You don’t have to spend a ton of money to equip yourself with a complete home gym. In fact, for less than $500 you can find some quality systems that will provide you with a functional workout. In this article, we review the six best home gyms on the 2018 market that you can pick up for less than $500.
Our Best Home Gym article has a lot of gyms that we don’t cover here, but are still in the under $500 price range. Our pick for best home gym for the money in that article is the Bowflex PR1000, which is more expensive than most of the units on this list. However, it offers a heavier stack, a great warranty, and solid construction. You’ve got to check it out.
The best home gym under $500 on the current market is the Soozier Complete Home Fitness Station, a solid sturdy unit that provides you with a huge range of exercises and accessories and a 100-pound weight stack.
The Top 6 Home Gyms Under $500 At a Glance
#1 – Soozier Complete Home Gym Fitness Station
#2 – SoloStrength Doorway Gym
#3 – ExtremePower US Multifunction Home Gym Station
#4 – Gold’s Gym XRS50 Home Gym
#5 – Phoenix 99226 Power Pro Olympic Bench
#6 – Total Gym 1900
About the Resistance
If you are shopping for a home gym under $500, you are most likely going to end up with a machine that does not use free weights or weight plates as the resistance. If they do they probably will not be included in the purchase price. The reality is that steel (as in that used to make weight resistance) is expensive.
You do not need weight plates to get a good workout in. In the machines reviewed below, you’ll encounter bodyweight resistance, cables and resistance bands. As you’ll see, you can still get a great workout with these types of resistance.
Soozier Complete Home Gym Fitness Station
- Sturdy frame
- Lots of accessories
- 100-pound weight stack
- Limited range of motion on leg extensions and lat pulldowns
The Soozier Complete Home Gym Fitness Station is a very impressive system that looks as if it should cost a lot more than it does. It is built around a weight stack that gives you a one-hundred-pound weight stack that is filled with sand and covered with plastic.
The all steel and PVC construction of the unit is solid, ensuring that you are safe and secure on every exercise. The padded seat on this unit is fully adjustable. There is also a padded back for stability and comfort.
This machine comes with separate high and low lateral bars to provide you with a range of options to strengthen your biceps, triceps and back muscles. You also get a lat pulldown tower, pec deck flye unit, preacher curls attachment, leg curl, leg extension, dip station, sit up board, push up bars and low pulley attachment. That is a pretty impressive list for a home gym that you can pick up for less than $500.
The dual press action arms on the Soozier home gym allows you to effectively work your chest muscles, providing you with a full range of movement. However, you are limited in your range of movement on at least a couple of movements, namely the lat pulldown and the leg extension.
Overall, the Soozier is the most impressive home gym that we have found under the $500 ceiling. It provides you with nearly all of the exercises that you would find in your average gym, along with a decent starter weight stack in a compact, study and solid unit. This is our top choice for a home gym under $500
SoloStrength Doorway Gym
- 150+ exercises
- Takes up less than 3” of floorspace
- Free dip/row bar
- Workout video
- Limited resistance levels
The SoloStrength Doorway Gym System consists of a small doorway unit. The company also provides a larger wall mounted version and a freestanding model. All three versions feature a metal bar which can be set at various heights to support pushing and pulling movements, such as chin-ups and pushups. There are dozens of height variations for the main bar, starting at just 5 inches from the floor and going all the way up over your head level.
The bar is made from high quality durable steel with an anodized aluminum finish. The unit comes with doorway installation brackets. However, the unit is 7.5 feet tall, meaning that it is not suitable for rooms with low ceilings.
The SoloStrength unit will handle up to 300 pounds of body weight. The SoloStrength guys provide plenty of support by way of their website and YouTube channel, giving you lots of workout options and training tips.
The SoloStrength unit comes with a 12- month full warranty.
ExtremePower US Multifunction Home Gym Station
- Weight stack
- Lots of accessories
- Solid and secure
- Low pulley station
- Only 90 pounds of resistance
- Limited range of motion on some exercises
The ExtremePower US Multifunction Home Gym is a weight stack based freestanding gym which comes with a 90-pound weight stack. You simply insert the weight pin to select your chosen resistance level. 90 pounds is not a whole lot of weight, but it is enough to get you going and you can always purchase extra plates to add to the weight stack later on.
