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Home Gym Reviews

Home gyms are designed to train multiple muscle groups with a wide variety of fitness exercises. They’re excellent options if you want to incorporate more variety into your workout. For athletes who get bored easily (or for athletes who want to fine tune certain muscle groups), home gyms are the whole package.

The best home gym systems enable and facilitate personalized workouts and training programs, and can help deliver a comprehensive slate of exercises to improve overall fitness, regardless of your specific fitness goal. There are a wide variety of home gym models and manufacturers to consider—and finding the best home gym will require some research.

House Method aims to provide the best home gym reviews to help you choose the right one for you. We’ve considered everything—from cost to features, shipping, installation, returns, warranty, and more.

Check out our FAQs below to learn more about home gyms and how to read a House Method home gym review.

Data and ratings accurate as of January 2018

Our home gym reviews at a glance

What is a home gym?

A home gym is a piece of equipment that allows for an individual to complete a resistance training program in the comfort of their own home. The main benefit of a home gym system is that only one piece of equipment is necessary to complete basic and often complex resistance training exercises—saving valuable floor space within the home.

What is the advantage of a home gym over free weights?

Free weights allow an individual to exercise in all three planes of motion, which won’t be possible for every exercise on your home gym system. However, many home gym systems offer options to target each muscle group and place stabilizing muscles under stress.

Depending on your fitness goals, a home gym may make more sense due to the size requirements that free weights often require. For a successful free weight program, an adjustable exercise bench might be required, and for those wishing to incorporate weighted back squats, a squat rack might be required.

Squat racks and benches take up at least as much space as many home gym systems—which often come with an exercise bench and a method for squat-based resistance.

There are several additional benefits to installing a home gym system, including:

  • Anytime use—You can use your equipment whenever the urge to train begins. You also won’t have to plan trips to the gym or worry about a machine being available when you arrive.
  • Save money and space—While there are upfront costs and minimal maintenance fees associated with buying a home gym, investing in just one piece of equipment saves money and space in your home.
  • Versatility—Most home gym systems advertise 45–100 possible exercises or workout variations. That kind of versatility in just one machine enables you to customize individual training programs. This feature makes a home gym system a viable option for couples, as each member of the household can customize a training routine based on their individual fitness goals.

Should I buy a home gym?

Yes—if the home gym will meet your current fitness needs and your projected fitness needs for up to two years. To buy a home gym system, consider the exercises that you’re actively doing in your fitness routine and how your fitness might evolve in the next year or two. Investing in the right home gym system can save you money in the long run by saving you money on gym fees and other costs associated with gym memberships.

Home gym systems are an excellent investment, especially if they’ll be used regularly. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least two resistance training—weight lifting—workouts per week for adults, which can be done with a home gym. Pricing of home gyms often depends on the style and design of the system.

How do I choose a home gym?

Home gym systems, like any piece of home gym equipment, are an investment and require ample space within your house. Systems use at least four different types of resistance, and understanding what types of exercises—and the weight load required for your training program—can be critical to make the best selection.

The four types of resistance included in a home gym are:

  1. Weight plates—Loaded weight plates are usually the primary mechanism of resistance. Weight-plated machines are often the ones that you’ll spot in commercial gyms. They’ll come with a preset amount of weight—it’s very difficult to go beyond that weight limit. But you’ll rarely have to replace the weight plates, as maintenance is often minimal.
  2. Cables, bands, and rods—Home gyms primarily use cable resistance to work muscle groups. There is a lot of home gym variety in the market, so focus on finding a high quality machine from a company that is well-respected. Note that cables, bands, or rods will eventually have to be replaced.
  3. Body weight—Often the smallest feature of home gym systems, body weight exercises are often supplemented with individual equipment that may or may not be included in the purchase of the system.
  4. Combination or multi-station—Home gyms that involve multiple stations or combinations of resistance will require the most space. The primary benefit of multi-station systems is that dedicated stations help ensure proper form. Sometimes, cable and rod systems are mistakenly described as multi-station, as the location of exercises on the machine is different. But you’ll know a multi-station machine when you see it—they’re often the largest machines in commercial gyms.

The more features a machine possesses, and the higher quality the construction, the more expensive it will be. There are three important factors to consider beyond price when selecting a home gym system:

  1. Size—From the total size and weight of the machine to the space required to successfully conduct exercises, make sure you select a machine that will fit in your space. For many home gym systems, once you move it in and set it up, you’re not likely to move it again.
  2. Variability—How many exercises are important to you and which ones? Make sure that you select a machine for what you plan to do—or think you might do—in the next two years.
  3. Quality and durability—What materials are used to construct the home gym system? Is the construction of high quality? These are important considerations when investing in a home gym system.

