We’ve used a number of home gym equipment over the years and if there’s one thing that we’ve learned, it’s that every machine is different.

Each machine has a different level of effectiveness.

We’re always asked whether a particular home gym actually “works”.

To put it simply, every home gym machine will work to a point but it really depends on you and your fitness goals.

If you don’t consistently use the machines and put in the effort to use them effectively, don’t expect to get any results.

Using your home gym as a clothes hanger/rack or simply going through the motions won’t work.

There’s been too many times where I’ve heard people tell me that they aren’t getting the results they had hoped for and when asked how often they are exercising … well, let’s just say it’s not the fault of the machine.

Top Ten Home Gyms

ImageProduct DetailsPriceResistanceFull BodyRating
Body Solid EXM2500SBody Solid EXM2500S$900 to $1200WeightsYes5-stars100x23
bodysolid-exm1500sBody Solid EXM1500S$800 to $1200WeightsYes4.5-stars100x23
Powerline-BSG10X-Home-GymPowerline BSG10X Home Gym$800 to $1000WeightsYes4.5-stars100x23
Total-Gym-XLSTotal Gym$800 to $900Body WeightYes4.5-stars100x23
bodysolid-g1sBody-Solid G1S Home Gym$1000 to $1500WeightsYes4.5-stars100x23
Bodycraft Galena Pro
$2500 to $3900WeightsYes4.5-stars100x23
Bowflex-Xtreme-2SE-Home-GymBowflex Xtreme 2SE$1300 to $1500Power RodsYes4-stars100x23
Weider-Ultimate-Body-WorksWeider Ultimate Body Works$150 to $250Body WeightYes4.5-stars100x23
Powerline-P1X-Single-StackPowerline P1X Single Stack Home Gym$800 to $900

Body-Solid-G3SBody Solid G3S$1500 to $2000WeightsYes4.5-stars100x23

The machines listed here are selectorized/stacked weights and body weight machines.

Unlike plate loaded machines, selectorized machines will probably not result in a physique quite like “the Rock” or some athletes but they will tone and strengthen your muscles.

Going forward, I’ll start referring to these home gyms as the “light home gyms” as they are all under $2000, some under $1000 with a small footprint and a small weight capacity.

All have proven durability along with various exercise routines to target all major muscle groups.

I, along with a couple friends, have collectively used and shared information on each of these “light home gyms” so I can say with absolute certainty that these machines are all the average user will need for a great workout.

For every light home gym equipment, we’ve taken into account the following: durability, comfort, fluidity, warranty, and price.

We’ve even taken into account the manufacturers customer service in the event you have a complaint.

Body Solid EXM2500S


This is our favorite and definitely consider this to be the best home gym in its class.

It is a solid peace of of machine and best of all, it’s $1300 on Amazon and that’s with free delivery!

I bought this machine over 15 years ago (sold it a while ago with regret) and found out it was listed as a “best buy” in Consumer Magazine at the time.

It may look a bit dated and plain but believe me, it’s solid and the movements are fluid and with a weight capacity of 210 lbs., the average person will have more than enough weight to work out with.

It’s comfortable enough, not to the point where you can relax and fall asleep but enough to help you focus on your workouts.

The footprint is a bit on the big side: 83 x 51 x 83.

The warranty on Body Solid home gyms is simply the best.  Lifetime in-home warranty on everything … yes … everything.

If you can afford $1300, I HIGHLY recommend this one.  Oh, did I mention that Body Solid has the best customer service out of all of the manufacturers?

You can check out Body Solid EXM2500S machine here.


Body Solid EXM1500S

bodysolid-exm1500sAnother great machine built by Body Solid.

With a tiny footprint measuring 36 x 83 x 49, it barely takes up any space.  It’s a durable home gym and with its small size, provides an impressive amount of exercises. 

It literally targets every major muscle group. 

This is however, for the beginner to perhaps early intermediate level so if you’re expecting muscle mass, I’d look elsewhere as it only holds a weight load of 160 lbs.   But with a price tag of under $1000, why complain?

 You can check out the Body Solid EXM1500S machine here.


Powerline BSG10X Home Gym

Powerline-BSG10X-Home-GymThe Powerline series is another brand under Body Solid.

This specific light home gym model is comparable to its cousin, the EXM1500S model with, in my opinion, a different but better design.

Like its cousin, it has a max weight load capacity of 160 lbs. with multiple functions allowing you to perform a variety of workouts that target every muscle group effectively.

I especially love the adjustable press arm which can be used for chest press, rows, and shoulder presses.

It’s perfect for the beginner to mid fitness levels and carries a small footprint measuring 42 x 80 x 70.

The warranty on Powerline equipment is for a period of 10 years on the frame and 1 year for parts.

Best of all, this machine is affordable (for a home gym, that is): $850.

You can check out the Powerline BSG10X Home Gym here.


Total Gym XLS Trainer

total-gym-xlsI honestly didn’t know what to expect with this machine.

Just because it’s endorsed by Chuck Norris and Christie Brinkley doesn’t bear any weight for me, especially if the product is sold on infomercials so I didn’t even consider trying it out.

