There’s no doubt that a gym has many plus points but it’s generally more cost-effective, efficient and saves times if you can work out at home instead.
Most people today are so busy, though, that heading to the gym can often take a back seat. With monthly memberships, it can also be expensive.
It’s becoming more and more popular now to bring the gym into the home.
Today, we’ll look at some of the best home gym reviews but before that we will break down a few basics about what to do if you want to spend your money wisely and get the right equipment for the job.
It’s those complete home gyms that we will focus on today. If you want individual pieces of equipment, browse through our selection of the best fitness gear here.
Why Use A Home Gym?
Time and convenience are two of the driving factors for most people who want to purchase a home gym…
When you consider the time it takes you to get there and back, a quick workout is often not so quick.
You’ll also be restricted to the opening hours whereas with a multigym at home you can train whenever you want.
Cost is also something to take into account. Sure, buying a home gym is not cheap but your expenditure pretty much stops there. You have fitness equipment that should last you for many years. Monthly gym membership, by contrast, is an ongoing expense that can eat into your budget.
If you want a full-body workout in the comfort of your own house, buying the best home gym could be the wisest decision you ever made.
Benefits of the Best Home Gym
After a long day at the office, finding the time to hustle down to the gym can be a tall order.
Without the right equipment at home, maintaining the discipline to work out consistently can be tough.
A home gym is the simple solution. If you have the right environment and equipment at home, keeping up an exercise program becomes easier.
Although a commercial gym has many advantages, those don’t come cheap.
Think about how many facilities there are that you pay for with your membership but don’t make use of.
If you look at the price of your gym subscription over the course of a couple of years, you’ll probably be surprised to see how much it mounts up to.
Think about spending that money instead on your own equipment.
Most people lead such busy lives that sometimes they can only make a thirty minute or one hour window to exercise. This makes a mission to the gym impractical.
If you only need to head down to the basement and hit your home gym, though, you can make valuable use of that limited time.
Several Machines Combined
In a commercial gym, most machines are restricted to offering just a single exercise.
Many multi-station home multigyms offer far more flexibility.
Think about the way in which you like to train and weigh up the advantages of having multiple machines combined in one handy unit.
For a balanced physique, you’ll need to target both upper and lower body.
Most worthwhile home gyms allow you to move with resistance through the 3 planes of motion:
- Frontal Plane: Sideways Movement
- Transverse Plane: Rotational Movements
- Sagittal Plane: Up and Down Movements
Go for a full-body regime and watch your gains soar.
Resistance and Cardio Together
Some machines will permit resistance training in tandem with cardio.
A combination trainer is certainly not for everyone and it does come with some drawbacks – no console and awkward to optimize your movement – but if this is something that appeals to you, look for equipment that makes this combination training possible.
Freedom and Privacy
Last but not least is the privacy working out at home affords you.
Work out when you want, wear what you want and access the equipment at all times with no need to wait for others to finish their set.
Investing in a home gym really does provide privacy and freedom unavailable if you are forced to attend a commercial gym.
What To Look For…
We will look now at some general pointers when it comes to picking up the best multigym.
You will ideally want something that allows you to enjoy both upper-body and lower-body workouts. Design is critical and also the backup you get in the event of anything going wrong.
Home Gym Design
Obviously, if you plan to install a home gym, it’s essential that you think carefully about where in your house you will put it.
These machines are by definition very heavy and, once erected, they’ll be staying in place. Think about the height and length of the home gym and the dimensions of the room it will go in.
It’s also a wise move to take into account the space you will need when using the equipment.
Don’t overlook the sizing and design or you could end up making a very expensive mistake!
Most home gyms cater for full-body workouts. This is what most users will be looking for.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution so pay close attention to exactly what you need from your gym so you get the right one.
Resistance is also something to ponder. The bulk of home gyms use weights for resistance. Some take advantage of your own bodyweight to accomplish this. Bowflex are slightly different. They harness power rods that will bend and increase the resistance.
How about your own capabilities? Most home gyms have a weight stack which cannot be upgraded. Make certain that this will allow you enough room to improve and progress without outgrowing your equipment.
A final element to take note of is your own weight. This should not be an issue since the majority of home gyms can handle anything up to 300 pounds!
What you get for your money varies wildly from one home gym to the next.
Some will offer little more than a basic frame and stack of weights. Others come with all sorts of peripheral goodies like pulley stations, ab harnesses, row bars and even training DVDs.
In short, make sure you check carefully what’s included. Neglect this and you could find yourself needing to buy all sorts of add-ons.
Help and Support
Whenever you are buying something expensive which has lots of moving parts and possible things to go wrong, a solid warranty is a must.
Any worthwhile gym will offer extended coverage.
It also pays to think about what kind of support is available if something does go wrong. Is it simple to reach the company by email, live chat or phone? Don’t underestimate the importance of good aftercare.
Now you have a good idea about what to look out for in the best home gym, we will look now at 5 home gym reviews so your buying decision will be even easier.
Top 5 Best Home Gym Reviews
First up is the PR1000 from the mighty Bowflex.
You’ll be able to go through more than 30 different exercises for both your upper and lower body.
