If you’re serious about building a home garage gym then there are some pieces of equipment that you just need to have. From power cages to home gym workout stations, it’s easier to build the body you want when you have access to the right equipment and the right equipment usually allows you to work on more than one muscle group at a time, helping you to save time, space and money on expensive gym memberships as you build your ideal body from the comfort of your own home.
In this review, we are going to take a look at some of the best pieces of home gym equipment on the market from the big and bulky to the small and compact and see which one deserves a place in your home gym.
Top Rated Home Gyms Reviewed
1 Bowflex Blaze Xtreme Home Gym
The Bowflex Blaze is a serious home gym that has over 60 exercises for you to enjoy including the lat pull down, cable row or seated leg extension. With 210 pounds of power rod resistance (upgradeable to 310 or 410 pounds) the weight stack on the Bowflex Blaze has more than enough power to test your fitness and will always keep your sessions challenging.
With features such as the sliding seat rail, which enables you to perform aerobic rowing or leg press exercises and the cable pulley system which gives you the opportunity to perform a range of cable exercises you won’t ever be stuck for exercise ideas when it comes to the Blaze Xtreme home gym.
The Bowflex unit comes equipped with a lat bar and a squat bar, allowing you to focus on some of the bigger muscle groups in the body and as it also comes with 7, free, trainer built workout programs for you to follow along with you can always be confident that you’re doing the right thing in your gym sessions.
Stability and support are paramount with the Bowflex Blaze, it has a strong build and an efficiently considered design to ensure you feel confident and safe when you train.
The bars include triple function handgrips, the bench is padded for support and the leg attachments also come with foam covered pads.
As well as being strong and stable the Bowflex Blaze also cares about your comfort and It shows.
Once you’re done working out the bench is easily folded away, helping you to save space and store the unit but with so many different exercise options available, we don’t think you’ll ever need to put this machine away.
What we liked
The Bowflex Blaze has truly considered the full home gym experience and with over 60 exercises available for you to complete including the bench press, squat or lat pull-down, we love that this one machine could practically do it all. Add to that the fact that you also get a trainer built workout program ultimate and we’re even more impressed with what the Blaze has to offer and the impact it can have on your overall health and fitness.
What we didn’t like
Honestly, there’s not much we can really say to go against the Bowflex Blaze.
It’s very rare to find a machine that truly does have everything and depending on what your training goals are and what space you have available some machines may be better suited to you than others and for that reason, we can find no fault with the Bowflex Blaze.
It does what it’s supposed to and it does it very well, so if looking for a full-body training machine, this is a great option.
2. Weider Ultimate Body Works
The Weider ultimate body works home gym is a compact total-body training system designed for people that are short on space but big on their fitness. It looks similar to a weights bench but can do so much more.
The Telescoping design allows this body works bench to collapse or expand, making it easier for you to incorporate more exercises into your routine and the adjustable incline function means you can change the angle of your bench through 8 different levels, giving you even more control over your strength training routine.
As you’d expect, it completely folds down, making storage simple, helping you to save space and stay clutter-free but what you may not expect is the 50lbs of resistance built into this machine which will keep your workouts challenging.
The goal of the Weider ultimate body works home gym is to give you a platform to complete full-body exercises, training all your major muscle groups and it does not disappoint. You can improve your strength, working on your chest, legs, shoulders, back or abs and with attachable resistance bands you can also complete additional exercises to help you hit every muscle.
The rolling seat allows you to find the optimal comfort position for your workouts and the handles, stand and bench platform will keep you secure and stable when you’re using the body works unit, supporting users up to 250lbs.
The padded cushioning material is made from foam to keep your comfortable when using the unit and it’s just another strong feature for the Weider ultimate body works home gym.
While it may look small, don’t be fooled, the Weider ultimate body works home gym unit certainly packs a punch and can help you to take your fitness to the next level.
What we liked
If you’re new to exercise it can be difficult to think of a suitable workout routine to complete on this machine and you could find yourself doing the same few moves over and over again. Luckily there is also the option to purchase a workout card, showing you all of the available workouts that you can complete with this unit, a worthy purchase for anyone that buys the body works gym and also wants a little more direction.
