Home gyms are awesome pieces of equipment no doubt. Having one in your home will help motivate you to work out, they mean having the option to not go to a gym that might be a little smelly and is probably overpriced, plus they look good in your home too. Pieces of workout equipment like a solid home gym for weight lifting are great investments because all it takes is one tool to train your whole body. That being said, finding a good home workout machine can be really hard. For this reason we are here today, to do home gym reviews of all sorts. We have an extensive list of entry level, mid range, and high end home gyms for you to check out. We also have a whole bunch of home gym advice to give as well. Let’s not waste any more time and get on with finding out what the best home gym is!
The Best Home Gyms By Price Range & Budget
We are going to be doing a whole lot of home gym reviews. These are going to be divided up into three sections. We’ve reviewed entry level home gyms which can cost anywhere from $100 to $500, mid range options coming in between $500 and $1,000, and high end full body workout machines costing anywhere from $1,000 and up.
Best Entry Level Home Gyms (Budget $150 – $500)
Best Mid Range Home Gyms (Budget $500 – $1000)
Best High End Home Gyms (Budget $1000 – $4,000+)
Our Top Full Body Workout Machine For Home Picks
So, we have a great many different home weight machines reviewed, each of which is great in its own way. However, when it comes down to it, we have a list of the top 5 home workout machines right here. They are top of the line pieces of equipment, each which stands out in a different way. So, what are the 5 best full body workout machines out there?
#1 - Inspire Fitness FT2 Functional Trainer - Top Rated Home Gym
The Inspire Fitness FT2 Functional Trainer is our top number one pick for all of the home gyms that we have reviewed. It is the top pick in our eyes by far, and there is a good reason for that. What most people love about the Inspire Fitness FT2 Functional Trainer is that it is a combination of a regular weight stack home gym with a Smith cage. You get a Smith bar that is guided by rails, has safety stops, and catchers too. It is a really safe way of using a Smith machine. Other than that, the Inspire Fitness FT2 Functional Trainer also comes with various functions such as dual low, mid, and high pulleys, a leg extensions station, an adjustable bench, a high cross over station, and more.
When it comes to a comprehensive full body workout, the Inspire Fitness FT2 Functional Trainer is definitely one of the very top options you could get. Moreover, this all in one workout machine allows for up to 400 pounds of resistance in the form of dual independent weight stacks. Each weight stack is 150 pounds with the option to upgrade to 200 pounds. They work independently so you can use both together or just work out one side of your body. The really impressive part is that the Inspire Fitness FT2 Functional Trainer comes with a force multiplier which effectively doubles the amount of resistance you are faced with. In other words, the Inspire Fitness FT2 Functional Trainer can actually provide you with a full 800 pounds of resistance.
#2 - Body-Solid EXM3000LPS Light Commercial Gym - Best Multi User Home Gym
When it comes to high end home gyms, the Body-Solid EXM3000LPS Light Commercial Gym is definitely up there, which is why it is our number two choice. We have this one labeled as the best multi user home gym. What we mean by this is that the Body-Solid EXM3000LPS Light Commercial Gym allows 3 users to utilize it simultaneously. That is indeed extremely impressive. Just as impressive is that the Body-Solid EXM3000LPS Home Gym features dual 210-pound weight stacks. The fact that it comes with tons of exercise options is a big bonus no doubt.
The Body-Solid EXM3000LPS Light Commercial Gym comes with a perfect pec station, a multi-function press station, a leg press, a leg developer, an ab curl function, a low pulley for rowing, and a high lat bar too. In other words, you would be hard pressed to find a muscle group which the Body-Solid EXM3000LPS Light Commercial Gym does not account for. While the Body-Solid EXM3000LPS Home Gym is big and heavy, it does have a very high level of function. The Body-Solid EXM3000LPS Light Commercial Gym is a very durable home gym choice to go with, one that focuses on comfort and longevity. If you need an all in one workout machine that multiple people can use at once, with everybody getting full body strengthening benefits, this high end option is one you should keep in consideration.
#3 - Marcy Diamond Elite Smith Cage
This particular all in one home gym option is also a good high end model to keep in mind. Most of the high end home gyms we have here are weight stack models, but this is a free weight home gym. You will like the Marcy Diamond Elite Smith Cage because it is fairly inexpensive for what it comes with. Now, do keep in mind that you will need to buy the weight plates separately, but even then it remains quite affordable. On a side note, the Marcy Diamond Elite Smith Cage does have plenty of storage space for the Olympic weight plates which it is compatible with. The Marcy Diamond Elite Smith Cage is fairly big, heavy, and chunky, but it does have a whole lot of function.
