The Force USA G15 is my top pick after spending over 100 hours researching 131 different all-in-one gym machines (weird I know… but it was worth it to create this behemoth!)
Finding the best all in one home gym machine is no easy task for 2 main reasons:
- There are tons of different sizes and types of full-body workout machines.
- The quality varies… a lot.
I used my two decades’ worth of experience as a personal trainer to choose 11 criteria to rate each machine. This is based on what I’ve seen from thousands of clients’ needs over the years.
The team at Strong Home Gym (including other personal trainers and an engineer) came together to choose how much “weighting” to put on these factors. Hours of spreadsheet bashing and physically testing many of these machines later… the cream rose to the top.
This is the exact process I use for choosing equipment for my own 8,000-square-foot strength and conditioning gym.
In this guide, I’ll show you the best home gym machine for anyone’s budget, space, and training level.
The bottom line is this if you’re in a hurry…
The Force USA G15 offers the best value, versatility, and overall quality for most people.
If you’re on a tighter budget the Force USA G3 is the machine for you.
Force USA G3
Force USA G15
Life Fitness G4
- The 11 best All-in-one Home Gym Machines
- 1 – Best home gym overall – Force USA G15
- 2 – Best single-stack home gym – Life Fitness G4 Home Gym
- 3 – Best budget all-in-one home gym – G3 by Force USA
- 4 – Best all in one home gym for beginners – Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE
- 5 – Top compact home gym for small spaces – Total Gym Fit
- 6 – Best portable home gym – TRX Pro4
- 7 – Best smart home gym – Speediance
- 8 – A unique home gym we recommend – LIT Method Strength Machine
- 9 – Best home gym – Runner up – Force USA X15
- 10 – Best home gym for bodybuilding – PowerTec Workbench Lever Gym
- 11 – Top functional trainers for a home gym – REP FT-3000
- What to look for in a good home gym (and what to avoid)
- Choosing the best home gym FOR YOU – 3 paramount and 7 important criteria
- 1 – Size of the home gym machine vs. your available space
- 2 – Versatility of a home gym – theoretical, actual, and user-specific
- 3 – Build quality of a home gym machine.
- 4. Weight rating of home gym machines and trainers
- 5. Type of load – weight plates, plates-stacks combo or stacks only
- 6. Pulley ratio on the cables
- 7. Half or full rack
- 8. Westside spacing or other
- 9. Price of a home gym
- 10. Warranty policies of the best home gym machines
- Methodology – how we assess and rate home gyms
- FAQs about all in one home gyms
- Other products – close but no cigar
- Best all-in-one home gym – summary and takeaways
The 11 best All-in-one Home Gym Machines
|Home gym||Best in category||Our Rating||Price reference||Defining features/ characteristics|
|1. Force USA G15||Overall||79||$$$$$||Selectorized weight stacks and a Smith machine|
|2. Life Fitness G4||Single-stack Runner Up||60||$$$||Well-built and stable – an exception among stack machines|
|3. Force USA G3||Top value/budget||69||$$$||Versatile for the money|
|4. Bowflex 2SE||For beginners||59||$$||No-change pulley system|
|5. Total Gym Fit||For small spaces||59||$$||Use of body weight|
|6. TRX Pro 4||Portable||63||$||Full-body suspension trainer with superior handles|
|7. Speediance||Smart||58||$$$$||Electronically controlled resistance, minimal footprint|
|8. LIT Strength Kit Machine||Unique||57||$$$||Based on water and band resistance|
|9. Force USA X15||Runner Up||74||$$$$||Compact, robustly built (no Smith machine) – fits our home gym guide picks|
|10. POWERTEC Workbench||Lever gym||64||$$$||Adjustable angles|
|11. REP FT-3000||Functional trainer||65||$$$||Compact, corner design|
1 – Best home gym overall – Force USA G15
This is the kind of machine most people have in mind when they say “all-in-one home gym.” And in fact, it’s way better than those 1980s home gyms you may have had in mind…
The Force USA G15 is the best home universal weight machine, and it comes out on top against our criteria for 3 reasons…
Let me explain what I mean by this.
1. Versatility- machine & free weights
The G15 is an all in one trainer, i.e. the best full body workout machine for home and (even) commercial use.
It allows you to safely do any movement that you can think of on a more “traditional” home gym machine. It is an all-in-one fitness machine containing a leg press, lat pull down, shoulder press, chest press, row, leg extension, leg curl, etc.
But… it allows you to do these movements in a more “functional” way.
There is a big debate over whether free weights or an all in one home gym machine (all in one trainer) is better for you at gaining muscle. The argument for using free weights (like dumbbells or a barbell) is that more muscles are under tension and they resemble more every day aka “functional” movement patterns (such as squatting down to pick your kid’s toys off the floor!)
However, as I explain later, machines have their advantages too as you can really target and isolate specific muscles, they can be safer working out alone… and there’s less of a learning curve.
The G15 is the best of both worlds!
Just watch the 3-minute video below to see it in action…
The G15’s 2-to-1 & 4-to-1 cable ratio makes it super versatile.
It provides a longer length cable than the G20’s 2-to-1 ratio (it used to be 1-to-1). This is ideal for exercises that need more slack, such as a kneeling row…
Plus, you can make micro-adjustments to ensure you keep making progress. It’s very hard to jump from 10lbs to 20lbs (a 100% increase) for certain exercises like a lat raise. But going from 10 to 12.5lbs is very doable.
Let’s start with the elephant in the room…
This is the most expensive item on this list (check out any of our other guides and you’ll see this is very rare as a heavy weighting goes on pricing).
However, you can easily find other machines out there that are more expensive than this. To name a few… Body Solid EXM4000S, Bodycraft X4 Strength System, or Force USA’s G20 (the G15 wins due to the 2-to-1 and 4-to-1 cable ratio).
But this machine stands out because it includes:
- A power rack
- A functional trainer (cable machine)
- Smith machine
- Chin up station
- Suspension trainer
- Landmine station (ideal for training your core)
- Low row
- Dip station
- Lat pulldown
- Jammer arms
- Vertical leg press
- Leg developer (leg curl/ extension)
If you were to buy these separately it would easily add up to more than this.
And this isn’t some flimsy thing either!
Using heavy gauge steel, it comes with the highly valued 1-inch Westside hole spacing around the pressing area. This means that you can position the spotter arms to the ideal position when bench pressing or squatting alone.
Also, the maximum user height is 7′ 1″, whereas many all-in-one gym machines are only suitable for people around 6 feet or below. So your NBA neighbors can come over and use this bad boy too.
A few common issues with any gym equipment are:
- You have to order things from different places
- The customer service sucks
- You have to figure out how to install the blooming thing
Force USA has you covered!
This machine doesn’t come with weight plates or a barbell or a bench. However, you can seamlessly add these to your order on the checkout page.
And typically companies that do this sell you things that are pretty pants or really expensive.
But Force USA breaks the mold!
