Health & Fitness

Work Out in the Comfort of Your Home With the 10 Best Home Gyms

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Lea Kuscer Avatar
Lea Kuscer
16 July, 2020 • Updated 7 days ago
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The 10 Best Home Gyms

When you go to the gym, how many pieces of equipment do you use during your workouts?

The answer most likely changes from day to day, and whether you’re working on cardio fitness, burning calories or muscle building.

Think about it, though. A high-end gym in the big city often has dozens of different types of exercise equipment, a lot of which you’ve probably never even used.

Short of spending tens of thousands of dollars on equipment, there is no way to accurately reproduce a professional gym in your garage. But most people only need one or two devices, like a treadmill, elliptical, rowing machine, etc.

IN A HURRY? CHECK OUT OUR EDITOR’S CHOICE
Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Home Gym

If your goal is bulking up and building muscle, however, none of those things are going to help you much. A good rowing machine does provide an excellent full-body workout, but even then it can’t take the place of a bench press, pulleys and other muscle-building tools.

For that, you need a home gym.

Things to Consider

When shopping for a home gym, the most important thing to look for is versatility and functionality. As you continue to gain strength, you need a gym that can accommodate this. If you buy a home gym that doesn’t have enough weights or one that doesn’t have any leg crunches, you could find yourself being held back. Here are some things to look out for before you commit to buying anything.

1. Versatile

One of the most important things to look for in a home gym is its versatility. A good home gym will let you run a wide variety of cardio-training and muscle-building exercises. Some even have basic rowing gear.

2. Adjustable

Everyone has a different method of working out, and a good home gym should be able to accommodate you, and not the other way around. If you find you have to change the way you work out to accommodate your home gym, you’re using the wrong one.

3. Safety

When you’re using a home gym, you’re working with a system that often weighs several hundred pounds, possibly including very heavy weights. You can’t afford to use a home gym that isn’t sound and stable, with a sturdy base.

4. Space

Home gyms take up a lot of space when set up, and not everyone can dedicate an entire room to a home gym. If you’re pressed for space, try to find a home gym that can fold up when not in use.

5. Price

Trying to balance your exercise needs with your budgetary requirements. Buying a home gym that doesn’t meet your needs isn’t going to help you out, but spending more than you need isn’t any better.

QUICK OVERVIEW

The Best Home Gyms


Products
Features
EDITOR’S PICK
4.5
1,290+
1290+
  • Offers over 70 exercises for a total body workout
  • 210-pounds of power rod resistance is upgradeable to 310-pounds or 410-pounds
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $1500
  • Offers over 70 exercises for a total body workout
  • 210-pounds of power rod resistance is upgradeable to 310-pounds or 410-pounds
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $1500
Check price
at Amazon
MOST REVIEWED
4.5
1,285+
1285+
  • Weight resistance from up to 210 pounds
  • Includes rowing machine rail
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $400
  • Weight resistance from up to 210 pounds
  • Includes rowing machine rail
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $400
Check price
at Amazon
TOP PICK
5
1+
1+
  • Various exercises
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $800
  • Various exercises
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $800
Check price
at Amazon
BUDGET PICK
4.1
515+
515+
  • Weight resistance up to 150 pounds
  • 30 strengthening exercises for building muscle
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $400
  • Weight resistance up to 150 pounds
  • 30 strengthening exercises for building muscle
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $400
Check price
at Amazon
BUDGET PICK
4.5
1,910+
1910+
  • Adjustable incline allows you to increase resistance
  • Resistance bands allow you to increase weight resistance
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $300
  • Adjustable incline allows you to increase resistance
  • Resistance bands allow you to increase weight resistance
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $300
Check price
at Amazon
EDITOR’S PICK
Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Home Gym
Over 70 exercises and 7 trainer-built workouts.

Picking the best home gym was a difficult decision, as there were several models that were neck-and-neck. However, we believe the Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Home Gym is the best home gym on the market.

4.5
1,290+
1290+
  • Offers over 70 exercises for a total body workout.
  • 210-pounds of power rod resistance is upgradeable to 310-pounds or 410-pounds.
  • Compact size fits nearly any home gym leaving room for additional exercise equipment.

