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Marcy Home Gym MWM-988

Marcy MWM-988

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36+15-200 lbs

150 lbsConcrete
w/ synthetic
10 lbs (ea)

Marcy Fitness offers several home gyms in an affordable price range, including the MWM-990, MWM-6150, and even larger units, such as the Marcy Smith Cage SM-4008 are available for prices under $600. They’re not gym-grade fitness machines, but for home use they’re perfect, that’s why so far they benefit from a large number of positive reviews from most users.

In this post, we’re going to present the Marcy MWM-988 home gym. This unit is a lot similar to the MWM-990 model; they’re basically the same machine, but the MWM-988 features a different paint finish.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 69L x 36W x 79H inches (173L x 92W x 201H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 271 lbs (123 kg)
  • Max. user capacity: 300 lbs (136 kg)
  • Stack weight: 150 lbs (68 kg)
  • Max. weight resistance: 200 lbs (90.7 kg)
  • Possible exercises: 36+
  • Warranty: Frame 2 years

Frame construction and parts

Although the Marcy Home Gym MWM-988 is not a commercial grade unit, it does feature a 14ga steel frame and has a fairly durable construction. However, it does have a weight limit. The manual recommends that the user weight capacity (which pretty much refers to the seat) shouldn’t exceed 300 lbs (136 kg).

This Marcy home gym isn’t extremely large. So, on the one hand, this is a plus; the fully assembled unit only takes 69″L x 36″W (173 x 92 cm) of floor space, being approx. 79″ (201 cm). This means it can fit pretty well even in a smaller room, and with a 7′ (213 cm) ceiling, without any hindrance for any exercises, as it doesn’t have a pull-up/chin-up bar. But on the other hand, due to its rather small height, users taller than 6’0″ – 6’1″ (183 – 185 cm) may not benefit from a complete range of motion for certain exercises.

The unit is fairly heavy; with the fully assembled frame and with the weight stack in place, it weighs over 270 lbs. Therefore, stability shouldn’t be an issue for it. However, the unit doesn’t have base stabilizers, so placing it on a rubber mat is recommended, for maximum stability, and floor protection.

Since it’s one of the most affordable home gyms, it doesn’t have an adjustable seat and backrest. They offer excellent comfort and support, though, being padded with a layer of foam of approx. 2″. This also goes for the preacher pad, for which the padding at the top is thicker. The upholstery on the seat, backrest, and preacher pad is quite durable; with proper care, it can last for many years of use. Also, in terms of foam padding, the rollers of the leg developer station are 4″ thick, delivering the optimal comfort required for leg extensions or other related exercises.

The machine integrates 16 pulleys made of heavy-duty nylon material, integrating sealed ball bearings for a long lifespan and smooth operation. The machine’s cables are steel-made, covered by a thin sheet of PVC material. They have a 2,000 lbs tensile strength, so you shouldn’t worry about them snapping even if you exercise by using the whole weight stack. Cable tension can be adjusted by moving up or down the lower pulley in the double pulley bracket situated behind the main vertical tube of the machine.

In terms of accessories, there are four included with this Marcy home gym. These are one ankle strap, one EZ-type lat bar, one chain extension, and one ankle strap.

Last but not least, the Marcy MWM-988 home gym features a rust-resistant and abrasion-resistant paint finish. As we’ve mentioned above, the paint finish and the color of the upholstery are the only differences between the MWM-988 and MWM-990 models. The MWM-988 one features a gray/black finish, while the MWM-990 has a dark gray / red finish.

Workout stations

Although the Marcy MWM-988 doesn’t have a mid-pulley station for exercises such as ab crunches or baseball bat swings, there are 6 available workout stations. These are:

Chest press station – for triceps, shoulders, and pectoral muscles training;

Pec fly station – the arms of the chest press have a double function; they can fold inward allowing the execution of butterfly chest exercises. They have a multi-grip design and large foam rollers for extra comfort;

High-pulley station – just as for most similar types of home gyms, the high-pulley station is available. Also, an EZ-lat bar is included with the machine;

Low-pulley station – the pulley attached to the lower front part of the machine can actually facilitate a wide array of exercises, such as stand-up curls, triceps kickbacks, squats and more;

Curl pad attachment – the Marcy MWM-988 includes a preacher pad. This attachment is vertically adjustable offering several positions. Evidently, this workout station provides several types of exercises for the arm muscles;

Leg developer – this accessory is designed mainly for leg extensions. The seat of this home gym is fixed, and although it’s fairly large, it does not have the length of an adjustable bench. Therefore, the leg developer only allows stand-up leg curls, and no conventional, face-down curls.

