- Compact home gyms allow you to perform a myriad of workouts with as little at 2 square feet of floor clearance, whereas standard home gyms require at least 50 square feet.
- Compact home gyms can deliver over 100 exercise variations, making them ideal for anyone who doesn’t have enough space to dedicate for their equipment.
- If setting aside a dedicated room for your workouts isn’t an option, several compact home gyms have fold-away features that allow you to either lessen the amount of space they take up or store them for another day.
Total GYM FIT
7 Best Compact Home Gym Models
Total Gym FIT
Marcy System Pro MWM-988
Total Gym APEX G5
G7 with Bench
Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE
Best Compact Home Gym Equipment for Smaller Spaces Such as Apartments or Studio Flats
One of the biggest problems my clients have with investing in a home is gym is the amount of space they have. Not everyone can afford to set aside at least 10 square feet of space for a standard all-in-one home gym. But that shouldn’t deter you from investing in equipment to help you maintain your physique while at home.
1. Total Gym FIT - #1 Best Compact Machine For Tight Spaces
The Gym FIT is an ideal option if you’re looking for a piece of best home gym outfit and only have two square feet of space to spare.
This machine weighs only 66 lbs and folds away so you can store it when not in use, so you don’t need to have a space dedicated to your fitness equipment.
Dimensions: 93×18.5×44.5 inches LWH
Weight: 66 lbs
Take a look at its best features:
Low Impact Workouts – this model relies heavily on your bodyweight to determine optimal resistance weight. This means your joints won’t be forced to lift or resist more than it can handle. Moreover, there are also over 12 settings to choose from that will help you perform over 85 exercises at maximum comfort for your body.
Versatility – Easily perform over 85 exercises. This includes squats, abdominal crunches, pull-ups, and leg presses. The FIT that is looks like Weider Ultimate Body Works is even optimized to let you perform low-impact cross-training workouts.
- Compact design that easily folds away for storage
- You only need at least two square feet of space clearance for your workouts
- It only weighs 66 lbs, so it’s easily portable
- You can perform over 85 exercises on it
- It arrives assembled
- This brand offers a $1 30-day trial
- Comes with seven workout DVDs to help you maximize your machine
- It’s not ideal for heavy lifters since its maximum resistance weight relies on your body weight
Summary: The FIT is an ideal choice for you if you aren’t able to set up a dedicated small space for your home gym. This all-in-one machine folds away for easy storage and only weighs 66 lbs, so you can move it around with very little difficulty. Unfortunately, if you’re used to lifting heavy weights, the bodyweight resist may not be enough for you since you won’t be able to lift more than a certain percentage of your entire body weight.
2. Marcy System Pro MWM-988 - Weight Stack Type For Bodybuilding
The Marcy Home Gym System Pro MWM-988 is a beginner home gym system that combines the efficiency of stacking weight equipment and compact machinery. This machine
Dimensions: 69x36x79 inches LWH
Weight: 271 lbs
Take a look at its best qualities:
Six Workout Stations – the MWM-988 combines six exercise stations: the chest press, pec fly, high-pulley, low-pulley, and leg developer stations as well as a preacher pad that adds several exercise options for your arm muscles, body overall.
Weights and Resistance – this machine utilizes weight stacks to determine levels. It can handle up to 200 lbs of resist, and it comes with a 150 lb weight stack.
- It can handle up to 200 lbs of resist
- The stacking weight system is ideal for beginner bodybuilders who want to push their limits
- You can perform over 35 exercises on the machine
- It combines six exercise stations to help you target core muscle groups
- The vinyl upholstery is thick and durable
- The frame is made of 14-gauge heavy-duty steel
- You cannot adjust the seat
- There are no options for upgrading the weight stack
- It does not come with the required tools for assembly
- The weight stacks are made of vinyl and are not as durable as cast iron weights
Summary: The Marcy Home Gym System Pro is an ideal piece of equipment if you want the authentic feel of stacking weight machines at the comfort of your home.
