Marcy MWM 988 Review (Multifunctional Home Weight System)

Gym membership is not imperative for effective strength training. Home gym equipment—Smith machines, power racks, weight benches, and multifunction weight stack gyms—are increasingly affordable, suitable for small spaces, and available in a vast variety of home or garage gym models

This Marcy MWM 988 review emphasizes the value of this 150-lb. steel weight stack home gym and compares it to similar home exercise equipment, so you can get a better sense of what you want. The MWM-988 is perfect for beginner-intermediate lifters who want a mid-priced, multifunctional, strength training device to fit in a small space. 

Pros

  • Easy to transition between exercises 
  • Good padding, comfortable 
  • Easy-to-read workout chart included 
  • Works for people of a range of sizes 
  • Multiple exercises for all basic muscle groups 

Cons

  • Assembly takes at least 2 hours 
  • Inadequate for advanced lifters 

Unique Features Of The Marcy MWM 988 Home Gym 

The MWM-988 makes a great addition to almost any home gym. It offers all of the basic weight stack exercises you would typically get at a public gym, all on one reasonably priced stack gym made for private residential use. 

High Quality Build

Despite the reasonable, or even sometimes bargain, price of the MWM-988, it is truly durable and well-made. The frame is 14-gauge steel, and the stack weights are vinyl-coated, so they do not clank at impact. As a result, few users complain of breakage, wear, lack of stability, or excess noise.

Weight Stack Lock

The weight stack is composed of the standard selectorized weight stack as opposed to weight plates. It is similar to what you would see at the gym, where you can remove and insert a rod to adjust how much weight/resistance you want for a given exercise.

However, with Marcy Stacks, the adjustment has a 3-number combination lock to provide you with safety and exclusivity—only those who should be adjusting the weight stack can do so. This is an unusual feature in home weight stack machines.

Marcy MWM 988 weight stack

Comfortable Seat and Roller Pads

A seeming drawback of this Marcy stack gym is that its seat is not adjustable. However, almost all users—a wide range of heights and weights—find it works fine for them.

Users generally find that the seat is not only durable but also adequately stable, supportive, and cushioned. The same goes for the roller pads of the leg developer and arm fly station.

Double Pulley Station

The MWM-988 is rigged with two basic pulley outlets: the upper, which gives all of the arm and shoulder exercises, including lat pulls; and the lower, which gives the leg workouts, as well as a variety of possible curls, pull-ups, and standing rows. 

  • Dual Function Leg Developer 
    In the seated position, with the legs interlocking with the foam roller pads, you can perform basic leg extensions. However, you can also use the leg developer in a standing position or hook the included ankle brace to the lower pulley for a variety of leg lifts that target the calves and hamstrings.
Marcy MWM 988 feature
  • Dual Function Arm Station 
    Along with the lat pull bar, for both wide and close grip, at the top, there is a dual-function mechanism that, with the insertion/removal of pins, can be for either arm presses (arms push resistance out in synchrony) or pectoral flyes (squeeze arms inward against resistance). 
  • Preacher Curl Attachment 
    This is an adjustable/removable padded platform that perfectly positions your arms for bicep curls; these curls can be with either the lat pull down or separate hand weights of your choice; you can also do hammer curls (sideways oriented bicep curls) on the preacher curl attachment. 

Many Exercise Options

The Marcy MWM-988 has an easy-to-understand workout chart on the back plate above the weight stack with diagrams of basic exercise options matched with targeted muscle groups.

However, you can easily exceed the basic options by purchasing alternative attachments, such as D-handles, V-bars, and other wrist/ankle braces. These potentially give you more row/pull options and also might make some exercises more comfortable for some people. 


Marcy MWM 988 Review

MWM-988 Specifications 

Weight Stack 

150 lbs (10 lb increments) 

Assemble Dimension 

68 x 42 x 78 inches

Pulley System 

Dual (Upper & Lower) 

Preacher Curl Pad 

Yes, Removable 

Maximum User Weight 

300 lbs 

Warranty 

2-Year (Limited)

Marcy, aka MarcyPro, is a brand of Impex Fitness. Marcy offers an affordable line of home gym systems, stationary bikes, Smith cages, weight plates, and workout accessories—and, of course, stack gyms like the Marcy MWM-988 reviewed here. 

An added bonus: the Marcy Blog is full of various reviews, specialized instructions, product selection aids, and fitness advice to help you develop the right workout plan and overall health routine.  

Reviews of other stack gyms, even more expensive ones, reveal that the 3-digit combination lock on Marcy stacks is a unique feature. The lock prevents any unintended adjustment of the weight stack, either as a safety mechanism (to keep young children from tampering) or to enforce exclusive use (discourage housemates from using your equipment). 

