Fitness Tips

Marcy Home Gym MWM 988 Vs. 990: Ultimate Review and Comparison

Marcy Fitness is known for producing some of the most affordable all-in-one home gyms on the market. Some of the brand’s most notable products in this category include the MWM-988 and MWM-990.

Granted, those machines aren’t suitable for commercial use, but if you’re looking for something that would cover all your fitness needs at home without breaking the bank, then one of those models is all you need.

Now, taking a look at the specs, you might be wondering, “what’s the difference between the MWM-988 and MWM-990 models?” And why should I consider adding any of these machines to my home gym setup?

Well, that’s what I’m going to answer in this comparison!

Quick Overview of Each Marcy Home Gym

Here is a close look at this Marcy home gym MWM 988 Vs 990 bout to give you an idea of what each home gym is made of -1
Here is a close look at this Marcy home gym MWM 988 Vs 990 bout to give you an idea of what each home gym is made of - 2

Here is a bird's eye view on each of the home gyms.

MWM 988 Home Gym

The MWM 988 is one of the popular home gyms in the market, for good reasons

The Marcy MWM 988 is a feature-rich machine with just about everything you need, especially if you love doing full body workouts every other day. I mean, just look at this beast's specs.


Here are some of the specs that makes this home gym outstanding
  • Dimensions(when assembled): 69 x 35 x 79 inches

  • Weight(when assembled): 271 lbs

  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs

  • Stackweight: 150 lbs

  • Weightrange: 15 to 200 lbs

  • Exercise varieties: Over 30

  • Workout Stations: chest press, pec fly, low and high pulley, curl pad, and leg attachment

  • Warranty: 2 years on the frame

What’s Good About This Home Gym

The MWM 988 has several features that makes it truly worth the money

There’s a lot to like about the Marcy 988 home gym, including:

  • Elegant frame design with a sturdy construction
  • The chest press bars and leg developer attachment are foam roller padded - call it a sweet haven for chest leg workout freaks looking for a touch of comfort.
  • The home gym includes six workout stations that allow for over 30 exercises.
  • The pulleys are made of high-quality nylon with steel ball bearings.
  • Excellent for apartment use as It doesn’t make much noise.
  • Easy to assemble.

Marcy home gym MWM 988 workout routine

You need to schedule your workout wisely to make the most of the Marcy MWM 988 gym

The Marcy MWM 988 is arguably one of the best full body workout machines out there. I'm damn sure it'll make you feel like a kid in a candy store. But before you go head over heels with everything you can do on this machine (and end up injuring yourself with overuse) here are some handy Marcy home gym MWM 988 workout routine tips that will help you stay on track.

Before we dive into the different workouts you can do and the muscle groups to focus on with each one, let’s take a quick glance at some important things to keep in mind.

First, go into this conservatively; selecting an exercise that you can be comfortable with even when going to your full range of motion. You can tweak and twist things around to match your body’s response to the workouts. But on average, you should keep the reps low and take on more resistance. Shoot for about 3 to 4 sets of around 8 to 10 reps each depending on how well you can handle it.

If you ever feel like you need a breath after a set, you sure can! Speaking of which, you should also consider grouping the exercises to isolate several muscle groups. Hit those on the same day, and then take a rest on the next day on that muscle group as you move on to the next group. Like say if you're often stuck on what to workout after chest day, then you can focus on biceps and triceps, work the legs, or hit your abs.

However, there are two ways to go about this though, so let’s break it down for you.

Option 1: Go full throttle every other day

You can decide to push yourself hard on the MWM 988 but take rest days in between

One of the best ways to do this is to dig in and go for broke with full body workout, but then keep the sessions spread out through the week. I mean, do it every other day, or shoot to work out for about three days a week on average.

This will give your body enough time to recover and your muscles to get loaded up enough to fire from all cylinders on the next grind. If you're wondering why your arms are so skinny and trying to figure out how to get bigger hands, this could be the trick you've been missing - pushing your muscles hard and letting them grow.

Option 2: Keep at it but alternate the workouts

Another option to using the Marcy MWM 988 is to spread the workouts through each day

For those who’re too excited and wanna be working out 7 days a week, this one’s for you. The idea here is to spread out the workouts through the week, but focus on different muscle groups with each day. Like do lat pulldowns on day one, then work shoulders after chest day or do the arms after chest day...up to you!

And while at it, make sure to bump up the reps while keeping the resistance or weight low; it's one of the secret behind those muscle growth stories you've seen/heard - way better than overloading yourself to burnout.

