X3 Bar with resistance bands

Getting a home gym is one of the best investments you can make for your health. It's not just about the equipment—it's about having easy access to fitness when you need it. From power racks and heavy resistance band systems to weight plates and cable machines, you have many options for home strength training in 2021.

In the past, popular home gym options have included Bowflex, NordicTrack fusion CST, and other equipment you wouldn't find in a commercial gym. Today, your home gym machine options are seemingly endless. As a result, you can cancel your gym membership and still enjoy amazing total body workout sessions.

If you're looking for the best home gym equipment, here are seven options we think are worth considering. Some of the best home gyms come with all of the equipment you need to complete a full body workout, and can be customized for your specific needs and fitness level.

When comparing home gyms, it's best to look at cost versus results and analyze their best features. For example, how much space do you need? What is the weight limit? How soon can you expect to see visual results? The following home gym reviews will help you answer these questions and more.

X3 Bar with resistance bands

#1 Best Home Gym #

X3 Bar #

The X3 Bar is our number one home gym pick for 2021. Why? Well, no other home gym leverages the power of variable resistance. Home gyms based on free weights use static resistance, which means the amount of weight you can lift in your strongest range is limited by the amount of weight you can move in the joint-compromised weak range.

Put simply, weights overload the joints and underload the muscles. If you’re using weights, there’s simply no way around that.

This is very problematic, especially when you consider the pressure on joints and tendons.

Also, consider that you are seven times stronger when your muscles are near full extension than when your joints are bent. With X3, resistance changes as you move through the range of motion, delivering 1X force in your weakest range (i.e., the beginning of a chest press) and 7X more power in your strongest range (i.e., near full extension in a chest press).

The X3 allows you to recruit more muscle, produce more human growth hormone, and achieve greater gains. When heavy forces combine with high repetitions, your muscles become completely exhausted in just one set. X3 empowers you to build muscle, power, and strength—in just 10 minutes a day.

Doctor Jaquish doing bicep curls with X3 Bar

Pros #

The X3 Bar comes with the following benefits:

  • Recruit more muscle where your body is stronger

  • Less risk of injury with variable resistance training

  • Easier on the joints, harder on the muscles

  • Maximize muscle growth for greater gains

  • Ten minutes a day is all you need

Cons #

The X3 Bar might not be for everyone:

  • Intense workout. Not for the faint of heart

  • The best home gym is only as good as the person using it

  • Requires proper form and speed

  • Not the cheapest band option but by far the best home gym

Product Specifications: #

Ground plate dimensions: The X3 ground plate is 10 inches X 19 inches X 1 inch and weighs 7 pounds (25.4 cm x 48.3 cm x 2.54 cm, 3.2 kg)

Bar dimensions: The X3 Elite bar is 21.5 inches long, 1.25 inches in diameter, and weighs 4 pounds. (55 cm, 3.175 cm in diameter, 1.8 kg).

Shipping weight: The X3 weighs 17 pounds (7.7 kilograms) when shipped or 19 pounds (8.6 kilograms) with the X3 Elite Band

Pricing: #

X3 Bar Elite: $549.00 retail price, includes the X3 bar and ground plate (10–300 lbs)

X3 Bar Elite + X3 Elite Band: $648.99 retail price, includes the X3 bar and ground plate (10–600+ lbs)

Weider Ultimate Body Works Bench

#2 Best Home Gym #

Weider Ultimate Body Works Bench #

This glideboard-based home gym is one of the cheapest and most versatile types of home gyms. The suspension training machine allows you to work out and get toned without breaking the bank. The compact design of this home gym makes it a perfect solution for small spaces, and its maximum weight capacity is 250 pounds. There are lots of options for what to do, including squats. It’s comparable to the Total Gym but for half the price.

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Pros #

The Weider Ultimate Body Works Bench comes with the following benefits:

  • It doesn’t require a lot of space

  • Inexpensive best budget option for home gyms

  • Easy assembly

  • Safe for beginners and advanced

  • More affordable than the Total Gym

Cons #

The Weider Ultimate Body Works Bench has some limitations to consider:

  • Not ideal for advanced fitness levels

  • Limited weight capacity

  • A fewer number of exercises than other machines

  • Limited warranty

Product Specifications: #

Dimensions: 59" L x 27.5" W x 48" H

Max. Weight capacity: 250 pounds

Pricing #

The Weider Ultimate Body Works is affordably priced at $252.99

Tonal System

#3 Best Home Gym #

Tonal System #

Tonal’s home gym workouts are designed to help you achieve optimal results every time you work out. The smart home gym system has a compact and sleek design that will help you break a sweat and track progress along the way. With more than 170 moves, 200 pounds of resistance, and a range of full-body exercises, Tonal is a solid option for those who prioritize variety.

