- Top Picks
- Best 10 Home Gyms
- Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym
- Weider Ultimate Body Works
- Marcy Diamond Elite Smith System with Linear Bearings
- Body Solid SBL460 PowerLift Freeweight Leverage Gym
- Weider PRO 8500 Smith Cage (Box1)
- Body-Solid EXM1500S Home Gym
- Bowflex Revolution Home Gym
- Powertec Fitness Workbench Multi System
- Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Home Gym
- Inspire Fitness M5 Multi-Gym Home Gym
- Benefits of Using a Home Gym
- What to Look for When Buying a Home Gym
- Our Top Picks Based On Types Of Home Gyms
It is pretty much an accepted fact that everyone, whether you’re in the prime of your life or over the hill, needs exercise every day. When you get enough exercise it helps your body to operate more efficiently, not to mention how much better it makes you feel. The only problem, however, is that it is so difficult to find time to go to the gym and work out. If you have a busy schedule, and honestly, who doesn’t? You’ll want to make sure that you have the best home gym you can get your hands on!
Now, I don’t want to throw another wrench in the works, but it is worth mentioning that there are a LOT of different home gyms on the market today, and each one operates differently. This cornucopia of options is both good and bad. Good, because you’ll be able to get a machine that works right for your personal needs. Bad, because it can be difficult to know what type will be the best home gym equipment for you.
Well, never fear, cause I am here to help to steer you to the right equipment. Read on to find out everything you need to know about home gyms and get an in-depth review on some of the top models on the market.
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Best 10 Home Gyms
Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym
Such a cool equipment from Bowflex, The PR1000 offers resistance up to 210 lbs. right out of the box, which is perfect for a beginner. You can also purchase more rods if you are looking for a bit more resistance. Its power rod technology is also exceptionally forgiving and will allow users to make sure they are using the perfect form to get the most out of their workouts. Since there are no weights, you won’t need to worry about any excess muscle strain either.
The PR1000 is a great home gym for a beginner or for someone who is looking to maintain their current fitness level. While it doesn’t offer a ton of resistance to start with, you can purchase additional power bars to increase the resistance available to you. You can use this gym even in a mid-sized apartment.
The Bowflex PR1000 offers plenty of versatility and weight resistance in a relatively small package. With this easy to adjust and utilize a piece of equipment, you’ll be able to complete over 30 different exercises which are all designed to get you into amazing shape.
While it might not seem like it, the weight resistance limit on for this machine is a little low, particularly if you are looking to get a whole lot stronger. While additional power rods can be purchased, this will add expense. You’ll also have to take the time to remove the original rods in favor of the new ones, which could be a big time waster.
Weider Ultimate Body Works
This bodyweight home gym is quick and easy to use. It is the perfect workout solution for someone looking to get in shape without straining themselves or their joints too much. The difficulty of each exercise is determined by the incline of the machine, which you can effortlessly adjust to best suit your needs.
You also have the option of using up to 50 lbs. of weight resistance bands to add a bit more difficulty to your exercise regimen, should you choose to utilize them. This gym can also be folded up when it is not in use to save space.
The Body Works will not offer too much of a challenge to you if you are already in great shape and are looking for a home gym to increase your strength.
The Long and Short of It: The Weider Ultimate Body works is a great way to get a workout in without putting too much strain on your body. It won’t help you to add too much muscle, however, since the only weight resistance is your body weight and some optional 50 lb. resistance bands.
Marcy Diamond Elite Smith System with Linear Bearings
This free weight home gym is the real deal! It is built to be durable and handle tons of weight since it features solid steel posts and supports. The different weight racks are solid as well, which will allow you to pile on the weights and go to town!
It also has several safety features, which are absolutely necessary if you intend to be lifting alone. There are bar catches and safety stoppers which will allow you to offload your weights quickly and safely at the end of your set.
Unlike lots of the other home gyms that you’ll see on this list, this is one that does NOT come with its own weight systems. You have to purchase the weights separately, which can get really expensive really quickly. You’ll also have to have a big space for this gym since it takes up a ton of room.
If you are looking for a gym quality home gym, look no further! This large piece of equipment is built to endure tons of weight. However, it doesn’t come with any weights of its own, so be sure to get purchase some if you want to utilize this gym.
