Best Home Gym in 2020 [Overall, Under $1000, Under $500]

Best Overall Home Gym

Bowflex Blaze Home Gym

Our Score: 5 / 5

Bowflex Blaze Home Gym
  • More than 60 exercises
  • Up to 210 lbs of Power Rod resistance (which can be increased)
  • Sliding seat rail for additional aerobic exercises
  • Includes accessories
  • Includes a 20-minute workout video and detailed user manual

Best Weighted Bench

Weider Ultimate Body Works Home Gym

Our Score: 5 / 5

Weider Ultimate Body Works Home Gym
  • Adjustable incline adds flexibility to your workouts.
  • Includes cable pulleys which opens up the possibility for weight training.
  • Durable design means this bench won’t wobble as you use it.
  • Very low price, especially when compared to other weighted benches.
  • Includes 4 extra resistance bands for more of a challenge.

Most Versatile Multi Gym

Marcy Smith Machine MD-9010G

Our Score: 4.75 / 5

Marcy Smith Machine MD-9010G
  • A very versatile multi gym which offers a wide range of exercises
  • Excellent value for money
  • Combines free weights, cables, and machine weights for different challenges.
  • High-quality build makes this multi gym easy to maintain

Table of Contents

Having access to top-quality gym equipment at home can be a real game-changer. If you decide to invest in a multi-gym like the ones shown in this guide, you will no longer be restricted by your local gym’s opening hours and equipment. Gone will be the days of needing to drive to get your workout in, the time spent waiting for your preferred machine to be free, and the monthly expense of being a gym member.

It’s possible to recreate the experience of being at the gym in your own home, and this is invaluable. Create it how you want. Invest in a single piece of equipment rather than paying a subscription over time. Take full responsibility for your workouts and you’ll likely see improved results in the long-term, while saving money and unnecessary stress.

In terms of what we believe are the best home gyms for your money, the Bowflex Blaze and Marcy Smith machine MD-9010G in particular stand out.

Bowflex has an outstanding range of home gym equipment, so good in fact that we’ve included two of them in this guide. The Blaze provides especially good value for money though. The USP of this home gym undoubtedly lies in its versatility. You can perform up to 60 exercises with this one piece of gym equipment.

The Marcy Smith machine MD-9010G is our top pick for under $1000. A behemoth of a home gym, with this framework from Marcy you’ll get an Olympic Smith bar, a free weight squat rack, cables, and much more. There isn’t much you can’t do on this one, and it rolls the best elements of gym machines up into one.

Whatever your workout regime, you could stand to benefit a lot from investing in a home gym. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best models out there.

Best overall home gyms

To give you a good range of the top home gyms we’ve divided this list into best overall home gyms, best under $1000, and best under $500.

To kick it off let’s look at our top picks overall.

#1 Best Overall Home Gym

Bowflex Blaze Home Gym

Bowflex Blaze Home Gym

Our Score: 5 / 5

Editor's opinion:

The Bowflex Blaze is a complete multi gym offering great value for money.

This home gym provides the user with over 60 potential exercise options, which is more than its predecessors such as the PR1000. The 210lbs maximum resistance is ideal for most people, and if you outgrow it, then there’s the option to increase it to 410lbs with extra resistance rods.

Bowflex sweetens the deal of this already great deal by throwing in a 20-minute workout DVD and user manual which will tell you everything you need to know to get started.

Pros

  • More than 60 exercises
  • Up to 210 lbs of Power Rod resistance (which can be increased)
  • Sliding seat rail for additional aerobic exercises
  • Includes accessories
  • Includes a 20-minute workout video and detailed user manual

Cons

  • Complicated initial assembly

The Bowflex Blaze is the complete package.

You couldn’t expect much more in a multi gym, and it ticks all these boxes while also providing the option to up the resistance in case you max out the weights after a while.

Bowflex claims you can do around 65 different exercises with the Blaze, which should be more than enough to keep you motivated and allow you to mix up your workouts.