This particular model comes with a guided Smith bar with great safety features. It also features a leg developer station, an adjustable bench, a foot plate with a low pulley for seated rows, high cross over pulleys, and a pectoral development station too. While you do have to buy the weights separately, the Marcy Diamond Elite Smith Cage has a great many different exercises for you to do. For the relatively low price that this model of high end home gym comes in at, you really can’t go wrong. This is in fact one of the only free weight home gyms in our entire list of home gym reviews, but there is a reason it is here and it is because it is an awesome piece of equipment.
#4 - Bowflex Blaze Home Gym - Best Home Gym For The Money
This is the first mid range home gym in our top 5 list, but it certainly deserves to be here. We have the Bowflex Blaze Home Gym rated as the best home gym for the money that you spend on it. This particular model won’t even cost you $1,000, yet it comes with a whole lot of function, plus it is very durable too. What many people really like about the Bowflex Blaze Home Gym is that it uses power rods to provide you with resistance. These power rods can provide you with up to 210 pounds of resistance, but that can be upgraded to 310 pounds or even 410 pounds for an extra cost. As you can see, the Bowflex Blaze Home Gym provides you with tons of resistance for a very reasonable price.
The reason people really like the resistance rods is because they can provide you with a great challenge, yet they are not very heavy, thus the Bowflex Blaze Home Gym is fairly lightweight. You will like the fact that this full body workout machine allows for over 60 different muscle strengthening exercises. You can work out literally every major muscle group in your body with this one comprehensive piece of workout equipment. Bowflex is known for its high level of quality and they definitely have not failed to deliver with the Blaze Home Gym. This item is strong, durable, and really comfortable too. For the low amount of money that you will spend on the Bowflex Blaze Home Gym, it is definitely one of the best options out there.
#5 - Marcy MWM-990 150 lb Stack Home Gym - Best Affordable Home Gym
The number five spot in our list of the top 5 home gyms is taken by the Marcy MWM-990 150 lb Stack Home Gym. This is the best affordable home gym that you can buy at this point in time. The Marcy MWM-990 150 lb Stack Home Gym comes in at under $500, yet it still manages to deliver quite a bit of quality and function. The Marcy MWM-990 comes with a 150-pound weight stack. Admittedly, that is not very much weight, but for the price that this item comes in at, it is actually pretty good. The Marcy MWM-990 150 lb Stack Home Gym is more than good enough for beginners and intermediate weight lifters.
There is also the fact that the Marcy MWM-990 150 lb Stack Home Gym comes with many different exercise options. It comes with a multi-function arm press and fly station, a multi-grip high pulley lat station, a multi-function leg developer, and a preacher curl pad too. While the Marcy MWM-990 150 lb Stack Home Gym is not the most comprehensive of all home workout machines, it is definitely worth the investment. You would be quite hard-pressed to find a better home gym for the very low price which the Marcy MWM-990 150 lb Stack Home Gym comes in at. For anyone who is just getting into weight lifting, this entry level model is a really good choice to consider.
Choosing The Right Home Gym For You
Choosing the right home gym is not always as easy as just checking a few of them out and making a purchase. There are a few different things that you need to take into account before you start purchasing a home gym.
Your Fitness Goals
One of the biggest considerations that you need to make before buying any home gym is what your own fitness goals are. This will go a fairly long way in deciding what type, size, and price of home gym that you end up getting.
For instance, if your fitness goals entail doing some simple strength training in order to increase muscle size, you will do fine with an entry level or mid-range home weight machine. If you are not too serious about weight lifting and don’t want to end up looking like Hulk Hogan, a cheaper or mid-range home gym option will probably suffice. For simple training, a good resistance rod or weight stack home gym will do you just fine.
However, if you plan on using your home gym every single day and your role model is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, you will probably want to invest in a more expensive high end model of home gym. If your fitness goals entail getting ripped and shredded, you will want a big workout machine, maybe one with weight stacks or free weight plates, which will allow you to add a whole lot of weight or resistance. The bigger your fitness goals are, the more exercise options and the more weight you will want your home gym to have.
Finally, if your goals are a little more well-rounded, in the sense that you want to mix in strength training with some cardio and even flexibility training, you might want some kind of glide board total gym option. If you are not just into strength training and want to work on your cardio and range of motion, you will want a home workout machine option that is not just all about weight lifting, such as resistance rod home gyms, weight stack gyms, or weight plate gym options. The best home gym option for cardio training is one with something like a glide board.
Another thing to keep in mind before making a purchase is your own experience level. If you are a beginner and are not in very good shape, a smaller and cheaper option will probably do you just fine. Of course, we want you to work out as much as you can, but if you are not going to be spending several hours per week on the machine in question, you don’t want to spend all that much money.
