The gym can be an intimidating place, with muscle-bound men pounding the free-weights and lean and toned ladies who look like they don't even need to workout. As a result, home workouts have become an increasingly popular way of improving fitness and physical health without the need to ever step foot in a gym.
However, finding the right piece of home-gym equipment that fits your needs and budget can be a daunting process. This is where this article can help. In our Home Gym Reviews, we look at the very best home gym equipment available on the market and reveal our findings to you.
(H x W x D)
|Powerline BSG10X Home Gym|
|160 lbs||80 x 42 x 70 inches||10-Year Frame|
1-Year Other Parts
|Body-Solid Best Fitness Sportsmans Gym||150 lbs||78 x 47 x 64 inches||Lifetime||3.8 /5|
|Body-Solid StrengthTech EXM2500S||210 lbs||83 x 51 x 83 inches||Lifetime||4.4 /5|
|Bowflex Blaze Home Gym||210 lbs||83 x 90 x 38 inches||Manufacturer's||4.4 /5|
|Bowflex PR3000 Home Gym||210 lbs||100 x ?? x 78 inches||Manufacturer's||4.2 /5|
|Total Trainer 4000-XL||97 lbs||48 x 20 x 94 inches||1-Year Parts||4.0 /5|
|Total Trainer DLX-III||102 lbs||48 x 20 x 94 inches||1-Year Parts||4.4 /5|
1. Best Fitness BFMG20 Sportsmans Gym
For those who have a limited budget and limited space for working out at home, the Best Fitness BFMG20 Sportsmans Gym may well be the best option to consider. This multi-function gym doesn’t cost much, and it is fitted with many of the features that a powerful, well-built home gym would come with.
- Low 79″ height accommodates homes with low ceilings
- Pressing arms designed to mimic the natural arc of a free weight bench
- Engineered to allow both press arm and pec fly exercises on the same unit
- High pulley with wide grip lateral bar and low pulley with narrow grip low row bar
- Warranty: 3-year limited manufacturer’s warranty
Less Space, More Exercise
The first thing you will notice about this machine is that it is considerably smaller than many of the other home gyms available on the market today. Its overall measurements are 47 x 78 x 64 inches. The compact architecture of the Best Fitness Sportsmans Gym provides you with the ability to perform all exercises in a smooth, satisfying way, without having to clear up all the space around the device.
The addition of upper and lower body pulleys, for instance, allows you to benefit from literally dozens of challenging full-body workouts, reaching some remarkable results without having to use up too much space in the process.
The gym comes with a weight stack of 150 pounds while its total weight capacity can reach about 263 pounds.
Aircraft Quality Cables
The aircraft-quality, nylon-coated cables have been thoroughly tested, and it was established that they can withstand weights of up to 2200 pounds.
- Measurements: 47 x 78 x 64 (WxHxL)
- Total Weight: 263 lb
- Weight stack: 150 lb
Based on what we have seen here, and according to most of the reviews and testimonials that can be found about the product, this unit is not necessarily the best solution for those who truly want to get serious about body building; however, it is a compact, inexpensive machine that will not let you down.
Even some of the most severe reviewers have admitted that, despite not being as resistant as some of the most heavy-duty machines and despite the potential difficulties brought by the assembly process, the Best Fitness BFMG20 Sportsmans Gym meets most of the needs and expectations that people would have when buying a home gym.
2. Body-Solid StrengthTech EXM2500S
The Body-Solid StrengthTech EXM2500S Home Gym is considered by many to be a remarkable feat of engineering. Its solid design and numerous exercise options will make you feel like you can easily benefit from the smoothness of a commercial gym in your very own home.
Let’s take a look at the details and specifications that make this home gym such a remarkable asset when it comes to performing a large variety of workout routines.
- No cable changes
- 210 lbs of cast iron resistance
- Heavy-duty steel main frame
- DuraFirm pads
- Pec station, press arm, leg developer, high, mid and low pulleys
- Warranty: lifetime warranty on everything
Its main frame construction involves the use of solid, heavy duty 2 x 4-inch steel that provides great resistance, durability, and strength.
