If you are looking for an all-in-one style weight machine for your home gym, you are in the right place.
My name is Brian and I am the creator of PumpSomeIron.com. I have been bodybuilding/ weightlifting for 20 years (16-36). I have trained in college weight rooms, fitness centers, hardcore bodybuilding gyms and for the last 5 years, at home in my garage home gym.
From my experience with bodybuilding and weightlifting, I know the exercises needed to build a great physique.
From my experience in owning a home gym, I know that space and functionality are of utmost importance.
Click on any of the images in this article to check out the product on Amazon.
How I Discovered the Best (All-In-One) Home Gym Weight Machines
I used to own a bowflex. It wasn’t a bad machine, but it was lacking. It didn’t allow me to train in the way I wanted to train and it didn’t give me the flexibility I needed to grow.
I started by thinking about what I would want in an all-in-one weight machine for my garage. I have been working out in my garage for 5 years. I have a squat rack, adjustable bench, multiple bars, dumbbells, and a few other odds and ends. My home gym is good, but it could be a lot better.
Now, I am wishing that, instead of a regular squat rack, I would have purchased a weight machine that would double as a squat rack. Something that would allow me to bench and squat in safety but also have the added functionality of a smith machine and cable system.
I considered all the things I would want for my own machine and started looking on Amazon.
Research on Amazon and Other Websites
Once I found a machine that peaked my interest, I read all the reviews and read the entire question and answer section on amazon. I looked at all the pictures, and looked up the manufacturers website. I found a lot of additional information on the manufacturers website that wasn’t on Amazon.
Research on Youtube
Then, I turned to youtube. Some of these companies have demonstration videos! I have looked through all of the videos on youtube, found the most relevant ones, and posted them right here for you to view.
What to Look for in a Home Gym Weight Machine
When choosing a weight machine, you need to find one that will allow you a great deal of flexibility. I am not a huge fan of constantly switching exercises, but you do want to be able to vary your routine.
Ideally, you want to be able to do as many exercises as possible, allowed by the small space available in a home gym. You want to find a machine that will grow with you and allow you to grow.
Plate loaded Bench and Squat
I am a 6 foot tall, 205 lb man. I am not the strongest man, but I am pretty strong and I plan on getting stronger.
You may be just getting started and you’re saying, “I’m not that strong, I don’t need that much weight.” Well, let me tell you that you are going to get stronger and you are going to get bigger.
When choosing a weight machine you should look for one that is going to accommodate the future you and your future strength.
Many weight machines you see on amazon will come with a “weight stack” or stacks. This is like the standard chest fly machine you see in the gym. You pull the pin out, select the weight and replace the pin. This sounds convenient and its great for the chest fly and many other exercises.
The problem is that this stack won’t be heavy enough for all exercises. You are going to keep progressing and you are going to eventually out grow that weight stack. Then, you will have to buy a new machine or stop making progress.
A plate loaded machine is one where you actually pick up the Olympic weight plates and put them on the bar or plate holder. Having weight plates and being able to add as much weight as you need, for exercises like the squat and bench press, is very important for progression.
Buy a machine that allows for plate loading now and you will be able to keep the same machine for years, or maybe forever. It may seem inconvenient, but to me, the potential outweighs the inconvenience factor.
Cable System / Functional Trainer
Most home gym machines call this feature the “Functional Trainer” I call it a cable system. These are the 2 adjustable cables on the outside posts of the machine. They allow you to do many exercises and are something you will definitely want in a home gym machine.
These cables may be powered by weight stacks which is fine for these exercises. When it comes to these weight stacks, the heavier they are, the better. Again, you want to choose a machine that will allow you to keep growing and getting stronger.
Exercises you can do with the function trainer or cable system include:
- Lat Pull
- Bent Over Row or Seated Row
- Triceps Pull-down
- Bicep Curl
- Shoulder Press
- Chest Fly
– and many more.
As you can see, for the ultimate home gym experience, you will will want a machine that includes this feature. It allows for a great deal of variation in exercise.
A built in Smith Machine is a very valuable tool when it comes to building a great body at home. The smith machine is a barbell that runs up and down steel bearings inside a steel tube. When the barbell is twisted, safety hooks engage preventing the weight from smashing you.
I don’t suggest constantly using the Smith Machine because it doesn’t always allow for natural movement and weakens stabilizer muscles, however, the Smith Machine Squat, Bench Press, and Shoulder Press are great ADDITIONS to your free-weight and cable based routine.
