Shopping for a budget home gym can be tricky business. The market is full of low-quality machines that are not only dangerous but also not very functional. However, there are still some great bargains out there that will allow you get a quality workout in without leaving home.
Our top pick is the Phoenix 99225 Mid Width Power Bench because of the broad range of features.
The Top 6 Home Gyms Under $300 At a Glance
#1 – Phoenix 99225 Mid Width Power Bench
#2 – Weider Ultimate Body Works
#3 – Body Boss 2.0 Home Gym
#4 – Marcy Adjustable Olympic Weight Bench
#5 – Total Gym 1400 Deluxe
#6 – Journey Gym Portable Universal Gym
- 1 The Top 6 Up Close
- 2 Phoenix 99225 Mid Width Power Bench
- 3 Weider Ultimate Body Works
- 4 Body Boss 2.0 Home Gym
- 5 Marcy Adjustable Olympic Weight Bench
- 6 Total Gym 1400 Deluxe
- 7 Journey Gym Portable Universal Gym
- 8 The Bottom Line
The Top 6 Up Close
Phoenix 99225 Mid Width Power Bench
- Flat, incline and decline bench
- Leg, extension, lat tower and preacher curl attachments
- Solid steel framing
- Takes Olympic and standard weight bars
- Does not include any weights
The Phoenix 99225 is an extremely impressive home gym. It packs in a lot of features that you would never expect to see in such a budget-priced machine. It starts with the heavy-duty frame, which provides you with 2.5-inch steel framing and uprights.
The gym revolves around a bench that comes with incline, flat and decline functionality. Added to this are a lat pulldown tower, a preacher curl attachment and a leg extension unit. You do not get any weight with this gym.
The maximum user weight on the Phoenix 99225 is 75 pounds. There are also recommended limits on certain exercises; 150 lbs. on the lat pulldown, 150 lbs. on the leg extensions and 310 lbs. on the uprights.
The bench on this unit is very solid, providing a very secure foundation for your heavy lifting. The seat, preacher curl and leg extension pads are made from high-density foam.
This bench allows you to work out with both standard and Olympic weight plates. The unit even comes with an accessory storage stand.
The Phoenix 99225 comes with a 90-day parts and 12-month frame warranty.
Weider Ultimate Body Works
- Full Body workout
- Utilizes bodyweight resistance
- 50+ exercises
- Limited resistance
- Warranty limited to 90 days
The Weider Ultimate Body Works is a bodyweight resistance-based unit which uses the same system as the Total Gym which was popularized by Chuck Norris. The resistance increases as you increase the angle of the bench that you lie or sit on. The unit comes with four resistance bands that allows you to add up to 50 pounds of extra resistance to your bodyweight.
The cable and pulley movement of the Weider Ultimate Body Works allows you to get a full range of movement on each exercise, which is a key to getting maximum benefit from your workout. The greater range of motion that you get when using this machine also improves your flexibility.
The design of the Weider Ultimate Body Works is very sturdy. You won’t experience any wobbling, even when working with the bench sitting at the top rung of the resistance ladder.
Set up on the Ultimate Body Works is relatively easy. You should be able to do it all by yourself in about twenty minutes. The machine folds for easy storage and is very compact. It can be stored under a bed or in a closet when not in use.
Your purchase of the Weider Ultimate Body Works comes with a workout chart that includes more than 100 exercises that you can do on this machine.
The warranty on this product is its weakest point. All that you get is a 90-day parts and labor warranty. After 3 months you are on your own.
The Ultimate Body Works is a lot less expensive than the Total Gym 1100, yet it provides the same exercises range and capability. This machine is not designed to provide a heavy-duty resistance workout. However, if you are interested in a machine that will provide you with a quality, high rep workout, tons of versatility and great value, then this one is pretty hard to go past.
Body Boss 2.0 Home Gym
- Large exercise range
- Those used to free weights may not like the resistance feel
The Body Boss 2.0 Home Gym is a compact and portable gym that you can take anywhere to perform your workouts on the go. With it you are able to perform literally hundreds of strength training and cardio exercises, while taking up a minimal footprint.
The Body Boss 2.0 consists of a base which you stand upon while exercising. You can a number of different attachments to this base to provide the resistance that you need to exercise. The main form of resistance comes by way of resistance bands. You also get wrist and ankle straps, bar attachments and a door anchor with a ring.
