The Only Guide to Home Gyms You’ll Ever Need
In America, 72% of adults aged 20 or older are overweight or obese.
That’s no typo. Nearly three quarters of America suffer from weight problems.
That’s a scary thought.
Many people want to change their lives, but don’t know how.
Everyone dreams of having abs of steel, a strong defined chest, and python sized arms.
Not many people have the time and flexibility to make it to a gym.
Long days at work. After school practices with the kids. Dinner with the in-laws. The list can go on forever.
With so much on our plates these days it can be difficult to make the time and effort needed to get to the gym. Plus, you have to fight for limited machines during peak hours.
Does “How many more sets you got bro?” sound familiar at all?
Just try going to most any commercial gym in America between the hours of 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm and you’ll likely spend lots of time waiting around for equipment to become free.
You COULD get up at 4:00 am if you enjoy being half-asleep through your workouts, but some of us value our rest.
Commercial gyms are crowded, expensive, and dirty...what if there was another way?
The solution is easy. Don’t bring yourself to the gym, bring the gym to you.
There was once a time where I used to go to commercial gyms during peak hours. The gym was always so packed it was almost impossible to get a bench and FORGET about finding an open squat rack.
I realized I was spending more of my time standing around waiting for equipment than actually working out. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that a home gym would be convenient, time effective, and less costly long-term.
The only problem was I was limited on space AND had a budget.
The solution? A multi-gym.
Just what is a multi-gym you ask? It’s essentially an all-in-one piece of equipment providing a wide range of exercise options. It allows you to workout all muscle groups in a single machine with limited space.
But WHY do you need a multi-gym? Let’s take a look and find out.
WHY You Need a Home Gym
Home gyms reign supreme over commercial gyms due to numerous reasons including: convenience, cost effectiveness, customizability, and cleanliness.
More Convenient than a Big Box Gym
Let’s face it, big commercial gyms are crowded during all the times you want to go. If you’re like most of the general population you probably work a 9 to 5 job, meaning you have to go to the gym before or after work.
These peak hours of 6:00 am - 8:00 am and 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm means you’ll be competing with several other members just to use a single piece of equipment.
Your 45 minute workout could end up doubling in time due to waiting. Who really has time for that?!
Plus, not everyone lives close to a gym. If the nearest gym is 15+ minutes away, you could waste hours per week driving to and from the gym.
Having a multi-gym takes away the stress and allows you to workout from the comfort of your own home. You can get a quick workout in before you wake up or after you get home. Either way you are saving countless time, money, and energy by not going to a commercial gym.
Cheaper than Traditional Gyms
Building a home gym may seem like a fairly big investment, but long term may actually save you money.
Most big commercial gyms have upfront initial costs of at least $250 and cost $50+ per month. That’s over $850 in a single year and that’s just for a basic membership. If you join a smaller boutique gym that offers group training classes, that can cost $200+ per month.
When all is said and done you could be spending $2400+ per year on just a gym membership which is CRAZY!
Buying a multi-gym for the home is a better long term investment. A solid built home gym can last years or even decades if properly maintained.
There’s never a shortage of used equipment available for sale online too. If you want to resell your gym later, most home equipment will have reasonable resale value.
Have it Your Way
Like the classic Burger King commercials used to advertise “have it your way.”
Having a home gym allows you to completely customize your equipment and setup.
If you don’t like free weights don’t buy them.
If barbells aren’t your thing, no problem.
If cardio isn’t your favorite activity, just don’t do it.
The beauty in home gym purchase is you buy what you need and forget about everything else.
What are the Types of Multi-Gyms?
The gym equipment industry was a 10 billion dollar industry in 2015. There are virtually limitless types of gym products and accessories available for both commercial and home use.
The types of multi-gyms can vary tremendously in price and style, but each has its own advantages.
The Weighted Stack Machines
Many modern day pieces of gym equipment have built-in stacks of weight making it more convenient for the user. This type of machine makes it simple to transition between different amounts of weight and decreases the amount of storage required.
Switching weights can waste precious energy that could be spent actually lifting weights. Simply pull out the metallic prong and adjust the weight. This also makes it much easier to do drop-sets or supersets.
Resistance Rod Machines
Resistance rods essentially use flexible rods that don’t rely on gravity. These types of machines provide resistance without the need for heavy weighted plates or dumbbells.
Not only does this type of equipment save on space, but also causes less strain on joints and tendons decreasing the likelihood of injury.
Resistance rod machines are typically safer to use and take up less space. You can place these types of machines anywhere since you aren’t dealing with heavy weights that could cause potential property damage.
Invented by the late great health expert Jack LaLanne, Smith machines are similar in size and profile to a traditional squat rack. The difference is the barbell is in a fixed plane, meaning it can only go up and down. The bar can be stopped at any point in time as opposed to a traditional barbell that must be re-racked.
This type of machine can help decrease the likelihood of injury and may lessen pressure on the lower back. These bad boys can be used for squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and many other exercises in a similar manner to traditional power racks.
If you want a squat rack and want to avoid injury, a smith machine could be the right choice for your home gym setup.
Cable Machine Gym
Cable machines can provide benefits not found in other machines. In fact, one of the benefits of cable machines is constant tension.
Unlike traditional free weights or barbells, cables provide resistance in both eccentric and concentric motions. In other words, you’re getting the benefit of the exercise throughout the entire movement. This can lead to better muscle growth and hypertrophy.
More tension = bigger muscles and that’s always a good thing.
The types of exercises you can perform with a cable machine are endless. Every muscle group can be worked in dozens of different ways. You can even get creative with your workouts by coming up with new exercises.
