Is it worth it to invest in a home gym?
The answer is yes – definitely! If you pay $50 a month for a gym membership, that sums up to a total of $600 a year. If you buy home gym equipment instead, you will be using them for a lifetime and save money in the long run (over petrol and monthly payments).
In addition, most people who are successful in their sports train most of the time alone with their home gym. The main reason for that is control and absolute focus.
- 1 Benefits of Home Gyms
- 2 Drawbacks of Home Gyms
- 3 Introduction To Home Gym Equipment
- 4 Best Home Gyms
- 5 Best Home Gym Accessories to Power Up Your Workout
- 6 Factors to Consider When Building a Home Gym
- 7 Conclusion
Benefits of Home Gyms
Here are the positives:
- You will not have to worry about germs or sweat left by the previous user.
- There is no one else around, so focus can be increased.
- Your home gym can be tailored based on your needs.
- You can exercise anytime. Public gym users are restricted by gym hours.
- Take many pictures of your growing muscles without anyone judging you.
- It does not necessarily require using an entire room.
- You can build a home gym depending on your budget. It can be expensive or cheap, as you like it to be.
Drawbacks of Home Gyms
Even though such a project can bring a lot of advantages, it also has some drawbacks, namely:
- It is not as social as a public gym.
- A wider range of equipment may not be available.
- Initial cost.
- You need to find a lot of space if you include several tools and machines.
- Home gym users tend to put off today’s workout for tomorrow. If you have a gym at home, know the appropriate forms, techniques, reps, and sets of each exercise, and are mentally ready to spend an hour of exercise regularly, then a home gym may be a wise choice for you.
Introduction To Home Gym Equipment
When setting up a home gym, here are items you may need to include:
- Workout mat and equipment mat
- Workout bench
- Heavy bag
- Resistance bands
- Weight plates
- Power rack
- Workout mirror
- Exercise bike
- Elliptical machine
Best Home Gyms
This post talks about the best home gyms available in the market today. Here are our top-5 picks:
Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym
The Bowflex PR1000 model comes with a power rod resistance of 210 pounds with the brand’s Power Rod technology.
The resistance comes from the long flexible rods extending from the rear of the machine. As you do reps for your exercises, you move quite easily at the beginning. Then you apply more force as the tension of the bow increases.
The PR1000 is Bowflex’s unit with the least number of exercise variations available, but it is the only one in this brand that features a media rack. The integrated device holder offers support for your smart devices.
Other Bowflex units you can check out are the PR3000, Blaze, Xtreme 2 SE, Exceed, and Revolution. These units have a number of exercises variations with 100 different exercises to perform.
All these models provide similar maximum resistance of up to 210 pounds, but some are upgradeable to either 310 or 410 pounds, so you can level up once you are ready to do so. The harder you work out, the harder the machine’s power rod resistance is going to work for you to deliver life-changing results.
These are some of the best units for resistance training, where you expect to increase strength, hypertrophy, endurance, and power in basically all parts of your body – shoulders, back, chest, arms, abs, and lower body.
The PR1000 has additional features including:
- Multiple cable pulley positions that allow users to change the angle of resistance – The vertical bench press and pulley system allow three angle adjustments – incline, decline, and flat.
- A bench that converts to a seat for aerobic rowing – The built-in rowing station allows you to deliver a calorie-blasting workout.
- Foldable unit for maximizing space – When you are through working out for the day, fold the bench up to free space, reducing the footprint by 50%.
The PR1000 is a workout machine that weighs only 131 pounds. While it requires another person to help you wrangle it about, it is still easy to move about.
Bowflex home gyms are excellent options for people who cannot do resistance training using free weights. These units are beginner-friendly and suitable for any fitness level.
EVO home gym is another foldable unit that perfectly suits a small space. It is a complete gym that users can take anywhere, earning for itself the advertising pitch of being the “world’s only home gym that fits in a backpack.”
With such an attribute to highlight, the EVO gym delivers portability where you will not need an extra hand to carry the whole unit wherever you go. Pack handles and bars into the base and put them in your carry-on.
With this home gym, you have a unit that conveniently packs for trouble-free storage under your bed or inside your closet.
Another thing that sets EVO apart is its resistance bands. You can customize the resistance level of these bands, depending on your requirement. It allows you to set the resistance from 10 pounds to 320 pounds.
The base of EVO consists of three components:
- Rubber top plate – for providing friction and resisting sliding.
- Polycarbonate is a strong, transparent plastic material with outstanding stiffness, strength, and impact resistance.
- Aluminum support anchor – Three support anchors (left, right, and front) for attaching the bands and supporting the weight of your body.
Thus, with this unit, you will have a sturdy gym that has a stable base that makes you feel safe on it. The bands are also steady and stay in place the whole time you work out.
This home gym unit is a gem in terms of its comprehensive design. The notch system of the resistance bands allows you to start from the bottom of the movement. That means you can replicate heavier compound movements to work several muscles or muscle groups simultaneously.
