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Why buy a Home Gym?
If you’re in the process of buying a home gym, it means going to a local gym is too much of a hassle or not worth the price and time. Lower priced home gyms will limit the amount of workouts you can do, but there’s usually more than one way you can lift the weight. The following machines in this guide are recognized as some of the most versatile on the market, meaning you’ll be able to train more than just your biceps.
Buying a home gym means you’ve made a commitment to workout on your own at home. It won’t do you much good if you neglect it!
What is a Home Gym?
It’s not uncommon to see these pop-up gyms in garages around your neighborhood. While they’re limited in the number of workouts and movements they can provide the user, rest assured they work the core muscles in the mid and upper body.
As for the lower body, it is common to use machines that are just as big as these home gyms. Investing in one of those can be pretty pricey. As you’ll see, some of the following machines come equipped with mechanisms for lower body workout. Regardless, the majority of these accessible machines are going to work everything from the hips up.
In this guide, we’ll explore the best home gyms of 2017 according to three categories: Multi-purpose, specialized, and upper/mid-body.
Multi-purpose Home Gyms
The PR1000 may look like it’s specialized for upper body workouts, but the key is in the cable pulleys. When you push and pull weights, you build core strength, which gives your body more of a full body workout than you realize.
The seat can face towards the pulleys or away from it. This variation in direction gives you over 30 different ways to conduct strength workouts. Too many variations would limit the PR1000’s capabilities. The key with a home gym like the PR1000 is working the same muscles over and over again at increasing difficulties.
You can adjust the resistance levels of the PR1000 to between 5 and 210 pounds, which should be plenty of weight for any user.
The Titan Stack a multi-function home gym for an affordable price. This machine features an overhead bar, horizontal tricep/bicep grips, and a rowing bar. It’s rare to come across a machine of this variety at this price.
The Titan Stack has a maximum resistance of 150lbs, so it might not be ideal for heavy and hardcore lifters but perfect for the average Joe looking to beef up. We like the Titan Stack for its diversity and low weight compared to other stationary home gyms. At 232lbs, it may seem heavy but compared to larger home gyms, it’s a bit easier to handle during assembly and disassembly.
Marcy’s MKM-81010 looks like it’s designed for a complete badass (which is you). This machine is a more of a dedicated full-body workout mechanism. The rollers near your feet also maneuver upwards to act as leg lifts.
If you also have dumbells or a barbell on hand, you can use the inverted pad in front of your for some elongated curls. What gives the MKM-81010 its loyal fanbase is the different ways each of the instruments can move. From the front pad to the overhead pulley, there are multiple ways each component of the gym can move.
The various foam pads are a big plus in our minds. They’re a lot more comfortable than handling metal bars that might twist your skin.
Purchase the MKM-81010 today.
The Powerline looks a lot like your average gym pulley with its stainless steel coloration. Its primary components consist of a cable system, a pulldown bar, upward push bar, and leg curl rollers. One thing’s for sure, the Powerline is one of the simpler home gyms. As a result, you won’t have to tinker too much with the machine itself to discover its capabilities.
The maximum resistance level is only 160 lbs. While this is plenty of weight for most people, the more hardcore users are probably going to want a machine with an even higher resistance level. Regardless, the strength of the Powerline comes in its simple structure and basic movements.
The Body-Solid G1S is a unique home gym in that its pulley system is reversible on the top and bottom. This means that you can maneuver the cables so the exercise will start at the top or bottom. As a result, you can get lower body workouts by pulling and pushing with your feet.
While this design is intuitive, the G1S doesn’t use as many lateral bars as other home gyms. Its pulley system allows you to attach different bars or cables to it to suit your workout. While it does have a lateral pulldown and a horizontal push bar, there’s so much more you can do with the reversible pulleys.
The Marcy Diamond is a workhorse of epic proportions. If you could pack up an entire gym and take it home with you, this would be it. The price tag is pretty hefty, but that’s to be expected with a gym of this size. So what does it come with?
There are bars and cables for just about every muscle in your upper body. The cage that arches over the primary bench can also serve as a bench press and squat rack since it is the type that is latched into the structure of the machine itself.