Tonal is the first and only weightlifting system that lets you lift up to 200 pounds with digitally-controlled weighted arms. It’s not just a machine; it trains you to become stronger over time by accurately measuring your reps, sets, range of motion in various exercises, and the amount of weight used throughout each workout session. Tonal gauges power generated during training sessions with the intent of increasing strength more quickly via real-time feedback.

If there are any questions about technique or form, Tonal has an AI-equipped assistant on hand 24/7 for real-time Q&A.

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Pros #

The Tonal System comes with some nice perks:

  • 30 Day in-home trial

  • Professional installation

  • 3-year warranty

  • Custom AI tailored workouts

Cons #

The Tonal System has a few big hurdles to overcome:

  • Pricey - At over $3k, this is not a budget option

  • Exercise transitions can be slow and inconsistent

  • Monthly membership fees add up over time ($49 per month)

  • The unit requires professional installation

  • Some movements may feel unnatural and uncomfortable

Product Specifications #

Dimensions: Width: 21.50" and Height: 50.9" and Depth: 5.25".

Weight: Tonal weighs nearly 150 pounds and needs to be professionally installed.

Pricing #

The purchase price for the Tonal System is $2,995

This does not include the optional Smart Accessories, which run an additional $495

These prices do not include shipping and installation

$49 monthly membership fee

Tonal System also offers a financing plan starting at $63/month

Nordic Track Fusion CST

#4 Best Home Gym #

NordicTrack Fusion CST #

If you are looking for a home gym that offers the best of both worlds, then NordicTrack is your best option. The Fusion CST combines strength and cardio equipment into one sleek machine to help you get in shape without having to make room for two pieces of equipment.

With the Fusion CST, you can finally have a full-body workout without having to go anywhere— users just plug in and start moving. This innovative piece of equipment has everything you need for an intense cardio session and strength training exercises like squats and lunges—all on one machine. Plus, it folds up easily, so you can store it away when not in use.

Fusion CST can combine cardio and strength training into a single workout, which is one of the most notable benefits. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and other fast-paced workouts are a big part of this equation.

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Pros #

The NordicTrack Fusion CST has a lot of appealing benefits out of the box:

  • Compact, high-quality fitness equipment

  • With 20 different resistance levels, you can customize every workout

  • Includes a Bluetooth chest strap for wireless heart rate monitoring

  • Workout at home or on the go with a mobile app featuring live workouts

Con #

The NordicTrack Fusion CST has some limitations that might make you hesitate:

  • Expensive price point (over $2000)

  • Pulley system is not adjustable

  • Limited warranty

  • The magnetic resistance does not allow for heavy resistance training

Product Specifications #

Dimensions: Width: 77.00" and Height: 42.50" and Depth: 45.25".

Weight: NordicTrack weighs 131 pounds, so it is best to have two people during the installation process.

Pricing #

The purchase price for the NordicTrack Fusion CST is $1999 with an additional $199 for delivery

Bowflex PR3000 Home Gym

#5 Best Home Gym #

Bowflex PR3000 Home Gym #

The Bowflex PR3000 Home Gym offers over 80 exercises and is compact enough to fit in any workout space. It adjusts easily from low impact aerobic workouts to high-impact cardio with just the flip of a lever so you can scale your workout intensity up or down as needed—all without ever leaving the comfort of your home.

The Bowflex PR3000 is one of the company’s more versatile machines and focuses on full-body workouts. The machine’s 50+ exercises allow for maximum versatility and can be used by people of all fitness levels.

Bowflex has been a staple in the fitness industry for many years. The PR3000 is one of their newest models, and it provides some great features such as an easy-to-follow exercise manual, workout chart display, and access to workouts from Bowflex’s Full Body Plan library.

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Pros #

The Bowflex PR3000 Home Gym has plenty of highlights to grab your attention:

  • Simple design and assembly without the need for tools or hardware

  • The perfect combination for home use—the unit features both aerobic training and strength training in one machine

  • Features power rod resistance of up to 210 pounds

  • 7-year power rod warranty and a 1-year warranty for the entire product

Cons #

The Bowflex PR3000 Home Gym has some serious space and goal limitations:

  • At $1,000, it still might not be affordable for everyone

  • Not meant for serious weight training

  • You’ll need a fair amount of space for this home gym

Product Specifications #

Dimensions: Width: 48" and Height: 82.00" and Depth: 45.50".

