Body Solid EXM2500S Multi Gym Reviewed and Rated

8.0
8.0 score
[Editors rating (8.0)] = (Garage Gym Ideas - Ultimate Home Gym Design) score (8.0)/10


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Editor rating: 8.0 / 10
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Body Solid EXM2500S Multi Gym Reviewed and RatedReview Facts

The  Body-Solid EXM 2500S is a multi-use gym machine that will only add to any other home gym equipment that you may already have. With all of the features that this home gym offers, you won’t have to worry about paying for those monthly gym memberships or even have to worry about leaving the comfort of your own home. Even though the price might be up there compared to other home gyms, it will be well worth it!

There are plenty of accessories you can add to the EXM 2500S. They include ropes for the lat pulldown that target triceps and other specific muscle groups. You can also purchase adapters that will let you adjust the weight stack in larger or smaller increments. This is a neat option for making small but steady lifting progress, or for those of us rehabbing from an injury. This company also offers a premium resistance plate in honor of the company’s 35th year in business. Replacing all the plates in a stack gets quite expensive, so we will discuss the merits of the premium option later in the review.

If you have any doubts about the durability and consistency of this product, consider the lifetime warranty, for home use, that Body-Solid offers.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

The machine comes with 210 pounds of weight stack resistance

1 by 4 by 12-inch polished white steel frame is attractive, durable

Powder coat finish adds to chip, dent, rust resistance

Pulleys for cables are all fiberglass reinforced, which makes their motion more consistent and dependable

Extra thick pads resist tearing and make for a comfortable, supported ride

Steel cables are covered in nylon sheathing and won't require much maintenance

The machine really does provide a whole gym workout while taking up less space

Cons

210 pounds resistance is it--no option for upgrading

Warranty only applies to the original owner, so the gym won't be covered if you downsize and sell

No options for cardio training, and no extras like a DVD, workout log, apps, streaming workouts, etc.

The Rundown

The Rundown

EDITOR'S NOTE: the pictures in this review show the premium red weight plates on the stack. These are an upgrade option that Body-Solid offers. If you order the EXM 2500S without this option, it will come with standard black weight plates.

Body-Solid has around 40 similar units tp the EXM 2500S the company offers. Offerings range from multi gyms and functional trainers all the way to free weight systems that use the Hammer Strength model, letting you bench press heavy while retaining the form assistance of a Nautilus or similar machine. You can also buy an array of accessories from Body-Solid that will only enhance the home gym and its functions. In terms of quality and versatility, this brand most definitely rivals Rogue Fitness in our book. One thing you will notice when you go to their website is that there are no prices listed for their larger machines. You, instead have to get a quote from the company, which can be a bit of a deterrent. This company also does not offer deals and specials often; you can save by buying a lightly used multi gym, but then you will not have the warranty that comes with a new one.

Although the price tag is not immediately visible on the product page, we were able to find it with a bit of clicking and digging.

If you decide to move forward and bring the EXM 2500S into your home, you will get 3 workout stations for a total of 21 described exercises. The stations are geared for your pecs, legs, and upper body. The seats, pulleys, pads, cables, and handles are engineered to be close together. This means that you are able to transition quickly, although the footprint is quite large and even bigger when you consider having space to mount, dismount, and safely experience a full range of motion on each exercise.

Some reviewers pinged the 2500S for a lack of possible leg exercises. That did not sound right to us, so we visited the product page where all the exercises are handily listed. You can do calf presses, thigh adduction/abduction, curls, kicks, and extension all from the same station. The one thing that this machine is lacking in the leg department is the ability for you to do squats. There are also no options for pull-ups, chin-ups, hanging leg raises, or similar moves you can do with a pull-up bar.

This company only offers 2 options for extra handles. The triceps rope attaches to the lat pulldown station to target that muscle group. It is a braided rope with big rubberized balls as handles. The stirrup handle provides a comfortable grip and will attach to any of the multipurpose cables. If you are interested, you can probably adapt 3rd party handles of almost any variety to the machine cables.
Construction/Assembly

Construction/Assembly

The assembly of this home gym is quite complex and time-consuming, more so than many other home gyms we have looked at. To be fair, any multi gym will have more moving parts and hardware than your typical cardio machine. Many treadmills just ask you to attach stabilizers, rails, and a console to the frame. The motor and belt will already be in place. But you have to build the EXM 2500S and similar units from the ground up. By our count, that includes over 200 pieces of various hardware and parts. Parts include cables, pulleys, steel tubing, and padded seats. You will definitely need a friend or two to help and may wish to spring for professional assembly. Instead of step by step instructions, you get pages of exploded views with every bolt and cap indicated by an arrow and number.