What we didn’t like
As you grow stronger you may want to use your own dumbbells with the body works bench to perform a bench press or similar activity, however, with a weight limit of 250lbs, it may prove difficult to add much more additional weight on top of your body weight when using this bench. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it is something to consider if you’re planning on lifting heavier weights with this unit.
3. Marcy 150-lb Multifunctional Home Gym Station
The Marcy multifunctional home gym station is a high-quality home gym made from premium steel, heavy-duty steel tubing and reinforced guard rods that keep the weights in place and the user safe, meaning this is one strong piece of kit that is built to last and withstand high usage.
The innovative design allows you to train your upper body or lower body all from the comfort of your own home (with one piece of equipment) and with a 150lb weight stack you can customize the machine to your liking as you complete a total body workout, hitting every major muscle group along the way.
Designed with dual action press arms to provide more variety to your workouts you can perform efficient upper body exercises to target your chest muscles or you can switch to your legs by using the leg developer attachment and cater your workouts to your lower body.
It has a removable curl pad for you to focus on your arms and it also comes equipped with a lat pulldown bar to emphasize your back, the Marcy multifunctional home gym station really does provide a total body workout.
The seats are ergonomically designed with high-density boxed upholstery to help reduce tension and impact when the machine is in use and the padded armrests, leg rests and backrest also provide for a more comfortable exercise experience than you might be used to.
This machine has been designed for your convenience. You can train every muscle group, all from your own home, making it easier than ever before to get in shape the way you want, but more importantly, when you want.
What we liked
With the ability to perform a range of exercises, the versatility of the Marcy multifunctional home gym is by far the best feature. It provides you with the chance to train a whole host of body parts, without ever leaving your home and that for us, is one of the key features when building a home gym, having a unit that has everything you need in one small space. This machine certainly ticks that box and it’s a great piece of equipment.
What we didn’t like
We would have loved to see a heavier weight stack and a more flexible cable system, allowing you to perform other exercises such as a low row. It does cover some bases but that extra step would be a big plus for us as it would add another dimension to the exercise experience.
4. BodyBoss 2.0
The Bodyboss 2.0 is an amazing way to bring the gym to you, or take it with you, offering a fully portable workout solution for exercise on the go or as a ready-made home gym. With its vector fit platform and a couple of resistance bands, you would be forgiven for thinking the Bodyboss 2.0 is pretty tame, and not quite like other home gyms, but you would be wrong.
It has been designed with traditional strength training in mind and has been built to simulate the moves performed on the big and bulky machines you would find in the gym, combining them all into a compact, easy to use format.
You can move between upper body and lower body workouts with ease and you won’t have to move from machine to machine to achieve your goals.
With the ability to perform over 300 exercises the Bodyboss 2.0 is a truly full-body workout device and even better, it’s fully customizable to you.
With attachable resistance bands, a collapsible workout bar, and wrist and ankle straps to help you cater your workout to your needs, you can increase or decrease the difficulty as you see fit, making it easier to work to your own level.
You can perform strength exercises or cardio exercises all in one place and when you’ve finished, it’s simple and easy to pack up your portable gym and be on your way.
It’s lightweight, compact and oh so easy to use.
What we liked
The Bodyboss 2.0 gives you over 300 exercises to chose from so really, what more could you ask for?
How about a free start workout program to help you learn the BodyBoss 2.0 basics? Well, you get that when you buy straight from Amazon, giving you the perfect opportunity to truly learn all about your Bodyboss 2.0.
What we didn’t like
There isn’t much extra we’d add to the Body Boss 2.0 because all in all, it’s a great piece of workout kit. With the ability to attach your own, heavier resistance bands, the BodyBoss 2.0 does everything you need it too.
5. Total Gym XLS
Total gym XLS is another great home gym product that saves space, time and money as you complete a full-body workout all from your own home. There are 6 different levels of resistance allowing you to successfully complete a range of muscle building training exercises without having to leave the house and with a 400lb weight limit, the Total Gym XLS home gym caters to most users.
There are over 80 exercises available to do, so you won’t struggle to find a suitable exercise and with a padded glide board and head support, you can move your body to its ideal position and always feel confident that you’ll be comfortable as you work out.
The XLS is easily folded to save space and keep your home clutter-free and it’s easily moveable if you want to transfer the unit elsewhere.
