Home Gym Reviews

Reviews of the Best Home Gyms and Smith Machines

The quality of home multi-gym setups you can find these days is amazing when you compare the options from just 10 years ago. This page looks at those options, and highlights different multi gym options to suit your budget and objectives.

Whether you want a home replacement for your visits to a commercial gym, or whether you are looking for some extras for additional workouts – there is a choice of unit for you.

Note that this page is just for complete home multi-gym reviews. So as not to crowd out this page I have split benches and racks out separately, and free weights (including additional sets for your gym setup) also have their own page.

Here is what you will find on this page:

  • Highlights of the current best multi-gyms at budget, mid and high price points in a table format.
  • An explanation in more detail of what you can expect for your money – along with picks at each of the price points.
  • A features guide. If you can’t decide between gyms then deciding which features you can’t do without is a great way to narrow down the choices.
  • Finally, you’ll find a one line summary and links to all of the home gym review pages here at Fitness Review.

Table – The Best Home Multi Gyms at Different Price Points

Home Gym Reviews - VFit Herculean

Budget Multi-Gym Rec - vFit Herculean CUG2

Compact home gym setup with a lot of different options. Ideal starter gym which comes at a bargain price.

Product Page Read Review
Marcy HG5000 Multi-Gym

Mid Range Multi Gym Rec - Marcy HG5000

Not just amazing looks and Marcy quality, this unit has free floating arm levers (unique tech). A top-rated gym for your money.

Product Page Read Review
BH Fitness Global Top End Multi Gym

High End Multi Gym Rec - BH Global

Multi-station home gym that is a genuine replacement for commercial gym visits. Check out the loaded spec of this unit for yourself!

Product Page Read Review

 

What Multi-Gyms Can You Get for Your Money?

With so many products out there, the range of prices for home gyms is very wide. What constitutes a budget, mid-range and high-end gym is subjective – and I have chosen the following guidelines:

Budget Multi-Gyms: Up to £300

Mid-Range Multi-Gyms: £301 to £700

Upper-End Multi-Gyms: £701 and up

You’ll find overlap between these bands, and you’ll also find that gyms regularly go down a level at amazon.co.uk – which is well known for offering significant discounts. I will note inside the individual reviews where there is a discount. Since these change constantly, you’ll need to check amazon.co.uk for the exact amount.

Budget Home Multi Gyms

Recommended: The vFit Herculean Compact Home Gym

VFit Herculean Budget Home Gym RecThis unit has been described as an ideal starter gym. You get a full range of exercises including bench and chest presses, lat pull-downs, pec dec and various leg extensions. You’ll also get an impressive 72kg of resistance thanks to a double-cabling system and rear weight stack.

When you keep the price in mind (1/3rd of many multi-gyms), this is a solid choice. You should keep the expectations in line with the price range though – many people seem to expect something like they find in a commercial gym in the budget price range and will end up disappointed. This is a compact unit, and one commenter complaining that at 6’4” he found it cramped should not be too surprised…

Overall you get a quality unit for a bargain price – a great first gym for home or garage use.

Check out the latest discount and full picture gallery on the dedicated product page at amazon.co.uk now!

Alternatively, you can read my detailed review of the vFit Herculean here.

Mid-Range Multi-Gyms

Recommended: The Marcy HG5000

Marcy HG5000 GymWhen you get into the mid price range you can expect to see solid kit that will cater for the more serious lifter as well as more casual use. If you go with the famous Marcy brand, you can also expect great looks. The HG5000 is no exception, this has massively positive reviews from owners – and looks very impressive.

There is an innovation in this unit. Free floating arms which move in all directions while keeping the resistance in addition to the usual pec deck. These can replace free weights for certain chest, arm and shoulder exercises. Check out the picture gallery, where you’ll find one shot which shows these clearly.

This unit is not just a gimmick, there is a very impressive list of presses, pulldowns and leg extensions. At the time of writing there is also a welcome discount at amazon.co.uk

You can see the feedback, gallery and latest discount on the dedicated product page at amazon.co.uk

Alternatively, check out my detailed review of the Marcy HG5000 Multi-Gym here.

