The 7 Best Compact Home Gyms – [2020 Reviews]

When life gets hectic, the last thing we have time for is to go all the way to the gym. Sometimes your favorite machines are taken, there’s traffic, etc, making your time there much more about waiting than working out.

The perfect solution would be a home gym, but there’s a common misconception that you need both a lot of money and a lot of space to pull it off.

Well, we’re here to show you the top compact home gyms on the market today that are easy on your wallet and great for limited spaces.

By the time you’re done, you’ll know which home gyms to avoid and have a deeper understanding of what to look out for!

Best Compact Home Gyms

 Total Gym APEX G1 GymBodyBoss Home Gym 2.0Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym
editorschoice
Resistance Method:Pulleys, BandsResistance BandsPower Rods
Max Resistance:300 lbs120 lbs200+ lbs
Size:93", 43", 15.5"16" x 2.8" x 20"N/A
Other:FoldablePortable w/ carry bagFull Body Workout

For more of my workout gear recommendations, have a look through these popular Women’s Workout guide links: Kettlebells, Medicine Balls, Weight Lifting Gloves.

Quick Answer: The 7 Best Rated Compact Home Gyms

  1. Total Gym APEX G1 Versatile Indoor Home Workout Gym
  2. BodyBoss Home Gym 2.0 by 1Loop
  3. Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym
  4. Body by Jake Tower 200 Complete Door Gym
  5. Gymwell Portable Home Gym
  6. Ativafit Adjustable Weight Bench for Full Body Workout
  7. Gold’s Gym XRS 50 Home Gym

Our reviews to the top rated compact home gyms with our comparison table and buyers guide will help you choose the right home gym for you.


Compact Home Gym Reviews

Often considered to be the best compact home gym out there, the Total Gym APEX G1 Versatile Indoor Home Gym is perfect if you’re really tight on space but still want to use a high-quality product.

Right from the start, you can see that this training equipment is not only visually aesthetic but also made to last throughout rigorous workouts. Not only that, but for what it provides, it’s one of the best bang for your bucks!

Let’s start off by going through what you get in the package. You’ll find not only the bench itself, but a wing attachment, leg pull accessory, exercise wall chart,

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Total Gym TV access, exercise and nutrition guides, and an instructional DVD. Needless to say, if you’re an absolute beginner you’ll be placed on the right path with all of their included materials.

The glideboard is anything but cheap. Made of rugged steel, the frame comes with an auto-lock height adjustment to ensure it works best for your body, while keeping you safe.

It supports up to 300 pounds as well, which is pretty impressive when you consider how compact it folds up when not in use.

You’ll get 6 different resistance levels along with over 60 exercises to choose from. With how smooth every individual piece of the setup is, movements are nice and fluid so you aren’t dealing with stuttering or the pulleys getting stuck.

You can also choose to use the glideboard, where you’ll utilize our own bodyweight for resistance.

 

Total Gym APEX G1 Home Workout Gym at a Glance:

  • Resistance Method: Pulleys, Bands
  • Max Weight: 300 pounds
  • Dimensions: 93 inches long, 43.25 inches tall, 15.5 inches wide
  • Other: Foldable and padded bench, can use body weight or resistance options

Next up, we have the innovative BodyBoss 2.0 Full Portable Home Gym Workout Package.

Now, this compact home compact gym is ideal for 2 types of people: those who are on a tight budget and those who travel a lot and don’t always have access to a hotel gym.

he entirely collapsible system works the entire body yet fits easily into the included bag for easy transportation.

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The portable gym comes in a huge array of colors, so you can choose whatever suits your personality best: Green, Black, Blue, Gold, Purple, Pink, Orange, Red, Silver, White, and Grey.

More importantly, let’s go through what’s included in this kit, because you receive quite a lot. First, you have the base, which is basically what everything anchors onto.

It folds up and is retractable, complete with non-slip grip on the bottom along with floor padding so you never have to worry about damaging the floors underneath.

A bar is next, and is perfect for placing over your shoulders to perform squats, hold it overhand for lifts, or underhand for bicep curls.

