9 BEST compact home gyms for every budget
Compact home gyms are one of the best weight loss and fitness equipment for people who are looking for an affordable but yet very practical and robust gym equipment to work out at home.
The beauty of having a compact home gym is that you are getting a versatile gym equipment that is capable of covering a wide range of exercises and the feeling that you are actually working at the gym without the hefty price tag that comes with joining a gym.
There are few things to keep in mind before you decide to splash the cash on a home gym equipment. Getting the best compact home gym is not that easy and that's why I highly recommend that do your due diligence before you do so.
Nowadays, home gyms are completely different to what they are used to be. The first thing comes to mind when you hear "home gym", you instantly start to think about bulky guys who are pumping iron in the gym.
Let me tell you that is not the case anymore.
There are so many different types of compact home gyms on the market, where they are designed to accommodate your individual needs, goals and budget. if you're looking for a home gym equipment to work out your upper or lower body . Or may be you are looking for a home gym that doesn't use free weights or vise versa.
In this blog, I will review different types of the best compact home gyms that will fit everyone's budget and fitness goals.
Here is a quick overview:
BANDS, BODY WEIGHT
BANDS, BODY WEIGHT
USING FRAME, BODY WEIGHT
USING FRAME, BODY WEIGHT
This is an overview of the compact home gyms that I will review in this article.
What type of a compact home gym are you getting?
As I said before that there are so many different types of home gyms and choosing the right one depends on your fitness goals and budget.
There are mainly three different types of home gyms, which are:
1- Body weight home gyms
2- free weights home gyms
3- Doorway home gyms
These home gyms that I have mentioned will cover everyone's fitness goals/levels and budget. If you love weights or you are a big fan of body weight exercises, then one of these home gyms will definitely fit your individual needs.
Compact home gym reviews
1- body weight home gyms
Body weight home gyms are very popular home gyms because they are very compact, easy to use and very affordable. The thing that impresses me the most about them is that you can do so many exercises without weights or a gym membership.
BodyBoss 2.0 is a revolutionary compact home gym that was designed to mimic the most popular gym exercises that most of us like to do at the gym. it stimulates so many gym equipment and machines and combines them into one simple workout concept.
BodyBoss 2.0 uses vectorfit platform, resistance bands, hand straps and barbell to stimulate numerous gym quality exercises. It's a portable gym that you can use to work out all your body parts and do all the exercises that gym goers do for the fraction of the price. You can do almost any exercises you can think of with this home gym, like:
- Barbell squats
- Barbell lunges
- Lying leg curls
- Leg press
- Chess press
- Bicep and tricep curls
- Abs workout
- Shoulder press
- And much more..
It claims to perform more than 300 exercises and it's suitable for everyone who wants to tone up and lose weight without going to the gym. The platform is very durable and capable of holding hundreds of pounds and it's slip resistant. The resistance bands are designed to stretch up to 7 feet.
It's really easy to use and definitely doesn't need any special instructions. All you do is open the platform flat on the floor and strap the bands onto the provided hooks (on the platform) and attach the bar to the bands and you are ready to workout.
The 2 issues that I found a bit annoying about the BodyBoss were:
1- I hoped the platform was bigger in size where you have more freedom to move your legs, nonetheless, after a while you will get used to them as they supposed to force you to place your feet at the right distance from each other, so they are at shoulder width, so you don't injure yourself.
2- As you progress in your workouts and get stronger, you will need to purchase more bands. They do recommend that you shorten the bands for more resistance by using the platform provided to do so, if you don't wish to buy more bands. But as I said, you are probably going to end up buying more bands.
3- There are few complaints about the workout videos that are provided with the BodyBoss. Some people felt that the workout videos were very poor quality .
TRX has been around for a very long time now and has been proven to be one of the best body weight home gym you can have and do at home with minimum equipment. The reason TRX is very popular among pro-athletes and beginners alike is because of its utter simplicity and effectiveness.
Suspending your whole body in the air while doing any simple exercise will make your body work extra harder than just doing regular exercising. Doing a simple exercise like bicycle while your legs suspended in the air will work your legs and abs 10X more than just doing regular bicycle exercise.
If you are looking for a home gym that will make your abs literately scream and work 10X extra harder during every single exercise, then TRX home gym is one of the best out there.
Just like BodyBoss, TRX is easy to use and don't need special instructions. You will be able to do all the regular gym exercises with this simple and compact total body home gym. However, if you are new to exercising and haven't worked out for a very long time, then you might find it very challenging at the beginning.
It will definitely need some getting used to as it can be uncomfortable and awkward at first. With every exercise, you are forced to engage your core and other muscles as your body will work harder to keep your balance and stability than doing exercises standing up.
In terms of installation, you can either hook the straps to the ceiling or use door strap or even to a chin-up bar. TRX is very customizable and can be mounted wherever you think is going to work best for you, and also you can adjust the height of the straps depending on your height.
Just remember that TRX doesn't provide you with the ceiling mount (X-mount) as it sold separately.
