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Published Apr. 11, 2022

Want to work out but aren’t a fan of boutique gyms that charge you the GDP of a small country each month and expect you to PR every single class? Maybe you want to be able to just roll out of bed and pound out a few quick sets before starting the day. Maybe you don’t feel like sharing smarmy equipment with people who just sit there posting selfies to their social media in between sets. Whatever your reason for wanting to invest in a home gym, we’ve got your back. 

There are so many different set-ups to choose from when it comes to home gyms on the market. In fact, deciding on the ideal one can be somewhat daunting. The home gym that’s ideal for your brother might not be the best one for you, depending on what your primary goals are for owning one in the first place. Not to worry, the crack team at Task & Purpose has done the heavy lifting (get it?) for you and has come up with a diverse list of some of the best home gyms on the market. We’ll have you lifting things up and putting them down in no time.

If you’re looking for a high-quality home gym that will give you a full-body workout without taking up a ton of valuable space and costing you a ton of valuable cash, the Marcy 150-lb Multifunctional Home Gym Station is our top pick overall. It’s made with heavy-duty steel that can withstand some serious use and abuse. The 150-pound weight stack can be customized to suit most weightlifting needs and abilities. The stack uses a safety locking pin to hold the desired weight in place and protect your fingers and toes from being pinched.

This compact piece allows you to perform vertical butterflies, chest presses, preacher curls, isolated biceps curls, leg extensions, hamstring curls, lat pulldowns, and more, giving you a fairly comprehensive workout. With a maximum weight capacity of 300 pounds, this unit is suitable for use by most adults. This unit probably isn’t the best if you’re capable of tossing around some heavy weight. It also loses some love for providing a lackluster customer service experience. It does come backed by a two-year warranty, though.

Product Specs
  • Brand: Marcy
  • Model: MWM-990
  • Dimensions: 68 x 36 x 79 inches
Why We Picked It
  • It’s a solidly-built, compact unit that gives you a great all-around workout at home.
PROS

Offers a good variety of exercise options

Compact unit won’t take up too much space

Two-year warranty

CONS

Maxes out at 150 pounds, which may be too little for some users

Questionable customer service

Best Value

The Weider Gym is a great choice if you’re really looking for a budget-friendly option that doesn’t take up a ton of space and still allows you to perform a variety of exercises. With its 112-pound vinyl weight stack, it’s an especially good option for beginners to familiarize themselves with proper form and technique. With the integrated pulley system, it offers 280 pounds of total resistance.

This unit features five different exercise stations, including butterfly press, chest press, lat pulldown, biceps cable curls, and leg extensions. It also includes an exercise chart. It also has a maximum user weight capacity of 300 pounds, making it surprisingly sturdy, considering its compact size. One drawback is that this home gym has a reputation for being difficult to put together. It’s also not a great option for taller users, due to its compact size.

Product Specs
  • Brand: Weider
  • Model: Platinum Home Gym Dimensions:
  • Dimensions: N/A
Why We Picked It
  • This is an uber-affordable multipurpose gym that’s great for beginners.
PROS

Very compact

Super budget-friendly

Allows you to perform multiple exercises

CONS

Not as sturdy as other models

Difficult to put together

Editor’s Choice

If you’re in the market for a commercial-grade home gym that you won’t be able to max out anytime soon, check out the ErKang Olympic Power Cage. Constructed from 11-gauge commercial steel tubes, this home gym is a beast that offers you a wide variety of workout options, just like you would see at any public gym. It includes a T-bar, cable handles, lat bar, tricep rope, dip bar attachment, barbell clamps, and J-hooks, and more with your purchase. With two towers instead of one, you can do plenty of bilateral exercises, like cable crossovers.

As with other commercial grade gyms, this one offers up to 500 pounds of customizable weight. Each tower offers 18 different height choices. It also comes with a workout guide board. The one drawback is that this piece of equipment is very large, heavy, and bulky. It will take up a significant amount of space. It doesn’t come with any free weights, so you’ll need to purchase those separately, adding to the already high price of this unit. You might also want to add in a flat weight bench.

Product Specs
  • Brand: ErKang
  • Model: B09LXP8N51
  • Dimensions: 82.7 x 68.9 x 90.5 inches
Why We Picked It
  • It’s a comprehensive, commercial-grade option for heavy-duty workouts.
PROS

Large weight capacity

Plenty of attachments for many exercise options

All parts arrive in a single box at the same time

CONS

Expensive and doesn’t include free weights

Takes up a large amount of space

The Body-Solid Bi-Angular Home Gym is the ideal option if you’re looking for a more serious set-up, yet need something that won’t take up a lot of space in your home. Modeled after some of the more budget-friendly options, this gym is a considerable upgrade. It offers six different exercise stations, including ab crunch, pec station, bi-angular arm press, seated row, and leg extension, so you get an almost full-body workout with this compact unit. Constructed using top-quality steel and military-spec steel aircraft cables, this gym comes backed by an incredible lifetime warranty on not just the frame, but the parts as well.

