The best multi-gyms aim to offer a complete workout station from the comfort of your own home, nixing that expensive gym membership for a personalized muscle building machine is easier than ever. When it comes to freelance fitness accessories, a home gym is essential and thankfully, self-contained workout stations come in all shapes and sizes.
Enabling comprehensive calorie-cutting workouts in the comfort of your own home, basement, backyard or bungalow, multi-gym machines are a must-have for anyone whose tight on space but wants the complete gym experience. Not everyone has the room to house each individual workout machine, so these personalized workout stations offer an excellent space saving alternative.
Don’t let limited living space hold you back from bigger pumps and better muscle development; get yourself a multi-station home gym instead. After all, most fitness experts would agree that targeted strength training (when performed properly) is a powerful weapon in the war against unhealthy flab. The lever-and-pulley mechanics of the most popular home gyms allow you to zero in on any muscle group you like (without the need for rearranging heavy weight plates).
Best multi-station home gyms: a limited supply
The best multi-station home gyms are in high demand right now, so keep your eyes peeled for shrinking inventory from the brands below. And check out the following retailers for additional inspiration:
- Shop for multi-station home gyms at Dick's Sporting Goods (opens in new tab)
- Shop for multi-station home gyms at Amazon US (opens in new tab)
- Shop for multi-station home gyms at Best Buy (opens in new tab)
- Shop for multi-station home gyms at Wal-Mart (opens in new tab)
How to buy the best multi-station home gym
Home gyms cover a number of muscle-sculpting bases, utilizing various levers, handles, and pulleys to strengthen every limb. They usually take up some space, however, and might even require their own dedicated room. (As a rule of thumb, plan on carving out an 8 x 8-foot area for the purpose.) Be warned: These workout stations can be heavy, expensive, and challenging to set up. But for those with the space, budget, and patience, they can function as an all-in-one solution on your journey to the ultimate physique.
For $1,000 and up, you’ll find some incredibly robust home gyms that would look right at home at your local meathead factory (read: weight room). Machines that feature fewer bells and whistles can be found as low as $300, with premium models pushing upwards of $3,000. In short, there’s a lot of wiggle room when it comes to your budget options.
Take note: Bargain-basement home gyms may use lesser-quality pulley systems; as a result, some exercise movements come off as jerky and unnatural. Premium multi-station home gyms, on the other hand, offer silky-smooth lateral pull-downs, weighted leg extensions, and pretty much everything in between — negating the need for sweat-swapping gym visits ever again, if you so choose.
No matter what multi-station home gym you land on, make sure your ceiling/floor can bear the extra load. (Lifting weights in the wrong room might result in some structural damage, “Turn Down for What”-style.)
The best multi-station home gyms to buy now
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 (opens in new tab) is a professional-grade setup for private use, featuring hefty dual 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 has the ability to workout 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 and 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 workout near people. Money well spent, then.
The Bowflex PR1000 is a multi-gym that's equally as capable as it's weird (at first anyway). Unlike traditional home gyms that use a weight stack, the PR1000 uses Bowflex's Power Rod system which is essentially an arrangement of bendy metal rods that provide resistance as you try to bend them. The more rods you're trying to bend in the same time, the harder it gets, simple.
The idea might be simple but the execution is anything but. Operating the rods is only marginally more difficult than using a pin on a weight stack: you just need to clip the carabiner the desired rod and off you go.
One thing worth mentioning is that although the maximum resistance of the PR1000 multi gym is 95 kg (standard multi gym weight stack is around 70 kilo), due to the bendy nature of the rods, the resistance is expressed gradually. It's like doing curls with resistance bands: it'll be easier to pull them at the beginning than it's at the end of the motion.
Don't let this put you off though. The resistance might not be constant but the muscles are worked nevertheless and as I mentioned above, the Power Rod system is way better for a home gym environment than a traditional multi-gym, not to mention, you will be able to perform over 26 exercises, including bench press, lat pulldown and more using the Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym.
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 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 is a can provide a lot of versatility for your workouts, especially if you like heavy compound exercises such as the bench press 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 to 70 kg), a cannonball grip chin-up attachment (rated to 120 kg), a bar storage, two weight plate storage poles, two monolift attachments, two J hooks (rated to 286 kg in total), two spotter arms (also rated to 286 kg), a lat pulldown bar attachment and a curl bar attachment.
It’s not your granddaddy's home gym. Or even your daddy’s, for that matter. We’ve been living in the future (of fitness) for years, but the NordicTrack Fusion CST Strength Training Machine actually looks the part with its built-in HD tablet, silent magnetic resistance, and live interactive tech.
Powered by iFit (a team of 200+ “elite” fitness coaches at your virtual service), NordicTrack’s dynamic partnerships highlight the explosive world of high-intensity interval training (HIIT): bootcamp-style workouts that build muscle while simultaneously burning calories. Stream on-demand sessions with world-class personal trainers — and 20 resistance settings to choose from. If instant gratification is your thing, you’ll love having those workout stats (heart rate, calories burned, etc.) right at your fingertips, thanks to the included iFit Bluetooth chest strap. The personal iFit robo-trainer will automatically adjust the resistance of the machine when necessary, ensuring the best workout for you and your goals.