It’s well-built and durable with a 14-gauge heavy-duty steel frame and can handle up to 200 lbs. Unfortunately, the maximum weight resist makes it unideal for serious bodybuilders who want more than just 200 lbs.
3. APEX G5 - Best Budget Model
The APEX G5 combines strength, cardio, and stretch training in one machine. It’s lightweight at only 87 lbs and easily folds down when you need to store it.
Dimensions: 93×43.25×15.5 inches LWH
Weight: 87 lbs
Here are its best features:
Smooth Workout Variations – the APEX G5 allows you to perform over 80 low-impact exercises. The machine features 10 resistance levels and is designed to let you switch from one workout to the next with little to no effort.
Quick and Easy Workouts – if you’re pressed for time, the APEX G5 has various workout options that only take ten to twenty minutes. The exercises are easy to follow and designed to sculpt your body and aid in optimal weight loss.
- It’s lightweight and weighs only 87 lbs
- It comes with a nutritional guide and DVDs to help you perform your workouts
- It can handle up to 375 lbs of user weight
- Over 80 exercise options
- It costs under $700
- It folds down for easy storage
- You’re only given a 1 year warranty
Summary: I recommend APEX G5 to anyone who’s looking for a lightweight piece of gym outfit both in actual weight and financial weight. It will only cost you a little over $600 and folds down for storing. Unfortunately, the price comes with a lackluster 1-year warranty that lags behind its competition that offers at least 2 years in warranty.
4. Inspire M2 Home Gym - Best Professional Grade Type Weight Machine
The Inspire M2 Home Gym packs the capabilities of a multiple weight stack machine in one compact. This mimics the feel of authentic commercial-grade equipment without the bulk.
Dimensions: 72x48x78 inches LWH
Weight: 400 lbs
Here’s why you’ll like it:
Commercial Weight Stack – this home gym unit comes with a 160-lb stack that feels close to an authentic gym experience. It is combined with its various exercise stations, allows you to perform over 30 exercises for body that mimic what you can do at the gym.
Durable Frame Construction – the frame of the M2 is made of high-gauge 2×4-inch oval and 3-inch round steel tubes. The width is mostly contributed by the standard lat bar attachment, which is 48 inches across. Otherwise, the actual base of the unit itself is narrower and only runs approximately 42 inches wide.
- It features a vertical seat adjustment
- Its heavy-duty pulleys are made of durable fiberglass nylon and have a weight rating of 2,000 lbs
- Features five workout stations in one machine
- The press station can be adjusted to 8 positions
- Requires very little maintenance. You only have to oil the cables every once in a while
- The optional leg press attachment costs over $1000 more
- It is quite heavy and weighs 400 lbs
Summary: If you’re looking for a home gym installment that relies on stacking weights for resist, the Inspire M2 is an ideal choice for you.
It’s built using heavy-gauge steel tubes and is designed to feel like commercial-grade equipment without the bulk of multi-weight stacks.
5. G7 Home Gym with Bench - Commercial Experience at Home
The G7 Home Gym utilizes dual-adjustable pulleys that allow you to access a near-limitless number of exercises in the comfort of your home. It also comes with a helpful exercise guide that helps you maximize the equipment and determine the best workout for you.
Dimensions: 48.5×69.5×83 inches LWH
Weight: 720 lbs
Take a look at its best qualities:
Over 55 Exercises – the commercial-grade steel pulleys allow you to perform over 55 exercises with nearly limitless variations and adjustments. This is mostly thanks to the cable motion feature that allows you to define the exact motion of the pulleys.
Compact Design – the G7 Home Gym only requires at least 10 by 8 feet of space. If you plan on purchasing the leg press or calf raise attachment, you’ll only need 10 square feet of space to maximize your equipment.
- Comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame, welding, pulleys, and other parts
- Comes with a helpful video and exercise guide
- You can perform over 55 different exercises
- It is built to feel like an authentic gym experience
- It is quite expensive and costs nearly $3500
- It does not come with a leg press attachment
Summary: The G7 Home Gym is an ideal investment if you’re looking for commercial-grade gym outfit for your home gym.
The cable pulley system relies heavily on user motion which allows you to determine the exact motions of your pulley system.
However, it is quite expensive and will cost you nearly $3500. Moreover, it might be compact, but it weighs 720 lbs.
6. BodyBoss 2.0 - Best Portable Home Gym
The BodyBoss Home Gym 2.0 relies on a resistance band system to help you get the full-body workout that you need. It requires very little workout space since it only measures around 22 by 18 inches large. Moreover, it comes with a travel bag to help you bring your workout station with you wherever you go. You also get a door anchor you can use to increase your options further.
Dimensions: 22.4×18.8×4.7 inches LWH
Weight: 15 lbs
Here’s why you’ll like it:
Portable and Lightweight – weighing in at only 15 lbs, the BodyBoss 2.0 comes with a travel bag that lets you bring it along whenever and wherever you need it. It also acts as a convenient storage bag for after your workouts.
Same Fitness Goals with Less Bulk – even if you’re partial to stacking weight equipment, the resist bands that come with this unit make it ideal for home use. It will still help you perform a variety of exercises and reach the same fitness goals you set in the gym.
- It only weighs 15 lbs and doesn’t take up much floor space when in use
- It comes with a carrying bag that also doubles as storage for when you’re not using it
- It mimics the same exercises you can perform in the gym without the bulk and heavy weights
- It costs less than $200
- It only comes with two resistance bands
- You’ll only be able to get up to 30 lbs of resist on the equipment
Summary: The BodyBoss Home Gym 2.0 is an ideal investment if you’re looking for something that is portable and will take up virtually no space in your home.
It’s also quite affordable and costs less than $200 for a piece of equipment that will help you perform exercises you normally do at the gym.
Unfortunately, if you’re a resistance-buff, the unit may leave you unsatisfied as the maximum resist it can give you is 30 lbs.
7. Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE - Best Power Rod Type
The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE Home Gym is equipped with patented technology that increases your workout resistance as time goes on.
This allows your joints and muscles to gradually adjust alongside strength training and your workout intensity while conditioning your body to push its limits.
Dimensions: 53x49x83.25 inches LWH
Weight: 185 lbs
Take a look at its best features:
Lifetime Guarantee – The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE comes with a lifetime warranty on the rod technology. This means you don’t have to worry about over-using your unit because it’s guaranteed to last a lifetime.
No Change Pulley System – their technology uses integrates with a no-change pulley system which saves you time and effort from having to change several cable attachments. This means you’re able to keep your heart rate up longer while working out without having to rest and adjust your equipment when you switch exercises.
- The no-change pulley system lets you focus on your workout instead of changing your equipment in between workouts
- The equipment can help you perform over 70 exercises
- You can upgrade the standard 210 lbs of resistance up to 410 lbs
- The full range of exercise motions
- 410 lbs of resistance may not be enough for powerlifters or serious bodybuilders
Summary: The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE incorporates innovative technology to help you maximize your workout time by eliminating the need to change cable attachments in between workouts.
However, the standard upgrade of 410 lbs of resistance may not be ideal if you’re used to lifting more weight.
Compact Gym Buying Guide
If you’re considering buying a compact gym, you should consider your preferences, budget, and needs before anything else. While it’s important to think about a machine’s features, you also need to consider the amount of space you have for your new home gym.
Most compact home gyms might be smaller than full-sized home gym equipment, but it doesn’t mean they’ll fit into your studio apartment.
Consider the design and size of the home gym first. Make sure you have enough space clearance for it and that the design fits into your necessities. For example, some compact home gyms feature a fold-away design that allows you to store them for tomorrow. At the very least, a fold-away bench should be something you look into.