Also, if you are only used to lifting something like 50 pounds, there is no point in investing thousands of dollars on a machine that can let you lift 400 or 500 pounds because you won’t be able to anyway. On the other hand, if you already look like John Cena, a cheaper option with only 100 or 200 pounds of weight or resistance probably won’t suffice for you.
Something else that you need to consider before you buy any home gym is how much money you have to spend on it. It is unfortunate that your goals may be constrained by how much money you have to spend, but that is just how it is. Simply put, if you have under $500 to spend, you will want to go with an entry level model.
Entry level home gyms can still be great for weight training, with the glide board options also incorporating some cardio and flexibility training aspects. Keep in mind that a lower end weight stack home gym is not going to come with all that much weight, usually never over 150 pounds. If you don’t have all that much money to spend, an entry level home gym model can still provide you with a fairly comprehensive workout but is usually not ideal for very serious workout enthusiasts.
Now, if you have a little more money to spend, maybe something like $1,000, you can go for a good mid-range model. These will generally have more features and allow you to accomplish your goals more so than an entry level model. If you have a budget of up to $1,000 you can get yourself a good weight plate Smith cage, a decent weight stack home gym, a really good resistance rod home gym, or an excellent glide board model. The more expensive models are going to have more features, more exercise options, more resistance or weight, greater durability, but will also usually be larger and heavier as well.
If you have even more money to spend, such as up to $3,000, you can get yourself pretty much any home gym that you want. With that kind of cash, you can get yourself a top of the line free weight plate home gym, a very comprehensive weight stack gym, or a really nice resistance rod home gym option. While these are the most expensive options to go with, that are also the largest and heaviest, they will provide you with the most workout options and the highest amount of resistance or weight by far. Simply put, the bigger your goals are and the more you want your machine to do, the more money you will have to spend on it.
Size & Space
Another thing that you will want to consider before you make your final purchase is how much space you have to spare. Generally speaking, cheaper home gym options are also going to be smaller. This is because they tend to have less weight and fewer features, plus smaller options simply have less material on them. Now, there is of course a certain tradeoff here. If you don’t have too much space to spare, you are going to want a cheaper and smaller option. While these won’t cost you as much, they also don’t have so many features and benefits.
If you don’t have too much space to spare, something like a small weight stack home gym or a collapsible glide board option will probably do you just fine, but not if you are very serious about exercising. If you have a ton of space to spare, you may as well get a bigger option that is heavier, has more features, and more resistance to provide you with.
If you have the space to spare, besides the increased price, there is really no reason to not get a bigger model. The bigger the machine, the more options and benefits it will have. That is just kind of how it is. The biggest weight stack home gyms and free weight Smith cages will take up the most space, but also have the most muscle building benefits too.
The Different Types Of Home Gyms
As you can probably tell from our reviews, there are various different types of home gyms, each of which has certain benefits and drawbacks. Let’s talk about the four main types of home gym which you can consider buying.
Weight Stack Home Gym
The first type of home gym, perhaps one of the most common ones, is the weight stack home gym. These are oriented purely towards weight training and muscle strengthening. These can actually come in a variety of sizes and budget ranges. In terms of versatility and choice, you probably have the most of both with the weight stack option. You can get a good weight stack gym, ideal for beginners, for around $250, or you can get a big bad one with a whole bunch of options for over $2,000. As you can see, you can find a good weight stack option for any fitness level.
Many people prefer these as opposed to free weight plate options because they tend to be safer. This is because the weight stacks are locked into place and usually enclosed in some kind of frame, meaning they can’t fall down and hit you on the head or crush your feet. Also, changing the amount of weight you are faced with is very simple and easy. In terms of versatility, the weight stack home gym option is probably the best because you can find one for you no matter what fitness level you are. Keep in mind, these are usually pretty big, bulky, heavy, and hard to assemble. A weight stack home gym is not a portable option and you will require a good amount of space for it.
Free Weight Plate Home Gym
Now, the free weight plate home gym is one of the more expensive options to go with. You will usually never find a comprehensive weight plate home gym for under $600 or even $700. Also, these tend to be more expensive than weight stack options because you usually have to buy individual weight plates which can end up being pricey. The free weight plate home gym is also the biggest and bulkiest option to go with. This is because it takes space to store the weight plates, and it takes a lot more room to accommodate each exercise station due to the need to be able to attach and take off weight plates as your fitness level and goals call for.
After you have bought the Smith cage, the accessories, and the individual weights, the free weight plate home gym is going to be one of the more expensive options around. These also tend to be more dangerous than a weight stack, which is because the free weights can fall off the bars, fall off of their holding places, and crush your toes or come down hard on your head. Most people, when lifting large loads, would usually use a spotter or assistant to stay safe while lifting free weights.