The barbells on offer are very decent. The weight plates only cost about $15 more for a 200lb set than other very affordable weight plates we’ve found and the benches fall in line with other pricing points.
Customer service is great too!
Top tip – Use this video series to help install the machine if you are going to do it yourself… note- you can add installation with one click if you’re not very handy/ want to save time!
Bottom line – the G15 offers more stations (12 vs 9) than the multi-trainers such as the X15, and includes a leg press attachment, which can be a deal breaker for some people!
It offers similar versatility to units such as the more expensive G20. And it has better functionality, primarily regarding the 2-to-1 & 4-to-1 pulley systems. That’s why it earned its “best all in one workout machine” label in our research.
Specs of the G15
|Height x Width x Depth (“)||87 x 80 x 53||87 x 80 x 73|
|Gauge of steel||12||12|
|Included weight stacks||285 x 2||285 x 2|
|Number of stations||8||12|
|Number of attachments||18||26|
|Pulley ratio||2-to-1 & 4-to-1||2-to-1 & 4-to-1|
- Dual cable pulley system (2-to-1 and 4-to-1) – this makes it more beginner-friendly and better for families where more people would be using it. That’s because you can work in smaller increments.
- Selectorized weight stacks – instead of packing on weight, you just pop a pin in a hole.
- Versatile – the upgraded version features 11 stations, which means it can replace most standalone units (including the leg press). That cuts overall costs and justifies the high price tag.
- High j-hooks position (70 inches at the highest) – makes it a good fit for the tall.
- Features jammer arms – a great plus for chest development because you can do hammer-style lifts.
- Expensive – costs about 50% more than X15 and 2.5 times as much as the budget pick (the G3, which we’ll talk about in a minute).
- 2×2” 12 gauge steel – not as thick as the 3×3” 11 gauge steel on the X15. However, this is still more than strong enough for 99.9% of people, and the versatility is what brings this to the top!
I spoke to Force USA about getting a deal for Strong Home Gym readers.
I’ve managed to wangle you an exclusive 5% discount if you use STRONG5 on the checkout page!
2 – Best single-stack home gym – Life Fitness G4 Home Gym
Jack of all trades, master of none.
That rings so true for the vast majority of single/multi-stack home gyms.
If I had to guess, I’d say that 80% of them are unusable. Due to poor angles of cables, poor sizing for anyone over 5 foot 8 and poor stability.
This Life Fitness is anything but.
First and foremost, the angles are well executed, which means you use all the stations. That part is especially impressive is this combo – chest press, high pulley, and leg extension.
These are typically next to each other on stack machined, making it hard to get the geometry right.
Bottom line – The best home multi-gym you can get. It reminds me of the multi-user stacks that were so common in the 80’s and 90s gyms. They did a job then, and they’ll do a job now.
|Life Fitness G4|
|Height x Width x Length (“)||80 x 53 x 84|
|Number of stations||6|
|Included weight stacks||160-210|
- The angles are biomechanically accurate – you can properly hit the targeted muscles, especially on the pec press, the high pulley, and the leg extension. Few stack machines get all these three right because the stations are close.
- Lifetime warranty – knowing you’re covered for life makes it easier to pull the trigger when buying (cables are 3 years which is pretty standard for similar machines).
- Optional leg press with a 2-to-1 ratio – it can turn the included stacks into a 420 lbs load for the leg press.
- Solid value for money – it’s not cheap, but you can actually use all the stations, which would cost thousands in standalone machines.
- Complicated assembly and incomplete instructions – the instruction manual is just pictures. If you’re not savvy with a wrench, putting the machine together can take upwards of 3 hours.
- Load is inaccurate – as multiple pulleys add friction, the actual weight can be higher than selected on the stack.
- Maximum weight is 210 lbs – this might not be enough for advanced lifters (but this is more than most other similar machines).
3 – Best budget all-in-one home gym – G3 by Force USA
With the arrival of all the new fancy units, the G3 lost some of its appeal…. I’d argue undeservedly.
It’s still THE option if you already have many of the puzzle pieces and need a piece that ties them all together. Or if you’re on a budget…
There’s no predefined upgrade with the G3, which means you can add the stuff you need without paying for packages. The price also gives you more freedom to plan your gym and choose which station should be standalone.
It’s a much more basic machine, and that’s reflected in the price. It’s probably not going to be the centerpiece/entirety of your gym – although with the right add ons it can be! But it’s a great value addition to most home gym setups.
Just as good in some ways, better in others
In some aspects, like the design of the j-hooks (fully protected), it’s better than the machines that cost 5 times as much.
In others, like weight capacity, it’s just as good.
It’s lacking in versatility – the G3 has only 5 stations (rack, chin-up, Smith machine, core, and functional trainer) or 7 (if you get the lat pull-downs and leg press upgrades). Compared to the G15’s 11 stations (dip station, suspension trainer, jammer arms & low row).
See the 90 second video below to see what the G3 offers…
The bottom line – I would recommend this machine to most people that are on a budget. It certainly is up there among the best affordable home gym machines.
We’d advise most people to get the leg press attachment too as it’s not advised to use a Smith machine for heavy squats.
Spec sheet of the G3
|Height x Width x Depth (“)||87 x 80 x 55|
|Gauge of steel||12|
|Included weight stacks||n/a|
|Number of stations||5|
|Number of attachments||18|
- Good value – costs much less than similar machines with more stations, which leaves you more money to plan the rest of the gym.
- No predefined upgrades – you get to be picky about what you pay for.
- Compact – with a footprint of under 30 square feet, it’s one of the most space-saving designs in its category (all-in-ones).
- Features a stabilizer bar (optional) – helps find and maintain the correct position on exercises like cable crossover.
- 85 inches high (inside) – this makes it a better fit for tall people.
- Only 5 workout stations – it’s not as versatile as other all-in-ones.
- Non-counterbalancer Smith bar – not as convenient as counterbalanced because you’re lifting the bar’s weight, too.
4 – Best all in one home gym for beginners – Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE
Bowflex often gets a bad rep based on a few flimsy models. Thankfully though, the Xtreme 2SE is not in that part of their lineup.
It’s one of the best complete home gyms.
Whilst I’m generally not a big fan of Bowflex, I need to give credit where it’s due. Xtreme 2 SE ticks all the right boxes for beginners, recovering athletes, or those who prioritize safety.
There are two main reasons for that:
- The no-change pulley system is a game-changer – it eliminates the peskiest part of working out on lesser Bowflex units like the Blaze or the PRX1000 – switching between stations by disconnecting and reconnecting cables.
The seat and the padding are better (high-density foam)
Bottom line – The Bowflex 2SE is our top pick for the best home gym for beginners because there is a lot less of a “learning curve” than other models on here. If you fail to lift a certain weight you can let go and you won’t hurt yourself by dropping free weights or a weight stack on yourself.