Weight: Bowflex weighs 240 pounds, so it’s best to have two people during the installation process.

Pricing #

The purchase price for Bowflex PR3000 is $999 with an additional delivery charge of $199, which comes out to $1190

Body-Solid StrengthTech EXM2500S Home Gym

#6 Best Home Gym #

Body-Solid StrengthTech EXM2500S Home Gym #

The StrengthTech EXM2500S Home Gym gives you all the benefits of your home gym without needing to pay for a membership or make a commute.

This home gym has everything you need in one compact package: adjustable bench press pad, leg extension/curl station, lat pulldown bar + pulley system combo (with integrated linear bearings that allow for smoother adjustments), preacher curl attachment, and an ab crunch station.

The Leg Developer allows you to do extensions from the front and curls with your feet on pads. The Abdominal Board strap can be used for added stabilization.

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Pros #

Body-Solid Strength Tech EXM2500S Home Gym has a lot of benefits if you’re looking to increase power:

  • Provides full-body workouts with different exercises for each muscle group

  • Excellent third-party ratings

  • 210 lb. Selectorized Iron Weight Stack in 10 lb. Plates

  • Full system lifetime warranty

  • High-quality engineering

Cons #

The Body-Solid home gym machine does have some flaws worth considering:

  • At nearly $1,700, the price will be outside some budgets

  • Complex assembly required

  • Large footprint requires quite a bit of space to accommodate

  • No accompanying app or instructional workouts

Product Specifications #

Dimensions: 83" High x 51" Wide x 83" Deep

Weight: This product weighs around 446 pounds, so seek assistance for installation

Pricing #

The purchase price for StrengthTech EXM2500S is $1695 with an additional delivery charge of $199

The Mirror

#7 Best Home Gym #

The Mirror #

The Mirror is a revolutionary high-tech workout machine that streams on-demand and live classes. Workouts for this state-of-the-art piece of equipment can be streamed online or downloaded as part of an app so users will never miss their favorite classes.

Mirror also has over 500 different types of exercises categorized by level difficulties for all fitness levels to choose from.

The Mirror offers more than your typical studio exercise routine. It’s been programmed with interactive technology to offer total body conditioning from head-to-toe in just 15 minutes per day.

It’s perfect for anyone who wants an effective workout but doesn’t want to spend hours at the gym each week.

In addition to the initial purchase of this machine, your workouts with Mirror are not free: there is an ongoing monthly fee of $39 to access their fitness classes.

Doctor Jaquish doing bicep curls with X3 Bar

Pros #

The Mirror home gym machine is actually a mirror loaded with benefits:

  • Over 80 exercises, including aerobic training and strength training

  • Lowers impact on joints during workouts

  • Sleek modern design

  • New and varied routine released regularly

  • Connects to iPhone and Apple Watch

Cons #

Although great for total body workouts, the Mirror comes with some things that may make you think twice:

  • A hefty price tag of $1,500

  • Steep ongoing monthly charge of $39

  • Cardio-heavy workouts are not ideal for strength training

  • Requires a high-speed Internet connection to use

  • Requires the purchase of accessories

Product Specifications #

Dimensions: The Mirror itself measures 52 x 22 x 1.4 inches

Weight: This product weighs at 70 pounds

Pricing #

The Mirror has an initial purchase price of $1500 with an ongoing monthly cost of $39

They also offer a $0 down, 0% APR starting at $42/month

Guy thinking in gym

Frequently Asked Questions #

1. What is the best home gym 2021? #

The best home gym for you is one that best suits your needs. We’ve talked about how different home gyms each have their own specific focus. Which home gym is best for you depends on your goals. There’s no “best” because there are so many options, and each person might prefer something else based on their needs and preferences.

Important Factors When Choosing Your Home Gym

  • What type of equipment best suits your needs?

  • How much physical space are you willing to dedicate to a home gym?

  • What’s your home gym budget?

Our highest overall recommendation is the X3 Bar, which represents the latest in scientific discovery and research-based physiology. It is scientifically proven to grow muscle faster than weights can, making it the preferred option if strength building and weight loss is your goal.

2. Are home gyms worth it? #

Some home gyms are more than worth the investment, while others simply collect dust. Unfortunately, most fitness products fail to deliver visible results.

