Shopping for a home gym can be fun, if you know where to start. This Home Gym Buyers Guide should be able to help answer the questions you have, as well as point you in the right direction.
Without the right information and a little thought prior to browsing, what could be fun might easily turn into frustration. If you want to skip straight to our recommendations, you can go see our top 3 home gyms that we feel offer the best value for features.
Home gyms come in a variety of setups. There are basic ones for beginners and extensive ones for serious body builders. The options can be quite staggering.
This guide will provide you with the essential elements you should consider when looking for your ideal home gym.
Home Gyms: Prices & Your Budget
Home gyms are great pieces of fitness equipment that are able to give you a total body workout. The prices range from as low as $500 to as high as $5,000 or more. It all depends on what you need and what you are willing to invest.
- Decent lower priced home gyms typically range from $500 to $1,500.
- High-end quality home gyms generally require an investment of between $1,500 to $4,000 and more.
Before overwhelming yourself with the hundreds of home gyms on the market, decide what you would like to invest. What’s your budget range?
Your Goals & Purpose for buying a home gym
After you determine what you are willing to invest, then the next step is to take a closer look at your goals and purpose for the home gym.
Depending upon your goals and needs, you might find a lower-priced home gym that is perfectly suited for you. You’ll want to consider:
- Your Exercise & Fitness Goals
- Whether Others will Use the Home Gym
Your Fitness & Exercise Goals
It can be tempting to buy the biggest and most expensive home gym available. After all, you might be thinking, “I deserve the best.” You do deserve the best, however, the “best” really depends on your needs, fitness level, and goals.
There’s no need to by a machine built for an elite bodybuilder if you’re just a beginner. Such equipment will likely be much bigger, bulkier, and expensive than necessary for your needs.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- How frequently do I plan to use my home gym?
- Do I need a home gym with room to grow as I become stronger, or do I simply need one for general fitness and moderate muscle toning?
- Am I a serious bodybuilder who needs a machine capable of comfortably handling very heavy weight?
- How likely will I need a home gym with the ability to expand and add on additional options?
- What muscle groups do I want to focus on?
- Will I use it only for certain muscle groups or a total body workout?
Make a brief list of your answers to the questions above. These will help you better pinpoint the ideal home gym for you.
Multiple Home Gym Users
If your family or others will use the home gym, then you’ll need to consider the following:
- Do I need a home gym that is suitable for use by more than one person at a time?
- How easily adjustable are the home gym’s seats, plates, etc?
- How much weight or resistance is needed to accommodate every user?
Home Gyms: Size, Space, and Placement
The typical home gym takes up quite a bit of space. And unlike some fitness equipment, you can’t fold it up or roll it away.
Carefully measure the desired room and space where you wish to place your home gym. Some home gyms come with foldaway pieces, such as benches. So that might help. However, regardless of what type of home you choose, you’ll need 2 or more feet around it in order to safely and comfortably complete your workout.
After you have the necessary measurements, you’ll be ready to check the dimensions of various home gyms. You might find some gyms that are made for corners, which will help somewhat with space availability.
A final note is that it’s not recommended to move home gyms. So, you’ll want to decide exactly where you’re going to use it and leave it there. The work required to assemble most gyms makes proper measuring and some forethought well worth it.
How Much Does it Weigh?
Determine how much your home gym weighs. This is very important in determining safe placement in your home. Some home gyms can weight more than 600 pounds. This plus your body weight might not be safe if placed upstairs or on floors not capable of handling that type of weight.
Home Gym Essential Considerations
Ease and Convenience
Make sure that you select a home gym that is easy to setup and use on a daily basis. If it’s inconvenient to use, then it probably won’t be used at all.
Ability to Work Desired Muscle Groups
An ideal home gym will allow you to work out your legs, abs, chest, back, arms, and shoulders. The position in which you do the exercises might vary with the different home gyms; however, the goal is to be able to effectively exercise all the major muscles.
Determine the type of resistance used and decide what you prefer in a home gym. Resistance types vary and affect the feel of the exercises. For example, weight stacks with cables and pulleys feel significantly different from working out with resistance bands.
Find a home gym that is simple to adjust. You don’t want a piece of equipment that constantly has you scratching your head each time you use it. You want to easily adjust the various settings, weights, benches, and accessories.
With all fitness equipment, safety is very important. Make sure to purchase a home gym without defective equipment or missing pieces. Also, make sure it is stable and free of shaking and wiggling. Your home gym should allow for a natural and smooth workout experience.
Home Gym options, extras, and Add-Ons
A great way to invest in a home gym on a budget is to find one with the ability for future add-ons and extras. This is also a good idea for those with goals of making serious muscle and strength gains. Some common add-on features are:
- A bench
- Leg curl and extension attachment
- Leg press addition
- Pull up bar
- Lat pull down bar
Also, the ability to add on the above and other features provides you the opportunity for variety. Being able to change up your routine and exercises can be very beneficial to sticking with your fitness routine and making continued progress.
Home Gym Assembly Requirements
Home gyms can often require a bit more time and tools to assemble than other fitness equipment. If you don’t want to bother with hunting for or buying the necessary tools to assemble your home gym, then check for manufacturers or companies that will professionally assemble it for you. It might cost extra, but it’ll likely be worth it.
Home Gym Maintenance
Make sure to get and follow the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations, schedule, and instructions for your home gym. This will protect your investment and keep you safe.
Home Gym Warranty
A good rule of thumb is to find a home gym with a manufacturer’s warranty of between 1 to 2 years on the frame and parts. Typically, only the high-end machines will have a warranty on labor.
Nevertheless, some home gyms do offer a lifetime warranty.
A home gym’s customer reviews will go a long way in helping you make the right buying decisions. Consider the following:
- Is it ideal for general fitness or serious bodybuilding?
- Is it easy or difficult to assemble and does it have good instructions?
- Is the functionality of the equipment smooth or jerky?
- Does it have a quality frame free of defects?
- Is it versatile? Can you do a variety of exercises and work various muscle groups?
- Is the home gym sturdy and stable?
- Is it suitable for males and females, as well as various age groups?
- Does the manufacturer or seller honor the warranty? How is their customer service?
Shopping for and purchasing a home gym can be a bit overwhelming. Hopefully, this home gym buyers guide has provided you with the information necessary to buy the right home gym for your fitness goals and needs.
Best wishes with your purchase, fitness goals, and health! You can see which of the available home gyms have made it into our top 3 home gyms section.