It is no secret; everybody wants to show up every day in a smashing body. And while working out is the way to get one, gyms are sometimes intimidating. That is where owning the best home gym equipment comes in.
You see, once you knock out laziness, annoying traffic jam and the gym’s subscription fee from the list, the body you desire is only a set of routine exercises away.
So if you must, and you should, tone your abs, arms, and legs, you only need the right home gym equipment. Heck, you want to look good no matter what you wear, or do not!
But how do you pick the most suitable home gym equipment to build strength and muscle in that body?
Well, we interrogated some close gym rats and found out that they are not always faithful to gym clubs as they always want you to believe.
Their love for a great physique forces them to acquire the most efficient home gym equipment for their private use. That way, when they show up at the gym you drool over their well-sculpted bodies thinking they did it all there.
Here is the most common home gym equipment we discovered in their homes. (We now have a few of these packages in our homes to avoid being left behind).
Bowflex Xtreme 2SE
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
This home gym equipment boasts of 70 exercises and counting for your chest, shoulders, back, arms, legs, and abs turning your dream body into reality. It initiates you with 7 free trainer-built workouts included in the manual.
It has heavy-duty steel construction ready to take all sorts of possible abuse. It comes with an ergonomic adjustable seat to keep your training sessions comfortable, an Abs training strap, squat and lateral bars.
Its 210 pounds Power Rod resistance is upgradeable to 310 and 410 pounds as you get used to the old setting.
Instead of weights, Bowflex Xtreme 2SE employs resistance bars and provides ease in switching from one exercise to another. You do not have to be expertly trained to use it.
Some users have complained that the bars lose resistance with time and the weight proposed lowers below half. On the other hand, expert trainers claim this happens due to poor handling of the bars.
Leaving them hooked to training positions instead of locking them upright.
If you are not a heavy lifter though, the equipment will suit you well.
With a footprint of 53 x 49 x 84 inches, Bowflex Xtreme 2SE fits in most townhomes making it one of the best home workout equipment for many.
Marcy Smith Cage Workout Machine Total Body Training Home Gym System
Overall Rating: 5/5
It may take time to convince you that this is not a gym club-only system, but the Marcy Smith Cage workout machine suits your home well. It allows over 100 club-quality workouts including sports-specific movements.
It comes in two heavy steel construction pieces reinforced with a durable powder-coated finish. You are looking at a 70 x 80 x 86 cage assembly and a matching 75 x 28.5 x 47 ergonomic bench assembly. And since the two are separate pieces, you can move the bench when you no longer need it.
The bench’s back and seat are adjustable to deliver unbeatable comfort. The bench back adjusts between 13 and 81 degrees allowing various positions for your exercises.
Marcy Smith Cage workout machine allows multifunction press arms suitable for biceps development, triceps, pectorals, and other muscle groups. It also has a dual-action leg developer.
Though the weights are not provided with the system, the frame has six weight plate pegs so you can organize your weights for increased accessibility. Consider buying your own either standard or Olympic weight plates for the workouts.
This home gym equipment comes with various accessories for extensive workouts; lateral bar, shiver bar, ankle strap, V-bar, triceps rope, and pulley cable handles. It has an off-the-floor base ensuring that no matter where you place it, your floor will not get damaged.
Basic workouts possible with this home gym equipment are demonstrated on YouTube by the manufacturer initiating you to home workouts. Begin as soon as you are done assembling it.
Fitness Reality 810XLT Super Max Power Cage
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Seeing this is only a power rack, the low price does not come as a shock. It is a strong structure, easy to assemble, and does not rattle one bit as you exercise.
The Fitness Reality 810XLT power cage is best for muscle-building workouts on your shoulders, upper back, biceps, and triceps. Get going with curls, standing lateral pull-down, wide lateral pull-down, lateral pullovers, and shrugs.
It has high tensile strength nylon coated cable for the pulley system whether low or high. The power rack has adequate space to fit your workout bench and footrest for your seated row exercises. The two; bench and footrest, are not provided though.
