Home Gym Equipment Reviews:
Our Expert's Take On The Top 5 Home Gyms!
With so many pieces of home gym equipment, it is easy to get confused when trying to compare them all. With that being said, I have ranked the top 5 home gyms to make things a little easier. There are 2 brands that I personally trust based on the quality of their product, their customer service, and their warranties. Those three things are very important when looking at a piece of home gym equipment that you are willing to spend the money on to get a good quality piece that you plan to have for a very long time.
These 2 brands of equipment are Powertec and Body-Solid. Both companies I have been in contact with for years with the pieces that I have purchased. For those who have seen my home gym on Bodybuilding.com, you will see all the different pieces of equipment I have from both of these companies. Both companies have amazing customer service on the products if anything were to happen to cables or any piece of the equipment. Simply call them up, explain the piece you need replaced and they send it out with pretty much no questions asked (free of charge).
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Product Quality, Customer Service, And Warranties
Should All Be Considered When Buying Gym Equipment.
This article features the top 5 "universal" style pieces of home equipment. So rather than having to buy many different pieces, these are all together as one unit either working off of a plate-load system or weight stacks.
Bodybuilding.com actually has these pieces along with many others that aren't listed on the top 5 report. Each piece is shipped free of charge directly to your door from the supplier and comes with an in-home lifetime guarantee. The lifetime guarantee is worth its weight in gold, in my opinion, since you never have to worry about something breaking and having to purchase a whole new system. Pricing is based off of the Bodybuilding.com Store pricing.
With all that being said, let's check out the top 5 pieces.
1. Powertec Workbench Multi System
This piece of equipment I actually was able to try out at a sporting goods store around my area as they brought a couple pieces of Powertec into their location. I must say, if I had more room in my home gym, I would have picked this piece up. Although it is a rather large size, this thing has everything you could ever want in a home gym. The fact that you can plate-load the machine to go up in 2.5-5lb increments is great. Any plate-load machine I would recommend over a machine with a weight stack. The weight stack is nice in that all you need to do is change the pin, but once you get too strong on an exercise, you are out of plates and can't continue to progress with your strength gains.
With over 12 stations on this piece, you can hit every muscle group with numerous different exercises. This piece can actually be used by up to 3 people at one time without interfering with their workout. It also feels like true free weight resistance where some other machines feel awkward.
Another nice feature about this piece is that there are no pulleys for rods which need to be checked, lubed, maintained, or else they wear out. Everything is on a lever system which makes this machine smooth and quiet unlike some pulley machines where you get that awful high pitch squeak if it needs to be lubed. The padding and upholstery is a very high quality and very comfortable when in use.
Overall, I highly recommend this piece. The price tag may seem high for some, but for the value you truly cannot pass up this piece of equipment if you are looking for an all-in-one machine. When you factor in all the stations and exercises you get out of it, this piece is worth every penny spent.
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You Truly Cannot Pass Up This Piece Of Equipment
If You Are Looking For An All-In-One Machine.
2. Body-Solid Freeweight Leverage Gym
Here is another piece similar to the Powertec Workbench above. This piece is another plate-loaded machine which has many of the features of the Powertec above but without some of the extra stations. For the value, I rank it second because of the lack of versatility compared to the product above. However, don't get me wrong-this Body-Solid Leverage Gym is definitely on the list of must have's if you are tight on space and still want to get a piece that can pretty much do it all.
The piece itself is of very high quality and very durable. The pads are comfortable when working out and are tear resistant. Just like above there are no pulleys to worry about so this piece is maintenance free. This machine can only have 2 users at once whereas the piece above you can get up to 3 so that is one thing that you'll want to keep in mind. If you are training by yourself or with a buddy/spouse/sibling/whoever, this piece would work just fine for your needs.
Overall, this is another piece worth looking into if you are looking for a home gym that doesn't take up a lot of space, yet gives you everything you need to hit every body part. Even though you are paying a little more for this piece compared to the Powertec Workbench, this is still a great buy for any household.
3. Body-Solid EXM3000LPS Home Gym
Clearly the highest price tag of all the pieces in this report, but worth the money based on convenience alone. If you aren't interested in lugging plates around and loading them on all your machines, then this piece is definitely for you.
This machine has duel weight stacks, each being 210 pounds. However, the calf raise and leg press station works off of a 2:1 weight ratio which allows the resistance to go up to 420 pounds. Just like above, this machine also handles 2 users at the same time. The size of this piece is about the same as the Powertec Workbench.
This piece of equipment is built very well and of great quality. The padding on this piece has the same Body-Solid standard on all their pieces-being very comfortable and durable. This piece has a very natural and comfortable feel when in use.
Biomechanically, this piece is amazing. With so many pin positions, you can tweek this piece to hit the muscle exactly the way it needs to be worked.
Even being a pulley system, this machine is very smooth and quiet. Maintenance will be required on the pulleys (lubing them will be necessary over time to keep them working properly without binding). This machine is put together so well that is has also been commercially graded for use in gyms and health clubs.
Overall, even though this piece is the most expensive, for what you get in the long run it is worth it. Convenience of weight stacks makes this piece one of the more expensive pieces available. However, for all you get with this great quality piece, it still belongs among the rest in this top 5 report.
4. Powertec Workbench Leverage Gym
Here is another piece definitely worthy of being in this report. I also had the opportunity to try out this piece of equipment for myself and was pleasantly surprised after trying out every station.
I'll call this the "baby brother" to the Powertec Workbench Multi System also in this report. Even though it doesn't have as many stations as its larger family member, this little monster will still get you the results you desire.
This piece has over 20 unique muscle building exercises that can be done. The system is plate-loaded so you can play with the weight as much as you want rather than only being able to use whatever the weight stack gives you on some other pieces. I was again pleasantly surprised by the natural feel of this piece as it truly does feel like a free weight exercise without the need to bring stabilizer muscles into play.
A feature which blew me away was the ability to remove the bench from the machine and do exercises such as squats, shrugs, and rows in that space. This is the ultimate in saving space as on most pieces there would be an extra station just for these exercises. The ability to remove the bench keeps this piece extremely compact and can fit just about anywhere in your home. I know what you are all thinking-I don't want to drag the bench all over the place! No need to. The bench has wheels on it so you can simply wheel it away with no effort at all. The pads on this machine are extremely comfortable and very durable.
Overall, I highly recommend this anyone looking for a product that is extremely compact and has everything you would want/need on a universal piece of equipment for their home. The price tag is extremely reasonable and as I said with its big brother, if I had the room in my home gym for it, I would bring this piece in as well.
5. Body-Solid EXM1500S Home Gym
I ranked this piece fifth only due to its price tag and the total weight on the weight stack. This is definitely a good quality piece of equipment, but based on what it has to offer going head to head with the other 4 machines in this report-I simply cannot place it any higher. I would categorize this piece more as a beginner's home gym.
This piece is good quality and is extremely compact. The weight stack goes up to 160 pounds which is great for beginners, but might not be enough weight for those who have been in the weight lifting game for some time. The pulley system is very smooth and quiet (but again will need to be lubed to keep it working properly).
The piece itself was named "#1 Best Buy" by a consumer reporting magazine in the home gym category. You can hit every body part with this machine and get in a full body workout in no time at all. Although it doesn't have all the extra stations as some of the others, this piece still serves well for those looking for a universal piece that hits all the major body parts even with minimal flexibility in regards to hitting the muscle with numerous exercises.
Overall, the piece is a great buy if you are looking for the convenience of a weight stack and the compact size to squeeze into a corner of the house.
So if you're on the market for a piece of home gym equipment, be sure that you are giving these some serious consideration.
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