This power tower is one of the best towers out there because it's very durable, sturdy and at great price. If you are into calisthenics or you just love doing body weight workouts like pull-ups, chin-ups, Tricep dips, push ups and sit ups, then you should check this tower out, you won't be disappointed.
It's made from tough steel frame and has 250lb weight capacity. Most of the stand alone towers tend not to be sturdy specially when doing pull-ups. The thing that impressed the most about this one is how sturdy it is.
This tower is best for people who love to do chin-ups and push-ups and looking for an affordable and high quality home gym, then stamina tower won't disappoint.
Keep in mind that before buying it, you should check the dimensions. if your basement is 8ft high, then this won't work for you as you might need 90" of clearance to be able to do pull-ups.
Unlike the other body weight home gyms, some assembling is required and don't let that scare you off. Assembling this tower is pretty straight forward and might take you around 40-50mins to do so.
Body champ is another high quality and affordable power tower that is built from heavy duty steel frame. Body champ tower has two cushions for resting your arms on while doing ab workouts like leg raises and third cushion to support your back, as well, which Stamina power tower doesn't have. If you really want to strengthen your lower back and your core without doing sit-ups, then this tower is your best friend.
As mentioned before, this tower was designed for people who regularly do pull-ups, dips, push-ups, and abs workouts. The thing to remember with this one is that if you are over 200lbs, the tower might start to wobble. Just like Stamina tower, it requires assembly too.
2- free weights home gyms
Marcy home gym is your typical home gym that's made from a heavy duty, 14 gauge tube frame with 150lbs of weight. Marcy home gym is your typical home gym that's very easy to use and does what you want it to do. It has very smooth action and quiet and let's you do your workout with no fuss.
It covers over 33 exercises which covers all major body parts like your:
- And much more
It has dual function press-arm where you can do single and dual vertical butterfly and chest press. The other thing that I really liked about the Marcy home gym is the double pulley station which lets you do more than just shoulder presses. The two high and low bars lets you do more exercises and covers more muscles like your triceps,biceps and back.
Leg workouts can be an issue with some home gyms as the leg developer isn't aligned with knee joints which can cause knee pain while doing leg extensions. With this home gym, you won't have this issue as it was designed to align the leg developer with knee joints to protect knee joints, so you can do the leg workouts safely.
This home gym comes unassembled and you have to assemble it yourself, which can be pain in the rear. It might take you around 2-4 hours to assemble and strongly advise that you have someone with you to make the process less painful.
The other thing to remember is that you can't add more than the provided 150lbs of weights. This can be an issue for some folks as you are automatically going to need more weights as you get more stronger which is impossible with this home gym.
The weights are vinyl covered weights and they are not made from iron which is disappointing.
Bowflex is one of the leading fitness equipment manufacturer in the world and is known to build a very high quality fitness equipment and there's no difference with Bowfelx Blaze home gym.
As you know, Bowflex has abandoned making free weights home gyms a long time ago in favor of using the revolutionary power rod technology that utilizes a unique and one of a kind mechanism in all of its total gyms and has been very successful with this innovative design.
Bowfelx Blaze is made from two main components which are heavy duty steel (body of all its total gyms) and a very durable rubber material (Bowfelx rods). It covers 60 exercises and has 210lbs weight capacity. Remember that the weight capacity is upgradable to 310lbs or 410lbs which is a really good feature as you will need to upgrade at some point as you progress in your strength and fitness level.
Bowflex Blaze features sliding seat rail for cardio rows where Bowlflex home gyms are the only home gyms that have this feature, so you are able to do your strength and cardio exercises with the same machine which I think it's really cool. The last thing I would like to mention is that Bowflex Blaze home gym folds up to save space.
Bowlfex offers 5 year limited warranty on the construction and lifetime warranty on its rods.
The only thing that I don't like about this home gym is the rods as some people managed to break the rods after using them for a long time. As I said before that Bowflex offers lifetime warranty of its rods and will replace them for free.
Putting it in simple words, Body solid is built to last forever. Every part of this home gym screams gym quality. If you are looking for THE home gym that is going to make you feel that you are working out at the gym, then this is the ONE.
From the heavy duty steel to the dualfirm pads to the iron plates, everything about body solid is of the highest quality, it has:
- Pec station.
- Iron plates (10lbs plate), remember that not all home gyms give iron plates.
- Has 3 different pulleys (upper, mid and lower pulleys), so you don't have to change cables.
- It comes with 210lbs of weights.
- It includes Lat bar, Straight bar, Utility strap, Ab and Tricep strap.
- It was designed in a way that you don't have adjust anything. There is a designated place and space for every workout you want to do.
The height shouldn't be a problem, if you are planning to put in the basement with a low ceiling. It's 83" (6.9ft) in height which will fit almost in any basement. The last thing you should know is that Body solid comes with lifetime warranty for all parts. Some people had this home gym for over 4 years and nothing has happened to any part of it because of its gym quality and tough build.
The only annoying thing is the assembly which will take you around 6-7 hours to put together.