The Bowflex 2SE is certainly up there among the top-ranking pieces in the best home gym equipment category…
Spec sheet of this Bowflex
|Height x Width x Depth (“)||84 x 49 x 53|
|Included resistance||210 (option to upgrade to 410)|
|Number of exercises||70+|
- Safe (probably the safest universal home gym) – there’s no free weight, which reduces injury risks.
- The “no-change” pulley system is more convenient than regular – you don’t have to hook and unhook carabiners to switch stations.
- You can upgrade the load from 210 to 310/410 lbs – you don’t have to pay for resistance you won’t be using. You can get the extra rods for more resistance as you grow stronger.
- Rods are quieter than weight plates and stacks – there’s no metal-on-metal clinking, which means a lot if you share a wall or live in an apartment.
- The load doesn’t feel like “real weight” – if you’re used to free weights, Bowflex will feel wrong… it’s closer to the feel of elastic bands than weights.
- Resistance doesn’t translate to other machines – using a 50lbs rod is not the same as lifting 50 pounds worth of weights…it’s more like 20-30 lbs.
- Resistance is not uniform through the motion – it starts underloaded and gets more intense towards the end of the movement, which doesn’t feel natural and lowers the intensity.
- Quality control and shipping could be better – you might get scratched parts, and replacing the machine (if you go down that route) is a hassle.
- The cables change properties with time – they might start twisting and tangling. At best, it’s a nuisance; at worst, an injury risk.
5 – Top compact home gym for small spaces – Total Gym Fit
Total Gym would have been better off if they had never made some of their models.
However, it still should be part of the top-rated home gym conversation for people who know what to expect from a low-impact body-weight workout.
That goes twice if you don’t have a dedicated space and need something that folds away. Among the Total gym machines (and the many alternatives and knockoffs), one stands out as the top value – the Total Gym Fit.
I wouldn’t say it’s the absolute best because GTS exists, but it’s the top value (we go more in-depth about this in our best total gym model guide).
The burly frame allows for a max weight capacity of a whopping 450 lbs at 12 levels of resistance.
Fit’s glideboard and seat are only second to the commercial-grade GTS, which costs almost three times as much.
The bottom line – let’s be honest. It’s not going to transform your physique, but some people will find value in it.
As a training apparatus – it has its market, and frankly, not everyone wants to lift weights in the conventional sense. That’s the reason it’s being reviewed here.
Specs of the Total Gym Fit
|Total Gym Fit|
|Height x Width x Length (“)||44.5 x 18.5 x 93|
|Folded size (LxWxH, in inches)||18.5 x 50.5 x 8.5|
|Number of exercises||85|
- Folds away when not in use – easier to move and store.
- You’re using your body weight – no need for weight plates. The low intensity reduces injury risks and it’s a good tool for rehab and injury recovery.
- The Fit is more robust than other Total Gym units – it’s safer and allows for more intensity in your workouts.
- Costs more than other models from Total Gym – you’ll pay about 40% more than you would for XLS and about twice as much as for the Supreme.
- It’s not a high-intensity workout – if you want to build muscle, inclined body-weight training is not the best way to do it.
Note: If you’re short on space, our best compact home gym can help you pick an ideal product for your needs.
6 – Best portable home gym – TRX Pro4
A suspension trainer is an obvious choice if you need a “gym” that packs away into a pouch.
And after 30 hours of research into the best suspension trainers, we were left with one winner…
If you already tried it and think it’s BS, one of two things probably happened:
- You either expected to hit the ground running or gave up too early – there’s a learning curve to suspension training.
- You didn’t get the right trainer – slippery handles, loose foot cradles, and twisted bands will ruin it before you can say Jack Robinson.
Finally – don’t skimp on the trainer.
I’m a huge fan of suspension training. I have 3 in my gym, despite 5000KG of plates, 20 barbells, and everything in between. It definitely has its time and place, plus it’s a game-changer on the road.
Also, it’s the best home gym for the money, without a doubt.
Bottom line – My recommendation is the TRX Pro 4.
It improved on what was already the best portable home gym, TRX PRO 3. It did so in two major ways – the comfy, antimicrobial handles and the adjustable foot straps.
Specs of the TRX PRO 4
|TRX PRO 4|
|Height x Width x Depth (“)||n/a|
|Max user weight||350|
|Estimated space for a workout||8 x 6 feet|
|Number of exercises||300|
- Packs down small and light (2 lbs) – when you’re not using it, you can just pack it out of sight.
- It’s portable – you’re not limited to working out at home. Pack it into the mesh bag and take it with you, be it a weekend away, your office, or your front yard.
- It’s cheap – even top-tier suspension trainers like the PRO4 cost a fraction of your average home gym.
- Better handles than competing products – the rubber is comfortable yet grippy. It doesn’t catch sweat as much as foam.
- The foot cradle is adjustable – a great plus for families who plan to share it.
- Straps are more durable than competing products – PRO 4 can safely be used by people up to 350 lbs.
- It’s super functional – it does almost everything a Swiss ball can do, and much more.
- It can’t match the intensity of free weights or machines – not as effective for hypertrophy as traditional resistance training.
- It takes time to get the most out of it – you’ll need some patience to learn the ropes (pun intended) of suspension training.
- PRO 4 costs more than your average suspension trainer – you can get a decent suspension trainer (like the TRX Go) for half the price.
7 – Best smart home gym – Speediance
Despite the successful Kickstarter campaign, Speediance is not as well known as its main competitor, Tonal.
It seems to me that the reason is not the quality or functionality but a smaller marketing budget for the Speediance vs Tonal battle.
They’re younger, not endorsed by celebrities like Lebron James (who owns a part of Tonal), and they’re not all over TV.
For you, the potential buyer, this means you can get better value by looking beyond the frills and into the substance.
And the substance is as good as with any other smart gym.
Add to that the lower price tag, and you get the best value among smart home gyms.
Bottom line – it’s basically a Tonal, not on your wall. Which many people prefer… oh and it’s cheaper!
Specs of the Speediance
|Height x Width x Length (“)||72.3 x 28 x 49.2|
|Number of exercises||100|
- Space-saving build – a great option if you don’t have a dedicated gym space. Plus it looks cool so you can slot it into your living room if you wanted!
- Personalized, guided workouts – their workout library is growing by the day. The choices range from single exercises to workouts and programs with specific short and long-term goals.
- AI-powered workout recommendations – the machine adjusts the weight based on your strength assessments, eliminating a lot of guesswork on your end. If it feels off, you can adjust it manually.
- It gives you access to live classes – being a part of a community is a huge motivator, especially if it’s live.
- It feels premium – you’ll know what you’re paying. Speediance feels high-end, from the responsive screen to the aluminum parts on the handles.
- No installation – you don’t have to commit to a single spot and can move the unit around.
- Expensive in the long run – at the time of completing this guide, the subscription program didn’t kick in yet, but it soon will. When you’ve already paid for the equipment, you probably don’t want to be paying a monthly subscription too.
- The extras are essential for getting the most out of the machine – the accessories cost extra, and the machine is nowhere near as useful without them.