The easy-grip padding ensures your hands will be comfortable and that they won’t slip out of your grip either. The also receive 2-4 bands depending on the package you select.

Each one will provide resistance up to 30 pounds and are covered with fabric to add to the durability. Straps are perfect for securing around the ankles and wrists for adductive and abductive exercises, while handles are perfect for single-arm movements.

Finally, you also get a door anchor which is perfect for lat pull downs, chest flies, and tricep extensions.

 

BodyBoss Home Gym 2.0 by 1Loop at a Glance:

  • Resistance Method: Resistance Bands
  • Max Weight: n/a
  • Dimensions: 15.9 x 2.8 x 20.1 inches
  • Other: Highly portable, includes carry bag and workout guides

If you’re wondering what the best bowflex machine for limited spaces is, then check out the Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym.

Bowflex is one of the most respected brands in the fitness world, due to their reliability, innovation, and performance. They’re also perfect no matter if you’re a beginner or advanced athlete so they’re perfect for everyone.

Thanks to their unique Power Rod resistance technology, you’ll be able to use over 200 pounds of resistance without taking up much space in your home.

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You’ll easily be able to perform over 25 exercises which address the entire body to ensure you get a true full-body workout.

As you can see, everything works to accommodate your goals. Multiple cable pulley positions let you smoothly and quickly adjust the angle of resistance while also making certain exercises more challenging.

They key feature of the PR1000 is its power rods, which are unique to Bowflex and are the perfect alternative to your regular free weights.

Why?

First, they create much less impact on the joints so if you’re dealing with shoulder, knee, or elbow tweaks then you’ll love how smooth it is.

Next, they offer up to around 210 pounds of resistance. If you’re a serious heavy lifter, then you may need something more robust but then again you’re probably not going to find that in many compact home gyms anyway.

However, for the rest of lifters they’ll find this to be more than suitable for their goals. Even beginners can get some serious results here.

Another characteristic we loved was the 5-year warranty on the power rods which means that you’ll get a ton f use out of them without worrying about them giving out on you.

As they don’t weigh much themselves, moving the machine is surprisingly simple and can be realistically done with just one person.

 

Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym at a Glance:

  • Resistance Method: Power Rod Resistance
  • Max Weight: 200+ pounds
  • Dimensions: n/a
  • Other: Bench converts to seat for aerobic rowing, vertical folding bench

It’s hard to find a more compact gym than the Body by Jake, considering it fits into just about any doorway, taking up no room at all.

Use it in your office, your apartment, hotel room, and more. It’s incredibly easy to pack up and transport as well, making it incredibly versatile.

So, where does the 200 come from?

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Well, we’re not sure if it comes from the fact that the multi-tension power cords offers up to 200 pounds of explosive resistance or that it offers more than 200 exercises in total.

Whatever the case is, they clearly display how much variety they offer for beginners and serious athletes, alike.

The sturdy steel frame is nice and lightweight but still durable enough for you to perform rigorous workouts with and not have to worry about it bending or breaking.

Installation is a breeze and should take you no more than a few minutes to do yourself, so if you’re short on time for the day this is an excellent tool to have in your back pocket.

For lower body, core, and upper body workouts, this model may look simple but it really packs a punch.

 

Body by Jake Tower 200 Complete Door Gym at a Glance:

  • Resistance Method: Tension power cords
  • Max Weight: 200 pounds
  • Dimensions: 24.02 x 5.98 x 14.02 inches
  • Other: Works in any door space

Are you looking for the best portable gym on the market today? Then do yourself a favor and check out the Gymwell Portable Home Gym.

This is a more complete set that will provide everything you need to work every major muscle group in your body.

As we mentioned, this is a very complete set and includes heavy resistance bands, a tricep bar, ankle straps, and much more!

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So you don’t have to worry about losing equipment or having the hassle of carrying them individually, the set also comes with one convenient carry bag so you’re ready to go at any time.

If you’re someone who travels a lot, this is also a wonderful kit to have.

We love the resistance bands for working the lower body – particularly for squats. However, they work just as effectively for bicep curls, tricep extensions, and more.

