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The Best Home Gyms

Where Can You Find the Best Home Gym?

Ever thought about getting fit but find it hard to consistently hit the gym? Concerned about the possibility of an unused gym membership collecting dust? Ever been frustrated by reaching the gym only to see every bench occupied?

Whether your goal is to shed some holiday weight, tighten up those tricky spots, or simply integrate more healthful habits into your routine, having a home gym could be the game-changer you need. With it, you can say goodbye to recurring membership costs, battling for equipment, and the challenge of fitting gym visits into a jam-packed schedule.

Friday, April 19th

2024 Home Gym Reviews

Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Bodycraft Review 5 Star Rating

Bodycraft

5 Star Rating
  • Type of Home Gym: Weight plates
  • Cost Range: $2,199 to $4,499 (mean price $3,170)
  • Different Models: 7
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Weight Resistance: usually 150-200 lbs
  • Return Policy: 31 days
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Shipping: Free
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

BodyCraft began in 1994, aiming to help people reach their fitness goals. They prioritize safety, design, variety, affordability, and motivation in their products. Their machines are not only effective but also fun to use. Many team members even trust and use them at home. BodyCraft's unique designs have set standards in the fitness industry. When you choose BodyCraft, you're guaranteed quality and durability, backed by their strong commitment to excellence.

Don't judge the book by its cover

Straight up - we're not a big fan of the lettering used on the website. The tall, capital letters are a bit difficult to parse, especially when trying to read through a long list of specs on a piece of equipment to figure out if it has the functionalities you need. On the other hand, we do like that many of BodyCraft's product listings have a section for customer reviews. Just note that they're sorted earliest to latest, so make sure to scroll to the bottom of the page for the most up-to-date information.

Cheapest option may be out of stock

You won't find anything below $2,000 from BodyCraft. Out of their lineup of 7 home gyms, the lowest-priced is the Galena Pro Strength System, sitting at $2,199. However, it was out of stock when we visited their site recently. There's an option to join a waitlist to be sent an email when it's available again, but no mention of how long this might take.

Best Home Gyms

Galena has leg press, fly exercises, and low pulley station

The Galena is BodyCraft's longest-selling home gym. Simply put, it's a do-it-all machine that lets users work out all major muscle groups in a short time. One of its coolest features is the dual-function pec deck, which means you can do both regular fly exercises and a style that's more like using dumbbells. Want more? There's an optional leg press attachment for a full leg workout, a pulley station for exercises like arm curls and leg kicks, and a versatile press/pull station. If you're curious about size, the basic gym is about as wide as a large sofa and as tall as a door. If you add the leg press, it's a bit longer. The weight stacks on the BodyCraft home gym machines are precision-milled and come in a standard 150 lb size, which can be upgraded to 200 lbs if desired.

BodyCraft stands by their oldest products

Real users have given the Galena two thumbs up. They talk about how it's easy to set up, fits nicely in homes because of its smart design, and offers tons of exercise options. Many have used their Galena for over a decade (or even two) - it's still going strong, and replacements and upgrades are still supported by BodyCraft.

HFT Pro Functional Trainer is a home gym with smart screen

For $3,499, you can take home the HFT Pro Functional Trainer package, and yes, it comes with the fancy Connect-22 screen. At a glance, this home gym setup has adjustable cable columns, accessories like handles and tricep ropes, and a multi-grip chin bar for different exercises. It's not just about looks, but with its sleek paint finish, one reviewer even said it's stylish enough for a bedroom. The home gym comes with dual 150 lb weight stacks with magnetic selector pins with the option to upgrade to 200 lbs each. Now, about that Connect-22 screen - it's basically an Android tablet. You can download your favorite workout apps, watch shows, or even explore virtual scenic workouts. It's a personal trainer and entertainment center all in one. It has Bluetooth, internal speakers, and the ability to mirror your phone screen.

Best Home Gyms

BodyCraft XFT has won awards

At a price range of $3,999 to $4,499, the BodyCraft XFT is a game-changer in the realm of strength training. This state-of-the-art equipment fuses Barbell Training with Functional Training all in a minimal footprint of 61" X 50". Designed to enable a plethora of exercises in a natural, safe manner, it's a perfect fit for everyone from athletes to fitness novices. Its versatility is further enhanced when paired with the F704 bench (available for $399), which has an intelligent design that auto-adjusts as you shift exercises, eliminating time-consuming manual adjustments. Distinguishing features of the XFT include a rotating blue anodized barbell, a quick-adjust carriage, dual adjustable pulleys with laser-etched positions, and a 150 lb weight stack (upgradable to 200lbs). The machine also has a plethora of accessories, from sports sticks to triceps ropes. It's no wonder this equipment clinched Golf Digest's Editor's Choice in both 2021 and 2022.

You won't need another machine

Several users have shared glowing reviews. One fitness professional added the XFT to their PT studio, lauding its versatility and the positive feedback from clients. Another user emphasized its superior quality compared to other equipment they've tried, noting its ease of adjustment and user-friendliness for their entire family. Several attestations highlight the equipment's unmatched innovation, dubbing it a "technological marvel" that eliminates the need for gym memberships or other machines. Despite its premium pricing, many consider the XFT worth every penny for the value it delivers. We will note that its weight stack is only upgradeable to 200 lbs, which may not be enough for leg exercises for some users.

Satisfaction guarantee

If you're not satisfied with your order, you can return it within 31 days for a refund. Just contact BodyCraft's Customer Service to get a Return Authorization Number. Customers cover return shipping costs, and items should be in their original packaging. A 10% restocking fee applies.

Best Home Gyms

Shipping included in price

Home gym prices at BodyCraft include shipping. Typically, order processing takes 2-3 business days and shipping can be expected to take a week. For shipping outside the 48 contiguous states or internationally, contact them at the email address provided on the website.

Lifetime warranty

Finally, BodyCraft provides a Residential Lifetime Warranty on their home gyms, covering replacements or repairs for manufacturer's defects. This warranty is for the original owner and in-home use only.

We're impressed

BodyCraft, starting in 1994, has always aimed to help people with their fitness goals. Their machines stand out for being safe, fun, and well-designed. What's also impressive is the tons of great reviews from customers under each product. Even more, when there's any criticism or concerns, BodyCraft's customer service jumps in to help and answer. This shows they really care about their customers. Some points to consider: their website's lettering is hard to read, and their cheapest home gym was out of stock. But they do offer a strong return policy, shipping is built into their prices, and their products come with a lifetime warranty. All in all, BodyCraft is an excellent choice for fitness equipment. Their mix of great products, happy customers, and attentive customer service makes them stand out and earns them our top rating.

