Choosing a home gym can be quite difficult with so many in the market from brands such as Bowflex, Total Gym, Marcy, Body-Solid, etc. This leaves one asking the ultimate question: “What is the best home gym?”
This article is designed to answer that question as simple as possible. We won’t bore you with many technical jargons but our discussion will be in simple terms.
We’ll look at the very best home gyms out there and discuss their features and quality. We expect that you will be able to make your pick at the end.
But before we go into that, what is a home gym?
What is a Home Gym?
A home gym is a piece of equipment used at home that allows you to perform a different range of workout routines. It is all-in-one equipment that helps you work on muscle-building and even weight loss.
For those seeking to build a gym in their home, a home gym will be a good buy.
12 Top Home Gyms in the Market
What is best for you might not necessarily be the best for another person. A home gym might be the best from your perspective because of its affordable price. On the other hand, this might not be the same for someone else who isn’t on a budget.
Also, the design is another reason what is best for you might not be the best for someone else.
Personal preferences make it difficult to really decide on which home gym is the best.
Therefore, the following are the 12 top home gyms based on different opinions and reviews in no particular order:
i. Bowflex Blaze Home Gym
ii. Marcy MD-9010G Home Gym
iii. Total Gym XLS Home Gym
iv. Body-Solid GLGS100 Home Gym
v. Marcy Diamond Elite Smith Cage System
vi. Body-Solid BSG10X from Powerline
vii. Body-Solid EXM3000LPS Double Stack Home Gym
viii. Weider Ultimate Body Works
ix. BodyCraft Galena Pro Home Gym
x. Body-Solid StrengthTech EXM2500S Home Gym
xi. Marcy MWM-990 Home Gym
xii. Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym
Bowflex Blaze Home Gym
This home gym has features and options that will give higher-priced home gyms a good run for their money.
One of such features is the option of being able to upgrade this home gym to a resistance of 310 or 410 pounds. This is as high as it gets when you compare this equipment to other resistance home gyms within its price range.
The only way you’re getting anything higher is when you pay twice what this home gym cost.
Not only does the Bowflex Blaze Home Gym offer a high amount of resistance, but it offers over 60 varying exercises as well.
It is also designed with a sliding bench that allows the user to execute rows. It might interest you to know that this feature is not common for home gyms within the Bowflex Blaze Home Gym price range.
Being a product of Bowflex, you are guaranteed that you have purchased a long-lasting product.
Marcy MD-9010G Home Gym
The Marcy MD-9010G is a sturdy heavy-duty machine that can compete for the top spot in the market.
It has different Olympic plate-loaded stations that allow you to work out different muscle groups from different angles.
The MD-9010G is also fitted with classic home gym features. This includes butterfly arms, low row station, preacher pad, and a leg developer.
Apart from the above, it comes with an integrated Smith machine, a free weight squat rack, and a dual high pulley cable crossover system. The inclusion of these features makes this home gym great for performing different exercise movements.
Total Gym XLS Home Gym
There are not so many gym manufacturers that can boast of having over 40 years’ experience. Well, this is what the Total Gym brand can comfortably boast of.
With this wealth of experience, you can trust they’ll deliver sturdy home gyms like the XLS Home Gym. No wonder someone like Chuck Norris endorsed this equipment.
This home gym is as solid as they come with a 400-pound weight capacity. This gym may not be as cheap as you might want it, but the features it packs make it worth the money.
On the machine’s top, you will find an AbCrunch attachment, leg pull, wing attachments, press up, squat stand, dip bars, and a big stability mat.
There is hardly a home gym that comes with so many attachments and this level of quality. No wonder one can carry out over 80 different exercises on this equipment.
It is also useful for Pilate moves and yoga. And when it comes to storage, this machine can be simply folded and kept away in your closet. How’s that for convenience?
Body-Solid GLGS100 Home Gym
The GLGS100 is built with heavy-duty steel as well as aircraft-grade cables. This allows this home gym to comfortably bear the load of Olympic plates. The Olympic plates can be used for strength-building exercises.
Its space-saving design yet tank-like build allows one to perform different types of workouts. This includes shrugs, squats, multiple presses, and pull-ups.
This home gym comes with multi-purpose press arms that allow you to carry out most of the exercises listed above. When used with a bench (bought separately), you can also perform different variations of the chest press. In addition, it has a lat pull-down bar and a low row station.
Marcy Diamond Elite Smith Cage System
The Diamond Elite Smith Cage System is an all-in-one home gym that offers you all the flexibility found in a Smith machine, pulley machine as well as free weights.
The Marcy Diamond Elite Smith Cage System has the following features:
i. Free weight squat rack
ii. Press bar that has sealed bearings
iii. Pec deck station
iv. Dual function leg developer
v. Distinct Marc Olympic weight bench
vi. Low pulley plus a footrest
vii. Smith machine
viii. High cable crossover
The Smith machine has adjustable catches and stoppers that allow you to carefully test if you can handle heavier weights without the need for a spotter. However, it is necessary you still make safety a priority.