3- Doorway home gyms
Triple door gym is ideal for people who love doing pull-ups and suspension exercises. It comes in 3 part mini home gym that can be hooked onto door frame without screws.
The last few years, door gyms are becoming very popular alternative to the conventional free weight home gyms because they are very affordable, save space and very effective at keeping you in shape.
What you get is a pull-up bar, dips bar and straps for suspension exercises. It's made from heavy duty steel material and it's very sturdy and really easy to hook up and take down and it takes seconds to do so without damaging the door frame or the home gym itself.
It fits all typical door sizes from 26" to 34" and holds up to 300lbs of weight with no issue. I strongly recommend that you measure your door frame before buying, so you know for a fact that it will fit with no issues.
If you are looking for a light weight mini home gym that doesn't need any installation or assembly, covers so many exercises and doesn't take much space, you will not going to be disappointed with the Triple door gym.
The straps are not height adjustable and that can be an issue for some people depending on someone's size.
Doorway fitness tower is another doorway home gym that is highly recommended because of its unique and clever design (probably the only on the market) to accommodate slightly different types of exercises. Its unique design lets you do pull-ups, push-ups, dips, and abs. It covers more than 72 workout variation and it can be installed and removed easily with no screws.
Its unique design allows you to do full dips, legs, and ab exercises thanks to the back and arm/elbow support which were added to prevent your body from swinging while doing pull-ups and abs. This is the only doorway home gym that I have seen that provides the back and arm support which makes any workout that you are going to much more effective and safer.
If you are a beginner and can't full pull-ups on the high bar, then fitness tower lets do slightly easier version of pull-ups which are the horizontal pull-ups. The horizontal pull-ups lets you gradually strengthen your back, shoulders and biceps till you are able to do the full pull-ups.
The other thing that worth mentioning is that the pull-up bar is extendable, if you have a door frame that is wider than 34". In fact, it can extend up to 40" which makes this doorway home gym a MUST have if you are really looking for a doorway gym as it truly exceeds the expectations in design and quality for the price that is listed for.
The only downside to this home gym, it hold up to 200lbs maximum which I think it's such a shame as I would have thought that it's capable of holding more weight because of its high durability and quality material that's built from.
The 5 last thing you need to remember when buying a home;
Before you decide to buy any piece of fitness equipment, you need to take few FACTORS into consideration, like:
1- Lasts a lifetime
The very first thing to look at when it comes to home gyms is the quality of the material and what type of warranty do they have?. There are so many fitness equipment on the market that are made from a cheap material and get sold for hundreds of dollars just because they are made with a new technology or new design.
Speaking from my personal experience, I would never buy a piece of fitness equipment that's made from plastic regardless of how durable they say it is. Thankfully, I haven't seen any home gyms that are made from plastic material, but there are home gyms that are made with some plastic parts that can/will wear out after a while and need to be replaced (If they are part of the mechanism).
It's fair to say that all the home gyms that I have seen are made from heavy duty steel and that's what you need to look for when purchasing a home gym.
Lifetime warranties are self-explanatory and will save you money and headache down the road. Just make sure that you understand what the warranty covers and doesn't cover. Every manufacturer has different type of warranty and the duration of every lifetime warranty differs depending on the manufacturer.
It's important to remember that when looking for the right home gym.
2-Covers as many muscles/exercises as possible
As I said before that every home gym is made and designed to cover certain number/type of exercises. Some cover as many as 70 type of exercises and others will only cover 5-10 exercises. This is not necessarily a good or bad thing. It all depends on your fitness goals and what type of exercises you are most likely going to do and how much you are willing to spend.
3- Easy to assemble
Assembly wise, you get 3 types of home gyms. You get the ones that are already assembled, partially assembled or home gyms that you have to assemble them from A to Z. Obviously, the best option is to get one that's already assembled for you, so you don't have to spend hours doing it yourself. Un-assembled home gyms come with so many parts and can be overwhelming if you are going to do it for the first time.
If you are buying a small or medium size home gym, then assembling it won't be an issue. But, assembling big home gyms can be challenging. Just make sure that you know what you are getting yourself into.
4- Easy to use
This comes down to individual's preference. Some people will find some home gyms very awkward and not easy to operate and others will not have this issue. My advice to you is to read people's reviews and see what they like and didn't like about the home gym that you want to buy, so you have a clear idea of what are getting for your buck.
5- Peoples reviews
People's reviews are one of the most powerful tools that will let you know everything and anything that you need to know about any product you want to buy and that's especially true when it comes to fitness equipment.
There are tons of fitness equipment on the market and every brand will tell that their make is the best and that's when reviews become really handy. When it comes to reading fitness equipment reviews, I tend to ignore the 4 and 5 star reviews and look at the bad reviews and try to see and figure out what people didn't like about the product that I want to buy.
After reading the bad reviews, you will get a clear idea of how good or bad is the home gym that you are getting.
As you can see that there are so many different types of home gyms on the market that will meet everyone's fitness goals and needs without paying the hefty price for neither a very expensive home gyms or a gym membership.