- Controls can be hard to reach on some exercises – if you try to squat with any significant weight, turning the resistance off will be tricky because you have to let go of the bar.
- Resistance feels different than free weight – if you’re transitioning from a commercial gym, it will take getting used to.
- The maximum load is 220 lbs – it’s not a good fit for the advanced lifter except as a supplement to the main home gym.
- Barbell exercises can feel unstable at heavier weights – since you’re engaging both motors, the difference in intensity can result in a “jerky” bar. To be fair, this issue is not limited to Speediance; it’s the case with all smart gyms of this type, including Tonal.
8 – A unique home gym we recommend – LIT Method Strength Machine
The LIT Method Strength Machine is the weirdest home gym here…weird in a good way.
If low-impact workouts are your thing, you’ll want to look into this one – it’s a hybrid between a pilates reformer and a rowing machine.
It’s more than the sum of its parts.
You can do more with LIT than you would with a water rower or a reformer. In fact, you can technically do more with it (on paper) than most other models here…
It will also be interesting to people who get motivated by live classes and being a part of a community.
The bottom line – a great machine if you’re looking to get in shape without lifting heavy weights. The cross between a rowing machine and a pilates reformer makes this ideal for anyone looking to strengthen and tone their body.
Specs of the LIT Machine
|Height x Width x Length (“)||19.2 x 21 x 84|
|Max user weight (lbs)||450|
|Number of exercises||500|
- Simple assembly – shouldn’t take more than half an hour. Most of the machine arrives assembled; you only need to attach a few screws.
- Fairly light (75 lbs) – easy to move around and store, even vertically (yes, with the water in the jug).
- No cords and no screen on the device – use it wherever you want, in or outside. No electronics also means fewer parts to malfunction.
- Oversized foot paddles with extra space in between – a plus if you’re training around knee pain.
- Monthly membership fee – the cost doesn’t end when you buy the machine. The membership is not obligatory as with some smart gyms, but you won’t get the most without it because many exercises are not obvious.
- You’ll need a separate screen to follow the classes – you’ll need a tablet because the phone screen will probably be too small to keep up.
- It’s a peg louder than electronic rowers – the intensity in decibels is pretty close, but water sounds can seem more intense as you’re getting used to it.
- The resistance is limited by the bands – this caps the strength progressions you can make.
- No negative phase – when you lift with a band, your resistance increases the further you stretch, giving you a natural force curve on the positive phase of the lift. In the negative phase, the band will want to ‘snap’ back though, reducing the work you’re doing.
9 – Best home gym – Runner up – Force USA X15
The X15 stands in line with our core belief about what equipment you need for a home gym (read our guide on how to build a home gym). Typically we use less than 20% of the equipment on offer at a commercial gym for more than 80% of our exercises.
However, we understand “most people” will want an all-in-one home gym to offer things like a leg press (which the G15 does thanks to the Smith machine add-on).
There are three primary reasons the X15 is our runner-up pick:
- It’s second best at playing the role of standalone home gym equipment.
- The one machine that does it slightly better costs more and is much bigger (the X20 from Force USA).
- Most angles are biomechanically accurate (especially important for the functional trainer and the rack/pressing station).
Let’s break those points down.
It mimics standalone units better than the competing machines
That’s true because it’s beefier and more stable.
The “beefiness” comes from the uprights.
The cross-section of the beams used for the X series is 3×3, and the steel used is 11 gauge (vs. 2×2 and 12 gauge of the G series). But it also uses 7 gauge steel for other components (which is strong enough for the Hulk!)
THE pet peeve of people looking into all-in-one home trainers is wobbly construction, rackety joints, and angles that feel wrong. Or at least it should be.
There’s no wobble with the X15.
The functional trainer is the perfect example of that
Most home gyms will never come close to the feel of a standalone functional trainer because the stability isn’t there, and the angles are off.
There’s too much racket, and the pulleys don’t feel steady.
All top functional trainers like the REP FT-5000 or the XMark 7626 use 11 gauge steel for the uprights, and the cross-sections are typically 2×3 or 3×3.
This means that the uprights of the X15 make it just as stable (if not more so) compared to quality functional trainers.
That’s no small deal.
The frame is beefier than in most squat racks
Let’s take the universally praised MyRack as an example – the uprights on that are 2.4×2.4”, and the steel is 12 gauge with 10 gauge brackets.
That’s thinner steel and a smaller cross-section compared to the X15.
It takes up less space than most all-in-one home gyms
When I say “less space” here, I’m referring to similar complete machines – not the smart gyms and whatnots.
Its footprint is only 27.71 square feet.
X20 with the upgrades is 50% bigger and costs 25% more.
Just watch this 6-minute video to see everything you want to know about the X15…
Check out our best Force USA home gym’s research as we delve a bit deeper into the differences between the models.
The bottom line- the X15 has everything you need and is the highest quality machine on this list (and is very reasonably priced). It uses 3×3″ 11 gauge steel compared to the G15 2×2″ 12 gauge steel.
However, it doesn’t come with a Smith machine or leg press attachment and 12 gauge steel is still strong enough for 99.9% of people.
Bonus tip: If you have the space, the extra cash, and prefer the safety of a full cage, you’ll be better off with the X20.
Spec sheet of the X15
|X15||X15 with an upgrade|
|Height x Width x Depth (“)||92 x 70 x 57||92 x 70 x 57|
|Gauge of steel||11||11|
|Included weight stacks||289 x 2||289 x 2|
|Number of stations||6||9|
|Number of attachments||15||23|
|Pulley Ratio||2 to 1||2 to 1|
- Robust 11-gauge, 3×3 uprights – this means less wobble on exercises with angular momentum (like cable crossovers) and greater confidence when racking after a heavy squat.
- Compact footprint for the number of stations/exercises (under 28 square feet) – will use up less of your space.
- Selectorized weights stacks – easier and faster than weight-plate machines.
- The j-hooks are lined with high-density plastic – your barbell will be fully protected on racking/unracking.
- No Smith machine – some exercises aren’t as safe without it, like the regressed pull-up or the incline/decline pushup. It also means you can’t add the leg press attachment, which could be a deal breaker for some.
- One pulley ratio (2-to-1) – The dual system is a plus for beginners and people recovering from an injury who need lighter cable weights. It’s there on some Force USA machines like the G10 and G15 from Force USA.
- It’s a half-rack – a full rack (like the X20) is safer and gives you more confidence to push through your personal bests.
10 – Best home gym for bodybuilding – PowerTec Workbench Lever Gym
Using a lever gym to its full potential requires a solid build, precise tolerances, and proper geometry.
PowerTec Workbench ticks all those boxes, making it the most versatile unit for the money.
One lever gym by Body-Solid surpasses the Workbench in versatility but costs twice as much. Plus, it’s huge – it takes up over 77 square feet of space.
The pricing is also one of the most affordable machines on this list…
That’s a non-starter.
I wouldn’t spend over 2K on a lever gym, and most people don’t have that kind of space to spare.