Moreover, the vinyl-coated weights make for quiet use, making it especially suited for multi-person households. You do not need a spotter to use this home gym, and many can assemble it alone.

Furthermore, the MWM-988 is one of the most compact home stack gyms, both in floor footprint and height. At under 6 ¾-ft. high, it is especially great for low-ceiling areas. Therefore, it is also a great piece of workout equipment for a single person in a small apartment.  

The lower medium max weight level of 150 lbs. means it is not for highly advanced lifters. Rather, it is for normal people who just want to get in shape, including women or adolescents. Some people find the MWM-988 for under $300, which all agree is a fabulous value—the MWM-988 is among the best for even the most budget-limited and/or reluctant exercisers. 

Most people find the MWM-988 satisfyingly sturdy. The most common complaint is that the back metal weight stack cover can get dented during shipping. However, most decide it is not worth sending it back over this, as functionality is unaffected.  

The second most common complaint is that the seat is not adjustable. Many reviewers report that it works fine for them, while worrying it would not work for a different size person. However, according to reviews, big and small people in the same household find that it actually works for almost everyone. 

Even handy reviewers admit that the instructions have shortcomings, but all have different opinions about how the instructions should be different. Ultimately, Stack gym reviews suggest that the MWM-988 is no more complex to build than its competitors.  

Marcy MWM 988 dimensions

A last note: The MWM-988 is a latex-free workout machine, so it is safe for those allergic to latex.


Add-Ons & Accessories For The Marcy MWM 988 

Marcy sells a Heavy Duty Nylon Triceps Rope. However, a similar piece is included in the A2ZCARE set of attachments, which is frequently bought with the MWM-988 on Amazon. Plus, this kit includes a V-bar, double D-bar, and straight bar. You can use these in place of, or in addition to, the included Z-bar and ankle brace. 

It is best to assemble your Marcy stack home gym on an adequately large and durable floor-protective mat: Both the ½-inch-thick Marcy MAT-20 Interlocking Flooring Mat and the 3/4-inch-thick Marcy MAT-39 Interlocking Floor Protector are sufficient for this purpose. 

You can check out the complete Marcy store for all your fitness needs - just click here

Comparing Different Marcy Home Gym Models 

Marcy Stack MWM-988 Vs MWM-990 

Marcy 150-lb Multifunctional Home Gym Station...
  • PREMIUM STEEL CONSTRUCTION – This home gym...
  • WEIGHT STACK LOCK – This gear comes with a...
  • DUAL ACTION PRESS ARMS-Designed with dual...
  • REMOVEABLE CURL PAD – This home gym machine...

Essentially, the MWM-990 and the MWM-988 have the same dimensions, build, features, and exterior design. The only difference is the color scheme—the MWM-990 is predominantly black and red, while the MWM-988 is black and gray.  

Marcy Stack MWM-988 Vs MKM-81010

Marcy Stack Dual Function Home Gym – 200...
  • CONVENIENT HOME GYM – Build up some serious...
  • TOTAL USER SAFTEY – This stack gym...
  • PREMIUM QUALITY EQUIPMENT – The Marcy Stack...
  • MULTI-FUNCTION ARM PRESS – Work on those...

The MKM-81010 has a 200-lb. weight stack, so it is intended for a more advanced weightlifter. Not surprisingly, the MKM-81010 extends a few more inches in the length and height dimensions, and the price is $100-$200 more than the MWM-988.  

Appropriate in a machine for more advanced lifters, the MKM-81010 comes with a single handle and shiver bar, in addition to the lat Z-bar and ankle/wrist strap. Lastly, the MKM-81010, unlike the MWM-988, has a textured footplate built into the base to stabilize the feet for seated rows. 

Marcy Stack MWM-988 Vs MWM-4965

Marcy 150lb. Stack Home Gym with Pulley, Arm,...
233 Reviews
Marcy 150lb. Stack Home Gym with Pulley, Arm,...
  • Package dimension : 72.0 " x 17.0 " x 10.0 "
  • Product type : SPORTING GOODS
  • Package weight : 280.0 lbs
  • MADE IN China

These two are essentially the same build. However, the Marcy MWM-4965 also has a mid-level pulley, which effectively gives it an ab station: A special included collar fits around the user and attaches to the mid pulley for ab crunches/curls.  

Also, like the MKM-81010 above (but unlike the MWM-988), the MWM-4965 has a bottom footplate to facilitate seated rows, and it comes with a single handle (in addition to the usual lat Z-bar and ankle/wrist strap). Unfortunately, these added features add as much as $400 to the cost, compared to the MWM-988.  


