Best Home Gyms Under $500 – Get Ripped at Home

Home Gyms

Best home gyms under $500

For many, joining a local gym is as good as it gets. Gym enthusiasts enjoy the variety of equipment available and are motivated by people working out around them.

But for others, even the thought of stepping into a gym causes anxiety and trepidation. It’s safe to say that these folks would rather exercise at home.

Fans of home gyms tend to fall into two categories.

The first is the fitness buff who wants to supplement an already established exercise routine.

The second is the fitness newbie who doesn’t want to commit to a gym membership but would like to improve her strength and shape.

Luckily, for those searching for ways to workout at home, there are many home gym systems to choose from.

Before we review the top home gyms under $500, let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantage of a home gym set-up.​

Advantages of a home gym

  • Save Money: At first glance, home gym equipment probably seems expensive, but when you break it down, it’s actually a smart and affordable option. Gym memberships are hefty, running from $60 to $150/month (or higher). Considering that some of the best home gyms are under $500, after 6 months of use, your home gym will basically pay for itself.
  • Save Time: You can use home exercise equipment any time of any day – it’s up to you. There’s no need to spend time traveling to a gym and you never have to wait in line to use a piece of equipment. Your workouts can be as long or as short as you please.
  • Maintain Privacy: Many folks are uncomfortable working out in front of others. Though the reasons for this vary, we understand that this hesitation can negatively impact an exercise routine. With a home gym, you can maintain your privacy and thrive in a non-competitive environment. What’s more, you can take control of the music, the lighting, and the temperature of the room. It’s your workout, your way!

Disadvantages of a home gym

  • Safety Risk: Probably the biggest disadvantage to using workout equipment at home is that unless you invite a buddy, you don’t have anyone to assist you or to let you know if you’re doing something wrong. Having a spotter is usually a smart move. No matter where you are, safety should always be a priority.
  • Lack of Motivation: Some folks thrive on the energy and busyness of a commercial gym, while others depend solely on themselves to get inspired and motivated. This is a personal factor and something to be considered when looking into your exercise options.

Finding the best home gym under $500

Space

Before you fall in love with a home gym unit, make sure you have ample room to set it up! Take exact measurements so you know just how much space you need to work out in a comfortable, safe manner. Remember that you may need to move some of the equipment around during a regular routine.

Budget

Of course, money matters. Be sure to shop within your budget. Reviews like the ones below will allow you to narrow down the search and find the best home gym under $500.

Assembly

Putting together a home gym can be tricky. Make sure your equipment comes with a detailed manual and step-by-step instructions. Some models have online tutorials that will walk you through the initial set up.

Versatility

A key to maintaining an exercise routine is versatility. It’s a bonus to have a range of exercises to choose from so you never tire of the same thing day in and day out. Check if there are “add-ons” available either with your initial purchase or if you can buy additional stations at a later date (remember that add-ons will increase the overall footprint of the gym).

Warranty

A good warranty is essential since home gyms endure lots of wear and tear.​

For additional tips, check out this great article.

Before we take an up-close look at the main contenders, check out this table below for a quick overview.

Quick comparison: Best home gyms under $500​

Home gym

Features we love

Rating

Buy it now

Bowflex PR1000
Home Gym

Best home gyms under $500

- Built-in rowing station
- 30+ strength exercises
- Power rod resistance of 210 lbs.
-Versatile machine
works all parts of the body

Home Gym Weider

Best home gyms under $500

- Perfect for beginners
- Compact, ideal for small space
- 6 workout stations include 2 pulleys
- Comes with 81 lbs. of weights

Marcy MWM-990
Home Gym

Best home gyms under $500

- 30+ strength training exercises
- Is safer than using free weights
- Great bang for your buck
- Easy to assemble

Marcy 150 lbs.
Stack Gym

Best home gyms under $500

- Extremely well-made
and durable
- 150 lb. weight stack
- Easy assembly
- Good value for money

XR 55 Home
Exercise Gold's Gym

Best home gyms under $500

- Extremely quiet,
ideal for apartments
- 36+ exercises
- Great overall design
- Extremely well-made

Now then, let's take a better look at our top picks.

Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym

​The Bowflex PR1000 is a popular choice for families, probably because of its versatility.

There are over 30 strengthening and toning exercises to work all muscle groups, plus a built-in rowing station (great for cardio).