Body Solid SBL460 PowerLift Freeweight Leverage Gym
The Powerlift is built with tons of weight and durability in mind. If you choose this gym, you’ll be able to do a wide variety of exercises in the comfort of your home. This will allow you to target your areas of need by simply moving from one station to the next. No matter if you are looking to work on your upper body or your legs, this home gym will have you covered.
Like most free weight home gyms, this piece of equipment does not come with any weights. It is also extremely expensive, making the fact that there are no weights to go with it even more disconcerting. You’ll also need an exceedingly large space to use it properly since it is so large.
This is a large and durable piece of workout equipment that will require a large financial investment on your part and a big space to set it up. However, once it is all set, you’ll be able to do a large array of exercises with as much weight as you can handle.
Weider PRO 8500 Smith Cage (Box1)
The PRO 8500 is a perfect pulley system home gym for beginners and experts alike. It is very easy to adjust and can quickly transition between a large variety of exercises. Due to its small footprint and cage design, the PRO 8500 doesn’t take up a ton of floor space, which is a huge advantage if your house isn’t overly large.
While this system does utilize pulleys for most of its exercises, you will still need to purchase weight separately. You’ll also need to make sure that your cables and pulleys are installed properly, or they’ll break down really quickly.
The PRO 8500 from Weider allows you to quickly shift between a wide array of exercises with relative ease. However, you’ll need to purchase your own weights, since it doesn’t come with any.
Body-Solid EXM1500S Home Gym
This pulley system gym from Body-Solid is one of the most basic options out there. Unlike some other pulley system home gyms that we’ve looked at so far, this one comes with a dedicated set of weight plates. Each plate that you use will add 10 lbs. of weight. This is really easy to adjust since you just need to move the pin to your desired weight and start working.
If you are looking for a lot of weight resistance or a wide variety of exercises, then the EXM1500S is not going to work out for you. Its entire weight stack only weighs 160 lbs. and you cannot complete very many exercises with it.
The EXM1500S from Body-Solid is a basic home gym package which provides minimal weight and minimal exercise choices. It would work well for beginners but might not offer enough for a more dedicated user.
Bowflex Revolution Home Gym
The Bowflex Revolution is just that, a revolutionary technology for home gym users. Its SpiraFlex resistance technology makes it possible to add or remove weight with a few simple twists and clicks. Unlike a power rod home gym, which has a gradual feel to its resistance, this gym’s resistance feels more like free weights. The second you begin the rep, the entire weight is with you for the entire repetition.
The Revolution is also adept at providing tons of choices while you work out. Its arms can be rotated in a variety of manners, and the bench’s incline can be adjusted to function in multiple ways. All of these easy adjustments provide you with lots of different exercises to best meet your fitness goals.
As you would expect, this fancy technology does not come cheap. No, not at all! This is one of the most expensive home gyms out there, which might put it a little out of reach for the average user.
The Bowflex Revolution is aptly named. Its revolutionary SpiraFlex technology and versatile design help to make it one of the best home gyms out there, as well as one of the most expensive.
Powertec Fitness Workbench Multi System
This home gym from Powertec is built to be utilized with free weights. As such, it is extremely durable and can handle loads of weight. For instance, the press arms are rated to go all the way up to 500 lbs.! If you are serious about gaining strength and muscle mass, then this is the home gym for you.
As is the case with all free weight home gyms, this equipment does not come with any weights whatsoever. There is also a limited number of exercises that can be completed with this equipment, making it difficult to get an entire body workout in with this system alone.
While this system can handle a ton of weight, it doesn’t come with any weights of its own, and can only be used for a limited number of exercises.
Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Home Gym
As you would expect from Bowflex, the Xtreme 2SE is really versatile. You can use it for over 70 different exercises, making it easy to hone in on exactly what you need. It comes with 210 pounds of power rod resistance, but can be upgraded to 310 pounds or 410 pounds, making it a great choice for experts and novices alike.
This piece of equipment won’t take up a lot of space either, which is great if you don’t have a large workout are in your home.
Unlike free weights, weight blocks, or Spiraflex, the power rods will eventually lose some of their resistance power due to normal wear and tear. While this shouldn’t happen until years down the road, it is worth noting that there is no warranty on the rods, so you’ll have to purchase new ones if they get too flimsy.
If you are looking for a versatile and easy to use a piece of gym equipment that won’t take up your whole house, then the Bowflex Xtreme is for you! Just be sure to keep an eye on the power rods, as they will lose some of their resistance strength over time.
