A home gym is a common term that refers to any workout area you set up at home. But if you are referring to products here, it pertains to single-purchase equipment sets (also called multi-gym) that have been smartly designed and carefully constructed to deliver a range of workouts that help to strengthen, tone, and develop different muscle groups simultaneously.
There are various brands in the market, and if you are looking for the best home gyms under $500, you get to pick from various models that function well and deliver fantastic results in this range.
In a hurry, here are our top 6 picks of the best multiple home gym under $500:
- Bowflex PR1000—Best Overall
- Marcy MWM 990—Best Compact Gym
- Marcy MWM 988 —Best Reviewed
- XR 55 Home Exercise Gold’s Gym
- Weider Home Gym—Best Budget Multi-Gym
- Gold’s Gym XRS 55
See the overview, pros & cons below.
What Can You Get from a Multi Home Gym?
A multi-gym can be your ticket to fitness at affordable costs and flexible workout timings.
While purchasing a multi-gym, it is better to look into factors such as workout variations, posture adjustment provision, and weight stack options to guarantee a good-quality product that’s worth the money invested.
Workouts Offered: It is always better to buy a product that works out as many muscle groups as possible without the need for any additional equipment to be purchased.
Weight Stack Options: If strength building is your aim, you need to focus on weight stack options offered by the product. Be wary of the stack’s quality, range, and adjustability.
Adjustability options are important for making continuous progress in performance over time.
Posture Adjustment: A multi-home gym that allows for height and position adjustment as proper form is necessary to avoid injuries.
Some home gyms use only height-adjustable and only static seats.
Quality: While it might not be possible to guess a product’s quality, you can always take the help of user reviews for this.
Look for frame shape, pulley, and cable sturdiness that prevail after repeated use in a product.
The Advantages of Using a Multi Home Gym
Your eagerness to join a commercial gym and work out along with others depends mainly on the type of person.
If you enjoy working out on various equipment and feel motivated by looking at other people working out at the gym, then visiting a fitness center would do you good.
But for many people, the thoughts of going to a gym bring about anxiety and restlessness. For such individuals, working out in your home gym is the best.
It might be that you already follow a stringent fitness routine and would love a home gym set-up as a supplementary routine. Otherwise, you might be new to the fitness club, searching for a home gym that helps you improve strength and get into shape.
Whatever might be your reason, I assure you that you have made a good choice as there are plenty of advantages of using a multi-gym.
Save Your Money
As a newbie to fitness equipment investing in home gym equipment might seem like a luxury looking at the expensiveness of the machine, but when you break it down, it is one of the most affordable and smart options available to you.
Let me make it simpler. When you have already been shelling out anywhere between $60 and $150 or more every month on gym membership fees, isn’t it wiser to invest in a piece of equipment under $500?
You surely start reaping profits right after the sixth month of use, as the home gym seems like a freebie from then on.
A home gym equipment is a one-time investment that brings about no recurring costs or services to pay for.
Saves Ample Time
Installing home gym equipment at your place automatically guarantees access to the equipment any time of day, barring any schedule, as seen in a commercial gym.
Moreover, you needn’t spend time traveling to the gym, nor must you wait for your turn during peak hours to work out on treadmills or power racks.
Work out whenever you feel like doing exercises and do them for as long as you want in the comfort of your home.
Keeps Your Privacy in Check
We have all our inhibitions, and some individuals feel awkward and shy to work out in front of others.
Each of them has its reasons for this, but it does impact their exercise routine at the end of the day.
Get rid of privacy intrusions and be your king regulating the kind of music that’s played, the lighting effects in the room, and even regulate your room temperature while exercising in a non-competitive environment.
The Drawbacks of a Multi Home Gym
We don’t have the term ‘pros and cons’ just for namesake, and every product, equipment, and concept comes with its advantages and disadvantages.
A multi-gym has several downsides, too, apart from all the benefits mentioned above.
At a commercial gym, you always have a trainer ready to assist you even with the minutest of doubts. Still, when you use multi-gym equipment at home, it is like doing everything independently without anyone to assist you.
Worse, you don’t even know if you are doing the exercise rightly or wrongly. Having a spotter as safety is the utmost priority wherever you are.
Lack of Inspiration
Individuals can be of two types: those who are self-motivated and inspired on their own to work out and attain better fitness levels, and others feel energetic, motivated, and buzz with activity looking at the busyness of the gym and gain enthusiasm from others surrounding them.
Though this is a personal factor, it does play an integral role in affecting your regularity to exercising and must be considered before deciding upon an exercise option.
How to Choose a Multi Home Gym for Under $500?
Different brands are fighting for their spot in the market, confusing individuals more than they can handle.
Some important factors that help in choosing a multi-gym under $500 include design specifications, features included, and resistance levels.