Take note: the extra stuff costs extra. You do get a one-year membership to iFit with your purchase, but after that, it’ll run you $396 per year for full access to iFit’s premium features, such as trainer-led workouts and custom-tailored fitness content. If you miss your old gym community, though, this is one fantastic alternative to the fitness classes of yesteryear.
A sleek, versatile, badass design that doesn't take up too much space. What's not to like?
• Read more about the Fusion CST here: Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE vs NordicTrack Fusion CST
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.
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.
Bowflex has been around for quite a while now, and the name has become synonymous with quality fitness equipment. The Bowflex Xceed is an attractive home gym solution that includes 65+ full-body workouts for chest, shoulders, arms, back, core, and legs. If pumping up with weighted plates isn’t for you, this all-inclusive Robin Hood-style workout station is worth a look. (The design is sleeker and quieter than the average weight bench, too.)
Some multi-station machines can be a bit intimidating for the uninitiated, but the Xceed is great for both beginner and intermediate gym-goers. (It’s got plenty for seasoned experts, too, with up to 410 pounds of upgradeable resistance. Still, the unconventional design might take some getting used to.) The heavy-duty steel frame has good ergonomics, and it’s more compact than other home gyms on this list. As an entry-level home gym, the Bowflex Xceed may indeed exceed your expectations.
Dollar for dollar (and calorie for calorie), you’ll get your money’s worth from the Bowflex Xceed.
If you’re ready to take your home workouts to another level, the Marcy 150lb. Stack Home Gym (MWM-4965) has your back. (And front.) The stabilized 14-gauge steel tubing can support users up to 300 pounds, and the 150-pound weight stack will help convert fat into muscle — in a hurry.
The dual-action press arms, lat-pulldown bar, ab attachment, and leg developer allow for full-body workouts, regardless of your fitness goals; the foam roller pads and cushy backrest provide adequate support, though the seat height is not adjustable. This all-in-one home gym might be somewhat tedious to assemble, but once you’ve put it together, the MWM-4965 is a literal powerhouse that’s ready to work as hard as you are.
If personal fitness is more than a casual hobby (for you and/or your family), consider the Body-Solid EXM3000LPS Multi-Station Selectorized Gym. Thanks to seven different workout stations, your next pump-up session will leave no (Atlas) stone unturned. And since those stations have separate seats, up to three people can exercise simultaneously, maximizing the efficiency of any group workout. Circuit training, anyone?
It’s on the expensive side, sure, but this commercial-grade workout station might be the last piece of gym equipment you’ll ever need. The pulley-powered leg/calf press, pec deck, and multi-press stations use dual 210-pound alloy steel weight plates (with nylon bushings) to ensure smooth, quiet movements. No matter what you’re training for, the Body-Solid EXM3000LPS Multi-Station Selectorized Gym has something for everyone.
If you’d prefer an all-in-one home gym that’s reminiscent of a traditional sports club, the Marcy Smith Machine Cage System Home Gym (SM-4033) might be for you. Combining the beefy versatility of a power tower, utility bench, and squat rack, the durable pulley system lets you perform a variety of crossover workouts, too.
The multi-grab pull-up bar is great for chin-ups and hanging leg raises; it also acts as an anchor for any resistance-band workouts you might have. Target your chest with the butterfly press, or your biceps with the adjustable preacher curl pad; the Smith Machine area lets you perform squats and presses without the constant need for a spotter. (Still, you should never overdo it with Smith Machine exercises; use this part of the machine sparingly.)
All in all, this is one of the most complete home gym systems you’ll find on the market today. Just remember: many of the accessories that come with this multi-station gym (including the weight plates) cost extra.
The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE is one of two current models in the company's multi-gym line-up and makes use of its signature power rods to provide the resistence needed for each of your workouts on the device. This maxes out at 210 lbs but can be extended to 310 or 410 lbs through additional purchases.
The system is quiet and allows a wide range of exercises – over 70 in total – and hit every muscle group. However, it does require some adjustment when changing the exercise which might not be ideal if you are doing sets of each in rotation.
If you're short on space and are looking to do some heavy lifting, the Xtreme 2 SE is a more than capable multi-gym solution.
If you’ve already dropped your gym membership and have no intention of looking back, the Body-Solid G6BR Bi-Angular Home Gym could be just the thing your garage was missing. The unique Bi-Angular press optimizes your natural range of motion in favor of safe, multi-plane movements. According to the company, this fluid, multi-directional resistance system produces 25% more muscle interaction than standard chest press machines.
This is bar none (heyo!) your one-stop shop for every muscle group. The Body-Solid G6BR Bi-Angular Home Gym has six different stations: Bi-Angular press, lat pulldown, ab crunch, pec station, leg extension, and seated row. The military spec construction can handle up to 2,200 pounds of tension strength; the steel aircraft cables are built to last. And thanks to high-density padding, adjustable seating (with lumbar support), and contoured leg extension cuffs, this home gym is comfortable for bodies of every shape and size.
