Here are 8 important selection criteria for a home gym machine. As a personal trainer, I know the importance of choosing the right equipment for your goals.
An all-in-one fitness machine is a great investment for your body and health. As a personal trainer, I know that doing real strength training is key to longevity.
Research from Harvard Medical School shows that resistance training is critical for maintaining an active and independent lifestyle . It is also vital for your bones and ligatures .
Therefore, all-in-one gym machines are not just for gym freaks and body builders, but for everybody: man, woman, young, old. You can do so many exercises with this equipment and never get bored.
But there are so many different Home Gym Machines on the market. Which one should you choose? That’s why I created this Home Gym Machine Guide for you.
Table of Contents
- Selection Guide for your home gym machine
- Price ranges all-in-one Home Gym Machines
- FAQ About Home Gym Machine
- What to do next?
Selection Guide for your home gym machine
For the research for this guide, I picked ten of the most popular all-in-one machines to better understand the differences. I selected different types of machines and with varying price ranges. But of course there are many more, so check out for yourself.
As a personal trainer, I will give you my best guidance on how to choose the home gym machine best for you. Always check with your trainer or physical therapist before changing your workout plan.
1 – Consult a trainer in your area
My first advice is to consult a personal trainer in your area who can help you select your home gym machine. He or she knows what training would be best for you and what to look for.
Second, hire this personal trainer when you start exercising on your all-in-one equipment. At least a few times have him or her check your posture. Ask the trainer to create a training program for you.
Regularly update your training program, to keep training with variety and in balance.
2 – Categories of home gym machines
In essence, there are four categories of home gym machines, or all-in-one home gyms:
- Classic all-in-one machine – this is a large piece of fitness equipment, made of metal and with all kinds of enhancements like a bench, a lat pulley and more. You need space for this machine, but in my opinion it is the best for weight training.
Popular classic all-in-one machines are (in alphabetical order):
- Functional all-in-one machine – this equipment is more aimed at functional training and less at strength training. However, they support both. Focus is on pulleys. Those machines are usually created with design in mind.
If you are design conscious and have no room for a classic all-in-on machine, check out the Kinesis. This equipment is on the high end of the market, but if it motivates you to work out more, it is worth the money in my opinion.
Popular functional all-in-one machines are (in alphabetical order):
- Portable all-in-one equipment – Not everybody has room for a classic all-in-one home gym machine. No worries, there are options for you too in the form of portable all-in-one equipment.
The portable equipment is less sturdy than classic machines. They are not suitable for heavy strength training. But still, you can do complete workouts with those all-in-ones.
- Smart fitness mirror – The smart fitness mirror is the latest invention for home fitness. You exercise in front of a large, interactive mirror. The mirror streams classes and gives feedback on your movements. Some mirrors even have the option to hire a personal trainer.
The smart mirrors come with optional equipment, and you can do hundreds of classes, from strength training to even ballet and barre.
Compared to the classic and portable all-in-ones, the fitness mirror is more expensive in the longer run, because you need a membership. But, if it motivates you to work out more, it is worth the money.
We have a separate guide on smart fitness mirrors, and won’t discuss them here. But if you are looking for a home gym machine, check out the fitness mirrors.
3 – Number of exercises
The next thing to consider is how many exercises you can do on the all-in-one home workout machine. This varies per brand and model, so check this out carefully. For example, Technica Unica supports 25 exercises, while Force USA G12 supports 300 exercises.
We list the most common exercises for the all-in-one machine here:
- Chest Press
- Reverse Flys
- Lat pulley down
- Cable Pullover
- Upright Row
- Leg Extension
- Calf Raise
- Hip Abduction
- Hip Extension
- Rear leg kick
- Arm Adduction
- Arm Extensions
- Arm Curl
- Triceps extension
- Triceps kickback
- Shoulder Press
- Front Raises
- Side Raises
- Upright row
More expensive machines usually have extra functionality, like:
- A power rack for barbell exercises like the squat. As a personal trainer, I think the squat is an essential exercise for everybody. Men, women, young and old. If possible, choose a home gym machine with a power rack. Otherwise, you can also do squats with weights in your hands.
- Leg press.
- Anchor for suspension trainers (like TRX). This is super convenient, because with suspension trainers, you get a whole new range of movements.
- Extra attachments, like a dip handle, chin-up bar, tricep rope etc.
- Adjustable pulleys or extra pulleys at different heights.
If your budget allows, I would recommend looking for a home gym machine that supports as many exercises as possible. On the other hand, keep in mind that you can always do exercises with your body weight, dumbbells and other small gym equipment. So don’t worry too much.
4 – Multiple users simultaneously
Some all-in-one home gym machines have facilities for multiple users to train simultaneously. Even with two benches, like the Powertec Workbench.
Personally, when I train with someone else, we switch turns. One uses the home gym machine, while the other exercises with dumbbells or body weight.
5 – Weight resistance
The next important thing to consider is the weight resistance. All-in-one machines come with weight blocks. De more expensive, high quality machines all have weight resistance around 200 lbs. But for example, the Weider 2980 at Walmart has only 80 lbs.