Weight Stack and Resistance

The Marcy MWM-988 is equipped with a 150 lbs (68 kg) weight stack. It includes 14 weight plates, 10 lbs (4.5 kg) each, while the top, stopper plate also weighs 10 lbs. 

One important aspect to mention here regards the fact that the machine’s weight plates are not made of cast iron as for the Body-Solid GS1, for example. They’re concrete plates contained in a vinyl shell. They are less durable than steel or cast iron plates.

However, since it’s a home use machine, it won’t be used as extensively as commercial machines, so the weight stack may as well last a lifetime. On the other hand, most machines with a vinyl stack are considerably more affordable than the ones with a cast iron stack. For example, this Marcy model is approx. half the price than the Body-Solid GS1 that we’ve already mentioned.

The unit’s weight ratios vary for each pulley or workout station. The maximum weight resistance output provided is 200 lbs (90.7 kg), which applies to the press station. The table below shows the average weight resistance generated by the most important workout stations.

Last but not least, the unit’s weight stack is non-upgradable. Adding plates to the stack will limit the range of motion. However, if you still want extra weight resistance, you can improvise by attaching dumbbell plates on the outside of the stack. This is not recommended, though, as it may cause damage to the plates.

Possible Exercises

This Marcy home gym offers the possibility to perform over 36 exercises. Some of them are described by the exercise sheet on the main upright post of the unit. Among these exercises, we can count:

  • Seated Biceps Curls
  • Stand-up Biceps Curls
  • Preacher Curls
  • Concentration Curls
  • Triceps Pressdowns
  • Triceps Extensions
  • Triceps Kickbacks
  • Ab Pulldowns
  • Low Pulley Trunk Rotations
  • Deltoid Raises
  • Seated Rows
  • Upright Rows
  • Vertical Grip Chest Presses
  • Horizontal Grip Chest Presses
  • Fly presses
  • High Cable Cross-Overs
  • Lat Pulldowns
  • Leg Curls
  • Leg Abductions
  • Leg Extensions
  • Leg Adductions
  • Kickbacks
  • Squats
  • … and more.

Assembly and Maintenance

Like most home gyms, the Marcy MWM-988 comes in several boxes, which are not exactly light. That’s why it’s recommended that the assembly is done by two persons. Also, due to the multitude of parts, bolts, and screws, the assembly process will take at least several hours. However, the included manual has pretty decent schematics and assembly instructions, so the process shouldn’t be too difficult.

For maintenance, it is recommended to periodically lubricate the guides of the weight plates and the pulleys if necessary. Also, it’s recommended to periodically check for loose bolts and parts, and re-tighten them if it’s the case.

The Pros

  • Sturdy construction, elegant frame design;
  • Thick and durable vinyl upholstery, with consistent padding for maximum comfort;
  • Foam roller padding on the chest press bars and leg developer attachment;
  • Relatively small footprint for a home gym system;
  • 6 workout stations, including: pec fly, chest press, low pulley, high pulley, curl pad and leg attachment; 
  • Highly durable nylon pulleys with steel ball bearings;
  • Ankle strap included;
  • Lat bar included;
  • Over 36 exercises available;
  • Quiet operation, suitable machine for apartment use;
  • Little maintenance required;
  • Fairly easy to assemble.

The Cons

  • The seat is non-adjustable;
  • The weight stack cannot be upgraded;
  • No mid-pulley station;
  • Tools required for assembly are not included.


The Marcy MWM-988 is an entry-level home gym equipped with a 150 lbs weight stack and 6 workout stations. It offers the possibility to perform more than 36 exercises, for a full body workout. Although the weight plates are not made of cast iron, the machine’s weight stack is pretty durable. Also, this is the main reason this home gym is at least a few $100s cheaper than a model with a cast iron stack. In fact, this Marcy model is one of the most affordable home gyms at the moment.

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