All of that being said, the free weight home gym is more or less the best option to go with if you want to get really big muscles. These particular types of home gyms allow you to add as much weight as the bar or station in question can handle. In terms of pure weight training, the free weight option is definitely one of the best for building big muscles in a short period of time. These items are ideal for very experienced weight lifters.
Glide Board Home Gym
The glide board option is going to be the cheapest type of home gym that you can get. They are usually not very big and certainly not very heavy either. They can usually fold down into a compact little package that is convenient to store and can fit in a closet or under a bed. If you are a beginner and don’t have a great fitness level, the glide board home gym is ideal for you. This is also true if you want a comprehensive workout, but don’t have a huge budget or too much space to spare in your home. It is an inexpensive and space saving full body workout option.
The thing that we really like about glide board home gyms is that they try to incorporate a certain amount of balance, flexibility, and cardio training. They usually come with a huge array of exercise options which allow you to build muscle, increase your cardiovascular stamina, and better your flexibility as well. These are great for beginner weight lifters and for anybody looking for a comprehensive and well-rounded daily fitness routine. There is of course a drawback to the glide board home gym, that being the lack of weight and resistance. These don’t come with any kind of weights for strength training.
While they do feature a changing incline level, which provides you with natural bodyweight resistance, plus there are resistance bands involved sometimes too, they are very limited in the challenge provided. Besides the resistance bands which may be included, which can add something like 50 or 100 pounds of resistance, the challenge you are faced with more or less depends on your own bodyweight. The glide board home gym is ideal for basic strength training for beginners, plus for cardio and flexibility too, but not for anybody who wants big muscle building results.
Resistance Rod Home Gym
The resistance rod home gym is somewhat of a peculiar option to go with, but they still do their job just fine. Unlike free weight or weight stack home gyms, these ones use special resistance rods to provide you with a challenge. These rods will be made of some kind of super-tough material that connects to a pulley and cable.
Pulling on the handles of the station in question will pull on the cord and bend the rods. The thicker and stiffer the rods are, the more resistance you will be provided with. These are just as safe to use as a weight stack home gym, plus they can provide close to the same amount of resistance, but they do generally take up more space due to their extensive pulley and cable systems. Make no mistake about it, these things are usually very big.
That being said, while they are still great for moderate weight training, they usually don’t provide quite as much resistance as a really high end weight stack home gym or a free weight home gym. However, they do generally have a very high number of exercise options to choose from. These can be fairly expensive and you usually won’t find one in the entry level section for under $500. They are ideal for moderate and intense weight training, but not as intense as a big free weight option would allow for. One thing that we can say about these is that they are much lighter than a weight stack or weight plate home gym because they use rod resistance instead of actual heavy weights.
What To Look For When Buying A Home Workout Machine
When it comes to the home gym in question, there are a few different things that you will want to look out for. What are these things?
One of the big considerations to keep in mind is what the weight range of the home gym in question is. Simply put, the bigger your goals are and the higher your fitness level is, the bigger the range of weight you are going to want to aim for. Smaller home gyms like glide board home gyms sometimes come with resistance bands that can provide you with 50 or 100 pounds of resistance, plus they let you change the incline in order to use your own bodyweight as resistance.
That being said, for weight training, these are usually not ideal except for beginners. On the other hand, something like a high end weight stack gym or a free weight system can provide you with up to 500 or 600 pounds of weight or resistance. Keep in mind, the bigger and heavier options with more weight will generally cost more. What you get does somewhat depend on your fitness level and what your goals are.
An important thing to consider when buying any home workout machine is the warranty which it comes with. This is very important, especially for the more expensive models. You want a good warranty in case something goes wrong and needs fixing. If you don’t have a warranty, replacing or repairing parts can become very expensive very quickly. As a general rule of thumb, as with all features and aspects, the bigger and more expensive home gyms will usually also have much better warranties. A cheaper glide board option may only have a 1-year or 90-day limited warranty on the frame, maybe on moving parts too. On the other hand, a bigger multi-thousand dollar option should usually come with a 2 or 3-year warranty that covers the frame and parts, with labor usually being covered for a shorter period of time.
Another important thing to keep in mind is the weight capacity of the machine in question. Now, for something like a glide board model, the weight capacity will usually be between 200 and 350 pounds, which is more than enough for most people. Resistance rod and weight stack home gyms will usually have a higher weight capacity, and free weight home gyms will generally have the most because they involve the highest amount of weight.
You see, when it comes to home gyms with weights, you need to account for the fact that the machine needs to hold up your own weight, plus the amount of weight you are lifting. Therefore, if you are looking to lift several hundred pounds, you need to make sure that the machine in question can hold up the combined weight of you and the weights being lifted. Once again, the higher the weight capacity, the more durable the machine, the more expensive it will generally be.