Bowflex Review 4.5 Star Rating

Bowflex

4.5 Star Rating
  • Type of Home Gym: Resistance technology
  • Cost Range: $999 to $2,599 (mean price $1,699)
  • Different Models: 3
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Weight Resistance: 210-600 lbs with upgrades
  • Return Policy: 6 weeks
  • Warranty: Depends on model; up to 10 years
  • Shipping: $149 to $199

In 1986, Bowflex started with a vision to make gym-quality workouts accessible at home. Their fresh take on home exercise equipment was a hit, and they kept introducing new products to suit everyone's needs.

Inspired by NASA

The Bowflex community is a mix of fitness experts and everyday folks. Interestingly, the Bowflex Revolution, a popular product from the 2000s, was inspired by a NASA project. They needed a way for astronauts to stay fit in space, and inventor Paul Francis had the perfect solution with his elastic resistance tech. This tech was eventually used by Nautilus Group to create the Bowflex Revolution, giving users a workout similar to lifting free weights but safer. Bowflex keeps it simple with just three home gym models: the Revolution, the Xtreme 2 SE, and the PR3000.

Bowflex's unique technology

Unlike traditional home gyms that use heavy metal plates, Bowflex employs its special Power Rod technology. Made of bendable polymer, these rods ensure steady resistance during each exercise, lessening the pressure on joints and tendons. Plus, because there are no big weight stacks, Bowflex machines are space-saving.

Suitable for all levels

Many exercises can be done while seated, which means no frequent weight adjustments and a more efficient workout. Whether you're a gym pro or just starting out, Bowflex has you covered. Their exercise manual offers detailed instructions so everyone can set up their machine and begin their fitness journey confidently.

Best Home Gyms

Xtreme 2 SE comes with ab crunch shoulder harness

Priced at $1,499, this home gym offers 210 lbs of power rod resistance, which can be upgraded to 410 lbs. It allows for 70 different exercises, such as leg extensions and lat work, fitting comfortably in compact spaces with a required workout area of 96" x 78". It's versatile, accommodating users from 4'6 to 6'6 in height. With each purchase, users also receive an ab crunch shoulder harness, 5-way hand grips or ankle cuffs, and seven trainer-designed workouts. Out of nearly 2,000 reviews, 97% of users would recommend this gym to a friend, praising its easy setup, clear instructions, and seamless transitions between stations. Financing options are available for this $1,499 machine, which also comes with a 7-year warranty and an additional 5-year warranty for the power rods.

Cheapest option is the $999 PR3000

The Bowflex PR3000 Home Gym, priced at $999, is a versatile fitness solution that supports over 50 strength exercises. It boasts a resistance of 210 lbs, which unfortunately cannot be upgraded. The gym features a vertical bench press, leg extension, and a convenient no-change cable pulley system, eliminating the need for manual cable switching. Additionally, it includes seven professionally designed workouts and triple function accessories that can serve as ankle cuffs or hand grips. It occupies an area of 100" x 86" when you're working out - its footprint is a little smaller, but we like that they tell you the workout area specs so you don't underestimate how much space you'll really need and end up unable to do some exercises. In terms of warranty, the frame is covered for a year, the power rods for five years, and other parts have a 60-day guarantee.

Cardio and strength in one with Revolution model

The BowFlex Revolution Home Gym is a top-tier choice, priced at $2,599. It's popular, with 95% of nearly 600 reviews recommending it. This home gym needs a space of 120" x 84", but it's worth it. Why? Because it can do over 100 different exercises with 400 modifications possible. Cool features include adjustable arms, a station for leg presses, a special seat for bench pressing, and it can even change into a rowing machine for cardio workouts. This means you get many workouts from just one machine, saving room in your home gym space. A lot of people love being able to do leg presses at home with this setup. It starts with 220 lbs of resistance, but if you want more, you can buy extra weights to push it up to 300 lbs. The company gives a 10-year warranty for the gym and 90 days for any work that might need to be done on it. Users say the machine feels like using free weights on cables despite its unique Bowflex technology.

Best Home Gyms

Easy payment plan

Bowflex equipment might be a bit pricey, but they offer a helpful payment option. With their 18-month financing deal, if you buy with a Bowflex Card and pay on time, you won't have to pay any extra interest.

Website has Q&A and customer reviews with images

We like that Bowflex's listings have Q&A and Review sections on their products so you don't have to cross-reference 3 different websites to find the answer to your questions or learn what people think of it. If a question you have hasn't been asked, you can post it yourself and receive an answer from a representative.

In-home assembly available

If you buy a Bowflex machine, you can choose to set it up yourself or pay an extra $299 for in-home assembly. Many people use the guide and videos on the website to help them put it together. Bowflex recommends you do it with two people. But if you're not sure about doing it yourself, you can get professionals to assemble it for you. Just check the "In-Home Assembly" option when you buy, and you can see the price and if it's available where you live.

Best Home Gyms

Satisfaction guaranteed

If you buy a Bowflex product directly from Nautilus, Inc. and aren't 100% happy with it, you can return it. Just call the number on their site within six weeks of getting your product to get a special return number called an RMA. You need this number to return your item. After getting the RMA, you have two weeks to send the product back. Make sure it's in its original box, undamaged, and has all its parts. If you do all this, you'll get a refund, but they'll take out any shipping or assembly costs. If you got your Bowflex from a store, check their return policy.

Shipping costs under $200

Shipping costs are determined during the checkout process based on the provided shipping address. For standard shipping, you can view the expected delivery time by adding the item to your cart. If you're in a hurry, there's the option for 2-Day Shipping or Overnight Shipping; however, every item in your order must be eligible for these methods. When you're checking out, simply choose the desired speed. It's important to note that items purchased together might be shipped separately, but you'll only be charged for what is sent. As for specific products, shipping for the PR3000 should be $199, the X2SE $149, and the Revolution also $149.

A top choice

What we really admire about Bowflex is their cutting-edge technology crafted by fitness professionals. Serving more than 1 million satisfied users, Bowflex provides trustworthy and space-saving home gym solutions for every fitness requirement. They confidently offer a 6-week full refund policy and a convenient payment plan.

