Body Solid EXM1500s Review – Is It Any Good?

The Body Solid EXM1500s has been a popular choice for garage gym owners, as it was one of the first available all-in-one home gyms released on the market.

This model has been discontinued by Body-Solid (but it is still available online) and with more competitors than ever before, we believe it is not the best choice for most people.

In this Body Solid EXM1500s review, we've covered everything you need to know about this home gym.

Our Ratings

Workout Versatility

6.5

Value For Money

7.0

Ease Of Use

7.5

Ease Of Assembly

6.5

Materials & Durability

8.0


Overall Rating

7.1

Product Specifications

Dimensions (H x L x W)  

83 x 49 x 36 inches 

Weight 

297 lbs 

Total Resistance 

160 lbs

Warranty 

Yes, Lifetime

I've been using the EXM1500S for over a year now, and you can definitely tell it's an older model.

Let's take a closer look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of this home gym. 

Our Experience using This Home Gym

I've used a lot of budget home gyms, and the EXM1500S was a bit disappointing.

There were some good points. The cables move smoothly, and there's consistent tension during the lifts

The iron weights are good too. It feels a lot more authentic than some cheap cement weight plates and much better than the Bowflex power rods. 

It's quiet too. Even when I used the full weight on lifts there wasn't much noise, so it will work well in a small home. 

The real downside of this home gym is the design. On paper, you can do a wide range of exercises to target each major muscle group, but in practice there are some movements that it just doesn't accommodate

It's difficult to get a fully engaging chest press, and the leg extension won't work for tall users - so you're a bit limited in what you can actually train. The seat does adjust, but not fully enough to get the right angles.

You need to buy a few extra handles too if you want to target each major muscle group, particularly the stirrup handles which allow you to do a lot more exercises. 

For me, the Body Solid EXM1500S just isn't a true all in one home gym which can hit every muscle group. 

I found it useful for curls, rows, ab crunch exercises, and some lat work - but I had to do wrap up sessions afterwards to hit some other muscle groups. 

This is a budget home gym, but I was expecting more, and it just doesn't come close to some similarly priced models, like the Powerline BSG10X home gym (more on this down the page). 

Build Quality

Body Solid make reliable equipment and the overall quality of the EMX1500S is reasonably good quality

The steel frame seems durable and I've not seen any noticeable damage on the padded handles or cushioned seat since I've been using it. 

All the cables move smoothly and you don't have to change them when moving between workouts - which is useful for quick sessions that are designed to hit every major muscle group.

Just bear in mind that you do need to oil up the cables every few months to stop them sticking. 

The EXM1500S is heavy, much heavier than other units. This does make it difficult to move, but gives it a stable base, and there was no wobbling or moving while I used the machine. 

All in all, it seems like a well made home gym that should stand up to regular use. 

Weight Range

The Body Solid EXM1500S has a fairly low max weight capacity. 

The resistance only goes up to 160 lbs and the weight capacity can't be upgraded. This is enough for most beginners but it's also definitely not enough for intermediate or advanced lifters.

The weight capacity is about the same as some cheaper models, but the newer Body Solid EXM2500S of dbddfers 210 lbs of resistance and costs about the same price. 

Upper Body Exercises  

The Body Solid EXM1500S is best for training your upper body

You’ll be able to target your upper back, lats, pecs, shoulders, and triceps using the lat bar and low row bar. 

There is a chest press station, but for users with larger arms it's hard to reach maximum chest concentration because of the angle

Strength training exercises you can do for your upper body include: 

  • Cable crossovers  
  • Tricep press-downs  
  • Lat pulldowns  
  • Chest press (with difficulty)  
  • Seated row  

The home gym provides a broader range strength training exercises for the upper body than for the abs or the lower body, so that’s worth bearing in mind depending on your fitness goals.

See Also - Best Gym Machines For Upper Body

Ab Exercises 

The Body Solid EXM1500S is fairly effective for core workouts

You can use the ab crunch station and the mid pulley station to do a weighted ab crunch and other core exercises. 