When there are multiple home gyms available for well under $300, some individuals might not be passionate about picking a product in the $500 range category.
While the equipment might look similar initially, on a closer look, the $500 equipment does have subtle differences that bring about effectiveness to the product and make it a better choice to buy.
Given below are important points to consider when hunting for multi-gym equipment around $500:
You can’t expect to empower changes in design because you are spending an extra $200 moving over to the $500 range from $300.
Home gym equipment in the $500 range comes in different shapes and sizes. Many are similar to traditional resistance machines found in commercial gym—containing a pec deck, chest press, lat pull-down, and leg extender included in one piece of equipment.
On the other hand, it is also a common sight to find Total Gyms-style bench-on-rails multi-gyms.
Don’t be surprised to find these systems to be similar to those in the budget category, as the primary difference here comes in the form of being provided with more attachments and accessories, giving you an option to perform advanced workouts that burn off more calories and improve your overall fitness levels a notch higher.
You needn’t worry a dime about the features offered and the range of movements possible as the multi gyms exceed our expectations and present us with more attachments and accessories than what we asked for.
These extra accessories/attachments provide us with all options to target different parts of the body.
Don’t be surprised to find dual-action chest-press arms for hitting your chest, multi-angle lat bars that target your back and triceps, and leg developers and low pulleys that offer precise workouts for your legs.
Equipment in this range also comes with a preacher pad for bulking up your biceps and a row plate that helps you get off the bench to finish off a low row.
If I am to be precise, these are some of the features that are not present in any budget models.
Besides accessories, you can also see evident innovations in design as each brand competes to gain better footage by attracting the customer’s attention.
For instance, one of the best multi-home gym equipment discussed below, the Bowflex PR1000, offers standard muscle-developing resistance movements and includes an aerobic rowing option, which is a smart and unique thought that makes it different and sought-after by many.
You can even get to experience the model’s versatility when the company provides you with workout DVDs, workout charts, or guides that enhance your exercise experience.
Resistance levels help you achieve greater feats with your body. Most home gyms under $500 feature a sizable stack of weights up to 150 lbs, and you can select increments of weights with a pin system.
You need to remember that the weight stack here is made of vinyl, unlike the metal weight plates found in those models costing above $1000.
Some offer even better ones as opposed to traditional weight stacks—for instance, the Bowflex has its innovative Power rods, or you can simply use your bodyweight too.
Help yourself alter resistance levels by selecting different rods or by adjusting angles to bring about heaviness or lightness to your body weight.
Most models provide weights that help you build muscle and strength, but their effectiveness depends on your training level.
A beginner trainer will find 150 pounds of resistance to be more taxing and effective than an advanced trainer.
$500 is not an exuberant amount, but before you make up your mind to go ahead with the product, sit back, relax and think not once or twice but many times as to why you would like to buy home gym equipment.
Is muscle building your primary motive? If so, you might even try investing in a pair of dumbbells that allow you to do a range of movements that’s not possible with your equipment.
You might even wish to add an ab roller, a Swiss ball, or a medicine ball that focuses on core muscles (this is usually not met by multi gym equipment in this range).
Though unbelievable, one piece of equipment indeed caters to your overall body workouts.
But, manufacturers cram in as much as possible in one piece of equipment even when the pricing is affordable.
Hence, please refrain from expecting world-class gym-level equipment from the equipment you have purchased. Be ready to tackle a flimsy cable, shaky seats, or a restricted range of motions.
Never compare your home gym equipment to the machines at the gym, which comparatively cost twice or thrice as much as your purchase.
You can always achieve exceptional workout results and benefit from good health by working out in your home gym equipment that you have purchased.
Is Home Gym Better than a Commercial Gym?
You can never compare a home gym to a commercial gym setup as they are two entirely different things.
Unless you have unrestricted space and overflowing cash to match the versatility of commercial gym spaces, you are mostly limited to one aerobic exercise machine (like the treadmill or elliptical) and one multi-gym rack and weight.
A home gym does contribute its share of advantages, including saving time and expenses, which stand ahead of the rest.
So, while you can work out wearing your comfortable clothes and at your preferred time, it can never match a traditional gym setup.
What Equipment Do You Need to Build a Decent Home Gym?
You can match up your space with one multi-gym piece of equipment that fulfills different demands or choose from a range of equipment, including cardio machines and free weights.
Before singling out any equipment, you need to firstly list down your priorities—are you primarily interested in losing weight, building muscles, or developing overall strength?
If your concern is weight loss, it is better to purchase good-quality cardio machines such as treadmills, rowers, or ellipticals.
Never leave out resistance exercises as they help you burn calories and tone your physique, leaving you with a well-toned body.
For this, the multi-gym equipment discussed here would be of great help and also encourage beginner trainers who are interested in building strength and muscles.