This works magic in helping keep lactic acid build-up at a minimum and saves you a heck of muscle soreness – trust me, a combo of these two can make you hate your home gym for months.

MWM 988 Exercise Routine and Target Muscles

You only need to choose from the wide array of the workouts that you can do with this machine to target different muscles

Let’s jump into the meatier bits. Here are some of the different workouts you can do on the Marcy MWM 988 and the muscles to target with each exercise.

Chest Workout
  • Seated bench press; Muscle worked – pectorals
  • Pectoral fly; Muscle worked – pectorals
  • Wide lat pull-down; Muscle worked – latissimus dorsi
Arm and Leg Workout
  • Standing bicep curl; Muscle worked - biceps
  • Seated bicep curl; Muscle worked – biceps 
  • Tricep push-down; Muscle worked – triceps
  • Leg curl; Muscle worked - hamstring
  • Inner thigh leg cross; Muscle worked – inner thighs
  • Outer leg kick; Muscle worked – outer thighs
  • Leg extension; Muscle worked – quadriceps 
  • Leg kick back; Muscle worked – glutes 
  • Upright row; Muscle worked – trapezius/deltoids
  • Front deltoid raise; Muscle worked – front deltoids
  • Oblique side bend; Muscle worked – abdominals
  • High pulley ab crunch; Muscle worked – core/abs

MWM 990 Home Gym

You can't go wrong with the Marcy home gym MWM 990 thanks to its solid construction

With the MWM 990 you will get not only an experience that is very close to what you get with the 988, the specs are very close too.


The specs speak for themselves really if you are looking for a good home gym, this has what you need
  • Dimensions(when assembled): 69 x 36 x 79 inches

  • Weight(when assembled): 271 lbs

  • WeightCapacity: 300 lbs

  • Stackweight: 150 lbs

  • Weightrange: 15 to 200 lbs

  • Exercise varieties: Over 30

  • Workout Stations: chest press, pec fly, low and high pulley, curl pad, and leg attachment

  • Warranty: 2 years on the frame

What I Like About This Home Gym

There is a whole lot of cool perks that I love about this home gym

The Marcy 990 is as impressive as the 988. Here’s what I like about it:

  • Beautiful design with a durable build.

  • Quiet operation, making it suitable for apartments.

  • Includes six workout stations that allow for over 30 exercises.

  • Offers enough resistance for beginner to intermediate trainees.

  • The machine makes it super easy to change the weight stock.

  • Excellent stability.

What Is the Difference Between the Marcy 988 and 990?

So, what sets the MWM 988 apart from the MWM 990 - 2
So, what sets the MWM 988 apart from the MWM 990 - 1

Considering the specs we’ve just gone through, the Marcy 988 and 990 do look similar, don’t they?

Well, that’s because they are.

The two models are practically one and the same, with the main difference being the design and paint job. In terms of design, the 988 model comes in black and grey, whereas the 990 model comes in black.

Other minor differences include the positioning of the preacher curl and the dual function press arm, as well as the padding of the seat, which is larger in the MWM 990.

Other than that, there’s no drastic difference between the two models. Even the pros of each model go just fine for the other.

In other words, picking one of the two boils down to what you prefer in terms of exterior design.

Don’t believe me? Keep reading for the detailed breakdown!

Marcy Home Gym MWM 988 Vs. 990

Is the MWM 988 better than MWM 990 or is the vice versa the case

Now we put both home gyms against each other.

Which Home Gym Offers More Workout Variety?

Both of these home gyms offer a rather equal number of workout station

The two models offer the same six workout stations that allow for over 30 exercises (both upper and lower body):

  • Chest press station: for pecs, triceps, and shoulders

  • Pec fly station: for pecs and delts

  • High pulley station: for back muscles, triceps, and shoulders

  • Low pulley station: for back muscles, biceps, triceps, legs, and more

  • Curl pad attachment: for biceps and triceps

  • Leg developer: for – hey, surprise - legs

Which Home Gym Is Safer to Use?

The safety features on both home gyms is quite similar too

Both home gyms feature a selectorized weight stack with a lock and a solid steel enclosure that guarantee safe resistance training. If you’re a beginner, you needn’t worry about having weights suspended over your body, as everything is taken care of through cables and pulleys that are connected to the weight stack.

Which One Is More Durable?