Force USA Review 4.5 Star Rating

Force USA

4.5 Star Rating
  • Type of Home Gym: Weight plate, stack plate
  • Cost Range: $1,999 to $5,999 (mean price $4,082)
  • Different Models: 6
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Weight Resistance: 402-578 lbs (between two weight stacks)
  • Return Policy: 30 days
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Shipping: Free

Founded in the early 2000s, Force USA set out to create innovative strength training equipment at affordable prices, driven by the belief that everyone deserves a stronger, happier, and healthier life. Now operating in over 25 countries worldwide, Force USA remains committed to designing top-notch strength equipment for both home and commercial settings. Impressively, the brand boasts an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Free app access

Force USA is proud to introduce the original All-In-One Trainer. In their innovative G-Series, they've expertly combined up to 14 different strength training systems into the compact space of a single power rack. But the advantages don't end with the equipment. Every All-In-One Gym purchase grants lifetime access to the latest Force USA Training App, designed to remove the complexities of workout planning. And for a limited time, they're offering this app absolutely free with the gym.

Weight capacity visible at a glance

One thing we really appreciate about Force USA's website is that you can tell at a glance how much weight and how many strength training systems each home gym comes with at a glance. Some other websites make you dig deep in the product description, but not Force USA.

Best Home Gyms

Weight plate or stack plate

Force USA offers a choice of two distinct home gym systems: weight plate models and stack plate models. The weight plate model is designed for those who might already have a collection of weight plates at home. It incorporates these plates into its power rack, smith machine, and functional trainer. Not only is it a cost-effective option, but it's also convenient to move and reposition as per your needs. On the other hand, the stack plate model comes with dual integrated selectorized stack weights specifically for the functional trainer, while still using weight plates for its power rack and smith machine. Do note, though, if you're considering the stack plate model, the weight plates are sold separately. Whatever your preference, Force USA has a solution tailored for your home workout needs.

Force USA G3 is cheapest option

The Force USA G3, priced at $1,999.99, is a versatile all-in-one gym system, likened to a Swiss Army knife for fitness. Not only a power rack, it features a smith machine, functional trainer, chin-up bar, and core trainer. With options for six additional upgrades like Jammer Arms and Dip Handles, the G3 ensures a comprehensive home workout without the gym commute. Ideal for space-saving or privacy, many enhance their setup with accessories like a leg press. As the most economical option in the Force USA line, it offers up to 10 configurations. However, setup might be longer, and heavy lifters might consider thinner plates. Overall, it's a budget-friendly and adaptable home gym choice.

G20 is for serious bodybuilders

From the stack weight line, the Force USA G20 Pro All-In-One Trainer stands out as the paramount home gym solution, especially for powerlifters, strength-focused bodybuilders, and even personal training studios catering to athlete clientele. The G20 Pro offers over 400 exercises and integrates 14 strength systems into a single power rack. Its distinctive features include a 2:1 cable pulley ratio, 25 attachments, 578 lb of stack weights, and a unique Lat Row Station Upgrade. The trainer's walk-through design simplifies set-up, transitions, and even cleanup. This feature also permits an easy entry for a spotter assisting lifts from the machine's rear. The design prioritizes ease, from setup to cleanup, and can accommodate multiple users simultaneously. Its extensive features, such as dual exercise charts, two chin-up bars, and commercial-grade components, make it not just a fitness tool but an expansive workout experience. It costs $5,999.99.

Best Home Gyms

Free shipping

All orders from Force USA enjoy FREE shipping with no minimum purchase required. Orders under 150 lb are delivered by UPS or FedEx, while heavier items over 150 lb are dispatched via an LTL freight carrier. Once your order is shipped, you can expect it within 5-7 business days in the contiguous US, though some areas might take up to 10 days. You'll receive a shipment confirmation email with the carrier's details and a tracking number. For larger orders, the freight company will contact you to arrange a delivery time. Remember, items over 150 lb are delivered curbside, while those under 150 lb are left at your residence's front.

Lifetime warranty

Force USA stands by their products. If you buy one in the US or Canada, they offer an upgraded warranty (it's better than the factory warranty outlined in the owner's manual). They promise to fix or replace your item if there are issues with its build, but damages from delivery or misuse aren't covered. You might need to cover shipping for replacements. The home warranty covers the frame for life, moving parts for 10 years, and upholstery and attachments for a year when used in residential spaces. However, using them in commercial spaces voids this warranty.

Recommended for dedicated weightlifters

Force USA has some of the heaviest stack weights we've encountered, and their weight plate home gym line offers even greater potential. The G20 model, in particular, captivated us with its sleek and highly functional design. While it may not be the most budget-friendly option, the value provided by Force USA home gyms is substantial, and they ease the strain on your wallet where they can with inclusion of free shipping. We're further encouraged by their "A+" grade from the BBB. Overall, we highly recommend Force USA for dedicated bodybuilders.

Marcy Review 4 Star Rating

Marcy

4 Star Rating
  • Type of Home Gym: Smith machine/cage system, weight plate
  • Cost Range: $749 to $3,499 (mean price $1,276)
  • Different Models: 11
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Weight Resistance: 150-200 lbs on weight stack systems
  • Return Policy: 30 days
  • Warranty: 2 years

Marcy was established in 1946 by fitness pioneer Walter Marcyan. It began with the opening of the Marcy retail store in America and later founded the Marcy Gymnasium Equipment Company, introducing the first all-in-one multigym for home use in 1959.

Leading global provider of fitness products

The company's innovative approach to fitness attracted notable figures like Bruce Lee and President Ronald Reagan. In 1982, IMPEX, an American family-owned company, acquired the rights to produce equipment under the Marcy brand. In 2005, IMPEX joined forces with UK-based Puretec Limited, expanding Marcy's distribution into Europe. Today, IMPEX, with brands including Marcy, Steelbody, and Bionic Body, is a leading provider of innovative and quality fitness products globally.

11 home gyms

Currently, the Marcy brand provides 11 distinct models of home gyms, categorized into weight stack home gyms and smith machines. Their best-selling stack home gym is the MWM-990, priced at $749.99. It's similar to what you'd find in a professional gym. It's designed for strength training that targets most muscle groups, helping you burn calories and build lean muscle from the comfort of your home. With its pulleys, cables, and weight stack system, you can easily adjust the resistance without dealing with weight plates. It's compact, so it fits well in home garage gyms. Features include dual action press arms for chest and butterfly exercises, an upper pulley for ab crunches, padded arms for comfort, a leg developer, a removable curl pad for bicep exercises, and a lockable weight stack for safety. Users say it's easy to set up, but that you might outgrow the weight stack, which is only 150 lbs.

Best Home Gyms

Intensive strength workouts

The MD-9010G Cage System by Marcy is their top-selling smith machine and is perfect for those deeply committed to strength training or bodybuilding. Although it doesn't come with weight plates, it's designed to work with both standard and Olympic plates, letting users adjust workout intensity. This machine offers a wide array of features and attachments such as an incline bench press, a pec deck station, high cable crossovers, a free-weight squat rack, a weight bench with a Preacher Curl Pad and a Dual Function Leg developer, and a low pulley with a foot rest. While setting it up can be time-consuming (taking roughly 10 hours), the assembly guidelines are straightforward. This home gym is priced at $1,299.99.