Comparing Marcy With Other Home Gyms 

Marcy Stack MWM-988 Vs Bowflex Revolution 

Bowflex Revolution Home Gym (Discontinued)
  • 100 exercises for a full body workout
  • SpiraFlex technology works independently of...
  • Independently moving arms with 10 positions...
  • Work with up to 600 lb. of resistance with...

Marcy 988 Home Gym reviews and Bowflex Revolution Home Gym reviews demonstrate that the MWM-988 is the better value if you want basic weight stack gym features.  

The Bowflex’s resistance adjustment and overall build are more complicated than the Marcy. Furthermore, the Bowflex, when unfolded, extends out 3 ft. more, and it costs several times Marcy's usual price. However, Bowflex does give a more extended warranty, greater max resistance, and more total exercise options.  

You can check out our full review of the Bowflex Revolution.

Marcy Stack MWM-988 Vs Weider Pro x 2980 Home Gym  

Weider 2980 x Weight System
  • 80 lb. Weight StackUp to 214 lbs. of...
  • High Pulley with Lat BarLow Pulley
  • Chest Fly4-Roll Leg Developer
  • Preacher Pad Ankle Strap with Handle

The Weider Pro x 2980 is considerably less expensive than the MWM-988 150 lb. stack gym but tends to receive lower user review ratings.  

It has only 80 lbs. on its weight stack (but there is an optional upgrade to 210 lbs. of resistance), so it is generally best for beginning lifters. That said, the x2980 and the Marcy 988 have similar builds:  

Both are 2-pulley weight stack gyms with arm press/fly, preacher curl, lat pull, leg developer, and ankle strap.  

Marcy Stack MWM-988 Vs Body-Solid G1S

Body-Solid G1S Selectorized Home Gym
  • Available for the 1st time online, the G1S is...
  • Easy to use, space saving, no-cable-change...
  • Floor Space Dimensions: 49”L x 36”W x...
  • Includes lat bar, straight bar, ankle strap,...

The Body-Solid G1S has a similar weight stack (160 lbs.). However, it is a sturdier, higher-quality, more feature-rich weight stack gym than the Marcy 150-lb. stack home gym—but for at least double the price.  

The G1S has a 3-pulley system and a base footplate, both of which facilitate a greater variety of rows, pulls, and curls. It comes with a workout DVD, a straight bar, and ab/triceps rope, along with a lat bar and ankle strap. For added comfort, the back frame has a towel-and-bottle rack, and the seat is adjustable.  

Impressively, its floor footprint is not that much greater than the MWM-988's. An unexpected deficit of the G1S is that it has no pectoral fly system. 

You can check out our full review of the Body Solid G1S.


Unboxing & Assembling A Marcy MWM 988 Gym  

Purchase & Unboxing Preparation

Make sure you have both the floor space and the ceiling clearance before purchasing. Ideally, allow at least a few inches of clearance in all dimensions, especially the length, since many exercises involve standing in front of the Marcy gym. 

Most people receive it in 2-3 separate boxes that do not necessarily come at once. Upon complete arrival, consider registering your Marcy Home Gym to get the 2-year warranty. 

Assembly

Carefully look at both the Marcy Home Gym MWM-988 Assembly Manual as well as the Marcy Home Gym MWM-988 Owner’s Manual to get a full sense of how to assemble your Marcy 988. The Owner’s Manual is the ultimate source of information on safe, effective assembly and usage. The Assembly Manual will help you stay organized and avoid confusion throughout the assembly.  

In addition, some common sense advice: Start by laying out all parts in an intuitive, organized way (potentially with self-made labels); this not only expedites assembly but also gives you a chance to be sure you actually have all intended parts before you start. 

You will need the included hex key, but unfortunately, you will also need to have some sort of adjustable wrench of your own. The manual recommends adjustable wrenches and Allen wrenches; some reviewers, however, report success with a socket wrench kit.

While the manual recommends having at least one other assembler to help, many seem to do fine alone. The Marcy Home Gym MWM-988 Assembly Video might help with this.

Safe And Effective Usage

The Owner’s Manual also includes common-sense safety advice:

  1. 1
    Do not let anyone put fingers near moving parts 
  2. 2
    Do not use in wet or uneven places 
  3. 3
    Stretch your muscles before exercising  
  4. 4
    Do not wear clothing that could get caught in the mechanism  
  5. 5
    Do not try to add weight/resistance by attaching dumbbells or other separate weights anywhere on the mechanism 
  6. 6
    Stop if you feel sickness or pain  

If you run into problems, the website has a Support Center and Replacement Parts Request Form. 


Disassembling, Moving & Storage 

Study the Marcy 150 Stack Home Gym Assembly Manual and Owner’s Manual for a safe and efficient disassembly. (Unfortunately, there are no disassembly instructions, so you will need to use assembly techniques in reverse.)