When you order the XLS you will also receive a total fitness system of workouts to take all of the guesswork out of your routine and make it easy for you to follow a training plan.
It makes working out and getting in shape easier than ever before and provides you with a simple yet effective piece of home gym equipment to help you tone your whole body.
You also get access to 7 classic total gym DVDs on total gym TV, the online video platform, giving you another level of support and guidance for your training.
What we liked
The tight and compact nature of the XLS is a great feature for anyone short on space but what we liked the most is the fact you get a full system of workouts when you purchase the XLS. It makes working out easier and helps you to take the guesswork out of what to do or how to do it. It’s a great feature for anyone that is new to exercise or who simply enjoys following along with a pre-designed workout.
What we didn’t like
We’d love to see a greater level of resistance with the XLS, even a small weight stack, as it’d be great to be able to increase the intensity further and make your workouts more challenging. It’s still a great workout but another level would add a different dimension to using this machine.
6. Marcy Smith Cage Workout Machine Total Body Training Home Gym System
The Marcy Smith Cage Home Gym Workout Machine is one of the best machines on the market, offering you the chance to complete a true total-body workout, whether you prefer training your accessory movements like bicep curls and pec flyes, or if you want to go heavy with your bench press or squat.
Made from heavy-duty steel and reinforced with a durable powder-coated finish the Marcy smith home gym cage uses aircraft cables that have a tensile strength of 2,000lbs, giving you a unit that can withstand heavy-duty, long-lasting use and is sure to stand the test of time.
It has a multifunctional arm press system that enables you to perform a range of different chest exercises to develop your upper body and a dual-action leg developer to really help you strengthen your legs.
The pivot points ensure you keep proper form when working out, keeping all the force on the working muscles and with so many exercises at your disposal, you won’t have to move from machine to machine to achieve your goals.
When you’re ready for bigger impact exercises you can use the Olympic weight system to really work the big and powerful muscles in your body and with easy to reach weight pegs, you can also store your weights when they’re not in use.
The cable pulley system adds another dimension to this workout station, allowing you to perform lat pulldowns, low rows or a wide variety of other muscle-building exercises and the smart and efficient design of this machine will keep the movements smooth and comfortable as you train.
The structure of the frame has been built with a slight 7-degree angle to make each exercise more accommodating to your body’s natural movement pattern and the safety measures included, such as the 1-inch chrome guide rods or the adjustable bar catches and safety stoppers will keep you safe and protected all the way through.
Supporting weight of up to 600lbs this machine is a great unit for anyone that is truly serious about their health and fitness and who wants to make some serious gains in strength and performance.
What we liked
The cage as a whole is fantastic and there’s so much we like about it, it can do everything you would ever want to and is a perfect home gym system. We also love that you can use weight plates for many things instead of relying on a traditional weight stack, however, our favorite thing about the Marcy home workout machine is undoubtedly the range of accessories that come with it and the number of exercises you can do.
From the cable pulley system to the Olympic weight lifting capabilities this unit also comes with a lat bar, triceps rope, ankle straps, chrome row handle and single handles and a shiver bar. The bench is built into the system as is the pec dec and the leg developer, plus you also get a row/curl bar to further add to your arsenal. This machine can do it all, and that’s what we like about it.
What we didn’t like
To well and truly complete this unit and make it the undisputed home workout station, we would like to see a pull-up attachment on the unit. Don’t get us wrong, it is still amazing, it is still great value for money and it is still one of the best machines on the market, but if we could request another feature, that would be it.
Completing Your Home Gym
Although the machines above are perfect for any home gym and will set you on your path to becoming stronger, fitter and overall healthier it’s always good to think about other pieces of equipment that you can also use to build the best version of yourself.
Here are a few other pieces of gym equipment which would also be useful to add to your home gym.
Kettlebells are the perfect home gym companion, they don’t take up much space and are extremely versatile, usable for more exercises than you would think.
There are entire training programs based around kettlebells where they are used to build strength, conditioning or overall cardio fitness and as they come in a range of different weights and sizes they are adaptable for any home workout space. Kettlebells are great and deserve a place in every home gym.
Power Towers offer the perfect place for true bodyweight training as you develop your strength and practice some of the hardest bodyweight exercises around, the pull up and the dip.