The ExtremePower gym comes with a wide range of accessories. These include a lat pulldown tower, pec deck arms, preacher curl bench attachment, leg curl/extension unit and a low pulley set up with footplates. That gives you the variety to perform most of the standard exercises that you would perform in the gym. However, there is no provision for doing squats on this machine.
The preacher bench curl pad on this machine is fully adjustable, allowing you to get just the right angle when you are working your biceps. It also features generous padding to provide comfort without distracting from the functionality of the exercise.
The ExtremePower multi gym is a solid, stable machine. It will prove robust when you are using it, with no problems about wobbling or unbalancing. You get a good range of motion on most exercises. However, some of the movements, such as the pec deck flye, leg extension and lat pulldown do not allow for a full extension and contraction when performing your reps.
The ExtremePower looks very stylish and presents quite a compact profile. This is a good choice for those who are new to working out or are after a casual workout option. Those who are serious iron pumpers, however, will find the weight stack too limiting and the limited range of motion on some of the key exercises too frustrating.
Gold’s Gym XRS 50 Home Gym
- 280 lbs. of resistance
- High and low pulley
- Exercise Chart
- 300 lb. user weight capacity
- No preacher curl attachment
- Not suitable for taller users
- Limited warranty
The Gold’s Gym XRS 50 Home Gym is a solid, beginners home gym that comes in at a rock bottom price. With this machine, you get 112 pounds of vinyl resistance, though the manufacturers of the machine claim that you can actually get 280pounds of resistance from the unit.
With XRS50 you get a lat pulldown tower, pec deck unit, leg extension/curl and a low pulley machine. The footprint of this machine is fairly compact at a length of 78.6 inches, a width of 37.6 inches and a height of 63.63 inches. However, the machine is not well suited for taller users, who may find the range of movement on key exercises too restricting.
You do not get a full range of motion on some of the key exercises on this machine. This includes the pec deck flye, lat pulldown and the leg extension. This limits the functionality and usefulness of this home gym.
The warranty on this machine is limited to just 90 days for parts and labor.
Phoenix 99226 Power Pro Olympic Bench
- Suitable for Olympic barbells
- Solid and robust
- FID bench
- Lat Pulldown. Leg Extension and Preacher curl
- No weight plates
- Not for standard weight bars
The Phoenix 99226 is a dedicated Olympic bench, meaning that it will not work with a standard barbell. It is, therefore, better suited to serious strength trainers and bodybuilders than general fitness trainers. This bench is more solid and robust than its cousin the Phoenix 99225 as it features 3-inch steel uprights and framing, compared with 2.5 on the 99225.
This bench features an incline, decline and flat bench functionality. This allows you to work your chest from a variety of angles. The machine comes with the same extra add-ons that come with the 99225. These are a lat pulldown tower, leg extension and preacher curl bench. In addition, it provides you with a squat rack facility at the rear of the unit.
Total Gym 1900
- Large number of exercises
- 350-pound weight capacity
- Dip bar attachment
- Unable to add extra resistance
The Total Gym 1900is a low-medium range version of the world famous Total Gym series of exercise machines. It utilizes bodyweight resistance in conjunction with a glide board that you can place on one of a number of ladder rungs to either increase or decrease the resistance.
The maximum weight capacity of the Total Gym 1900 is 350 pounds, which will provide plenty of resistance for the vast majority of users. This unit is more robust than the Weider Ultimate Body Works and other Total Gym knock offs at around the same price. It has a modest footprint which makes it ideal for small spaces. The folded unit will fit easily into a closet or under a bed.
The Total Gym 1900 comes with a dip bar attachment to allow you to perform dips while you are on the glide board. Another unique feature is the padded ergo headrest which provides added comfort when doing prone exercises on the glide board.
Unlike some of the mid to high range gyms in the Total Gym range there is no provision on the Total Gym 1900 to add extra resistance to the unit. That means that your body weight on the top rung of the ladder is the highest resistance level that you can attain to.
This is solid unit that offers you the ability to do a whole lot of exercises. A benefit of the cable bodyweight resistance used on the Total Gym is that you get a great range of motion on every exercise that you perform. This makes the exercises very effective, increasing your muscle building capability and flexibility.
The Bottom Line
The best home gym under $500 on the current market is the Soozier Complete Home Gym Fitness Station. This machine provides you with a 100-pound weight stack, has a very solid frame and comes with an impressive range of accessories. When it comes to non-free weight resistance home gyms, your best selection is the SoloStrength Doorway Home gym system.