Despite being big, bulky and expensive, multi-gyms are incredibly popular, due to the sheer number of exercises you are able to perform on a single machine. However, with so many choices on offer, many people don’t know where to start when it comes to buying one.
Let’s take a closer look at this equipment, highlighting what options you have to choose from and things to consider while making your choice, as well as answering some of the most frequently asked questions people have about multi-gyms.
What are the benefits of a multi-gym?
The primary function of any resistance machine, a multi-gym is ideal for helping to build muscle.
Muscle building doesn’t just relate to size, and training against gradually heavier resistances will greatly help to increase the strength of your muscles.
The ability to burn calories while you exercise will combine with the heightened metabolism you will have as a result of your increased muscle mass, making a multi-gym ideal to aid with weight loss.
Multi-gyms are incredibly versatile, as they allow you to perform an incredible number of exercises on a single piece of equipment.
Full body workout
This versatility means you can complete a full body workout on a single machine, allowing you to greatly optimise your time.
The ability to complete a full body workout on a single machine is great for saving space, as you only have to purchase a single machine, instead of one for each exercise.
Using resistance machines instead of free-weights removes most of the risk and allows you to exercise in a reasonably safe environment.
All of the points listed above make a multi-gym ideal for use in a home gym, as you can save space, train your entire body, and work out safely, even when there is no one else around.
Features of a multi-gym
The weight stack is what controls the resistance of the machine at any given time. It is essential to allow the machine to be used for a range of exercises.
Pulley system (high and low/double)
A pulley system is ideal to increase the number of exercises available on a multi-gym. High and low pulleys offer an incredible amount of choice, while a double pulley is perfect for exercises like flies.
A preacher pad is an addition used to isolate the arms, especially the biceps. It is great for isolating the muscle, eliminating cheating and working it through its entire range of motion.
Chest station/butterfly press
A chest station or butterfly press allows for compound pressing exercises to be performed, greatly improving the degree to which you can develop your chest with the machine.
A leg press is designed to let you perform heavy exercises, such as leg and toe press, which are essential for developing your lower body.
Weighted rows allow you to perform heavy, compound back exercises, which are ideal for developing your lats.
Things to consider
Make sure the weight stack isn’t just sufficient for now but also leaves you plenty of room to grow.
Pulley Quality System
If you plan to push your multi-gym to its limits, make sure the pulleys are of a quality that isn’t likely to fail under the stress.
With various models offering different exercises, make sure the multi-gym you’re looking at is able to accommodate your training plans.
Maximum effective load
Some multi-gyms will allow you to add extra weight to the stack, while many others won’t. If you expect to be using the maximum weight on the machine, check the maximum effective load as well as the weight of the stack that comes with it.
With such a large piece of equipment, make sure to check the assembled dimensions of your chosen multi-gym, to ensure it will fit in the space you have available.
While most frames will be metal, the material used for parts like the grips or weight plates may vary, so make sure you select one that you are comfortable with.
Select a freestanding model if you don’t want to bolt your multi-gym to the floor or wall.
Multi-gyms will feature different levels of padding from model to model, so make sure you select one that you will be happy to use on a regular basis.
If you plan to have multiple users, check that the multi-gym you select is easily adjustable.
The ability of the user will play a big role in how many exercises you hope to perform on your multi-gym, so select a model that accommodates your plans.
With such a large item, consider options that can be folded away after use if you’re limited on space.
Multi-gyms are very expensive, so ensure you check the price before analysing one you can’t afford.
When you’re spending such a large sum of money, make sure your chosen multi-gym comes with a warranty that gives you confidence that it will last.