Smith machine and power rack combo comes with bench

There are a few other options in the under-$1,000 range, but Marcy's deluxe option is the SM-7553, which costs $3,499. With features comparable to high-end club gyms, it offers a smith machine, cable crossovers, multi-grip pull-up bar, and detachable dip bars. The system provides an extensive range of exercises, thanks to the included bar catch, leg press, landmine attachments, and a host of accessories. An adjustable bench enhances workouts with quick transitions between various positions, and while the bench is included (which can't be said for all competitors), Olympic weight plates must be purchased separately. This comprehensive unit combines the best of a smith machine and power rack, but assembly is required.

Free shipping

Orders take 3-7 days to process. If you're in the main part of the U.S., smaller items usually arrive in about a week after you get the tracking number. But sometimes, because of high demand or carrier issues, there might be delays. If something's wrong with your order, like receiving the wrong item or not getting it at all, tell the support team quickly. If you wait longer than 30 days from when you expected it to arrive, there might be problems fixing the issue. Shipping is free on home gyms.

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30 days for returns

Thinking of returning something? First, talk to Marcy's support team. Only items bought from Marcy's website can be returned. If you change your mind about a purchase or find it cheaper elsewhere, you'll have to pay a 15% fee when you return it, and you'll also pay for the shipping both ways. You can return your home gym within 30 days of receipt, but it needs to be in the same condition you got it in.

Warranty is only 2 years

All of Marcy's home gyms come with a 2-year limited warranty, but they don't go into detail about what this entails. We think this time period leaves a lot to be desired. After all, if you're spending a few thousand dollars on a home gym, you expect to be able to use it for a long time. What's more is that several competitors have lifetime warranties on their equipment.

A home gym for under $1,000

With 6 stack gyms between $749 and $999, Marcy is there for athletes on a budget. If you have a little more cash to spend, you might consider one of their more deluxe smith machines. We appreciate that every product features customer reviews, most of which are more than positive. While Marcy is comparable to competitors in most aspects, one thing it doesn't do as well is warranties. If they want a higher ranking in our next review, they should consider upgrading that 2-year limited warranty to a lifetime warranty. That said, Marcy still ranks pretty high for their affordability.

Body Solid Review 3.5 Star Rating

Body Solid

3.5 Star Rating
  • Type of Home Gym: Single-stack weight plates
  • Cost Range: $569-4,795 (mean price $2,275)
  • Different Models: 13
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Weight Resistance: 145 lbs-210 lbs
  • Return Policy: Depends on vendor
  • Warranty: Depends on machine
  • Shipping: Not available through Body Solid

Founded in Illinois, Body Solid has been a trusted source for both commercial and residential exercise equipment for over three decades. Serving a diverse clientele, from schools and fire departments to specialty retailers and gyms, they've secured a top rating from the Better Business Bureau. Their standout feature? The impressive "Built for Life" lifetime warranty on their products.

We recommend their Single Stack gyms

While Body Solid offers an expansive range of workout equipment, including multi-stack and free weight gyms, those looking for a compact home gym should consider their Single Stack Gyms. These are exactly what it says on the tin: home gyms designed with a solo weight stack, making them an efficient choice for home use.

No direct purchases

An important detail for potential buyers: Body Solid's website doesn't allow direct purchases from their catalog, unlike other websites we've reviewed. Instead, you'll have to use the Dealer Locator tool to input your zip code to find nearby sellers. But there's a silver lining - Body Solid dealers are conveniently located across the nation. We found several dealers within a 50-mile radius of our own zip code.

Best Home Gyms

Prices hard to find

Finding product prices on Body Solid's website can be tricky. They don't display the prices of each machine on the main product page or even in the product overview. Instead, you have to click on a product, then navigate from "Overview" to the "Features" tab to see the MSRP (manufacturer suggested retail price). Perhaps Body Solid does this to avoid surprises, since the actual price might be higher when buying from a local dealer. It might be their way of preventing any disappointment or confusion for customers, but it does make it more difficult to discern which of their thirteen single-stack machines might be outside of your price range at a glance.

Pricing starts at $579 with the BFMG20

The BFMG20 is Body Solid's budget-friendly option, with the MSRP set at $579. It's a compact all-in-one gym machine designed to maximize your workout without occupying a lot of space. This machine features high-quality cables that can withstand heavy use and pulleys that provide smooth movements. There's a wide-grip lat bar and a low pulley with a narrow grip row bar, so you can perform over a dozen exercises including the Bench Press, Pectoral Fly, Lat Pulldown, Tricep Pressdown, Leg Extension/Curl, and several others using the Low Pulley Station.

Assembly instructions have some mistakes

However, some users have shared tips for improvement. For instance, the pec fly handles can be a bit obstructive during certain exercises. To resolve this, some have used wing nuts to make them removable. Another point to consider is the weight stack. All the plates weigh 15 lbs, which might be a big jump for some when increasing weight. Purchasing additional adapter plates can solve this. Lastly, when assembling, be aware that there are some steps in the process that need to be done later in the process than indicated in the manual - you can check customer reviews for specifics, or figure it out for yourself as you go. Despite these challenges, many find the BFMG20 to be a versatile and valuable addition to their home gym.

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Three-year warranty

Warranties from Body Solid differ depending on the machine. The BFMG20 exercise machine has a 3-year warranty for U.S. customers. The main frame is covered for 3 years, most parts for 1 year, while any motor has a 1-year warranty and electronics are covered for 3 months. The warranty only applies if the machine is used normally at home and hasn't been modified with non-Body Solid parts. Paint isn't covered. To claim the warranty, you need your receipt and the original box. If you sell the machine, the next owner can't use the warranty. Before returning, call Body Solid for a return number. You'll pay for return shipping. This warranty may offer specific rights depending on your state, and it's not valid outside the U.S.

High-end G6BR has six stations, costs $3,695

The G6BR is one of Body Solid's premium gym machines, priced at $3,695. Designed for full-body workouts, this system boasts six specialized stations. The patented Bi-Angular® Press Arms provide resistance from two directions, replicating the natural feel of free weights. There's a Lat Pulldown and High Pulley Station, allowing for the full range of upper body exercises. The Ab Crunch/Mid Pulley Station focuses on abdominal toning, while the Perfect Pec Station works upper body muscle development. For those who want to sculpt their legs, the Leg Extension/Leg Curl Station is a nice touch. Lastly, the Seated Row/Low Pulley Station works the back muscles. The gym is powered by a 210 lb. advanced alloy weight stack that creates smooth and silent operation.

