The Body Solid Exm1500s Single Stack Home Gym competes as one of the best buy in the home gym category. It has all the features you could have ever desired for a complete toning, fitness and strength training exercise right from the comfort of your home. If you can just set a routine of 20 minutes a day, 3 times a week and promise yourself to keep up to it, you can all by yourself trim down your belly, build your muscles and look good as much as you desire. Not every person have the money to go pay for a regular service at the gym or fitness centers but once you can just take the pain to buy this product once and for all, you would be saying goodbye to any other spending because this offers you varieties of exercises to choose from.
Key Features of the Body Solid EXM 1500s
This compact home gym is built with different stations that allow the user to perform a huge number of workouts all in one sitting. These stations are leg extension/leg curl, lat pull down/high pulley, seated row/low pulley, ab crunch/mid pulley, and chest press. Each of these stations is built to target a specific muscle group. It is also built with an over sized padded seat that can be adjusted according to the user’s body size.
The Exm1500s is set on a 160 lb. stack and even better is you can adjust it in increments of ten pounds, perfect for building up muscles and toning gradually. With a measurement of 36 x 83 x 49-Inch (width x height x depth), it won’t take up a lot of space in your home, giving you the results you want without occupying too much room.
- Built with a single weight stack of 160 pounds for serious weight resistance.
- 5 different workout stations that allow you to hit virtually every muscle group.
- Weights are easy to increase or decrease in ten pound increments by simply moving the weight stack pin.
- Allows you do dozens of the best muscle building resistance exercises.
- Smooth, comfortable resistance for every exercise to ensure proper form and prevent workout related injuries.
- Dimensions: 36 x 83 x 49-Inch
- Comes with a limited lifetime manufacturer’s warranty
In the case of the Body solid EXM1500S we get:
- Chest Press Station
- Lat Pull-down/High Pulley Station
- Seated Row/Low Pulley Station
- Leg Extension/Leg Curl Station
- Ab Crunch/Mid Pulley Station
Which is a decent amount of features, that allow use to perform loads of different exercises.
A home gym needs to have this variety else you will plateau very quickly due to the lack of variation in your workout routine and before you know it you’ll need to renew your gym membership to make much more progress. Obviously this would be a total waste of time and money.
CHEST PRESS STATION
The Body solid exm1500s chest press station claims to be “biomechanically design for maximum chest concentration and rapid muscle development” according to the Bodysolid website.
Whilst this sounds like some sort of technical breakthrough in muscular activation essentially is it little more than a comfortable seating position unfortunatley, the actual concentration you can apply to your chest is largely dependant on your own mind muscle connection, physical size, flexibility and technique.
What is nice about the Chest Press feature of the Body solid EXM1500S is that the 90 degree bend in the rubberized handles allows you to use to different grips. The regular overhand grip which mimics holding a barbel, and the hammer grip which has your wrists rotated 90 degrees as if you were holding a hammer in your hand.
You may wonder what the benefit of this is as you are still essentially performing the same movement (a press away from your chest). The answer is that this subtle difference brings your arms a little closer together and takes the chest slightly out of the movement which places more emphasis on the triceps.
LAT PULLDOWN/HIGH PULLEY STATION
As you will have noticed from the pictures of the Body solid EXM1500S every station and feature is connected to the 160lb weight stack via a system of pulleys.
The high pulley is the one at the very top of the frame and enables the user to pull in a downward motion which in turn lifts the weight stack upwards.
Mostly this system is used to train you back muscles which are activated when you pull something towards you either in a vertical motion. Or in a horizontal motion which is more like the lower pulley station which we will be looking at next.
With the Body solid exm1500s high pulley you can perform lat pull-downs, triceps press-downs, cable crossovers and many other variation of these exercises. However some of these of course require different handle and attachments. unfortunately the Body solid EXM1500S only come with 3, the lat bar, curl bar and a strap. You can easily purchase other attachments which are universal and will work with any gym equipment if you require them.
The high pulley itself seemed to have a fairly smooth, gliding range of motion when in use which is nice to see on a lower/mid range home gym, occasionally they can be somewhat ‘clunky’ to say the least.
LOW PULLEY/SEATED ROW STATION
Weirdly the Bodysolid exm1500s low pulley station is situated to the side of the equipment at ground level. Almost as though it were an after thought. However this is a forgivable quirk given that there are a lot of other features packed into quite a compact piece of equipment.
What is not so easy to forgive is the bizarrely flimsy foot rest panel which is part of the low pulley system. If you have ever used anything like this before you will know that somewhere solid to put your feet is absolutely essential when doing nay horizontal pulling movement. This is because if you don’t have a solid base you will simply end up pulling yourself towards the weight rather than the weight towards you.
In a commercial gym you will no doubt find that the equivalent equipment that a low pulley row is performed on will have a FAR more substantial foot rest on it. Which allows you to find a comfortable and strong position to steady yourself with. This allows you to put every ounce of tension and stress into your back muscles rather than trying to steady yourself in an unnatural position. Whilst not ideal by a long shot you can still use the low pulley of the exm1500s, but some people may find it a little restrictive.