Resistance levels should also be something you heavily consider. If you’re a beginner or are just looking for something to help you maintain your fitness while at home, 150 lbs to 250 lbs of resistance should be more than enough.
If you’re planning on lifting more in the future, make sure the unit is capable of upgrades for resistance.
I always tell my clients that overspending is not an option. There are many units in the market that are well below or within your price range. Make sure you set aside a cohesive budget for the type of equipment you have and stick to it. On that note, don’t expect to get a commercial-grade piece of equipment if you’re only willing to spend $500. Make your budget realistic.
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all piece of equipment. Make sure the equipment you choose fits you well, is comfortable, and has multiple adjustment settings to help you target specific areas without having to strain too much.
Think about the type of exercise you want to perform at your home gym. Not all home gyms are designed the same way; there are different types of equipment even rowing machines, which means you need to choose one that can perform the exercises you want with no issues.
For example, if you’re into heavy lifting, you’ll want to invest in stacking weight equipment. On the other hand, if you’re looking for something more low-impact, resistance bands are a good choice.
Consider the floor clearance requirements of your unit before making a purchase. You may have enough room for an assembled piece of equipment, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to perform the workouts seamlessly if you don’t have enough floor space. Look into the space requirements of the machine you’re eyeing and make sure you have enough room for it to be effective.
Are Home Gyms Worth It?
Whether you’re a regular or a one-time visitor to the gym, getting in shape requires more than a workout and a pair of Lululemon leggings. Fitbit and other fitness-tracking devices can help you build a personal trainer-like coaching system at home that teaches you the exercises you should be doing and how often to do them. (Here are six ways to track your fitness.) Many gyms also offer guidance on how to use certain equipment. Plus, some gyms even have amenities like water fountains, showers, and changing rooms — not to mention workout classes that would be difficult to d at home.
Not sure you want to become a gym rat? Here are some things to consider before signing up for a membership. How Much Do I Want to Spend? Your gym membership, whether you join a free-standing facility or one in a mall or another commercial space, will typically cost you at least $20 to $25 per month (depending on where you go). That can add up, especially if you’re in a big city, have a handful of fitness-related needs, and want to add in outdoor activities (such as rock climbing and weight training) to your regimen. To determine how much you’re willing to spend, ask yourself if you spend money on any of these things: Spending time at the gym, using a workout class, or purchasing equipment. Caring about what your trainer will tell you to do in his or her class. Setting aside your personal time to go to the gym for specific workouts.
Can Home Gym Build Muscle?Sylvia Mendez describes her busy lifestyle as one that starts early and goes late. After work, Mendez runs kids to soccer practice and chauffeurs her son to and from school. When she’s not at the park or soccer field, Mendez writes fitness blogs and takes Pilates and dance classes. She’s not super athletic, but she does love working out. She doesn’t have a lot of time, but she does find time to fit in some daily exercises at home. She’s motivated to do so by the results. I have great abs and I can still fit in my size 6 jeans,” she says. “It’s all worth it. A couple of years ago, Mendez suffered a broken foot, which sidelined her for six months. This gave her more time to focus on being healthier and taking care of herself.
What is the Minimum Size for a Home Gym?
If you’ve thought about adding a home gym to your home, the size of the space needs to be determined before you can start thinking about buying equipment. This depends on the size of your space and how much equipment you want to store. What types of home gyms are out there? Regardless of what kind of home gym equipment you want to use, you’ll need to decide on the type that’s best for you.
Whether you want to use free weights, equipment like kettlebells, dumbbells, barbells, weight plates, or suspension trainers, or have a variety of exercise options like trampolines, gymnastic rings, barbells, and medicine balls, you need to know what type of exercise you enjoy the most. Are you interested in free weights? Some weightlifters prefer to use free weights.