- Audacia Multi Stack Light Home Gym: 210 lbs
- Body Boss Portable Gym: 90 lbs per side
- Bowflex Extreme 2: 210 lbs
- Force USA G12: 200 lbs
- Hoist Fitness V-4: 150 lbs
- Marcy 150 lb Stack Home Gym MWM990: 150 lbs
- Powertec Workbench Multisystem: 200 lbs
- Technogym Kinesis: 90 lbs per side
- Technogym Unica: 180 lbs
- Weider 2980: 80 lbs
6 – Required space
Measure the room where you plan to put your all-in-one home gym machine. You need at least 4 feet of space around it, and on the front at least 8 feet. Also check your ceiling height.
Our example list of popular all-in-one home gym machines has the following dimensions in L x W x H inches:
- Audacia Multi Stack Light Home Gym: 91 x 73 x 83
- Body Boss Portable Gym: 34 x 20 x 1 (folded: 17 x 20 x 2)
- Bowflex Extreme 2: 53 x 49 W x 83.25
- Force USA G12: 79 x 49 x 89
- Hoist Fitness V-4: 80.50 x 48.25 x 83.50
- Marcy 150 lb Stack Home Gym MWM990: 68 x 42 x 78
- Powertec Workbench Multisystem: 120.1 x 73.3 x 80.5
- Technogym Kinesis: 65 x 55 x 83
- Technogym Unica: 72 x 47 x 81
- Weider 2980: 65 x 37 x 76
7 – Installation, setup, refund, warranty
All-in-one home gym machines are heavy, and sometimes assembly can be complicated. Most suppliers offer some kind of installation service, but not all. If you are not a handy man and don’t have a handy man around, then look for suppliers who offer a home assembly service.
Some suppliers offer lifetime warranties, others are only covered for 90 days.
For our example list of popular all-in-one home gym machines these are the offered assembly services and warranties:
- Audacia Multi Stack Light Home Gym: optional assembly, lifetime warranty.
- Body Boss Portable Gym: no assembly needed, 1 year warranty.
- Bowflex Extreme 2: optional assembly, 7 years warranty.
- Force USA G12: optional assembly, lifetime warranty
- Hoist Fitness V-4: no assembly service, 3 years warranty.
- Marcy 150 lb Stack Home Gym MWM990: assembly videos, 2 years warranty.
- Powertec Workbench Multisystem: no assembly service, 5 years warranty
- Technogym Kinesis: installation included in price, 2 years warranty
- Technogym Unica: installation included in price, 2 years warranty
- Weider 2980: optional assembly service, 90 days warranty.
8 – Quality
When it comes to home gym equipment, quality is important. Because you will use the machine for a long time. And you don’t want to get hurt, because some important part breaks.
What does quality mean with regards to home gym machines? Look into these aspects:
- The type of material for the construction. If a home gym machine has a lot of plastic and cheap metal, it might fall apart sooner. These things are often hard to verify on a computer screen. Try to find a place where you can try out the equipment.
- The quality of pulleys and other mechanics. Cheaper machines have cheaper moving parts. The chance is they squeak and crack quickly. This diminishes the enjoyment of your workout.
- The quality of fabrics. Cheaper home gym machines have cheaper materials for the cushion on the bench, the chest press cushions and pulley handles. They might wear out and break faster than with more expensive equipment.
- Warranty. The warranty period is often a good indicator of the quality. Some suppliers offer a lifetime warranty. But the cheapest classic all-in-one machine offers only a warranty of 90 days. As a personal trainer, I would not recommend using this cheap equipment, because if something breaks and you hang on to it with your full weight, you might get hurt.
Price ranges all-in-one Home Gym Machines
Prices for all-in-one machines range from $100 to $13000 and up. The cheaper versions have less options or have a lower quality of materials. Always read customer reviews before purchasing.
To give you an idea, we set up this price range list.
Home gym machine below $1.000
- BodyBoss Portable Gym from $200
- Marcy 150 lb Stack Home Gym MWM990 from $500
- Weider 2980 from $220
Home gym machine $1000 – $2.500
- Bowflex Extreme 2SE from $1.500
- Powertec Workbench Multisystem from $2.100
Home gym machine $2.000+
- Audacia Multi Stack Light Home Gym from $4.800
- Force USA G12 from $5.000
- Hoist Fitness V-4 from $3.500
- Technogym Kinesis from $11.000
- Technogym Unica from $8.500
Keep in mind that the most important thing is to get you working out. So my advice is to go for the all-in-one machine you can afford and start working with whatever you have.
FAQ About Home Gym Machine
Are home gym machines worth it?
Having your own gym equipment at home can help you stay focused on your fitness goals. It allows you to be able to exercise even when you are busy. You don’t have to commute to and from the gym every time.
Can home gym replace gym?
In things like:
• and exercise time, yes.
In terms of socialization with other gym members and the presence of a trainer, probably not. You can try to join online communities instead, but it is not as involved as the communal gym.
What to do next?
Be sure to invest in a good all-in-one home gym machine. Follow the 7 selection criteria in this guide and read customer reviews. If possible, try out the machine of your choice before purchasing. Also check out our other guides:
Fitness mirrors guide for your home gym
How to choose the best home weight set for you
Home gym equipment guide by a personal trainer