The handlebars can be configured to be either dynamic or static, making it perfect for planks and “perfect” pushups as well. If you really want to destroy your abs, you need to use the ab roller wheel.

It hurt just to breathe the next day after using it! You get much more than that, but those were really the standout pieces for us.

Steel-reinforced polyethylene creates a durable workout center for even the most intense workouts, no matter where you go.

We found these to be ideal for more serious sessions, as they could actually hold up to the pressure – up to 120 pounds, in fact.

 

Gymwell Portable Home Gym at a Glance:

  • Resistance Method: Resistance bands, tricep bar
  • Max Weight: 1200 pounds
  • Dimensions: N/A
  • Other: Complete gym, various different products in one convenient carry bag

Heading towards the end of our guide, we bring you the Ativafit Adjustable Workout Home Gym. This is an excellent model for those who love traditional weightlifting but don’t have room for a full free weight setup.

Quality is found in every inch of the set, including a bench, a pair of adjustable dumbbells, and resistance cords to address every major muscle group.

Let’s start off by talking about the centerpiece of it all: the bench. This weight bench serves various purposes and can be adjusted to 7 different backrest pad positions to help you with whatever exercise you need.

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Bench pressing, seating curls, shoulder presses, tricep extensions, etcetera – they’re all possible here.

The ergonomic design is made with high-density foam padding that will make sure you are always comfortable and well-cushioned to protect you from any pain generated from the hard frame underneath.

Covered with a durable PU leather, you won’t have to worry about it ripping either.

At the end, you’ll also find a padded foot bar, which is perfect for securing your feet for sit-ups, Russian twists, leg lifts, and more.

2 detachable resistance bands help to diversify your workout, helping to target the core and the smaller “assisting” muscles that don’t normally get a lot of attention.

Finally, we have the adjustable dumbbells which are super easy to move up or down in weight. You’ll be able to use them for squats, walking lunges, curls, chest presses, and much more.

With a 100% Money Back Guarantee, you’re really not risking anything by trying it, but we’re sure you’re going to love it anyway if you’re looking to gain some lean muscle and strength!

 

Ativafit Adjustable Weight Bench for Full Body Workout at a Glance:

  • Resistance Method: Dumbbells, Resistance Bands
  • Max Weight: 330 pounds
  • Dimensions: 33.8 x 12.9 x 12 inches
  • Other: 7 different backrest positions, high density foam padding

We’ve all heard of Gold’s Gym before, considering it was the mecca of bodybuilding for decades! However, you don’t have to be a bodybuilder to know that their name is synonymous with quality and results.

That’s evident with the Gold’s Gym XRS 50 Home Gym, and we’re about to show you why!

This comprehensive home gym is compact, and significantly more lightweight than larger home gyms but it’s very easy to move around if you ever need to do so.

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Assembly was the most difficult here, but that’s only because it comes with more advanced mechanisms and accessories. If you have another person helping you you’ll easily have it done in less than an hour.

Coming with a 112-pound vinyl weight stack, they’re made to last for many years of regular use to come. Changing the weight is easy and smooth, with no sticking pegs that you spend half an hour trying to pry out.

With the enclosure, there’s very little risk of anyone accidentally hurting their fingers as well. Offering up to 280 pounds of resistance, it’s perfect for beginners and advanced lifters, alike.

The dual-function arms are a crowd favorite, ideal for presses and flies to address the chest, traps, and shoulders.

The multi-grip high lat bar is also excellent for the upper body; specifically the lats (particularly the lower, harder to reach section of the lasts), shoulders, and arms.

To really get those lean, carved legs you have a leg developer on the end of the bench for curls and extensions.

With 4 padded foam rollers your knees and ankles will be feeling great, with no soreness nor chafing to speak of. You’ll find a low pulley with a handle here which you can use for seated rows and other upper body exercises.