The patented Power Rod resistance system allows you to group together rods to alter the resistance. This can be tweaked anywhere from 5 - 210 pounds.
The PR1000 is good for all users up to 300 pounds in weight. The equipment is durable and will last for years.
Handgrips work well for bench presses and lat pull-downs while upholstered roller cushions let you work out your legs just as easily.
Imagination is your only limitation with this superb home gym. For less than the cost of an annual gym membership, install the PR1000 at home and work out for years to come!
- Very easy to assemble
- Quite cheap compared to similar machines
- Great range of exercises for total versatility
- Folds together nicely
- Built to last
- Can combine with attachments like rope and bar
- Not many attachments provided
- Cannot upgrade resistance
Next up is a much cheaper and more stripped-down home gym from Weider, the Ultimate Body Works.
With over 100 exercises at your disposal, you need never get bored working out again.
You can target all the major muscle groups and really punish your core with the Weider.
4 resistance bands allow you to make adjustments up to 50 pounds.
The frame is rugged and will endure for years.
With the cable and pulley system, you’ll experience a superb range of motion unavailable on some machines.
If you are in the market for a no-nonsense home gym that offers wonderful versatility, is easy to assemble and equally easy on the pocket, think seriously about the Ultimate Body Works from Weider. This compact and lightweight multigym will not disappoint.
- Very cheap and great value for money
- 4 resistance bands for demanding workouts
- Over 100 exercises so never get bored
- Base frame really stable
- Cable movement perfect for stretching
- Incline settings great for all fitness levels
- Varied exercises
- Work your core and obliques to the max
- Needs a bit more space than a standard weight bench
- Gliding mechanism quite noisy
- Folding away can be fiddly
Another Bowflex machine next, the much more expensive Evolution.
This range-topping home gym uses SpiraFlex resistance technology rather than the Power Rods used in the rest of the range. This is good for resistance up to 2200 pounds. You can even upgrade to 300 pounds if this is not enough!
The bench is supportive and comfortable allowing you to work out without straining yourself.
You need never run out of exercise ideas with the superb instructional DVD provided.
Although it’s not the smallest home gym, it’s designed to be as space-efficient as possible so it should fit in most areas you would want to install it in.
You can hit your legs and arms, back and abs, chest and shoulders along with the core for a true complete body workout.
If your budget will stretch to it and you want a first-rate home multigym from a company with 25 years of experience in the field, look no further than the Bowflex Revolution. This takes home gyms to the next level.
- Light weight plates for easy transportation
- Great DVD for exercise ideas
- Very smooth range of motion
- 10 years of warranty and support
- Easy to use
- Over 100 exercises so you can keep changing up your workout
- Extremely expensive
- Tiresome to assemble
- Weight cannot be adjusted in small increments
If you want to work out a great selection of muscles but are faced with limited space at home, the EXM 1500S from Body Solid should be on your shortlist.
The design of this home gym means it will fit quite well in even relatively small spaces.
You can adjust the 160-pound weight stack in increments of 10 pounds. With a lat bar and low row bar along with a utility strap, you can enjoy a nice variety of exercises using this compact home gym.
Although you have just this single stack with pulley points and pressing arms, you can still get a full range of motion from the EXM 1500S. This means you can give all muscle groups a great workout all without needing to leave the comfort of your home.
Whether you want to pack on some size or tone up, this multigym is surprisingly flexible.
Although the basic package is stripped down, with Body Solid you can also purchase a number of great attachments. Adding a multi-purpose bar, ab crunch harness and lat pro bar, you can expand your workouts like a dream.
For anyone looking for the best home gym, the Body Solid EXM 1500S is a strong contender.
- Space-saving so great for confined areas
- Smooth range of motion
- Great variety of exercises available
- Superb customer service so buy with confidence
- Extremely stable even with full stack of weights
- Fantastic build quality
- Cannot expand 160 pound stack of weights
- Instructions could be easier to understand
Our final home gym is the Elite Smith Cage from Marcy Diamond.
This multigym takes up a fair amount of space so make sure that you have enough room to accommodate it before investing.
Alongside the smith system, you’ll also benefit from a pec dec station, squat rack for free weights, cable crossovers, cable pulley system and even some free weights. This represents better value for money than the majority of home gyms.
The world really is your oyster with this multigym and you can undertake pretty much any major compound exercise.
For a smooth and varied full-body workout, you can really punish yourself on the Marcy Diamond even if you are an advanced athlete.
For a home gym that’s rock solid, offers you enormous choice when it comes to training and is also reasonably priced, think seriously about investigating the Elite Smith Cage (MD9010G).
- Frame is sturdy and stable even with heavy weights
- Cables and bearings have very smooth action
- Weight plates can be stored away easily
- Padded upholstery so you can work out in comfort
- Great choice of exercises with free weights, cables and smith machine
- High weight capacity
- Poor instructions for assembly
- Assembly takes several hours
We trust that you’ve found this look at the best home gyms and the home gym reviews to be useful and informative.
Please drop us a line if there’s anything you need clarifying or you have any feedback. We are always delighted to hear from our readers.
Now go and bring the gym home and happy training!