The Best Weight Machines: Dynamic Strength Training at Home

woman using a weight machine


The good news is that more and more people are beginning to realize you don't need a commercial gym membership to stay in shape and that with the right gym equipment and know-how, you can get a great workout from the comfort of your own home. The bad news is that realization has led to a mass rush to buy some of the best home gym equipment available, causing low stock and sold-out products.

But there's better news! The ACTIVE Reviews Team has researched some of the best all-in-one weight machines for home that are affordable, in stock, and capable of helping you get a gym-worthy workout without stepping foot in a locker room.

Why Trust Us?

The ACTIVE Reviews Team is made up of fitness experts that include athletes, coaches, and certified trainers who bring their years of knowledge and experience to each review. More importantly, each member of our team is a fitness enthusiast. Fitness may be our job, but it is also our passion. Therefore, we strive to bring you products that we trust and would personally use.

The Best Weight Machine in 2022 - Our Top Picks

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What to Look for When Shopping for a Home Gym

If you've never shopped for a weight machine for your home gym before, it can be intimidating to look at all the equipment available and figure out which one will suit your fitness needs. The largest, highest-quality fitness machine may not be the answer for everyone, and you could find that a lighter home gym system can get you the same—if not better—results. So keep the following points in mind before you purchase:

Training Frequency and Intensity

You have to be honest with yourself when deciding how often you'll use your home gym equipment. After all, you don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on something that'll collect dust in the corner of your garage. If you're someone who only has 30 minutes or an hour to work out every day, you'll want to lean toward a full-body workout machine that can help you build muscle and burn calories at the same time. If you have even more time to dedicate to your fitness regimen, something like a Smith machine or an all-in-one trainer will be worth the investment since you'll be able to utilize all its features.

With that, it's important to consider how intense you want your workouts to be. For example, if you're only trying to maintain your current weight, you may not need to buy a machine with hundreds of pounds of resistance. On the other hand, if you're looking to build muscle, you won't want to pick a weight machine with only 50 pounds of resistance because you'll struggle to make any gains.

Footprint

One of the most important factors is how much space you have to dedicate to a weight machine for your home gym. Do you have an empty garage with high ceiling space, or are you crammed in a studio apartment with downstairs neighbors? Also, some of our top picks require you to move your body in different directions, so be mindful of that when considering which one is best for you. After all, you don't want to hit yourself or your walls with each rep.

While some weight machines for home require a permanent location, others can be moved and stowed away when they're not in use. Therefore, when thinking about the equipment's footprint, you might also consider the machine's portability.

Versatility

While our top picks are great in and of themselves, some of the best weight machines for home are the ones that can be customized to different user experiences. An incline pulley system bench can also be used to press dumbbells or kettlebells, increasing the value of your purchase. A home power cage or squat rack can come with attachments so you can install rowers, pull-up bars, or other weightlifting accessories to create a multi-functional training experience.

Some of these may be included in certain machines, but things like weight benches or barbells typically have to be purchased separately.

Warranty

This purchase point will depend on how much money you spend on your home weight machine, but if you decide to splurge, it might be a good idea to check out the manufacturer's warranty policy. Watch out for the specific terms and conditions, as some may advertise lifetime warranties for just the machine itself but only offer limited coverage on the cable pulley system or the seat fabric.

Best Overall Weight Machine - Bowflex Blaze Home Gym

Bowflex Blaze Home Gym

SPECS

  • Key features: Included lat and squat bars; 60+ exercises
  • Footprint: 90"L x 38"W x 83"H
  • Machine weight: 195 lbs. assembled
  • Max user weight: 300 lbs.
  • Resistance level: Standard is 210 lbs. but can be upgraded to 310 or 410 lbs.
  • Weight bench style: Bench that adjusts to a 45-degree incline, sliding seat
  • Warranty: 5-year limited warranty, no time limit on individual Power Rod resistance rods

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Bowflex has been making fitness equipment for home gyms since before it was cool, so it's no surprise the Bowflex Blaze Home Gym is our best overall pick. With just this one piece of exercise equipment, users can work every muscle group thanks to the multiple cable pulleys and sliding seat rail. The lat pull-down and squat bar are welcome additions, as those aren't included that often with home gym machines.