No Cable Change Design
The Body-Solid StrengthTech EXM2500S Home Gym comes with a no cable change design, involving the use of tough, steel aircraft cables that promote durability and low maintenance while having staggering tension strength of over 2,000 lb.
With 210 pounds of cast iron resistance, the machine allows you to perform the most difficult and demanding body building routines without having to worry about the resistance or long-term durability of the parts.
Its most important features include a full-size workout poster, straight bar, lat bar, a leg developer, high, mid and low pulleys, as well as a sturdy utility strap.
A Complete Workout Solution
While some may consider that, despite its versatility, the Body-Solid StrengthTech EXM2500S Home Gym, is still unable to replace some of the exercises that you would normally perform in a professional gym, the wide variety of options it provides can help you have a full workout in the least amount of time.
Also, in case you have some health concerns, such as lower back issues, the machine can offer you all the comfort you need, while helping you relax your muscles. By attaching your ankle to the ab crunch pulley, for example, you can effectively work on your leg, hip and lower back muscles with the least amount of tension.
- Frame: 2″ x 4″ 12 gauge high tensile strength steel frame
- Measurements (without leg press): 83″ H x 51″ W x 83″ D
- Alloy steel weight stack: 210 Lb.
- Tension Strength: 2200 Lb
Once you get past the assembly issues, you will find that this comprehensive machine has a lot to offer. Available at a decent price, the Body-Solid StrengthTech EXM2500S can provide you with some quality workouts that will help you tone almost every area of your body quite beautifully.
3. Bowflex Blaze Home Gym
Getting in good shape is important for your health, energy levels and appearance. As more people realize these exercise benefits, many of them are turning to home gyms to get the workouts they need to look and feel great.
One of the most popular and interesting home gyms on the market today is the Bowflex Blaze.As you probably know, Bowflex has turned the fitness industry on its head with their unique exercise equipment, and the Bowflex Blaze is another unique offering from these home gym pioneers.
As you probably know, Bowflex has turned the fitness industry on its head with their unique exercise equipment, and the Bowflex Blaze is another unique offering from these fitness pioneers.
- Performs 60 different resistance exercises
- Equipped with 210 pounds of resistance
- Easy to adjust pulleys and cables to customize your own workout
- 5-year warranty on the machine and lifetime warranty on the Power Rods
Assembling the Bowflex Blaze is very straightforward. The instructions are clear and detailed, explaining each step well. Assembly takes approximately 2 hours. The construction quality of the equipment is excellent, it’s clear that the Bowflex Blaze has been built to last.
Performs 60 different Resistance Exercises
With 60 different resistance exercises, the Bowflex Blaze provides you the ultimate resistance training to work out all areas of your body and build muscles. A book is supplied which details all of the exercises which you can perform, providing instruction on how to perform them most effectively.
The Bowflex Blaze makes it easy to get a thorough, intense resistance workout without lifting a single weight. That’s because the Bowflex Blaze uses the Bowflex patented Power Rod technology.
These innovative bands allow you to do virtually any exercise that you would do with weights, but without the clutter and potential injuries that are inherent with weight lifting. The Power Rods give you constant resistance throughout the entire range of motion, so you’ll be able to fully engage every muscle group for maximum results.
As you can see, the Bowflex Blaze is a top-notch gym that gives you the freedom to workout anytime you want – all from the comfort of your own home. With the Bowflex Blaze, you’ll be free from driving to the gym or having to work out only when the gym is open. That means you can schedule your workout around your life, and not vice versa.
If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck from some high-quality home gym equipment, you can’t go wrong with the Bowflex Blaze Home Gym.
4. Bowflex PR3000 Home Gym
For years, the only way to develop strong, defined muscles was to use heavy free weights. That’s all changed in recent years, like the Bowflex PR3000. Bowflex has literally transformed the fitness industry in recent decades with their Power Rod technology.
These rods give you constant resistance throughout the entire range of motion, so your muscles work harder during every workout. And that means the results come faster than you ever thought possible.
One look at the Bowflex PR3000 Home Gym is all it takes to realize why this is one of the most popular gyms available. If you’ve been thinking about getting a Bowflex, but weren’t sure which one was right for you; this is the model to go with.
