Are you someone who wants to have a home gym? Don’t have a lot of space either? Then you may want to be looking at a home gym machine. One of the biggest problems of creating a home gym is the space requirement. Free weights like barbells and dumbells take up a lot of space and require even more space to use them properly. These total body gym machines have multiple attachments so you can work out every muscle of your body without the need for a huge amount of space free weights would take up. In this article I’m gonna go over some of the more popular ones with good reviews people have bought for their own home gyms. If you are thinking about going with free weights instead, read my other article about some essential items for a home gym.
If you own a TV you’ve probably seen a commercial for a Bowflex. Bowflex is one of the most popular home gym machines in the US and for good reason. For starters it is easy to put together. I’m sure half of people who buy home gym machines get only half way through before giving up. The Bowflex PR1000 is easy to put together and customers have reported only needing about an hour to get it set up with a friend, and two hours by yourself. Not too daunting.
Now one of the most important factors about buying a home gym is durability. Obviously you don’t want to drop hundreds of dollars on a home gym machine and have it Fortunately people who buy the Bowflex PR1000 have had nothing but good things to say about its quality. One customer even bragged how his kids couldn’t even break it!
The only real negative people can find with it is the resistance total. It maxes out at 210 lbs of resistance, which may not be enough for experienced lifters. But for people just starting out it is a perfect home gym machine.
If you are looking for a home gym that delivers both a strength workout and works your cardio, then a Total Gym might be right up your alley. The Total Gym 1400 is differs from other home gyms by mainly using a pulley system to get your workout done. A number of different exercises can be done by just using cables, and as a benefit they are easier on your joints than traditional weights. It is also easy to put together as most of it is already pre-assembled. All you need to do is unfold it and add a few odds and ends onto it!
Quality wise the majority of people who buy it have no problems, but there are a few that have had some with poor welds which crack. Fortunately the manufacturer will replace it for free if you receive one of the faulty ones.
Storage is a big plus for the Total Gym as it can fold up easily to be tucked away for the next time you want to workout. So if space is a big problem for you then this may be the perfect at home gym machine for you to buy!
If cables and bows are not your thing here is a more traditional home gym machine. The Powerline BSG10X comes wither more traditional pressing and pulling attachments and a 160 lb weight stack where you can change the weight by simply using a pin. You also don’t have to worry about having to put an entire day aside to set this up as it is boxed 90% assembled. Most people say it takes around 1-2 hours to get it put together by yourself.
The vast majority of people who use this machine have nothing but good things to say about the quality. It is well built and will not fall apart after a few months of using it.
Space wise while you may not be able to fold it up like the Total Gym, its footprint is relatively small. All you need is about a 6 feet length wise and 3 feet width wise to be able to store this. Small enough to stick in the corner of any room.
Now if you want to get a complete home gym with all the attachments you’ll want to look at the BodyCraft Galena Home Gym. It comes with two different pecdecks: one for butterflys and one for a chest presses/lat pulldowns. Obviously with more attachments it will take some more time to assemble. Most people say it takes about 3 to 4 hours to put together, which is pretty reasonable for a home gym with so many accessories.
It also is built really well, which you would hope for if you spend the extra cash for a bigger home gym machine. The only main gripe against the quality was a customer saying how the cable broke after 5 years of use. But he did say the company replaced it for free, which is pretty awesome for them to do.
Space wise you will need a little more room of course with the two stations, but not a whole lot more. About 6.5 feet all around should be plenty of room for it. Some people like to even put it in the middle of the room, and say working around it is no problem.
If you want to incorporate barbell-like movements in a safe way to do on your own, then you want to get a smith machine for your home gym. Smith machines are barbells that are attached to a track, so they can only move up and down. If you want to unrack it you twist the bar so the prongs come out of holes in the track. This makes it more safe for people not familiar with barbell movements. The Marcy Combo Smith Machine has many attachments that a regular home gym machine has (leg extensions, butterflys, pulleys), but it comes with a smith machine included as well.
The Combo Smith Machine is made out of 14 gauge steel, which means it is a very solid piece of equipment. You won’t have to worry about a flimsy piece of metal bending or breaking.
The main problem customers have is assembling it. It comes with a lot of small pieces. One tip someone gave was to separate them in small bowls or cups. This ended up working well for a future buyer.
If you are strapped for space but want a home gym I would recommend getting one of these machines. However, you can outgrow them and may end up needing free weights to keep adding more weight. If that happens I suggest checking out my other article I listed in the intro to find some good options for free weights.