This may be a minute factor when compared to the others, but still important none the less. Now, the comfort factor does not really apply to free weight home gyms, as they are more or less designed for superhuman weight lifters where comfort simply is not a priority. Sure, the barbell may have some padding on the grips, but generally speaking, free weight systems are all about brute force, not comfort.
On the other hand, resistance rod or weight stack home gyms will usually come with some kind of padding on various stations, especially on the leg developers. With these, you want to make sure to have a comfortable seat and backrest, good padding on arm stations, and good rollers for the knees and ankles. These kinds of home gyms can end up being painful if they don’t have a decent amount of padding and support. Glide board home gyms also tend to have a well-padded seat board. The point is that you do want to be comfortable while exercising, no matter what you are doing.
Footprint, Weight, & Storage
Yet another thing to keep in mind before making a purchase is what the footprint of the machine in question is. More or less, this all comes down to how much space you have to spare in your home. For example, glide board home gyms will usually be the smallest and most space saving, and also weigh the least too. They also usually fold down into a compact package, not much bigger than an ironing board, making them easy to store in a small space, move around, and even leave out in a small room.
A weight stack home gym will take up a little more space than glide board options, especially the lower end models that tend to be fairly compact. However, more expensive weight stack options will take up a fair amount of room. For resistance rod options, because they need space for the pulleys, cables, and for the rods to bend, they tend to take up quite a bit of space. Moreover, free weight options, such as a comprehensive Smith cages, are going to take up the most room of all (generally speaking). The takeaway here is that options that are more comprehensive and have more weight will usually take up more space, but also give you more options. Except for the glide board option, you are not going to be moving these things around after assembly. They are big, heavy, and mostly stationary.
Assembly is yet another issue that you need to take into account. Now, if you have a person or two helping you, this is not a huge deal, as having assistance makes mostly any job manageable. However, if you are working alone, assembling a huge Smith cage or weight stack gym is going to be very difficult, require patience, a lot of strength, and will take at least 4 or 5 hours to put together.
Resistance rod home gyms usually tend to be fairly difficult to put together due to the complex cable and pulley systems they employ, but their saving grace is that there are no heavy weights involved. The simplest to put together by far are the glide board options as there are not too many pieces, plus they are fairly small and compact. Glide board home gyms may even come fully assembled right out of the box if you get the right model.
The final really important thing to keep in mind when buying a home gym is what the exercise capabilities of it are. What is interesting is that glide board home gyms will usually have the most exercise options of all home gyms, but this is because they tend to focus on strength training as well as cardio and flexibility. However, they are not great for pure strength training purposes. On the other hand, pure weight training machines like weight stacks or free weight systems, may have a few fewer exercise options, but they are far better for muscle building than glide boards. Resistance rod machines usually also have a wide variety of possible exercise options.
Top Home Gym Brands To Consider
There are a few different fitness brands that sell workout machines for home which we would like to talk about. The brands listed below tend to be the most reputable ones with the highest level of quality known in the fitness industry.
Bowflex is perhaps the most trusted and well-known brand around. Bowflex is actually sold by another brand name known as Nautilus. Bowflex is based in Washington and sells their products through various means and channels. In fact, their first product was the Bowflex 2000X in 1986. Since then, they have created a wide array of fitness products including home gyms, weight training equipment, cardio equipment, and a variety of accessories like fitness trackers. Bowflex is very well known for their high end, yet affordable gym equipment, mainly full body home gyms. Today, Bowflex has a few extremely popular pieces of equipment, with perhaps the most popular being the Bowflex Max Trainer.
Marcy is a very trusted brand name in the fitness equipment world, which is probably because they are a part of the IMPEX group. IMPEX is a big time brand name which has released several other sub-brands including Apex, SteelBody, Hers, Competitor, and Bionic Body. IMPEX actually started out in 1982 with just a few different pieces of equipment, but they quickly grew into a big time powerhouse, partially thanks to their Marcy brand of equipment. Marcy is well-known for various types of exercise equipment, with weight machines, home gyms, and cardio machines being at the forefront of their line.
Body Solid is a very highly trusted brand name. They got their start over 20 years ago back in 1989 when they were stationed just outside of Chicago, where they are still headquartered today. They quickly grew from a 10,000 square foot facility to one over 200,000 square feet. Body Solid is one of those brands that has a giant selection of fitness products including cardio products, weight plates, kettlebells, full weight training equipment, and a long list of other accessories too. These guys are known for their high-quality equipment, exceptional quality control, and fantastic customer service. Their equipment is known to be some of the toughest and most durable around. They have so many home gyms and various other pieces of equipment that naming one most popular item is nearly impossible.