Use the included hex wrench along with your own wrench set. A helper is recommended. The assembled gym is very awkward to move, so disassemble it before relocating it. Ideally, the machine should be clean and dry prior to disassembly/storage.  

The component materials are not overly sensitive to temperature or moisture but store the MWM-988 in interior spaces only. 


Maintenance Tips 

The Marcy Home Gym MWM-988 instruction manual recommends three basic maintenance actions to be performed regularly: 

  1. 1

    Check the machine for worn, broken, or loosened parts before use. If you need to re-tighten something, then do so before you start your workout. Parts that have worn out or slipped out of place could cause injury to the user.  

    (Note: If a part wears out or breaks, you can get replacement parts, under warranty or otherwise, on the Marcy website.) 
  2. 2
    Periodically lubricate your Marcy Home Gym’s moving parts with WD-40 or another light oil - or silicone-based oil. This not only preserves the mechanism; it also ensures a smooth, comfortable workout. 
  3. 3
    Sweat and other residues can cause stains and odor over time. So, clean the exterior with a damp cloth; you may use a mild detergent if needed. 

Marcy Stack MWM-988 & Exercise Programs 

Check out the workout chart on the back panel of your MWM-988. It will tell you the basic exercises you can do on the Marcy Stack MWM-988—and the accompanying muscle groups you can build with each movement.  

  • Chest Workouts 
    Insert/remove a pair of pins to switch between seated bench presses and fly motions, both of which strongly target the pecs.
  • Triceps Workouts 
    While you can do triceps push-downs with the Z-bar hooked to the top pulley, the triceps rope add-on makes this exercise more comfortable.
  • Biceps Workouts 
    You can perform seated bicep curls or hammer curls with the preacher curl pad, with either the Z-bar or barbells; alternatively, you can do standing bicep curls, using the bar/handle of choice hooked to the bottom pulley.
  • Shoulder Workouts 
    You can work your deltoid and trapezius muscles with deltoid raises, and upright rows, both using a bar hooked to the bottom pulley. 
  • Back Strength Workouts 
    Use the Z-bar in its original position on the top pulley for wide lat pull-downs to target the latissimus dorsi.
  • Leg Workouts 
    Seated leg extensions and standing leg curls using the leg developer strongly target the quads and hamstrings, respectively. However, you can work the rest of the leg using the ankle strap hooked to the lower pulley: outer kicks and thigh crosses target the outer and inner thighs, respectively; straight-leg kick-backs give you a basic glute workout.
  • Abs & Core Workouts 
    The MWM-988 is not advertised as having ab/core features, but actually, it does. The triceps rope add-on can double as a perfect handle for ab crunches against resistance from the top pulley. You can also use an add-on handle or wrist/ankle strap hooked to the bottom pulley for side bends to target the obliques

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Can you add more weights to a Marcy home gym?  

No, the manufacturer recommends against adding weights to the weight stack or otherwise affixing weights to the apparatus. However, you may safely use hand weights or a barbell of your choice for bicep curls on the preacher curl pad.  

How tall is a Marcy home gym?  

It is about 78 or 79 inches. Therefore, it is safe to assume it is a little over 6.5 feet tall. This still allows it to comfortably fit in rooms with low ceilings. However, ideally, you should have a few inches of clearance between the top of the home gym and the ceiling.  

How much is the Marcy Stack MWM-988 Home Gym? 

It is occasionally priced as high as nearly $800, but some reviewers report purchasing it for a little under $250. It most normally is priced between $500 and $600. 

Where can you buy Marcy Stack MWM-988 and all its replacement parts?  

The MarcyPro website has the full line of products reasonably priced, as well as replacement parts potentially under warranty. Amazon is the best source for Marcy products at competitive prices. However, as of this review, Walmart also has the MWM-988 at a competitive price. Lastly, the MWM-988 home gym, as well as the triceps rope add-on, are available at Academy Sports + Outdoors at reasonable prices.  


Conclusion

Marcy MWM-988 Multifunction Steel Home Gym...
  • TOTAL DIMENSIONS: 68"L x 42"W x 78"H
  • MAXIMUM USER WEIGHT: 300 lbs
  • STEEL CONSTRUCTION: This home gym system is...
  • DOUBLE PULLEY STATIONS: Two separate lateral...
Ultimately, the biggest perk of having a multifunction steel home gym with a 150-lb. stack is that everyone in your household can strength-train with one machine.

This reduces home gym expenses and gives everyone a chance to do basic circuit training at their own level. The Marcy MWM-988 is an especially great value for people with limited space and funds, as well as those trying to get a workout in a crowded household. 
Paul J