It’s 2018 and like many others, your New Year’s resolution involves getting in shape and dieting. If you’re reading this, you probably don’t want to join a gym but would rather have a gym setup at home.
Before you start researching for the best home gym equipment, you need to ask yourself, what is it you’re trying to accomplish?
If you’re unsure, your best bet is to go with the smaller equipment like jump ropes, resistance bands, or small dumbbells to help you decide. You can even perform body weight exercises before spending a dime. After all, why waste money on exercise equipment if you’re not even certain as to whether or not you’ll end up using it? Set a schedule, try some of the smaller equipment and whatever you’re consistent with will help you determine what you should buy.
Now, for the equipment…
The categories for the machines we selected fall within the most frequently used equipment in a home gym. So, in order to find the best home gym equipment for 2018, we looked for new and older models that have consistently satisfied users needs. We also factored in price, options, features, and customer service/warranty.
Best Weight lifting machines
If you’re not into Cross Fit or don’t have the need to look like the Rock, then weight lifting machines are a great alternative to free weights.
Can you build muscles? Absolutely…and you’ll also be able to lose weight and do so in a safe way.
There are two types of multi gyms, plate loaded machines and stacked weights or selectorized machines. Both offer the same effectiveness and you’ll also find that each has its own benefits.
Selectorized machines have one or more stacked weights that utilize a pulley system. One of the major benefits with selectorized machines is the adjustment of the weight capacity which is easily managed by a change in the pin position.
Our research has resulted in selecting Body Solild EXM2500S as the top selectorized machine.
Body Solid’s home gym offers 210 lbs. of resistance and a lot of exercises for each station. Despite all of the new designs that have released, this piece of home gym equipment remains the best for your money.
Best Plate Loaded Machine
Plate loaded machines resemble barbell and some of the dumbbell exercises and carries the same benefits but with minimal risks. Being able to lift to failure without a spotter is a HUGE benefit. They can also be beneficial if you hate having to move equipment around.
There were a few plate loaded machines we were deciding between but when factoring in footprint, durability, cost, and warranty, Body Solid came out on top, once again.
The Body Solid GLGS100P4, Corner Leverage Gym is somewhat smaller compared to the other models yet offers most, if not all of the exercises one needs for strength training.
It’s of commercial quality that will last you virtually a lifetime and with a weight capacity of 600 lbs., you’ll be able to perform some heavy lifts.
Best Power Racks
If you’re going to get yourself a weight bench, consider getting a Power Rack. If you’re space is limited, however, you can always opt for the Folding Wall Mount Power Racks.
Power Racks are surprisingly versatile allowing the user to perform a variety of barbell exercises. From dead lifts to squats, you can lift to failure as horizontal bar catches function as spotters.
But, if you haven’t and are progressing and getting more serious about lifting, you’ll quickly realize how much Power Racks can help.
Selecting a leading Power Rack doesn’t necessarily boil down to costs. A number of factors are also considered including:
- Steel gauge
- Additions or accessories included with the rack
- User reviews
Taking all of that into account, we were split between two power racks. The first is Body-Solid’s SPR1000. It has a bit of a heftier price tag out of the two but its durable construction coupled with its fantastic lifetime warranty simply can’t be beat.
The SPR1000 is a commercial grade power rack, constructed with an 11 gauge, 3″ x 3″ steel frame. The spotter bars aren’t your typical steel round bars that you find in others. The problem with round steel catch bars are that they will start bending when heavy weights are continuously dropped.
This power rack has a 1000 lb weight capacity so you don’t have to worry about whether it can withstand your “superior strength”.
If, however, the price tag is too much, the other one we would recommend is the Fitness Reality X-Class Light Commercial High Capacity Olympic Power Cage.
It has a higher weight capacity tested at 1500 lbs and another selling point is the lat pull down and rowing station that comes attached. Perfect for additional exercises for your back, lats, and shoulders.
Bowflex Home Gyms
For over 30 years, Bowflex has designed some very innovative fitness machines where they’re primarily known for their patented Power Rod and Spiraflex technology.
Unlike selectorized or machine weights, one major benefit Bowflex has is that it works independent of gravity and provides resistance without inertia. However, one flaw of the Power Rods is that the resistance is not consistent. The initial movement is easy and gradually gets more difficult as the bars bend. The Revolution, on the other hand, uses its Spiraflex resistance which keeps the resistance steady throughout the full range of motion.
So, with that being said, the better of the two Bowflex Home Gyms would have to be the Bowflex Revolution.
As the newer generation of the Bowflex Home Gyms, the Revolution allows you to perform over 100 exercises and covers every body part.
The standard resistance is equivalent to 220 lbs. with the option to increase to 300 lbs. or 600 lbs. for legs.
The “arms” move independently and can be adjusted into 10 different positions
Bodyweight Home Gyms
Bodyweight home gyms use your body weight for resistance.
Elevating the machine determines how much of your body weight is used for resistance. You sit or lay on the bench/seat and pull yourself with a cable and pulley system.
Chances are, you’ve heard of Total Gym and/or have seen its infomercial so you should have a good idea as to how it works.
If you shop around, you’ll find a handful of similar home gyms and they all appear to offer the same style of workouts. Some of them have additional features like added resistance with bungee cords or weight attachments and additional accessories to allow you to perform different exercises. Aside from costs, some of the biggest differences you’ll notice are its durability, smoothness, and maximum allowable resistance/weight.
With that in mind, the best machine we found is the VigorFit 3000 XL.
Within its price range of $500, VigorFit is the most durable out of the group and it also holds a greater weight capacity over its competitors. If you’ve ever used other manufacturers, you’ll notice the difference in durability.