The different parts of this multi gym facilitate exercises that target all the major muscle groups in the body. They all utilise the innovative Power Rod technology, which makes use of flexible steel rods to provide a satisfying level of resistance to your workouts.

The lat tower with an angled lat bar works the shoulders, back and lats well. The pulleys can be used for all kinds of overhead movements and cross body pulls to strengthen your core and arms.Then the bench allows for leg development and chest building with the classic bench press. All the staple moves are on the table with this multi gym.

If that wasn’t enough to whet your appetite, maybe the accessories and extras will. The sliding seat rail is a great feature that will open up more exercise possibilities. If you’re not one to skip leg day, then you’ll love being able to perform rowing and leg press exercises on this multi gym. There are also some ankle cuffs and hand-grips, plus an instructional placard on the frame of the structure.

As for extras, you’ll get a very informative 20 minute Bowflex workout video. This’ll surely give you plenty of ideas to get you started, and you can revisit it whenever you’re lost for inspiration. There’s also the in-depth user manual that you can refer to whenever you need. This makes it perfect for the beginner, and for mixing up your workouts.

The 210 lbs maximum resistance of this machine is more than enough for the majority of beginners and intermediate users, but might be outgrown quickly by more experienced weightlifters. Fortunately, you have the option to buy a few more resistance rods which will ramp up the max resistance to a hefty 410 lbs should you need to. This optional upgrade will increase the longevity of the multi gym tenfold.

Focussing on the structure itself, you might find that it’s bigger than a lot of other multi gyms at 90x38x38 inches, and difficult to fit into most rooms. Though the bench can be folded which definitely helps with keeping it from taking up too much space.

This multi gym is priced well for what it provides, and as a nice safety net, you’ll get a 5-year warranty on the power rods, which Bowflex will replace if necessary. The frame itself comes with a 1-year warranty too.

#2 Best Weighted Bench

Weider Ultimate Body Works Home Gym

Weider Ultimate Body Works Home Gym

Our Score: 5 / 5

Editor's opinion:

Weider’s weighted bench is a fantastic option for those interested in bodyweight training with added resistance.

Good enough to rival TotalGym, this cable home gym setup from Weider throws pulleys and resistance cords into the mix for a more challenging and complete workout.

The adjustable incline allows you to approach calisthenics moves from a variety of difficulty levels, and when you want to mix up your workouts, simply grab the cable pulleys and a whole new range of exercises will open up to you.

This bench encourages strength training and muscle growth, and if you have great success in those regards, you can even up the challenge by attaching a maximum of 4 extra bands for added resistance.

Pros

  • Adjustable incline adds flexibility to your workouts.
  • Includes cable pulleys which opens up the possibility for weight training.
  • Durable design means this bench won’t wobble as you use it.
  • Very low price, especially when compared to other weighted benches.
  • Includes 4 extra resistance bands for more of a challenge.

Cons

  • Takes up a fair amount of space.

TotalGym may be the most popular choice for weighted bench setups, but the Ultimate Body Works unit from Weider proves that it isn’t necessarily the best choice. This model not only gives TotalGym a run for its money when it comes to flexibility, but also affordability. You’ll struggle to find a much more fairly priced weighted bench than this one, and for all that you get with the money, it’s hard to have any complaints.

With 8 levels of incline, the adjustability of this weighted bench is impressive. Each level of incline brings with it a slightly higher level of challenge for any exercise, so you’ll find yourself with plenty of variations you can do to keep you motivated. The large amount of bodyweight exercises you can do on this bench should convince you that you can make some considerable strength gains. You’ll be able to target all the abs especially well with moves like squats, v-sits, and crunches.

However, where this model really shines, is hitting the other major muscle groups. Due to having cable pulleys on either side of the bench, you’ll be able to comfortably perform some of the best strengthening exercises you would do at the gym. These include the seated chest press and the lateral pulldown. The inclusion of cable pulleys set this bench aside from others which focus solely on bodyweight movements. This should make it more appealing to the more experienced gym goer.