For those two reasons, I’m sticking with the PowerTec as my top pick in the category.
The bottom line – A lever gym is one of the best strength training machines for home. It’s ideal for anyone looking to add muscle mass and look good in T-shirts! It doesn’t require the same technique as using a barbell and plates but can help you to lift seriously heavy weights.
Specs of this PowerTec
|Height (“)||83 x 51 x 83|
|Number of stations (base unit)||4|
|Weight limit in lbs||500 arm press, 300 cables|
- Safe for working out alone – there is no free weight to drop, so you can safely push through the plateaus.
- Smooth movement – the motions have a gliding quality without taking away from the weight.
- Good pulleys – fluid, stable, and high-capacity (300 lbs). This gives you functionality similar to a standalone lat machine or a rower.
- Well-padded roller foam – allows for proper positioning and good form for the lat pulldown.
- Good angles and multiple grips on the pressing station – closely mimics a hammer strength machine. This is great for chest development, especially if bench pressing form is not your forte.
- The frame is 11-gauge steel – durable and backed by a Lifetime warranty.
- Fully adjustable bench – back goes from upright to decline, seat from flat to incline or decline. This allows you to target your muscles from new angles.
- Not tall-friendly – people over 6’2″ won’t use the workbench to its full potential. Issues here range from the pressing arms not lining up well to mundane stuff like hitting your head on the top pulley.
- It’s only fully stable with loaded storage – the instabilities I’m talking about are subtle, but if the storage is empty and you’re pulling heavy, you’ll feel the rattle. This might mean moving plates around to keep the storage horns packed.
- The bench takes getting used to – it’s hard to adjust, overly complicated, and the padding isn’t great.
- Attachments required – if you want to make the most of it, you’ll have to spend extra on the attachments.
11 – Top functional trainers for a home gym – REP FT-3000
REP FT-3000 is the top value for money among functional trainers for a home gym.
The ones that would qualify as “better” in some circles would earn the title by coming with more weight and being more robust.
A good example of that is the FT-5000, which is bigger, comes with more weight, and costs more.
That would be great if you actually needed 220 lbs of weight on a functional, which most people don’t.
The bottom line – The 180 lbs of weight packed into a smaller frame of the FT-3000, with a 2-to-1 ratio on the pulleys, is just what the doctor ordered for a home gym.
Specs of the FT-3000
|Height x Width x Length (“)||78 x 53 x 34|
|Max load||90 lbs per side|
- Built specifically for home gyms – you don’t pay for commercial-level features.
- Compact corner design – it takes up less space and allows you to fill that under-used corner that exists in every home gym.
- The cable functions smoothly – the “buttery” smooth pull leaves more brain real estate to focus on form. It also lowers the chances of an injury.
- Weight selectors are magnetic – the pins pop into place, which is great for burnout and drop sets.
- The installation isn’t simple – it can take a day to put it together if you’re doing it alone. It’s a two-person job.
- The highest cable setting is at 62 inches – some movements like triceps cable extensions won’t be comfy for us taller guys (cough, cough).
- You’ll have to get creative for leg work – there’s not a huge amount of great leg options, so you’ll either have to get creative (anchored Spanish squats, plyos etc, or use additional items.)
What to look for in a good home gym (and what to avoid)
Generic information is my pet peeve.
Over the last two weeks, I spent nights and mornings thinking about how to make this guide non-generic.
Ideally, I wanted to craft something helpful without creating a “monster” that would bore you to death.
I only managed to do the former, because a monster it is.
Boring? God, I hope not…
All this poor-me talk is actually about you – about giving you the roadmap to your next universal exercise machine.
This is what I’ll go over below:
- Free weights vs. machines – the debate for the ages, simplified.
- Benefits of free weights versus that of machines – We put this to rest today because it’s been beaten to a pulp.
- Types of all-in-ones to choose from – let’s establish some order.
- Primary factors of choosing a quality home gym – this is the crucial part; if you’re gonna read just one part of this page, go for that.
Free weights vs. machines
From a purely scientific point of view, there’s very little evidence that free weights build more muscle than machines. It’s like comparing vegetables with fruits. Machines have advantages over free weights and vice versa. Machines allow better targeting of muscles, but free weights provide more compound movements.
Weightlifting expert Brad Schoenfeld hits the nail on the head here…
So, what should you do?
Here’s a question to rule them all – are you looking to pack on serious muscle?
Let me put it like this – machines are as effective at building muscle if they can safely emulate the same level of resistance and intensity.
From our table of top 11 home gyms, the machines that meet that criteria are the first three (the Force USA machines) and the last three (the Body-Solid, PowerTec Workbench, and the FT-3000 functional trainer).
That’s my opinion.
I have no study to back this…just like I have no study to back the sky being blue.
Benefits of using an all-in-one home gym vs benefits of using free weights
Realistically, you are looking at between $1,500-$5,000 for a good quality all-in-one home gym (up to $10K for the high-end stuff with all the trimmings).
This can provide a full-body workout with one machine.
When you account for setting up a free weight gym, you’ll need:
These costs can easily come to a few thousand. Check out our full guide on building a home gym here for more money saving tips on this.
Types of all-in-one home gyms to choose from
You can see the 9 main types of home gyms in the image below.
1. Single stack or multi-stack
When you think of one of the best multi-gyms this is probably what you think of.
Stack machines usually have:
- A weight stack of between 100-300 pounds
- Seat bench
- Chest press and or pec station
- Overhead pulley (sometimes a mid or low pulley too)
- Leg extension and or press
The movements you can perform on these machines are “fixed” to what the machine allows.
Our home gym stack top pick is the Body Solid StrengthTech.
|Safest resistance training||Limited movements|
|Push yourself to failure without a spotter||Weight limit|
2. What is a lever gym?
A lever gym is an all in one weight machine that provides resistance with weight plates. Whereas a traditional multi gym will have a weight stack. You can change the lever height to perform power movements such as squats, shrugs and rows. You can also add more weight resistance compared to a multi gym and they are safer than free weights.
The Powertec Fitness Lever Gym Work Bench is one of the best value lever gyms available.
|Safer than free weights (don’t drop the bar on you)||Can be less stable (need to add weight to stop machine wobbling)|
|You control the resistance weight||Buy weight plates separately|
3. Free weight or smith machine combo
A smith machine has a fixed barbell to steel rails. It only allows vertical movements along this rail and provides more support than a free weight barbell. The advantage over a multi gym stack is that you can load more resistance onto the barbell.
Be aware that if you get a smith machine combo you will need to allow an extra budget for seperate weight plates.
The Force USA G15, our best workout home gym top pick, includes a free weight and Smith Machine combo.
|Keeps the feel of using free weights||Can be more dangerous if working out alone (use spotter arms)|
|Add more resistance with plates||Buy weight plates separately|
4. Functional trainer
A functional trainer is a cable machine that uses two separate weight stacks with handles at the end of the pulleys. It allows you to perform similar movements that you would perform in daily life and in sports with resistance.
