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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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.

What We Like

  • 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

What We Don't Like

  • 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.

What We Like

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

What We Don't Like

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

BUY: Tonal

Best Affordable Home Gym - Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym

Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym

Specs

  • Key features: Bench folds vertically to save space, affordable
  • Footprint: 103 x 80 x 82 inches
  • Weight capacity: Over 200 pounds Power Rod resistance
  • Warranty: 5-years power rods, 60-days parts, 1-year frame

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The Bowflex PR1000 gives you everything you need without taking up your entire home or breaking the bank. Unlike other home gyms, the PR1000 uses power rod resistance technology. This eliminates the need for free weights, which take up space and cost additional money.

Equipped with a foldable bench, the PR1000 is easy to store. It is also relatively light at 144, making it easy for two people to move as needed.

What We Like

  • Affordable
  • Space-saving
  • Versatile
  • Easy to use

What We Don't Like

  • 200 pounds of resistance may not be enough for more advanced lifters

Read the full Bowflex PR1000 Review.

BUY: Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym

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.

What We Like

  • 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

What We Don't Like

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

BUY: NordicTrack Fusion CST

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.

What We Like

  • 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

What We Don't Like

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

BUY: BodyBoss 2.0 Full Portable Home Gym

Best Cable Machine - REP FT-5000 Functional Trainer

REP FT-5000 Functional Trainer

Specs

  • Key features: Placard with exercise demonstrations, storage pegs for attachments
  • Footprint: 84”(H) x 72”(W) x 45”(D)
  • Maximum Effective Load: 104.7 lbs per side
  • Warranty: Lifetime warranty on frame; 1-year warranty on hardware, pop-pins, pulleys, and cables

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The REP FT-5000 provides full commercial-grade cable machine capabilities in your home gym. This sturdy, durable system makes it easy to get a full-body workout. Plus, multiple rubber-coated pull-up grips help you target different muscle groups while doing pull-ups.

With two weight stacks at 220 lbs each, there’s up to 440 lbs of weight resistance available. This machine has everything you need.

What We Like

  • Two 220 lb weight stacks for a total of 440 lbs
  • Multiple pull-up grips
  • Column markings and magnetic weight selector pin make adjustments easy
  • Incredibly versatile

What We Don't Like

  • Very large, takes up a lot of space
  • Heavy and difficult to move

BUY: REP FT-5000 Functional Trainer

Best Smith Press Weight Machine - Titan Fitness Smith Machine

Titan Fitness Smith Machine

Specs

  • Key features: Fixed barbell, adjustable safety catches
  • Footprint: 86” (H) x 66.5” (W) x 54” (D)
  • Machine weight: 261 lb
  • Weight capacity: 600 lb
  • Warranty: 1-year warranty

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The Titan Fitness Smith Machine allows you to lift safely in the comfort of your home without a spotter. Practice good form and lift confidently thanks to the two adjustable safety catches and fixed barbell.

The barbell has knurling for a comfortable and secure grip. The machine also has six 8-inch Olympic weight storage posts with a 49 mm sleeve. With a weight capacity of 600 pounds, you can move some serious weight safely with this machine.

What We Like

  • Knurled barbell
  • Large weight capacity
  • Adjustable safety catches

What We Don't Like

  • Heavy and difficult to move
  • The spacing of the weight posts doesn’t allow full-size 450 mm bumper plates to fit on every post

BUY: Titan Fitness Smith 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.

What We Like

  • 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

What We Don't Like

  • 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 Weight Machine for Novices - Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Home Gym

Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Home Gym

Specs

  • Key features: 70+ exercises, 7 free trainer-built workouts
  • Footprint: 53” L x 49” W x 83.25” H
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs.
  • Warranty: 7-year machine, lifetime Power Rods

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The Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Home Gym is an incredibly compact and versatile machine. With over 70 possible exercises and 7 free, trainer-built workouts available, beginners will find the Bowflex Xtreme 2SE especially easy to use.

Adjust the ergonomically designed seat for comfort and use the included squat bar and ab crunch shoulder harness attachments for a full-body workout. Plus, Bowflex offers plenty of optional attachments and upgrades to keep your workouts interesting.

What We Like

  • Easy to use
  • Very versatile
  • Upgradable Power Rod weight
  • Compact

What We Don't Like

  • Kind of pricey and gets more expensive as you upgrade weight and add attachments

BUY: Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Home Gym

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.

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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