 

Higher Spec Multi-Gyms

Recommended: The BH Fitness Global Multi-Gym

BH Fitness Global Multi GymA multi-station gym with enough resistance for almost all of us (220lbs max). This is a big unit which looks impressive and has a spec to match. There are 3 stations including a separate leg press and dip station. All the regular features are included with a pec dec, lat pulls and press. The BH Fitness Global also includes their ‘guided work system’ which adds a level of security.

This is not the cheapest gym, though compared to the cheaper models the value really sticks out. Once you see the unit you’ll see why the feedback from owners has been the full 5 stars so far (at the time of writing at least). There is a 2 years parts warranty too.

You can see the impressive gallery and read the user feedback on the dedicated amazon.co.uk product page.

Alternatively, check out my detailed review here.

 

Safe Home Gym Reviews – Check out these Smith Machines

A Smith machine is a safety feature whereby the weights are held within the structure of the unit – letting you control the minimum height. This allows you to do bigger presses and squats, since you will not need a spotter to work with you. Smith machines vary from simple racks to some of the most impressive home multi-gyms you can find. I have included 3 snippets below with links to the main reviews.

Smith Machine #1 – The Marcy SM600

This is a basic rack Smith Machine from the respected Marcy. It looks great in charcoal grey, and is built with a bench that can be moved (or even switched). Check out my review of the SM600 here.

Smith Machine #2 – The Body Solid 7 Smith Machine

This is the kind of home setup that most of us can only dream of. A huge multi-station gym with more than enough resistance + Smith machine safety. This is an upper-price bracket gym. Check out my Body Solid 7 Smith Machine review here.

Choosing a Home Multi-Gym – Features Checklist

This section covers some of the practical aspects of choosing your gym. While the number of exercises is included, the list is broader than this. I’m assuming your wish list for exercises is pre-set, and that any gym you choose will already cover these. You’ll be able to compare the specs in my individual reviews for more.

What I recommend is that you scan this list, make a mental note of those aspects which are important for you – and then use this to revisit the comparisons of gyms and rule out any that do not match your key criteria. You’ll find this narrows the choices, and might well lead to the ideal gym jumping off the page!

Assembly: All home gyms require some assembly. This does vary in difficulty, time required and whether it can be done alone. You’ll find some generic statements in the product specs. What I recommend is that you check the buyer feedback. If there is one thing you can be sure of it is that people do not like difficult assembly – they will soon speak up!

Size: There is a big difference between budget and upper-end gyms in terms of size. There are some very impressive units out there, though I suggest a practical approach here. In the moment it is easy to justify that huge setup – if that spare room has other needs (visitors!) then you might need to reconsider. This works the other way around too – with a small guy in the pictures some of the budget gyms can appear bigger than they really are.

Brand: Some brands (Marcy, York, Weider) have reputations for quality which go back many years. In contrast, the ease of international manufacturing and shipping means that ‘no-name’ items can be much cheaper. You can get some good quality equipment without the brand names. Deciding whether you want to pay a little more for the trusted quality brands – or not – can help narrow your search.

Safety: This should be standard in all equipment, though realistically the safety features vary. Smith machines can be used without spotters and many other gyms have pegs or levers to set the minimum height of bars. The less experienced you are with strength training, the more you should consider paying extra for gyms with more safety features (nobody should ignore this of course).

Features of Home Gyms

Weight Stack: Look at the maximum weight stack size before you buy. You should not only consider your current maximums – thinking about future improvements now could make the difference between needing to replace your multi gym in a year or two vs. not.

Range of Exercises: This list is ‘high level’, so I will not go into the different exercises here. We would all like the flexibility to do everything – though space, budget and other requirements means this is not always possible. I recommend a checklist of the most important exercises for you, and a second ‘nice to have’ list while you choose the best multi gym for you.

Comfort: Another area where every gym will state that they are comfortable… This area is another one worth looking through the feedback from previous buyers for. Not only the seats / benches should be considered. The overall smoothness of the action, grips on the bars and more.

Sturdiness / Wobbles: At the top end you can expect rock-solid setups, at the budget end of the market you’ll find a squeak and a wobble or two (particularly as you up the weights). This is another area which is worth reading the comments to get an idea of.