You would not blame this home gym equipment for lacking weight plates bearing the price and the name. However, the manufacturer is keen to include a 6.5 long inches weight plate storage post that can hold up to 270 pounds of weight plates.
You can use the standard or Olympic weights to fill the gap. It also does not come with an Olympic bar.
Though you need slightly more space while exercising, Fitness Reality 810XLT has a footprint of 46.5 x 35 x 84.5 inches. With it, deep in the night workouts become a reality and there is no need to subscribe to your local gym club.
HulkFit 1000-Pound Capacity Multi-Function Adjustable Power Cage
Overall Rating: 4/5
The HulkFit 1000-Pound Multifunction Power Cage is one of the safest home gym equipment for solo lifting. It is built with a heavy-duty square steel frame to withstand intensive use.
Assembling it is blissful since it comes with a cable crossover attachment only. It has an adjustable pulley system and pivots allowing various techniques. The pulleys are connected to security knobs for added safety.
It uses nylon coated aircraft quality cables tested with 1000 pounds weight though rated for 500 pounds weight capacity.
HulkFit 1000-Pound Multifunction Power Cage employs open wings allowing even 7-foot barbells. Its great height allows solid pull-ups without shifting out of position. No bolting is needed.
Though it does not come with weights plates, the manufacturer has in mind you will need them. The home gym equipment has long sleeves where you can hook some 2-inch diameter weight plates.
What qualifies this power cage as your best home gym equipment is its endless customizability. You can add a lateral pull-down attachment, dip bars, pull-up bars, and extra storage for more weight plates.
There is space for all sorts of add ons targeting various muscle groups.
Its footprint stands at 120 x 81 by 32 inches while assembled in full.
Remember to leave space for your movement and necessary add ons. The final bang on the equipment is its rubber feet; you build your body while keeping your floor safe!
Marcy 150-lb Multifunctional Home Gym Station
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Where fitness and strengthening of muscle are concerned, the Marcy equipment never goes wrong. That makes the Marcy 150-lb multifunctional home gym station your ultimate workout equipment delivering over 30 strength training exercises.
It combines arm and leg stations to help you build strong muscles in those areas and achieve complete body workouts.
Its removable and adjustable preacher curl pad is ergonomically designed to deliver comfort while reducing back strain as you pursue isolated bicep exercises, toning your abs and triceps.
The dual-function leg developer aligns with your knee joints allowing for proper leg extensions. Its 4 foam rollers allow for a fast and comfortable quadriceps workout. The cable standing leg curl allows you to target your calf and hamstring muscles.
Other possible workouts include bicep curls, butterfly exercises, lateral pull-downs, and low rows.
Being addictive equipment, Marcy's 150-lb multifunctional home gym station promises to remain strong regardless of the intensity of the abuse. It is built with heavy-duty steel tubing reinforced with guard rods to hold its weight in place as you work out.
Whether you are up to burning calories or gaining muscle mass, Marcy's 150-lb multifunctional home gym station ensures authorized users only. The weight stack lock keeps the weights locked underpin and combination lock. That keeps kids and pets wandering in your home gym safely.
Considering its versatility, the 78 x 68 x 42-inch footprint, and 300 pounds weight capacity, this equipment earns a place in the hearts of many home users. And it is low maintenance.
Weider Ultimate Body Works
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
There is a pile of reasons qualifying the Weider Ultimate Body Works as the best home gym equipment; the main being, it is a perfect space-saver.
With a 59 x 27.5 x 48 inch footprint and being collapsible to the point of fitting in your closet or under the bed, this is a must-have!
It has a cable-and-pulley system making it more resourceful than its competitors in this list. Instead of weights, the Weider Ultimate Body Works uses resistance bands to intensify your workouts.
You can add an extra 50 pounds of resistance to strengthen and tone your body further.
This home gym equipment angle of inclination is adjustable to 8 levels allowing strength-training control and customizing your workouts. It serves a variety of user heights.
Even without the complex looks, the number of workouts you can do with the Weider Ultimate Body Works is countless.