You can also switch up the attachments on the cable machines. Straight bars, V-bars, ropes, and handles can all be used for switching up your everyday routine.
You can’t go wrong with having a cable machine in your home gym.
Things to Remember Before Making a Purchase
Building your own home gym setup can be a large undertaking for most people. Cost, space, and variety of exercises should all be considered before constructing a home gym.
How Much Will it Cost?
One of the obstacles with constructing a home gym is the cost. It can be simple and inexpensive or grand and costly.
Before creating your home workout sanctuary, you should set a specific budget to ensure it’s not too costly.
There is always seems an abundance of gently used workout equipment on reseller sites such as Craigslist and OfferUp. You can save hundreds of dollars by buying items secondhand.
Costs of gym equipment can vary significantly depending on retailer so be sure to shop around for the best possible price.
How Much Room Will it Take Up?
Having a dedicated home gym generally requires having some free space in your home.
If you have a spare bedroom or garage you likely won’t be as limited. On the other hand, if you need something portable you may have fewer options.
Be sure to measure the space of the equipment you wish to purchase and leave additional room around it to allow for free movement.
Keeping Equipment Properly Maintained
Like any machinery or item with mechanical moving parts, you must ensure it is properly maintained.
Some new gym equipment may come with manufacturer warranties or the option to add a warranty to it. You should regularly check all equipment and make repairs as needed.
If you are buying a product used, be sure to properly examine the functionality of the item before using. The last thing you want is a busted piece of equipment.
Variety of Exercises
Another limitation of a home gym setup is the variety of exercises you’re able to do.
Most people may have a single room with one large piece of equipment and some accessory items. Make sure the equipment you choose can provide exercise variety to keep your workouts fresh.
Example: You wouldn’t want to buy a chest press machine if that was the only piece of equipment you had room for.
Having a multi-gym type setup will allow you to have a full body workout and YES this even includes leg day.
What Should You Add to Your Home Gym?
The multi-gym should be the mainstay of your home workout epicenter. It should include a single piece of equipment that can perform exercises for the entire body.
BUT what about additional items for your home gym?
Here are a few useful items that can be added to your home gym at a relatively inexpensive cost:
Medicine ball: can be used for abdominal exercises and core strength. Choose a weight you’re comfortable with and get creative with it.
Exercise ball: can be used for core, stability, and incorporation into several body part movements. Choose a size that makes you comfortable with your height and body type.
Adjustable free weights: space is at a premium for most people. Buying a set of adjustable dumbbells can allow you to do numerous exercises with little space required.
Resistance bands: resistance bands can be used for exercises and physical rehabilitation purposes. Choose a set of bands with different resistance strengths to grow your exercise routine.
Foam Roller: many people neglect the importance of recovery and post-workout routines. Having a foam roller can lessen muscle soreness and help prevent future injuries.
Workout bands: if you do not have enough space for dumbbells, workout bands can provide similar benefits with little to no space required. The great thing about workout bands is the constant muscle tension provided throughout the entire movement.
Cable attachments: if you have a cable type machine, having a variety of cable attachments can come in handy. Straight bars, ropes, V-bars, and single arm grips are just a few of the options available at your disposal.
The best part about a home gym is you can do as little or as much as you want.
The BEST Home Multi-Gyms
Marcy Smith Cage Workout Machine Total Body Training Home Gym System with Linear Bearing MD-9010G
When it comes to all-around performance at a reasonable price, the Marcy Smith Cage Workout Machine stands out from the rest. With its all-in-one workout station design, it provides a ton of exercise variation within a small space for serious home gym strength training.
You get the safety and convenience of a smith machine with the benefits of cable attachments. It also comes with a lat-bar, rope extension, ankle strap, and single handles. The exercises you can do are virtually limitless.
The safe frame design will all you to do safe natural body movements while minimizing the risk of potential injury. The adjustable sliding track seat also makes it easy to switch between workout partners.
You’ll never get bored and you’ll be able to switch up your workout every time. If you’re a hardcore gym enthusiast that wants a versatile workout, the Marcy Smith Cage Workout Machine may be the right choice for you.
Bowflex PR3000 Home Gym
With its compact design and great value, the Bowflex PR3000 allows you to do over 50 strength based exercises.
The beauty of the Bowflex PR3000 Home Gym is the resistance rods. With its design, you’ll never need to perform cable changes between sets. You can also place it virtually anywhere as it eliminates the use of heavy weighted plates.
You won’t have to worry about heavy plates falling off and damaging your floor.
It also comes at a reasonable price, costing less than a year long membership at most commercial gyms.
If you’re new to working out or are simply looking for a safe machine with limited available space, be sure to check out the Bowflex PR3000.
Body-Solid StrengthTech EM2500S
The Body-Solid StrengthTech EM2500S is a weighted stack type home gym that comes preloaded with 210 pounds of cast iron resistance. With its ergonomic design it can be used by people of all skill levels.
Whether you are new to working out or are a lifetime gym rat, this machine is tailor made to provide an array of different exercises. It’s sleek design also makes it look like something out of a commercial gym.
The weighted stack system makes switching weights a breeze. Simply pull out the metal prong and adjust to your preferences. If you’re a casual gym goer that wants a well-rounded machine, the Body-Solid StrengthTech EM2500S may be the multi-gym you’re searching for.
Creating a home gym can make your workouts more enjoyable than ever before.
By eliminating the need for commercial gyms, you’ll be able to save both time and money.
Simply determine a budget and find out how much space you have to work with. Then choose a machine that best fits into your lifestyle.
There’s no excuse not to be in the best shape of your life. Take control of your health, take control of your life. Your future starts right now.