Style / Looks: While practical aspects are more important, a gym that looks great is also a factor. If nothing else you’ll be happy to see it, and that positivity can come through as extra effort during a session. Marcy equipment is looking really good these days, make sure you check it out for yourself.

Full List of Home Multi Gym Reviews

This section contains a short summary of all of the home multi gyms reviewed here at FitnessReview.co.uk. With new reviews of all types of home fitness equipment being added all the time, make sure you bookmark this page now. All of these links open up a new tab to let you compare the gyms side-by-side.

Marcy SM600 Smith Machine: Lower priced (for a Marcy setup) Smith machine which includes ‘Power Glide’ technology for smooth lifting. This model is more of a robust frame than a full gym – you’ll need to add weights and extras for your preferred exercises.

Physionics Multi-Functional Home Gym: A top choice for a budget unit with a lot of different functions. This comes with a 40kg weight stack. The manufacturrs claim 30 different exercises. Feedback suggests this is a great value gym, though not to expect a Marcy type setup in this price range.

Hardcastle Home Pull-Down Multi-Gym: A super-budget (< £100) unit which uses pulleys and wires to give you different workout options. While it does what it claims well, this is at the ‘cheap and cheerful’ end of the spectrum – so set those expectations accordingly.

Marcy Eclipse HG5000 Multi-Gym: An amazing looking mid-priced gym from Marcy. This includes free floating pec arms, which act like (safe) free weights. There is a regular pec-dec and the kind of home gym spec that a lot of users can only dream of.

Body Solid Series 7 Smith Machine: If you have the budget, you really won’t top this unit. With Smith machine safety features, a huge weight stack and just about every exercise you might need included, this is one impressive looking gym.

BodyMax CF486 Bi-Angular Trainer: You’ll get 2 separate stations on this gym. It really should be in the upper price bracket, though the generous amazon.co.uk discount (at the time of writing) brings it down to a mid-range level.

Marcy MD-9010G Home Smith Machine: I do not use the words ‘commercial grade’ lightly here at FitnessReview.com – though this complex looking smith machine unit from Marcy deserves it. Upper price range, though you’ll get one serious machine for your money!

vFit Herculean CUG2 Compact Upright Gym: Budget range home gym setup with a lot of different functions. Ideal as a starter unit, or for budget-conscious buyers looking for a lot of exercises for their money.

Gym Master Power Tower: Pull-ups, chin-ups and much more in the comfort of your own home… I also listed this under abs, as there are a lot of leg-raise cruches possible. Budget range model.

Hardcastle Power Tower: This is an even cheaper Power Tower than the Gym Master one above. It will get the job done, though please do not expect a heavy-duty setup for this price.

BH Fitness Global Multi-Gym: Another excellent setup, which does come at a higher price point. Hugely positive feedback on this one.

Marcy Eclipse SG3000 Compact Home Gym: You get the quality of Marcy kit in a compact size unit with this model – very good feedback too.

BH Fitness Plus Titanium: This is a compact model (at least compared to the BH Fitness Global featured above. Same quality, nice range of exercises – and a mid-range price tag.

JTX Compact Home Multigym: Another compact model, with good looks and an innovative space-saving design. This gym is mid-priced, versatile and comes from a company with a strong reputation.

Home Gym Reviews – Summing it Up

There are a lot of choices when it comes to home gyms, from the basic frames to the multi-station smith machines. I recommend you check out the specs first, and then see the feedback from previous buyers. With the power to comment on the good, bad and ugly aspects of all models – buyers now have more power than at any time. Here is the table once again with the most popular (and best feedback) models in different price brackets).

Home Gym Reviews - VFit Herculean

Budget Multi-Gym Rec - vFit Herculean CUG2

Compact home gym setup with a lot of different options. Ideal starter gym which comes at a bargain price.

Product Page Read Review
Marcy HG5000 Multi-Gym

Mid Range Multi Gym Rec - Marcy HG5000

Not just amazing looks and Marcy quality, this unit has free floating arm levers (unique tech). A top-rated gym for your money.

Product Page Read Review
BH Fitness Global Top End Multi Gym

High End Multi Gym Rec - BH Global

Multi-station home gym that is a genuine replacement for commercial gym visits. Check out the loaded spec of this unit for yourself!

Product Page Read Review