This unit is on Kickstarter. So, one way you can get it is by supporting its development on the platform. The patent for this product is still pending as of writing (December 2021).
The MAXPRO Fitness home gym is another unit that gives portability utmost priority. It offers 150+ exercises, up to 300 pounds adjustable resistance, and 50 resistance settings at the turn of the dial.
One of the best features of this gym is that it weighs far less than the portable EVO gym unit. If you are up for a portable gym that you can easily carry better than the EVO, the MAXPRO is that gym. This is a unit that you can easily pack and carry whenever you want to exercise outdoors.
You might feel that the cables are not as smooth as you would have liked, but they simply need a break-in period. So be patient with it and try to do your best with every exercise it allows you to do.
With this home gym, you can do exercises like curls, rows, overhead presses, and upright rows. You can also try putting it underneath a foldable bench. It is pretty solid for bench press and single-arm rowing.
The best features of EVO include:
- Space-saving – You can get a weight machine that does everything that MAXPRO can do, but you will have to dedicate an entire room for it. With MAXPRO, you have a room you can use for weight training and still have extra space for yoga and sewing.
- Versatility – MAXPRO can provide training in all directions. You can do everything a Bowflex or a weight machine can do with this unit that takes only a fraction of space. Dumbbells? Sure. Think about getting hundreds of pounds of metals. Or do punching exercises, squats, and lateral pull-downs.
- Safety – This home gym feels safe. There is no need to worry about dropping weights or something on it snapping.
- Lightweight – The MAXPRO comes with a compact, lightweight design and weighs only 9 pounds.
Wecount Resistance Band
Build muscles, improve cardio, and burn fat, and transform your physique at home, in the office, or on the go with Wecount complete home gym. This all-in-one gym system allows you to do more than 70 workouts from the comfort of your home.
Wecount also stimulates the professional equipment used in gyms, such as stationary bicycles, rowing machines, barbells, etc. You can also customize your exercises with its adjustable bands to provide the perfect level of resistance.
This unit’s parts occupy only a small space when packed together. Like the other two units above, the entire Wecount gym stores flat and firmly packs together for safe storage under your bed. The travel kit it comes with allows you to keep all the parts together when not being used, and when you are on a work trip or a family vacation.
Wecount best features include:
- Travel kit – Other resistance band units do not come with a travel kit for storage.
- High-quality bands – Unlike other resistance band units, Wecount has lighter but stronger resistance bands. Each band can be stretched to up to five times the original length.
- The bands offer 20 to 40 pounds of resistance, allowing them to provide a total of 200 pounds of resistance together.
- Tailored courses – This home gym features a library of classes through its free app, where you will not pay anything, including tailored courses.
There are detailed workout courses, depending on the muscle group you want to target. Select your course and achieve your fitness goals by following the AI instruction via the app. The company says that their product is the world’s first AI-powered home gym.
Likewise, the Wecount app allows tracking of performance. You can track the strength of your reps, analyze your workout data, and make adjustments to optimize your results. The app also allows you to record training logs and rest periods.
The Wecount AI-powered home gym is now being launched via a Kickstarter campaign. Early adopters can receive rewards with special pricing and deals.
The FITINDEX portable gym combines all fitness functions of professional home gyms without being heavy on the budget. If you are lucky, you can purchase the entire unit for about $100.
With some Amazon affiliate sellers, it is offered at around $140, which is about a hundred dollars less than most portable brands out there. With this low pricing, FITINDEX comes with the following exercise tools.
- Heavy resistance bands
- Push-up handle
- Abs roller
- Pilate bands for building muscles and burning fat
With all these accessories included, you can simulate a 1,000-USD home gym system right in your home.
Portability is also a highlight for this unit, but similar to the heavier resistance band units we feature, the weight of FITINDEX is way beyond that of the EVO. FITINDEX has a total weight of 16.5 pounds. Take that difference into account.
Also, check the high-quality, sturdy base and its non-slip design. Compare these features to other home gym models units because FITINDEX has 12 anti-skid pads for its base. The pads are made of high-quality ABS material that does not easily deform or break.
ABS materials offer a balance in impact and resistance against heat, chemicals, and abrasion. It also offers surface hardness, tensile strength, and dimensional stability.
Because of the ABS material used, FITINDEX can withstand up to 256 pounds of pressure, allowing users to do more intense workouts such as rows, presses, and deadlifts.
Make sure to also consider the bands FITINDEX comes with. It is nice that it comes with a total of four bands, each offering 30 to 50 pounds of resistance. If you need to level up your resistance exercise, you can either shorten the bands or add more bands.
Other brands provide only two bands with a fixed 30 or 40 pounds of resistance each. That can limit flexibility and usability. Consider that if you are thinking of purchasing a home gym that other family members will also use.