The Smith Machine’s safety hooks can come in handy if you are lifting at home, alone, and want to really push yourself.
Power Rack / Ability to use Free-weights
This is quite possibly the biggest selling point for me. I am a big proponent of the free weight squat, bench press, and dead lift. In my opinion, these “big 3” lifts are the foundation of any training program and are great for building muscle strength and size.
When choosing a weight machine for your home, you want to find one that offers this flexibility. Even if you are new to training and free weights seem scary to you, chances are, you will want this functionality later on in your lifting adventure.
A machine that offers this feature will have adjustable “j hooks” and safety bars that will attach to the vertical bars on the front of the machine. The “j hooks” allow you to rack and re-rack your weight and the safety bars keep you from getting squished if you run out of steam before you are able to re-rack.
Leg Press Attachment
This is something I didn’t expect to find on an all in one style machine, but I was pleasantly surprised.
The problem with most all-in-one style machines is that they focus heavily on upper body but are limited on lower body exercises. An all-in-one machine that gives you the ability to free weight squat and smith machine squat is already awesome, but the leg press is a very useful added bonus.
The leg press attachment works by hooking a “foot plate” to the smith machine bar. You then lay on your back on the floor or on a bench with your legs up in the air.
The leg press attachment is a great example of the versatility we are looking for in a home gym machine.
Here they are: The Best Home Gym Weight Machines on Amazon
When I started writing this post, the title I had in my mind was “The Top 5 Home Gym Weight Machines on Amazon” I figured I would do all my research and then pick the top 5 and write this article.
Well, I’m here to tell you that there aren’t 5. In fact, there are only 2 (all in one style) machines that I would consider buying for my home gym.
These are the only 2 machines that fit all of my requirements.
(I actually found a 3rd, but it was not as good as either of these and more expensive, so I didn’t include it)
You are about to see that both of these machines are made by the same company. I don’t work for the company nor do I have any relationship with them. This one company ended up being the maker of the 2 best machines.
My # 1 Choice – FORCE USA Monster G6 Power Rack, Functional Trainer & Smith Machine Combo
This all-in-one Machine is the Cadillac of of home gym machines. It has everything on my checklist and more. I know it looks like there is a lot going on and that’s because there is, but don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it looks. The videos and reviews reveal that it is very easy to put together and very easy to use.
Check Out This Video of the G6 from FORCE USA
Here is what you get:
This machine will give you the freedom of a traditional squat rack, allowing you to bench, squat, shoulder press, and do any other barbell exercise you can think of. The machine is rated for 992 lbs so it should be able to stand up to the strongest of us.
The smith machine of the G6 has a built in safety catch to prevent you from getting squished if you don’t “re-hook” the weight in time. It also has the traditional lock and release mechanism.
Functional Trainer / Cable System
Something I really like about the Monster G6 function trainer is that it is powered by two 200+ lb weight stacks. These will be easy to use and quick to change the weight on. 200 lbs on one arm should be enough weight for most. Force USA boasts that one can perform 75 exercises using the functional trainer.
That’s right! A leg press built in to a home gym machine. From the reviews, the leg press attachment is easy to add and remove to the smith machine bar. This would be a very valuable addition for your leg training.
These are just 2 dip bars that attach to the front of the machine. They are a great addition but not something that is weight loaded or powered by the weight stacks.
Chin Up / Pull Up Station
The chin up station is the handles at the top front of the machine. A very valuable resource. Even if you can’t do pull ups now, you likely will be able to in the near future!
I can’t think of anything else I would want in a machine. This thing literally has it all. With the Force USA Monster G6, you will be able to do almost every exercise you can imagine.
My #2 Choice – FORCE USA Monster G3 Power Rack, Functional Trainer & Smith Machine Combo
The Monster G3 is almost the same machine as the monster G6 but it does have a few differences. Both are awesome machines.
Check Out This Video of The G3 from FORCE USA
Similarities to the G6
The basic structure of both machines is the same. Both have the smith machine and power rack. Both machines have a pull up / chin up station.
Cable system: The monster G3 functional trainer/ cable system is the most obvious difference. In the G6 machine (above) the functional trainer is powered by 2 weight stacks. In the G3, the function trainer is plate loaded. This is both good and bad.
The plate loaded version of the G3 will allow for more weight (it’s rated for 2,000 lbs) but it will be harder to switch between weight levels and exercises.