There's also an ab crunch harness which supports ab crunch exercises and oblique bends.

There aren't as many ab crunch options as with other home gyms, but with the ab crunch harness there's definitely enough to help you tone up and improve your core strength. 

Lower Body Exercises

The Body Solid EXM1500S isn't as effective at training your lower body

There is a leg extension and leg curl station, but the placement of the form rollers makes them hard to use. 

There's no leg press attachment either, which makes it difficult to do some of the most effective leg workouts.

You can use the ankle straps and low pulley for alternative leg curl exercises, but these can be more challenging for beginners. 

However, if you can master them then exercises will help tone your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. They include: 

  • Leg extension  
  • Outer thigh abduction  
  • Inner thigh adduction
  • Leg curl  

Price Guide 

The Body Solid EXM1500S costs $1000-$1500 which puts it in the budget category. 

This isn't the cheapest on the market, but it's significantly more affordable than some of the premium home gyms out there. 

However, even at this price point it isn't great value for money

Newer Body Solid home gyms, like the EXM2500S, are very similarly priced and offer a better total body workout - so it's worth checking them out. 

Assembling This Product

The Body Solid EXM1500S is not easy to put together, and I've build a lot of home gyms.

It comes in a lot of different parts and they aren't labelled very well so it's difficult to know what you're dealing with. 

The instructions themselves aren't too difficult to follow, and there are nine specific steps illustrated by diagrams in the Body Solid EXM1500S home gym manual [3] which show you how to attach the parts correctly.  

My advice would be to lay out all the parts at the start and follow each step one by one to avoid any issues. 

You should allow 4-5 hours for assembly, and maybe ask a friend for help because some of the parts are heavy. 

Shipping & Warranty

The Body Solid EXM1500S has been discontinued, so you can no longer buy it directly from the manufacturer. 

However, it's still easy to pick it up through online marketplaces like Amazon, or through large fitness stores. 

I ordered through Amazon and it took about 2 weeks to arrive, which isn't too bad. It came in several boxes and some are quite heavy, so you may need help getting them inside. 

Body Solid offer a lifetime warranty on the frame and parts of this home gym - which is way above the industry standard. Their customer service seems great too and it's a real plus to have lifetime protection for your gym equipment. 


Pros & Cons Of The Body Solid EXM1500S  

What We Like 

  • Real iron weight plates
  • The small footprint means it can fit in most rooms 
  • Comfortable to use
  • Quiet
  • Smooth pulley system

What We Don’t Like 

  • Low weight resistance which can't be upgraded
  • Very heavy
  • Limited number of exercises
  • Hard to assemble

Who Is It Best Suited For?

The EXM1500S is only really suitable for beginners because of the limited weight range and workout options.

It's designed for those who want to lose weight and tone up, but it only really works as a supplementary piece of equipment alongside other machines or free weights. 

Even for beginners there are some downsides.

It's not easy to build, and it just won't accommodate larger users properly. Plus, it won't give you a true full body workout

The newer Body Solid EXM2500S is a more complete home gym for beginners looking to get a full body workout, and something like the Force USA G6 is much better for lifters with experience. 

The EXM1500S is affordable and compact, but for this price point there are other home gyms offering much more value for money. You're better off looking at more modern home gyms from the Body Solid range.

Unique Features Of The Body Solid EXM1500S 

Exercise has been proven essential [1], and the Body Solid EXM1500S is designed for those who are new to working out.

It has five exercise stations and 160 lbs of weight, which is manageable for everyone and isn’t overwhelming. Plus it's compact so it won't take up lots of space in your home. 

Sturdy Built Frame  

The Body Solid EXM1500S home gym frame is solid and stable, even when you’re using the entire weight stack.

body solid exm1500s

It’s got two layers of white enamel, which resists corrosion, and the tubes are thick, square, and made of steel.

It doesn't have the premium quality of some other home gyms, but it should last at least a few years.