There is 210 lbs. of resistance, an attachment for leg extensions and curls, and pulleys that can be used in low, medium or high positions.

Best home gyms under $500

Technical specs

  • Dimensions: 84″ x 38″ x 81″
  • Max user weight: 300 lbs.
  • Maximum resistance: 210 lbs.

​Pros

  • Foldable​
  • Multi function handles and attachments
  • Rowing station

Cons

  • Cannot upgrade resistance​

Our favorite feature

The rowing bench was our favorite feature. We love that we can add on a cardio portion to our routine.​


Home Gym Weider

This model has 6 workout stations, 81 lbs. of “DuraStack” weights and up to 214 lbs. of resistance.

There are many exercise options, including bench press, butterfly, high and low pulleys, a preacher pad with ankle strap and handle, and a 4-foam leg developer.

The frame is made of durable steel and the gym comes with an exercise chart to keep track of your progress.​

Best home gyms under $500

Technical specs

  • Dimensions: 65” x 37” x 76”
  • Max user weight: 300 lbs.
  • Maximum resistance: 214 lbs.
  • Other: 90-day limited warranty

Pros

  • Exercise chart included​
  • Good for beginners

Cons

  • Tends to wobble on some exercises​
  • Limited range of motion for people over 6’

Our favorite feature

We appreciated the compact footprint and the overall look of this home gym; it’s an attractive, streamlined black and red design. It’s ideal for a small space.​


Marcy MWM-990 Home Gym

The Marcy MWM-990 is another solid option for anyone looking to jumpstart a workout routine.

With dual-functioning arm and leg presses and multi-position pulleys, you can choose from over 30 exercises.

There is a 150 lb. weight stack ready to sculpt and strengthen all of your muscle groups.​

Best home gyms under $500

Technical specs

  • Dimensions: 65” x 37” x 76”
  • Max user weight: 300 lbs.
  • Maximum resistance: 150 lbs.
  • Other: 2-year limited warranty

Pros

  • Small footprint​

Cons

  • Difficult to assemble​
  • Limited range of motion for users over 6’

Our favorite feature

The weight stack (150 lbs.) was extremely easy to use thanks to the locking mechanism. Once the lock was in place, our resistance training was fluid and absolutely safe.​


Marcy 150 lbs. Stack Gym

Of all the home gyms we reviewed, this may be the most compact and straightforward.

In this way, it’s a great beginner set up.

Its main features: high and low pulleys, dual-function arm press, and an adjustable preacher pad.

Best home gyms under $500

For a quick but informative overview, check out this video.

Technical specs

  • Dimensions: 68” x 35” x 78”
  • Max user weight: 300 lbs.
  • Maximum resistance: 150 lbs.
  • Other: 2-year warranty on parts

Pros

  • Durable
  • Compact​

Cons

  • Difficult to assemble​

Our favorite feature

For its size and simplicity, this model has a solid construction that should withstand a serious amount of use.​


XR 55 Home Exercise Gold's Gym

​The XR 55 by Gold’s Gym is designed by a Certified Personal Trainer.

With over 36 exercises (6 workout stations), this home gym targets the entire body with 330 lbs. of resistance, a 125 lb. weight stack, adjustable pulleys, a 4-roll leg developer and more.

Best home gyms under $500

Technical specs

  • Dimensions: 77” x 43” x 82.5”
  • Max user weight: 300 lbs.
  • Maximum resistance: 330 lbs.
  • Other: 90-day warranty on parts and labor

Pros

  • 36+ exercises​
  • Quiet operation
  • Small footprint
  • 6 workout stations

Cons

  • No leg press attachment​
  • Cannot upgrade weight stack

Our favorite feature

We were impressed with the number of exercises we could do on this compact system! What’s more, the entire operation ran very smoothly and made hardly any noise at all (perfect for apartment living!).​


There’s something to be said for having full control of your workout regime – and we’re not just talking about the amount of weights and number of reps.

For example, there may be days when you want to exercise just your legs – while wearing pajamas -- or days when you don full workout gear, crank up your rock music and dive into a lengthy routine.

If your gym is just minutes away (in another room), you can make split decisions and match your workout to your current mood.

Whether you’re intimidated by the hardcore athletes or cannot afford the monthly membership, we know that the gym scene is not for everyone.

Luckily, on the market today there are a number of top-notch home gyms to consider, many under $500.

With such a low price point, building a home gym is a wise investment – financially and physically speaking -- for just about anyone.​