Accessories include a revolving straight bar, lat bar, ab/triceps strap, ankle strap, full-size exercise chart, total body workout DVD, and a water bottle and towel holder. The gym comes standard with a respectable 210-pound weight stack with an optional upgrade to 260 pounds. Swivel arms give you the option of either unilateral or bilateral movements. Heads up though, this unit is a “splurge” item for a reason. The price tag is a sphincter tightener, for sure.

Product Specs
  • Brand: Body-Solid
  • Model: G6BR
  • Dimensions: 84 x 58 x 84 inches
Why We Picked It
  • It’s a space-saving, yet commercial-grade choice that’s backed by a lifetime warranty.
PROS

Very high-end construction

Includes lots of accessories so you can get a full-body workout

Lifetime warranty on frame and parts

CONS

Super pricey

Weight stack may be too light for some users

When it comes to innovative designs in home gyms, Bowflex has been leading the pack for some time, and the Bowflex Blaze Home Gym is another great example of why. The cleverly designed power rods actually give you up to 210 pounds of resistance and you have the option to upgrade that to either 310 or 410 pounds. The layout of this gym also allows you to perform more than 65 different full body exercises that hit all your major muscle groups.

This model also offers a sliding seat rail that lets you perform leg presses and aerobic rowing for added versatility. A lat bar, squat bar, and multiple cable/pulley positions make this one of the most comprehensive compact home gyms available. We also really like the reasonable price tag. Be prepared though, since assembly of this unit is notoriously time-consuming.

Product Specs
  • Brand: Bowflex
  • Model: Blaze Home Gym
  • Dimensions: 90 x 38 x 83 inches
Why We Picked It
  • Few home gyms that are this compact offer the versatility and reasonable pricing that this unit does.
PROS

Offers over 65 different exercises

Optional weight upgrades for heavier lifters

Sliding seat rail allows for aerobic rowing on this model

CONS

Warranty isn’t the greatest

Assembly can be time-consuming and may require a partner

If usable space is a big concern for you, but you still want a free-standing home gym that lets you get a good workout, the Gold’s Gym XRS 50 Home Gym System deserves your consideration. This compact unit measures only ‎48 x 18.9 x 16 inches. It comes equipped with a 112-pound vinyl weight stack, which gives you a respectable 280 pounds of resistance. On this model, you can perform chest presses, pec flies, lat pulldowns, triceps pushdowns, biceps curls, leg extensions, and more. It offers a maximum user weight of 300 pounds, so it’s easily suitable for most adults.

The gym also comes with a comprehensive exercise chart that was designed by a certified personal trainer. Being compact, however, this unit isn’t the greatest option for taller users or users who can easily max out the weight stack, as there’s not an available upgrade. The good news is that this gym is very affordable. The bad news is that the 90-day warranty is barely enough time to really put this unit to the test.

Product Specs
  • Brand: Icon Health & Fitness, Inc.
  • Model: GGSY24613
  • Dimensions: 48 x 18.9 x 16 inches
Why We Picked It
  • This is a good-quality, affordable, space-saving unit that’s well-suited for beginners and people with limited area to house a home gym.
PROS

Compact

Affordable

Gives you a decent variety of exercises to perform

CONS

Warranty is marginal

Weight stacks cannot be upgraded

If portability is the name of the game for you when shopping for a home gym, you’ll like the Moulyan Portable Home Gym. It’s great for people who travel a lot or folks who like to frequently switch up their workout locations. It’s also ideal for tiny home living and major space restrictions, where a more permanent set-up just isn’t feasible. This package comes with a stable foot base, a resistance bar, four resistance bands, two ankle straps, two handles, carabiners, and a training manual.

You can turn anywhere into a viable “gym” that will give you a complete workout. At less than $100, this is a highly budget-friendly, extremely compact choice that can meet the fitness needs of almost any user. The equipment itself is constructed from strong, yet lightweight aluminum alloy bars and the bases are ultra durable ABS plastic that won’t chip, snap, or buckle. The max weight capacity for the base is 242 pounds. Tension on the resistance bands is adjustable between 30 and 120 pounds, making this a good beginner choice. More advanced athletes may not find this challenging enough, though. To make this an even more comprehensive choice, you might want to consider throwing in a set of adjustable dumbbells that you can store under your bed or dresser.