Best Home Gyms Under $300

Weider Ultimate Body Works

Weider Ultimate Body Works

Features

  • Various exercises
  • Weight capacity: 250 pounds
  • 59 x 27.5 x 48 inches

There are any number of reasons why you might want an inexpensive home gym setup. Cheaper sets tend to be smaller, and you might have limited room. Perhaps you’re just getting started with a home gym, and you don’t want to spend a lot of money initially.

Whatever your reason, Weider Ultimate Body Works is a shockingly good home gym, especially for the low price. The gym is designed to facilitate over 50 different exercises, in many cases utilizing your body weight to form its natural resistance.

It includes a variety of essential features, including four power bands that let you increase resistance by up to 50 pounds and a carefully designed cable pulley system that allows for a wide freedom of motion. Whether you’re trying to gain strength, flexibility or just improve your overall fitness, this is an excellent gym that will serve you well.

Unfortunately, it does have a couple of faults, although they’re mostly minor. At this low price, you’ll naturally have to supply your weights. It is covered with a warranty, but sadly it only lasts for 90 days.

Considering the low price of the gym, this is to be expected. The other low point is that the gym only ships to the lower 48 states. If you live in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico or any other territory, you’re out of luck.

When it’s all said and done, however, this is a pretty solid home gym for a very reasonable price. If you’re a serious bodybuilder, your needs will probably be better met elsewhere. For those with more modest expectations, this could serve you very well.

Pros
  • Adjustable incline allows you to increase resistance
  • Resistance bands allow you to increase weight resistance
  • Cable pulley system provides greater freedom of motion
Cons
  • Won’t ship outside of the continental United States

Best Home Gyms Under $500

Icon Fitness Gold’s Gym XRS 50

Icon Fitness Gold's Gym XRS 50

Features

  • Various exercises
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds
  • 48 x 18.9 x 16 inches

The Icon Fitness Gold’s Gym XRS 50 isn’t nearly as economical as the Weider Ultimate Body Works, and it has a larger footprint, but it delivers even bigger results. It offers a combination chest press/fly station, high pulley for sculpting lats and back muscles, a 4-roll leg developer, and a low pulley for toning glutes and leg muscles.

The XRS 50 has a glide board that lets you work your upper and lower body, strengthen your abdominals, and it also features attachments for you to work your arms and your legs. It has a maximum weight limit of 300 pounds and is suitable for people of all ages.

The home gym does not come assembled, so you’ll need help assembling it. This home gym had 280 pounds of resistance and multi-grip lat bar, as well as sewn vinyl seats. It comes with a 90-day warranty.

Pros
  • Comes with stackable weight
  • Easy assembly
Cons
  • Takes time to assemble
  • Complicated instructions

Best Home Gyms Under $800

Gymax Weight Training Home Gym System

Gymax Weight Training Home Gym System

Features

  • Various exercises
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds
  • 50 x 39.3 x 82.2 inches

There is a $300 price jump between the last model and the Weight Training Home Gym System from Gymax, but the difference between the two is night and day. The Gymax model is made with military-grade materials and offers a few excellent exercise options.

It has a high and low pulley system for various lower and upper body exercises and a total of 12 pulleys can strengthen muscles on your back, core, and arms. You can do leg lifts, pull-downs, curls, as well as butterfly presses. It comes with a 100-pound weight stack so you can add resistance to your workout.

The arm press has an excellent dual function that allows you to work out on the upper body without the need to change positions. The backrest pad and seat pad let you release some of the body pressure, while the foam-padded 4-roll leg developer enables you to stretch the muscles on your legs.

Pros
  • Comes with stackable weight
  • Easy assembly
  • Variety of different exercises
Cons
  • Takes time to assemble

Best Home Gyms Under $1000

Marcy MWM-990 Home Gym

Marcy MWM-990 Home Gym

Features

  • Various exercises
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds
  • 68 x 36 x 79 inches

Like the Bowflex PR1000, the Marcy MWM-990 places its primary focus on strengthening and muscle-building exercises. It too offers some 30+ exercises designed to help you strengthen every muscle in your body.

