Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
Initially being an engineering specialist, Tom has never stopped learning and acquiring other knowledge and skills. Now he’s involved in technical support for a well-known household appliances manufacturer, so no wonder he knows everything about almost everything you buy for your home.
Last updated: June 05, 2021
Wise Pick is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
Choosing a new home gym is no easy task. There are dozens of machines available but they don’t all give you the full-body workout you may be looking for. Thankfully, we’ve done much of the work for you, so you can choose the best home gym machine under $500 to get the results you want.
To create our list of the five top models on the market, we looked at some important features. First, we considered which exercises each model was designed for, to ensure you can target every muscle possible in one machine. We made sure that the bike was built well enough to handle strenuous daily workouts and support those who may be a bit heavy when they start out. The units we chose also have a compact size and are relatively light to ensure that they can fit anywhere and be moved easily when needed. To see which models fit these high standards, keep reading.
If you’re looking for the best home gym including abs training equipment for under $500, the Total Gym 1400 may be the model for you. It comes with multiple workouts and accessories, requires almost no assembly, and has a great low price that can fit into any budget.
This workout equipment is built well, with all of the large pieces attached, so you don’t need to struggle with any tricky assembly. Some accessories do need to be attached but only when you’re ready to use them. This includes the Multi-function attachment, which you can add to the top of the unit for pull-ups or the bottom of the unit for front presses. There is also a pulley system that you can add for some hip abductions, cardio pulls, or abdominal crunches, and a squat stand at the bottom.
Another handy accessory is the exercise flip chart that you can attach to the top of the unit. This includes workouts for men and women, ranging from easy beginner exercises to the more challenging advanced one. There are a total of 60 workout options, with a handy DVD for some additional guidance.
The glide bed moves smoothly, though it is a bit short for the taller members in your home, especially when they’re trying to fit their feet on it. However, it’s still useable for many of the workouts. When you’re not using it, it folds up for easy storage.
The best home gym equipment under $500 needs to be durable, well made, and give you everything you need to get in a full-body workout or just work on the areas you need it most. The Gold’s Gym XRS 50 has all of these bases covered.
It is durable, with steel used in much of the construction of the unit. The seats and back are padded, with a sewn vinyl cover, so they can handle regular use while keeping you comfortable. The whole gym machine also has a stable platform, which keeps it from shifting or toppling over during those strenuous workouts.
There is a great deal of assembly required when you first purchase this home gym. There are a lot of pieces that need to be attached, which can take at least a few hours and require two people to make the job easier. The instructions are clear, though, so the assembly isn’t difficult.
Once it’s set up, you have a variety of pieces to work with for several different workout options. There is a combination chest press and fly station for those upper body workouts. The 4-roll leg developer is used to work all of your leg muscles to increase your lower body strength. There are also high low pulley bars and a lat bar for a full-body workout right in your home. The exercise chart is a step-by-step guide on properly performing each workout for the best results.
Though the Wonder Core II is the cheapest home gym in our reviews, it is still able to give you a great workout. Its main functions target your entire core but there are options for working your back, shoulders, and even your legs for a total body workout.
This unit is durable, with high-quality steel used for the construction of the frame and padding on the back, leg area, and twisting seat to keep you comfortable as you work out. It is compact, so it won`t take up too much space in your home, plus it folds even smaller for easy storage.
The Wonder Core II has a dual-resistance design that engages all your muscles during the regular and reverse crunches for a full range of motion and quick results. The twisting seat works your obliques and slims down your hips as it shifts during your ab presses and other ab exercises.
This home gym also includes an ergonomic back design and some resistance bands that let you do multiple different workouts on one machine, so you can target every part of your body or just focus on the areas you need it.
As well as the home gym bench and rowing machine combo, there are a few extras included. The training and exercise guide shows you how to set the machine up for different workouts. There is also a workout DVD and a 7-day meal plan to get you on track with your fitness goals.
The Weider 2980 is a great home gym for beginners who are just starting with their strength training and toning. It allows you to get a full-body workout with just one machine, without spending a fortune to stay healthy.
