Well Built and an Excellent Value
- canoekayak "ski bum wannabe"
During High School and in the military, I did a lot of weight training. Ok, I'm not 16 nor 21 anymore. I'm now in my 40's and am an active cyclist, and skier. I bought this machine based upon the Consumer Reports write ups (it was rated number one) so my wife and I can quickly and easily do some strength training. My key requirements were size, Lat and Leg exercises and Durability/Quality. Only way to review this is to break it down a bit:
Assembly: A lot of parts, Directions are passable, but not great. Biggest problem I had was determining which bolt for which hole. It took a good 4 hours to assemble, and I'm pretty good at this kind of stuff.
Customer Support: Had a plate break in shipping, and it took under 2 minutes to get to a human being. (you deal with body solid directly for support.) He made note that a plate was broken and asked me to finish assembly and give him a call back, to make sure I didn't need anything else. I finished up, and had no other issues. Called back to his direct extenision and he drop shipped the plate from the warehouse. I'd say that was great service.
Leg Exercises - Leg lift for Quads is great. The standing one legged hamstring curl, took a bit to get used to but given the small size of the machine, I'll take it.
Bench Press - Very smooth, and you get two hand positions, one for more inner pec and the other for more outer. Downside is that the start position is a little far back, but now that I think about it, I may have the bench arm on backwards. Doh!
Lats/Back - This is where I believe this machine earns it keep. It provides a Lat pulldown, and a seated row position. This was key to me and it performs as expected. (note I'm using this for toning and not body building. A 160 pound stack works for me.)
Shoulders/Arms - The curl bar thats included does has a static handle, so its not good for curls. You will need to purchase a bar that has rotating handles. Since I use dumbbells for these exercises, it didn't matter much. I'm ordering a single rotating curl bar, so my wife can add some exercises.
Overall, I'd say its a great value for someone who wants a smaller in home machine to cover a lot of exercies, and wants to add strength training to their workout. If your looking to get 'Pumped Up', you'd be better with Free weights or a Gym membership. I looked for a used one, but they didn't last very long and had a pretty high resale value. I am certainly happy with my purchase, and now need to flip that bench press attachment around.
Overall, I am very satisfied with this purchase.
1. delivery. It took about 2 weeks from Chicago to southern California. The delivery man moved the 6 boxes into my garage, even though they are only obligated to drop at curbside.
2. assembly. It took over 6 hours to assemble by myself. The instructions are not very clear. There are many bolts and nuts that look very similar, so you need to carefully distinguish the different sizes. The problem is compounded by diagrams that are low quality (low resolution).
3. finished product. The time and effort involved was worth it because the machine is solid and a joy to use. Every motion is smooth and quiet. Very compact. Lifetime warranty is reassuring.
I would have given 5 stars if the instructions were better
Very satisfied with new Home Gym - Douglas Dillenberger "Doug"
The Body-Solid Home Gym arrived in six boxes in only 10 days. The instructions for assembly were not that great but after taking the time to organize the parts in particular the various sized bolts and associated nuts it went very well. I think the key to assembly is to read over each section carefully and get the exploded view down pat then follow the step by step directions. By the time I was done it took just about five hours and I had a few parts left over. The machine is everything I had hoped for. Its smooth action is a delight and both me and my wife love it already. I missed the workout center but now that I work out of my house the 20 mile round trip into town just didn't make sense. The money was well spent and I am 100% satisfied.
Solid Company - Michael Mitlitsky
I have purchased Body Solid machines in the past. To me, a product is only as good as the company who backs it as things do tend to go wrong. I moved and left a large unit in the old house. I decided instead of one large unit, I would purchased many smaller stations. I purchased this unit, I started putting it together and one cable was not right. It had just a bare wire at the end. I saw it was not right so I called Body Solid's toll free number. I assumed I would get a run around. However, I described the problem to the technician and he understood right away that the cable was not right. He said they would send another right out via UPS. Again I assumed that it would take weeks. That was 1/14 and it arrived Tuesday 1/19. It might have arrived sooner but Monday was a holiday. I like a company that when you purchase the product you are not alone if something goes wrong. As for the directions, I had no problems putting the unit together. The key is to first take the time (took me about 1 hour) to identify all the screws and pieces by size using the directions. I put each in piles. Also have all the tools you need also in the directions. Then begin assembly. Remember to go slow and check to make sure you followed the steps correctly. Once you assemble most of the frame and when the directions call for the weight stack, you might want to decide where you want the machine exactly as it can be difficult to move once you put the weights on. I hope this review helps.
Great value, solid product, very happy
- J. Keith
I shopped at all of the on-line and "bricks and mortar" stores and looked at products and technologies that used power rods, hydraulics, springs, and cast iron weights. This is *by far* the best product I found. My son and I assembled it in 2 hours (4 man hours, but a lot easier with 2 people) and used it that night.
Delivery was offered within days (I live in Ohio) and it was from a company that brought the 6 boxes to the liftgate of their truck in my driveway. The gym itself is in 3, well packed, boxes and the weights come in 50-pound cartons. Take the time to separate and label all of the fasteners before you start.
The unit is very well built, welded, and painted. The gym is quiet, comfortable, and very versatile. This is a very good value and a great addition to my home gym.
