Best multi-gym 2023: Jump Menu
The best multi-gym – known as the best home gym by American folks – merges multiple workout machines into one self-contained unit. Although they can take up quite a lot of space, this single unit can replace various bits of equipment, such as dumbbells, kettlebells and resistance bands. It provides an excellent full-body workout and if you’re someone who prefers using weight machines, then it’s definitely worth looking at getting one.
Multi-gyms are equipped with cables, pulley systems, weight stacks and some even come with leg curling accessories and mono racks, so you train your entire body with them. They’re particularly good for strength training, so if your goal is to build muscle, increase your strength or lose body fat, a multi-gym could be your golden ticket.
As these pieces of equipment are an investment, we’ve rounded up the best multi-gyms on the market to help you make a sound decision. Whether you're after a premium model from a big brands like Bowflex and NordicTrack, or a more affordable, compact option, these are our pick of the top multi-gyms.
As someone who spends 95% of their time in the gym, I've been able to test and trial a variety of strength, functional and cardio equipment, so I know exactly what to look (and not to) when it comes to choosing your very own multi-gym. If you have the space, then these can provide the ultimate workout and can save you having to buy multiple bits of equipment.
T3's Top 3 Multi-gyms
From the best for most people, to the best budget option, and the best premium pick, here's a quick rundown of the top three multi-gym 2023, followed by more in-depth analysis of a fuller list for those who want a deep-dive with additional context on a per-device basis.
Best overall multi-gym
The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE provides the versatility and space-saving design you’d want in a multi-gym. The heavy-duty Power Rods provide a resistance of up to 95kg and are super quiet, making it ideal for shared households. You can perform over 70 exercises to target your entire body.
Best premium multi-gym
If you're looking for a multi-gym similar to one you'd find at your local gym, then the G7 multi-gym is your best bet. As well as featuring hefty weight stacks, fully adjustable twin pulleys an adjustable bench and a pull-up bar, you can hit every conceivable muscle group in your body. There's no hiding the fact this multi-gym is pricey, but it's one that'll last you for years.
Best value multi-gym
In the more affordable section sits the Weider 8700I, which gives you great bang for your buck. It's fit with a leg extension, lat pull down, a low pulley system, a pec deck and a 57 kg weight stack, so you can perform plenty of exercises that will help pack on the muscle in no time.
Best multi-gyms to buy right now in 2023
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The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE provides the versatility and space-saving design you’d want in a multi-gym. It not only gets the job done, but you can perform several exercises on one machine without needing a huge space. It's geared towards those with some experience with weightlifting and who want to grow their muscles without free weights. Better still, it looks great and also feels sturdy.
The Power Rod system allows for quiet workouts, which makes the Xtreme 2 SE the ideal multi-gym for shared households. A small caveat is, just like with resistance bands, that the system provides inconsistent resistance throughout the movement, which, which might be off-putting to seasoned gym rats.
Read our full Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE review
One way to ensure you receive a gym-quality workout is to purchase the sort of equipment that resides in your local fitness centre and slap it in a spare room at home. The Life Fitness G7 multi-gym is a professional-grade setup for private use, featuring hefty weight stacks, fully adjustable twin pulleys and the option of a malleable bench that hits several incline and decline settings.
Throw in the chin-up bar, and you have an all-encompassing system that can work out almost every conceivable muscle group in the body. To do so, it measures over two metres tall, around two metres wide and the same depth, which is quite a lot of floor space to take up. It's not cheap either.
However, the US-built contraption is designed and constructed to last for many years. That hefty initial outlay does include free installation, a training DVD with two workout routines, an exercise book with over 60 exercises and a bunch of pulley attachments to ensure you hit every muscle that counts. Also, it removes the need to work out near people. Money well spent, then.
With a 57 kg weight stack and a pulley system that equates to a maximum resistance of 150kg on the leg developer pads, this beast from Weider offers great bang for the buck and is great for anyone looking to pile on the mass. A chunky construction and comfortable pads make up for the fact that the amount of adjustability on the back pad is limited (no flat press here), but it's still possible to conduct all manner of exercises without the space typically required by free weights and barbells.
Best for weightlifters
The MuscleSquad Phase 2 Quarter Rack with Pulley is a bit different from the multi gyms above as this one is more of a started pack as opposed to a complete setup. Here, you have a heavy-duty freestanding rack that can hold up to 286 kg of weight but said weight is not included in the price, nor is a weight bench.