As with most pieces of home gym equipment, you can get many power towers that are versatile allowing for a range of exercises, other than a pull-up or a dip to be completed on the unit and some even have high weight stacks to further increase the intensity of the workouts.
If you want to get into calisthenics and you want one of the purest ways to train your muscles, then a power tower could be the way to go for you. Available in a range of sizes and often, with the ability to fold down or collapse to save space, a power tower is a perfect tool for a home gym.
(link to power tower article)
Push Up Stands
Many people understand the benefits of being able to perform a proper push-up and how that can positively affect their fitness, but it can also be a struggle to complete one successfully if you struggle with wrist or shoulder pain.
The push up is a standard test of strength and power as it has the ability to work your entire body, but that doesn’t mean it should hurt.
Push up stands are a great piece of home gym equipment that gives you the opportunity to develop your push-ups and build a stronger body, with far less strain than you’d expect, preserving your wrists and helping you to fix your posture and positioning as you naturally set up in the correct position.
There are a range of suitable bars available to buy, some of which can be used for other things such as parallettes, dips or handstands and with the added bonus of being relatively small and easy to transport, push up stands could be one of the best investments you make when it comes to building your own home gym.
Pull Up Bar
Your home gym may not have room for a full power tower but that doesn’t mean you should say goodbye to your dream of completing a pull-up. With many stand-alone bars on the market, some which can be fixed to the wall or hung over a door, you will be able to find a pull-up bar suitable for you.
Pull-ups are obviously a great exercise for developing your back, arms, shoulders, and core but the range of exercises that can be performed on them often passes way beyond a simple pull up.
Pull-ups, chin-ups, muscle-ups and tons of abdominal exercises such as leg raises, windshield wipers and hollow holds are just a few of the moves you can perform with a pull-up bar and often train hard to reach muscles in a way which is unique to other exercises.
If you want to develop a true sign of power and strength then pull-ups should be included in your workout routine and a pull-up bar is a piece of equipment that should find its way to your home gym.
Link to recent pull-up/power tower article and the moves which can be done on a pull-up bar
There’s only so much you can do with machine weights or cable systems, not to mention the trouble you have if you can’t lift the preset increments on the weight stack or the problems you’ll face when you eventually go past the limit on the weight stack, that’s why adjustable dumbbells are some of the most important pieces of exercise equipment you can buy when building a home gym.
From your shoulders to your legs, having a set of dumbbells opens up a whole host of training exercises to help you build a more complete physique.
They can be used alone, in pairs or with a bench and they don’t take up much space, making them a great feature for home workout sessions.
Especially important if you have a muscular imbalance, dumbbells also give you a chance to train unilaterally and target some of your weaknesses that you couldn’t be able to hit with a machine or cable system, or in many cases, with an Olympic bar.
The type you get is down to you, but the benefit of including adjustable dumbbells into your home gym is plain and simple and once you’ve bought your first set, you can simply add to it as you get stronger.
Not all machines come with an adjustable weights bench but having a strong and sturdy bench in your home gym is a must. Whether for pressing, pulling or as a stabilizing force for some of the more challenging moves such as split squats, chest supported rows or a decline bench press, an adjustable bench is something you almost certainly need.
There are, of course, flat benches available, but you really want to go for an adjustable model to ensure you don’t limit yourself and your exercise capabilities.
So many movements require you to be inclined, declined or upright, not just flat, and therefore a strong bench that can do that is something you would greatly benefit from when working out.
Just be sure to look at the weight limits of the bench before you buy it.
Building a home gym is one of the most satisfying things you can do and as you have seen, there is an option for everyone.
Whether your focus is on getting big and strong or building up a specific body part you don’t have to pay for an expensive gym membership where you fight for equipment to achieve that goal.
The machines above, both the main units in the review and the suggested equipment alternatives are perfect for any budding home gym enthusiast and they all provide a different way for you to work on yourself and your goals.
Some of them can do it all and some are more unique but they are all fantastic options.
With different sizes, storage options and weight limits and weight stacks available, all at different prices to suit your budget, there truly is something available for everyone, all that’s left to do now is figure out which piece of equipment is right for you and then get ready to build the best version of you.