 

Gold’s Gym XRS 50 Home Gym at a Glance:

  • Resistance Method: Weight stack, pulleys
  • Max Weight: 280 pounds
  • Dimensions: 33.8 x 12.9 x 12 inches
  • Other: Super high quality build, steel construction

Compact Home Gym Comparison Table

Compact Gyms Resistance MethodMax WeightDimensionsOtherRating
Total Gym APEX G1 GymPulleys, Bands300 lbs93", 43", 15.5"Foldable & padded bench4.7 / 5.0
BodyBoss Home Gym 2.0Resistance Bands120 lbs16" x 2.8" x 20"Portable w/ carry bag4.3 / 5.0
Bowflex PR1000 Home GymPower Rods200+ lbsN/AHighly Versatile4.5 / 5.0
Tower 200 Door GymTension power cords200 lbs24" x 6" x 14"Works in any door space4.5 / 5.0
Gymwell Portable Home GymResistance bands120 lbsN/AComplete, portable gym4.0 / 5.0
Ativafit Adjustable Weight BenchResistance bands330 lbs34: x 13" x 12"7 different backrest positions4.4 / 5.0
Gold's Gym XRS 50 Home GymWeight stack280 lbs34" x 13" x 12"Full body workout4.0 / 5.0

How to Choose the Best Compact Home Gym – Buying Guide

best portable home gym

Now that you’ve had a look at the best compact home gyms, do you know which model is right for you and your exercise goals?

If not, then there’s no need to worry. We understand that there are a lot of great options on our guide so it can be hard to narrow them down to just one or two.

We’ve decided to go ahead and write up a comprehensive guide to take you through each aspect of the home gyms. By the time you’re finished reading, there will be no doubt which gym is perfect for you!

Space

First, you need to consider the kind of space you’ll be working with and where. It doesn’t matter how well a gym performs overall – if it doesn’t suit your environment it’s going to be pretty pointless.

If you’ll be using it at home, then make sure to measure the space you have planned to use for your workouts. It’s always a smart idea to actually measure instead of assume because the gym could arrive and be much bigger than you’d expected and then you’re out of options.

If you’re going to be traveling with your gym, then you don’t usually have to worry very much about this as you’re going to be carrying it around in a bag anyway. That just attests to it being nice and compact.

Build

Next up, let’s take a look at the gym’s build. Are you looking for something lightweight and easy to travel with? Then you’re probably not going to want a steel gym with thick, solid bars right?

That doesn’t mean that the portable gyms have to be flimsy and cheap either though. You can get yourself some steel reinforced bars in portable gyms that are the best of both worlds: easy to transport and durable.

But when it comes to home gyms that you’d like to keep stationary just in your home you do want to look for a build that’s as heavy-duty as possible. Steel is the preferred material in this regard, as it’s extra-sturdy, looks great, and will last you for a long time.

Generally, metals are a good idea as they are natural and aren’t some weird manmade substance that may have a weird odor, dent, or bend easily.

When it comes to gym equipment you absolutely have to pay attention to this. If not, you could end up with a serious injury or in the best case scenario, with a gym that doesn’t work right.

Padding

Padding is an absolute necessity when we’re talking about home gyms. No, you obviously don’t need padding on everything but you do need it on every bench, handles/handlebars, leg bars (for leg extensions/leg curls), arm bars, and basically any other part where your body makes contact with the machine.

Comfort is important and when you’re using the machine for minutes or hours on end, then things can get uncomfortable quickly.

Weight

Think about how much weight you typically lift. If you’re serious about lifting heavy weight, then you need to make sure that the home gym you have your eye on can accomodate your strength.

If you’re just starting out, chances are that this won’t be an issue for you – at least not anytime soon. Most home gyms will come with a minimum of 200 pounds of resistance, so the vast majority of athletes will find this to be more than enough for their abilities.

Also think about the max weight limit for the home gym. While not a rule, most compact gyms will offer a max weight limit anywhere from about 250 pounds to 350 pounds.

The Body by Jake Door Gym isn’t going to really matter in this case as you’re not really standing on anything but rather just using the resistance bands.

