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The Editor’s Pick
- Rep Fitness PR1050 Short Power Rack
- Rep Fitness Squat Rack
- Cap Olympic Bar
- Cap Olympic Weight Plates
- Cap Olympic 2-inch Spring Clip Collars
If I had to pick just one out of the best home gyms under 500 listed in this article, that’d be the DIY home gym I built using the gym equipment listed above.
And if you’re wondering, I’d pick the power cage version any day.
That’s because I can adjust the weight based on my workouts, and can go beyond the threshold most ready-made home gyms usually set for me.
More than that, it’s safe to use as it’s made of heavy-duty materials and comes with multiple safety features such as the J-cups and the bar knurling.
So, I can go big without worrying about it breaking down under pressure.
Having enough time to hit the gym isn’t always possible.
But, that shouldn’t keep you from getting fit because budget-friendly home gyms are a thing nowadays.
If you’re ready to turn your home into a workout haven, these top picks will help you build the best home gym under 500.
But if you’re not a big fan of cages and racks and would rather get a multi, these options here will fit your budget:
- Bowflex PR1000 X-Treme Home Gym
- Gold’s Gym XR 55 Home Gym
- Weider Ultimate Body Works
- Marcy Fitness Home Gym
What is a Home Gym?
Also known as multi-gyms or multis, home gyms refer to a compact piece of equipment that allows you to perform a variety of exercises at one station.
Designed to fit a small space such as your garage, attic, or a corner at your place, these workout stations are perfect for those who want to work out at home (hence the name).
3 Hard-to-Ignore Benefits of Owning a Home Gym
One of the most prominent benefits of owning a home gym is saving time.
In most cases, people report spending anywhere from half to one hour to reach their destination, and getting to the gym is no different.
So, if you consider all the hours you’ve spent over the years just on commuting, you’ll see that owning a multi is worth the splurge.
Let’s also not forget the time you waste waiting for a specific machine to open up.
Rack or bench hoggers are everywhere, and chances are your gym has its fair share of those.
According to a recent study, over half of all Americans have an active year-long gym membership. Out of those, just 3/4 go to the gym once or twice a week.
That means that about 25% of them use their membership once a month or haven’t even set foot to the gym since they signed up.
Meanwhile, the average monthly cost of a gym membership is at 60$. That means that some people spend about 700$ a year on literally nothing.
But, what does this have to do with home gyms?
Well, if you do the math, you’ll see that owning a 500-dollar multi is like joining the gym for 8 months.
But, unlike your gym membership, a multi will be there forever.
So, if you’re serious about getting fit, building your home gym is by far the most cost-efficient way to achieve your fitness goals.
Making the Most Out of Each Session
We all know that if you want to build a wow-worthy physique, you also need to be mindful as to what you eat before and after you benchpress.
In fact, research shows that consuming protein 30 minutes after you’re done lifting weights could increase your muscle gains significantly.
So, benching from the comfort of your home could give you the chance to take advantage of this 30-minute anabolic window.
So, all you have to do is head to your kitchen and prep yourself a protein-packed snack.
What Do You Need to Build a Home Gym?
The answer depends on the fitness goal you want to achieve and your budget.
But, since we’re talking about building muscle here and spending less than 500$, these are the tools you should look out for:
Allowing you to perform a wide variety of exercises, this piece of equipment is an absolute must-have for strengthening your muscles and working on your cardio.
Most models come with sitting space that could double as a bench.
Power Cage or Squat Rack
If you don’t want to invest in something as grand as a multi-gym, you could always opt for a power cage or a squat rack.
They aren’t as versatile as home gyms, but if your goal is to build strength and muscle, they can readily do the trick.
If you decide to go with a power cage or squat rack, you’ll need to throw a barbell rack, a set of weight plates, and barbell collars into the mix.
These three tools will help you build an Olympic-grade weightlifting barbell, which, along with the rack, could increase your strength like crazy.
The Best Home Gyms Under 500, Reviewed
Bowflex PR1000 X-treme Home Gym
Regrading the Bowflex Home Gyms, I have an entire article dedicated to it, just click on the highlighted phrase to go through it.
One of the best things on this Bowflex best-seller is its easy-to-use resistance adjustment system.
The feat allows you to adjust the machine’s resistance simply by fastening the rods to the hook, and go from easy to super though in one single move.
More than that, all the rods combined sport a total resistance of 210lbs, which is more than you’ll ever need.
However, keep in mind that it doesn’t upgrade if you out-strength it.
Meanwhile, it supports more than 25 exercises thanks to its versatile design.
The bench also converts into a rolling seat for when you want to work on your cardio (mainly in the form of rowing).