Consider this four-band advantage, especially since the FITINDEX is an affordable product in its league.
Best Home Gym Accessories to Power Up Your Workout
Here are some of the best units of accessories to include in a home gym. You need the things available in the market and the applications of these implements.
Push-up bars make the push-up exercise safer by putting the wrist in line with the forearm and the hand. They give more range of motion (ROM), which makes push-ups harder and better. They also work the chest and wrists better.
Check out the JFIT push-up stand, which is a unit designed to carry up to 300 pounds of weight. Its anti-slip base features rubber caps that prevent the stand from unnecessary movements.
With this push-up, you can target a wider range of muscles and use its handle for other purposes, such as yoga, stretches, dips, and so on.
Resistance Toning Tubes
Use resistance toning tubes for wide-ranging workouts, including bicep curls, hammer curls, front shoulder raises, tricep extension, and more. They provide muscle-building tension and can be used almost everywhere. These exercise implements are also usually recommended by therapists for rehab purposes.
Check out the above home gyms to choose the perfect bands for resistance exercises. Four of the best resistance band models have been discussed above. Other brands to consider include MyFit, Core Zone, and Rogue Monster.
Medium resistance bands are a good choice for strength-enhancing workouts and are designed to work well for active users who do daily training. Heavy resistance bands supply 13 pounds or more of resistance.
Skipping ropes are some of the best implements for sweat-breaking cardio, combining short bursts of intense exercise and periods of rest.
HIIT exercises like a jumping rope are effective if you need to lose belly fat without dieting or to tighten and sculpt your abs. These exercises also improve balance and coordination.
For jump rope brands, check out XYLsports. Their skipping rope is nine feet, eight inches long, extending from foam-padded handles. The length is adjustable and is long enough to fit in your hand without crowding your fingers.
The XYLsports skipping rope uses durable PVC as base material. The diameter of this rope is 5 millimeters.
The foam-padded handles make it easy for users to grip even if their hands start to sweat.
Along with other factors to consider when selecting an exercise mat, you should consider thickness as a top priority. For most people, the best would be around 0.25 inches thick. If you are prone to injury or suffering from sensitive joints, consider a mat that is around 1 inch thick.
Check ATIVAFIT mat from Amazon. It is only 0.23 inches thick, but it is one of the most eco-friendly brands. Plus, it features alignment marks that can help you keep your body in proper alignment while exercising.
Abs Roller Wheel
An abs roller is a simple device, but it is an advanced exercise tool that can benefit the triceps, core, lats, and shoulders. It is also used for strengthening the muscles in the lower body, including the hips and thighs.
One of the brands recommended is Perfect Fitness with their Ab Carver ProRoller, an abs roller that has built-in resistance and ergonomic handles. It is technologically advanced in terms of its kinetic interior engine that provides extra resistance.
An added bonus is the foam-padded knee pads the ProRoller comes with.
Having a power rack is a necessity in every home gym. This tool will enable you to uplift the capabilities of your home gym since a power rack allows you to lift heavy free weights. Power racks are versatile, allowing you to perform dozens of exercises on them.
For this category, you can check ProForm Carbon Strength Power Rack. It is a good choice for expanding your exercise capability. It comes with easy-to-follow instructions, and its parts are marked clearly.
Have someone to help you in the assembly to make the process easier.
Factors to Consider When Building a Home Gym
Consider the following:
If what you have is only a small space, then you cannot take in large equipment. Rather, consider using resistance bands, abs roller, and other small things that can be conveniently accommodated.
Make sure you are not too stingy on this project because building a home gym is a good investment that other family members can also use. Make sure you buy durable equipment that can be passed on to the younger generation.
If your budget is not tight, you can have a smart or high-tech home gym. Things like wearable, remote live workout sessions, streaming LCD screens, and internet-based workouts are some high-tech gadgets you can include. Video capture equipment is useful for correcting your exercise techniques and helps to document your performance.
However, not everyone needs all the fancy machines. What you can do is to start small, and that means starting with just a few implements, including a bench, a power rack, weights, and resistance. As a beginner, these might be all that you need.
When selecting the equipment to include in your home gym, think about what muscle groups you want to target. Using multi-joint exercises that target the muscle group you want to build will allow you to lift heavier weights.
If you want to increase the size of your biceps, choose equipment that will allow you to perform bicep curls and other similar exercises for building the biceps. Think of dumbbell row, one-arm push-ups, etc.
Building a home gym is advantageous, especially if you feel it is a waste of time to dress and wait in a queue to avail yourself of fancy equipment in the traditional public setting.
It is challenging to set up a gym at home. However, your project is not impossible to undertake.
Set aside a budget for it and buy the essentials first, such as dumbbells, yoga mats, and resistance bands. Things to consider before purchasing equipment are space, budget, and your requirement.
Make sure you buy only high-quality equipment. Being dedicated and building a workout routine habit will add value to your fitness goals.