Updated: October 12, 2015
Home Gym Reviews:
How many of us have joined a gym, pay our $30/month and never go, essentially giving the gym a free $360 a year? The fitness boom in the 1990's has created a generation of people who want to stay fit, but just can't manage the time or energy to do so. Home gyms are the latest fad advertising "stay fit right in your own home". Ok, just because you have gym equipment in your house doesn't mean you will work out any more, but it does make it easier (you don't even have to drive anywhere). The best home gym
per reviews by workout experts was the Hoist V5 ($3000+) with a lat pulldown bar, chest press, a chest high cable for core conditioning, dumbbell exercises, leg curl and leg press. The weight stack included is 200 lbs. and it comes with a lifetime warranty. This is the top end model, so perhaps a less expensive brand is for you. Keep reading to find out more.
Another single stack home gym is the Body-Solid EXM 2500S ($900), a much less expensive option than the Hoist V5. Comes with a 210 lb weight stack and an added feature called a pec dec. Also includes an extra cable for a great ab workout station. Other optional feature include a vertical knee raise and leg press. There is a cheaper home gym from Body Solid called the EXM 1500S which retails for about $850 but only gives you 160 lbs in the weight stack w/ no optional features. If you want more weights on a double-stack unit (400 lbs of resistance), then the BodyCraft Family Xpress should do the trick. It's built for multiple users with 2 200-lb weight stacks and an adjustable position cable system for ad crunches, dumbbell exercises, hip station, and knee raises. The Bodycraft unit sells for $2300+ and does not include a pectoral workout like the Hoist V5. If you are going to have more than 1 person working out on the machine, then the BodyCraft Family Express is better than the Hoist V5. For more serious weight lifters, reviewers suggest Powertec Workbench Leverage Gym WB-LS. It's a cross between a home gym and free weights. You need to buy your own weights but you don't need a spotter which allows for aggressive training routines and doing squats. The machine allows for a 1000 pounds on the press, 250 on the leg curl, 400 on the lat pulldown, and 250 on the arm curl. Powertec offers a lifetime warranty on the frame and 2 years on parts. Great home gym workout, but definitely not for beginners. When we searched online for home gyms, especially on a website like Amazon.com that carries all the leading brand names, we found that Bowflex and Total Gym dominate the online sales. RECOMMENDED
- We suggest browsing all the top selling home gyms online here
Best Home Gyms:
- When it comes to affordable home workouts with a proven name, we suggest going with the Body Solid EXM1500S Single Stack Home Gym
which sells for around $800. The EXM1500S is considered a "best buy" in several consumer magazines and reviews are very positive on Amazon for this home gym. The machine includes a lat bar, straight bar, and utility strap. The 160 lb weight stack should be sufficient for most of us but if you need more consider the EXM 2500S from Body Solid which offers 210 pounds of weight. Strength training at home shouldn't be difficult if you have the time and that is why the EMX1500S is such a hot seller. Owners really get addicted to this home workout - work on your shoulders, chest, thighs, legs, arms, back, and abs. The variety of muscle exercises available on this machine will keep your workouts new and invigorating. The lifetime warranty covers everything, so if you have the committment, the Body Solid home gym won't let you down. "Be patient" with the assembly say most customers but once it all together owners say "it's a great product for the price". Working with stack weights is the preferred method for most of us that work out in our homes.
Weider CrossBar WESY5983 (formerly Crossbow):
The Weider CrossBar WESY5983 used to be called the Crossbow and was advertised pretty heavily through infomercials on television. Much like the Bowflex machine (more details below), the Crossbar uses bendable metal bars and cables instead of weights stacks to create tension and resistance. At $500 the Crossbar is a good deal at almost half the price of the Bowflex home gym. It can be difficult to assemble and some users mention that all exercises are not clearly shown in the instructions, so be cautious when first attempting anything new on the machine. See all the Weider home gyms available here
Bowflex Home Gym - Ratings and Recalls:
Bowflex is perhaps the most recognized name in home gyms, but that doesn't mean it is the best. Bowflex uses the bendable metal bars (like the Crossbar above) to create resistance and give you a good home workout. Nautilus is the manufacturer of Bowflex and they cost from $1600-$2000 depending on the options you get. The Bowflex home gym has had recall issues as well. In recent years close to 400000 machines were recalled due to a lat tower defect. 80 injuries were reported with these defects and Bowflex has sent repair kits to fix the problems, but check Bowflex.com if you own a model in question. The good thing about using a website like Amazon to research products if that you get in depth reviews by ACTUAL owners of the product so you can read what others have to say. You can view the entire listing of top rated Bowflex home gyms here
. The #1 Selling Home Gym on Amazon
is the Bowflex Ultimate XTLU Home Gym
and reviews are very positive on this model. You get over 90 exercises, 310 pounds of resistance with the Power Rods, a lat tower, lower pulley, squat station, leg extension, a sliding seat for rowing, and it FOLDS up nicely when done. The 5 year warranty may not be as good as the Body Solid above, but perhaps Bowflex is back on track with this unit. Owners agree you need to stay dedicated to see results, but most also say that the variety of exercises you can do on the Ultimate XTLU should keep you motivated to keep doing your weekly workouts.