are easily adjusted to the appropriate weight. A neat feature is a rolling seat which mimics a rowing machine style exercise option.

Cost and Value

This is a versatile machine that can work your entire body with smooth motions through the use of the rod system. The bench not only rolls for an extra workout capability but it also folds. This is great if you have limited space and need to maximize how you are using it.
Pros

Uses adjustable rods for resistance

210 pounds of weight

Has a media rack built-in to hold your devices

Foldable bench that can also roll for a rowing workout

Horizontal bench press

82” in height

Cons

No online videos for this machine

Packaging could be improved

8. Body-Solid G1S

8.  Body-Solid G1S
For a full multi-functional machine that provides you with all the features of bigger models on a smaller scale, take a look at Body-Solid G1S. You get strength and power, and grit in a super small footprint.
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A lot of exercises

Offering over 40 exercises that you can perform on this machine, you won’t get bored with your workouts. It is an easy to use product that allows you to use your time effectively with a no-cable-change construction. The multi-grip press and adjustable seat pad allow you to fit comfortably while using this model.

Ergonomic support

Everything about the design of this product is to fit your body properly, comfortably and provide you with the best support during your workout. Biochemically designed press bar will help you get just the right load so that you can have the most effective muscular development. Using DuraFir pads along with the added lumbar protection helps prevent any strain on your back.

Cost and Value

This model has a ton of features to help you work out all your muscle groups with the maximum exertion and benefit. Its compact design allows for almost anyone to house it. This company makes use of the highest manufacturing standards and procedures, and they back their products with a solid warranty.
Pros

In Home, lifetime warranty

High, mid and low pulleys

2.5 oz liquid beverage is easy to take any time

160-lb weight stack

Wide grip lat bar and low row bar

40 exercises

Cons

Takes a significant amount of time to assemble

Packaging could be improved to ensure the pieces don’t get scratched or damaged

9. Body Champ BCB5860

9.   Body Champ BCB5860
Body Champ BCB5860 is an Olympic weight bench that is fully equipped with preacher curl, leg developer and crunch handle features. This is a bench that is built for the hardcore lifter that wants to get a solid pump in and build massive musculature.
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Olympic style

This is a durable and heavy-duty bench. It uses 2.5-inch square tubes to support a ton of weight. You can use either a 7’ or 8’ Olympic bar. The Olympic adapter allows you the flexibility to lift using your choice of either standard plates or Olympic style plates.

Adaptable

You can get a good amount of function out of this bench. The weight racks are adjustable so they can provide you both the ability to do presses as well as become a squat rack. You can adapt this bench so that you can fully workout your upper and lower body.

Cost and Value

This product is made to last. It is a utility product that can take on a nice amount of weight. The Olympic style means that this bench is made with high-quality materials and was designed for a long lifespan with a ton of use. It is compact and can work in tight spaces.
Pros

Safety hooks for racks

No pinch feature

U shaped front leg stabilizer

Olympic style bench

Foam padding for comfort and safety

Can accommodate standard or Olympic plates

Cons

May be a bit compact for taller individuals

Hamstring curl bar is not adjustable

10. Marcy 150 MWM-990

10. Marcy 150 MWM-990
Marcy 150 MWM-990 model provides you with a good amount of exercise options. Over 30 strength exercises with a stack weighing in at 150 pounds for you to work up to. You can easily build up muscle with this model and increase your metabolism by doing so.
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Dual Function

This machine uses a dual functioning press for your arm and chest presses and fly exercises as well as a dual functioning leg segment. The lower body portion is a perfect match for all your lower body exercises including extensions and curls.

Pulleys

This operates using a multi-position pulley system as well as cables. These attach to 150 pounds of stacked weights that you can adjust accordingly to the load you are looking to work with. The high and low pulleys allow you to get a wide range of motion for exercising each muscle to the fullest extent.

Cost and Value

Plenty of smooth motions allowing you to have a control over your exercises and the adjustable stacking weights allow you to utilize just the right load while you are working out. There are enough features that allow you to get a full body workout in and provide you with a thorough workout from top to bottom.
Pros

Pulley and cable system

150 pounds of stacking weights

Leg developer

Removable curl pad

Dual action press arms

Padded press arms

Cons

Take a good amount of time to put together

Pins hang very low and can be awkward to work around

Criteria Used in Choosing the Best Home Gyms

Fitness Goals

Your fitness goals do weigh in on which type of machine will work best for you and accommodate you in the most beneficial way.  You may want to gain hypertrophy, which is the fancy term for building a lot of lean muscle mass. Maybe you want to tone your body and shape your physique or you simply want to lose that excess fat you have been carrying around.  All of these goals can be addressed effectively using the right equipment and training style.

Building muscle is definitely obtainable using a machine.  Some avid bodybuilders will say that you can’t use a machine for the most massive muscle gains, but the truth is you can build quality muscle with a machine.  So, if this is your goal, an apparatus that uses weight stacks or plates is the best option for you. You could use a resistance machine for building muscle, however, the machines that use this type of system are generally more used in commercial settings and are top of the line. They are more heavy-duty and their hefty price reflects that. Equipment that utilizes weight plates provides you more options with regards to budget when muscle building is your goal.

Fat loss and toning are going to happen when you scorch those calories.  Resistance machines are going to be a good option, and these don’t have to be the high-end models like you’d want if you wanted to gain muscle.  These types of systems provide less weight than weight plate systems. These apparatuses will inevitably allow you to work with low weight at high reps which will raise your heart rate and thus, melt more calories in a workout session.  That doesn’t mean that fat loss and large calorie expenditures can’t be gained with weighted systems. You can always adjust your weights the amount you want and workout in a style that best suits your fitness goals.