As luck would have it, I was at a friend of a friend’s place attending a gathering and it turned out they had one of these in one of their rooms.

I tried it out and I have to say, I was utterly impressed.  You use your body weight for resistance and the level of difficulty is adjusted by increasing or decreasing the incline.  The greater the incline the greater the difficulty.

Total Gym allows you to target all body parts but to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t too impressed with any of the leg exercises.

Also, this machine isn’t really for muscle development but if you’re looking for toning then this will do it.  It provides surprisingly intense workouts, especially if you have the incline set to the highest point.

I looked up the price at Amazon and this particular model is about $700 but they have lower end models that are about half the price.

Best feature about Total Gym is the fact that it folds up.  Unfolded, the dimensions are 19  x 90 x 43 and when it’s folded, the dimensions are compacted to 19 x 51 x  9.

You can read more about Total Gym here.

 You can check out the Total Gym XLS Trainer here.


Body-Solid G1S Home Gym

Body-Solid-G1S-Home-GymThis is a small durable home gym that packs a punch.

As far as I know, it’s the smallest one Body Solid makes.

With a footprint of 56 x 47 x 84, this home gym is designed just as well as the rest and despite its compact size, you can still perform a variety of exercises.

Chest, arms, legs, this machines targets everything.

It amazes me how Body Solid makes such a small machine so versatile.

Unfortunately, for individuals like myself, the weight capacity of 160 lbs. is lacking but overall, this is still a great machine that the average user will benefit from.  This machine is listed in Amazon for about $1000.

 You can check out the Body Solid G1S Home Gym here.


BodyCraft Galena Pro Home Gym

One of Bodycraft’s more affordable machines, the Galena Pro is comparable to any of the top machines and is built to last.

Every routine targets your muscle groups well giving the average user a muscle burning workout.

This machine also has the multiple function station (bench press) allowing you to perform bench press, shoulder press, and seat (mid) rows all from the same station with a quick adjustment.

Each movement is smooth and fluid and with a weight capacity of 200 lbs., this home gym makes my list of favorites.

This machine has a footprint of 58 x 72 x 92 with a lifetime warranty on all parts (applies to original owner only) and has a price tag slightly under $2000.

 You can check out the Bodycraft Galena Pro Home Gym here.


Bowflex Xtreme 2SE


The Bowflex Xtreme 2SE is the latest of the Bowflex series of power rod home gyms.

With over 70+ exercises that can be performed, it’s one of the most versatile home fitness machines on the market.

With a standard 210 lbs, users have plenty of resistance to tone their entire bodies but for those who require a bit more, the rods can be upgraded to 410 lbs.


Stay comfortable with your purchase thanks to their lifetime power rod warranty, 6 weeks fitness results guarantee and a 7 year limited warranty on the machine.

For more information on this home gym, just read our review on the Bowflex Xtreme 2SE.

 Check Out the Latest Price on Amazon.


Weider Ultimate Body Works

This machine is just like Total Gym but a bit more affordable and with a few minor variations.

One being the resistance bands that attach to maximize the resistance.

Overall, there’s not much to say other than what was mentioned regarding Total Gym.

If you want something more affordable, then go with this one.

Same workouts.  Same intensity. Appears to have the same durable construction as well but a cheaper price tag at $150.

Why?  I don’t know.

As far as warranties, they only provide a 90 warranty on defects, materials and workmanship.

You can check out the Weider Ultimate Body Works here.


Powerline P1X Single Stack Home Gym

I don’t really need to discuss the durability of Powerline.

If you’ve read the reviews regarding Powerline, then you know, as part of the Body Solid family, they’re reputed to be solid machines.

This particular model has 5 stations targeting various parts of the body.

Like the other Powerline model previously mentioned, this machine provides almost the same types of exercises with the same fluidity.

It also has the multipurpose press station allowing for chest, shoulders, and lat exercises.

This P1X has a 160 lb. weight stack upgradable to 210 lbs.

I understand cross-selling but I wish they would just include the additional 50 lbs.

The dimensions are bit on the large side 83 x 71 x 66 but still smaller than the heavier home gyms and the price tag is a little over $800.

 You can check out the Powerline P1X Home Gym here.


Body-Solid G3S Home Gym

And finally, here’s another great, innovative home gym built by Body Solid.

Let’s face it, they know how to build them right.

This one also has the adjustable press arm that allows you to perform chest, back, and shoulder exercises.

Although, it only comes with a 160 lb. weight stack, it is upgradable to 210 lbs.

Again, why can’t they just give us the extra 50 lbs?

Like most of the Body Solid home gyms, the G3S provides smooth, fluid movements and is adjustable for users of various sizes.

I’m only 5′ 10″ but it appears to be able to comfortably handle a user of about 6′ 3″.

Every major muscle group is targeted with this machine with effective muscle burning exercises and takes up a footprint of  about 80 x 47 x 84.

This particular model has a price tag of about $1500.

You can check out the Body Solid G3S Home Gym here.