Weider Home Gym Models and Reviews
Joe Weider (1919-2013) was a bodybuilding icon who won numerous competitions, going on to publish "Muscle And Fitness" magazine. This magazine is still in publication and has helped countless home fitness buffs figure out their goals and learn innovative ways to build their strength and power.
In this guide, we run down ten of the best Weider home gym machines. We looked at multigyms, weight benches, dumbbell sets, power towers, and other home equipment.
Since the family of Weider home gym models continues to evolve, there are many discontinued models that you can still find. To bring you the most current upgrades, every unit here is still being produced and distributed at the time of this writing.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 20 hours of research
Comes with quality resistance bands
Space saver design
Inclines for greater versatility
Height adjustable for taller/shorter users
- Ultimate Body Work
- Power Tower
- 8500 Home Gym
- Pro 265 Bench Press
- Pro 255 L Slant Board
- Pro 395 B Olympic Bench Press
- X-Factor Door Gym
- Speed Weight Adjustable Dumbbell
- Cast Iron Kettlebells/Powerbells
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Expert Interviews & Opinions
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Weider Home Gyms Reviews
1. Ultimate Body Work
Comes with quality resistance bands
Space saver design
Inclines for greater versatility
Height adjustable for taller/shorter users
Cannot go past body weight +50 pounds cable resistance
As the name suggests, this sliding seat Weider home gym unit offers you over fifty exercises for your whole body. Weider added in resistance bands to help you pull more weight and tone your muscles more effectively.Read more
Besides those bands, the resistance comes from your own body weight. The bands are connected to a cable pulley system, but there are no weight stacks to adjust. You can hit different muscle groups by adjusting the incline of the long rolling bench seat.
The sliding bench design is similar to that other home gym staple, the Total Gym. You sit still, facing the front end either straight on or laterally. Pulling on the cables make you glide back and forth along the steel tracks. The movement is effective, and also quite easy on the joints. Even with the long tracks, the Body Work is a space saver that can be inclined all the way down for storage.
The fully assembled Weider home gym machine is about five feet long, a little over two feet wide, and just four feet long. The steel frame and adjustable design are enough to accommodate tall or curvy users. Weider provides a full-color workout guide, and the Body Work is popular enough that there are plenty of YouTube videos with reviews and exercise ideas.
2. Power Tower
Hanging front leg kick station
Wide pull up area for different grips
Push up assist with padded handles
Dip, pull up bars not adjustable
This is a fairly basic rolled steel bodyweight workout Weider home gym unit, which offers you several ways to target your chest, lats, traps, and abdominals with just a few simple moves.Read more
You can do dips, knee raises/kicks from a hanging position, a few different kinds of pull-ups, and, on the floor, a push-up grip station that will enhance your regular push-ups. The push-up bars, dip bars, and chin bars all have molded and padded handgrips. The Tower is safe and comfortable to use regularly.
The pull-up station in the back is wide enough to vary your grip width. It lets you drill down on any of your arms, back, or chest muscles, depending on where you place your arms. If you aren't sure where to grab, Weider provides a wall chart with all the different positions and muscle groups. Elbow pads are machine-stitched vinyl, not stapled, giving you more durability.
The Tower is not what we'd call a space saver; its rear chin bar gives it a total length of almost five feet. It is about three and a half feet wide by seven feet tall. With most residential ceilings at eight feet, users over 6.5 feet will have issues both with dip height and with getting an effective chin-up/pull up. User weight capacity tops out at 300 pounds.
3. 8500 Home Gym
Seven full workout stations
Thick foam with machine stitched padding
Lets you do squats and bench presses
Interchangeable pulldown handles
Does not have a pull-up bar
The most expensive Weider home gym item on our list, this sturdy and flexible cage machine is still a bargain compared to other similar items we have explored.Read more
The center of the multigym is an adjustable bench, for chest presses and lat pulldowns. The frame includes a squat rack for doing barbell squats. Pegs on bottom of the rack let you store all your weight plates. The pull-up bar, as well as the wide rolled steel lat bar, has plenty of grip areas to keep you from getting stale.
In addition to your chest builders, the bench lets you do leg extensions and leg curls with padded foam rollers. An ergonomic preacher curl pad can be removed. In fact, you can slide the whole bench out and use this for a cable pulley station. This opens up endless possibilities for cable crossovers, rows, pulldowns and more, all without a weight stack.
The bench is adjustable for different body types, and lets you do traditional horizontal bench presses with a spotter and the uprights on the frame. Cable pull stations can be changed out for rope and other handles to vary things up.