It also has a built-in media rack, which allows you to securely place your tablet or phone, and watch a workout program as you exercise.
And despite looking huge, the home gym folds, saving you lots of room, especially if your place is small.
Gold’s Gym XR 55 Home Gym
A multi for the entire body, this home gym has a leg press, a fly workstation, and a lat bar that focus on your legs, arms, chest, back, and shoulders, all in one go.
To be exact, the machine sports a 125lb vinyl weight stack and has a total resistance of 330 pounds, which combined can help your muscle strength reach new heights.
It also has an adjustable preacher curl pad for working on your arms through multiple dumbbell exercises.
The machine also has an adjustable seat, which gives you the freedom to fine-tune the inclination based on which muscle groups you want to target.
FYI, it also comes with built-in pads, so you’ll feel comfy in-between sets.
It also comes with an exercise chart to guide you through the first couple of uses.
The two things I don’t like about this model is that it comes with just 90 days warranty and the cable system is a bit fragile.
Weider Ultimate Body Works
Designed to accommodate more than 50 exercises, this Weider home gym under 500 is one of the very few multis out there that can target multiple muscle groups at once (think hips, arms, back, shoulders, legs, thighs, abs, and even calves).
Thanks to its unique inclined design that includes seven different levels, the machine forces you to use your body’s weight plus 50lbs of added resistance.
But, besides working on your strength, the home gym also focuses on increasing your flexibility through a high-quality pulley system with a no-limits cable and four easy-to-use power bands.
It’s also made of durable steel tubing, which means it could last for many years if maintained properly.
I also like it’s folding design, which isn’t just easy to assemble but also allows me to free up precious floor space when I’m not using it.
IMO, the model could benefit from a little more glide space.
Marcy Fitness Home Gym
With a high pulley lat tower, a low pulley station, and an adjustable weight bench, this home gym under 500 can accommodate several muscle-strengthening workouts, from squats and bench presses to leg curls and pull-ups.
The machine also features a solid boxed frame construction with 14-gauge square tubing and a powder-coated finish, which both make sure the system is strong enough to endure heavy lifting.
Speaking from experience, I can say with confidence that the multi can withstand up to 300 lb of barbells.
And being the top-rated home gym that it is, the model also sports an adjustable seat. So, you can pretty much set the inclination to whichever level you want (vertical, horizontal, and in between) for chest exercises with impeccable posture.
The multi also comes with a bunch of weightlifting extras such as ankle straps, a shiver bar, and two handles, all of which can improve your daily workout routine.
The only thing I’d change is the cage’s pull-up bar, which is quite low. This could be a problem for tall guys (6 feet and up).
The DIY Best Home Gym Under 500
If you’ve set your heart on building your own home gym, then this DIY combo is a great place to start.
Power Cage & Squat Rack
First, you have to choose between a power cage and a squat rack.
If you are a power cage kind of guy, I recommend the Rep Fitness PR1050 Short Power Rack.
The model can withstand up to 700lbs of weight, has two built-in pull-up bars, and comes with a flat bench and a dip attachment for maximum strength gains.
It’s also coated with a matte black powder finish, which means it will stand the test of time and features plastic J-cups, which can protect a bar’s knurling and increase your safety.
On the other hand, if you think you’d benefit more from a squat rack, I recommend the Rep Fitness Squat Rack because it can hold up to 1.000lbs of weight, has an adjustable pull-up bar, and features two J-cups and weight storage pegs for maximum security.
Not to mention that it comes with built-in band pegs and a 10-year warranty.
But, whatever route you choose, you definitely need a barbell to match.
So, start by picking a durable bar like this 7-foot Cap Olympic Bar.
Since it’s made from Japanese steel, you know it’s built to last.
Plus, it comes with a diamond knurling design that provides you with a steady grip throughout each session.
The bar also has rotating sleeves that spin when you’re lifting weights, which reduces the strain on your wrists.
Personally, I think barbells are “the thing”, you might enjoy reading this entire section I have dedicated to them.
Now, when it comes to adjustable weights, the Cap Olympic Weight Plates are my go-to choices.
That’s because they’re very easy to load onto the bar thanks to their large center holes.
Plus, they’re made with cast iron and coated with an enamel finish, both of which increase the plates’ safety and durability even through the most grueling of workouts.
You can also choose the weight of the plates based on your current strength as they come in multiple increments, from 2.5 to 100 pounds.
Spring Clip Collars
Lastly, you should look out for a set of spring clip collars that’ll make sure the weight stays put throughout your workouts.
My top choice is the Cap Olympic 2-inch Spring Clip Collars because they fit perfectly to my 2-inch weight plates and are very easy to fasten on the bar.
In your option, which of these multis is the best home gym under 500?
Let me know in the comments below!