A favorite of long-time fitness buffs

A fitness professional who switched to the G6BR during the COVID-19 gym closures highly recommends it. They praise the resistance quality throughout the exercise motion and note the sturdy construction. With a lifetime warranty and excellent customer service, this investment becomes even more worthwhile for fitness enthusiasts seeking a top-notch home gym solution.

Best Home Gyms

Lifetime warranty on some equipment

If you buy the G6BR from Body Solid or one of its official sellers, you get a lifetime warranty. It covers the frame, cables, upholstery, and more. However, it doesn't cover cosmetic damages like scratches in paint. If you need to send your home gym back, you'll have to cover the shipping and other costs.

Some machines not suited to very tall or very short users

When shopping for a Body Solid single-stack home gym, you should know that some might not be ideal for very tall or very short users. Before purchasing, it's wise to check out the reviews for the specific product you're interested in. Some users have reported challenges in comfortably using certain machines due to their height, like not being able to reach the leg bar, which can't always be adjusted. So, while the machines are generally well-made, their design might not fit everyone's needs.

Loses points because you can't buy directly

We like Body Solid's equipment and we appreciate that they offer a home gym for only $579 that covers every muscle group. We're also pleased to see their Lifetime warranty on some of their products. However, they don't get our top rating because you can't buy directly from their website, which means we can't assess factors like customer service through the order process or availability.

Titan Fitness Review 3 Star Rating

Titan Fitness

3 Star Rating
  • Type of Home Gym: Stack machine
  • Cost: $1,749.99 to $2,374 ($2,040 mean price)
  • Different Models: 3
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Resistance: Up to 300 lbs
  • Return Policy: 30 days, plus 20% restocking fee
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Shipping: Free

Titan Fitness, a branch of Titan Distributors, provides reliable fitness equipment without the associated high costs. They prioritize durable and functional products, standing apart from companies that might compromise on quality or overprice their items. As part of their customer-centric approach, Titan Fitness offers free shipping on all equipment.

"A+" from the BBB

Titan Fitness is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and has an "A+" grade. Across 142 customer reviews on the BBB page, they have 4.5 stars. That's pretty impressive.

Functional Trainer enables 1,000+ strength training positions

In Titan Fitness's Multifunctional Stack Weight Workout Station category, there are two functional trainers and a lat tower. At the time of this review, the simply-titled Functional Trainer was on sale for 5% off its usual price of $2,499. It features two 200-lb weight stacks, a short bar, a long bar, adjustable pulleys, ankle straps, a pull-up bar, and more. With this workout station, you'll be able to do exercises like lunges, step-ups, pulldowns, twists, flies, and more.

Plenty of positive customer feedback

We like that Titan Fitness product listings have a section for customer reviews, some left as recently as a few days before the time of this review. The Functional Trainer had nearly two dozen pages of reviews, with an average 4.8-star rating. Where there were customer complaints, Titan Fitness representatives followed up.

Best Home Gyms

Lat Tower works shoulders and back

Next up is the Lat Tower, a weight-stack selector setup that goes up to 300 lbs. It's specifically built for shoulder and back exercises, like lat pull-downs and low rows. It comes with a lat bar and an adjustable padded seat. For $1,999, we think you could get more bang for your buck with a different home gym - one that lets you work more than just two muscle groups. But if this level of specificity is what you really want in a machine, customers say it's well-constructed and operates smoothly.

Nemesis Functional Trainer works full body

Finally, we have the Nemesis 300 LB Single Stack Functional Trainer for $1,749. It's a compact piece of equipment intended for full-body exercises. Made from durable steel, its weight stack starts at 10lbs and goes up to 300. The unit includes accessories like a long bar, short bar, waist strap, two handles, and an ankle strap, enabling exercises like pulldowns, flies, squats, lunges, and twists. All these tools can be stored directly on the machine. Of the three models from Titan Fitness, this is the one we would recommend. It'll give you a full-body workout for the lowest price.

Warranty is 1 year

Unfortunately, all 3 machines are only covered by a 1-year warranty. If you want longer coverage, you can extend it with Mulberry.

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Free same-day shipping

Titan Fitness advertises free same-day shipping on their product listings, stating that if your order is placed before 1pm CST, it'll be likely to be shipped that day. If you need to return your home gym, though, you'll be responsible for return shipping, plus 20% of the item's cost in restocking fees. This is pretty standard industry-wide.

10% off first order

We also spotted an offer to get 10% off your first order when you sign up for their email list, so keep an eye out for that pop-up.

Solid options for home gyms

If what you really want is a single stack functional trainer, we have no problem recommending the Nemesis by Titan Fitness. It's compact and could easily fit in a master bedroom or garage, and it's reasonably priced. The Functional Trainer with two stacks is a nice piece of equipment as well, but we think you could get a better deal from one of the other brands we've reviewed - possibly with a better warranty. We do like Titan Fitness's same-day shipping and are encouraged by their "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau. All in all, they're a safe bet.

Total Gym Review 3 Star Rating

Total Gym

3 Star Rating
  • Type of Home Gym: Bodyweight resistance bench
  • Cost: $1,049 to $3,995 ($2,040 mean price)
  • Different Models: 3
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Resistance: Depends on bodyweight
  • Return Policy: 30 days
  • Warranty: 5 years - Lifetime
  • Shipping: Free

Appearing on late-night TV with stars Chuck Norris and Christie Brinkley since the 90's, Total Gym is a home exercise system first made for rehab centers. Both Norris and Brinkley have been fans of Total Gym for three decades, praising it as an efficient way to stay fit even with packed schedules.

Incline and cushion

The sloped, cushioned board supports your back well, and the smooth glide prevents pressure on the joints. This explains why Total Gym was popular in physical therapy. The system uses 6 to 60 percent of your body weight to create resistance, which you can tweak for harder or lighter workouts. Adjust the board's angle and position to work on various muscles and exercises.

Training tools

When you buy the Total Gym system, you get a detailed exercise chart, a collection of workout DVDs, and a card deck that shows all the exercises you can do with Total Gym, plus the suggested number of reps. Total Gym TV is a new perk that allows you to watch Total Gym workouts anytime and on any device. They have a free version called Basic, which gives you a mix of new and old workouts. If you want more, they have a Premium version too. With Premium, you get new workouts when they come out and can also watch all the old Total Gym DVD workouts from the Total Gym app or on their website.