This unit includes a wide variety of stations to choose from, so you can mix it up to keep your workouts fresh and new every day. It includes a weight stack of 80 pounds, which is great for beginners and intermediates, though you can’t add more plates, so it may not be challenging enough for those in the advanced fitness stages.
Included in this home gym is a high pulley with a lat bar, a low pulley, a chest fly, and an adjustable curl pad, all designed to work your upper body, including your arms, back, chest, and abs. The 4-roll leg developer targets your lower body for a complete workout right in the comfort of your home. There is also an exercise chart included, though it isn’t specific to the Weider 2980, so many of the workouts aren’t even possible with this machine.
This unit is built well, with a frame made of steel tubing and double-coated with anti-corrosive paint and a weight capacity of 300 pounds. The seat, backrest, and curl pad all have 2-inches of padding with thick vinyl covers to add durability.
Though you may want a home gym, you may not always be home to use it. That’s why having the BodyBoss 2.0 kit may be a better option for those who spend most of their time on the road. This set is compact, lightweight, and portable, plus it gives you a full-body workout anywhere you are.
This home gym set starts with the Vectorfit base, which is a sturdy piece that lies flat on the floor for you to stand on as you work out. This piece has been stress-tested on all the anchor points to withstand up to 500 pounds of force, so it can handle everything you throw at it.
Also included with this portable set is a collapsible workout bar, two 30-pound resistance bands, two handles, two limb straps, and a door anchor to create a simulated fly machine. You can shorten or lengthen the resistance bands using the platform`s anchor points to create easy or challenging workouts as needed. You can also buy extra bands and other accessories if needed.
There are 10 color options available, including neutral colors like black or white and fun purple, pink, and green ones, so you should have no trouble finding a shade that fits your personal preference or style. There are no printed instructions included, though there is an instruction pdf sent when you order the BodyBoss 2.0. A handy carry bag is also included for travel or storage.
Staying healthy takes a lot of work but it doesn`t have to cost you a fortune at the same time. Rather than spending hundreds of dollars a year on a gym membership, many people are choosing to buy the best home gym under 500 dollars instead. This type of workout equipment allows you to do various workouts all on one machine without buying a bunch of separate pieces. They are also compact, and even foldable in some cases, so you can put them in your home without sacrificing too much space and still get a good workout.
Features to consider when choosing a home gym
When choosing a new home gym, there are a few features that you may want to consider before buying one, and these features differ from those you are already used to, when for example buying an elliptical under 500. This will ensure that you`re getting the right machine for the results you want.
What muscles you will be able to train with it
The muscles that the machine will allow you to train, tone, and strengthen is the first thing to look at when checking out new home gyms under $500. Some machines focus on one area with a few workouts for other ones. The Wonder Core II is this type of machine, with a design that targets the core for the most part, though it can also work the arms, shoulders, and glutes with a few of the workouts.
Other machines give you a full-body workout, like the Weider 2980. This machine has different pieces, like a curl pad, 4-roll leg developer, and lat bar, so you can use it to tone and build every muscle on your body. The more you can work with one machine, the fewer other pieces you need to add to your home gym.
The weight capacity is another important feature to consider since this can affect whether or not you can use the machine properly and comfortably. The higher the weight capacity the machine has, the larger the person using it can be. Some machines are built with materials that, though durable, can only handle so much weight. If you exceed this, some parts of the machine may not be able to give you the support you need. This includes the seat, back, and frame.
Of course, some units have higher weight capacities than others, so check out the limit and buy a machine that can hold you at your current weight. You can also choose a model that has no weight capacity, like the BodyBoss 2.0. This model uses a platform and various accessories, so it doesn`t need to support your weight at any time, making it a perfect choice for those of all weights and sizes.
The weight of the unit tells you how heavy it is once it`s fully assembled. Though this may not seem like a big deal, it becomes one if you plan on moving the unit around between workouts. The lighter the home gym is, the easier this will be to do. For instance, the Total Gym 1400 weighs almost 75 pounds, so it won`t be easy to move around. For this type of home gym, it is best to choose a dedicated spot for it and leave it there when you do your daily exercises. The Wonder Core II is a third of this weight, plus it folds down, so it is much easier to pull it out when you want to get in a workout and put it away again when you`re done.