Think seated chest press to build your chest and shoulders, squats for your quadriceps, glutes, V-crunch, and lateral pull-down to strengthen your back and core. Once you free yourself from the temptation of lying on the equipment, there is more to it than meets the eye.
Weider Ultimate Body Works comes with a 90-day parts and labor warranty. That is adequate time to test drive and feel it's worth it.
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Elliptical Machine Cross Trainer
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Among the best home gym equipment on this list, Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 occupies the least footprint. 28 inches in depth, 17 inches in width, and 57 inches in height. You can place it anywhere in your house you are comfortable exercising in.
The elliptical bike ensures smooth movement for low-impact cardiovascular training suitable for both upper and lower body workouts. It is exactly what you need to have for your fat-burning, muscle-forming journey.
Aiding you to keep a tab of your progress are the digital monitor and pulse sensors situated on the upper part of the machine.
The pulse sensor sits at the grasping point of your palms counting your heart rate while the monitor displays the time, speed, distance, calories, and pulse as you cycle.
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 elliptical machine is fitted with spacious anti-slip foot pads to keep your feet stable and safe as you peddle. The handlebars also have the same ensuring that your hands will not slip due to sweat.
The machine has an 8-level resistance controller for easy increase or decrease of resistance. That allows you to regulate each one of the 11-inch strides per cycle.
Think of the increased resistance the experience gets when walking up a steep hill and the reduced version when on a flat surface. In both cases, your legs feel like they have weights tied at the back, slightly below the knees.
When through with the workout, push this compact machine to its corner and out of your way. The transportation wheels move easily; no need for an extra hand.
Its weight capacity is 220 pounds and cost less than $200 making it the most preferred home gym equipment for the budget crowd.
Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike ME-709 with Resistance
Overall Rating: 5/5
Marcy Recumbent ME-709 is a stationary bike built to help you grow your cardiovascular endurance, strengthen your legs, and shed an unnecessary pound. It is your gateway to the toned physique you have been craving for.
It comes with an adjustable seat reducing its footprint by 10 inches in depth to stop at 48 inches for the shorter folks and 58 for the taller team. Its width is about 20 inches and 38 inches in height. It can handle up to 300 pounds in weight.
Since the focus is on footwork, its pedals have safety straps to ensure a good grip as you cycle. Make good use of the tension control to adjust through the 8 levels of resistance tackling different terrain as delivered by the magnetic resistance.
Ready to burn the calories?
The bike is built with heavy-duty 14-gauge steel tubing with powder-coated finishing. It has a padded seat, backrest, and handlebars; not afraid of long hours of use any day.
When you are done racing your heart, allow the transport wheels to help you slide it to a corner you will not need as you go about your day.
Unlike the Sunny Elliptical above, you need to find an alternative way to exercise your upper body.
Marcy Recumbent ME-709 exercise bike has your arms sitting idle throughout the workout.
Bearing its below $200 price tag, it is a worthy alternative to jogging in the streets of a busy town especially if you live in a tight townhouse.
BodyBoss 2.0 - Full Portable Home Gym Workout Package
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Going to a remote village on vacation and still want to do your daily squats?
No problem. The BodyBoss 2.0 home gym workout package has your interests at heart.
Weighing only 16 pounds and with a footprint of 20.1 x 15.9 x 2.8 inches, this collapsible and portable package, and its cloth-covered resistance bands fit well in your travel bag.
It allows over 300 types of exercises including muscle building, strength building, and HIIT. Each resistance band guarantees up to 30 pounds of resistance and measures 32 inches in length. That allows you to make your exercises easier or harder by shortening or lengthening the bands to match your wish.
Accessories included in the package are a pair of sturdy handles with two rings to allow clipping onto the band hooks, a pair of wrist wraps, a door anchor for performing pull-downs and rowers, and a foldable workout bar with padded grips.
It costs less than $200 and is sturdy enough to take lengthy abuse.