The Rep FT-5000 is one the best “bang for your buck” functional trainers available. It is the best value, highest-scoring functional trainer in our criteria with a score of 7 out of 10.
|Allows functional range of movements||Less intuitive|
|Less stress on your joints||More individualised training required|
5. Power rod home gym machines
Power rod home gyms are low impact alternatives to weight stack home gym machines. They are great for beginners to intermediate level users because they are safer than using a weight stack home gym. Resistance is applied from tension on the rods, which is similar to resistance bands.
|Beginner friendly||Less resistance|
|Versatile||Some movements “feel” weird|
6. Incline bodyweight machine i.e. Total Gym
These total body workout machines use a padded board that glides on rollers. The resistance is provided by your own bodyweight on the board. The amount of resistance can be adjusted by changing the incline of the board. The cables provide a variety of exercises that you can perform for a full body workout.
|Space saver||Less resistance|
|Safe and easy to use||Less intuitive|
7. Suspension trainers
Using straps, cords, webbing, or rings as home gym equipment and relying on your weight for resistance qualifies as suspension training.
By far the most popular in this group is the TRX-type of suspension trainers.
You change the level of resistance by adjusting the length of the straps and tweaking your body position. It’s an underappreciated form of full-body workout because it’s not intuitive. It also offers a big change in training approach, requiring balance and stability, plus engagement of muscles in a way that just can’t be replicated easily on a bench.
There’s also a learning curve for which most people don’t have the patience.
If you do give it a serious go and stick with it, it does work. It also helps to build great form, thanks to the balance and core stability challenge.
An important part of “giving it a serious” go is getting a good trainer. Our pick in the category is the TRX Pro 4.
|Portable and affordable||Takes time to learn how to use it|
|Multifunctional||Can’t match the intensity of free weights/machines|
8. Smart home gym
This is a tricky one because the word “smart” is thrown around like a rag doll.
So, what exactly is a smart home gym?
I used two criteria to qualify a piece of home gym equipment as smart:
- It learns about you and adjusts the load (or suggests it)
- It guides you through a workout
So, it’s not about connecting to your phone to play music. It’s about actually helping you.
Our choice among smart home gyms is Speediance.
Can a smart gym rank among the best multifunctional home gyms on the market?
For some, yes. For the advanced-level bodybuilders out there – perhaps not.
For the average person who wants to upgrade their home gym – possibly yes.
|Space-saving build||Expensive in the long run|
|AI-powered workout recommendations||Hard-to-reach controls (on some exercises)|
9. Other types – hybrids that are impossible to categorize
Occasionally, you’ll stumble upon a home gym machine that doesn’t belong to any of the groups above.
The perfect example of a machine like that is the LIT Strength – it’s a rower-turned-home gym. My initial thinking is that it’s probably more gimmick than revolution, but I might be wrong. It’ll be easy to tell if I am – if it’s any good, expect a bunch of people copying it in the near future.
For you to like a machine like this, two conditions have to be met:
- You like the basics behind it (at least a bit) – in the case of LIT, you’re not gonna like the machine if you don’t like rowing.
Few of the hundreds of exercises you can do with the LIT are rowing-based, but the movement has a similar quality.
And the resistance tank is filled with whooshing water…so there’s that.
- The machine has to actually work.
Choosing the best home gym FOR YOU – 3 paramount and 7 important criteria
Below is THE guide that was promised.
It’s comprehensive but to the point, so strap in and give this a read – it can save you money and frustration down the road.
Ultimately, it will help you figure out your way to the perfect piece of all in one gym equipment for your needs.
It’s split into 2 sections:
- Three paramount criteria – what you must never get wrong.
- Other criteria – 7 important factors that you shouldn’t get wrong.
3 paramount criteria – size, versatility, and build of the machine (h3)
1 – Size of the home gym machine vs. your available space
The size of the home gym machine comes down to 5 things:
- Footprint when in use (footprints of our top pick are in the graph below)
- Storage footprint (if it folds)
- Orientation & shape (4×4 surface is not the same as 8×2)
- Height (only a factor if the ceilings are under 8 feet)
- The space you need to use it all comfortably.
My 4 rules of thumb:
- Don’t go for a full-rack home gym like the X20 unless you have at least 90 square feet of available space.
- If you’re working with 70-90 square feet, you can go for the half-rack like the X15 or a gladiator-type machine.
- Always think about the actual use – even a TRX requires about 50 square feet for a full-body workout.
- Pay special attention to the landmine (beware the landmine triangle).
The first two are the bare minimums of space to use and maneuver around the machines comfortably.
The fourth point deserves a mini-analysis of its own.
Finally, none of these are carved in stone – take them with a grain of salt and plan your space.
Important consideration – The Landmine Triangle
If you’re paying thousands, make sure you have the space to use it.
Over the years of talking about this, I’ve come up with a way to explain this plainly – I call it “The Landmine Triangle.”
These are the rule of the Landmine Triangle, followed by a simple visualization:
- You should have at least 12 feet of space between the landmine and the nearest wall/obstacle.
- The 12 feet distance should have an arc of no less than 45 degrees.
- If you’re not doing rotational presses, the arc can be smaller, but no less than 30 degrees.
That sounds messy, but I promise it’s all straightforward.
The images below do a better job of explaining what to measure.
Bottom line advice on space – don’t just “go for it.”
I’ve seen it with my clients too often – you find something that turns your crank and then justify buying it.
That always ends the same…
Once that initial excitement passes, the daily hassle of navigating around gets too much, and you end up hating the thing.
If you choose to ignore that advice
If you still go out and buy something borderline too big, go for a reputable brand for the best all in one home gyms, like Force USA.
That will make it easy to return the machine within 30 days without having to explain yourself or chase them down.
2 – Versatility of a home gym – theoretical, actual, and user-specific
Theoretical versatility is the number of stations, attachments, and exercises you’ll see in the machine spec sheet.
It’s what the company would like you to think about their product.
For reference, below is a graph with the number of exercises you can (theoretically) do on our top 11 picks.
Actual versatility is what you get when you take away the unusable stuff.
This might be the wobbly low row or an awkward leg extension that hurts your butt more than your quads.
User-specific versatility is the stuff on the machine that YOU, the buyer, would actually use.
It lives at the intersection between actual versatility and your workout habits.
I could ramble on about each attachment ’till the cows come home.
Instead, I’ll give you a 4-step plan to follow:
- Make a list of stations that are your priority – actually jot down the must-haves.
- Go through our list and eliminate the machines that are missing a priority station.
For example, if the Smith machine is a must-have, skip the X20. If a functional trainer is a must, you can cross off most of the list.
You get where I’m going with this…
- Make a list of attachments that you use, have used, or could start using. Ignore the rest.
- Make peace with the fact that some of the attachments will end up collecting dust.
If you don’t know exactly what to list in step 3, that’s fine…most people don’t.
You can either go with what you know or visit a well-equipped commercial gym. Make a plan to try specific attachments (or their machine equivalents). If you do the latter, make sure to bookmark this page and come back.