Add to that its durable design which prevents any kind of wobbling during workouts and you have a great tool for working out. If you ever find yourself in the position of needing more resistance from the bench, then you have the option of hooking up to 4 extra bands to it, which should keep you going for a while.

Best home gyms under $1000

#3 Most Versatile Multi Gym

Marcy Smith Machine MD-9010G

Marcy Smith Machine MD-9010G

Our Score: 4.75 / 5

Editor's opinion:

This hulking multi gym setup from Marcy is incredibly versatile, letting you do an unrivaled amount of exercises (upwards of 100).

Not only will you be able to perfect your technique on the smith machine, which is of course the main selling point of this machine, but you’ll also be able to pick up the Olympic bar when you feel like smashing some personal bests.

This multi gym essentially gives you the best of both worlds. Allowing you to make the most of free weight exercises that utilize an Olympic bar, while also working with the satisfying resistance of the dual pulley cable system.

Pros

  • A very versatile multi gym which offers a wide range of exercises
  • Excellent value for money
  • Combines free weights, cables, and machine weights for different challenges.
  • High-quality build makes this multi gym easy to maintain

Cons

  • The assembly can be tricky

This heavyweight multi gym from Marcy is just about as versatile as it gets in this price range. There are more exercises you can do on this machine than you can on multiple different machines at a gym. The manufacturer claims that the number is likely more than 100.

You’ll have multi-functional press arms, leg developers, and an Olympic free-weight rack at your disposal. If you’re looking to build serious muscle mass, then there isn’t much missing from this multi gym. The only addition that it would benefit from is a pullup bar, but considering all the other ways of working out it offers, you’ll have no trouble at all keeping your workouts interesting.

The different forms of resistance allow you to hit all of the major muscle groups with ease. Whether you want to train with free weights, cables, or machine weights, you can. This provides an impressive versatility in how you approach your workouts, and can lead to some equally impressive results.

The high quality build of this smith machine setup means that you won’t experience too much movement even when lifting heavy. It lends itself to a max of 300lbs of weight capacity, which should be plenty for most fitness enthusiasts looking to build strength.

The most impressive part of this machine is undoubtedly the extraordinary value for money. For a fraction of the price of multi gyms well over $1000, you get access to all kinds of exercises and resistance types.

#4 Best Compact Home Gym

Bowflex PR3000 Home Gym

Bowflex PR3000 Home Gym

Our Score: 4.5 / 5

Editor's opinion:

A compact setup by one of the most popular multi gym manufacturers Bowflex, the PR3000 gives you the ability to do more than 50 different exercises.

By foregoing the bench of most multi gyms, the PR3000 is a lot easier to set up as it takes up a lot less space.

The 210lbs of Power Rod resistance is enough for many, but in case it isn’t, you can upgrade it by getting a few more rods.

You’ll also get more for your money with access to Bowflex’s Full Body Plan online workout addendum, which will help keep your workouts fresh and exciting.

Pros

  • Compact design makes it easy to store
  • Offers over 50 exercises.
  • 210 lbs of Power Rod resistance (can be increased to 310 lbs)
  • Grants access to Bowflex’ online workout library

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer much more than the Bowflex Blaze
  • No lat pulldown bar

The Bowflex PR3000 can be seen as a more compact version of the Bowflex Blaze. It’s an older model, which makes it more affordable than some of the more recent competition, but it still offers plenty for your money.

The neat compact design of this multi gym makes it the perfect choice for anyone who would struggle to fit one with a bench in their home. It also makes it easier to maintain, and won’t give you the issue of having a bench that is stained with sweat from previous use. It’s convenient, and sometimes that’s all you need for a great home workout.