That said, this rack can provide a lot of versatility for your workouts, especially if you like heavy compound exercises such as bench presses or squats. This bad boy also has a high and low pulley system, a landmine attachment and a pull-up bar with various regular and cannonball grips. Sweet.
Included in the price is a plate-loaded cable pulley system (rated at 70 kg), a cannonball grip chin-up attachment (rated at 120 kg), bar storage, two weight plate storage poles, two monolift attachments, two J hooks (rated at 286 kg in total), two spotter arms (also rated to 286 kg), a lat pulldown bar attachment and a curl bar attachment.
Although not a traditional multi-gym, this futuristic number from NordicTrack cleverly blends strength-focused activities, HIIT workouts and other forms of cardiovascular fitness. Complete with a 10-inch Android tablet, the brushed silver system also features high-energy LiveCast pre-recorded studio workouts.
The personal iFit robo-trainer will automatically adjust the resistance of the machine, ensuring you receive the best workout for you and your goals. A sleek, versatile design that doesn't take up too much space and looks badass. What's not to like? You can even save on your order with one of our NordicTrack discount codes.
Read more about the Fusion CST here: Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE vs NordicTrack Fusion CST
Rather than relying on a heavy and noisy weight stack, this clever home gym utilises a bespoke Bowflex Power Rod system that sees a pulley mechanism flex a series of metal rods. The thicker the rod, the higher the resistance. This puppy can deliver the equivalent resistance of a 95kg weight stack without the jerky inertia or risk of joint pain usually associated with free weights. However, the Bowflex technology doesn't limit the spread of exercises on offer, with numerous attachments and harnesses allowing for several motions to be carried out.
New to the system is an abdominal crunch shoulder harness, which allows the user to physically wear a harness that loads up the resistance for powerful six-pack toning. Other notable features include the three-position lower pulley and squat station that can enable users to carry out natural feeling squats for mega glutes, hamstrings and quad muscles. Also, those used to a classic, thumping and clunking weight stack will likely find the 'feel' of this system a little weedy, but if shaping up, as opposed to bulking up, is your priority, it could be ideal for you.
How to choose the best multi-gym for you
Multi-gyms cover several muscle-sculpting bases, with numerous levers, handles and pulley things used to tone and bulk up. As a result, they tend to take up a fair amount of room. They are also heavy, difficult to set up and can err on the really bloody expensive side, but for those with the space, patience and budget, they can literally be all you need to obtain that dream body.
The main considerations you must make are how much space you have to spare at home, how much time you have to assemble the thing, how heavy the weight stack should be to achieve your fitness goals, and how many different muscle groups you want the machine to cater for. Oh, and how fussy you are about the smoothness of the workout.
Insider tip: the more affordable units tend to use cheaper pulley systems, and, as a result, the resistance movement can sometimes feel a little jerky and unnatural. However, the best multi-gyms will offer everything from a lateral pull down to a weighted leg press and pretty much all in between, negating the need to visit a dank and sweaty gym ever again. Bonus.
Second insider tip: make sure your floors can cope with the amount of mass contained within some of the heavier multi-gyms. Repeatedly slamming a weights rack could lead to unexpected falls through the ceiling. Expanding your home gym? Have a look at the best treadmills, best exercise bikes, best rowing machine guides and get more informed about home cardio equipment than ever before.
Are multi gyms worth it?
The main appeal of multi-gyms is that they allow for a full-body workout without buying a commercial gym's worth of equipment. That said, most people can build muscle, lose weight or improve cardio equipment using only bodyweight exercises, so multi-gyms aren't a good investment from that perspective.
But getting a multi-gym could be an excellent incentive to keep exercising, and we all know that adherence is the biggest hurdle people must overcome to get fit. A comparatively significant investment, such as buying a multi-gym, might just be the act that guilt you into showing up in your home gym day after day to get fitter.
How much space do I need for a multi gym?
This really comes down to the size of the multi gym you're looking to buy. The best piece of advice we can give is to measure the area that you're planning to have your multi gym and to compare this with the dimensions of the model you want. Also, don't forget to think about the kind of exercises you'll be doing and that you'll have enough room for those too – you'll be kicking yourself if you can't fully extend the leg curler properly, or have enough room to step out and do your cable flies.
Are multi gyms effective?
Bodybuilders often prefer free weights (dumbbells, barbells) over machines in gyms as those provide a full range of motion. However, multi-gyms can offer an excellent way to train individual muscles, and they are handy for beginners. Plus, there are some exercises you can't do with free weights (e.g. lat pulldowns), only multi-gyms.