Product Specs
  • Brand: Moulyan
  • Model: B08JTV9DNG
  • Dimensions: N/A
Why We Picked It
  • This gym is highly portable and can go practically anywhere, making it a great choice for frequent travelers, as well as people who may not want to go to a traditional gym.
PROS

Can easily fit in a suitcase

Equipment is sturdy, yet super lightweight

Highly affordable

CONS

Available exercises are somewhat limited

May not be suitable for stronger, more advanced users

Best for Full-Body Workouts

For a truly challenging, full-body workout, it’s tough to beat the Marcy Smith Machine Cage System Home Gym Multifunction Rack. This home gym is really more of a commercial-grade gym than most on the list. It features a triceps rope, dual adjustable pulleys, a multi-grip pull-up bar, padded butterfly press, preacher curl bar, an adjustable bench, and much more. It’s everything you would expect to get at a professional gym. The maximum lifting capacity of this unit is up to 600 pounds, depending on the exercise. That makes it one of the most heavy-duty home gyms on the list.

Be sure to note that this unit doesn’t include an Olympic weight bar, but you can easily add it for an extra fee. Check out our top barbell choices here. This gym comes backed by a solid two-year warranty. There are a few drawbacks: For one, this gym is pretty large and requires a large amount of clearance around it. In fact, it’s the largest choice on the list. Also, this gym requires some major assembly. Because it’s so large, this gym also weighs a significant amount, making it unsuitable for a lot of home spaces. As you would also likely expect, this gym costs a significant amount and is a sizable investment.

Product Specs
  • Brand: Marcy
  • Model: ‎ SM-4033
  • Dimensions: ‎ 84 x 70 x 86 inches
Why We Picked It
  • This home gym is a commercial-grade, all-inclusive, heavy-duty choice that’s great for seasoned and serious athletes who want to max out their in-home workout capabilities.
PROS

Super heavy-duty, all-inclusive set-up

Offers all the typical exercises you would see in a commercial gym

Backed by a two-year warranty

CONS

Pricey

Takes up a ton of space

Best Suspension Trainer

Suspension trainers have been around for decades, but the TRX Tactical Gym Suspension Trainer takes it to the next level. The TRX system is one of the most advanced suspension trainers on the market. This kit includes a door anchor, a suspension anchor, the TRX Xtender, a carrying bag, and a 30-day free trial access to the TRX Training Club app. The app gives you access to more than 500 on-demand workouts, daily live classes, and new workouts added weekly.

This particular TRX model was specifically designed with the military in mind and features larger foot cradles to accommodate boots. It also has convex, easy-to-clean, rubber handles, and a super light travel weight of only 2.2 pounds, making it ideal for a go-bag or even boot camp. Made with heavy-duty ripstop nylon, this trainer is mold- and mildew-resistant. This workout is completely customizable simply by changing the angle of your body or the length of the straps to make exercises easier or harder. It also comes backed by an industry-leading six-year warranty.

Product Specs
  • Brand: TRX
  • Model: ‎ Tactical
  • Dimensions: 50 x 1.97 x 0.1 inches
Why We Picked It
  • What’s a list of the top home gyms without including a top-of-the-line suspension trainer?
PROS

Highly portable

Six-year warranty

Provides a completely customizable workout without the need for tons of equipment

CONS

Requires a high anchoring spot to be fully functional

Pricier than other suspension training options

Why you should trust us

Trust me, I’m a doctor. No, really, I am. I am a licensed chiropractor with almost 20 years of experience under my belt. Who better to help you pick out appropriate exercise equipment than a legitimate expert in the subject of human health and biomechanics? I have written dozens of health-related articles over the years and have successfully helped hundreds of patients rehabilitate injuries and begin safe, effective workout programs. I hosted a full physical rehab suite in my practice, so you can rest assured that I know a thing or two about high-quality exercise equipment.

Types of home gyms

As you’ve probably noticed, there are several different types of home gyms that offer different set-ups, different exercise experiences, require different space considerations, and come in very different price ranges. Which one is right for you is dependent not only on personal preference, but also budget and ability or skill level.

Body weight machine

Typically, body weight machines also include suspension trainers. They’re any piece of equipment that uses your own body weight as the primary resistance. They’re a great option for people who have very limited space in their homes, people who travel a lot, budget-conscious consumers, and people who don’t want to rely on a ton of equipment. 

They’re typically very affordable and portable. They’re suitable for any athlete from beginner to advanced.