Inspire Fitness M5 Multi-Gym Home Gym
The M5 from Inspire Fitness provides is a pulley system home gym that comes with dedicated stacks of 215 lbs. for both of its stations. This is great if more than one person will be using the system and allows for more flexibility with home much weight you want to use.
Even though this system comes with two separate weight racks, neither of them will provide you with as much weight as you may require, especially if you are a powerlifter. This system is also enormous, and quite expensive, making it a less ideal choice for someone with a smaller home.
The M5 from Inspire Fitness is a huge system that has two separate 215 lb. weight stacks which would be perfect for two people to use it at the same time. This system does not have a lot of options for different exercises and is quite expensive.
And The Winner Is…
After carefully looking through all the specs of each of the above machines and testing them out, I have concluded that Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Home Gym is the best home gym available today. It is super simple to use, adjust, and it doesn’t take up too much space. If you are in the market for a piece of the best home gym equipment out there, I highly recommend you give it a try. I promise you won’t be disappointed!
Benefits of Using a Home Gym
There are tons of benefits to exercising, and more importantly, tons of benefits to utilizing a home gym.
Time Saver – It seems like everyone is always in such a rush these days. We have to rush to work, to eat, to take our kids to sports, back home, and off to bed. Who has the time during the day to go off and spend an hour or so at a gym? Certainly not me, and probably not you if you’re reading through this article!
A home gym gives you the freedom you need to work from the comfort of your own home, whenever you find the time to get some exercise. Not only will this save you a ton of time, but it will make it more likely that you stick with your workout regimen since it isn’t a disruption to your already busy schedule.
Work at Your Own Pace – One of the worst parts of going to a gym is that there never seems to be enough equipment to go around. If you have a pre-determined sequence of exercises that you’d like to follow, it can be really tough to get onto the equipment you need when everyone else wants to use it as well.
With a home gym, however, you can take your time and go through your workout in the exact order that you want to, without having to wait or rush for somebody else.
Privacy – Aside from the time crunch that most of us feel is the fact that we would rather do pretty much anything besides a real crunch in front of other people. If you are just getting started on your exercise journey and aren’t in the greatest shape, you don’t want to have to worry about a bunch of gawking gym rats while you try to get your workouts in.
With a home gym, you’ll have the freedom to go at your own pace without the pressure of having to utilize perfect technique or a ton of weight to start. Since you’ll be using your gym in the privacy of your own home, you’ll be able to work out exactly what you need to to get into the best shape of your life!
Better Form = Less Wasted Effort – Home gyms, unlike free weights, are extremely forgiving for new users or experienced exercisers. Since the weights, all need to stay in a controlled space, and the exercises can only be completed within the design of the equipment, newbies will be sure to get great results, since all of their efforts will be channeled correctly, instead of being wasted with really poor form.
Lose Weight – Of course, the reason that most of us want to work out is to lose a bit of weight. Well, then you’ve come to the right place. Nothing burns fat faster than replacing it with lean and strong muscle! By utilizing you’re the best home gym you can find, you’ll start to see the pounds simply melt off of you!
Get Stronger with Less Hassle – Once you have your home gym up and running, you’ll be able to workout at your own pace towards your strength goals and with much less hassle than if you went to a gym or purchased free weights alone. At a gym, you have to share equipment, which wastes your precious time and free weights can only take you so far.
The beauty of a home gym is that once you are ready for more weight or a different exercise, it is already there, just waiting to be used as quickly as possible. A home gym will not only allow you to get stronger, but it will also save you a lot of time in the process.
Feel Great – The healthier you are, the better you feel. That is not just an opinion either, but a researched fact. Exercising helps your brain to release chemicals into your body system that make you feel happy after each and every workout. You’ll also notice that as you get into better and better shape that you’ll have an extra bounce in your step that will make even the hardest physical tasks seem like a cakewalk.
Reduce Stress – Just by getting a home gym, you’ll remove a huge stressor in your life! Now you won’t have to worry about getting out to the gym and working out and getting home to your family promptly. Nope, having a home gym takes care of that entirely.
But aside from removing that extra time out and about, getting a home gym and utilizing it regularly will help to relieve stress immensely. It doesn’t matter if you are mad, sad, or somewhere in between, nothing will chase the blues away faster than getting in a good hard work out.