Weight stack and cable resistance
4 position leg station
Chest fly/press arms
Rounded preacher curl station
Lat pulldown won't give all users full range of motion
This Weider home gym unit resembles a pec deck machine, with a fixed vertical seat, elbow padded handles, and a weight stack offering as much as 214 pounds of adjustable resistance.Read more
You get a high pulley/lat pulldown overhead, and a leg station on the front with both ankle and behind the knee pads. There is also a removable preacher curl pad, with rounded edges and plenty of padding. With the pulleys, chest fly/press handles, leg attachment, preacher pad, and included low pulley, this is a six-station home gym.
The lat bar lets you adjust your grip, hand positions, and arm span for almost endless variations. The result is customizable comfort and a large array of back and shoulder strengtheners. The low pulley does not have a prescribed range of motion, so you can crosshatch your own routines, using the included wall chart as a foundation.
The user weight capacity for this Weider home gym machine is 300 pounds. The weight stack starts at 81 pounds, but you can add more with the cable settings so your top end of resistance is 214 pounds. Customer reviews are mixed, so this unit did not crack our top three.
5. Pro 265 Bench Press
Removable preacher pad
Leg station lets you do both curls and extensions
Permanently affixed uprights
Easy assembly, rolled steel frame
400-pound weight combined capacity--not useful for advanced lifters
This affordable, comfortable Weider home gym bench comes with a standard bar and 80-pound vinyl weight set. It's a great starter model, especially for teens, and you also get a leg station and squarish, removable pad for doing preacher curls.Read more
The bench will adjust for flat and incline position, but no decline. Fixed uprights let you do bench presses with a trusted spotter, but can't be removed or used as a squat rack on the fly. The wide U-shaped connection between the front and back of the frame is handy because you can grab hold of each side for stability when doing prone leg curls.
Those prone leg curls are really the only time you need to remove the preacher pad. It won't get in the way of bench presses, leg extensions, or any other free weight/bodyweight exercise you can dream up. As they always do, Weider provides a wall chart to help you with those different exercises.
The thickness and wideness of the bench encourage proper form, a foundational lesson for weight training beginners. The Weider home gym bench weighs 130 pounds including the bar and plates. There aren't any wheels, so moving the machine may be hard and you will definitely need to put it in a concrete basement, or the like if you do not have a floor mat. The three feet look like they could do some damage.
6. Pro 255 L Slant Board
Decent weight capacity
Six incline/decline/flat positions
Foam rollers lock down legs and feet
Lightweight steel construction
Not suitable for barbell exercises
With its full ninety degrees of seat adjustment, this Weider home gym machine lets you go from overhead dumbbell raises to challenging incline crunches with a few clinks of the sundial adjustment system.Read more
The seat both delivers a customized fit and helps you practice proper form. The four padded rollers up front keep your legs ultra stabilized while you cross your arms and crunch. The vinyl seats are thick, durable, and will be easy to keep clean over the life of the bench.
The steel frame includes powder coating, for an attractive finish and protection from scratching. There are four points of floor contact with a parallel, cylindrical, ironing board style foundation. The bench weighs just 33 pounds, measuring forty inches long, 18 inches wide, and 54 inches high. Though it's compact, the width of the bench may be a deal-breaker for wider users.
Combined user and weight capacity are 410 pounds. It's plenty for a bench that isn't designed as a heavy lifting platform. User reviews indicate the Weider home gym bench is stable, even when inclined or declined all the way.
7. Pro 395 B Olympic Bench Press
Adjust starting point of bench press
Curved preacher pad for range of motion
Full range of incline/decline presses
Extra weight storage pegs behind uprights
Weight plates and bar not included
This is the bigger, more full-featured sibling of the 265 Weider home gym unit, with uprights and Olympic weight plates, for the intermediate lifter who is ready to begin their bench press career.Read more
You get all the angles with this one--flat, decline, and incline. The removable preacher curl station has more surface area and a rolled edge up top for comfort and a greater range of motion. The pad does a great job isolating your biceps during curls.
The leg station has a peg, making it easy to load with weight plates, and the thick roller pads let you do both leg curls and extensions. While the uprights can't be used for squats, the metal pegs adjust to customize the starting and ending points of any bench press.
The exercise chart is standard equipment with Weider, but this one lets you monitor your progress towards goals. It is a very simple way to keep yourself interested and to make sure you use your bench a few times a week. The preacher pad is suited to both curl bar and dumbbell preacher curls.
