Inspire Fitness M5 Home Gym Review (Compared To M4)

In recent years more and more people are turning to home gyms to stay fit, healthy, and, of course, at home.

Building a workout center from home requires the best home gym equipment, which is a large industry. How do you know you are getting the best? 

In this Inspire M5 home gym review, we take a close look at the Inspire Fitness M4 and M5 home gym setups, their pros and cons, and help you decide if it is right for your needs. 

Our Ratings

Workout Versatility


Value For Money


Ease Of Use


Ease Of Assembly


Materials & Durability


Overall Rating


Product Specifications 

Dimensions (L*W*H)

88 x 94 x 85 inches 


900 lbs 

Maximum Load Capacity 

330 lbs (each station) 

Weight Stack 

Two 215 lb stacks  

Resistance Ratio 

Lat/Row/Curl Pulley, Leg Ext - 1:1; Lower Pulley - 1:2; Press Arm - 1.2:1; Leg Press - 2:1; Leg Curl - 3:4 


Frame: Lifetime; Guide Rods/Weight Stack: 5 years, Upholstery/Pads/Components: 2 years

There are two main selling points to the Inspire Fitness M5 home gym. First is the dual workout station setup.

Designed for dual use with two persons, you can work out with your partner at the same time, each using your own seat, weight stack, and handles. 

The other major point is the iso-lateral movement capabilities.

This is an improvement over the introduction in the M4 design that allows you to focus on weaker sides of muscle groups or incorporate a new routine into your workout. 

With the M5 system, you can perform over 50 different exercises, each with variations, iso or uni-lateral movements, and various eight and resistance settings.

These variations offer you a virtually unlimited number of workout routines to follow. 

With a never-get-stale home gym, it is hard to beat. Each day offers you a new workout, which not only helps prevent plateauing but also keeps the workouts fresh and exciting.

And when you stay excited about working out, you are more likely to continue using the gym, further solidifying your investment. 

Assembly & Maintenance 

The M5 is a large piece of equipment with a lot of pulleys, bearings, and cables.

The dual weight stack, two workout stations, optional leg press set up, and other accessories make for a long and challenging assembly. 

It is advised you have at least one other person help you assemble the unit. While the larger pieces need only to have bolts tightened. 

Routing cables, setting pulleys, and mounting all pieces together takes reach, strength, and time. 

While assembly is a DIY project, it is worth considering paying for professional installation.Depending on where you buy, assembly and set up may be an option during check out.

If you won’t have assistance or don’t want to be bothered with the home gym setup, it is a viable expense. 

Upper Body Exercises 

The upper body exercises are similar in type and mechanics to the Inspire Fitness M4 machine, which also offer iso-lateral movements.

With multiple pulleys overhead, adjustable rails for variable height pulley exercises, and a 215-pound weight stack, you can perform almost any upper body exercise you need. 

This includes the general rows, lat pulldowns, triceps pulls, curls, chest expansions, bench presses, and much, much more.

With the iso-lateral movement capabilities, though, you can focus on a weaker muscle group or area without diminishing the rest of your workout.  

For example, if you find that your right side is stronger on a lat pulldown, you can lift more (or less) with the left side to let it catch up without sacrificing the workout or strength of the right side—the same works for butterflies, presses and cable flys.  

Ab Exercises 

When it comes to the core workouts, your abs, obliques, and back are important to focus on.

During core days, you need to do a lot more than crunches, and the M5 allows you to do just that. 

With a mid-range height on the pulleys, you can perform several ab and lower back focused exercises, leg lifts, pulldowns, cable and air rows, and more.

The optional ab bar will give you even more options, too (details on optional accessories further below). 

Lower Body Exercises 

Lower body exercises are extensive and require a separate purchase to get them all. However, the leg press machine accessory is not required, and you can still get a full leg workout with the M5. 

It is recommended to also add the leg press, of course, as it will open up about 10+ more leg exercises to help you push through the long leg days.