Apart from the above features which this equipment possesses, you can make use of the added weight bench for other exercises. This doesn’t mean you can’t work out every body part with the home gym itself.
The Marcy Diamond Elite Smith Cage System is truly a home gym for those who want to possess elite bodies.
Body-Solid BSG10X from Powerline
The BSG10X is a compact yet effective home gym with a sturdy build. It has 11 gauge steel frame as well as military-grade aircraft cables. This home gym is designed to ensure you hit every muscle group.
It has a low, middle and high-pulley system, multi-grip pressing arms, and a leg developer. With these features, you can carry out several exercises. These exercises include chest press, shoulder press, bicep curls, rowing variations, lat pulldown squats, etc.
It may not offer heavier load as some advanced users might want but its 160 pounds metal stack will offer enough resistance for many folks.
With this home gym, you don’t have to worry much about its assembling as it comes 90% assembled.
Body-Solid EXM3000LPS Double Stack Home Gym
Double stack home gyms allow more than one person to make use of the equipment. This is unlike most home gyms that can only accommodate one person per time.
The Body-Solid EXM3000LPS Double Stack Home Gym is a piece of equipment that allows two persons to make use of it simultaneously.
This home gym is designed in such a way that there are 7 different stations specially designed to focus on several muscle groups. This will allow both you and your partner to work out all muscle groups in your bodies.
The advantage of home gyms such as this is that they place you in the right posture that enables correct targeting of each muscle group. This is possible because of the multiple stations, unlike solo home gyms.
The different stations also mean the home gym machine suffers from lesser wear and tear since the stations separately carry the load of work.
Despite this last advantage, you don’t need to worry about your machine breaking down. Body-Solid places a warranty that will last a lifetime on the EXM3000LPS Double Stack.
Weider Ultimate Body Works
This home gym from Weider is known for delivering of functions for a full-body workout. Its compact design allows you to fold it down once you are done. This way you can manage space at home.
It has a pulley system and a gliding board. Using your body weight as resistance, you can perform over 50 low-impact exercises with this machine. These exercises include bicep curls, pressing and rowing variations, core exercises, triceps pulldowns, etc.
BodyCraft Galena Pro Home Gym
This home gym from BodyCraft is designed to withstand nearly everything you throw at it. It is rugged and from all indications will last you for a lifetime.
It has dual-function pecdeck which allows the use of dumbbell style flys as well as traditional flys. It also offers rear deltoid flys.
The BodyCraft Galena Pro Home Gym motion’s range can be adjusted to suit any user.
Body-Solid StrengthTech EXM2500S Home Gym
The BodySolid StrengthTech EXM2500S Home Gym is designed with 12 heavy-duty gauge of 2 inches by 4 inches size made of a high tensile strength steel frame. This allows it to offer strength, durability, and stability while working out.
This home gym is coated with a tough durable powder that prevents scratching, peeling and chipping. This keeps the home gym looking fine even after long use.
The pulleys are made of fiberglass reinforced nylon that ensures that the weight movement is smooth.
Marcy MWM-990 Home Gym
The Marcy MWM-990 Home Gym is designed with a dual functioning vertical butterfly and press arm that moves independently.
It also has a leg developer with a dual function that helps one perform leg curl and leg extension exercises.
Another important feature if this home gym is its low and high pulleys that can be used for lower and upper body exercises.
Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym
Another Bowflex home gym we consider to be worth every penny spent is the PR1000 Base Home Gym.
With this home gym, you can perform more than 30 exercises that will work out your full body thanks to its several attachments.
It is fitted with Power Rod® units and a lower and upper pulley. This fitting will offer weight or resistance that is almost as good as/better than real weights without the danger of joint pains or inertia. It has up to 210 pounds of resistance.
This equipment is great for small spaces as its bench can be folded after use.
Check out the video below.
Advantages of Owning a Home Gym
The following are the advantages of owning a Home Gym:
ii. No more gym membership fee
iii. Full body workout
v. Low impact
vi. Can be used by anyone
This equipment is of great advantage because it can be used at home without having to head to the gym. No more rushing to the gym early in the morning or heading to the gym after work despite being tired.
You get to use it anytime you want without having to wait for another person to be done with it. And if you are not so comfortable with crowded gyms, this will save you from that.
No More Gym Membership Fee
Gym membership fee; that money you have to pay before you are granted access to a gym’s equipment and facilities. Well, say goodbye to that when you get a home gym.
You can work out as many times as you want and not being restricted to a couple of hours.
Full Body Workout
Another interesting advantage of a home gym is that you don’t necessarily need to buy other pieces of equipment. This is because a home gym can be used to work on every body part.