Inspire Fitness is not a very old brand, but they certainly are big time. These guys are well-known for their line of high-quality fitness equipment. They have quite the selection of gym equipment including Smith cages, weight lifting machines, and cardio equipment. Make no mistake about it. Inspire Fitness is quite expensive in general, but they have some truly excellent equipment. What is really impressive about this brand name is that they sell equipment to virtually every country around the world.
Total Gym is a big time brand name that was founded back in 1974 and has been a leading name in the fitness world ever since. These guys are based in San Diego, California and have definitely taken advantage of the strong fitness culture there. Total Gym fitness equipment is well known for being located in over 14,000 physical therapy institutions, health clubs, and more, all around the U.S.A. One of their most popular products is the Total Gym Bodyweight Trainer, which has sold over 4 million units since it was first created. Total Gym distributes their equipment to over 23 countries worldwide and has to date received quite a few awards and accommodations.
One of the main tenants of the Powerline brand is providing fairly affordable home gym equipment to people around the world. They do provide gym equipment to commercial arenas, however, their main focus is the home as well as corporate gyms and health clubs. They are well known for a variety of weight training equipment and home gyms, but not so much for cardio and other types of exercise equipment. Powerline has a lot of free weight training equipment as well as weight stack home gyms and more. Powerline is actually a sub-brand of the highly trusted Body Solid brand name.
Weider is a very well known brand name of fitness equipment. They got their start over 50 years ago when Joe Weider and his brother, both Canadian bodybuilders, formed their own health club, bodybuilder association, and eventually the Weider brand name. Joe received various awards and won a whole bunch of competitions. Back in the day when Arnold Schwarzenegger was still a bodybuilder he endorsed this brand name and used their fitness equipment. These guys are big time players in the fitness world and they have a huge line of products. Some of their most popular products today are full body home gyms.
The Main Benefits Of Having A Home Gym
Having your own home gym comes with quite a few different benefits, both in terms of your fitness and your convenience, so let’s go over the most important ones right now.
Benefit #1: The Convenience Factor
Perhaps the biggest benefit of having your own home gym is the convenience factor. What we mean by this is that you no longer are constrained by gym hours or all of those sweaty gym people. With your own home workout machine, you don’t have to take time out of your day to travel to the gym, you don’t have to use gross gym locker rooms, you don’t have to wait to use the equipment while that sweaty dude does his reps, and you don’t have to exercise whenever the gym is open.
With your own home gym, you can exercise at home whenever you want and there is no one standing in your way. There is also the motivation factor to consider here. It is much easier to remain motivated to work out when you have the machine sitting in your own home. It's here and I paid for it, so I may as well use it!
Benefit #2: Muscle Building – A Full Body Workout
Ok, so the main point of having a home gym is to build up your muscles. This is true for most home gyms seeing as the vast majority of them focus solely on strength training. These machines are specifically designed to help you get bigger and stronger muscles. They can come with several hundred pounds of weight or resistance, with the express intent of turning you from skinny Joe into jacked John Cena. This may be somewhat obvious, but the real benefit here is that you can get a full body workout with one single piece of equipment.
Instead of having to buy multiple weight sets, items, accessories, benches, and more, all you need is one home weight machine. The fact that it is efficient in terms of allowing you to work out every single muscle in your body is definitely a big bonus for many people. We aren’t going to get into all of the benefits of having stronger muscles, but the bottom line is that physical performance is made easier, you become better at sports, you will feel more confident, and looking in the full-length mirror will no longer be so scary.
Benefit #3: Some Variation Into Your Routine
Something that many people may not realize about home gyms is that they have the ability to give you some variation. If you only have a bench press bench or a few dumbbells, you are limited to a certain set of exercises. Of course, only working out a few muscles means you are neglecting the rest. Moreover, your body gets used to the same routines and exercises when you do them day after day.
The beauty of the home workout machine is that if you get the right one, it will allow for close to 100 different possible exercises. Therefore allowing you to change things up on a regular basis and get the most out of every single exercise session. There is also the fact that there are home gyms oriented more towards cardio, some towards strength, and some towards both. The choice is yours to make.
Benefit #4: Circuit Training, Cardio, & Weight Loss
Another great part about having your own home gym is that you can still accomplish a fair amount of cardio on them. Sure, you can lift a whole lot of weight and only do a few reps, which is great for building muscles, but not as much for cardio. Now, the beauty about a nice home gym is that you can do many different exercises, one after the other.
You can set the weight or resistance to a really low level, only do a few reps, and then move on to a next exercise. These pieces of equipment are great for creating a circuit routine with 10, 15, or more different exercises. Circuits are great for cardiovascular training. There is also the fact that certain home gym options such as glide board home gyms are specifically meant to provide you with a mix of strength, cardio, and flexibility training.