Despite being more compact than a lot of its competition, the PR3000 allows you to perform more than 50 different exercises. Between these exercises, you will be able to sufficiently target all the major muscle groups in the body. Some examples of the exercises you can do with this multi gym are leg extensions, chest presses, and cable pulls. Don’t forget the Power Rod resistance is at play with this multi gym too. The steel cables designed by Bowflex offer a great challenge for most exercises.

Finally, the access to Bowflex’s impressive online workout library makes the investment even more worthwhile. That and their generous warranties. For the Power Rods you get a 7-year warranty, and for the machine a 1-year warranty.

Best home gyms under $500

#5 Best Budget Bench

TotalGym APEX G3

TotalGym APEX G3

Our Score: 4.75 / 5

Editor's opinion:

TotalGym doesn’t disappoint with this versatile weighted bench which comes in under $500, making it a great budget option for any home gym.

Offering 8 different levels of resistance and a total of more than 70 exercises, you won’t get bored of working out on this bench. You’ll be able to change up the resistance on the fly when things get too easy, or change exercise when you need to freshen things up.

You’ll also get some neat accessories with this weighted bench including a squat stand, leg pull, and access total Total Gym TV.

Pros

  • 8 resistance levels to increase the challenge of your workouts.
  • Offers over 70 different exercises
  • Very sturdy build
  • Includes useful accessories such as access to Total Gym TV

Cons

  • Instructions could be clearer

TotalGym delivers again with the very affordable, very versatile Apex G3 weighted bench. One of the standout features is the variety of exercises you can perform on this simple piece of gym equipment. With more than 70 different exercises, you’ll have plenty to keep your strength training fresh. Another great thing about this particular weighted bench is that the transitions from 1 exercise to another couldn’t be easier.

The 8 different resistance levels add real adjustability and allow you to create a workout that challenges you in different ways. You could increase the difficulty of your workouts on the fly if you’re feeling particularly strong in the moment. Not only will you be able to perform challenging bodyweight workouts though, as there are also a couple of pulleys to help you get more from your strength training.

Easy to overlook, but adding great value to the product are the extras it includes. The squat stand and leg pull accessory provide extra versatility with regards to exercises, but it’s the nutrition guides, exercise charts, and access to Total Gym TV that really help set the APEX G3 apart from the rest.

#6 Best For Beginners

Marcy Multifunction Steel Home Gym

Marcy Multifunction Steel Home Gym

Our Score: 4.5 / 5

Editor's opinion:

The multifunctional 150lb home gym from Marcy is one of the best options for beginners, due to its compact design and ergonomic features.

For under $500, you’ll certainly get your money’s worth with this home gym, since it comes equipped with a 50lb weight stack, ergonomic backrest, and plenty of functionality.

This gym is for anyone who doesn’t have much space for a bigger unit, is on a budget, or is new to working out and wants a multi gym that’s easy to get on with.

Pros

  • Compact design makes it easy to store
  • Caters for all the major muscle groups
  • Includes a 50lb weight stack
  • Good lumbar support with the backrest

Cons

  •  Assembly can prove challenging
  •  There’s no exercise library or workout DVD included

This multifunction home gym from Marcy is a fantastic choice for beginners and those on a budget. Beginners will appreciate the ergonomic backrest which provides extra padding for the lumbar, as well as the variety of exercises supported by this setup.

One of the most appealing features of this home gym is how compact it is. If you’re short on space then there are few multi gyms that compare to this one when it comes to taking up as little space as possible.

The other main standout feature of this home gym is the great value for money. For less than $500, you will be able to get a full-body workout in, including staple gym exercises like the chest press, lat pull down, and pulley rows. This means you won’t leave any of the major muscle groups out, and you can develop a well-rounded physique for less money than you’d spend on a premium setup.

In terms of accessories included with this gym, it’s a little lackluster. You won’t get any workout guides or DVDs to help you find different exercises to do. You’ll also find that this multi gym can be difficult to assemble. However, it does come with a 50 lb weight stack, which more than makes up for these deficiencies. Especially when you consider the wealth of resources available online when it comes to exercises and workout routines.

