Best Home Gym Equipment For Losing Weight+ Recommendations

Want to lose some weight but want to do it at home? Here’s what equipment works for you. 

The best equipment to lose weight at home is any type of cardio machine you’ll actually use and some equipment to build muscle. Doing cardio exercise burns calories in the moment while building muscle raises the Base Metabolic Rate which mean you burn more calories throughout the day.

Let’s get into the details of what you need and why that works for you. 

Which Home Gym Equipment For Losing Weight

To lose weight (specifically body fat), you need to accomplish a few things: 

  • Reduce calorie intake
  • Increase calorie burned

This works for 99% of people unless there you have a serious medical condition. Reducing calorie intake just eating less (and preferably eating healthier too). 

Increasing the amount of calories you burn is where the home gym comes in. Doing exercise is a great way to burn calories. Cardio machines are very good to burn calories. We’ll go into what the best options are below. 

In addition to doing cardio exercise, it’s also a good idea to do some muscle building exercises. 

Building muscle might seem counterintuitive if you’re trying to lose weight but there is a very good reason why you should combine both cardio exercise and some muscle building exercises. 

Exercise burns calories in the moment you’re doing it. However, bigger muscles is like having a bigger engine in your car. If you use all the power, it will burn more fuel than a small engine. So big muscles can burn more calories. Muscle also uses a small amount of calories to be maintained every hour of the day which means the amount of calories you burn without moving a muscle goes up when you have more muscle mass. 

Bigger muscles in turn also allow you to do higher intensity cardio which then burns more calories per minute. Let’s get into the best equipment options for both cardio exercise and muscle building.

Cardio Equipment

First and foremost, if you have a favorite way of doing cardio exercise, get that machine. That’s because you’re more likely to do exercise you like than exercise you don’t even if the one you don’t is a bit more efficient. 

However, if you don’t have a preference, I would recommend going for a rowing machine, elliptical or exercise bike. 

Those machines have a low impact on your joints so the injury risk is much lower (especially for beginners and/or heavier people) than on a treadmill. 

My personal favorite is the rowing machine since it targets so many muscles in the body. If you prefer walking the elliptical trainer is a good option however, a good elliptical is more expensive than a good rowing machine.

Suggested: Is 30 minutes on a rowing machine enough to lose belly fat?

If cheap and small is what you want, go for an exercise bike. They don’t have to cost that much and are very compact. There are different types of exercise bikes for different wants. From spin bikes for very intense HIIT workouts to recumbent bikes for steady state cardio with relaxed seating position. 

TIP: If you want an exercise bike but also involve the upper body, look at air bikes like the Assault Bike. Those can provide a very intense full body workout. 

Muscle Building Equipment

To build some muscle, you can go in many different directions but it all comes down to: resistance. You need something to provide resistance to your muscles to challenge them which is what causes growth. 

You can do this in a few different ways;

Resistance bands are the cheapest and smallest by far. They’re not always the easiest and most comfortable to use though. But if you want to be done for under $50, this is the way to go. Invest the rest of the money in a good workout program. 

For most people, a set of dumbbells  and a bench are in a sweet spot price and size wise. You can build great muscles with dumbbells and a bench. For people that want to build a lot of muscle, a barbell, power rack and weight plates are a good addition to this but that is not necessary for most people that just want to lose weight and look better. 

If you don’t like free weights, take a look at multi-gyms and functional trainers. A multi-gym packs a lot of strength machines into one machine for at home. They are large and expensive however. 

An alternative to the multi-gym is the functional trainer. This is a cable machine you can use for countless exercises while standing on your feet. This means you use natural movement patterns for real world strength. 

Which one of these is best for you? If you mainly want to lose weight but don’t spend too much money, a set of dumbbells and a bench gives you a lot of options. If that is too much, at least get some resistance bands. 

If you want to spend some money and are committed to your goals long term, look at a functional trainer or multi-gym. 

Recommended Home Gym Equipment For Losing Weight

As said above, there are many ways to go about losing weight and you have to find something that works for you. The best equipment is the equipment you actually use since consistency is the key to weight loss. 

That said, here are my recommendation that I think work best for the majority of people. 

Recommended Cardio Machines For Weight Loss

1. Concept2 Rowing Machine

My favorite is the Concept2 Rowing machine (Amazon). It’s a super sturdy machine that can handle up to 500 lbs. users. Rowing is also a full body exercise that targets many different muscles in your body. 

Concept2 is the best choice for rowers. You see them in many commercial gyms and many athletes use these things to train. They are simply the standard.  

Suggested: Can you lose belly fat on a rowing machine?

2. Sole E35 Elliptical Trainer

If you go for an elliptical trainer, go for a good one and not the cheapest one you can find. Elliptical trainers are big, complicated machines and you have to spend some money to get a good, smooth, reliable one. The Sole E35 (Amazon) is a great elliptical for a relatively friendly price. 

It has many features but is also smooth, comes with great warranty and is quiet. It can also handle users up to 375 lbs. The E35 isn’t small though. 

3. Assault Bike

Want to burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time? Get an Assault bike (Amazon) or similar. These bikes have foot pedals and hand levers connected to a fan. This means you get a full body workout that’s super intense.

This is a very tough to work out at high intensity on these bikes. Are they effective for burning fat? Absolutely. But you have to be mentally tough to get the most out of these things. 

4. Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike

For longer duration steady state cardio (which is better for burning calories in the long run), a recumbent bike is a good choice. 

The Schwinn 230 (Amazon) provides exactly what you need without any unnecessary bells and whistles. Plenty of resistance levels, good performance monitor and wireless heart rate monitoring with a 300 lbs. user weight limit. 

Recommended Muscle Building Equipment For Weight Loss

1. Set of Resistance Bands

Make sure to get a complete set of resistance bands that has at least 5 different weight bands, a door anchor, handles and ankle straps. That will set you up, ready to go in one package. You can find a good starter pack by clicking here (Amazon)

2. BowFlex ST552 Dumbbells

Most people are more comfortable working out with dumbbells than with bands. A full set of dumbbells is not necessary. A full set of dumbbells takes up a lot of space and is expensive. 

These BowFlex ST552 (Amazon) dumbbells are adjustable. This means one set can be used at many different weights. This saves a lot of money and space. They go up to 52.5 pounds which is heavy enough to build some decent muscle. 

3. Fitness Reality Bench

A bench is necessary for many exercises. A good cheap and compact bench is the Fitness Reality 1000 (Amazon). It’s foldable for compact storage and can handle plenty of weight. The weight limit is 800 lbs. which is plenty. It also has a lot of adjustability which means it’s not only usable for flat bench exercises but also incline and decline exericses.

Many people often forget a few important pieces of their home gym that isn’t directly gym equipment. Here are my favorite home gym tools.

To find my favorite home gym equipment, click here


Hey, I'm Matt. Welcome to After working out in many different gyms for almost 20 years and helping people build their own home gyms, i've learned a few things i'd like to share with you.

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