Leg press, leg lifts, calf raises, cable pulls, and more are easily accomplished on this durable and reliable home gym setup. 

What People are Saying 

When doing your research, you will find a lot of mixed ratings and reviews about the new M5.

A lot of the negative remarks, though, come from improper assembly, stating how difficult it is to do alone. 

You may also find that many people don’t like the overall size of the M5 and how much space it takes up on the floor.

As long as you remember you are buying a machine designed for two-person use, though, this won't be an issue. 

On the other side of the coin, though, are much more reviews, ratings, and appreciation for the machine's durability. The steel frame, color-option shrouds, and immense return value are often cited. 

All in all, though, the majority of owners love their M5, rate it highly, and would quickly recommend it to anyone looking for a complete home gym setup (including me!).

Add Ons & Accessories For The M5 Home Gym

Inspire Fitness M5 Add-ons

With most home gym systems, you need to buy the frame and basic equipment and then purchase a lot of add-ons and extra pieces to fill out the system.

Inspire Fitness doesn’t have this problem.

Their home gym systems are complete and don’t require additional parts for you to get a full workout. 

However, there are additional parts to help you extend your workouts and offer new or different exercise variations. 

The most prominent of these is the leg curl machine.

This add-on gives you the option to include free weight plates to your leg lifts, or add extra resistance to calf raises and other seated leg workouts. 

You may also find the ab bar a good investment. With this, you can attach the bar to an upper pulley and add resistance to your ab routine.

The padding and bars are all included in the Lifetime warranty, too, so there is nothing to worry about. 

Other accessories include additional weight add-ons, triceps rope, and various straps or handles for your diverse grip needs. 

Learn More - Can You Add Weights To A Home Gym? (6 Easy Ways Explained)

Pros & Cons Of The Inspire Fitness M5 Home Gym 

When looking at home gym equipment, there are several factors to judge each piece on.

There are good sides and bad sides to every option and feature, and some are more well-received than others. 

The M4 and M5 are similar in design, construction, and use. The noticeable primary differences are the physical size and intended usage.

The M5, for example, has two weight stacks, two benches and is designed for a maximum of two simultaneous users—more details on differences further below. 

The M4 is a single person station, so by nature, it has a smaller footprint. This is something to keep in mind when shopping around, though.

How much space you have for your home gym will be a major decision making factor. 

Aside from space, of course, is usage and design.

Both the M4 and M5 home gym machines are designed for long life and smooth operation, putting less between you and the weights, minimizing friction, and ensuring you get a gym-quality workout from your home. 

What We Like 

  • Lifetime warranty coverage 
  • Easy to use, even with multiple people 
  • Smooth operation of all pulleys, bearings, and guides 
  • M5 is best used with multiple station setups or two people
  • Virtually limitless workout routine possibilities 

What We Didn’t Like 

  • Assembly can take a while 
  • Total weight is over 900 pounds 
  • Requires a large dedicated floor space 

Unique Features Of The Inspire Fitness M5

What is it about the Inspire M5 (and M4) upgrades over the popular M3 model that makes them stand out?

In this section, we look at the most prominent features and reasons for the breakout success. 

50+ Workout Options 

different workout options for the inspire fitness m5 home gym

With the adjustable pulley height, fixed and free motion range capabilities, the M5 allows for over 50 different exercises and near limitless variations.[1

The wide range of motion will enable you to perform many tasks that would otherwise take many machines or several reps of different movements to complete. 

Rock Solid Heavy-Duty Steel 

Using large 3-inch round 11-gauge steel and Heavy-duty 2x4-inch steel, the frame of the Inspire machines is rock solid.

You won't have to worry about wobbles, shaking, or bending, even when working out with a partner or using max weights on the bench. 

Electrostatic Powder Coat Finish 

The steel is only as good as its finish. Denting, dings, and scratches can cause corrosion and rust over time. To combat this, Inspire Fitness uses an electrostatic powder coat finish on the steel.