Are you experienced in lifting weights? If so, you might want to build your home gym using free weights rather than an option for a multi gym.
Don’t waste time but get hold of squat racks, dumbbells, barbells, bench, and weight plates to perform a range of exercises, including squats, deadlifts, bench press, and more.
Even after purchasing these, if you still have money left out, try investing it in accessories such as weighted vests, pullup bars, resistance bands, or even posters that lift your determination and spirits to exercise regularly.
So, friends, I guess that by now, you have understood that your budget, goals, and space play a crucial role in setting up a home gym at your place.
What Exercises Can You Do on a Home Gym Equipment?
The primary purpose of multi-gym equipment is to offer you the ideal platform to do a full-body workout targeting your chest, back, arms, legs, and shoulders.
Traditional multi-gyms keep you fully aware of the range of movements possible. You know that you can perform chest press and flyes using the butterfly arms, lat pulldown (for the back), and standing triceps pulldowns using the multi-angle bar at the top.
If you master the grip hold on the machine, your range of movements becomes limitless surprising you every time you work out on the equipment.
Use the preacher pads for bicep curls, work out your quad and hamstring muscles using the leg developers, or perform a low row on the low pulley.
There is some multi-gym equipment that provides you with multiple ways to target different muscle groups. Make use of them and feel fulfilled doing various exercises simply by using one machine.
Top 6 Best Home Gyms Under $500
There can be abundant multi gym equipment offered to you at throwaway prices in the market. Still, I have carefully curated six of the best home gyms under $500 that would help you experience good workouts, fit your pockets, and also last long.
1. Bowflex PR1000
If you are looking for an innovative product that surprises you with more benefits than you can have imagined, the Bowflex PR1000 should be your first choice.
Priced just below $500, this Bowflex home gym machine needs only 100 x 78 inches of space to install, after which you can perform the delightful exercise on it.
You can target every single muscle group by performing over twenty-five exercises on the set uprightly standing by the ideology of multi gym equipment—to help you perform total body workouts.
While most focus on strength training, you get to perform aerobic rowing (using the bench on rollers) too, which is simply superb, knowing how much a standalone rower can cost.
The PR1000 comes with a range of Power Rods at the rear that provides up to 210 lbs of adjustable resistance using a cable and pulley system that ensures that the user can perform a range of movements.
Know what? You can do any of the exercises while enjoying watching your favorite video in your electronic gadget, making use of the media shelf provided with the unit.
Though the weight resistance might not be sufficient for serious bodybuilders or weightlifters, the Bowflex equipment is ideal for those looking to build muscles or those recovering from injuries.
- Offers up to 210lbs of resistance using Power Rods
- Enables you to perform more than 25 exercises bringing in a variety
- Surprises you with built-in rower functionality
- Foldable in half, thereby saving space and being compact
- There is no possibility to upgrade resistance
- Power Rods can lose resistance over time
- Adjusting bench for various exercises can be a strenuous task
2. Marcy MWM 990
You can mistake the Marcy MWM 990 for a piece of commercial gym equipment given its bold black and red color combination and the frame made of heavy-duty steel.
Perform over 30 strength training exercises that work out your entire body and target major muscle groups.
Use the preacher pad for cable bicep curls, workout your legs with a padded leg developer, or focus on your back with a multi-angle lat pulldown bar.
Though you might train alone here, safety is never an issue with Marcy MWM 990 as the weights are never suspended over your body but stored in a weight stack behind, assuring that you are protected.
You get up to 150lbs of resistance using a weight pin set in various positions to add or decrease weight.
Comparatively, this equipment offers more weight resistance to work with than Bowflex and can be suitable for those whose primary motive is strength training.
The machine doesn’t occupy too much space despite not being foldable, making it ideal for most homes.
Assembly is quite difficult as the machine takes more than a couple of hours to set up.
The instructions, too, are not clear, contributing towards more time wasted in assembly. The tools included aren’t great, requiring you to use your own at times.
- Excellent design and quality materials that guarantee durability and stylishness
- A dual-action press arm allows you to develop biceps and triceps simply by removing/inserting a pin.
- Great equipment for a full-body workout
- Provided with a workout chart
- Not much comfort for those over 6 feet in height
- Assembly is frustrating and time-consuming
3. Marcy MWM 988
Like the Marcy MWM 990, the Marcy MWM 988 is an all-rounder that differs in its design specification.
The steel frame is sturdy, and the construction is highly durable, but the maximum weight limit offered by the equipment is quite less comparatively the multi gym can withstand only up to 300 pounds of user weight.
In terms of space, the Marcy MWM 988 is a compact multi-gym that fits into smaller rooms and doesn’t cause any hindrance while exercising as there is no pull-up/chin-up bar.
While a ceiling height of seven inches is good to buy the product, the same becomes a downside for taller users as they cannot experience a full range of motions while doing some exercises.