All told, the Bowflex Blaze Home Gym can be used to perform 60 different workout moves. The standard comes with 210 pounds of resistance, but it can be upgraded to 310 or 410 pounds, making it the best overall weight machine for home regardless of your fitness level. Plus, the bench is foldable when extra space is needed.

PROS

  • Has 60+ exercise configurations
  • Reasonable price point
  • Beginner-friendly workouts are available
  • Can be adjusted for rowing cardio workouts
  • Comes with lat pull-down and squat bar

CONS

  • No longer available through Bowflex site, third party purchase
  • Additional power rods must be purchased to increase resistance
  • Large footprint when unfolded, not ideal for smaller spaces

BUY: Bowflex Blaze Home Gym

Best Smart Home Gym - Tonal

Tonal

SPECS

  • Key features: Interactive, tracks strength gains over time
  • Footprint: 50.9"H x 21.5"W
  • Space requirements: 7' wall space, 7' floor space, 7'10" ceiling
  • Maximum resistance: 200 lbs. (100 lbs. per arm)
  • Membership: 12-month minimum subscription required for $49 per month
  • Warranty: 3-year limited warranty

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The Tonal system can not only help you gain more muscle, but it can also fit neatly into the majority of homes because it doesn't take up too much space and has a sleek appearance. This weight machine has arms you can adjust to accommodate a variety of movements and has a maximum resistance of 200 pounds, or 10 pounds per arm.

If you've had past trouble sticking with a weight training routine because of boredom or repetition, Tonal might be the thing to help you get out of your rut. There is a wide range of classes with many instructors, so you'll likely never feel stagnant in your exercise routine.

PROS

  • AI-guided system for personalized workouts
  • All-in-one digital weights
  • Can fit most spaces
  • Variety of workouts and trainers

CONS

  • Expensive price point
  • Monthly membership is required
  • Must purchase custom accessories

BUY: Tonal

Best Full-Body Workout Machine - NordicTrack Fusion CST

NordicTrack Fusion CST

SPECS

  • Key features: Comes with 6 precision cable ends, 2 squat pulleys, and 2 ankle straps, Bluetooth connectivity, HD touchscreen tablet
  • Footprint: 73.5"H x 60.5"W x 41.5"D
  • Machine weight: 375 lbs. in box
  • Maximum resistance: 20 digital resistance training options
  • Warranty: 10-year frame warranty, 1-year parts and labor warranty

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The NordicTrack Fusion CST is a unique machine because it boasts strength and cardio capabilities that, when combined, can give you an effective full-body strength and aerobic workout. Most functional trainers use weight stacks, but what makes the Fusion CST different from other equipment is that it uses silent magnetic resistance, built around a spin-bike-like flywheel, with 20 levels of digital resistance available to you.

Want more traditional strength training? You can still perform all your favorite full-body resistance exercises with this machine or take advantage of the 30-day iFIT membership included with your initial purchase. Just make sure to keep in mind that if you're looking to lift heavy, this machine may not provide you with the amount of resistance you'll require to make those premium gains. That said, beginner to intermediate fitness-minded folks should find that this machine checks all the boxes for an excellent full-body sweat session.

PROS

  • Combination of strength training and cardio for dynamic full-body workouts
  • 10" HD touchscreen tablet for trainer-led workout streaming is included
  • iFIT Bluetooth chest strap to monitor heart rate
  • Pulleys use silent magnetic resistance

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Pulley system is not adjustable
  • Magnetic system may not work for heavy lifting

BUY: NordicTrack Fusion CST

Best Cable Machine - MaxPRO SmartConnect Portable Cable Machine

MaxPRO SmartConnect Portable Cable Machine

SPECS

  • Key features: Heavy resistance; compact, Bluetooth connectivity
  • Footprint: 4"W x 10"L x 16"H
  • Weight capacity: Adjusts up to 300 lbs.
  • Warranty: 2-year warranty, additional protection plan can be purchased

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For those with smaller home gyms, the MaxPRO SmartConnect Portable Machine is the option for you. Unlike typical pulley systems, cables are convenient because they can be taken almost anywhere and can still provide you with up to 300 pounds of resistance for a grueling workout to help you get toned. That's all in one machine, by the way—there's no need to buy multiple cables to achieve different resistance levels.