There are a lot of different tools built into the MWM-990, such as a chest press arm, leg developers, multiple pulleys to work both the upper and lower back, an overhead lat station and a vertical butterfly.

There is a 150-pound weight stack which you can work with to provide additional resistance to your exercises, protected by a safety lock, so you don’t have to worry about accidents.

I enjoyed working with this gym, but some of the exercises are a little rigid. It’s not a big deal, but it’s noticeable. The biggest weakness is the limited maximum weight. I weigh 160 pounds, so I can’t even use the gym to work with my weight.

This is perfectly fine for me and others who just want general strengthening, but serious professionals will find the MWM-900 lacking.

Pros
  • Weight resistance up to 150 pounds
  • Safety lock prevents weight-related accidents
  • 30 strengthening exercises make it ideal for building muscle
Cons
  • Maximum weight is too limited for some people

Total Gym XLS

Total Gym XLS

Features

  • Various exercises
  • Weight capacity: 400 pounds
  • 19 x 90 x 43 inches

The Total Gym XLS is a larger, better and more expensive version of the Total Gym 1900. Like that last one, it is a glide gym. Rather than focusing on extensive and intensive strengthening exercises, the Total Gym XLS provides a more well-rounded berth of exercises suitable for the whole family.

The gym includes a variety of tools, such as a leg pull accessory, wing attachments and a sophisticated cable-pulley system. Also, it comes with a variety of tools to help get you and your family on a healthy track, such as exercise and diet guides, five workout DVDs and an exercise chart documenting all 80+ possible exercises.

With a maximum weight of 400 pounds, the Total Gym can accommodate most anybody. IT’s the biggest shortcoming is its warranty. Although the frame is protected by a lifetime warranty, all other parts have a mere six-month warranty, which seems rather underwhelming, considering this costs well over $800.

If you can get past the warranty, however, you will find an excellent home gym for the entire family.

Pros
  • Adjustable incline allows you to increase resistance
  • Over 80 possible exercises
  • Folds down for easy storage
Cons
  • Warranty could be better

Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym Series

Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym Series

Features

  • Various exercises
  • Weight capacity: 400 pounds
  • 103 x 80 x 82 inches

Although the Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym is similar in price to the Total Gym 1900, it offers a completely different exercise experience. Where the Total Gym was focused on providing a large number of exercises, the main focus of the Bowflex PR1000 is strengthening.

To that end, the PR1000 offers over 30 different strengthening exercises, including an advanced pulley system, a rowing machine rail for a full-body workout and a horizontal bench press. You can work with as little as five pounds of resistance or as much as 210 pounds.

That makes the PR1000 suitable both for beginners and for serious athletes. Although the 210-pound weight limit might be too low for some die-hard athletes, it provides plenty of room to grow for most people.

The biggest downside of the PR1000 is that, unlike some Bowflex home gym systems, you can’t upgrade the maximum weight limit. That wasn’t a problem for me, but I’m not a serious fitness expert. The warranty is good for one year, which isn’t terrible but could be better.

Finally, there’s no way to fold the Bowflex, and it does take up quite a bit of room. When it’s all said and done, however, this is still an excellent home gym, and it costs less than $450.

Pros
  • Weight resistance from up to 210 pounds
  • Includes rowing machine rail
  • 30 strengthening exercises make it ideal for building muscle
Cons
  • Maximum weight is too limited for some people

Best Home Gyms Under $2000

Icon Fitness Weider PRO 8500 Smith Cage

Icon Fitness Weider PRO 8500 Smith Cage

Features

  • Various exercises
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds
  • 84.7 x 10.4 x 30.3 inches

The Weider PRO 8500 Smith Cage from Icon Fitness is in the higher price range but it offers a myriad of various workout options. It is a weight cage, meaning it will give you more stability when exercising. 

The PRO 8500 Smith Cage has multi-function pulleys, a 6-part leg developer, and a 4-post squat rack. It has a pull-up, a pull-down, and a multi-grip system, as well as an adjustable bench for chest, curls, and leg extensions. Moreover, there’s an attached bar with squat rack that allows you to squat on multiple levels.