- Allows you to easily change exercises without complicated cable changes or pesky weight plates
- Exercises can use as little as 5 pounds of resistance or as much as 210 pounds of resistance
- You can do over 50 of the most effective strength training exercises
- Allows you to do comfortable leg exercises with the upholstered roller cushions
- Users up to 300 pounds in weight can use this gym
- Minimum workout area needed is 100 by 78 inches
One of the real hassles of using other home workout stations is the time it takes to switch from one exercise to another. With the PR3000, switching exercises literally takes only seconds. That means you don’t have to slow down, or lose momentum when you use the Bowflex PR3000 Home Gym.
You’ll easily move from one exercise or body part to another. That way, your workouts will be quicker to do and your heart rate will stay elevated for maximum fat burning.
If you’re finally ready to get it in gear and get into the best shape of your life, the Bowflex PR3000 Home Gym is your best bet for a home fitness solution.
5. Powerline BSG10X Home Gym
Powerline equipment has been known for years as some of the best home workout equipment available. One of their latest releases, the Powerline BSG10X Home Gym, is building on the Powerline reputation for delivering cutting-edge fitness results from home.
That’s because Powerline equipment is built around the basic principles of resistance exercise. You won’t see any fancy bands or bells and whistles on this gym, but you will be able to do the most effective weight training exercises in the comfort of your own home.
- Perform over 30 exercises without changing any cables to do them
- Space-saving, compact size
- Easy to access from the front for all of your resistance exercises
- 10-year warranty on the frame and 1-year warranty on all of the other parts
Easy to Use
The Powerline BSG10X is more of a traditional gym, in that it uses actual weight plates to provide resistance during exercises. The compact, easy to use design, though, is very modern and makes this it much easier to store in the average sized home without taking up too much floor space. When deciding where to put your equiment, you should ensure that you have at least 8 ft clearance.
A Space Saving Option
One of the factors that make a piece of exercise equipment a true home gym is how much space it takes up. There are some fantastic workout machines available, but unless you’ve got tons of space (and money) you probably won’t be able to squeeze one into your home.
That’s why the Powerline BSG10X is so popular with at-home exercisers. This gym fits neatly in any spare room or corner without taking up too much space. What’s even more remarkable is that you can still do over 30 different muscle-building, fat burning exercises on this compact, little home gym.
That’s why the BSG10X gym is so popular with at-home exercisers, as it fits neatly in any spare room or corner without taking up too much space. What’s even more remarkable is that you can still do over 30 different muscle-building, fat burning exercises on this compact, little gym.
The Powerline BSG10X is an excellent quality mid-range gym. The frame is backed by a 10-year warranty, which is very reassuring. All the other parts are backed by a 1-year warranty.
If you want to pump some serious iron without taking up too much space with clunky equipment, you owe it to yourself to get the Powerline BSG10X Home Gymnasium as your workout solution.
6. Total Trainer 4000-XL
To stay in top shape, or get into better shape, you’ve got to have the right equipment. That explains why so many people are picking up the Total Trainer 4000-XL Home Gym as their preferred method of working out at home.
Home gyms are popping up all over the place these days, but few of them can match the Total Trainer 4000-XL in terms of convenience, ease of use and affordability. And since it’s built with a compact design, this option won’t take up too much space in your home. That means you’ll be able to easily store it away when you aren’t working out.
- The patented design allows you to lift from 4% to 695 of your body-weight
- Comes with a sit-up cuff strap, pull-up bar, push-up bar and a bar to add weights, if you need the added resistance
- Comes with four program cards, instruction manual and a strength training DVD
- Folds up and rolls away for storage when not being used
- 1-year warranty on parts and lifetime warranty on the rope, roller and pulley system
The Total Trainer 4000-XL uses the latest in fitness technology to give you a hardcore workout. It’s built to use the leverage of the machine, in conjunction with your body-weight to get an intense, muscle-building workout. And since you don’t need weights to use this home-gym, you never have to worry about buying extra fitness equipment. You’ll have everything you need in one, a compact that’s built for repeated use for years to come.
People who have used similar gyms have had a lot of good things to say about the addition of the power bar for extra weights on the Total Trainer 4000-XL. In fact, we read quite a few consumer reviews and several of them mentioned the extra bar and how much they enjoy using it during their workouts.