8. X-Factor Door Gym
Resistance increases as door size goes up
Fits onto any door
Comes with two handles and two ankle straps
DVD, wall chart, healthy eating guide
The bar in the photo does not come with the X-Factor
This is a Weider home gym set of resistance bands connected to the four points of your door with plastic pulley systems and a long, lat pulldown style bar for pulling.Read more
The result looks like a giant letter X, thus the name. The X-Factor is designed to train your entire body. It takes up almost no space and does not require setup. You can just drop by for ten or 15 minutes on your way to the breakfast table if you like.
The combinations of triple bands and pulleys all add up to over 210 pounds of resistance. It is progressive resistance, too, so you can adjust as you grow. The X-Factor would work as your only resistance trainer in a pinch. More than likely, though, you can use it on days when you can't get to the gym or just don't have the energy for a full-on lifting session. We could see doing a sweet interval workout, pulling on the X-Factor between sets of push-ups, planks, pikes, leg lifts or any other bodyweight exercise you can cook up.
In addition to the thorough wall chart, which illustrates more than 50 exercises, you get three training DVDs for the X-Factor. You also get a free two-month-long meal planning and nutritional information tool. The X-Factor comes with a lifetime warranty through Weider.
9. Speed Weight Adjustable Dumbbell
Plate weights are durable
Five pound increments are beginner friendly
Ergonomic comfort grip
Compact enough to stash away or take on a trip
Weights do not always fit readily into included tray
These Weider home gym dumbbells are a lot more convenient and easier to handle than traditional fixed or adjustable dumbbells. There are no weight plates to load, and no spring clips to put in place.Read more
If you want to work out both arms or sides of your body at once, you have to buy two separate units. They are not sold in pairs. It's a bit inconvenient, as nearly every dumbbell routine involves using both arms at once. Each dumbbell weighs 25 pounds.
The Weider home gym dumbbell comes on a molded tray, which Weider calls a stand. You can place them on a shelf or counter, or even slide the tray under a bed in between workouts. You can also buy a separate metal stand that only works with the Speedweights. The circular steel discs are chrome plated for strength and durability, though there is no rubber or vinyl covering for protection if you drop the dumbbell. Discs are five pounds each, allowing beginners to work their way up in easy increments.
Weider does sell the Speedweights in higher weights for more advanced lifters. They tend to be noisy during use, as the non-padded metal discs clank together with each rep. The handle has a human hand-friendly curved design that won't cause excess strain and will not limit your range of motion.
10. Cast Iron Kettlebells/Powerbells
Neoprene dipped for safety, grip (fixed kettlebells)
Cast iron is durable, won't corrode (fixed kettlebells)
Color-coded by weight (fixed kettlebells)
Weight discs are easy to handle, with indentations (Powerbell)
Comes with a DVD workout guide, great for beginners (Powerbell)
Five pound weight increments, for slow progressive resistance (Powerbell)
Powerbell may be too slow/tedious for a Crossfit or HIIT style workout with changing weights
The fixed kettlebells may be hard to find in all the weight increments, even on Weider official website
Weider's entry in the kettlebell column is affordable, easy to use, and long-lasting, like so many of Weider's home-use products.Read more
Weider home gym kettlebells became popular around the same time that functional fitness took off. Functional fitness focuses on everyday real-life motions, giving you the strength you need to complete daily tasks without getting fatigued. Kettlebells are well-loved for their versatility and the fact that they do not lock you into a prescribed range of motion.
Weider offers both traditional fixed-weight kettlebells, and models with similar designs to the Speedweights. We wouldn't have thought kettlebells could segment into adjustable resistance, but Weider figured it out.
The fixed kettlebells are color-coded and available in weights from 5 to 20 pounds. They are dipped in neoprene, making them easier to handle and giving you a better grip. The bells are made of cast iron and feature an easy-grip handle. Weider's fixed weight kettlebells are exceptionally durable and user-friendly.
Weider's adjustable kettlebell (which we have linked to) is called the PowerBell. It uses a lock mechanism to hold the disc weights in place. The lock opens with a twist so you can adjust your resistance quickly. One of these can take the place of half a rack of fixed kettlebells in your home gym. And if you are new to kettlebells, the company has included a workout DVD to get you swinging them around in no time.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Weider Fitness is typically user-centered in their design and implementation.
That means their engineers try to think of everything and are constantly able to introduce new models. The benefit to you is a product that will adapt to your home gym space and daily routine quickly, not something you will have to workaround.