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Total Gym XLS is $1,049

There are three models of the Total Gym. The XLS is the most basic of the lineup with 60 possible exercises and 6 resistance levels. It includes a leg pull attachment, ribbed squat stand, and wing attachment. The machine weighs 68 lbs and is priced at $1,049.50. There's a lifetime warranty on the frame and 6 months for parts. Notably, it comes fully assembled, reducing setup time. Given its features and price, the XLS might appeal to beginners, seniors, or those looking for a standard workout without too many additional features.

Total Gym FIT has 85 exercises

The Total Gym FIT is a mid-tier model, priced at $1,649.95. It provides over 85 exercises with 12 resistance levels. Add-ons include the AbCrunch, an upgraded squat stand, leg pull attachment, and a 2-piece wing attachment. It has a more extended warranty than the XLS with a lifetime coverage on the frame and 2 years on parts. Like the XLS, it comes fully assembled. Its increased exercise and resistance options might be good for those wanting a bit more variety and intensity in their workouts without going to a professional grade.

Total Gym GTS is overpriced

The Total Gym GTS is the most advanced and pricey option among the three, at $3,995.00. It can accommodate 200 exercises and 22 resistance levels. In contrast to the other models, it requires assembly, but this service is included. The warranty differs with 5 years on the frame, 1 year on parts and upholstery, and 90 days on foam and rubber. It has a lat bar attachment, squat stand, and a 6-piece strength package. The GTS requires freight shipping, but that should also be included. We're not sure this home gym is really worth the price. We think Total Gym products are best suited to seniors, those with limited mobility, and absolute beginners to working out, and we wouldn't recommend any of those demographics spend $4k on a bench on sliding rails. For that price, you could afford a nice Smith machine with accessory attachments.

Best Home Gyms

30-day free trial, but return shipping isn't covered

Total Gym has an offer that lets you try out their equipment for 30 days at home before deciding if it's right for you. This is the only company we've reviewed with such a trial. You do have to make a first payment, and if your state charges sales tax, that'll be added too. After the 30 days, if you choose to keep the equipment, they'll charge your card every month until you've paid in full. The good thing is if you want to pay everything off early, you can, and there's no extra fee. Just remember, if you decide to send it back within the trial period, you'll have to cover the return shipping costs. Also, even though Total Gym doesn't add interest to their monthly payments, your credit card company might, so it's a good idea to double-check with them. The return policy follows the same 30-day timeframe and shipping fee caveats.

Ideal for fitness newcomers

Total Gym's home gym systems are a great fit for seniors, new moms working on post-baby weight, or anyone aiming to shape up at home. For those seeking a cost-effective and user-friendly home workout solution, Total Gym is a great option. However, if you're deeply into bodybuilding, Total Gym rigs won't be the best fit, given their reliance on body weight and limited resistance adjustment.

Major Fitness Review 2.5 Star Rating

Major Fitness

2.5 Star Rating
  • Type of Home Gym: Smith machine with weight stack, weight plate
  • Cost Range: $999 to $3,699 (mean price $1,851)
  • Different Models: 4
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Weight Resistance: up to 310 between 2 weight stacks
  • Return Policy: 35 days
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Shipping: Free

Major Fitness is passionate about revolutionizing the home fitness world with their distinct product designs. They're upfront about their journey, which started in 2020, even acknowledging missteps like the issues with their "Power Cage PLM07" product.

Suspect words and phrasing

However, certain aspects of their "About" page raise eyebrows. Phrases like "We Are Challenger! We Are Changer!" come off as a bit forceful and unprofessional, and the use of "almost equally excellent" to describe their team members is puzzling. While their ambition is evident, these quirks, combined with the admitted product failure, make it challenging to fully trust their brand's promises without reservations. They also have a "D+" rating from the Better Business Bureau - a less than satisfactory grade.

SML01 has Landmine attachment

The Major All-in-One Home Gym Smith Machine SML01 is a powerhouse of a home gym. With features ranging from a Lat Pull-Down Bar to a 360° Landmine, it's designed to give you a full-body workout without the need to hop from one machine to another. Built using a strong commercial steel square frame, this hefty machine weighs in at 276 lbs, ensuring stability as you pump those muscles. Whether you're into squats, bench press, or cable rows, the SML01 has got you covered. Its nylon-coated cable pulley system, adjustable to 9 different heights, lets you work your back, chest, shoulders, and arms to the fullest. It's the cheapest in Major Fitness's product line, costing $999.

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Customers are happy

While the product's listing had more than a few typos ("a gym of you own" is a notable mention), it seems that hasn't deterred buyers. Many of them have shared positive reviews with pictures, expressing their satisfaction. One user mentioned how the cables run smoothly, the smith machine functions efficiently with varying weights, and the overall quality, especially at its price point, is commendable. Another user praised its ease of assembly, given you have a bit of a knack for it, and shared the excitement of having a full-fledged gym right at home.

Product listings aren't very helpful

There are 2 other kinds of basic Smith Machines on offer from Major Fitness, but they don't do a good job explaining the differences between them in their product listings, leaving us scratching our heads over why we'd recommend the more expensive options over the $999 model.

Weight stack and Olympic free-weights on SML08

On the high end, you have the SML08 for $3,699.99. It comes with various features and attachments. It includes a Lat Pull-Down Bar, Cable Bar, T-Bar, 2 J-Hooks, 2 Dip Bars, 2 D Handles, 2 Safety Arms, 360° Landmine, 2 Barbell Storage Attachments, 6 Weight Storage Holders, Cable Systems, and a Leg Holder Attachment. The machine has a total adjustable weight stack of 310lbs, with 155 lbs on each side. It also features an Olympic Free-Weight Rack with 6 weight plate pegs for easy organization. The SML01 is designed for a wide range of exercises, including smith deep squat, smith deadlift, free weight exercise, incline chest press, flat chest press, weight incline, press squat, morning exercise, triceps extension, arm curl, squat with cable, wood chopper, hip abduction, pulley triceps extension, seated row, alternating chest press, chest fly, and more. Please note that the weight plates are not included with the machine.

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Much cheaper than similar setups from competitors

The SML08 home gym has received 10 customer reviews, all of them between 4 and 5 stars. One reviewer described it as a legitimate machine that feels solid and compares favorably to similar machines that cost over $4,000 with accessories. Another reviewer praised it as the best purchase they have ever made, highlighting its versatility, solid construction, and smooth operation. However, one customer mentioned that it took them 16 hours to install due to clearance issues and unclear instructions. They suggested looking at page #5 for clearance before proceeding with the installation and recommended the company provide a video demonstration for complex installations.