When selecting a home gym, you’ll also need to consider these three factors for home delivery and installation:

  1. Home delivery and pricing—Some home gym systems have quite a few parts and can be heavy and bulky when fully assembled. When you find the machine that works for you, ask about home delivery and setup—and confirm the cost of this service. Many companies now offer in-home setup video tutorials.
  2. Return policy—It’s critical that you have the chance to complete a full range of workout-level exercises on the home gym system. If for some reason you can’t do this, make sure you ask about the return policy, including how return shipping is handled, any fees that you would be responsible for, and how long you’d have to return the equipment.
  3. Warranty and guarantee information—Are there any warranties that come with the purchase of your equipment? Look for a warranty that provides at least one year of labor and three years for parts.

A final consideration for your machine—safety. If you have children at home, all-in-one machines are a potential injury risk, even if the machine is not in use. Plan your home gym so that it is easy for you to use but difficult for your children to access. Ensure that the only people that use the equipment are those that have been shown how to operate and use it.

How do I read House Method home gym reviews?

The House Method editorial team provides objective ratings on the products and services our readers care about. We want to offer quick, digestible facts about home gym providers to help you make an informed decision when purchasing a home gym.

Our home gym reviews include a summary of the individual manufacturer, a home gym provider comparison chart, and details about pricing, white glove services, shipping and installation, returns, and warranty information.

1. Summary

Each home gym review summary provides information on the types of home gyms offered by the company with details to follow later on in the review.

2. Home gym provider comparison chart

The home gym comparison chart comprises a House Method home gym review rating, a House Method price rating, the cost of a provider’s white glove services, and a link to the home gym company’s complete review.

3. House Method home gym rating

House Method home gym review ratings are awarded based on a weighted 10-point scale that scores individual providers on free delivery, availability of white glove services, the opportunity to include add-ons with your home gym, the promise of a money-back guarantee, free information or consultation about the product, easily discoverable warranty terms (on the website), and whether or not extended protection plans are offered.

We score home gym companies on these factors because we believe these are most valuable to the consumer when making a purchase and provide a clear picture of the overall quality of a brand.

4. House Method price rating

A House Method price rating is a relative score that compares the price of a brand’s products or services to its peers that we’ve reviewed. The prices of products and services are based on our independent research. Each dollar sign represents an objective tiered amount of money, depending on the category of the product or service being reviewed.

In addition to a House Method price rating, we also include pricing of individual home gyms in each provider review.

5. White glove services

All of the home gym providers listed offer white glove services and will set up your home gym in your home at an additional cost. In our comparison chart, we outline the pricing of these services for each individual provider.

6. Shipping and installation

Shipping and installation information is provided to inform the consumer about additional costs when buying a home gym. We also include expected shipping, delivery, and installation times to inform the potential buyer of what to expect during the ordering process.

7. Returns

This information is provided to inform the consumer of the return process and additional costs associated with a return. Return information also helps answer questions consumers may have about getting their money back from the home gym provider and how long they can expect the return to take.

8. Warranty information

Our House Method home gym reviews provide information about a home gym provider’s warranty term and length to let the consumer decide if a particular brand stands behind the quality of their workmanship. We also include information about extended protection plans, if offered by the provider.

House Method rating methodology

Our ratings are based on information found through our independent research, including information found on the website of the company being reviewed as of the date of most recent review or through contacting the subject company as an anonymous prospective customer. We aim to update our ratings on a systematic and periodic basis and to disclose the date of most recent review on pages where the rating appears. Please read our rating methodology for additional information.

Providers

Bowflex


$ $ $ $ $
Highlights

Unlike traditional machines, all Bowflex home gyms utilize advanced resistance technology that doesn't rely on gravity. As a result, Power Rod and SpiraFlex gyms eliminate inertia, making it impossible to 'cheat' your way through an exercise while reducing strain on the joints and tendons.

Features
Free Shipping
In-Home Setup
Warranty Included
Visit Site

Life Fitness


$ $ $ $ $
Highlights

Life Fitness offers space-saving strength-training home gyms that feature either Cable Motion or fixed motion technology.

Features
Add-Ons Available
In-Home Setup
Warranty Included
Visit Site

NordicTrack


$ $ $ $ $
Highlights

The NordicTrack home gym provides a two-in-one strength and cardio experience complete with world-class personal trainers, SMR Silent Magnetic Resistance technology, and new daily workouts.

Features
Add-Ons Available
Free Shipping
In-Home Setup
Warranty Included
Visit Site

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