Since this one is a more expensive model, it’s only fair to have some kind of warranty. The PRO 8500 comes with a 90-day labor and parts warranty, which ensures your new gym is safe from possible breakages.

Pros
  • Smooth pulley system
  • Adjustable bench
Cons
  • The latching of the smith machine is poorly made

Best Home Gyms Under $3000

Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Home Gym

Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Home Gym

Features

  • Various exercises
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds
  • 53 x 49 x 84 inches

The Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Home Gym is an insanely intense workout machine, packed with so many features that it’s almost overwhelming. The 2SE ably demonstrates why Bowflex machines are at the top of the game.

One of the biggest difference between the 2SE and the PR1000 I reviewed earlier is the weight. The PR1000 could only offer 210 pounds of resistance, and there was no way to improve it.

The Bowflex Xtreme lets you upgrade the resistance to 310 or 410 pounds, providing a lot more room to grow and improve your workouts. It offers over 70 different exercises and is packed with additional features that let you approach strengthening from a variety of different angles.

The power rods have a lifetime warranty, but the frame has just a one-year warranty, with only 60 days on parts. While there’s no question that the Xtreme 2SE is a much more sophisticated gym than the EXM1500S, this helps to highlight just how excellent the warranty is on the latter gym.

Pros
  • Weight resistance up to 160 pounds
  • Offers 2200 pounds of resistance
  • Over 40 strengthening exercises make it ideal for building muscle
Cons
  • Very large and heavy

Marcy Smith Cage Machine Home Gym

Marcy Smith Cage Machine Home Gym

Features

  • Various exercises
  • Weight capacity: 600 pounds
  • 68.25 x 26 x 45.5 inches

The Smith Cage Machine Home Gym from Marcy is another gym that has a heavy structure and features different exercises that help you to tone and strengthen your muscles. It is a Smith machine with a pull-up bar, a leg developer, and cable crossovers.

The crossover workouts and the pullup bars let you strengthen your upper body, while the leg developer makes your legs stronger. The Smith cage also features a removable utility bench with padded seats that can be adjusted to fit your workout routine.  

The 14-gauge square steel tubing makes a durable cage that will help you lose weight and keep you healthy for years to come. I didn’t find any information regarding the warranty for this particular model, which is kind of strange considering the price range, but it is best to contact the manufacturer before purchasing.

Pros
  • Sturdy
  • Adjustable bench
Cons
  • Takes time to set up
  • Poorly made pulley system

Best Home Gyms Under $4000

Body-Solid Fusion 500 Gym

Body-Solid Fusion 500 Gym

Features

  • Various exercises
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds
  • 107 x 74 x 83 inches

The Body-Solid Fusion 500 offers over 60 intense, muscle-building workouts in an intense, modern piece of equipment that is designed to strengthen your whole body.

The Fusion 500 has a variety of built-in tools, including a chest press, incline press, decline press, lat pull-down, leg extension, bicep curl, triceps extension, mid row, cable row, shrugs and a shoulder press. It comes with either a 210- or 310-pound stack so that you can push yourself extremely hard.

Like the EXM1500S, the Fusion 500 is protected by a lifetime warranty, so you can be sure your hard-earned money isn’t going to waste.

This gym may not be as fancy as the BowFlex, but in a lot of ways, it is more streamlined. As far as a warranty is concerned, Body-Solid blows BowFlex out of the water. The Xtreme 2SE offers a more comprehensive workout and is probably the better gym, but I’m not convinced the Fuson 500 isn’t the better value.

Pros
  • Weight resistance up to 160 pounds
  • Over 40 strengthening exercises make it ideal for building muscle
  • Completely covered by lifetime warranty
Cons
  • None

Conclusion

It’s time to say goodbye to expensive gym memberships. Working out from the comfort and safety of your home has never been more affordable or practical. Whether your budget is $500 or $3000, it is possible to find a home gym to meet your exercise and strengthening needs.

*All prices mentioned above are at the time of publishing.

Lea Kuscer Avatar
Written by
Lea Kuscer
Lea Kuscer is a marketing maniac enthusiastic about testing new products and gadgets. Her new mission is to share her passion with those who want to know which product is the best on the market.