If you end up using 80% of the machine’s station, Bob’s your uncle.
3 – Build quality of a home gym machine.
“Quality” is an elusive term, so I won’t get too granular here. I’ll focus on what it means for you.
In the context of home gyms, quality comes to these two aspects:
- Durability – resistance to force and weight.
The maximum load is a good indicator of the machine’s durability.
- Longevity extends beyond durability.
It describes how long the machine will do what it’s made for. The warranty terms tell you the most here (more on those in a minute).
What it means for you
Quality should only be a concern if you’re going outside of this guide because any of our picks meet precisely defined standards.
For example, for the all-in-one trainers, we only looked at the machines that use thick steel (12 gauge or better) and have a cross-section of at least 4 square inches.
Other criteria – important but non-deal-breakers
The factor I’ll list below are not deal-breaking for most people…but that’s general talk.
For some people, some of these will absolutely be decision points. That especially goes for the weight rating, price, and warranty terms.
4. Weight rating of home gym machines and trainers
The weight rating of a home gym is the maximum listed load a machine can take without bending or breaking.
With robust machines like the Force USA, the rating is more of an indication of “beefy” steel and quality build than an actual limitation.
For example, an entry-level machine like the G3 has an overall weight rating of 992 lbs, which is the same as the X20.
In all honesty you’re unlikely to be pushing any machine to breaking point, but it’s an indication of quality.
What weight rating means in different types of trainers
The problem with taking the weight rating at face value is that it means different things on different machines.
With all-in-ones and leverage gyms, it’s the combined weight of the user and the weight they’re lifting. On trainers where you have no option to add weight, the rating is the maximum recommended weight of the user.
What do I look for and is it important?
In complicated machines like all-in-ones, look at the fine print. In the example above, you’d find the difference in the weight rating for the chin-up bar or the Smith machine (G3‘s is 772, and X20’s is 992).
For trainers like Body-Solid, Bowflex, and Total Gym, it’s more of a factor because a low weight rating indicates sub-par steel. That’s why it’s a problem that many of them don’t actually list it.
For some trainer types, like TRX, it’s crucial because we’re entering territory where you might actually go over the recommended load. There are no such worries with the TRX Pro 4 since the thing can take a whopping 350 lbs of user weight.
For functional trainers, it describes the maximum effective load you can use on it. For reference, below is a graph listing the weight ratings of the best at home gym machines. Some of these ratings are our conservative estimates (indicated on the graph below).
5. Type of load – weight plates, plates-stacks combo or stacks only
Just so that we’re clear on what we’re talking about:
- Weight-plate machine is something like the G3, where you load the plates onto the stations manually. This allows for more precise loading, because you can use a wider range of plates.
- An example of a plates-stacks combo is the top-rated X15 or the G15. These use free weights on some stations and selectorized stacks* on the cables.
- Stacks-only is the Body-Solid type machine. Nine times out of ten, these use no free weight. The tenth time, the plates are only used for the leg extensions.
*selectorized means that you choose the load level by popping a pin in and out… you’ve probably already seen these in a commercial gym.
Choosing between these three types comes down to convenience and your current situation.
A weight plate machine might be the machine for you if:
- You already own a functional trainer
- You’re OK with moving weights station-to-station
- Drop, super, or burnout sets are not a big part of your routine
6. Pulley ratio on the cables
This is probably the single most overlooked factor.
A pulley ratio of 2 to 1 will be the sweet spot for most people. This means that 100 lbs of weight translates to a 50-lbs load on your end of the cable machine.
It allows for smaller increments and feels smoother than a 1-to-1.
Finally, some machines like the G10 and G15 by Force USA feature dual systems with 4-to-1 as an optional ratio. The latter is not a must-have but a plus for beginners.
You can see the pulley ratios explained in the video below.
7. Half or full rack
If you squat heavy and lift to failure, go for a full-rack machine like the X20. It offers more space and room to lift in than a half rack, such as the X15. The full rack offers more space and room to lift in.
It’s also a bit more versatile. In those terms, the difference between half and full racks is not as significant with machines compared to “plain” racks.
For example, a regular half rack will have no chin-up bar, which is there on the X15.
Walkthrough or not
Walkthrough design means you can move around and through the frame from the front and back.
It’s rare, and I only know of one good walkthrough machine – the base version of Force USA G20.
If you have the space, a walkthrough machine will leave you wondering if there’s any other way.
And how in the world are the others doing it…?
8. Westside spacing or other
“Spacing” here refers to the distance between the attachment slots on the uprights.
Westside means that the slots are closer at the bottom (1 inch) and further apart towards the middle and top of the rack.
It was invented by the legendary powerlifter and owner of Westside Barbell, Louie Simmons. The new spacing system allowed more precise positioning of the barbell for bench presses, and especially the spotter arms.
If you have the spotter arms too low, they are ineffective as when you fail you get stuck under the bar.
If the spotter arms are too high then you can’t perform a full range of motion and hit the arms on the way down.
Westside spacing allows you to get the spotter arms to the perfect height, allowing a full range of motion and the peace of mind that if you fail you can still get out under the bar.
You know that moment when you need a fraction of an inch to rack after a press, and you start shaking.
That’s when Westside spacing helps.
9. Price of a home gym
A good home gym is an investment, especially if it’s an all-in-one. You can expect to pay anywhere between 1k and 8K for a quality home gym.
The only “unit” on our list that’s below that range is the TRX.
Below is a graph indicating the price ranges of our picks.
10. Warranty policies of the best home gym machines
If you’re spending over 2K on a home gym, you shouldn’t settle for anything less than a Lifetime warranty.
I can accept some limitations (like different rems for cables and upholstery), but if you expect me to pay the big bucks, you better make sure the thing lasts.
I’m not a fan of some of these terms – like the 90-day on the upholstery from Force USA.
That sounds odd.
What can you possibly do with the seat of a 5K machine to tear it up?
The good news is that I didn’t see it happening or customers complaining about it.
Some of these (like the REP FT-3000) will have warranties limited to residential use.
You can see the warranty terms of our recommended home gyms below.
|Force USA X15||Lifetime Structural, 2 years on cables and pulleys, 90 days on upholstery|
|Force USA G15||Lifetime Structural, 2 years on cables and pulleys, 90 days on upholstery|
|Force USA G3||Lifetime Structural, 2 years on cables and pulleys, 90 days on upholstery|
|Bowflex 2SE||6 months|
|Total Gym Fit||24 months|
|TRX PRO4||5 years|
|Speediance||24 months on the machine, 12 months on the accessories|
|LIT Strength machine||Lifetime on the machine, 5 years on the attachments|
|Body-Solid StrengthTech EXM2500S||Lifetime|
|POWERTEC Workbench LeverGym||Lifetime on frame, 2 years on parts|
|REP FT-3000||Lifetime on frame, 10 years on parts|
Methodology – how we assess and rate home gyms
Here at Strong Home Gym, we’re committed to numbers as tools of objectivity. We help people create the best home gyms for their budget.