LEG EXTENSION/LEG CURL STATION
Everybody has seen this type of set up in gyms all over the place. In terms of the leg extension there isn’t really any variation at all in how this exercise can be performed. The equipment it is performed on is always the same. The Body solid exm1500s is no exception, the padded bar sits across the top of your ankle while you are in the seated position on the home gym and as you straighten your leg, pushing the bar upwards in a circular motion it uses another pulley to lift the weight. Simple. You will be pleased to know that the Body solid exm1500s leg extension is as good as any you will find in a commercial gym and there is really nothing more to say than that.
The leg curl is slightly different as machines tend take two different forms, one has the user lying on their front in a horizontal position. The bar rests on the back of the leg just above the ankle almost like a reverse leg extension. The other has the user in a seated position but with the leg completely straight out in front of them, as it is bent to 90 degrees the weight is lifted.
Essentially whichever of the positions you prefer is down to personal preference, and results will be exactly the same as the muscles used are the same.
The body solid exm1500s uses the second variation of the movement and like the leg extension is just as good as any you will find in any commercial gym. You will be able to really work your hamstring hard while being completely safe at all times.
AB CRUNCH/MID PULLEY STATION
Finally the mid pulley station, this is where you strap attachments are going to come in very useful. In our opinion this feature may be the most useful and the best on the whole home gym!
There are not a lot of home gyms in the price range which give the user a flexible way to work their abdominal with resistance.
You can take the straps, put your arms through them so you are wearing the like a rucksack, and as you lean forwards the pulley cable will be pulling you backwards. This allows you to apply a huge amount of tension to your abs and the more weight you add-on to the stack the more tension you will be applying.
This is a great movement because unlike traditional sit-ups/crunches, you don’t lose tension at the top of the exercise. When you do a sit up, once you pass a certain angle the tension on your muscle is relieved until you lower yourself back down. Whereas crunching downward with the cable pulling against you throughout the whole movement takes away that rest at the top and will give you a much harder and more complete workout!
Workouts (exercises) examples
- Ab crunches. Target: Abdominal muscles
- Pullover exercise. Target: Pectorals (chest), Triceps
- Tricep Extension. Target: Triceps
- Leg Extension. Target: Quadriceps
- Seated Row. Target: Back muscles
It’s pleasing to say we were pretty happy with the build quality of the exm1500s home gym. It’s very strong, study and reliable. Bodysolid have done a really good job of putting this together and they back it all up with a limited lifetime warranty.
This means that it is covered for LIFETIME: Frame & Welds, LIFETIME: Pulleys, Bushings, Bearings, Hardware, Plates, Guide Rods, LIFETIME: Cables, Upholstery, Grips (Normal Wear)
Basically it’s going to work a hard as you do and you can be safe in the knowledge that it’s going to perform every time. If it doesn’t Bodysolid are going to cover that and replace whatever went wrong free of charge. Companies don’t make a habit of giving out lifetime warranty on poorly made products and it would cost them a fortune!
ASSEMBLY AND THING YOU SHOULD KNOW
When you get your Body Solid EXM1500S it will come in quite a few different boxes. Once you dig out the instructions you should find that they are clear enough to get the job done with relative ease, however is it a little unclear on which bolts are used where. This can and most likely will result in several untightening and the tightening of nuts and bolts before you find out where they should really go. But eventually you will work it out and it’s no big deal really.
Bodysolid’s customer support is typical a pretty good service, they don’t put you through machine options and multiple choice, you get to speak to a human being and they are more than happy to help you out.
Lets take a look, firstly and most importantly we should look at what exercises we are going to be ale to perform using this piece of kit.
The Exm1500s has a lot of unique features that make it stand out from the rest.
- The machine has a wide array of features so you don’t have to buy separate gym equipment.
- The Exm1500s is compact, measuring only 36 x 83 x 49-Inch (width x height x depth)
- It has a limited lifetime warranty.
- The numerous stations on the machine allows you to work different parts of your body.
- Most settings are adjustable.
- A useful workout poster is included.
- The unit has gotten a lot of positive reviews online.
While the Exm1500s is a powerful machine, it is easy enough to use even if you haven’t been working out in the gym. And because you can adjust the settings, you can modify your workout as befits your age and physical conditioning.
Another advantage offered by the Exm1500s is its solid design. As many reviewers have noted, the components are very durable and on the few occasions that parts do break, the customer support has been responsive. But perhaps the most important is that you can perform a lot of different workout routines on it as advertised.
While the Exm1500s has a lot of useful features, there are some shortcomings here that any buyer has to be aware of.
- Putting the unit together can be challenging as the directions aren’t that clear. They help definitely, but it could be better.
- Those who are of above average built and size might find the machine needs some getting used to.
- The caps at the end of the lat bar could have been better designed.
While the machine does have some shortcomings, the positives far outweigh the negatives. Probably the biggest problem you will face here is trying to put the entire thing together. The manual isn’t as detailed as it should be yes, but that doesn’t mean you cannot use it as a guide. You just need to have patience and if you have used home gym equipment before, assembling the Exm1500s will be straightforward.
In conclusion we found the Bodysolid EXM1500S to be a really well built, reliable home gym with a nice variety of features which will suit everybody from beginner level gym goers up to intermediate/some advanced lifters. Only once you reach a very advanced level would you absolutley need to invest in some more equipment.
Most of the features work really well and are on a par with similar equipment you would find at your local gym, the only difference is that you don’t have to share these with a load of other people who all want to use them at the same time you do.
The biggest downfall in our opinion is the somewhat flimsy foot rest used on the low pullley station, but for a feature packed product in this price brakcet it is liveable.