What to Look for When Buying a Home Gym
Now that we have gone over the different types of gyms out there that you can purchase it’s time to review what exactly you need to look for so that you will be able to get the very best home gym for your needs.
Type of Gym – The type of gym that you choose for your home is largely dependent on what you want to accomplish. Each of the gym types listed above will give you a wide array of choices as to how you can work out and what you can accomplish, but each type has its advantages and disadvantages.
Before you make your final selection for your home gym, be sure that you understand exactly what you are trying to achieve and the types of exercises you can complete with the equipment.
Type of Exercises – The type of exercises that you choose to do should be based on what your end goal is for your workout sessions. If you are determined to lose weight, the best home gym equipment for you should have some sort of aerobic exercise equipment to go along with the weights.
Conversely, if you are looking to maximize your strength and increase your muscle size, be sure to get a home gym with plenty of weight capacity. That way, you’ll be able to increase the weight when you are ready for it and utilize the proper exercises to make sure you see the gains that you desire.
Amount of Weight – The amount of weight that your home gym will have is dependent on your fitness level and fitness goals. The more weight that a system comes with, the more expensive it is going to be most likely. If you aren’t looking for huge gains, don’t waste your money on a set that has tons and tons of weight.
When it comes to how much weight your system will have, you should also think about where you intend to put it once you get it home. If you want this thing in an upstairs room, you probably don’t want a ton of weight, unless you want damage to your floors and ceilings! The best place for a home gym with a ton of weight would probably be a space on the ground floor. That way, you don’t need to worry about any damage to your home.
Comfort – While you would expect that any type of exercise might make you a bit sore, the last thing that you want is for the equipment itself to be uncomfortable to use. Make sure to look for equipment that offers padded seats, armrests, and comfortable grips. Otherwise, you run the risk of being too sore to work out, which kinda defeats the purpose.
Easy to Adjust – Whatever type of home gym you decide on, be it a pulley system gym or a tension rod one, you’ll need to make adjustments when you are moving through your workout so that you have the proper amount of resistance based on the exercises that you want to complete.
That’s why you need to be sure that it is quick and easy to make the necessary adjustments. You don’t want to be fiddling around with your system for an extended time. Not only will this cost you precious time to complete your workout, but it will also reduce the exercise’s effectiveness since your heart rate will start to drop.
Is Assembly Required or Provided? – Even the simplest and smallest home gym is relatively complicated. There are lots of different parts that need to be assembled correctly for the system to operate to its fullest potential.
Whenever and wherever you end up purchasing your gym from, be sure to see if you can get it assembled by a professional. This will, first of all, save you tons of time that you’d otherwise spend scratching your head over plans and instructions. Secondly, it will guarantee that the home gym is running at its full potential, making it easier for you to get in a good workout.
Exercise Skill Level – Like I said above, some of the home gyms on the market can get pretty complex. You certainly want to only go in for something that is within your skill, and maybe more importantly, comfort level.
You certainly don’t want this to be a case of your muscular eyes being too big for your fitness stomach! Odds are that if you get a fancy system without any idea of how to utilize half of the stations, you’ll end up not using them at all. All you’ll get out of a deal like that is a huge bill and little progress towards your fitness goals.
Easy to Maintain – Like any type of equipment, even the very best home gym is going to require regular maintenance to keep it running to its fullest capabilities. However, if the maintenance process is overly complicated or takes too long, you might not have the time to care for it properly.
However, lots of the designers who work on these systems understand that we lead extremely busy lifestyles and have tried to cut down on the maintenance as much as possible. Be sure to read through the owner’s guide of the system you are looking into to see what all is involved in its upkeep and care.
Storage Capabilities – If you don’t have all of the space in the world, then you’ll want to make sure that you get a home gym that can be folded up and stored away when it’s not in use. This will limit you somewhat as far as the types of gyms that you can select, however.
Generally speaking, power rod and body weight gyms are typically the smallest and easiest to store. They will also not have quite as much weight resistance readily available in comparison to some of the other, larger systems. Although if your living space is tight, you’ll have to make due.
Safety – Whenever you are starting out on a new fitness journey, you need to remember to worry about your form before the amount of weight that you lift. Once you have good form, you can begin to add more weight, since the risk of injury is much lower.
