complete home gym

The Best Home Gyms Under $500

Do you have a fitness goal but you are too busy to hit the gym? Sure, you can sign up for a membership, but you barely have time to travel to the gym after a long day, and the fees can seem costly. 

With the new range of home gyms available, you can surely find something that fits your lifestyle. Working out at home means that you can choose to workout any time, without worrying about traffic and operating hours. If you are self-conscious, it will be more comfortable to exercise without worrying about other people. 

You may think home gyms are expensive, but if you invest in proper equipment, working out at home will save you money in the long run! 

Here’s what you need to consider when purchasing a home gym: 

  • Budget. You have to work out your budget and what do you want in your exercise area. 
  • Space. If you have a small area, then you may need to consider foldable sets for storage. Do not forget the height of your room, as the gyms can get to about 80 inches tall. 
  • Resistance. Another factor to consider is how much resistance you need, or how much strength you want to gain from exercising. 
  • Use. If you are after a bodybuilding home gym, you will need to consider weight stacked machines over resistance rods. You can also build a free-weight corner to supplement your workouts. 

Here are the five best home gyms under 500 dollars, so you can maximize exercise options using minimal cost. Take a look at your options!

The 5 Best Home Gyms Under 500

Price: $500

The Bowflex Home Gym boasts over 25 exercise options, and it folds upwards to save space. The Bowflex costs $500, and it uses the Power Rod resistance for your strength training. 

This unit has a maximum weight of 210 lb of resistance, featuring three pulley systems to target your upper body, core, and lower body.

Cheapest price found here

Pros 

  • It has a place for you to secure your tablet device, so you can follow along with the exercises from one of their seven workout regimes.
  • The biggest pro for the Bowflex is its aerobic rowing, allowing you to have a cardio workout with the home gym. 
  • With three pulley systems, you can effectively workout your core as well as arms and legs.
  • The bench folds upwards to store, ideal if you need your space for other things

Cons

  • The resistance is limited to 210 lb, which may not be enough to build muscle.
  • Even though the bench folds, you still need a considerable amount of space to use the Bowflex, it requires 84 inches width of floor space.

Price: $499

Retailing at $499, Marcy Club Home Gym MKM-1101 is an entry-level home gym that has a steel structure. It has an adjustable 100 lbs weight stack with pulley systems that go up to 220 lb. 

It also has around 25 exercise options. so you can get a full-body workout in one unit.

Cheapest price found here.

Pros 

  • The gym comes with accessories such as a lateral bar, single bar, shiver bar, and ankle straps to allow a full-body workout.
  • The press arm can be for chest press or pectoral fly.

Cons

  • The back support and seat are not adjustable, this may affect your range and how comfortable the home gym feels.
  • The 100 lbs weight stack can be too much for beginners. 
  • You cannot fold the unit
  • It does not offer aerobic exercises.

Price: $184

Starting at $184, the Weider Home Gym offers to work out six muscle groups, targeting your front and back arms, shoulders, back, and legs.

It comes with a preacher pad, allowing you to perform preacher curls for that better-defined biceps. The Weider offers a maximum of 214 lb with 80 lb per weight stack.

Pros 

  • Weider’s weight jumps is 80 lbs, which if a safe jump if you are focusing on getting good form. 
  • Small weight increments help you get stronger while keeping your exercise posture correct to limit injury. 
  • It has four leg developers, so you can perform more leg exercises on the Weider.
  • You can do preacher curls.

Cons

  • It does not come with a safety shroud, which can be a problem if you have children around. 
  • It is longer at 65 inches, compared to the Marcy Multifunction. 
  • You cannot fold the unit for storage
  • It does not offer aerobic exercises

Price: $330

The Total Gym 1900 retails at $489, and it boasts to provide 60 different exercises. There are 12 different resistance levels, and they come with 6 attachments.

Plus, the Total Gym 1900 folds away for storage. The gym has an ergonomic glide board and bands for additional exercise. It also has a cheaper brother – the Total Gym 1400 deluxe.

Pros 

  • 60 different exercise provides a good variety of choices, so you will not get bored.
  • You can perform stretches and aerobic exercises on the Total Gym 1900. 
  • They fold flat for easy storage if you lack space.

Cons

  • You will not be able to build muscle strength. The Total Gym does not have a lot of resistance if you are relatively fit and strong this home gym might not give you any benefits.
  • It stretches out to 92.5 inches long, the longest home gym on the list.
  • For long term muscle building, this is not an ideal machine. 

Price: $250

 

Gold’s XR 55 Home Gym retails at $250, and it offers 330 lb maximum weight with 125 lb vinyl weight stack, the most out of the five. It looks like the Weider, but the notable difference is the jump between weight stacks.

PS! Read my full review of the Gold’s XR 55 Home Gym.

Cheapest price found here.

Pros 

  • It has the most resistance at 330 lb. You can build muscle strength with weights. 
  • The preacher curl pad is removable and adjustable for comfort. 
  • The seat is adjustable, great if you have multiple users with different heights.

Cons

  • It has the highest weight increments. At 125 lb per stack, you can injure yourself if you are not careful. 
  • There are complaints that the set up does not allow for an ideal range of motion, especially the leg pulley for leg raises. You may not have the full benefit if you cannot perform an exercise properly.

Choosing Your Home Gym

woman working out at home

When choosing the best home gyms under 500, cost and space may be an important aspect to consider but also think long term. As these home gyms take effort to set up, you should buy one that can adjust to your needs.

From these five, the Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym stands out as a winner because it offers both resistance and cardio. For a beginner, you can easily benefit from better resistance levels. The aerobic rowing will give you a full-body exercise while keeping your heart rate up. 

It’s also the only system with 3 cable pulleys, which means you can target your whole body. With resistance rods, it can grow with your strength for a while. 

Your health is worth investing in! Choosing the home gym that best suits your lifestyle, expectations and floor space will help you become a fitter version of yourself.

PS! If you want an even cheaper solution, you might want to check out this solution by Body Gym or the P90X program.
PPS! The Bowflex PR1000 has a bigger brother called the PR3000 – check this Bowflex PR1000 vs PR3000 comparison article.

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Article by:

Daniel DeMoss

I’m a personal trainer based in Denver (Matrix Gym) and a true fitness nerd. If I’m not training clients or working out at my home gym, I’m probably skiing, cycling or hiking with my dog Rufus.  

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