6-Way Adjustable Seats

The Body Solid EXM 1500S isn't the best home gym for larger people, but the adjustable seat works well for average or smaller users. 

The exercise equipment has a seat with six different positions, so you can shift your body weight to make the exercise options more comfortable.

 Unfortunately, the backrests are not adjustable and you may struggle to get ergonomically correct body positioning. 

Foam Roller Backrest  

The Bold Solid EXM1500S exercise equipment has several foam rollers to make it more comfortable.

These are located behind the seat and on the leg extension and leg curl station. 

Each of these foam rollers are 4 inches thick, and are designed to support your body weight while you train.

Multiple Pulley Options 

There are three pulley options on the Body Solid EXM1500S home gym: the high, mid, and low pulley stations.

Each one allows you to perform several different exercise options and you can follow the workout poster to target each major muscle group.

There are 16 pulleys in total, and they’re made from nylon with ball bearings inside, covered with shells of steel. 

They seem very durable and you shouldn't have any issues with them any time soon.

man using the Body Solid EXM1500S Single Stack Home Gym

An Average Weight Stack  

The weight stack on the Body Solid EXM1500S home gym is probably enough for most beginners working out in their own home, but won't lead to outstanding muscle development. 

There is only 160lbs of weight, and this can’t be added to if you need more. Plus, with only a single selectorized stack, you’re limited in what upper body and lower body exercises you can do.  

Read Also - Plate-Loaded Vs Selectorized Machines

Small Footprint 

One of the best features of the Body Solid EXM1500S is that it's compact. 

It's perfect if you have limited space in your own home and you shouldn't have trouble finding a space for it. Just make sure you have enough space around the home gym for exercises like leg curls, upright rows, and lateral raises. 

Also, bear in mind that this home gym is heavy and it's difficult to move once you've assembled it. Think carefully about where it can go before you set it up. 

Competitive Warranty 

The Body Solid EXM1500S home gym warranty is impressive. 

You get lifetime cover on all parts which is much better than other brands. The customer service is great too, so you should have no trouble getting new parts when you need them.

Full Body Workout Options  

During the COVID-19 pandemic, gymgoers slowly began to experiment with home workouts for their whole body [2]. 

The Body Solid EXM1500S can technically cover most exercises to target each muscle group, and offers about 20 different exercises. 

However, some of the exercise stations and difficult to use and other similarly priced home gyms do offer a lot more versatility.


Comparing The EXM1500S With Other Body Solid Home Gyms

EXM1500S Vs EXM2500S

The Body Solid EXM2500S is like a newer, better version of the EXM1500S

It has a heavier weight stack which is better for strength training. It also has more workout stations, including a Perfect Pec station for targeting your chest. 

The design is better too. It's easier to use, especially for larger users, and you can get a lot more from the gym equipment. 

The EXM2500S isn't very much more expensive than the EXM1500S and offers a lot more value for money in a home gym. 

Learn More - Complete Body-Solid EXM2500S Review

Product Image
Body-Solid StrengthTech EXM2500S Home Gym
Body Solid EXM1500S Single Stack Home Gym
Product Name
Body-Solid StrengthTech EXM2500S Home Gym
Body Solid EXM1500S Single Stack Home Gym
Dimensions (L*W*H)
83 x 83 x 51 inches
49 x 36 x 83 inches
Item Weight (Lbs)
710 lbs
32 lbs
Weight Stack (Lbs)
210 lbs
160 lbs
Warranty Information
Lifetime
Lifetime
Number of Exercises (eg: 50+)
-
-
Product Image
Body-Solid StrengthTech EXM2500S Home Gym
Product Name
Body-Solid StrengthTech EXM2500S Home Gym
Dimensions (L*W*H)
83 x 83 x 51 inches
Item Weight (Lbs)
710 lbs
Weight Stack (Lbs)
210 lbs
Warranty Information
Lifetime
Number of Exercises (eg: 50+)
-
Product Image
Body Solid EXM1500S Single Stack Home Gym
Product Name
Body Solid EXM1500S Single Stack Home Gym
Dimensions (L*W*H)
49 x 36 x 83 inches
Item Weight (Lbs)
32 lbs
Weight Stack (Lbs)
160 lbs
Warranty Information
Lifetime
Number of Exercises (eg: 50+)
-

EXM1500S Vs EXM3000LPS

The EXM3000LPS is a newer Body Solid model and much more advanced than the EXM1500S.