Fitness Ab Roller Wheel Equipment
Overall Rating: 4/5
If you want to have strong, sexy, and big six-pack abs, get a Fitnessery Ab roller wheel. The equipment is built to help you burn unwanted calories, build fine muscles, increase your endurance on your way to sculpting your Abs into the desired feel.
It is built with strong durable material to endure intense workout sessions you will soon fall in love with. The wheel is made of heavy-duty PVC with a non-slip rubber grip ensuring fluid movement as you slide forward and back.
The tough stainless steel handles with a comfortable performance grip prevent your hands from slipping off position as you exercise.
Though the Fitnessery Ab roller wheel has a small footprint; 11 inches wide by 7 inches high, ensure you have adequate space on your floor to accommodate your full body length with your hands stretched forward. It weighs below 2 pounds and has a weight capacity of just above 480 pounds.
The wheel comes with an ergonomically designed knee mat and is backed by a lifetime money-back guarantee. Upon purchase, Fitnessery emails you a 45-paged Ultimate Abs workout e-book packed with all sorts of abdominal exercises and a 90-paged e-book on Abs nutrition for free!
For portable gym equipment going for less than $20 and the kind of support guaranteed, it is clear the manufacturer wants you to get the best sculpted Abs ever. What are you waiting for?
OYO Gym Total Body Package
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Not everyone looks good in a T-shirt. But with the OYO Gym total body package, you can build your muscles to own the look that turns heads even in a plain one.
This package uses resistance technology to increase your muscle size and strength upon regular and intentional use. It comes with one 5 and two 10 pounds flex pack you can fit onto the OYO gym unit to increase resistance ahead of your workout session.
You also get two leg attachments, a door attachment, and a product guide for increased workout options.
Though looking rather small to qualify for great gym equipment, the OYO gym total body package is used for lateral/shoulder double flex, seated Ab crunch, inner/outer thigh double flex, and Biceps/Triceps double flex workouts.
It enables you to strengthen your back and shoulders, relieve back pains, tone your leg muscles while burning unwanted fat, and build admirable arms. Whether targeting total body workouts, upper, lower, or the core, you have at least 190 exercises to choose from and get the body you crave for.
The equipment is constructed from heavy-duty polymer to keep its overall weight to about 2 pounds, has nylon coated stainless steel cables for resistance, and has ergonomic handgrips for your comfort.
For gym equipment built with NASA’s Spiraflex Training Fitness Technology, priced below $200, and delivering unbeatable results, you have no more reasons to skip your workout routine. Take it with you wherever you go!
RELIANCE Adjustable Hydraulic Power Twister Arm Exerciser
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
If you want to strengthen your abdomen, expand your chest/ shoulders and enhance your arms, the RELIANCE adjustable hydraulic power twister knows the game.
Instead of using a spring that weakens over time, this equipment employs an enclosed hydraulic cylinder providing stable resistance. Use the easy-to-turn knob provided to increase or reduce resistance between the range of 22 to 440 pounds in 20 levels.
Be careful not to increase resistance beyond your capability, it could strain your muscles.
The RELIANCER’s arms are made with double carbon steel and engineering plastics and have undergone 100,000 endurance tests to ensure it doesn’t deform during use. The anti-slip texture on the handle prevents it from slipping off your hands should you sweat.
It weighs about 5 pounds and costs below $100 yet its efficiency beats all others of its kind. Make it part of your home gym equipment.
Is it better to work out at home or the gym?
Before making the decision, do the math.
Going to the gym translates to expenses such as paying the subscription fee, fuel for your car, and time spent from your house to the gym, during a workout, and back.
Yes, you might bump into a cute someone, chat about the weather and end up dining later, but are the costs involved reasonable to your wallet?
Now, look at owning your home gym equipment,
what are the costs?
First comes the initial investment on the equipment, availability of physical space, and maybe agreeing with anyone you live with, pet included about keeping it at home.
This could translate to spending more time working out instead of getting intimidated by the Muscle Chap across the room.
Not to mention, you can bang the equipment in the middle of the night when sleep evades you. But it will also mean you have a limited company.