This Marcy home gym machine uses 16 heavy-duty nylon pulleys that guarantee smooth functioning and durability.
The 150lbs vinyl weight stacks come with 10lbs weight plate increments.
Work out your chest using the dual-action press arms or target your lats and triceps using the overhead lat bars.
You can even use the low pulley system with a padded leg developer, adjustable preacher pad, or an ankle strap.
The home gym has six workout stations that provide total body workout and prevails as one of the cheapest multi-gym equipment that fulfills our goals presently.
- One of the most affordable home gyms in the market
- Offers excellent support and comfort
- Workout chart provided
- Compact, durable, and ensures smooth operation
- There are no base stabilizers, so it is necessary to install floor mats for stability and floor protection.
- Absence of adjustable seat and backrest
- Quite tricky to assemble
4. XR 55 Home Exercise Gold’s Gym
Coming from the house of Gold’s Gym, the XR 55 is one of the most versatile equipment is providing you with an option to perform over 36 exercises but also being one of the most affordable home gym equipment in the market.
The equipment has a sturdy frame construction made of square steel tubing and weighs optimally around 300lbs, making us permanently set it in one place.
Besides being heavy, it also occupies quite some space, although not one of the largest machines.
The machine is constructed using nylon pulleys, and the cables are made of steel, increasing the maximum tension levels that the machine is capable of.
You are guaranteed to achieve up to 330 lbs of resistance using the equipment, making it the perfect choice for all levels of trainers.
The seat and backrest are thick vinyl material that promises comfort and style (black and gold color combination).
You can also adjust them in three different positions for maximum comfort. The six workout stations, adjustable pulleys, the 4-roll leg developer, and other special features make the XR 55 a product worth purchasing.
Adjust the curl pad in three different positions to get your comfortable position but remember that you cannot change the angle.
- The maximum user weight is 300lbs
- Smooth and quiet operation
- Possibility to do 36 different exercises
- Smaller footprint
- Easy to assemble and requires less maintenance
- Not too comfortable for users above 6’3″ as they feel uneasy doing lat pulldowns
- No possibility to upgrade weight stacks
- No leg press attachment
5. Weider Home Gym
If budget is your primary priority, the Weider home gym should be your ultimate choice as it is not even half pricey as the Bowflex model discussed above.
But never doubt the quality of the product or the versatility of the features as you get ample workouts using the six different workout stations.
This Weider home gym weighs 300lbs making it sturdy and seems to be as compact as possible, reducing space occupied.
You get a strong frame and good construction, but stability is an issue making you concerned at times.
The machine comes with a chest press, high pulley, chest fly, leg developer, preacher curl, and low pulley station that offers a good range of exercises possible.
The weight resistance offered is up to 214lbs, but you get no indication in the weight stacks as to how much weight you are lifting.
Your intuition becomes a priority here in deciding upon the quantity of weight lifted by you.
Assembly is extremely time-consuming, with the process even more complicated by the very poor instruction manual that looks like a puzzle that can never be put together.
- Promises smoothness in most of your workouts
- Most affordable equipment in the multi-gym equipment market
- Compact and occupies less space
- Six different workout stations
- Set up is difficult, and the instructions are not clear
- It can be difficult for smaller than average or taller than average users
6. Gold’s Gym XRS 55
XRS 55 is a household name in every fitness lover’s house known for its excellent product design and branding value.
The XRS 55 is one of the best pieces of equipment to purchase for under $500. You get to experience the commercial Gold Gym experience at the comfort of your house buying the stylish XRS 55.
The equipment comes with a 125lbs vinyl weight stack and can offer up to 330lbs of resistance, which is alluring for many buyers interested in experiencing challenging exercise levels.
The weight stack is attached to a traditional low/high cable and pulley system, along with all attachments you need for performing various exercises.
The preciseness of the pulleys brings in greater smoothness to your movements. The product offers four foam leg developers, and the seats are comfortable to perform a range of exercises as it comes with an adjustability option and vinyl padding.
Get ready to perform different exercises that target different body parts using the lat bar, chest press station, leg developers, and preacher pads (help you do the perfect bicep curls that help you develop bulk arms) that come with the equipment.
- One of the lowest priced products in the market in this category
- Optimal weight stack offering up to 300lbs of resistance
- A great brand that oozes reliability and performance
- Adjustable preacher pad promotes arm development
- The vinyl material used for weights are a little cheap, comparatively
- Sturdiness can be an issue sometimes
Your decision to purchase multi-gym equipment under $500 to make an addition to your home gym set up or as a piece of standalone equipment for getting fitter is never a wrong choice until you have selected a good machine that assures quality performance and versatility.
Purchase a product that gives you a full-body workout targeting different muscle groups.
However, the product of your choice must fit your budget, room space, and workout goals.