High Quality Low Price Starter Gym
- Joe Adams
I'm generally a firm believer that you get what you pay for but the Body Solid EXM1500S may be the exception. It is a surprisingly high quality piece of equipment for a relatively low price.
It arrived via Amazon's white glove delivery service in three large boxes plus three smaller boxes containing the weight stacks.
Assembly took two people with a good set of metric mechanic's tools several hours. The instructions are less than perfect and proved to be a source of frustration. The illustrations are printed on the back side of the written steps so you are flipping the pages back and forth constantly. How hard would it be to print them on individual pages so you can view them side by side? There are also missing written steps that you just have to figure out by studying the illustrations. That being said, everything fit perfectly as it is obviously well engineered.
Once assembled, the gym is a joy to use. Although it is compact and fits in a small footprint, it has a lot of capability. I have found a number of standard exercise motions that are not listed on the included poster. The weight stack only goes to 160 pounds and according to Body Solid cannot be expanded so it's perfect for toning but limited for bulk building. Overall, this is a great starter gym for the price! I'm giving it five stars for this reason alone.
It arrived via Amazon's white glove delivery service in three large boxes plus three smaller boxes containing the weight stacks.
Purchased this from Amazon and received it quickly. Assembly took around 4.5 hours and went smoothly. As all who have assembled this have indicated and as indicated by the instruction manual, DO NOT TIGHTEN PULLEYS UNTIL YOU RUN THE CABLES. I followed the instructions and all went perfectly.
The system works very nicely but I found the bench press was set too far back and may be hard for some less limber users.
Called customer service regarding a missing part and they shipped it within a week and as it turned out, the piece was not missing afterall. Some pieces were found inside other larger pieces. Look carefully...
You will be pleased with this piece of equipment!
Very Nice Machne
This is a very nice machine and the basic exercises are very good. I have a few complaints but the plusses outweigh the minuses.
I really like the small footprint of this unit. I live in a condo and I've got it in my living room. (I'm not married so I can get away with that.)
The components come in several boxes shipped by a freight carrier. Some of my boxes were damaged and one of the white frame pieces was scarred. Not much can be done about that other than packing the thing in a wooden crate.
Very easy to assemble but time consuming. As others mentioned, it's a good idea to sort out all the bolts into labeled ziplock bags to keep track of them.
All pieces were there, thank goodness.
One negative is the instruction manual lists the sizes of some bolts in inches and some in millimeters. They include a diagram of a ruler in inches but, LOL, I found it to be wrong.
One problem I had was the cable attached to the weight stack was too short. I called Body Solid tech support and apparently this was/is a known problem because before I could even explain my problem he told me what it was. They shipped me a D-link to insert inline and the cable is fine now.
There was no exercise manual with my unit only a wall poster. The poster only lists 20 exercises. When they shipped me the D-link they included a DVD of exercises. I haven't watched it so perhaps there's more on the DVD.
I found the ab crunch strap very painful to use. Maybe I'm using it wrong but I plan on purchasing the Body Solid Ab Crunch Harness in hopes it works better.
I also plan on getting a Stirrup Handle. Too bad it didn't come with one as several exercises on the poster require one.
I'm very happy with the core exercises (chest, legs, lats). I've only been using it a couple of weeks and I can already see results.
Solid Value - G. B. Payne
I am more than pleased with this product. I have had it assembled for a few weeks now, and I am still using it regularly - it is not yet a clothes rack.
As other reviewers have noted, the assembly is a bit of a challenge. But if you'll do three things, you can get through this and have a body building machine you'll enjoy for years to come.
1) Use the provided assembly instructions along with the set that you can download from the website. They aren't the same, but by comparing the two where they differ, you'll better understand what was supposed to happen.
2) Don't tighten the pulley bolts! You'll be warned about this in the instructions, but they won't explain it. You'll understand before it's over.
3) Sort out the hardware first.
There are more possible exercises than I will ever actually use, which is a good thing. Every part of your body gets a chance to stretch or pull. It's easy to change the weights with the selector provided. And it's plenty sturdy for lasting a long time with use.
It took me about a week to put it together, but I'm slow about these things. If you get intimidated, try doing one page of instructions per day.
I am glad I bought this thing. And I'm a stingy Scot.
Sturdy and well designed - Get Real, Butthead
The unit is very well built. I do metal work and have experience with this type of fabrication, and the machining was perfectly alined. The assembly instructions list EVERY part and give a good assembly plan. Remember, there is an assembly order that you need to follow. I advise that you put it together according to the instructions. Materials are packaged well and shipping was handled professionally.
It is difficult to build a "stock" unit that can fit "all" body types. So, the adjustment options to fit each body are limited. But, if you're like me, Joe Average, it's a good fit.
As for the gym function, it works great. I have limited space and need to fit gym, spinner, and free weights into one very tiny room. This is the perfect unit for my setting. Small footprint with versatile functions. Pully bearings are sealed -a big plus for those of us who sweat during a workout. Multiple attachments make upper and lower body exercise variation possible. Range of motion when lifting weight is important. The unit allows for a full range of motion for every type of exercise I can perform.