This protects the steel as well as adds color and style to the system, keeping your system corrosion and rust-free for much longer. 

inspire fitness m5 home gym front view

Bench Press Pivot Points 

Most gym systems use a single pivot point with a German or Swiss bearing to control the friction and handle the weight as well as constant use.

The M5 system uses a multi-point bearing system that utilizes 1-1/2 inch steel bearings for less friction, more control, and greater ease of movement.  

Dual Adjustable Pulleys 

Because the M5 has the ability to fit two people, uses adjustable height work stations, and can have other attachments added, the dual adjustable pulleys play a significant role. 

Not only do you get more range of motion, but you also get a much more extensive range of motion and routine variance you can't get with free weights or other single pulley systems. 

Iso-Lateral Press Station 

Kicking muscle groups into action and shocking them can help you get over plateaus and continue development and growth.

With iso-lateral movements, you can work a single side of a major muscle group at a time.

This change can keep muscle growth on the rise and offers you new workouts to perform at any time. 

Fully Adjustable Rotating Leg Station 

inspire fitness m5 home gym pulley system

With the M4 and M5 stations, the leg press station is an optional attachment that offers a full rotation of leg exercises, fits on either side (M5), and can be used with one or two weight stacks.

Combine with the bench seat for reverse movements or the seat for standard lifts. 

Dual Weight Stack For Multiple Users

The M5 features a dual selectorized weight stack station. 

This allows two users to operate the apparatus at the same time.

Each stack has a 215-pound weight limit, and they cannot be combined. Each stack is dedicated to its station. 

Orthopedic Seat Pads 

The seat padding is high quality and extremely durable.

From comfort to orthopedic support to functionality, the seat, benches, and padding are all made to keep your experience and focus on the lifting and resistance and not constantly adjusting your position. 

Inspire Fitness M5 Vs M4 – Major Differences Explained 

The two most popular models of home gym setups from Inspire Fitness are easily the M4 and M5.

There are several minor differences (and a couple of large ones) that need to be pointed out. Let's do that now. 

  • Price 
    The biggest difference will be the price. In many cases, the M5 can be as much as double the cost of the M4. Of course, you are getting two workout stations instead of one.
  • Two of everything 
    The M5 uses two weight stacks, two handle sets, double the pulley count, and two benches.
  • Floor Space 
    Obviously, the physical dimensions are going to be different too. The M4 can mount closer to a wall or even a corner. The M5 and its "L" shape design limit where it can be installed.
  • Assembly time 
    The M4 is much easier to assemble and set up as a DIY project, even if you are alone. The M5 will require at least two people to assemble properly.
  • Shroud colors 
    The M5 offers you the ability to alter the color of your system. You can leave it black or change the weight stack and seat colors to burgundy, tan, or navy blue.

Comparison With Other Inspire Fitness Home Gyms 

Inspire Fitness is not just a one-trick pony. They have a long line of home gym products that include full-body fitness, smith machines, and individual workout apparatuses.

How does the M5 compare to other major products from their line? Let’s find out. 

M5 Vs Functional Trainer Series 

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The functional trainer series (CFT/FT1/2/X) is designed to give you a complete workout with the smallest footprint possible.

These small home gym trainers use dual weight stacks with independent movements and a wide range of motion. 

The pulley systems here move in 30 different positions so you can perform a multitude of exercises or alter your grip mid rep to focus a specific muscle group. 

They aren't as comprehensive as the M5 model, of course, and aren't designed for multiple simultaneous users.

But for the price, they are one of the most complete home gym setups that fit in almost any home gym area. 

M5 Vs M3 

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The Inspire M3 system is one of the first models to use the iso-lateral movement system.

This was improved further in the M4 and again in the M5, but the M3 functions as a highly useful iso-lateral workout machine. 

Unlike the M5, it only has a single weight stack and doesn't perform as many workouts out of the box as the larger unit.

However, there are plenty of add-ons if you need to increase your workout routines, or you can keep the home gym area small and still get a full-body workout whenever you need. 

Our full Inspire M3 Home Gym review will give you all the details you need for this popular and reliable home gym system. 