Forms of Resistance

Cables and Pulleys – These work wonders for the chest and overall, the upper body. You’ll get more benefits and be able to place a more direct focus on certain muscles the more you’re able to move the pulley higher or lower. Some home gyms come with multiple pulleys which is also more effective. Donkey kicks and kneeling crunches are also perfect to perform with cable and pulley configurations.

Weight Stacks – Just about everyone has used a machine with weight stacks before as they’re kind of the standard in commercial gyms. They are easy to use, with a key that you place inside the weight plate of your choosing. These will feature different handles, from lat pulldown bars, to ropes, to soft or hard handles. This makes them incredibly versatile. If you have a weight stack setup with a bench, you can do rows and a ton of upper body exercises as well.

Resistance Bands – These are the easiest and least expensive of the bunch. You’re a bit more limited with these as they’re not usually as durable as cables but if you lift lighter weight you can definitely get in a great full-body workout. They’re also ideal if you’re going to be traveling with your gym as they’re lightweight and easy to fold up.

Bowflex Rods – What originally created the Bowflex name and what has kept them around as such a top performing brand is their unique resistance rods. These provide a ton of real resistance and don’t take up much room. They’re lightweight, and very safe to use in comparison with many other types of home gyms out there.

Price

How much do you feel comfortable with spending on a new compact home gym? It’s important to think here about how long you plan on having your equipment.

If you just need something for the next few months or so until you’re able to go back to your regular gym or get a bigger one, then you’ll probably be fine getting a more affordable, portable gym.

However, if you are okay with spending more on something more structured that will last you for years, you’ll need to spend more.

The best way to go about this is to make sure you set a budget for yourself beforehand and don’t go over it. We don’t want you to end up with buyer’s remorse, which can happen if you spend more than you’d wanted to.

There are plenty of excellent choices on our guide no matter what your budget is, so you don’t have to feel restricted.

Warranty

The warranty kind of ties in directly to the budget, so take this into consideration when choosing your gym. The absolute minimum you should ever go on a warranty on a home gym is 1 year, however you should pay special attention if it offers 3+ years.

The warranty is essentially the manufacturer’s way of saying this is how long they think their product is going to last you so don’t take it lightly.

FAQs About Compact Home Gyms

Q: Is resistance training the same as weight training?

A: Weight training is often referred to as resistance training, but they’re not always the same. Resistance training could involve bodyweight exercises like pushups or leg lifts or resistance bands. Weight training is actually using free weights or machines with weight stacks on them.

Q: Can you build muscle with resistance bands?

A: It’s absolutely possible if you do it correctly! Of course, this also depends on your genetics and how in-tune your diet is. Keep in mind that to build muscle, you’ll typically need to consume about 0.75 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. You also need to be using strong enough resistance bands.

If you’re able to do 30 bicep curls in one set without failure then you’re not likely going to build muscle. However, if you’re failing around the 15-20 rep mark then you should be on your way to gainning muscle.

Q: What do you need for a small home gym?

A: You need a way to exercise your upper body, lower body, and your core. How you go about that all depends on the specific small home gym of your choosing.

Q: Is Bowflex a good home gym?

A: It’s one of the best home gyms! Bowflex offers one of the best warranties out there, the build quality is great, and their gyms are highly effective.

Tips For Choosing Best Comapct Home Gyms

#1: Make sure you have enough weight.

We briefly mentioned this already, but you don’t want to get a home gym and then realize that it’s too easy for you or won’t help you gain muscle like you’d wanted.

#2: If you have children, make sure it’s safe to use around them.

For example, if you choose a home gym with a weight stack, make sure the stack is closed off so no one can accidentally get their fingers squashed by them.

#3: Think about if you need a cardio aspect as well.

Some home gyms, like the Bowflex, offer the option to perform cardio rowing which will help you burn fat and improve your stamina. Alternatively, you could also lift lighter weight at a faster pace.

Summary

Now that you’ve been able to read all about the best compact home gyms, do you have a better understanding of what you should look for?

Have you also decided which gym will be making its way into your home? We hope that our guide was able to help you check both of those boxes. No matter which one you select, just make sure it works with your goals and environment. Thanks for tuning in, and we’ll see you again shortly!

Notice:

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