Many of the best home gym equipment will also have safety features built into their design to help make sure that you stay safe while you work out. Whether you are an experienced fitness guru or just a beginner, you should make sure that your gym as the proper safety features, like catch bars, wide bases, and durable components to help you train safer, and thus, better.
Time to Get Stronger!
Below you can find the types of home gym and our picks for each type
Our Top Picks Based On Types Of Home Gyms
Power Rods Home Gym
A home gym that uses power rods is much like using a compound bow and arrow. As you begin to complete your rep, there is less resistance that slow increases the further that you pull. Once you have completed the repetition, the resistance drops back so you can return to your original position easily.
Power rods are extremely lightweight. A gym that utilizes them won’t take up a ton of room in your house, making them perfect for someone with a smaller living space. These machines are also extraordinarily versatile, and can usually offer plenty of different exercises, which will allow you to target the areas that you deem the most important for your fitness level.
Some machines that utilize power rods can also be folded up and stored flat, which is an even bigger space saver in comparison to some other home gyms.
If you are looking to add a ton of bulk, this system is not going to work out for you. The resistance of the rods, while effective for developing lean, fat burning muscle, will not provide your muscles with the challenge that they need to increase massively in size.
The amount of the resistance can be somewhat limited in these home gyms as well, as the weight that they usually start with might be relatively low for someone who is already in good shape. While you can usually purchase a different set of rods to increase the resistance, this adds a bit of expense.
Body Weight Home Gym
Just as the name would imply, a body weight home gym utilizes the user’s body weight to provide the resistance required to complete the exercise.This type of home gym has the smallest floor space requirement of all. This will allow you to operate them in a relatively small area and fold them up and move them out of the way when you are done.
Since you are only using your body’s weight for resistance with this home gym type, they are really easy on your joints, which would be ideal for an older user who is looking to stay in shape without overdoing it. They are also good for aerobic exercises as well.
If you are on the younger side of things and are looking for an intense workout to add muscle and burn fat, then body weight home gyms aren’t for you. Since the only weight resistance they can offer is your own weight, they won’t be able to offer your muscles the necessary challenge they need.
Spiraflex Home Gym
Home gyms that use Spiraflex technology are extraordinarily versatile and can offer a wide range of different exercises and resistance amounts in a small and easy to utilize package. These gyms are also quick and easy to adjust, which saves you precious time that you can use to workout instead of fiddling with your weights.
These gyms can be used for a range of fitness goals, due to the advanced FlexPack technologies. Unlike power rods, they these packs offer constant resistance, and unlike free weights or pulley systems, Spiraflex home gyms don’t take up a ton of room.
There isn’t a lot not to love about this gym type. The only thing that you’ll need to keep in mind is budget, as they can be prohibitively expensive, mostly due to their advanced and innovative technologies.
Pulley Home Gym
If you were to close your eyes and imagine a home gym, this is the type that you would most likely see. They utilize weights and pulleys to provide the resistance required to give an effective workout.Spiraflex technology was first introduced by NASA as a way for their astronauts to keep in shape while in outer space. It uses elastomer compounds, which are molded into something called FlexPacks. The number of these packs helps to determine the amount of resistance you’ll experience.As I said, these gym types are the tried and true, old school home gyms that you’ll also see a bunch of inside of a regular gym too. They can, depending on their configuration, offer plenty of different exercises. Pulley home gyms will also offer you the biggest weight range of any home gyms.
Due to their large amount of pulleys and wires, these gyms will take the most upkeep and maintenance. Every once in a while you’ll have to check out your wires and pulleys to make sure everything is up to snuff, or the weights might drop on you unexpectedly, which could result in an injury.
Pulley home gyms are pretty big and bulky too, mostly because they need to have a wide base to handle the amount of weight that they utilize.
Free Weight Home Gym
Free weight home gyms utilize, you guessed it, free weights to provide the resistance you need to get into amazing shape. You simply add the weight you need to the various stations and get lifting.Free weight home gyms are built to handle tons of weight. Therefore, they are built to be extremely sturdy and durable. Since they are built to handle tons of weight, you’ll be able to utilize as much weight as you desire for the various exercises. This makes them a great choice for any type of user, whether you’re a bodybuilder or a beginner.
While these gyms are built to handle and use free weights, they usually don’t come with any! This is a bit of a hassle and represents a pretty big expense too. The machines themselves are also a bit on the expensive side too since they have to be built to handle a lot of weight.