If you need a piece of equipment that’s not intrusive to your home’s space, the Total Trainer 4000-XL Home Gym is a gym you need to consider for your home fitness solution.
7. Total Trainer DLX-III
If you think you have to spend endless hours in the gym to get stronger, leaner and more defined, you may be surprised when you find out about the Total Trainer DLX-III Home Gym. This gym is getting a lot of buzz from home workout enthusiasts from coast to coast.
That’s because the Total Trainer DLX-III doesn’t use a single weight plate or power band, but it still gives you one of the most effective fat-burning, muscle-pumping workouts available.
- Constructed from attractive chrome for durability and good looks
- Cushion is made from comfortable, black leather for your comfort during workouts
- Comes with dual leg cuffs and an extra large squat board
- Bicep Power Flex for big, rippling arm muscles
- Comes with a free strength training DVD
- Built to be tough and dependable with a patented ball bearing system
The patented ball bearing system of the Total Trainer DLX-III Gym allows you to have smooth resistance for every exercise. There’s nothing worse than having a workout experience that’s jerky and unsure. You’ll never have to worry about stability or jerky exercises when using this equipment, as every exercise is smooth as silk and the platform is secure as can be.
If you’ve read any Total Trainer DLX-III Home Gym reviews, you have probably read a few lines about the gravity-based resistance model. This innovative approach to resistance training totally eliminates dangerous free weights. The sliding platform holds your body and allows you to engage your body weight against the forces of gravity to get a high-powered workout every time. And since you’re not locked into using a predetermined range of motion, every exercise you do will be perfect for your own, unique range of motion.
The Total Trainer DLX-III is incredibly good value for its price and has impressed amongst the wide selection of home gym equipment options with its durability and variety of exercises.
If you need a compact, high-performance piece of exercise equipment, you’ll do your fitness levels a huge favor by investing in this product for your at-home gym solution.
Best Home Gym F.A.Q
1) Workout Examples
Did you know there are over 500 different workouts you can do with a home gym? Many of them depend on what sort of equipment you have. Even if you don't have any at all you can use your own bodyweight to workout and create resistance.
Building your own home gym depends a lot on what sort of exercises you want to focus on and whether you want to use manual equipment or machines which may be much more expensive. Dumbbells or barbells are the ideal home gym equipment because you can do rows, curls, raises, squats, and presses.
Changing your grip or twisting the grip that you're holding the bell with can also change the difficulty and type of exercise as well as change which muscle group you're working out. For example you can do a simple bent over fly with your shoulders forwards to work your biceps or with them back to work the muscles of your upper back.
You could also then do rows to work your shoulders before changing to tricep kickbacks. All of these work different muscle groups but require nothing more than barbells and correct form. With correct form you don't even need a lot of resistance.
With bar bells you can do squats, snatches, floor presses, t-bar rows, and shrugs too. A bench will give you somewhere to sit and create an incline or decline for you to amp up how hard your workout is. For most people they will get the work bench for their home gym with the barbells or second.
A bench can also be used instead of a chair for things like Glute bridges, chair dips and an external rotation. You could even do your curls seated.
A bench is however, an ideal tool for using with a barbell to do a bench press, and many other presses. After you have these staples many people choose to add kettle bells or exercise balls. Balance balls are ideal for core strength build up and for adding an extra muscle group into many other exercises. For example, you could stand on the ball while doing your curls to engage your core and legs at the same time. For a kettle bell you can do many of the same exercises as with dumbbells but you can add swings, a kettlebell crucifix, floor pullovers, and others.
2) How many times to exercise per week
Most experts suggest that you should workout at least 3-5 times per week of which you should alternate between cardio and weight or resistance exercises. Unless you work in the fitness industry most of us have only a limited amount of time so working out everyday isn't an option.
It's been shown that as little as 5-15 minutes of exercise can have a positive effect on your health. You should be working out a minimum of one hour a week if you're already active and as many as 6 days a week if you feel you need it.