Space requirements

While all multi-functional systems allow you to get the most amount of exercises in one piece of equipment, some can be bulkier than others.  If you don’t have much space to spare you might not want a large, hulking system that has a large footprint. The other thing to think about is where you live. If you live in an apartment for instance, where your place may be way up with a lot of stairs moving something very large could be cumbersome and difficult.  You may want something that makes more sense and is more feasible for your location and with regard to transporting it to you.

If you have a whole dedicated space for your apparatus, you may have many more options as to which model you like the best.  When you have less space to work with smaller options may be better for you to look into. Some multi-functional machines also have features that allow them to maximize space the best.  They may fold up for easy storage. They may have wheels to keep the portable. They could have attachments that you can add and remove for exercise selection and size.

System types

Models that use resistance such as rods, bands, and levels of bodyweight are a perfect tool for newcomers to exercise and lifting.  These are also very helpful for those who have small to substantial personal limitations. These offer very uncomplicated and smooth motions that provide resistance which will put very little stress on your joints.  The way your body and your muscles respond to these systems is much different than it would with a weight plate system, for instance. There is much less tearing in the muscle so the rebuilding is not done in a way that adds much bulk.

The one issue to be aware of with these types of systems is that eventually, they will lose some of that tension with continued use over time.  Very new models will be super tight but eventually, they will begin to wear in and become less and less tense. Because of this, these systems require some regular maintenance and upkeep with replacement parts to keep them providing you with the consistent workouts that will continue to challenge your body and progressing fitness.  For this reason, the upkeep and cost may cause some to steer clear, but they the truth is they aren’t very complex to keep up.

Systems that use your bodyweight manipulated at varying angles to dictate your lifting amounts can sometimes be space savers.  They also tend to offer smooth motions which helps for elongated and muscles that don’t build much bulk. They are also good on the joints.  They may need less up but could, like any machine require some replacement parts from time to time.

Systems that use stacks and plates are generally what you see in commercial facilities.  They can take a beating and keep on providing consistent workouts. They are tough and durable and will last a long time.  Have you ever heard of someone replacing a weight plate? Not very likely. As you progress in your fitness and musculature, you may need to get some more weight to add to your machine so that you can continue to make gains.  That being said, you will get a long life out of this type of weight machine before you are going to need to add weights.

The future need to add weight may be a positive as your stacked machine may have the ability to grow with you, or it may be negative.  If your machine doesn’t offer the option to add, then all you can work with is what you already have and then the next option you have, if you want to improve, could be buying a whole new apparatus. The other option in this category to alleviate that potential risk would be to opt for a plate system.  These are made to take on as many plates as the machine can hold so you get a little more flexibility.

Budget

Everybody has one, and yours will be the first determining factor to which levels and models you can even start looking at.  Before everything you need to consider, the cost to which you can absorb is going to be fundamental to your decision. There are options here too, however.  Depending on where you buy your machine you may have to pay all up front, but there are many situations in which you could get financing that will allow you to increase your budget and pay off a higher-end machine in an affordable monthly payment system.

The other thing to mention people who purchase fitness equipment can be fickle.  So many people invest in quality systems with the best intentions and these systems, unfortunately, end up collecting dust and become the place where they leave their clothes to hand dry.  Many times, you can find a nice amount of affordable options on second-hand equipment. You very well may get a nice machine that was light, or rarely if ever used at a fraction of the cost it would be to get it brand spanking new.

Other Important Factors to Consider

Machines that also have the option for weights plus bodyweight exercises are a good combination for a fully functional, well-rounded home gym option.  If you have a pull-up bar attachment or permanent piece, a place for tricep dips is another nice bodyweight feature. Maybe a place to add a heavy bag would be something that would really give you versatile, fun and effective option for a wide array of workouts.

If you are fitness professional, avid exerciser or knowledgeable and creative about movement and workouts you can use your machine’s parts for more than just what it says it is meant to do.  For instance, a weight bench may be great to lay on or sit on and lift or do presses, but you can also use it for step ups. You can do elevated v-ups on it or even modified push-ups. Putting your feet on the bench and doing your pushups on the floor can add an extra level of challenge to your bodyweight game.  There are plenty of options if you know what you are doing. If you don’t, there are always personal trainers available and ready to travel to your home and help you learn how to use your equipment as well as make the best use of it and your surroundings.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is one essential piece of equipment to have in your gym?

A: Hands down, barbells are king.  They are cheap, and the plates they use are affordable as well.  They can grow with you, meaning you can add weight as you are ready.  They can provide a platform that will allow you to do a ton of different exercises for your entire body, much more than just box squats or bench presses.  They are durable and have a long lifespan and even the plates you use on them can be used for a multitude of other exercises outside of using them on the bar alone.

Q: What are good core exercises?

A: Don’t knock bodyweight.  If you really want some substantial core support and training planks are invaluable.  You could challenge yourself with varying options in hanging leg raises with or without weight between your knees or ankles.

Sources

  1. BodyBuilding.com, How Can You Create an Effective Home Gym on a Budget, Bodybuilding Website,
  2. Muscle & Strength, Machine Only Workout: A 3-Day Workout Split, Men’s and Women’s Fitness Magazine,
  3. JeFit, Your Go-To Guide on How to do More Pull ups, Fitness Blog,
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