Updated April 25, 2019 by Quincy Miller

The 10 Best Home Gyms

video play icon
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive

This wiki has been updated 22 times since it was first published in May of 2015. Between the meatheads flexing into the mirror, the annoying guy impatiently waiting for you to finish your set, that lady who never wipes up her sweat, and the cost, having a gym membership can be more trouble than it's worth. Luckily, these home gyms allow you to get a fantastic workout in without leaving the house whenever is convenient for you. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best home gym on Amazon.

10. Marcy Diamond Elite

9. Marcy MWM-988

8. Bowflex Xtreme 2SE

7. Marcy Impex

6. Body-Solid StrengthTech

5. Bowflex PR3000

4. Total Gym XLS

3. BodyCraft Galena Pro

2. XMark XM-7626

1. BodyCraft Xpress Pro

Editor's Notes

April 25, 2019:

Eliminated the Body-Solid Powerline due to its relatively limited workout possibilities, not to mention its paltry weight stack. The far more versatile (and attractive) Marcy Impex took its place.

Speaking of Marcy, the manufacturer placed several models towards the bottom of this edition of the list. The company has different options geared towards different needs, but it seems like they might be better off if they combined them all into one, superior offering, as each of the ones listed here had its own distinct strengths in addition to several unique, frustrating weaknesses.

The Total Gym XLS is somewhat out of place among its competition here. It's not something that will build you a massive, hulking physique, but it's good for staying in decent shape. It's ideal for older users or those recovering from injury, which is why it earned such a high spot here. After all, not everyone is capable of putting up massive amounts of weight on the squat bar or bench press — that's reserved for present company only.

You've Got To Pulley Your Weight Around Here

How does the Bowflex transfer the energy of your movements to its fancy bows?

Classically, there are six simple machines in our scientific understanding of mechanics. Asking a small group of people at a party to name all six is a blast, as they can usually figure out five of them, and there's always one elusive one, though it's not always the same one group to group.

They are, in order of my personal preference: the inclined plane, the wheel and axle, the screw, the wedge, the pulley, and the lever.

As low as it is on my personal list, the pulley is the machine that is most valuable to us in our discussion of home gyms, because it's the one around which most of these units are built.

It's pretty darn easy to understand: you put some weights on the ground and attach them to a cord. Then, you run that cord through a pulley and attach its other end to a bar. When you pull the bar, it transfers your energy along the cord and through the pulley to lift the weight.

This way, you can pull that bar from almost any angle and achieve the same lift, allowing you to work different muscle groups with one simple combination of pieces.

That's not how all home gyms work, however. The Bowflex famously changed this system by introducing long flexible plastic arms that bend at specific tensions, replicating the progressive resistance of free weights without all the clanging of metal plates.

How does the Bowflex transfer the energy of your movements to its fancy bows? Why, with pulleys, of course.

Stay Fit, Stay Anonymous

Fitness is not attractive. Sure, once you're toned and buff, lean and mean, you can go sauntering along the shorelines in a billowy tank top, innocently overflexing various muscle groups just to pick up a Frisbee, but the path to fitness is acutely unsightly.

You're going to sweat, you're going to groan, you very well may cry, so why not do all that suffering in the privacy of your own home?

You're going to sweat, you're going to groan, you very well may cry, so why not do all that suffering in the privacy of your own home?

Currently, the least expensive multi-club plan at 24-Hour Fitness comes out to about $640 per year, which means that in just two years you'll have spent as much on your gym membership as you would have on four of our top five home gyms.

And that's not counting the gas you expend driving to and from the gym or the therapy bills you'll incur after you have a lactic acid fueled emotional breakdown in a very public place.

It just makes sense, then, to keep your work in the safety and financial security of your own home with a gym that'll last you years and years.

Which one of these gyms does it for you will have to do with two major variables. Space and ambition.

If you have limited space, odds are you'll want to get the most gym you can fit into that space. The Bowflex at number two has a great deal of available workouts packed into a smaller footprint, so check those measurements and start there.

If space isn't much of a concern, you'll want to know how far you plan to take your routine. A person aiming for lean muscle doesn't need to spend the extra money on a home gym that can be upgraded to handle extra resistance. They're going to do just fine performing more reps with lower weights.

A big old beefcake, on the other hand, will want as much weight as possible, so our gyms at one and four would serve them best.

Take an inventory of the available room in your house and the eventual bulge of your biceps and work from there.

An Upgrade To An Ancient Rite

Remember that movie 300? In case you don't, it was the one about a small group of Greek soldiers using the environmental strategic advantage of a narrow mountain pass to even out their numbers against a much larger Persian army.

Oh, and it was also about their abs.

As inappropriate as that might seem, the ancient Greeks were all about fitness. Their art counts among the first depictions of men toning their bodies with free weights and other implements in preparation for their Olympic Games.

Their art counts among the first depictions of men toning their bodies with free weights and other implements in preparation for their Olympic Games.

So, if you're going to make a movie about supremely fit Greek soldiers, it makes sense to use supremely fit British actors. Wait, what? British?

After the Greeks, there wasn't much to speak of a personal fitness regimen. Farm work and household chores did the bulk of the necessary toning anyone would need or want, and there wasn't a global media conglomerate shoving a gender-binary beauty standard down our throats.

Then came the industrial revolution, which is credited for some pretty wonderful and pretty awful developments in the history of mankind.

One of its side-effects was the increase in sedentary labor for the average worker, many of whom occupied the same spot in a factory setting and performed menial tasks in the assembly of more complicated products. So, yeah, they got fat.

While that may have helped usher about the opening of recreational centers like the YMCA, it wouldn't be until a famous fitness guru with fantastic eyebrows came along to introduce home gym equipment. This guy, a fellow named Jack Lelanne, first developed that now integral cable pulley system in the 1950s, and the home gyms we see today have all evolved out of that idea.

Statistics and Editorial Log

0
Paid Placements
4
Editors
22
Hours
44,312
Users
22
Updates

Granular Revision Frequency


Quincy Miller
Last updated on April 25, 2019 by Quincy Miller

After getting his bachelor’s from the University of Texas, Quincy Miller moved out to Los Angeles, where he soon found work as a copywriter and researcher, specializing in health and wellness topics for a major online media brand. Quincy is also knowledgeable about home improvement, as he’s had extensive experience with everything from insulation to power tools to emergency room trips, sometimes in that order. Sharing a home with three dogs and a couple of cats has forced Quincy to learn as much as he can about pet supplies, animal nutrition and, most importantly, the best ways to tackle the mountains of fur that accumulate in every corner of your home.


Thanks for reading the fine print. About the Wiki: We don't accept sponsorships, free goods, samples, promotional products, or other benefits from any of the product brands featured on this page, except in cases where those brands are manufactured by the retailer to which we are linking. For our full ranking methodology, please read about us, linked below. The Wiki is a participant in associate programs from Amazon, Walmart, Ebay, Target, and others, and may earn advertising fees when you use our links to these websites. These fees will not increase your purchase price, which will be the same as any direct visitor to the merchant’s website. If you believe that your product should be included in this review, you may contact us, but we cannot guarantee a response, even if you send us flowers.