Best Home Gyms Reviewed & Rated for Quality
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
- High build quality
- Fitness Reality 810XLT
- Hundreds of possible exercises
- Weider Ultimate
- Easy to adjust
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
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.
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.
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
Weights not included
No shipping or selling outside the USA
2. Fitness Reality 810XLT
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.
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.
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
Little assembly required
Can be scratched easily
Packaging and shipping could be improved
3. Total Gym 1600
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.
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
Have to change attachments often to do different exercises
Heavy to fold
4. Weider Ultimate
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.
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
Pin to adjust the grade is hard to pull
Lower body adjustments can be difficult
5. Bodycraft Galena
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.
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.
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
Designed to fit in any corner
Installation can be difficult
6. XBAR Fitness
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.
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.
No need for a gym membership or a hotel with a gym, this is portable
Works well for yoga
Over 100 cardio and strength exercises
Loses tension with repeated use
7. Bowflex PR1000
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.
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.
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
No online videos for this machine
Packaging could be improved
8. Body-Solid G1S
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
May be a bit compact for taller individuals
Hamstring curl bar is not adjustable
10. Marcy 150 MWM-990
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.
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.
Pulley and cable system
150 pounds of stacking weights
Removable curl pad
Dual action press arms
Padded press arms
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- How Can You Create an Effective Home Gym on a Budget, Bodybuilding Website, ,
- Machine Only Workout: A 3-Day Workout Split, Men’s and Women’s Fitness Magazine, ,
- Your Go-To Guide on How to do More Pull ups, Fitness Blog, ,