M5 Vs M2 

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Like the M3, the Inspire M2 home gym is designed to give you a full-body workout without taking up a lot of space in your home.

These aren't as small as the functional trainer series models, but the M2 is much smaller than the M5. 

With multiple pulleys set up, you can perform a wide variety of exercises. However, unlike the M4 and M5 models, the M2 doesn't offer adjustable pulleys.

You will need to use additional handles or pulldown handles to get the same workout range. 

If you want to know everything about the Inspire Fitness M2 home gym, we have you covered. 

Check out our detailed review here. 

Comparison With Similar Home Gym Brands 

Anyone in the market for a home gym system will know that there are plenty of options. How do the M4 and M5 compare to the other big names of the industry? 

One of the biggest names in the home gym industry is easily Body Solid.

Known the world over as one of the most premium and innovative companies for workout equipment, you will find their products everywhere.  

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Home gyms, hotels, commercial gyms, and even sport event venues use Body Solid equipment. 

The Body Solid Multi-Station (EXM3000LPS) is one of the most popular systems found in home gyms. 

Compared to the M5, though, The EXM3000LPS offers the same range of workouts, the same weight stack limit, and adjustable pulleys.

What it doesn’t offer, though, is a combined system or a dual weight stack for multiple users.

While there are three benches and multiple pulleys, there is only a single weight stack, so you can only use one station at a time. 

M5 Vs Body Solid G9S

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The Body Solid G9S offers a dual weight stack for its multi-position station to accommodate multiple users.

The G9S has 210-pound weight stacks instead of 215 like the Inspire M5 and takes up a lot more floor space.

Instead of combining bench exercises, the G9S is spread out over four separate stations. 

M5 Vs Marcy Smith Machine Cage

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Marcy is another name that is well known in the home gym space, and the Marcy Smith Machine Cage is one of the most popular and well-reviewed cages on the market.

The biggest difference here is that the Marcy cage is designed to use free weights and doesn't have multiple weight stacks or pulleys. 

The M5 is much more expensive and takes up about the same space on the floor. But you don't need to buy anything extra to get a full-body workout.

The Marcy system is a build-as-you-go design allowing you to add the equipment you need, when you need it. 

Common Questions About The M5 by Inspire Fitness

Do M5 home gyms save space compared to separate products? 

The M5 does take up a lot of floor space, but there is a noticeable difference between this one unit and separate machines for each muscle group.

Overall, to get the same workout with separate machines as you do with the M5, you will need almost double the floor space and clearance. 

How much is the plate weight of Inspire Fitness M5 home gym? 

The weight stack comes with 215 pounds of weight plates attached. You can add additional plates in 5-pound increments as needed if it is desired.  

Where can I buy replacement parts of Inspire fitness M5 & M4 home gyms? 

You can find replacement parts for any Inspire home gym system, including the M5, on the Inspire Fitness website.[2]

You will also find plenty of aftermarket and Inspire branded replacement parts for sale on 3rd party vendor sites like Amazon. 

Where can I buy Inspire Fitness M5 home gym? 

You can also purchase the entire M5 system and accessories through the Inspire website, certain local brick-and-mortar sporting good shops, and online through Amazon.

If you order through Amazon, you can also opt for in-home assembly for an additional cost. This is generally not offered in other purchase areas, though. 

Conclusion - Should You Buy It?

Inspire Fitness creates some of the most innovative and durable home gym systems on the market today.

The M4 and M5 are specialty gym systems for the dedicated workout persons among us. 

While they are a bit more expensive than other brands of similar size and capabilities, few are more durable, reliable, and complete.

With the Inspire M5, you can work out with a partner, at the same time, using multiple weight stacks. The M4 offers a full-body workout without the need for additional equipment. 

Regardless of which Inspire machine you choose, you will not regret your purchase. 

Our Ratings

Workout Versatility


Value For Money


Ease Of Use


Ease Of Assembly


Materials & Durability


Overall Rating





Last Updated on January 13, 2023