X3 Bar was developed based on scientific research that proves variable resistance is superior to weights for safely delivering greater force and triggering greater muscular growth.

When purchasing a home gym, look beyond the marketing fluff. Is there scientific evidence to back the manufacturer’s claims?

Be sure to look up reviews on different types of exercise equipment and compare them for yourself. This will give you a better idea of where to spend your money.

3. Is working out at home better than at the gym? #

This is a matter of preference, but for many people, the best part about working out at home is that it’s cheaper and more convenient. Others thrive in a communal environment.

There are alternative ways to work out without buying expensive equipment; outdoor calisthenics and living room aerobics cost nothing—if you have enough space.

However, results from such workouts are limited. If you are short on time and want real results, home workouts are second to none. You just need the right equipment.

4. What are the disadvantages of the gym? #

The biggest disadvantage of a gym is that it can be expensive. A gym membership not only costs money, but steals your time. Going to the gym requires planning ahead, includes a commute, and may even include waiting in line. Gyms are typically crowded, which makes it difficult to maintain the intensity of your workout.

5. How much does home gym equipment cost? #

When looking at home gyms, the options range from $500 to over $2000. But of course, your budget will play a part in determining which option best suits your needs.

Unfortunately, many home gyms require monthly membership fees on top of hefty upfront investments. Your workout routine shouldn’t be a financial burden. Consider the lifetime investment of such equipment before making a purchase.

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6. Can you get fit without a gym? #

Yes, you can get fit without a gym. You just need to know what workouts best align with your needs and goals, whether that’s burning fat, building muscle, increasing endurance, or improving overall health.

Most people who decide not to join a gym do so because they want an inexpensive workout routine. Working out without a financial commitment is possible, but you’ll have to get educated on how. You can start by researching different exercises like bodyweight training, HIIT (high-intensity interval training), yoga, sprints, etc., and then decide which one best suits your fitness goals.

7. What are the benefits of a home gym? #

The best benefit of a home gym is the ability to work out when and how much your schedule permits. If you want to wake up one day, throw on some shorts, and go for a jog in the morning, then do it. You’re not limited by time or the equipment available at the gym.

8. What are the best home gyms? #

When choosing a home gym, the first thing you’ll want to do is establish both your goals and your available resources. For example, do you have a large area to set up a smith machine, weight plates, or a suspension training system? Are you looking for a full-body workout? Or more of a cardio workout? Do you want to build muscle? Reduce body weight?

Once you know your goals and your available resources, it should be easier to determine what kind of equipment to purchase.

If your goal is to build muscle, you might think you need a heavy-duty machine with weight plates or a squat rack. However, if you want all the benefits of a commercial gym without all of the headaches, we highly recommend you check out the X3 Bar Elite.

For more of a cardio workout, we recommend a machine such as the Nordictrack Fusion CST or the Mirror home gym, which offers hundreds of cardio classes.

9. Best home gym for seniors? #

The best home gym for seniors is, without question, the X3 Bar. Joint strain is one of the most common challenges seniors face with traditional free weights and other home gym equipment. The X3 Bar’s uses joint-friendly resistance bands, which demand only a minimal amount of weight in your weakest range of motion, thus preventing wear and tear on your joints. But don’t take our word for it. Instead, hear what Sly Stalone has to say about the benefits of resistance bands for seniors.

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10. What is the best compact home gym? #

The best compact home gym is the X3 bar. Boasting the smallest footprint of all the best home gyms listed, this heavy-duty piece of equipment is only 10 inches wide and 1 inch tall. This space-saving portable home gym gives you all of the power of weight-based resistance without the hefty membership fee of a traditional gym.

No power rack, cable machine, smith machine, or squat rack is needed. The X3 home gym provides all of the benefits of a commercial gym from the convenience of your own home, within a tiny package you can tuck under your bed.

If you don’t want to fork over a costly gym membership and are looking for a home gym that gives you the benefits of an entire gym in your own home, the X3 Bar is your clear choice.

11. What is the best home gym equipment? #

The best home gym equipment is the X3 Bar, which leverages the incredible power of variable resistance. This training system gives you a full upper body and lower body workout in just ten minutes a day.

If we had to choose only one home gym, our recommendation is the X3 Bar.

You don’t need a lot of space for this equipment—it’s just ten inches wide and one inch tall. It also offers much more than traditional weight training; X3 variable resistance training recruits and fatigues more muscle tissue, and it does so in far less time.