The best home gym: buying guide, tips & tricks

Picking out the right home gym for you doesn’t need to be a difficult decision.

There’s only really one question you should ask yourself, and that’s what type of home gym you want. From there you can narrow it down to the best fit for your needs.

Weighted Bench vs Multi-Gym?

Once you know whether it’s a weighted bench or multi gym that best aligns with your strength and fitness goals, you’re halfway there.

Each has its strengths and weaknesses, so we’ll examine both in depth to give you a clearer idea of which is the best choice for your home.

Size

The first thing to consider, and this one’s important, is the size.

To put it simply: if you don’t have a lot of space at home, then you’ll have to rule out the multi gym.

The weighted bench is a far superior option for those with limited space at home. That said, if you have more room, you might enjoy the variety of weighted exercises you can perform with the multi gym.

Exercise Potential

The weighted bench, especially the ones offered by top brands like TotalGym, provides the potential to do all kinds of exercises. This includes squats, leg moves, ab exercises, and all of their variations.

You can also do cardio with a weighted bench to stay in shape.

These exercises are all bodyweight, but can be made more difficult by adjusting the incline on the bench or the weight if it comes with that option.

As for the multigym, you will have a more limited range of exercises at your disposal, but the few that you can do will build muscle more efficiently. The kinds of exercises you can do are weighted, as opposed to the bodyweight exercises of the weighted bench.

Examples include lat pulldowns, weighted squats, and the bench press. Basically, the exercises you can do on the weight machines at the gym. Multi gyms made by the bigger manufacturers like Bowflex give you more options with what exercises you can do.

Progression Potential

While there’s nothing to say that you’ll see bigger gains with one or the other, it is definitely true that weighted exercises will provide faster results.

If you’re looking for a way to stay in shape at home and maintain your physique, then the weighted bench is a fantastic option. It also provides you with a fun form of cardio or ab training, for a more well-rounded level of fitness.

The multi gym provides greater potential for quick muscle growth though. If you’re wanting to build big muscles then you’ll prefer this style of home gym.

A good multi gym will have weighted exercise options for every big muscle group in the body so that you can develop a stronger, balanced physique. Weight training is also better for muscle atrophy, so you stand to see the benefits more quickly than you would with bodyweight training.

Experience Level

The type of home gym you’ll prefer will also depend on if you’re new to working out or have been a fitness fanatic for as long as you can remember.

It’s not that one of these options provides too much of a challenge for a beginner, or one of them is too easy for a regular gym-goer, but that the type of exercises might appeal to different levels of experience.

Someone who is more interested in overall health and wellbeing rather than growing strong would likely prefer a weighted bench. It is beginner-friendly, and has lots of bodyweight exercises to choose from, allowing for plenty of experimentation without the added pressure of heavy weights.

Someone who is more interested in building strength and muscle would likely prefer a multi gym. The ability to work out with weights provides greater scope for visible gains, and provides the regular gym-goer with an experience very closely resembling their time at the gym.

Despite this, those with more experience might like to mix it up with a weighted bench and try bodyweight training for increased body mass and explosive strength. Likewise, those who don’t have much experience might like to dip their toes in the deep end if they know that they’ll want to see results quickly.

Home Gym FAQs

What are the different types of home gym?

The two main types of home gym are the weighted bench and the multi-gym.

The weighted bench is exactly what it sounds like: a bench that allows you to train with weights. While this might sound simple, they can be very effective for working out. They rely on bodyweight resistance that can be built upon with extra weight and have plenty of scope for performing a variety of exercises. TotalGym is a top brand for weighted benches.

The multigym is a large structure that rolls several different weight machines you’d expect to find in the gym into one. This is the typical idea of a home gym, and allows you to build muscle very efficiently. The multigym uses different forms of resistance such as cables and pulleys. Bowflex uses a unique system called Power Rod Technology, which has you pulling flexible steel rods.