How Can I Work Out at Home With Little Space?If you want to do some high-intensity interval training, you don’t have much room to exercise at home. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use the space you have to make your workouts more effective and efficient. Working out in a small area—like your living room, bedroom, or bathroom—doesn’t make for easy access. But it does provide plenty of options. You can do push-ups, sit-ups, and more, without needing to find a space to do cardio. Whether you are working with a smaller space or using your living room and kitchen as your primary workout space, there are a lot of ways to incorporate fitness in a home without causing you to break the bank,” says Gretchen Reynolds, MS, NSCA-CPT, CPT, a personal trainer and the author of Two Girls, One Goal: A Bold New Way to Stay Fitter, Sleep Better, and Eat Healthier Forever.
Are Portable Gyms Worth It?
Portable gyms have gained popularity in recent years as a convenient alternative to traditional gym memberships and home workout equipment. These compact systems promise to deliver a full-body workout experience without the need for extensive space or bulky machines. But are portable gyms truly worth the investment?
One of the primary advantages of portable gyms is their versatility. These systems often incorporate various exercise components such as resistance bands, adjustable benches, and pull-up bars, allowing users to engage in a wide range of exercises targeting different muscle groups. This versatility is particularly appealing for individuals who want to diversify their workouts and prevent monotony. Moreover, portable gyms are designed to be lightweight and easily collapsible, making them suitable for travel and small living spaces, where setting up a dedicated home gym might not be feasible. The Smith machine station’s high-end one-inch guide rods offer a fluid and organic range of motion
Another compelling factor is the cost-effectiveness of portable gyms. While traditional gym memberships can accumulate substantial monthly fees over time, a one-time investment in a portable gym could potentially yield long-term savings. Additionally, these systems eliminate the need to purchase individual workout machines or equipment, which can be costly and require ample room. For budget-conscious individuals, portable gyms provide a cost-efficient solution to stay fit.
However, portable gyms also come with limitations that potential buyers should consider. The compact nature of these systems, while advantageous for storage, might compromise the overall workout experience for certain exercises. The level of resistance provided by bands or tubes may not always match that of traditional weights, limiting the intensity of strength training. Moreover, some users may find the transition between different exercises less seamless compared to using specialized machines at a conventional gym.
The effectiveness of a portable gym largely depends on an individual’s fitness goals. Those seeking to build significant muscle mass or engage in advanced training regimes might find traditional gyms more suited to their needs. On the other hand, for individuals aiming to maintain general fitness, lose weight, or perform basic strength exercises, portable gyms can offer a practical and space-efficient solution.
In conclusion, the worthiness of a portable gym depends on one’s fitness aspirations, lifestyle, and preferences. These compact systems excel in terms of versatility, cost-effectiveness, and space-saving features. However, they might not fully replace the comprehensive workout experience that traditional gyms or dedicated home setups can provide, especially for those with specific fitness targets. Ultimately, individuals should weigh the pros and cons while considering their goals to determine if a portable gym aligns with their fitness journey.
Having a small home or the inability to dedicate a specific room for your equipment should never be a reason for you not to invest in a home gym. In fact, units like the BodyBoss Home Gym 2.0 don’t even need more than 2 feet of space when you’re using it.
Moreover, you can use it anywhere you want. I recommend it if you’re looking for a piece of equipment that can replicate workouts you’re able to do in the gym without having to move around your furniture to do it and without having to spend over $600 for your equipment.
On the other hand, the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE is a good option for anyone who rarely has more than 15 minutes to spare for a workout. The no-change pulley system allows you to focus on your workouts the entire time. Plus, the patented power rod technology gradually raises the resistance levels, so your body doesn’t feel strained after your workout.
Overall, the Total Gym FIT is the best choice as far as compact home gyms go. IT only requires two square feet of space to maximize the equipment, and it folds away for easy storage when not in need.
Moreover, it also weighs in at only 66 lbs and doesn’t require any assembly, which means you can focus solely on your workouts.