If you're looking for durability, then you can go with either gym since both feature similar durable material

The Marcy MWM 988 and 990 home gyms feature 14ga steel frame that allows for fairly durable construction. Both models have a weight limit of 300 pounds. Keep in mind that both of these machines aren’t suitable for commercial use. But if you're getting one for home gym use, you can workout 6 days a week on any of these all year round and still have it going strong a decade later.

Which Has a Better Design and Is Better for Smaller Places?

Both the MWM 988 and the MWM 990 are prertty much same in size and weight as well

The size difference between the two models is barely noticeable (69 x 35 x 79 inches for the 988 and 69 x 36 x 79 inches for the 990). The same goes for the weight (both weigh 271 pounds with a 150-pound weight stack).

I’d say they’re both suitable for small living spaces, and can fit just fine in a basement gym with low ceiling. But do note, they’re not meant to be moved around much since they’re a bit on the heavy side when assembled, and they don’t feature wheels.

Keep in mind that these machines’ compact designs may limit the range of motion for certain exercises for taller users.

Which Is Easier to Assemble?

Each of these gyms is straightforward to assemble, although you might have to do this for more than an hour

Although a straightforward process, assembling any of these models would take a few hours, and it’s recommended that you don’t do it alone. Marcy provides great assembly manuals with all of its machines, so I’d say the assembly is fairly beginner-friendly.

What Is the Maximum User Weight Capacity for Each Home Gym?

Both the MWM 988 and the MWM 990 are capped at 300 pounds max weight capacity

The weight capacity is 300 pounds for both home gyms.

How Do Both Home Gyms Compare When It Comes to Price?

The price for both machines is also the same

Both machines come at the same price, which is less than 600 bucks.

Which Model Is More Comfortable?

With both gyms featuring the same seat and backrest padding, you can't expect one to be more comfy than the other

These units are on the cheaper side of the spectrum, so you can’t really expect any luxuries when it comes to comfort. If you've ever done lat pull down or seated row on a similar lat pull down machine or a rower in your local gym, then you get the idea.

The seat and backrest of both models feature 2-inch foam padding. Unfortunately, the position of those parts isn’t adjustable since they’re directly attached to the frame, which may cause some problems if you’re tall.

The leg developer attachment and fly bars, on the other hand, feature 4-inch foam rollers. That’s something I really appreciate because you need all the comfort you can get on leg days (that you definitely shouldn’t skip, even when working out at home).

Which Home Gym Is Easier to Maintain?

Both gyms are easy to maintain since all you've got to do is lubricate the weight plates and pulley systems

Maintaining any of these models comes down to lubricating the weight plates and the pulleys every so often. This is another department in which both models excel.

What About Warranty? Which Home Gym Has a Better Warranty?

The warranty on both gyms is at 2 years, which is quite cool for a secure purchase

Marcy covers both these home gyms with a two-year warranty on the frame.

What Are Customers Saying About Each Home Gym?

So what do users think of each of these gyms

Now we look at what customers think about each home gym.

What Do People Think About the Marcy MWM 988?

Most users are satisfied with the MWM 988 but for a few who think the machine is a bit on the small side

The MWM 988 nails a perfect score from 62 Reviews on the Marcy website. Most customers are satisfied with the machine, with a few complaints about it being a bit small for some users.

What Do People Think About the Marcy MWM 990?

The MWM 990 has been praised as a beginner friendly machine, easy to assemble too

The MWM 990 has 176 reviews on the company’s website, and just like the MWM 988, it has a perfect score since it’s quite affordable, easy to assemble, and beginner-friendly.

Verdict: Marcy Home Gym MWM 988 Vs. 990

So, between the MWM 988 and the MWM 990 gym, which one should you pick

As I said, picking between the two machines comes down to personal preference when it comes to exterior design. Everything else is pretty much the same. They’re both affordable, comfortable, easy to assemble, durable, and, most importantly, suitable for anyone looking to start their fitness journey on the right foot.

I personally prefer the looks of the 990 model, but that’s my personal opinion, and it shouldn’t stop you from getting the 988 if you like it more.

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Ben Mayz

Hi there! I'm Ben, main author and chief editor at I have been obsessed with Strength Training and Fitness for 16 years now. My passion for living a happy fit lifestyle is what made me realize that fitness is what I wanted for my future. I went on to earn my Masters in Sports Training & Biomechanics. My passion for Strength training & fitness and my love of helping others is what made me start Fitlifefanatics. Here, myself, and a team of specialist aim to provide the most accurate, and actionable information possible in hopes to help foster the fitness community forward. You can learn more about Fitlifefanatics on our About Page