How much do home gyms cost?

Home gyms typically cost $500 or more. This is due to the multifunctionality and quality material used to manufacture a sturdy system fit for constant use.

As you’ll find in this guide you can get some great home gyms for under $500 if you’re on a budget.

These units will tend to come in the form of benches, whereas the more expensive ones will usually be standing structures.

But in general, the more you’re willing to spend, the more versatile the machine will be. The higher-priced home gyms will more closely resemble those which you see in the larger gym chains.

Are home gyms good for beginners?

Absolutely. For a start, if you want to get to grips with the basics, you can do so at your own pace and without feeling the pressure of others around.

A home gym gives you the opportunity to workout with nobody watching, and fully familiarise yourself with the correct form.

It will also save you a monthly gym fee. If you’re just starting out, it’s perhaps less of a risk to put money down on some home equipment that it is to commit to a gym.

Plus, you won’t need to fight over different machines, so you’ll get to try out all the exercises you want in your own time.

What are the best home gym brands?

The top home gym brands are Bowflex and TotalGym. Though there are many solid brands out there, these two in particular stand out as they consistently produce excellent home gym equipment.

TotalGym vs Bowflex?

Both trustworthy home gym brands provide excellent value for money and will cater to your strength and fitness goals.

That being said, each manufacturer has their own style when it comes to home gyms.

Whereas TotalGym tends to produce more minimalist designs focussing on bodyweight movements, Bowflex makes large multi-purpose structures that allow you to perform the weighted exercises you see at the gym.

That leads to a few key differences which can influence your decision on which to buy.

If you’re new to working out, or are rehabilitating an injury, then a TotalGym will be your best bet.

Conversely, if you’ve been working out for a while or you’re looking to build muscle fast, then Bowflex is a better option.

Both home gym brands offer a wide variety of exercises, albeit not the same ones.

Lastly due to the differing sizes of the two types of home gym offered by the two brands, you’ll need to consider if you can accommodate the space of the bigger Bowflex structures at home.

There is no definitive answer as to which brand produces the better home gyms, as each targets a specific audience, and each can help you achieve your fitness goals.

Benefits of all-in-one machine vs multiple pieces of equipment?

The main benefit of buying an all-in-one machine over multiple pieces of equipment is the space you’ll save at home.

Not everyone has a room that can be used to store gym equipment, so this is worth bearing in mind.

Not only will you save space, but you will probably also end up saving money. Getting one machine that can do it all will end up being more affordable than buying all the individual pieces of gym equipment you need for a full workout.

Convenience is another factor. Rather than needing to fetch all the different pieces of equipment you might or might not need for a workout, the all-in-one machine has everything you need to get started.

Final verdict

Whatever your workouts look like, you could stand to gain a lot from investing in a home gym. They can be incredibly useful pieces of kit for expanding the potential for strength development from the comfort of your own home.

There’s only so many bodyweight pushups and squats you can do before you start to want more of a challenge. Weighted benches and multi-gym setups can provide just that, as well as supporting a wide variety of exercises you may have never even tried before.

When it comes to multi gyms, our favorite is the Bowflex Blaze. An outstanding setup by one of the best home gym manufacturers out there. With a wide range of exercises supported and Power Rod technology for extra resistance, it’s hard to go wrong with this unit.

As for weighted benches, we’d recommend Weider’s Ultimate Body Works model. The adjustable incline combined with cable pulleys and resistance cords should provide enough challenge for any experience level, plus you have the option to add a maximum of 4 extra bands for increased resistance should you need it.

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Samuel Dixon
Samuel Dixon

Sam is a freelance writer based in Spain, creating content and working on his blog in his spare time. He loves finding researching fitness-related products that introduce new ways of working out, currently practicing yoga and calisthenics as a way of staying healthy, but always experimenting with different forms of training.

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