We prioritized equipment with more adjustable features, leaving the smaller and simpler equipment for last. Nearly all of the Body Work units, benches, rack systems, and chest or ab stations we looked at will fit most users. But we have been honest when a unit has a drawback, such as a narrow bench or, in the case of the X-Factor, limited resistance adjustments.
Although it will still give you a decent workout, the X-Factor's resistance can only adjust by placing it in a bigger door frame, which puts the bands under more tension. We were honest about this because we know not all of our readers have access to different sizes of doors in their homes.
Ease of Use
It would be hard to name a Weider product that causes many difficulties.
That goes back to Weider's commitment and mission of putting customer needs first. The Body Work unit can be adjusted quickly. The Speedweights are called that for a reason. The benches have all their parts and stations arranged within easy reach, and you can instantly tell where to pull when you approach any Weider cable station.
We had to think a good bit about what does make one Weider system easier to use than another. In the end, we really think the number one Bodywork is the easiest. You just set it to the right length, sit down, and pull. The machine does the rest, and you get an efficient joint-friendly workout in just a little time. A machine like the Body Work won't give you chiseled abs or help you with powerlifting, but it will help you maintain balance and avoid injury during your busy working life.
Which features are actually must-haves for you?
Only you can answer that question, of course. We looked at the aggregate of consumer and commercial reviews, for each of the ten Weider products, to determine which ones had features that would appeal to the widest group of people. Everyone wants to set the starting point of their bench press where they can reach and replace the bar. Not everyone needs or is interested in a bench that can incline or decline. While no machine can be everything to everyone, we prioritized those that we felt could get the general fitness buff up and running the quickest, without having to dial in a lot of settings just for a quick morning workout.
Proper range of motion makes for a more efficient and beneficial exercise, while also protecting you from injury.
Since helping our readers is important to us, we put a lot of value into the range of motion and, by extension, motion control. One of the great things about most of Weider's products is that they are for everyone. We suggested using the 265 weight bench as a starter pack, but the truth is even someone new to the gym could start using the 395 Olympic sets after just a little training.
We are confident that the training, under the eye of an experienced mentor, would be enough. That is because Weider makes all their equipment, including benches, in ways that encourage a full range of motion. The equipment we rated lower does not have many provisions, though, for motion control. Always use caution when using cable stations, dumbbells, kettlebells, and units like the Door Gym. It is possible to get an injury without realizing it, only to exacerbate it later when you come back to the gym after a light or rest day.
Space is always at a premium in your home, and nobody knows that better than Weider.
This is why we were a little surprised to see the Power Tower with a backward-facing pull up bar. It is inconvenient, but it also needlessly adds to the Power Tower's footprint. We have seen plenty of similar units with the bar on the front, so we aren't sure why Weider didn't do this for their upper body conditioner. Again, we were honest, giving the unit a lower rating because of this shortcoming. We are confident recommending the product to you, as it is Weider quality, but part of our role is to point out details that may make you regret a purchase decision. So with the Power Tower, and with everything else we reviewed, we took the unit's overall size into consideration.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
It seems like more people are doing squats than ever before.
And it's no wonder. There is no other exercise that works out as many muscle groups in a single rep. It is a functional exercise, as we often need to squat or kneel in our professional or personal lives. Done with consistent proper form, the squat can quickly make you stronger in a way few other exercises can.
One way to help yourself achieve and maintain that all-important form is by using a squat rack. These are large metal frames that hold an Olympic bar still for plate loading and collar securing. Then you can stand in front of the rack, place the barbell carefully on your shoulders, and perform your exercises.
However, you may have noticed, if you have ever looked at a gym grade squat rack, that it has safety bars coming off the floor. These bars are there to catch the bar, should you fail at the top or bottom of the rep. Your tendency will be to fall down under all that weight. As you do, you can drop the bar on the safety bars, where it will stop before causing any further damage. The safety bars are similar to the emergency exit lane on a highway.
Since the safety bars are not included on all home gyms, we cannot stress enough that you have to keep the weight light when you squat at home. The removable uprights on a weight bench are not designed for weights above the unit's capacity. Don't take a chance on a serious injury that can keep you out of the lifting gym until you can recover.
We realize that standard bars and weight plates are more cost-effective than Olympic ones. And standard bars, with their lower weight ratings, are often suitable to teens or older preteens who are just getting started with lifting. But if you plan on sticking with lifting, as a lifelong practice, we urge you to spend the extra money and get an Olympic set. This would be a bench that comes with an Olympic bar and plates.