Once assembled, the Body-Solid unit is 83 by 51 by 83 inches (length/width/height). There is nothing compact about the 2500S, and the 6.9-inch height may create a tight fit in certain rooms with very tall users. Those with longer legs, too, maybe uncomfortable or not get a full range of motion on the leg station. But for the most part, the unit can accommodate different body types. Although you will notice that there is not a weight capacity listed, the steel frame is sturdy enough that Body-Solid did not find placing a weight capacity as a necessity. The fully assembled unit weighs 420 pounds.

The big footprint, lack of upgrades, and inability to easily transport the unit will turn off many of our readers, we know. But when it comes to a home gym centerpiece that will last a long time and let you work out almost every muscle group, in one central place, the gym is more of a bargain than a power rack. This is especially true when you consider all the weight plates, bars, and potential attachments you will want to buy for a power rack.
Tech Specs

Tech Specs

All the numbers here came from the Body-Solid website. The information there is sparse, actually, compared to other equipment makers. It should also be noted that Body-Solid only makes the assembly manual downloadable, not the user's manual. It makes us wonder if the assembly book is all there is, actually. However, there is a video available on the product page, but it seems to be more a preview of features or a marketing tool than a user's manual. If you were to purchase this multi-gym, without having used anything similar, we are not sure how you would learn all the exercises.

The upper limit of the weight stack is 210 pounds, with no upgrade options. There is no place or attachment on the EXM 2500S for dumbbells or barbells. You can do cable curls and overhead presses, and the pec station is just like other pec decks you find at the gym. Flys, presses, and pullovers are all possible. If you want to do bodyweight resistance exercises, you will have to get off the machine.

The steel cables are tested and rated to 2200 pounds. They are heavy-duty, to resist fraying, and are guaranteed for life along with the rest of the gym. The nylon sleeves, which you may not find on lower-end units, serve several purposes. They ensure smooth motion, prevent any injury in case a cable makes any contact with your skin, and protect the steel cables themselves.

What about the fiberglass reinforced pulleys? We looked it up since this is a common claim or point of difference. According to our research, partial or full nylon pulleys can increase efficiency and reduce wear and tear on the cables and other moving parts. They are noticeably quieter than full steel pulleys, and never need lubrication because of the smooth fiberglass surface. Nylon composite pulleys are also lighter than steel pulleys, which slightly reduces the shipping and assembled weight of the EXM 2500S. Far from being a bit of hype, fiberglass reinforced pulleys add value and should be a factor in your purchase decision. It also comes equipped with weight plates. These plates are made of cast iron, which also makes them sturdy and durable, just like the rest of this machine. This machine has different weight plate options, standard and then the premium plates. We will get more into those details in the next section.
Premium Weight Plate Option

Premium Weight Plate Option

We mentioned the premium red weight plates Body-Solid offers for their machine. We found the idea interesting and relevant, so we examined the plates a bit more. What will they accomplish for you, how are they different, and are they worth the extra money?

The new plates are machined red steel, not black like the ones that come with the stack. The plates are powder-coated, so they resist aging and damage (but will still damage your floor if you drop one without a protective home gym flooring in place). There are three different sets, with 5, 10, and 20 premium plates respectively. Prices are not listed on the site.

The premium plates will change the aesthetic of your gym and might be more durable thanks to powder coating and steel machining. But as far as we can tell, they will not affect the quality, efficiency, or comfort of your workouts. You will have to decide if the premium plates are worth the added expense or not.
The Final Word

The Final Word

The Body-Solid EXM 2500S is a relatively inexpensive multi gym you can use to work out your back, shoulders, arms, trunk, chest, and legs, all with proscribed movements that replicate what you can do with barbells or dumbbells. There are also exercises, like hip adduction/abduction and weighted crunches, that you can only do with this machine or a similar one. The machine is heavy and has a large footprint, so it will probably form the centerpiece of your home gym if you decide to get one. Though not rated for commercial use, the EXM 2500S carries a full lifetime warranty that you usually only see with gym equipment. Body-Solid offers some accessories, but they are limited and a weight stack upgrade is not one of them. If you are looking for a machine that will work out your entire body, and you do not want to invest in a power rack with a bench and extensive weight set, the EXM 2500S will do that for you. You will find it easier to use if you are familiar with machines like it from going to the gym. There is no way to do pull-ups or squats with the 2500S.