It has seven exercise stations and two 210 lb weight stacks, plus the option to add a dip station. The addition of the Perfect Pec station, leg press station, and calf press station make it much more effective for whole body workouts. 

The downside of the EXM3000LPS is that it's much more expensive, costing over $4500, which makes it unaffordable for home gym owners. 

However, it's a much better investment for intermediate or advanced lifters who are serious about strength training. 


Product Image
Body-Solid EXM3000LPS Multi-Station...
Body Solid EXM1500S Single Stack Home Gym
Product Name
Body-Solid EXM3000LPS Multi-Station...
Body Solid EXM1500S Single Stack Home Gym
Dimensions (L*W*H)
90 x 82 x 83 inches
49 x 36 x 83 inches
Item Weight (Lbs)
947 lbs
32 lbs
Weight Stack (Lbs)
210 lbs
160 lbs
Warranty Information
Lifetime
Lifetime
Number of Exercises (eg: 50+)
-
-
Product Image
Body-Solid EXM3000LPS Multi-Station...
Product Name
Body-Solid EXM3000LPS Multi-Station...
Dimensions (L*W*H)
90 x 82 x 83 inches
Item Weight (Lbs)
947 lbs
Weight Stack (Lbs)
210 lbs
Warranty Information
Lifetime
Number of Exercises (eg: 50+)
-
Product Image
Body Solid EXM1500S Single Stack Home Gym
Product Name
Body Solid EXM1500S Single Stack Home Gym
Dimensions (L*W*H)
49 x 36 x 83 inches
Item Weight (Lbs)
32 lbs
Weight Stack (Lbs)
160 lbs
Warranty Information
Lifetime
Number of Exercises (eg: 50+)
-

EXM1500S Vs BSG10X

Both of these home gyms are similar, but the BSG10X is more effective for home use

The BSG10X supports more exercises and has an optional leg press attachment for serious muscle development. The 11 gauge steel frame is more durable, and the BSG10X is better for every day use. 

The only downside of the Body Solid BSG10X is that you only get a 1 year warranty on parts, but it's well made so that's not a huge issue. 

The BSG10X is compact, but effective, and offers more value for money for beginners than the EXM1500S

Also Check Out - Body Solid BSG10X Tested & Reviewed

Product Name
Body Solid EXM1500S Single Stack Home Gym
Powerline by Body-Solid BSG10X Home Gym with...
Image
Body Solid EXM1500S Single Stack Home Gym
Powerline by Body-Solid BSG10X Home Gym with...
Dimensions (L*W*H)
49 x 36 x 83 inches
70 x 42 x 80 inches
Item Weight (Lbs)
32 lbs
344 lbs
Weight Stack (Lbs)
160 lbs
160 lbs
Warranty Information
Lifetime
10 Yr Frame, 1 Parts
Number of Exercises (eg: 50+)
-
40
Product Name
Body Solid EXM1500S Single Stack Home Gym
Image
Body Solid EXM1500S Single Stack Home Gym
Dimensions (L*W*H)
49 x 36 x 83 inches
Item Weight (Lbs)
32 lbs
Weight Stack (Lbs)
160 lbs
Warranty Information
Lifetime
Number of Exercises (eg: 50+)
-
Product Name
Powerline by Body-Solid BSG10X Home Gym with...
Image
Powerline by Body-Solid BSG10X Home Gym with...
Dimensions (L*W*H)
70 x 42 x 80 inches
Item Weight (Lbs)
344 lbs
Weight Stack (Lbs)
160 lbs
Warranty Information
10 Yr Frame, 1 Parts
Number of Exercises (eg: 50+)
40

EXM1500S Vs G1S

The Body Solid G1S and EXM1500S are both basic home gyms designed for beginners

They both have 160 lbs of resistance, and even though the G1S has a slightly different design they are very similar. 