Many folks think they need all sorts of equipment before they can perform a full-body workout. However, a home gym proves this to be wrong.
Bikes, ellipticals, and treadmills are known for burning calories. Nevertheless, with a home gym, you can also burn calories when performing low weight and high repetition exercises. Hence, a home gym can be used for weight loss.
The versatility of a home gym still makes it well designed for muscle-building. This is one reason this equipment stands out from others. Like many fitness machines that burn calories and enhance cardiovascular fitness, a home gym does the same and still build muscles. The latter is a function many fitness machines cannot achieve.
Performing many different heavy resistance exercises, your muscles get slowly torn, repaired and built. By going through this muscle-building process, you also burn calories. This is what a home gym offers you compared to other equipment.
A home gym doesn’t take much space in your home. It can be kept in the corner of any room.
Instead of buying so many pieces of equipment and having to convert a room or your garage into a gym, simply get a home gym.
Home gyms are designed to offer low impact exercises although not many know about this. Resistance home gyms offer low impact exercises better than other types of home gyms.
Resistance based exercises have many practical applications and it has been discovered that therapists utilize this for their rehab patients.
These exercises stretch and relax your muscles in a consistent and smooth routine. As a result, your muscles are protected from muscle spams created by the shock that occurs at the end of the exercise motion.
Can be used by anyone
A home gym can be used by anyone, unlike most fitness equipment that requires you to be at a particular fitness level before you can use them. Whether you are a beginner or a professional, a home gym can be used to meet your workout needs.
For those who have little or no idea about home gyms, here is something to keep in mind. Many home gyms are readily affordable and won’t cost you an arm and a leg to get. Therefore, price shouldn’t be the factor that scares you from getting one.
Beginners should opt for resistance home gyms. They offer low weight with different exercises.
Those who want to tone up their bodies or lose weight can opt for compact home gyms.
Advanced users would want to go for weight-based home gyms. Such pieces of equipment are capable of providing over 50 to 60 different types of exercises. They are suitable for full-body muscle-building and toning.
Types of Home Gym Style
We must discuss the types of home gym based on the tech styles we have today.
All home gyms fall into two types: resistance home gyms and weight home gyms.
We discuss both below in detail.
Resistance Based Home Gyms ( Bands, Rods, Body Weights)
What are resistance based home gyms?
These home gyms are resistance-based and depend on bands, rods, and bodyweights to function. They are highly recommended for novices and folks with physical disabilities. This is because the resistance system offers smooth movement which in turn makes it stress-free on the joints.
Unlike weight home gyms, these home gyms do not put your body through extensive wear and tear.
Although resistance-based home gyms have their advantages, they also have their disadvantages. Chief among them is the fact that the loss of the elasticity of the bands and rods. When this happens you won’t be able to tell if there is a physical improvement on your part or not.
Due to this loss of elasticity, you’ll constantly need to replace or upgrade the bands or rods. Replacing this part of the equipment can be somewhat expensive. This is one of the reasons resistance-based home gyms are not so expensive when compared to weight-based home gyms in most cases.
Another major disadvantage is that these home gyms cannot effectively help you build muscles. They are more suited for maintaining increased heart rate, toning and burning calories. So if your body goal is to build muscles, get a weight-based home gym.
When it comes to resistance-based home gyms, Bowflex seems to do better than everyone else; closely followed by Total Gym.
Weight Based Home Gyms (Plates and Stacks)
What are weight based home gyms?
These home gyms are weight-based and depend on weight plates and stacks to add the needed resistance. Home gyms like this are commonly found in commercial gyms.
Unlike resistance home gyms, weight gyms can take you can throw at them because they are built to last. In fact, they are bound to outlast you.
Although there are no bands or rods to replace, you will need to replace your weight plates and stacks when you outgrow then. The good news though is that it might take a bit longer than you think.
The above does not mean these home gyms are without their drawbacks. One of the cons of these pieces of equipment is the price tag on them. They cost way more than most resistance-based home gyms.
Also, they do not come with the weights. This means you will have to buy the weight plates or stacks separately. Hence, you get to spend extra from your initial buy.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Home Gym that Suits You
You don’t just buy any home gym you see or come across. The following are some factors you need to consider first when choosing a home gym:
i. Consider your fitness goals.
ii. Consider the weight plates and stacks.
iii. Consider the features of the home gym.
iv. Consider the size of your home.
v. Consider your budget
Let’s explain these 5 factors a bit…
Consider Your Fitness Goals
What you intend to achieve has a huge role to play when it comes to making a choice on home gyms.
If you want to lose fat or get a toned body, go for resistance home gyms. For those who want to build muscles, head over to the weight home gyms aisle.
Consider the Weight Plates and Stacks
For those who will be going for weight-based home gyms, you need to put the range of the weights plates/stacks into consideration.