Cable machines

Cable machines rely on either a single- or double-stack system of weights attached to a cable and pulley system that is housed inside a set of steel towers. They’re typically very stable and allow you to perform a variety of weighted exercises. Cable machines can run the gamut from very affordable to a major cash investment, depending on the size and quality of the machine you desire. 

Cable machines are generally thought to be safer and more stable than free weights, thus minimizing your risk of joint or muscle injury during use. 

Rod machines

Rod machines, like the Bowflex system, use a series of resistance rods to simulate weight stacks or create resistance that you must work through in order to complete the exercise. They’re typically very compact and affordable, making them a favorite choice of people who have smaller spaces in their homes or who aren’t looking for a professional-grade, in-home workout experience. 

Benefits of home gyms

There are so many benefits to having a gym in your home, that it’s tough to narrow it down to just a few, but we’ve come up with some of our top reasons why you may want to invest in a home gym of your own.

You can customize it

Home gyms can be completely tailored to suit almost any need, space requirement, fitness level, or skill level. Maybe you want some really heavy-duty towers that let you lift a lot of weight. Maybe you need something super compact, light, and portable that you can easily take down and store inconspicuously when not in use. Maybe you need to accommodate for an injury or health issue that doesn’t allow you to do certain exercises. Whatever your needs or wants, there’s a home gym set-up that’s perfect for you.

It’s cheaper in the long run

While home gyms require more of a financial investment at the outset, when amortized over time, a home gym can last for years and save you not only on costly membership fees, but also on wear and tear on your vehicle. With gas prices being what they are, you’ll be saving money with a home gym in no time. Whether you have a membership at an expensive boutique gym or a bargain-basement, budget-friendly facility, you can often pay for your home gym within a year of canceling your gym membership.

Home gyms are convenient

Want to workout at 5 a.m., 11 p.m., or just pound out a few quick sets between conference calls? Having a home gym allows you to do that whenever you want. They’re a major time-saver. You can even workout in your pajamas if you want. Think of all the time saved by not having to get in your car and drive to and from the gym, not having to wait for equipment or the shower, and not having to deal with crowds when you have a gym in your home. The convenience factor of a home gym is often its number one selling point over a traditional gym membership.

Pricing

Budget

Between $100 and $250, you will find most portable gym equipment and many suspension trainers. Highly compact units that don’t take up a ton of space, but still provide a comprehensive workout live in this price point. Also, you can pick up singular-purpose exercise equipment in this price range, like dumbbells, a flat bench, extra bars, etc. in order to supplement an existing piece of equipment in your home.

Mid-range

In the $250 to $500 price range, you will find a lot of compact cable systems that allow you to do several exercises. Higher-end suspension trainers and lower-end rod trainers can also be found in this price range.

Premium

Over $500 is where you will start to see the more heavy-duty and commercial home gyms. Gyms that mimic what you would see at a membership-based club can be found here. Total body gyms, high-end rod trainers, and electronic workout equipment, like elliptical trainers and treadmills, can also be found at this price point. Some pieces of equipment can get really expensive, depending on what you want.

How we chose our top picks

For this list, we wanted to offer a variety of different types of home gyms that would be suitable for all skill levels from beginner to advanced. We also wanted to offer something to suit any budgetary considerations. Portability, reliability, and available warranty also played big roles in what we decided to include on the list. Only those companies with a solid track record of delivering high-quality, reliable fitness equipment that is known in the industry to be safe and long-lasting were included in this round-up.

FAQs on home gyms

You’ve got questions, Task & Purpose has answers.

Q: Are home gyms worth it for beginners?

A: Home gyms are often a great way for beginners to “get their feet wet” when it comes to exercise and proper form. Many newbies find going to a public club daunting and intimidating. They don’t want to look silly or do the exercises the wrong way. In that respect, a home gym can be a great way for a beginner to get comfortable when it comes to getting started on a physical fitness routine.

Q: How much space do you need for a home gym?

A: Depending on the gym you choose, you can do a solid workout in the space between your bed and dresser. Our top portable pick or a suspension trainer lets you turn your living room, hallway, entryway, etc. into a temporary gym space that’s easy to convert back to living space when you’re done with your workout. Heck, you can even turn a doorway into a home gym by simply adding a pull-up bar. Most free-standing, stationary home gyms require a space of at least four feet x four feet in order to allow you enough room to safely perform most of the exercises.

Q: Are home gyms effective?

A: Home gyms are a highly effective means of exercise. Most of them are modeled after commercial gym equipment and strive to offer the same or very similar exercise experiences as what you would get at a commercial gym. Most home gyms also come with tutorial charts, DVDs, or apps that teach you how to properly and safely do the recommended exercises. Some even come with proposed workout routines and meal plans to help you really maximize your home workout results.

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