Home Multi-Gym or Join the Actual Gym?


I’m just looking for some advice on a few things as quite a novice if anyone could be kind enough to provide insight. I hope I have posted this in the right place, sorry if not.

I had a multi-gym until recently, where I would use the following;

Machine Chest Press

Machine Butterfly Press

Lat-pull downs

I would also do pushups and bicep curls.

However, the multi-gym recently broke. I have for a few weeks had my heart set on buying a new one but recently have learnt that lat-pulldowns are inferior to pull-ups and that the machine chest press is inferior to the bench press. I could join a gym, but there are none close and I don’t have a lot of spare time - I just know I would end up in the gym a bit less often than I would use a multi-gym at home. Thus I have a dilemma about whether to buy a new multi-gym or join a proper gym?

Can bicep curls, press-ups, lat-pull downs, and machine chest/butterfly presses collectively provide a good all round upper body workout? Or should I just join a gym and go a little less than I would exercise at home?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

What are your goals?

I mean - as a starter you do not mention any leg work. If you can’t do leg work at home then you need a gym. Never skip leg day.

Next what part of the multi gym has broken?
Can you afford a new set up?
In which case purchase a power cage and some free weights?

If you have a broken set up and can not afford a new one - I would suggest mixing it up. Do 2 work outs at home and then 2 at the gym every week…

You have options.

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I’m already fairly happy with my legs, abs, forearms etc, and I already do work on those areas.

Pretty much all of the multi-gym is unusable, the cables and brackets are messed up, there isn’t any bringing it back.

I can afford to buy a new one, with some extra weight compared to the last one for growth.

Still unsure of what route to take. Essentially I’m just not sure how much more effective going the gym would be - that is my main point of contention in this dilemma. Is it worth it do you think?

Its VERY hard to say given that there are so many variables. From the equipment you are prepared to buy, where you train best (some people can’t work out at home, others love it), to the frequency you can hit the gym.

However because you’ve said you’re not sure you will be able to hit the gym very often I would suggest buying your own stuff. But get a power rack and free weights. Its not a expensive and you might think. Depending on your strength level.

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Go to the gym, either for 1-2 workouts or whatever short term option they offer.

Try some stuff out. Do some benches and chin-ups and whatever else looks cool. Then once you’ve tried stuff out you’ll know what’s more or less effective.

From their you can decide what’s best, home multi gym, gym membership or a home set-up with equipment different than the multi gym. Like barbells and stuff.

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At the gym, you get variety, potentially better equipment, people around you, less initial outlay, keep space at home free, no need to maintain anything, girls in tight clothes to look at.

At home you get, no travel time, no waiting, no sharing space, potentially cheaper over time (if you stick at it).

Like in most important decisions in life, you need to decide on the trade offs.


Do whatever you will have more long term enthusiasm for

…on this basis sounds like home gym for the win at the moment

Can get great workout with minimal equipment, just push up varirations, pullups + sprints even. Tons of routines to get in great shape here…

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Thanks for all the advice guys

You’d be better off buying an adjustable bench, a set of ironmaster quick-lock dumbbells, and a doorframe pull-up bar. You should be able to get pretty far with that setup.

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I suggest buying the home gym and getting a commercial gym day pass once a month.

BTW…how did the cables get messed up on your current rig? Hope you weren’t injured.

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That’s a good idea actually, thanks.

And thankfully I wasn’t injured. I was just in the middle of doing a chest press and suddenly the weight just went and a massive bang. Took one look at it and knew it was a right off, one of the the plastic bracket that the cables feed through hanging by a thread. Safe to say it’s a right off :slight_smile:

If you can post a picture of the broken pieces, someone here may be able to figure out where you can get a replacement piece. Most of those multi-gyms use standard parts you can get from McMaster-Carr or similar outfitter. Something to be said about fixing stuff on your own. Then you can put the cash you were going to use to buy a new one toward a day pass at a gym or toward a power rack and some free weights.


Others above posted solid advice. So much so, that I wasn’t sure if I’d add to the equation.

If I could suggest, get just the bare basics for a home gym and see how you like it. Depending on your goals, you may decide is all you need is a pull-up bar. My point is, don’t go crazy buying equipment you may not use.

As others have also recommended, check out the gym 1 day a week just for a change of pace and see what your missing. There are pros and cons to both a home gym and a commercial gym.

Hope this helps.