However, the Body Solid G1S has the option to upgrade the weight stack so it's more useful for strength training. It also comes with a wide range of handles and accessories (including a workout DVD and water bottle), so it's a more complete package. 

The extra features make the G1S better value money for beginners and because you can upgrade the weight you can continue to use it as you develop.

Product Name
Body Solid EXM1500S Single Stack Home Gym
Body-Solid G1S Selectorized Home Gym
Image
Body Solid EXM1500S Single Stack Home Gym
Body-Solid G1S Selectorized Home Gym
Dimensions (L*W*H)
49 x 36 x 83 inches
90 x 47 x 84 inches
Item Weight (Lbs)
32 lbs
315 lbs
Weight Stack (Lbs)
160 lbs
160 lbs
Warranty Information
Lifetime
Lifetime
Number of Exercises (eg: 50+)
-
-
Product Name
Body Solid EXM1500S Single Stack Home Gym
Image
Body Solid EXM1500S Single Stack Home Gym
Dimensions (L*W*H)
49 x 36 x 83 inches
Item Weight (Lbs)
32 lbs
Weight Stack (Lbs)
160 lbs
Warranty Information
Lifetime
Number of Exercises (eg: 50+)
-
Product Name
Body-Solid G1S Selectorized Home Gym
Image
Body-Solid G1S Selectorized Home Gym
Dimensions (L*W*H)
90 x 47 x 84 inches
Item Weight (Lbs)
315 lbs
Weight Stack (Lbs)
160 lbs
Warranty Information
Lifetime
Number of Exercises (eg: 50+)
-


Comparisons With Other Home Gyms Brands 

EXM1500S Vs Bowflex Blaze Home Gym

Bowflex Blaze is another model designed for beginners and offers a few advantages over the EXM1500S.

It lets you do over 60 exercises, far more than the EXM1500S, and you can upgrade the weight stack from 210lbs to 410lbs - so it's far better for experienced lifters. 

The Blaze is larger than the EXM1500S, but the bench can be folded up when it's not in use so it's out of the way. 

You also get seven free workout routines created by trainers to help you make the most of the home gym. 

One disadvantage of the Bowflex Blaze is that it uses a power rod resistance system. This feels more like resistance bands than weights, and I much prefer training with the EXM1500S iron weight stack. 

There's also a more limited warranty on the Blaze, and you only get 60 days for parts compared to the lifetime warranty of the EXM1500S. 

Both of these home gyms are only really suitable for beginners, but the Bowflex Blaze offers greater versatility and better value for money. 

Model
Body Solid EXM1500S Single Stack Home Gym
Bowflex Blaze Home Gym
Image
Body Solid EXM1500S Single Stack Home Gym
Bowflex Blaze Home Gym
Dimensions (L*W*H)
49 x 36 x 83 inches
90 x 38 x 83 inches
Item Weight (Lbs)
32 lbs
98 lbs
Weight Stack (Lbs)
160 lbs
210 lbs
Warranty
Lifetime
5 year manufacturer’s limited warranty
Number of Exercises (eg: 50+)
-
60+
Model
Body Solid EXM1500S Single Stack Home Gym
Image
Body Solid EXM1500S Single Stack Home Gym
Dimensions (L*W*H)
49 x 36 x 83 inches
Item Weight (Lbs)
32 lbs
Weight Stack (Lbs)
160 lbs
Warranty
Lifetime
Number of Exercises (eg: 50+)
-
Model
Bowflex Blaze Home Gym
Image
Bowflex Blaze Home Gym
Dimensions (L*W*H)
90 x 38 x 83 inches
Item Weight (Lbs)
98 lbs
Weight Stack (Lbs)
210 lbs
Warranty
5 year manufacturer’s limited warranty
Number of Exercises (eg: 50+)
60+

EXM1500S Vs NordicTrack Fusion CST

The NordicTrack Fusion CST home gym is a big step up from the EXM1500S.