Another related point is that a good circuit training workout, and even expending energy on weight lifting, will definitely help you burn calories, get rid of body fat, and boost your metabolism too. Weight training may not necessarily be known for its cardio and weight loss benefits, but if done right, like with a home gym and circuit training combo, you can definitely get a good aerobic workout that will burn off fat.
Benefit #5: Privacy
Something that is highly underrated when it comes to working out is privacy. Many people just don’t want to be surrounded by other people when working out. Some of us just don’t want everybody watching us as we sweat and struggle to do those last few reps. It can be embarrassing, it can sap motivation, and it can totally ruin a day. Home workout machines are great because you can work out at home in privacy. Heck, you can do it naked if you really want!
Setting Up The Perfect Home Gym – Tips & Tricks
We want you to be as comfortable and motivated to use your new home gym as humanly possible. There are certain tips and tricks that you can use in terms of setting up your home gym in order to make it much more motivating and fun to use. Here are some of the best things you can do when setting up your own home gym.
A very important aspect of setting up your home gym has to do with where you set it up. The location of your home gym can make a big difference in terms of comfort and motivation. This is probably the most important factor in setting up your home gym. Location, location, location!
First of all, you need to find a room where you have enough space to operate. This may be a problem if you have a smaller apartment or home because you will need to find a spacious location. This does have to do with the size of the piece of equipment in question of course. Just make sure the machine fits in the room and that you can get to all of the stations without having to trip over something or squeeze past a wall. Having to fight to get to every station is nothing but a pain in the butt.
You also want to put your home gym in a place where there is a certain amount of privacy. There are of course a ton of tradeoffs in terms of which room you put your home gym in. The point here is that you don’t want people interrupting your routine, and you also don’t want to interrupt your spouse’s or children’s TV shows either. You want a place where you can work out comfortably without disturbing others or being disturbed yourself.
Good options are always a room dedicated to workouts, such as a spare bedroom, garages, and basements too. On one hand, a top level or ground floor room will have windows and be all bright and friendly, but during the summer those rooms may get really hot. Garages and basements can stay nice and cool during the hot months, but they are also somewhat dreary because they can be dark and damp. Some people do really like windows because looking outside and watching people or nature can really help take your mind off of your grueling workout.
You also need to consider what type of floor is at the location of where you are planning to put your new home gym. This is important because hard and softwoods can get scratched, scuffed, or indented from heavy pieces of equipment, so you will want some protection. A special home gym mat or even a thick carpet will definitely help protect your wooden floors.
Just keep in mind not to use an expensive carpet and also try to put some kind of anti-slip layer underneath the carpet to stop it from moving around. Some people love simple concrete floors as they are solid, don’t dent, and don’t scratch either, but they may be uncomfortable under your feet. There are of course special types of flooring specifically meant for these kinds of circumstances, but they can be pretty expensive.
Atmosphere & Surroundings
A really important part of staying motivated to exercise is the atmosphere which you are in. This really depends on the person in question, but generally speaking, you definitely do not want blank walls. There is a reason why every single last health club on the face of planet Earth sets up whole walls of mirrors. It is because people love to watch themselves working out, sweating, and getting stronger by the minute. It sounds kind of dumb, but putting a mirror in your workout room so you can watch your bulging muscles is shown to help motivate you.
It is also good to put up some inspirational posters. You may like hard rock music, fast cars, and good looking ladies, which are all fine posters to put up in their own right. Some good posters of big muscle bound hunks and weight lifting related posters will definitely help motivate you. What posters and pictures you put up will depend on what motivates you. A few mirrors with a few pictures of The Terminator in his hayday will undoubtedly spur you on to work harder and longer.
Moreover, distraction is a good thing when exercising because it helps the time pass without you bellyaching about your sore and tired muscles. You should try setting up a stereo or television to help pass the time. Once again, this does somewhat depend on your own preferences.
3 Great Full Body Home Gym Workout Routines
In case you are unsure of how to get started with your brand new home gym, or what exactly you should be doing with it on a daily basis, we have a few different workouts that you can do, each of which is fantastic in its own right.
Now, in terms of the amount you should do for each workout, you should try to go for it at least 3 times per week. Ideally, you want to do these routines with one day of rest in between. You can alternate between routines on a daily basis or you can stick with one for a couple of weeks before switching. Try not to work out every day because that can lead to overtraining. Remember, your body gets used to the same routine over and over, so you want to throw some variation into the mix. Some people like to stick with one routine for a couple of weeks, then move on to the next, and then the last one. You can do this of course, but the choice is really yours. Just make sure to keep our point of variation in mind.