Your muscles are stronger when you are near full extension—seven times stronger, in fact. However, with weights, you are limited by the amount you can lift in the weak range (where joints are compromised). With X3, resistance changes as you move through the entire range of motion, providing a normal amount of resistance in the weak range and far more in the strong range.

X3 provides a greatly varied amount of resistance, enabling you to avoid injuries, recruit more muscle, produce higher HGH levels, and drive greater gains.

12. What’s the best home gym for muscle building? #

The X3 Bar home gym is the most advanced and efficient variable resistance training system on the market.

As discussed, force increases as you move from the weak range (i.e., near the chest in a chest press) to the strong range (i.e., near full extension), where you can produce 7x more force.

Why is this so groundbreaking? Because you can safely produce more force and perform more repetitions. As a result, just one set with X3 will leave your muscles completely exhausted. Greater fatigue equals greater muscular growth.

Additionally, X3 utilizes diminishing range repetitions, which allows you to perform each exercise to complete fatigue in the strong range, mid range, and weak range. The result? Greater gains.

Put simply, nothing grows muscle like X3.

13. Is a home gym worth the money? #

Yes, a home gym is worth the money.

A home gym will not only save you the expense of paying for a monthly membership, but it also saves time by allowing you to work out whenever you want without having to drive all over town.

The best part about investing in a home gym is the variety and convenience it offers—you can get a full-body workout any time without even leaving the house.

There are a few home gym options that offer many exercises for the entire body so that you can create hundreds of variations and routines.

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14. Are home gyms any good? #

Home gyms are effective if you choose the right home gym to meet your goals.

Additionally, it’s best if your space can comfortably accommodate the home gym you choose.

The best part about investing in your own home gym is the variety and convenience it offers–you can get a full-body workout any time without even leaving the house. Of course, it depends on the quality of the home gym that you choose.

We found the X3 Bar to be the best option. For less than the cost of a few months of a gym membership, you can gain muscle faster than traditional weight training.

15. Can you get fit without going to the gym? #

You can get fit without going to the gym, but to build strength and lose weight in the most efficient manner, you’ll want to invest in a home gym.

Home gyms also save on time and money—you don’t have to pay for a monthly membership, and you have easy access to your workout whenever you want it.

If you’re looking for something affordable that will visibly change your body composition, by building muscle and reducing fat, we recommend the X3 Bar.

16. Which gym brand is best? #

When it comes to home gyms, it all depends on your needs. The best brand we recommend is the X3 Bar. It’s a high-quality product at an affordable price and best for those who want to gain muscle faster than traditional weight training.

The best part about investing in your home gym is the variety and convenience it offers—you can get a full-body workout any time without even leaving the house.

If you’re interested in something that will provide good quality and affordability, the Weider Ultimate Body Works Bench is a good option. On the other hand, if you want more full-body workout capability and portability, X3 Bar would be the best option. We found that when retail prices were equal between brands, most people chose the option with the most variety.

The best part about investing in your own home gym is the variety and convenience it offers—you can get a full-body workout any time without even leaving the house!

17. What’s the best home gym setup? #

It all depends on your home gym needs. The best equipment you can get for the best price is X3 Bar, and it’s best if you are looking to gain muscle faster than traditional weight training.

The best part about investing in your own home gym is the variety and convenience it offers–you can get a full-body workout any time without even leaving the house!

There are many different types of home gyms on the market that offer something unique for everyone. In terms of home gym setups, we like X3 Bar the best, because it requires no installation, and the only space you need is space to move and do the workouts. The X3 bar conveniently stores under your bed, or out of the way, when it’s not in use.

18. What’s the best compact home gym for building muscle?  #

The best home gym to build muscle is the X3 Bar. It’s best for those who want to build muscle  faster than traditional weight training. By providing heavier loads near full extension, the larger muscle groups become completely exhausted in one set.

And as for being compact, the X3 Bar takes up the least permanent space of any of the home gyms on our list.

7 Best Home Gyms Conclusion

Conclusion #

When you’re looking at home gyms, you must understand your personal goals. For some people, a simple suspension training system works. Some need cables or heavy resistance to hit their muscle-building goals. Others want to track every set and rep as they sweat. Some want on-demand access to live classes and personal trainers.

Home gyms are becoming the new normal. Now, you can design the perfect home gym to meet your goals, all at a reasonable price. A home gym will save you time and money; no matter which one you choose. To reach your fitness goals, however, choose wisely.

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