Every home gym has a range of weights they can support. Initially, you can begin with the basic weight. However, over time you are bound to outgrow those weights and will need to upgrade. (But new weight plates or stacks).
You might have a problem if your home gym does not support the weight you intend to upgrade to.
Therefore, based on your fitness goals, choose a home gym that can accommodate the weight-lifting goals you have in mind.
Consider the Features of the Home Gym
What are the features of the home gym you want to buy?
Although home gyms may look the same especially those that fall within the same type/group. However, this is not completely the case.
Even for home gyms that are weight-based, there are some that may not really be perfect for your muscle-building goals.
Therefore, it is important you study the features of that home gym before buying it. Read manufacturers’ descriptions of the product as well as customer and online reviews to give you an idea of what to expect.
Consider the Size of Your Home
How big is the space you intend allotting to your home gym? Do you have enough little or no space? Or do you have a free room? These are some questions you should ask yourself.
If you have little space, go for compact home gyms that can either be folded after use or those that won’t occupy much space. What is the use of getting a piece of equipment that won’t fit into your house? If you have enough space, by all means, go for a large multi-home gym.
Consider Your Budget
Here’s a general rule for home gyms: Your home gym should help you save money you would spend on a gym membership. If any home gym breaks this rule, it is advisable you avoid such.
We know that there are high priced home gyms; some of them are even in our list above. Nevertheless, in the long run, all home gyms should help you save cash.
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What is the Best Home Gym – FAQs
Are home multi gyms worth it?
Multi gyms also known as home gyms are worth it. They worth every penny spent and the time spent using them.
Multi gyms are pieces of equipment that can help you work out your entire body from the comfort of your own home.
They are designed to offer various exercises while keeping you safe in the process. This is unlike the case when folks make use of free weights.
However, depending on the type of home gym you go for, you might still want to keep your free weights close by if your fitness goal is to build serious muscle.
Why are gym weights so expensive?
Gym weights are expensive because of the following reasons:
i. The cost of shipping into the country – Most gym weights are made overseas and have to be shipped for them to get to our shores. And currently, it costs a lot of money.
ii. The material they are made from – Quality gym weights are made from dense metals such as stainless steel. The cheap ones are cast from iron. Regardless of quality, both materials are expensive which reflects in the final price of gym weights.
iii. The current market – The global pandemic resulted in an increase in demand for gym weights which the market couldn’t readily supply. Even with the easing of the lockdowns, gym weights are not yet readily available.
Can a home gym be used upstairs?
You can use a home gym upstairs. Most buildings are designed to hold 30 lbs per square meter. For example, if your room is 10 by 10 feet (100 square feet), the weight it can support is 3000 pounds.
Many home gyms do not weigh as much as that even combined with your weight let’s say you weigh 250 pounds: Which means you are still safe.
However, we recommend that your upstairs room should be a last resort if you have another space like a garage.
Are gym weights accurate?
Gym weights are not totally accurate. They usually fall below the marked weight by a slight percentage difference. And this difference varies across different kinds of gym weights.
Olympic weights plates have been found to fall below their marked weight by about 5%. This is the highest inaccuracy recorded thus far with the lowest being 2%.
Calibrated plates are known to fall within the 2% range.
Bumper plates have a 1% percentage inaccuracy while competition bumper plates and calibrated steel discs fall within 10 gram less than the marked weight.
Hex-headed dumbbells fall within 5%, rubber dumbbells and round-head urethane dumbbells within 2%.
Barbells are the closest to the marked weight which makes them the most accurate of gym weights.
What exercises can you do on a multi gym?
The following is a list of some of the exercises you can do on a multi gym:
i. Lat pull down
ii. Leg extension
iii. Shoulder press
iv. Seated row
v. Chest press
vi. Tricep pull down
vii. Leg curl
viii. Outer and inner abductor
ix. Bicep curl
x. Leg press
xi. Pec flyes
xii. Triceps push down
xiii. Seated curl
xiv. Negative rep chest press
xv. Single arm crossovers
xvi. Kneeling shoulder press
xvii. Straight arm pull down
xviii. Front squat
xix. Single leg extension
Some of these exercises might not be possible depending on the model and type of your multi gym. However, a good number of them are general exercises that most home gym supports.
If you’ve been paying for a gym membership for some months now, then you can own a home gym. The cost of monthly gym membership for some months can purchase a home gym.
A home gym is not one of those pieces of equipment you might have heard that will bring an end to paying for a gym membership. A home gym is THE equipment that will bring an end to paying for a gym membership. (Notice the difference?)
So choose from any of the home gyms we’ve discussed so far and let us know your experience with them. If you have used any of the home gyms discussed or any home gym for that matter, feel free to also share your experience with us.
If you have further questions, please let us know in the comments section below. We will answer the questions as best as we can.