Not everyone has the space for a full-on multi-station home gym, but that doesn’t mean you can’t achieve full-body workouts in the space you’ve got. The Total Gym XLS fitness station (endorsed by Chuck Norris and Christie Brinkley, so you know it involves butt-kicking) is a portable, no-assembly-required machine with a simple cable-and-pulley system to work your chest, legs, upper body, and core.
Using a combination of leverage, gravity, and your own bodyweight (up to 400 pounds), the Total Gym XLS includes 80+ exercises to target any muscle group you require, creating a smooth, fluid resistance that most everyone can appreciate. (It’s also easy on the joints, which is why you’ll find this machine in many rehabilitation centers nationwide; older folks may especially appreciate it, too.) Long-story-long: It’s an ultra-compact all-in-one solution for cardio, strength training, and dynamic stretching.
Just because it’s called a “home gym” doesn’t mean you have to keep it at home. That’s the idea with the BodyBoss Home Gym 2.0, at least, which was designed to handily replace all the bulky equipment that you’d find at your local YMCA. Consisting of a foldable base, padded bar, and adjustable resistance bands that simulate up to 30 pounds of weight, there’s a lot to like about the simplicity of design here. (Bonus: it comes with a free introductory workout plan.)
This modest contraption isn’t meant for professional bodybuilding, of course, so adjust your expectations accordingly. Nevertheless, the BodyBoss Home Gym 2.0 can still accomplish 300+ exercises for your shoulders/traps, chest, lower back/lats, quads/calves, arms, and abs/core. For yoga-lovers, rock climbers, trail runners, and anyone else used to manipulating their own bodyweight in the name of fitness, this home gym is worth your consideration.
If you’re on the lookout for a super-simple pulley system to complement your upper-body workout routine, look no further than the PELLOR Fitness Weight Pulley. For less than $100, this no-nonsense weight-pulley system is perfect for sculpting your triceps, biceps, forearms, and shoulders.
Do-it-yourselfers (and seasoned weight lifters) will know exactly what to do with this thing, but there are plenty of lat-pulldown videos on YouTube to give you extra ideas. The pulley’s silent 360-degree rotation ensures smooth movements, and the whole apparatus can hold up to 110 pounds of plated weights. (Not included.) The no-slip steel handle, high-strength alloy cable, and accompanying carabiners keep everything secure.
Looking to beef up your preexisting home gym? You really can’t go wrong with the PELLOR Fitness Weight Pulley.
If you’d like a home gym that you can leave outside, the Stamina Outdoor Fitness Multi-Station has your number. Especially if that number involves the price, because this basic piece of workout equipment is much, much cheaper than its high-tech brethren.
The smooth, contoured steel frame is designed to use your own body weight as resistance for dips, incline pushups, knee raises, and inverted rows. The bright green color might not be for everyone, but it’s sure not going anywhere, thanks to a chip- and corrosion-resistant coating. (Plus UV protection, just for good measure.)
If you’re into bootcamp-style workouts, this is the perfect home gym for all the basics in your backyard, and it’s a sneaky way to get your kids hooked on fitness at a young age. Heck, it might even bring out the inner kid in you, too.
Are multi-gyms worth it?
While there's many who will argue that loose weights and the like are better suited for working out at home or in the gym, multi-gyms offer a more compact and versatile all-in-one setup for those who can't have the prior. Packing many of the most popular machines into one, some of the best multi-gyms out there cover an entire workout routine at a price that can be less than the cost of a complete loose weight setup or multiple machines. The question of whether or not multi-gyms are worth it, however, comes down to what multi-gym setup you go for and just how much it cost.
Some won't be worth it in terms of quality and craftsmanship, but plenty of good quality setups are out there for those looking for something reliable. Stick to the more well-known brands and try to avoid anything that seems "cheap". Workout equipment is something you'll want to make sure is solid and sturdy, as anything less could end up in serious injury if something goes wrong with your multi-gym.
How to choose the best multi-gym for you
Multi-gyms come in a variety of shapes and sizes, offering different mixtures of full-body workouts to choose from. Depending on just what you're after, choosing the best multi-gym will come down to needs and budget.
More basic machines will offer a limited number of workouts, or will target specific muscle groups with complete workout sets for targeted muscle areas. While they'll be cheaper to purchase up front, we recommend scoping out higher priced machines if you're serious about getting in shape. Not only will machines like the Bowflex Xceed (opens in new tab) offer a more complete set of workouts, it'll do it at a pretty fair price to begin with.
The first part however, is deciding just what you want to target and what you're looking to achieve from your workout. Some machines will provide more resistance-based workouts while others will provide a wider range of strength training exercises. Know what you want from your multi-gym workout machine before you buy and you'll have no issues finding the best mult-gym for you.