And because you may not have a personal trainer at the ready, the MaxPRO SmartConnect Portable Machine can be connected to the MaxPRO app via Bluetooth to track your workouts and monitor progress. This machine also has multiple attachments, allowing you to decide whether you want to do an upper-body, lower-body, or total-body workout. Plus, unlike other cable machines, this one doesn't have to be secured to a door for you to use it. Your door hinges will thank us.

PROS

  • Portable and lightweight
  • Has MaxPRO app for tracking
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Cable lock system provides premium resistance

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Additional accessories must be purchased to expand workout variety

BUY: MaxPRO SmartConnect Portable Cable Machine

Best Smith Press Weight Machine - Marcy Smith Cage Workout Machine

Marcy Smith Cage Workout Machine

SPECS

  • Key features: All-in-one workout station, bench, and pulley system
  • Footprint: 79"W x 95"L x 86"H
  • Machine weight: 430 lbs.
  • Weight capacity: 600 lbs.
  • Warranty: 2-year manufacturer warranty

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Smith machines are considered a controversial piece of fitness equipment in some gym circles, but we're fans of them due to their safety and versatility. So when choosing the best Smith machine option for at-home use, the Marcy Smith Cage Workout Machine was the clear winner because it provides all those features and more at an unbeatable price.

With the Marcy Smith Cage, you can still perform the usual bench presses and squats, but this machine is even more of a great value because it also features a pulley system to give you a rowing machine or triceps push-down station.

You'll be able to build muscle, replace multiple pieces of workout equipment, and do safe and effective weight training at home without needing a spotter. The only thing is, you'll have to provide your own Olympic plates so you can use this fitness machine to its fullest potential.

PROS

  • Able to perform a variety of heavy lifts with safety measures in place
  • Has pulley system for rows and push-downs
  • Great value

CONS

  • Will have to purchase weights separately
  • Home assembly can be difficult

BUY: Marcy Smith Cage Workout Machine

Best Bodyweight Training System - TRX HOME2 System

TRX HOME2 System

SPECS

  • Key features: Lightweight, adjustable, padded handles
  • Footprint: 1.97"W x 50"L x 0.1"H
  • Weight capacity: Holds up to 700 lbs.
  • Warranty: 6-year warranty

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It's a poorly kept secret that you don't always need free weights or machines to stay fit, and the TRX HOME2 Suspension Training System is proof of that. You'll be able to build muscle, get a quick cardio workout, and work on your stability and coordination simply by partially suspending your body and using your body weight as resistance. While this can be set up easily in less than a minute in your home gym, it can also be taken outdoors for a workout on the go.

The TRX HOME2 System can help you perform more than 300 full-body workouts, and the entire kit weighs less than two pounds, so you can use it wherever you'd like to get in a great workout. Additionally, the nylon straps and carabiner locking system have been tested for up to 700 pounds, so people at all fitness levels can use them. It's easy to see why many fitness enthusiasts have made it the only piece of equipment they use.

PROS

  • Easy to set-up and take down
  • Comes with guide and free trial of TRX Training Club
  • Has door anchor, suspension trainer, suspension anchor, and a carrying bag for travel

CONS

  • After free trial app is $19.99/month
  • Some advanced users may require more equipment, find exercise options limited

BUY: TRX HOME2 Suspension System

Best Affordable Home Gym - Weider Platinum Home Gym

Weider Platinum Home Gym

SPECS

  • Key features: Adjustable bench, high-pulley system
  • Footprint: Not provided
  • Weight capacity: 280 lbs. total resistance
  • Warranty: 90-day manufacturer warranty

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Beyond a doubt, the Weider Platinum Home Gym is the best affordable home gym that will give you the most bang for your bucks. This incline bench combines calisthenics with a cable pull-down and leg extension system to provide a challenging workout, and the adjustable seat can help you target multiple muscle groups.

