people's choice

The Best Weight Machines on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers

Photo: Courtesy of the retailer

Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing ones. While we’ve asked New York trainers about the best workout gear and foam rollers, talked with workout professionals about the best home-gym equipment, and even found the best treadmillsexercise bikes, under-desk ellipticals, and weight benches for your home gym, we’ve gone deep here on the best weight machines you can find on Amazon. (Note that reviews have been edited for length and clarity.)

Best weight-machine home gyms

Body-Solid StrengthTech EXM2500S Home Gym

“I’ve had this Body Solid EXM2500 Home Gym for nearly 15 years. It still looks and works as though it was brand-new. Cables have never snapped and nothing else has ever broken on it. It’s really bulletproof, smooth, and very silent. I bought it when it first came out and when it was rated a #1 buy in a Consumers magazine. Can’t say I used it every day; I’ve slacked a few times but I’ve restarted and now I do. I really appreciate the build quality. Exceptional product and terrific value!!!”

Marcy Smith Cage Workout Machine MD-9010G

“Our Marcy Workout Cage is UH. MAY. ZING! It’s sturdy, well-built with quality materials, and I fully expect it will last us a lifetime. There are SO many ways to work out with this and though it’s humongous, I can’t speak more highly of a product for an in-home gym. My family and I are not body builders and we may even be a little round in the middle — thus this needed purchase. If you are embarrassed or shy to go to the gym, or are a super busy parent and don’t have time to go, but you know you need to make some changes in your life, this is a fantastic solution. And the best part is that it’s actually really fun to use. It’s in your home, so nobody can see or hear when you grunt, or toot, while lifting your weights and getting healthy! That’s worth the hefty price tag in my book.”

Marcy 150-lb Multifunctional Home Gym Station for Total Body Training

“I have lifted weights for decades. I used to be a fairly heavy lifter and still consider myself more of a weight lifter than the average person. I can tell you that this gym does just about everything you need it to do. If you grow out of this gym you will have already become pretty strong and much larger than when you started. The weight stack goes up to 200 pounds for the chest press which should keep you busy for quite some time. The construction is very solid and it isn’t even hard to assemble. I priced many different types of home gyms; Fitness Factory, Gold’s and more. None of them offered this much for the price. I highly recommend this product. All you need is a treadmill and a rack with dumbbells and you are set.”

Best home gyms with tension cables

Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym

“This is the first experience I’ve had with a Bowflex and it’s been a good one. Quality parts, easy to assemble, everything fits the way it’s supposed to. I can configure it to give me a good all around workout, and I use it for the strength part of my exercise regimen. There’s enough variety in the machine to cover all the major muscle groups. Sometimes switching the cables to change the configuration, to moving the bench position is tedious, but you can do that while resting between sets of different exercises. The rods generally supply a good tension throughout the movement of each exercise, although you can also adjust that a little by moving your body position. I used to just go to the gym, but exercising at home is so much more convenient that now my schedule is way more regular, which is a critical part of any exercise program.”

Bowflex Blaze Home Gym

“Okay, I’ve been lifting for close to twenty years now, and have collected a few injuries along the way. This machine is a dream come true: I can get a great workout in that’s really easy on my joints. I especially love the lack of momentum and successively increased resistance the further you pull. Basically every motion becomes harder at the full range of motion and produces an amazing “flex” or load on your muscles, again, without wrecking your joints. You’re also less prone to locking out at the ‘top’ of a movement, so no ‘door-slam-hinge’ effect.”

Bowflex PR3000 Home Gym

“I have been very impressed with this Bowflex Machine. It’s been in my home for around a year and it’s showing no signs of wear. My favorite part about this puppy is the convenience — you can do a large number of exercises without rearranging anything (from chest presses to leg lifts). Fortunately, it also takes up relatively little room (except vertically). You just need to make sure the rods won’t hit anything when you actually do the exercises since they bend down and will extend father than the width of the actual machine. My arms are noticeably stronger than before I purchased it, and that’s without a regular and consistent workout routine. I’m very pleased with the overall performance of this model, and would advise it to anybody (although pros will probably need to purchase the additional resistance rods).”

Best incline benches with resistance bands

Total Gym 1400 Deluxe Home Fitness Exercise Machine

“The Total Gym is amazing. You can do so many exercises on this machine. The system easily folds open for set up and closes and stands upright for storage. I saw this many years ago when Chuck Norris demonstrated it and finally took the plunge and purchased it for our family. Health is important and I like the fact that you can do many different exercises on this one piece of equipment. The unit is sturdy and well-made. Very happy with this purchase.”

Total Gym 1100

“I’ve been looking for an at-home piece of equipment to use that’ll satisfy my needs for working out without the use of completely bulky and heavy machinery. Setup was less than ten minutes without even looking at the instructions. It comes with a foot strap so you can do some leg exercises and also comes with the pull-up bar that can also be used as a squat stand. All around this is a five-star in my eyes. This equipment isn’t truly designed to get that huge bulk you want, but it can give you the exercise you desire. The adjustable height gives four different levels of resistance and weight. Best of all, you’re using your own body weight to exercise at certain percentages. It comes with a workout manual and also a nutrition guide to help you on your way when you get lost and can’t figure out what to do. Obviously, if you want to increase weight more than what the machine is willing to supply you with your body mass, then you can always add weight by putting it in your lap or what not. But this machine truly is designed for getting lean and adjusting to your body mass. More reps less weight. I recommend this to everyone and anyone that is just looking to tone up and trim some fat.”

Weider Ultimate Body Works

“Easy to set up, simple to use, a calorie-burning machine. Sturdy construction; I am six-foot-three and 270 pounds and have no issue with the equipment. I can do an intense workout, or if I am not feeling up to it that day, I can sit on it and slide up and down burning calories while I watch TV. I find I can slowly exercise while I watch evening TV shows and push myself during commercials — interval training for beginners. Plenty of videos on YouTube when you are looking for different exercise routines. If you are looking to get in shape or just burn calories in a convenient way, this is your ticket. It is not a use-and-hide-under-your-bed-machine, but it will fold up to a small foot print if space is an issue. Did I mention it’s a steal at this price? If you want to get in shape and can’t commit to a gym, this is the stuff.”

Best wall-mount cable station

Valor Fitness BD-62 Wall Mount Cable Station

“For the price, you cannot beat this. I have been working out for 30 years. Now after two shoulder replacements, I can no longer lift like I used to. A cable machine is my staple for weight-training these days. I needed something that did not take up much room since this machine is going in an eight-by-ten-foot shed that I converted into a gym. It was perfect for what I needed. Overall the quality is pretty close to a commercial cable machine. That is what I wanted. I really try to avoid any exercise equipment that is made for a consumer vs. commercial quality since I want it to last. I have to say Valor did a nice job with this machine. The price was right and the quality is top notch. Bottom line is this is a decent little machine and the only thing comparable for the price.”

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The Best Weight Machines on Amazon, According to Reviewers