Leg Press: The Monster G3 does not come with the leg press attachment. This is disappointing since this was one of my favorite features of the G6.
Dip Bars: The dip bar / dip station attachment is not included with the G3.
Cost: The Monster G3 is almost half the price as the G6.
Landmine: A landmine attaches at the bottom of your power rack and holds one end of a barbell. It allows you to load weight on the other end of the bar and then perform exercises. Probably the most famous of landmine exercises is the landmine row.
The Monster G3 comes with a landmine attachment. This is a big win for the G3. A landmine attachment will allow you to do a number of different exercises including:
- Landmine Row
- Landmine Squat
- Landmine Shoulder press or shoulder raise
You can even use the landmine for a chest press or dead lift variation.
As you can see, the landmine feature adds a lot of functionality to the G3. From what i can tell, there is no way to attach a landmine to the G6 Machine.
So, Which All-In-One Machine Should You Choose for Your Home Gym?
The Force USA Monster G6
If you can afford it and you are looking for a time saving machine, you should buy the G6. It’s just a better choice for someone who is on the go and doesn’t have a lot of time for setting up or switching weight.
The quick adjust weight stacks for the cable system / functional trainer will make a big difference when it comes to saving time. I have a wife, 2 kids and a job, on top of being a bodybuilder, so convenience is a major factor for me.
Another reason I would choose the G6 is for the leg press and dip station attachment. These additions may not seem that important now, but after you are training for a year, you will want the ability to vary your routine. These 2 features are going to make a big difference when it comes to exercise variation.
To recap, get the G6 if you:
- Want to save time
- Have the extra money to spend on the more expensive machine
- Like the idea of having the built in leg press
- Don’t care about the landmine or plan on purchasing a landmine station separately.
The Force USA Monster G3
If you aren’t that concerned about time, or want to save money, go with the G3. It is an excellent machine and offers almost all of the features of the G6.
The plated loaded functional training system will be inconvenient compared to just selecting your weight on the weight stack, but you will still get all the functionality of the G6 cable system.
If you have to have the landmine built in to your machine, go with the G3. I love landmine rows and it’s hard for me to imagine owning a gym without one. With the G3, the landmine is built in.
To recap, get the G3 if you:
- Have the extra time during your workouts to load and change loads on the cable system
- Want to save money
- Want the landmine built in to your machine
- Don’t need or want the leg press attachment
What else do you need?
Whether you purchase the Monster G3 or Monster G6 all-in-one machine, you are going to get all the machine you need. You won’t need to purchase any additional machines, racks, or large equipment. There are however, 3 things that you absolutely have to purchase to go along with either of these machines.
You are going to need to to buy Olympic weight plates to go with either machine. The G3 has no weight stacks so it will require plates for any exercise. The G6 has weight stacks for the cable system, so you would be able to use the cables out of the box, but you will need plates to use the smith machine or free weight bench / squat.
A good place to get weight is at your local used sporting goods store. At my local store in AZ, they always have old plates that they will sell to me for .50 per pound. When it comes to weight, I don’t care how old it is. Iron is Iron. It weighs the same amount whether it is brand new or from the 70’s.
If you are concerned about dirt and rust, you can buy a nice set of new plates on amazon. I bought this set on amazon, which included a weight and a bar, to get me started when I first started my home gym. After that, I bought used plates.
- A Barbell / Bar
Either of these machines will include the bar for the smith machine, but you still have to buy a regular barbell to do lifts like the free-weight bench, squat, or shoulder press. When it comes to a barbell, you want a good one that can handle a heavy load. I would also look for one that has decent knurling so it is easy to grip.
I bought this one (it came with the above weight set) a few years ago and have been very happy with it. I have used it to bench, squat, dead lift and seal row over 300 lbs and it hasn’t bent yet. I also think it’s cool because it is black.
- A Good Adjustable Bench
I spent hours trying to find just the right bench. You need a bench that is rated for high weight. Think about this, if you weigh 200 lbs and you plan on benching 300 lbs, you need a bench that is rated for 500 lbs.
There are a ton of benches on amazon, but only a few are rated for enough weight to actually use. Another thing to consider is the benches ability to adjust.
You want something that can decline or incline and preferably, incline all the way up to 90 degrees. This is the bench I found. It does all these things and is rated for 1000 lbs.
At the end of the day, the best machine for you is the one that you are going to use consistently. I hope this guide has helped you some way in your home fitness journey.