The BodyBoss 2.0 is the lightest home gym in our reviews at only 15 pounds, which means it is the easiest to move. This kit also has the added advantage of being portable as well, so you can take it with you on business trips, vacations, or anywhere else you want to go, which is something you can`t normally do with a home gym. This way, you never have to miss a workout, which is something a heavier model can`t guarantee.
The dimensions of the model show you how much space the home gym will take up when you have it assembled and ready to use. The larger the unit is, the more space you`ll need for it. Those with large homes may have no trouble finding a place for a big home gym, so they can choose whichever one they like. If you live in a small home or apartment, you`ll want to pick a small machine that still gives you the exercise options you want. A foldable unit, like the Total Gym 1400, is also a good option for anyone with limited space since you can compress the unit and put it behind a couch or in a closet.
Ease of assembly
The easier it is to assemble the home gym under $500, the faster you can get it put together and start using it. Some of the units in our reviews require little to no assembly, so all you need to do is pull them out of the box, put them where you want them, and begin your first workout. Other models, like the Gold’s Gym XRS 50, come in multiple pieces that need to be attached and assembled, which can take multiple hands and several hours. Be sure to look into the assembly process before you buy a new home gym, so you know what type of assembly to expect when it arrives.
Getting a new home gym is a great start to reaching your health and fitness goals. Of course, you need to know how to use the machine properly in order to get the results you want. That`s why many of the home gyms on the market include some sort of guide to show you how to use the machine for each of the exercises it offers. Usually this is added in the form of a booklet or sheet showing you the position you need to be in and how to use each part of the unit for different workouts.
Many of the products also include a DVD, which gives you beginner, intermediate, or advanced workouts that you can follow along with for the total body workout you`re looking for. Once you know what you`re doing, you can alter the sequence of your workouts or increase the resistance to suit your needs and reach those goals.
The warranty may be the only feature you never use, though you don`t want to skimp on it if you can help it. If your new home gym has a faulty part or is missing some pieces, your warranty will ensure that any issues are taken care of without costing you any extra money. The longer the coverage lasts, the more time you have to test out your machine to be sure it is working properly.
A couple of the units in our reviews have only a 90-day warranty, so you need to be sure you inspect your machine and look for any defects right away. Some of these issues won`t show up right away, so having more time to try it out may be an added benefit.
Whether or not you can add more weight to the stack depends on the model you`re using. Some of them are built to only fit the plates that are included with it, while others can be adjusted to fit more of them on there. You can also try to rig something up to hold hand weights or other types of weights, though you need to be careful not to damage the existing plates and materials in the process.
Most of the home gyms include parts for stability to reduce shifting while you use them. That being said, there is always the chance that the bottom legs and stabilizers could scratch your floors if the home gym is shifted or moved. If you`re concerned about damaging your floor, you can lay a mat down beneath your home gym. This will keep your floors safe without affecting the way the unit works.
Though all of the home gyms in our reviews do offer some type of ab workout, the best one for abs is the Wonder Core II. This unit includes a rowing function and twisting seat that focuses the majority of the workouts on your core, giving your abs the best workout possible. It adds in some other workouts as well, so you tone down or build muscle in your shoulders, arms, back, glutes, and even your legs as you do those ab workouts for a full-body experience.
The best home gym under $500 can give you a great workout for a fraction of the cost of a gym membership. All five of the products we’ve reviewed are great models to try out but a few have a bit more to offer.
Our favorite is the Total Gym 1400, which has a great low price, comes fully assembled, and folds down for easy storage. This machine includes a multi-function attachment, pulley system, squat stand, and a glide bed, which together can be used for over 60 different exercises.
The Gold’s Gym XRS 50 comes with a chest press/fly station, high and low pulleys, a lat bar, a 4-roll leg developer, and an exercise chart for proper use. It has a steel frame, stability platform, padded seat and back with sewn vinyl covers, and a 300-pound capacity.
For a lightweight compact model, the Wonder Core II is a great choice. It is a combination sit-up bench and rowing machine, with a dual-resistance design and 4 adjustable lengths. The twisting seat, ergonomic back, and legs are all padded, the frame is high-quality steel, and it folds down for storage or travel.