There's no set number, but what is set is that you need at least one rest day a week. Your body needs time off to rest and recover or you risk burning yourself out and injury. Your muscles are torn and damaged with exercise so using them again and again will stop them repairing themselves and growing stronger. Most experts and workout routines use a combination or strength and cardio.
For those building strength they should aim for 3 days a week of strength training and only two of cardio. While those looking to build endurance or burn more calories should aim for three days of cardio and only two of strength training.
This also helps your routine stop getting boring and you can also swap those numbers each week. Even if you can't plan a 30-60minute work out 5 days a week if you can break that number down into smaller workouts (three 10 minute workouts per day) will be just as effective and will still get you moving.
3) What to look for in a home gym
Home gyms are very varied so it can be difficult to narrow down which will work for you unless you're sure of the workouts you want to do.
The most important thing to look for is versatility and adjustability. For example, you want something that gives you the full range of strength exercises so that all your main muscle groups are covered, but there are also some gyms which can convert to rowing machines (an ideal cardio workout). If the equipment is adjustable can you also adjust it easily?
You don't want to have to disassemble something that took hours to put together in the middle of your workout if you change exercises so choose something that isn't hard to switch if you do. Similarly, if you want something flexible can you get add-ons or take some away?
A detachable bench, for example, will allow you to have a lot more flexibility in your bench exercises and having extra “stations” that attach to your gym will allow you a more varied workout. If you're not going to be the only one using the equipment is it suitable for everybody?
Some weight racks only have a set height and not all barbells are adjustable. Being suitable for different users means that the whole family can get involved.
Many pieces of exercise equipment that are not adjustable are set-up for tell men and this can be a problem for women. Above all when choosing a gym look for one that has a good warranty. There's a huge range of exercise equipment out there so you don't want to spend a fortune only to find out that it's not durable enough.
Since home gyms come with moving parts or adjustable areas these can break under stress or because you weren't using it right and if you can't replace or return it you've just bought a very expensive garage decoration.
4) Advantages of using a home gym
For many people working out in public is embarrassing or off putting. You don't want to be seen grunting and sweating or you don't want to feel that everyone is doing better than you. Public gyms can be intimidating which is why working out at home is preferable for many people.
There's also the fact that since it's your equipment you don't have to worry about anyone else using it and you know it's clean and well taken care of. There's no waiting since you're the one using it and no need for that awful small talk while you're changing machines.
You can always invite someone over if you want but you'll never have to experience that “new years resolution” wait again.
One of the biggest attractions to home gyms is the option to lift how you want and when you want. Public gyms like “Planet Fitness” have strict rules about how you can lift, how much you can lift, and essential exercises that are needed for strength building while being given a bunch of rather arbitrary cardio machines.
You can easily out grow a public gym at which point you need your own equipment that you can use to do the exercise you want, and who cares if you groan while you're doing it since there's no one there! It's also the utmost convenience since the gym is always open when you're home.
You don't have to drive and you don't even have to worry about the germs in the shower (unless your shower is that bad). Even if you're busy you can use the 15 minutes it would have taken you to drive to the gym to work out since you only have to walk into another room.
It's also ideal if you're using pre-workout products as you can time them perfectly to kick in without worrying about traffic or delays.
5) Disadvantages of using a home gym
On a short term basis home gyms can be very expensive to set up. You'll not only want the equipment but you'll need to protect your floors with mats, have storage space, and you'll need the extra space to start with if you want somewhere to put it.
Many pieces of equipment are heavy so you can't just pop them in a spare bedroom of they may fall through the floor, potentially hurting someone and damaging your house.
Many commercial gyms have literally hundreds of pieces of equipment and unless you're planning on spending a lot of money it's unlikely you'll be able to buy the same amount right off.
Good exercise equipment isn't cheap, especially if you want the same sturdy commercial grade – some spinning bikes alone are almost $3000 or more! Safety is also very important when it comes to setting up a gym and working out can be dangerous.
It's easy to get hurt at the gym but being around others and knowing there's staff on hand does give you a level of safety.
For example, if you're doing a bench press you'll easily be able to find a spotter, while if you're home there's a good chance there's neither a spotter nor someone who can physically lift that barbell off of you if something happens. This is probably the biggest disadvantage since it could literally kill you