The reason is that the weights made for Olympic sets will be of higher quality. They will last longer, and will often have better grip surfaces to reduce the chance of dropping one. The bars are heavier and designed for better balance, so you will be less likely to have a tipping incident if you find one side of your body suddenly weaker than the other. Also, it is almost impossible to upgrade a standard bench and set to Olympic later on. If you start out with an Olympic set, you will not need to upgrade and you will be ready if you ever decide to pursue competitive lifting.
Other Factors to Consider
For a unit to make our list, we had to be sure that it could do what it was designed to do. It has to be clear, from the name, packaging, and ad copy, what part of your body the unit is for and what aspects of fitness it will help with. So we included a slant bench, which is meant mostly for ab and some dumbbell exercises. It is different from a flat, incline, or decline bench, which you can use to lift barbells. We made sure to add items with a variety of applications, while also ensuring the application of each unit is clear and that it will deliver on the results you are needing.
Comfort is always important, no matter how big or small the piece of equipment is. Benches feature padding, and barbell benches need more padding than a slant bench. The X-Factor door gym, though an unconventional piece of equipment, still has comfort grips to prevent blisters or wrist fatigue. The dumbbells, too, have ergonomic handles, and the fixed kettlebells are dipped in neoprene for easy grip. All the pieces of equipment in our buying guide will allow you to get stronger in comfort, with no unnecessary strain.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What were some of Joe Weider's accomplishments?
In 1946, Weider founded the International Federation of Bodybuilders, which became the central body in charge of bodybuilding and fitness competitions. Today the group is known as The International Federation of Body Building and Fitness. Weider's leadership helped standardize bodybuilding competitions, leading to increased safety and better training.
Besides being the publisher of many influential magazines and writing several books about weightlifting, Weider acted as Arnold Schwarzenegger's trainer, helping Schwarzenegger win the Mr. Olympia crown six years in a row and laying the groundwork for the action star's film career.
Weider also helped equalize the male-dominated sport of weightlifting, when he founded the Ms. Olympia competition in 1980. And Joe Weider was an early adopter of vitamins and supplements as tools for weightlifting and overall health.
q: Are there any Weider home gym cardio machines?
Yes. Weider makes mini steppers, indoor cycles, and other simple, lightweight cardio equipment. However, strength training was always their focus. When we visited Weider's website, we could not find any current cardio equipment being promoted. In order to provide you with up to date information, we did not review any cardio equipment and stuck with what Weider has to offer currently.
q: Are Weider home gym machines as effective as free weights?
We can positively say that, if you want to work a lot of muscle groups at once and save time at the gym, you should focus on free weights. The squat alone works your quads, thighs, glutes, hamstrings, back and core muscles. There aren't many machines that can do all that. The pec deck, for example, can take up more time than a squat while only working the chest muscles. Weider and other manufacturers have tried to get around this by attaching multiple stations to the same frame, but you still end up spending more time working out as you move from station to station.
Of course, there are times when you will not want to work so many muscle groups. You may have a swollen ankle, wrapped in a compression sleeve, but are unwilling to miss a workout. In that case, you can easily find a machine that will work your upper body without getting the injured area involved.
The machines also do a better job of enforcing proper form. However, this can be a functional disadvantage if the machine limits your range of motion or emulates movements you would never do in real life. This is why manufacturers provide so many adjustments on machines, so you can start and stop at the place that will give you a full range of motion without causing you to hyperextend.
q: Why would anyone buy a fixed weight dumbbell?
Fixed weight dumbbells are a great choice for someone who primarily does cardio and wants to add a little more of a challenge. Holding neoprene covered dumbbells during step aerobics, even as low as three pounds, can make a difference and shouldn't be discounted. Lightweight fixed dumbbells are also good for physical therapy or rehabbing injuries, because the affected muscles may not be able to work on progressive resistance while they heal.
On the other end of the scale, very heavy, one-piece, iron dumbbells are great for powerlifters who have no need for a 20, 30, or 40-pound dumbbell. These athletes can often farmer carry their own weight around a gym; they do not want to spend a lot of time loading down a dumbbell when they can just grab an iron one and go.
q: Why haven't you reviewed any Weider supplements?
We didn't review the supplements because we wanted a single focus. With so many supplement suppliers on the market, Weider seems to have narrowed down their focus, too, on a few lines of free weights, home gyms, and bodyweight stacks. Our goal is always to stay consistent with a topic, and we also strive to provide you with the most up to date information.
- Joe Weider, Web Encyclopedia ,
- The Best Weight Machines on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers, New York Magazine ,
- Weider Ultimate Body Work, Weider Official Website ,
- Home Workout Versus Gym Workout, Chicago Tribune Newspaper ,