This machine is for the ultimate gym enthusiast who is ecstatic about working as many muscle groups as possible. On top of that, many of the Diamond’s hardpoints are marked with cushioned rollers for your comfort.
The BodyCraft Galena Pro is the ultimate at-home workhouse. It has two seats with two sets of horizontal bars and a number of other pulleys and push down handles for complete upper body dominance. This monster features up to 300 lbs of maximum resistance. If you can push, pull, or bench more than that, you’re probably an Olympian.
The leg press component is sold separately, but there is still foam rollers for leg curls. Leg curls actually do a pretty good job of working a majority of your lower body muscles, so don’t think you’re missing out on much.
Because of its various instruments, it’s also going to be the most expensive. Nevertheless, its got just about every movement to work your body to the core.
The Weider UBW looks a lot like your ab incline bench, but actually, works a couple of different ways. You work different parts of your body depending on if you’re sitting up or sitting down on the incline. It uses a cable and pulley system as its primary exercise method.
This machine relies on your own body weight to conduct exercises. Body weight exercises are considered by fitness experts to be the most grueling on your body. On the other hand they give your body an intensive workout.
The UBW comes with an additional four resistance bands to add up to 50 lbs of additional resistance to your exercise.
The Power Tower is a specialized tower for dips, abs, and pull-ups. It’s one of the skinnier machines on our list and thus doesn’t require much space to operate. This type of tower doesn’t require pulleys or cables and relies a lot on your body weight.
There are cushions on the back and underside of the arms for your comfort while carving away some bullet-proof abs.
The Body Champ Olympic bench looks like a cross between a bench press and the MKM-81010 home gym. This is because its lower half is constructed so you can conduct curls over a pad. The downside to this is that it relies on circular plate weights instead of a pulley system, so you’ll have to provide your own weights.
Regardless, the Olympic bench provides a huge upper body platform. It also comes with an ab crunch, which wraps around one of the Olympic bench’s primary struts so you can conduct mid-body exercises.
This cage can act as a varied incline bench or shoulder press. You can switch out the pegs to any of 19 different levels according to your comfort level. This also gives it the ability to act as a squat rack.
Basically, the cage gives you access to the heavy and classic lifts. Additionally, the top of the cage acts as a pull-up bar. It’s easy to miss and connects the two sides of the cage.
The Iron Gym is a widely raved about tool. Granted, it’s not exactly a home gym like the cages and machines we’ve talked about, but its function as a multi-purpose tool is all the same. Its design allows for placement in doorwards that can support it.
On the ground, its ideal for push-ups, dips, and crunches. Basically, the Iron Gym is a bodyweight exercise tool that works your body as much as you need to. It’s cheap, accessible, and better yet–body weight exercises work your body in some of the best ways.
A word of caution: make sure the Iron Gym is fully secured in your doorway. You don’t want to be in the middle of a pull-up only for it to come off and take a chunk of the doorway with it.
The Sportneer is similar to the Iron Gym but is larger and features different grips. It still fits in doorways but the change of grip forces your body to work different muscles, no matter how insignificant the change may seem.
This pull up bar is only a few bucks more than the iron gym and gives a few different options in terms of exercise.
What to look for in Home Gyms
With so many different home gyms out there, it can be difficult to decide which one to buy. Furthermore, you grow tired of doing the same exercises over and over again. This is the big difference between actual gyms and at-home gyms. With actual gyms you get the variety at a monthly price, but at-home gyms give you accessibility with a taste of variety.
Here are some factors you should consider before buying at-home gyms.
- What muscle groups you want to/will work
- Number of possible workouts/exercises
It’s also not uncommon to seem multiple at-home gyms under one roof. Sure, this is an expensive route to take, but the accessibility factor stays the same and you get a little more variety.
Budget: The Bowflex PR1000 is going to be the favored budget machine. It may only have cables as its primary lifting method, but that doesn’t mean you can use it one way. As one of the most popular at-home gyms on the market, you can rest assured you’ll get your money’s worth in time.
No Limit: If money isn’t your issue, then we recommend you go with the Galena Pro home gym. It has two different seats so you can pull the cables in a multitude of different directions and large resistance level. On top of that, it has curlers near the feat of one of the seats for an easy lower body workout.