It's very different from the other home gyms featured in this review because it's completely digital. This means there's a virtual display to help you follow along with workouts.

It doesn't use a weight stack either, only cables. This is quite different to a weight stack, but the 20 levels of resistance mean it's actually better for strength training. 

The NordicTrack Fusion is a big step up in quality too. It's much more durable, but also more compact - so it's better for small home gyms. 

The NordicTrack Fusion CST is more intelligent and offers greater versatility than the EXM1500S, but it's a lot more expensive.

It's a better option for beginner or intermediate lifters looking for a full body workout at home - but not every home gym owner will be able to afford it. 

Product Image
Body Solid EXM1500S Single Stack Home Gym
NordicTrack Fusion CST Includes 1-Year iFit...
Product Name
Body Solid EXM1500S Single Stack Home Gym
NordicTrack Fusion CST Includes 1-Year iFit...
Dimensions (L*W*H)
49 x 36 x 83 inches
41.5 x 59.4 x 73.7 inches
Item Weight (Lbs)
32 lbs
378 lbs
Weight Stack (Lbs)
160 lbs
-
Warranty Information
Lifetime
10-Year Frame, 1-Year Parts & Labor
Number of Exercises (eg: 50+)
-
-
Product Image
Body Solid EXM1500S Single Stack Home Gym
Product Name
Body Solid EXM1500S Single Stack Home Gym
Dimensions (L*W*H)
49 x 36 x 83 inches
Item Weight (Lbs)
32 lbs
Weight Stack (Lbs)
160 lbs
Warranty Information
Lifetime
Number of Exercises (eg: 50+)
-
Product Image
NordicTrack Fusion CST Includes 1-Year iFit...
Product Name
NordicTrack Fusion CST Includes 1-Year iFit...
Dimensions (L*W*H)
41.5 x 59.4 x 73.7 inches
Item Weight (Lbs)
378 lbs
Weight Stack (Lbs)
-
Warranty Information
10-Year Frame, 1-Year Parts & Labor
Number of Exercises (eg: 50+)
-


Frequently Asked Body Solid EXM1500S Questions

How much is the Body Solid EXM1500S Home Gym?

The Body Solid EXM1500S price averages between $1400-1600, which is a reasonable price for a single stack home gym. The price depending on where you buy it from, but it’s an affordable product compared to most home gyms.

Can you use the EXM1500S if you’re taller than 6ft?

Yes, you can, but some exercises may be more difficult. For example, the lat pull down may not have the range you desire, and you may have to bend your knees to perform rows using the home gym.

Is this machine suitable for advanced weight training?

No, it is not made for advanced levels of weight training. If you're an intermediate lifter, the 160 lb single weight stack may be insufficient, but it is sufficient if you’re a beginner. The lack of exercise stations targeting the legs and pecs also limits what you can achieve.

Can you move the handles of the chest press?

No, the arms of the chest press on the EXM1500S are fixed in position. If they seem too far back, you might need to shift to a lighter weight so that your wrists can handle it and then build up to higher weights. Another option is to loosen the tension of the cables.

Is the EXM1500S a portable or mobile gym?

Although the EXM1500S has a smaller footprint than many home gyms, it’s not designed to be moved regularly. Once installed, it would take considerable time to dismantle it and then reassemble it in a new location.

Conclusion - Should You Buy It?

The Body Solid EXM1500S home gym is an older model that's compact and affordable. 

It gives beginners some decent workout options, but many of the newer Body Solid home gyms offer more resistance and functionality for around the same price.

It's definitely worth checking out some other options before committing to this home gym.

Read More - Our Best Home Gyms For All Fitness Levels

References:

1. https://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/12/exercise

2. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.590172/full

3. https://www.bodysolid.com/home/exm1500s/exm1500s_home_gym/media_manuals

Last Updated on November 9, 2022