Warranty is only 365 days

When you're investing thousands of dollars into a home gym, it's most likely with the intention to replace your gym membership for years or decades to come. With that in mind, you're going to want a good warranty to back your investment. However, Major Fitness won't help you there - none of their home gyms come with a warranty longer than 365 days. So while you might be getting what seems like a great deal, don't forget to factor in out-of-pocket costs for replacement parts several years down the line.

Free shipping

Major Fitness offers free shipping on everything from their website. Once you order, they'll ship your items in 2-3 days if they're in stock. They've got warehouses in CA, NJ, and GA, so they'll send your equipment from the closest one to you. After shipping, they'll email you with tracking info and any setup instructions. Though they aim to get most products to you within 10 days, the exact delivery time can vary since they work with different shipping partners.

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35 day return policy

When it comes to returns, Major Fitness allows you to return items within 35 days of delivery, as long as they're in their original condition. If there's an issue on the seller's end, like sending the wrong product or not delivering on time, you can also return items. Be sure to take photos if the packaging looks damaged when it arrives. If you're returning something because you changed your mind, you'll have to pay for shipping. But if it's because of a mistake by Major Fitness, they'll cover the cost.

Below average rating

It's great that Major Fitness offers cheaper versions of some top setups, as mentioned by overwhelmingly satisfied reviewers. However, it's important to consider the long-term costs if something goes wrong after the first year and replacement parts are needed. While we didn't come across any major red flags in the customer reviews on their website, it's worth noting that it's their own platform where they have control over what gets published. The "D+" rating from the Better Business Bureau is also a factor to consider, and we would recommend exploring higher-ranked home gym retailers before making a decision.

Precor Review 2 Star Rating

Precor

2 Star Rating
  • Type of Home Gym: Stack machine
  • Cost: $4,790 or $6,490
  • Different Models: 2
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Resistance: Up to 400 lbs
  • Return Policy: 30 days, plus restocking fee
  • Warranty: Not included
  • Shipping: $649 for Icarian, Free for Glide

Founded in 1980, Precor initially focused on rowing machines. As the company expanded, it introduced various equipment types, including the first cushioned treadmills and elliptical machines. If you've had a gym membership before, you might recognize the Precor name, as their equipment is commonly found in commercial fitness centers.

Most equipment is single-station

If you have extra space and are planning to turn your garage or basement into a full gym, you may find relevance in Precor's single and dual stations. However, these machines can be quite pricey. For example, their leg press machine costs nearly $7,000 - and it is only for leg presses - while there are multi-exercise home gym systems available elsewhere at half the price which even include a leg press attachment.

Icarian FTS is overpriced

Precor does offer two Functional Training stations with which you can perform dozens of lower and upper body exercises. The Precor Icarian FTS Functional Training Workstation has two weight stacks, a top bar, and a cable-and-pulley setup. Each weight stack is 150 lbs, but you can upgrade to 200. However, it costs $6,490 - that's rather high for a setup with no Olympic squat rack or bench.

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Glide FTS is $4,790

The Glide Functional Trainer is a little less pricey at $4,790, and a little more compact, too - it's "about the size of a large armoire" , according to the description. It's got a top bar for chin-ups, pull-ups, and ab work exercises; a dual adjustable high/low pulley system (think exercises like bicep curls and standing reverse cable flys); and two weight stacks that weigh 200 lbs each. If you run out of exercise ideas, you can refer to the placard on the inside "wall" of the station for inspiration. If you want to add a bench, that'll be another $1,200.

Expensive shipping for Icarian

The Icarian FTS is labeled "In-Store" only. Confusingly, though, there are still shipping methods listed below. It's $649 for Economy and $973 for Delivery & Assembly. Ouch! The Glide comes with free Economy shipping, or you can pay $199 for in-home delivery and assembly - which you may want to spring for, because reviewers say you really need a hand to move around its 800 lb total weight.

Warranty costs extra

If you were already cringing at the price tag on either of these Precor functional trainers, we have some bad news: a warranty isn't included in the price. You have the option to select a 3- or 5-year warranty from a drop-down menu on the product page. The prices are slightly different between the two machines, but to give you an idea, a 3-year warranty on the Icarian is $399 and the 5-year is $599. We did spot a pop-up advertising $50 off your first purchase of $500 or more if you sign up for their email list, but that is, frankly, a pittance.

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30-day return policy

If you're unhappy with your Precor home gym, you have 30 days to get in touch with their customer support to begin processing a return. You will have to pay return shipping, and there's a mention of potential restocking fees, but a percentage isn't given.

Too expensive for a home gym setup

We really can't think of a good reason to choose Precor if you're shopping for a home gym that will equal the value of a gym membership in terms of how many exercises you'll be able to do. They only have two multi-exercise set-ups, and they're much more expensive than similar models from other brands. For $5,000, you could buy the most tricked out home gym from one of our higher-ranked retailers, and it would come with a lifetime warranty at no extra cost. We recommend you skip Precor on this particular shopping trip.

NordicTrack Review 2 Star Rating

NordicTrack

2 Star Rating
  • Type of Home Gym: Magnetic resistance
  • Cost Range: $1,799
  • Different Models: 1
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Resistance Levels: 20 (exact weight not stated)
  • Return Policy: 30 days (with a $250 charge plus 10% restocking fee)
  • Warranty: 1 year for parts and labor, 10 years for the frame
  • Shipping: Free

If you've been to that gym you're a member of, chances are you know the NordicTrack brand. They make more than just treadmills and ellipticals. The Fusion CST 2-in-1 trainers from NordicTrack mix cardio and strength training, offering workouts that help burn fat and build lean muscle.

Easy on your body

This 6-foot tower has 3 pulleys, offering up to 20 digital resistance levels. Thanks to its special magnetic technology, working out on the Fusion CST is gentle on your body. There's just one model, priced at $1,799, and it comes with a full-length mirror so you can focus on your form without looking away from the trainer on the screen. Attachments and accessories include squat pulleys, ankle straps, and removable handles. Resistance only goes up to 100 lbs. Setting it up is fast and straightforward, but you just need to attach a few parts like the arms and handles. However, it's quite heavy at around 400 lbs, so get a buddy to help you.

Get iFit for 30 days

If you're new to strength training, figuring out a home gym can be confusing. The Fusion CST is simpler, and it comes with a 30-day iFit membership, after which point you'll need to pay $39 a month. At the time of our last review, you'd receive a whole year for free with iFit. We're not sure what the reason is for such a drastic reduction. iFit gives you many online trainer-led workouts and live classes to join. It also tracks your stats and allows you to create multiple profiles for other members of your household. Some models of the Fusion CST have a screen that's actually a detachable tablet, while others appear to have the screen built into the mirror. The website doesn't make it clear if or how well you can use your Fusion CST if you opt not to renew your iFit membership.