Weider is a highly respected name in fitness, so you know the Weider Gym is one of the best machines on top of being the most affordable for your home gym with the most training variety.

PROS

  • Great value for price point
  • Ability to perform a variety of exercises
  • Sturdy construction
  • Comes with iFIT trial membership

CONS

  • Home assembly required, can be difficult
  • Warranty is less than ideal
  • Taller users may have difficulty with machine, hard to find accurate dimensions

BUY: Weider Platinum Home Gym

Best Weight Machine for Novices - Total Gym XLS Workout

Total Gym XLS Workout

SPECS

  • Key features: Foldable, cable pulley system, 24/7 access to Total Gym TV
  • Footprint: Unfolded - 19"W x 90"L x 43"H; Folded - 19"W x 51"L x 9"H
  • Weight capacity: 400 lbs.
  • Warranty: Not listed

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Total-body workouts are not only the best way to tone muscles and get stronger but are also a fantastic learning tool for fitness beginners wanting to try more compound exercises and save on training time. Enter the Total Gym XLS Workout Machine. The multi-functional piece of equipment allows users to work out different muscle groups at once by combining cable pulley and bodyweight resistance.

The Total Gym XLS also comes with leg and ankle attachments to increase the amount of lower-body exercises you can do with it. And if you're tight on space, it can be folded and easily hauled to another location while not in use. It also arrives at your home gym fully assembled, so you don't have to worry about fumbling around with parts and can get straight to training.

PROS

  • Great for beginners of all ages looking to perform a variety of exercises
  • 6 levels of resistance, 80+ exercises
  • Arrives fully assembled
  • Easily folded for space

CONS

  • Warranty info is unavailable, may have to contact customer service with issues

BUY: Total Gym XLS Workout Machine

Best Portable Home Gym - BodyBoss 2.0 Full Portable Home Gym

BodyBoss 2.0 Full Portable Home Gym

SPECS

  • Key features: Portable, foldable base and accessory carrying bag
  • Footprint: Unfolded - 34"W x 20"L x 1"H; Folded - 17"W x 20"L x 2"H
  • Weight capacity: 500 lbs.
  • Warranty: Not listed

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Home gyms aren't suitable for everyone, especially if you're constantly traveling. So, if this sounds like you, we recommend the BodyBoss 2.0 Portable Home Gym. Weighing only 15 pounds and having the ability to fold down to less than two feet wide, you can take this to hotels, your family reunion, or wherever else you need to be and still get a workout in. The exercises you can perform with this equipment are endless—from squats and deadlifts to ab twists and resistance push-ups.

The BodyBoss 2.0 Portable Home Gym has also been tested for 500 pounds of resistance, allowing you to use it long into the foreseeable future as you continue your strength training journey. The adjustable band lengths and resistance levels are a nice touch since many similar models don't offer that versatility, which makes it the best portable home gym for people of all sizes.

PROS

  • Easy to fold and transport
  • Great variety of performable exercises
  • Easy to attach bars and handles
  • Club BodyBoss available for only $4.99/month
  • Great price point

CONS

  • May be limiting for those who prefer full gym set up
  • No warranty information available

BUY: BodyBoss 2.0 Full Portable Home Gym

FAQs about Weight Machines


Are weight machines or free weights better?

Both have their advantages depending on your fitness goals and level of training knowledge. Machines can be a great introduction to weight training for beginners because they allow you to focus on your form and avoid potential injuries while performing compound exercises. Free weights are better for narrowing down your workouts to the muscles being worked on and allowing you to target specific muscle groups.

Are weight machines good?

In short, they can be, depending on your fitness circumstances. If you are new to training or rehabbing an injury, they are an excellent tool for concentrating on your form. That said, many longtime exercisers find that weight machines don't give you the full depth of movement that a free weight provides. It comes down to your personal fitness goals and preferences.

Which weight machine is best for weight loss?

The variety of training performed can help aid weight loss more than any specific machine. Weight machines that allow you to focus on a mix of resistance-based and cardio exercises have had the most favorable weight loss results when used regularly in tandem with proper nutrition.

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