If money is a non-issue and time is your common denominator, take home one of these best home gym equipment and pump it hard. After all, you can always create a workout schedule that allows you to meet fellow gym rats and show off the muscle you built right from home.
What is the best compact home gym?
From the research above, the best compact home gym is the one that answers your needs while allowing multiple workouts without too much hustle. It allows you to focus on building the physique you desire, not wasting time on customization.
The leading compact home gym equipment includes the Bowflex Xtreme 2SE offering over 70 workouts followed by the Weider Ultimate Body Works with over 50 movements for a total body workout.
Of course, there are others following closely behind, but these two won by a landslide due to their ease of use regardless of the number of exercises opted for.
But before you take any home, which you should, ensure you have adequate space for the one you fall in love with.
Disclaimer. No matter how good the compact home gym is, if you are not using it at all, or have no discipline in your workouts, that beautiful physique will remain a pipe dream. Most have been taken home just to end up turning into clothing lines while others gather dust under the beds.
This disclaimer leads to the sensitive part of working out from home.
Is working out 30 minutes a day enough to lose weight and build muscle?
Yes and No. That depends on many things, the main being how badly you want to get ripped!
So if it matters to you, discipline is the deal-breaker.
The excess weight you have and the muscle you lack today are a result of a habit you formed earlier in your life. Think about a certain person who frequents the gym and has a body worth drooling for. Compare your body to theirs and note the difference.
So what is the secret?
If you want to lose weight and build muscle, what you want is to convert the fat in your body to the ripped type Dwayne Johnson, The Rock has. Or something close to what the certified Personal Trainer and Fitness model, Linda Durbesson owns. And if social media is to be the judge, a body that is hard to take eyes off!
Getting a ripped physique calls for an intentional workout and diet.
Though this article is not about diets, before desiring the pumps on your arms, melon crushing legs, and six-pack abs you need a real-life makeover. Get ready to swap the filthy processed carbs in your daily diet for the good old proteins.
Think lean proteins, complex carbs, lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Then when you hit your compact home gym, the unwanted fat will have no choice but make way for the gloriously toned body you worked for.
Remember to take necessary rests between exercises so your body does not end up with uncalled for injuries.
But there is more to discipline.
If that ripped look means the world to you, create a program that allows 30 minutes of workouts 6 days every week, cardio included. And since your plan is deliberate, consulting with a personal trainer; online or offline will go a long way.
How long should a gym session be?
If you are looking to get strong and build muscle, 45 to 60 minutes of workout will do you good. But if this is too new for you, aim to go through the first half of the hour at least 4 days a week.
That is adequate to compensate for the sedentary behavior you may have become accustomed to.
Better still; fix a routine you can follow whenever you go to the gym with a particular goal in mind. That should condition your brain to get you excited for your workout session when the time comes.
Each day should have its kind of training; HIIT circuit, core-blaster, bodyweight strength, and all-body strength training. Aim to break down each type of training into several exercises to keep vibrant.
Begin the session with a dynamic warmup to reduce the chances of injury as well as improve your physical performance before engaging in heart-racing workouts.
Since you have a goal in mind, journal your gym activities and weekly outcomes so you know if you are making progress. A monthly photoshoot will go a long way to make the whole body transformation journey worth venturing in.
How long does it take for the muscle to start showing?
Within the first month of changing jobs; from a quiet office job to one that requires you to strain your muscle such as wall painting, you would notice a change in the way your arms look.
The same happens when you are a beginner in weight lifting or resistance workouts.
But unlike a job where your body is exposed to strenuous conditions all day long, workouts sessions are short, spanning about 30 minutes for most beginners.
That is why if you want to see those flabby under-arms dissolve ushering the muscle you have been waiting for, you should not rush the process.
Of course, any small stimulus from your workout is bound to give results when you are a gym newbie. But if you want to see some muscle worth posting on social media, allow the first month to pass.
Throughout this waiting time, vow to engage in workouts with free weights, a few leg curls, resistance band movements, and squats. Then the results will be worth posing for your Instagram photo. It is the only sure way to account for the investment made on your best home gym equipment.