We find ways to quantify quality.
The problem and the solution
That was nearly impossible for this guide because the category of a “home gym” is so broad it wouldn’t be wise to even try.
So we didn’t.
Instead, we devised rating systems for the different categories and presented the hand-picked winners.
Below is an overview of the 8-step process:
- We created a huge database of over 120 home gyms.
These are the units that we felt stood a chance of making it to the final list.
- Based on the type of unit, we created groups within the curated list.
These groups contain home gyms that can be compared side-by-side.
- Within those groups, we defined the rating criteria.
Based on the criteria, we populated the list with all the relevant data – from the number of stations and attachments, through included weight to price and warranty terms.
- We filled the gaps of missing information.
We did this through research or by asking the people who own the machines.
If a piece of information is crucial and we can’t find it, we contact the manufacturers directly.
- In consultation with industry experts, we tweaked the ratings.
The multiple iterations allow us to be more precise in our picks. We cover the finer things that rarely get looked at, like the type of bearings on a Smith machine or brackets on a cable machine.
- We created a longlist of home gyms and trimmed it down to about 30 units.
- We looked for ways to shorten the list and ended up with 11 picks. We did that for the sake of clarity.
What good are recommendations if they further the confusion?
That approach meant excluding some great home gyms. You’ll find these in the close-but-no-cigar section below.
- We stay on top of things and update this guide regularly, both with new arrivals and with changes to the existing products.
FAQs about all in one home gyms
Is a home gym worth it?
In the long run, a home gym is nearly always worth it. It costs Americans an average of $50 per month for a gym membership. The initial outlay may seem expensive at the time, but it only takes around 15 months to recoup the initial investment.
The added benefits of saving time from commuting to the gym can add up to a lot of saved time and money.
How much space do I need for an all in one home gym?
You need anywhere between 10 and 41 square feet to effectively set up an all in one home gym machine.
Our top pick – the Force USA G15 – has the largest footprint on our list at 40.6 square feet.
The Speediance on the other hand, is the most space-efficient option with a footprint of 9.6 square feet.
What is the best all in one home gym?
What’s the price range of a good all in one home gym?
A good all in one home gym will cost anywhere between 1k and 8k.
The only model on our list that’s below that range is the TRX Pro 4.
It’s worth noting that a good all in one exercise machine is a hefty investment, but it brings immense exercising possibilities to one’s home gym.
How do I choose a home gym?
In order to choose a home gym ideal for you, focus on these aspects: the size of the home gym machine vs. your available space, the versatility, your specific needs, and the overall quality.
You need a home gym that will fit into your available space, that will cater to your user-specific aims (what exercises do you want to use it for), and whose overall versatility offers a variety of choices.
Finally, focus on the quality and value that each choice offers. Read more about this in our ‘Choosing the best home gym FOR YOU‘ section.
Other products – close but no cigar
To make this guide concise and simple, I had to leave many home gyms behind. Only the best all in 1 home gyms made it to the top.
The section below is where I’ll list the machines that didn’t make the cut.
It deserves a read if you didn’t already pinpoint the right home gym for you because it’s home to some gems.
I’ll split the list into scannable sections.
Other multi and all-in-one trainers
- Force USA G20 – the most versatile and one of the best home gym machines out there. Compact, too. The 1-to-1 ratio has now changed to 2-to-1 which is great (although the G15 has 4-to-1 and 2-to-1). But you’re basically paying $500 more than the G15 for a calf raise attachment and a swinging arm to hang a punching bag.
- X20 is the X15’s bigger cousin. The question of choosing between the two is a question of whether half vs. full rack. Costs more, too.
- G10 all-in-one trainer – if the G3 reads as basic and too stripped down, the G10 might be the upgrade for you. It was the runner-up in the guide on top Force USA machines. (link).
- Prodigy I HLP Selectorized rack – an awesome rack-functional combo that’s too expensive to compete with the like of X15 for the best all-in-one home gym.
- REP Ares combined with the PR4000 or PR5000 racks – a promising concept that we’ll definitely talk more about in the future – I just don’t have all the data right now. You add the Ares to the racks to create an all-in-one trainer similar to the X20.
- Jacked Up Power Racks- A common question we get is “what’s better between Jacked Up vs Force USA machines”. On the surface, they do look very similar but it’s the finer details such as plastic pulleys on the cheaper Jacked Up models and lack of add-ons compared to Force USA that means they don’t make the list currently.
Other portable home gyms:
- X3 bar – a bar coupled with resistance bands. Good idea, better execution…just not as versatile as a suspension trainer.
- Body Boss – a similar concept to the X3 bar – a platform, resistance bands, a bar, and a claim that it “replaces traditional workout equipment.” You might prefer it to the X3 bar if a community motivates you.
Other functional trainers/cable machines:
- XMark 7626 functional trainer/cable machine – if the price wasn’t a factor, I’d say this functional is just as good as the REP that I ultimately choose. However, it does cost 20-30% more, and the extra weight won’t be worth it for most people.
Other smart home gyms:
- Tempo studio – a futuristic concept that still relies on free weights and AI trainers.
Not as “smart” as Speediance.
- Tonal– the big one on the space. And As we mentioned it’s really because of their marketing and it costs more than Speediance. It’s very good, but it fixed to the wall. Still one of the best full body workout machines for home.
- Norditrack Vault – one of the few gym-and-mirror concepts out there. It comes with weights, a 6-foot mirror, and virtual trainers who lead you through iFit classes. You can stream iFit classes on your phone or tablet you don’t really need the Vault…so there’s that.
Not as slick as Speediance.
- Fusion CST by Norditrack- the only smart home gym that’s brawny enough to actually take on serious weight training.
Not as space-saving as Speediance.
- Mirror – ah, the luxury to grab the name that goes on to grow into a type of home gym. Unlike other units here, nothing sticks out or is hidden in the Mirror. It’s just a display that houses handsome people telling you what to do.
It definitely adds to your lifestyle.
To your workout? Not so much.
- Echelon Reflect – similar to the Mirror, only it doesn’t come with professional installation, which is a hassle.
Best all-in-one home gym – summary and takeaways
I feel that the time invested into completing this guide was well worth it because we’re walking away with some clear winners from a saturated market section.
If you’re looking for the best all in one home gym machine with a Smith machine & leg press, our recommendation is the Force USA G15.
The budget alternative is the G3.
Click here to skip back to the table with the 11 top home gyms.
The Force USA G15 combines a Smith machine, a squat rack, and a pulley system in one compact machine.
The G15 pulley cables have a 2-to-1 and a 4-to-1 ratio allowing you to perform any movement on it. The cable length is longer than a 1-to-1 ratio and allows you to lift lighter weight, ideal for lat raises etc.
Add a leg press and lat pull-down attachment to make it become a true all-in-one home gym machine.
After comparing over 100 machines the G15 came out on top for quality, versatility, and nothing competes at this price point.