Not for serious muscle building

It should be made clear that the Fusion CST isn't for hardcore bodybuilding. Its resistance goes up to 20 levels, or 100 lbs of resistance. Given that it's basically a tower with four cable attachments, there isn't a lot of range to be had in the types of exercises you can do with it. For the price, you'd probably be better off purchasing a bench and some dumbbells.

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Short warranty

The 1-year warranty for parts and labor isn't that long. Other home gyms offer longer warranties. If the Fusion CST breaks, fixing it could be a hassle. The frame previously had a lifetime warranty - now it's 10 years.

Think twice before returning

NordicTrack's return policy isn't great. You can only return within 30 days, and you'll pay a $250 fee plus 10% for restocking. Make sure the Fusion CST is really what you want, or it could cost you.

Wouldn't even recommend to gym newbies

Overall, we wouldn't recommend the Fusion CST. Most people want a home gym for convenience and to cut back on the cost of a gym membership-but you can't even get full use of the Fusion CST without paying the equivalent of a monthly membership to a decent gym. Plus, it doesn't even deliver that great of a workout. We recommend looking at one of our higher-ranked home gyms. While the learning curve is a little steeper for total novices than a device with iFit workouts built in, we're confident you could find some inspiration on YouTube and be working up a sweat in no time with one of NordicTrack's more affordably-priced rivals.

Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

Not sure about your options? Let's simplify. Mainly, there are two types of home gyms: weight plate gyms and resistance system gyms. Weight plate gyms are a bit complex, cost more, and need more space, but they're great if you want to gain muscle. They come with weights that you can add on for more challenging workouts.

Resistance gyms, on the other hand, use different methods, from flexible rods to magnets or just your body weight, to create resistance. A cool thing about them is they're easier on your joints and tendons. So, if you have joint issues or arthritis, these might be better for you. Plus, they're usually smaller, making them perfect for toning and shaping.

There are tons of home gym brands you can buy online now. Before settling on a product, take the time to read reviews and check out the product descriptions and videos, if there are any. Lastly, remember that a home gym is an investment not just in a product, but in your health and well-being. Whatever you choose should align with your fitness goals, physical condition, and lifestyle.

When shopping for a home gym, here are some factors you should consider:

  • Price. Does it fit your budget? What are you getting for the price?
  • Resistance type. How does it create resistance? What's the max weight?
  • Setup. Is it ready to use or will you spend lots of time setting it up?
  • Warranty. What does it cover? Just the frame or also parts and service? For how long?
  • Returns. Are there any fees if you want to send it back? Can you return it after using it for a month?

With the right setup, you can make working out a convenient and regular part of your routine. Top Consumer Reviews has done in-depth analyses and rankings of the top home gyms available online to make your decision-making process smoother.

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Home Gym FAQ

Absolutely! Depending on the equipment you choose, it might come with workout DVDs or online videos designed to help you get familiar with strength training. Weight training is an essential part of most wellness plans and can help you prevent injury and live longer.
Almost any gym equipment you'd find in a fitness center is available for home use. Of course, if you have a limited amount of space for your home gym, you can also find plenty of all-in-one systems that usually use resistance instead of weighted plates or dumbbells to create the same effect.
Yes! Any exercise you've seen at the gym can easily be done at home. Plus, you won't have to waste time waiting to knock out your next exercise because the equipment is being used by someone else.
They can be. You'll see equipment ranging from $199 to $3,799 or more. Some retailers offer financing, to help make your purchase more manageable.
Only if you want it to. There are some very compact systems that barely take up a corner of the room, and sets with dimensions that rival what you'd see at your local gym. It's a good idea to read the specs on any home gym you're considering, which will include the measurements and required floor space, to make sure you've got enough room.
Many stores offering home gym equipment give you a trial period ranging from 30-90 days. Policies vary, however, and you might have to pay a restocking fee and/or return shipping fees if you want to return your home gym for a refund.
That depends on the retailer. Some include it with the cost of the home gym, while others charge fees in the neighborhood of $99-$400.
Most of the time, no. You might be able to pay an additional fee for in-home delivery and set-up.

What Are the Benefits of a Home Gym?

Exercise and eating a healthy, balanced diet are the best ways to not only ward off unwanted pounds, but also to keep yourself healthy.

But in this day and age, with ever-increasing demands on us from the work and home fronts, who has time to actually go to a gym? The good news is you don't need a gym to get a good workout in at home.

What are the benefits of a home gym?

The biggest benefit of a home gym is convenience. Unless you belong to one of those 24-hour health clubs, most gyms simply are not open during the extended hours most people need in order to squeeze in a workout there. When you have a home gym, you can squeeze in a workout any time of the day. Even if you're the mother of three, with a home gym, you can find time to fit in a workout without worrying about finding childcare first.

A home gym is also less expensive to operate. Aside from the initial investment in the equipment you wish to include in your home gym, there are no monthly membership fees, no initiation fees and no hidden costs. You spend some money up front, but the investment will last for years.

There also is the elimination of the extra time it takes to travel to and from a gym. Unless you are lucky enough to live in an area where the gym is right next door, most people travel an average of 10-15 minutes to reach a health club. That's 30 minutes or more spent just driving to a facility, when that time could have been spent working out at home.

Another benefit of having your own home gym is the elimination of waiting in line to use equipment at the gym. While gyms have a variety of equipment, they often only have one of each kind of weight machine, and maybe a handful of cardio equipment. If you visit the gym during one of its peak hours, you may find yourself standing around waiting to use equipment more often than you are breaking a sweat. With your own equipment at home, waiting in line is no longer an issue.

Another big advantage to a home gym is that you can work out in anything you choose. For most people, going to the gym can be a stressful event. You have to wear the right kind of workout clothes and be presentable. For working professionals, encountering clients or other coworkers at the gym is a reality. So working out in your old ratty sweats you've had since college probably isn't a great idea in a gym. But at home, what you wear isn't an issue.

With a home gym, exercisers also can tailor their workout equipment to what they hope to accomplish. If you prefer cardio, then an investment in a good treadmill or elliptical machine is a good start. If you only wish to tone your muscles, rather than get big and bulky, then some light free weights should do the trick. One of the biggest drawbacks to an expensive gym membership is that much of the equipment that is available is never used by the average exerciser. With the home option, you get to decide what you need and how much to spend on it.

One of the biggest complaints about gym memberships is that gyms often can turn into a social situation, which many exercisers find unappealing. There is nothing worse than having a limited time to work out, and spending it being hit on by random strangers.

So no more excuses about not having time to exercise. With a little research and upfront cost, you can do it from the comfort and convenience of your own home.

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