When in use the Body Boss 2.0 takes up a floor space of 20 inches in width and 34 inches in length. The total weight of the unit is 17 pounds. The product comes with a bag to make it convenient for you to carry the resistance bands, handles, workout bars, door anchor, wrist and ankle straps.
The cloth covered resistance bands that power this system can be added, removed or used together to add or decrease the resistance as required. The design of the Body Boss system also makes it ideal for performing cardiovascular and plyometric exercises. When you add the wrist straps and attach resistance bands to them you are able to do a range of exercises that get your heart pumping.
The Body Boss 2.0 provides a great option for people who are looking to get in shape and have limited time, money and room to exercise. You will have infinite exercise variety and a challenging range of resistance levels. In fact, the Body Boss is designed to handle up to 500 pounds of force.
Body Boss provide plenty of support by way of their YouTube channel. There you will find all the workouts you will ever need on demand and in full HD video.
Marcy Adjustable Olympic Weight Bench
- 14 gauge 3-inch framing
- Separate uprights for squatting
- Arm curl attachment
- Leg extension/curl attachment
- Not compatible with standard length bar
- No weight plates
The Marcy Adjustable Olympic Weight Bench MD-879 is a two-piece design that features a separate bench and uprights. This is a unique feature on a budget bench, allowing you to use the uprights separate to the bench for squats and overhead pressing movements.
With the bench separated from the uprights it also allows you to do many exercises without the impediment of the uprights getting in the way. The bench comes with an adjustable arm curl pad along with a pair of handles to allow you to get just the right positioning to isolate and work the biceps. There is also a total leg developer to work the hamstrings, quadriceps and glutes. The adjustable bench can be positioned at five different angles to allow you to work your upper body more effectively.
The sturdy, 3-inch thick uprights have adjustable bar heights to allow you to perform squats and other exercises at the ideal height for you. The adjustable height crutches are locked with a very secure knob locking system. The separate nature of the upright allows you to perform walk in squats in complete safety.
The padding on the bench and preacher curl attachment are made from padded vinyl. They provide comfort without adding an excessive amount of padding which would distract from the functionality of the exercises. The arm curl handles also feature rubber grips for added user comfort.
The 14-gauge tubular steel frame of the March MD-879 is resistant against rust and water damage. The bench does not come with any weight plates.
Total Gym 1400 Deluxe
- More than 60 exercises
- Dipping bars
- Full range of motion
- Leg pulley accessory
- Cannot add extra resistance
The Total Gym 1400 Deluxe is the budget model in the Total Gym range, which has become very familiar to late night infomercial watchers. With it you can do more than 60 exercises. You can get a complete, full-body workout done in around twenty minutes.
On the Total Gym 1400 Deluxe there are eight different bodyweight resistance levels. You are able to quickly adjust the bench up and down the resistance ladder to either increase or decrease your bodyweight resistance.
In addition to the basic unit, you also get a pair of dipping bars, a squat stand, leg pulley accessory and a full multi-function attachment.
Journey Gym Portable Universal Gym
- Completely Portable
- Complete in its own carry case
- 30 resistance bands
- 5 to 75 pounds of resistance on each arm or leg
- Converts to stir stepper for cardio workout
- Includes DVD
- Resistance bands may not provide sufficient resistance
The Journey Gym Portable Universal Gym is an all-in-one home gym in a box – in fact, it is contained in a cool carry case that doubles as a workout platform with rubberized padding. This versatile system allows you to perform resistance, cardio and circuit training.
The Journey Gym is about the size of a typical briefcase. It contains a total of 30 resistance bands – five for each side of the platform plus 10 additional bands plus a set of adjustable handles. The bands which adjust to the handles gives you resistance of 5 to 75 pounds in each hand. They allow you to perform a full complement of traditional resistance type exercises, including squats, curls, shoulder presses and the chest press.
This unit also comes with a set of legs that can be fitted to raise the unit so that it becomes a stair stepper, allowing you to get in a cardio workout to complement your weight training.
The Journey Gym comes with a training DVD that includes a 5-minute set up guide, a 10-minute circuit tone workout and a 20-minute circuit strength workout.
The Bottom Line
Our favorite home gym under $300 is the Phoenix 99225 Power bench. Granted you will have to buy your own weights to work out with, but in terms of a solid home gym base that provides you a lat tower, preacher curl, pec deck and leg attachment, this was the best value for money that we came across. When it comes to non-free weight training, our favorite model was the Weider Ultimate Body Works.