For each of the workouts below, you should do 3 sets of the full cycle, or in other words, do 3 sets with anywhere from 8 to 12 reps of each exercise. When you are done a full set, you should take anywhere from 1 to 2 minutes of rest in between one set and the next. Keep in mind that how many reps and sets you do, plus how long of a break between sets you take, will depend on your current fitness level as well as the goals you are looking to achieve.
Of course, if you find things getting too easy for you, you can increase the amount of weight you are lifting, increase the number of reps and/or sets, and decrease your resting time between sets. The point here is that if the workout gets too easy for you, it is not having the desired effects, and thus you need to increase the difficulty.
One very important thing to keep in mind at all times is form. You need to exercise with proper form or else you can cause injuries and long lasting damage that you may never recover from. Also, keep in mind that you can always start out with a lighter weight for each exercise, and then if it is too light, make it heavier. Just don’t start out too strong and overdo it.
This first workout makes for a great full body workout no doubt. It does not focus on any one particular part of the body, but it will exercise you from top to bottom. To be fair, all of the workouts below are targeted to mix things up and give you a total body workout routine.
- Bench press
- Narrow pull downs
- Front shoulder raise
- Seated abdominal crunch
- Leg press or Squat
- Standing bicep curl
- Triceps push down
This is another fantastic total body workout that you can engage in on a regular basis. This workout does target your legs to a higher degree.
- Side plank (20 seconds, up to 60 seconds depending on your fitness level)
- Leg extension
- Leg curl
- Calf raises
- Lat pull down
- Chest press
- Seated row
- Overhead press
Yet another good full body workout, this particular one is especially good for your upper body and for your arms too.
- Leg press or Squat
- Chest press
- Seated row or Lat pull down
- Overhead press
- Bicep curl
- Triceps extension
- Plank (20 seconds, up to 60 seconds depending on your fitness level)
Extra Tip: Workout Splits
Once you become fit and start to really increase your fitness level, we would recommend segmenting your workout routines. What we mean by this is instead of focusing on multiple muscle groups every day, you should focus on one group one day and another the next.
There are different type of workout splits, which refers to which specific muscle groups are worked out on a particular day. Working out all of the muscles in your body in one single session is called a full body split. This is ok for beginners, but the full body split is limited in terms of the long term results you will achieve.
If you really want to build muscle, you can try doing an upper and lower body split. This means that you focus on your upper body for one workout and then your lower body for the next. Another good split for muscle building is the push/pull/leg split, which means that you work your pushing muscles one day, the pulling muscles the next, and then the legs on the third day.
There is also the four day split, which usually involves pairing a bigger and smaller muscle group together. This split allows you to get a full body workout over the course of a week. For example, you can pair your back and biceps one day, your chest and triceps the next, rest the following day, then move on to your legs, and then your shoulders on the final day.
Finally, there is the five day split, which is pretty much exercising different muscle groups on different days. The trick here is to not work out related muscle groups on consecutive days. For example, day one would be chest day, day two is back day, day three is for shoulders and your upper traps, day four is for legs, and day five is for biceps and triceps.
How To Clean And Maintain Your Home Gym
Something else that is very important when it comes to your home gym is the cleaning and maintenance of it. If you want to get the most bang for your buck and have the home gym in question last for as long as possible, you need to clean and maintain it on a regular basis.
- Any bolts, screws, and other connectors need to be checked on a regular basis. Your home gym needs to be tight and secure. You don’t want pieces coming loose and falling apart because that can be very dangerous. Moreover, it can cause damage to the parts that are rubbing against each other.
- Any moving parts like a glide board seat and the rails, rails for weight bars, and pulleys and cables should be regularly cleaned. This will ensure they keep moving smoothly and don’t lock up during your exercise routine. These moving parts should also be lubricated on a regular basis to keep them moving well.
- You should set up your home workout machine in a dry and cool place. Both heat and moisture, over the long run, can cause some serious damage to your home gym.
- Always make sure to keep everything as free of sweat, grit, and grime as possible. Simply put, a dirty home gym can start to smell and it just is not fun to use.
- If you have a weight stack, make sure that the weights are properly in place, that they are not cracked, and that the peg locking mechanism is in good condition.
- Never make jerking motions with your home gym as that can cause damage. Always move with fairly slow, steady, and precise motions. Also, don’t lift too much at once because you never want that weight stack or those free weights slamming back down into the holding area. That can cause some serious damage as well.
We really hope that you enjoyed our home gym reviews and that you were able to find the best home gym for you. Whether it is an entry level, mid range, or high end model, there is a great home workout machine out there for you to try. Just remember everything we have talked about here, keep your preferences and your needs in mind, and you will have no trouble finding the home gym that suits your style. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them and we will get back to you as soon as we can!