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    Functional Trainers in 2020

    Ever since the great COVID gym equipment sell off of 2020 I have found myself with extra space in my garage where I should be able to squeeze a functional trainer in and was wondering what the state of functional trainers looks like these days. I hear lots of good things about the Inspire FT1, Rep's offerings seem interesting given the price but I haven't heard much in terms of reviews, then there is the Prime Fitness model that looks like it adds a lot more versatility being able to move the arms but I am not sure what price tag we are talking about there (I've requested a quote). The Freemotion machines seem to offer the same type of versatility as the Prime model but the compact model is a 3:1 ratio, not sure what the full size model is but it runs about $6k to my door which is pretty pricey.

    Any other models I should look into? Things to look for? Things to avoid? I am pretty interested in the Prime/Freemotion type machines now but $6k is a tough pill to swallow.
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    Originally Posted by ncsuLuke View Post
    Ever since the great COVID gym equipment sell off of 2020 I have found myself with extra space in my garage where I should be able to squeeze a functional trainer in and was wondering what the state of functional trainers looks like these days. I hear lots of good things about the Inspire FT1, Rep's offerings seem interesting given the price but I haven't heard much in terms of reviews, then there is the Prime Fitness model that looks like it adds a lot more versatility being able to move the arms but I am not sure what price tag we are talking about there (I've requested a quote). The Freemotion machines seem to offer the same type of versatility as the Prime model but the compact model is a 3:1 ratio, not sure what the full size model is but it runs about $6k to my door which is pretty pricey.

    Any other models I should look into? Things to look for? Things to avoid? I am pretty interested in the Prime/Freemotion type machines now but $6k is a tough pill to swallow.
    I have the Cybex Bravo, taking everything into account I think it should be on your list.

    It's compact, whilst the arms do not adjust to a true cable crossover position like the Freemotion, they are far enough apart to achieve a good stretch on fly movements, what I find more useful is when the arms are positioned at the narrowest point, really useful for back work.

    The unique feature on the Bravo is the adjustable support pad, it's really useful and I use it more frequently than I thought I would.

    The downside the Bravo is priced at the top end of the market.
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    Registered User Asjogren's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ncsuLuke View Post
    Ever since the great COVID gym equipment sell off of 2020 I have found myself with extra space in my garage where I should be able to squeeze a functional trainer in and was wondering what the state of functional trainers looks like these days. I hear lots of good things about the Inspire FT1, Rep's offerings seem interesting given the price but I haven't heard much in terms of reviews, then there is the Prime Fitness model that looks like it adds a lot more versatility being able to move the arms but I am not sure what price tag we are talking about there (I've requested a quote). The Freemotion machines seem to offer the same type of versatility as the Prime model but the compact model is a 3:1 ratio, not sure what the full size model is but it runs about $6k to my door which is pretty pricey.

    Any other models I should look into? Things to look for? Things to avoid? I am pretty interested in the Prime/Freemotion type machines now but $6k is a tough pill to swallow.
    I have the Inspire FT2 and I love the thing. I was limited in ceiling height (88") so that limited my choices when looking into the Freemotion,Paramount,Cybex dual arm style(all great machines). The FT2 has multiple pulleys(narrow top,narrow bottom ,and the adjustable columns) so I have handles on all of them which works well for me. I can go from exercise to exercise without having to move anything. The built in Smith machine isn't bad to have and works very well for some movements. The pulleys are ridiculously super smooth. I have a Freemotion Bicep machine and the FT2 is smoother than that.

    The one disadvantage is that you can't get a narrow pull point at your sides at different hieghts like you can do with the dual arm style units.

    I have no regrets and its one of those things I would not ever sell due to it's versatility

    Happy hunting!
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    OG Duplicitous's Avatar
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    The Cybex Bravo, Life Fitness CMDAP and Star Trac Instinct are my 3 favorite commercial models in terms of build quality and smoothness. The Inspire FT1 is the only one I would really consider new. ($3K is the most I would personally spend on an FT, so that leaves out my favorite commercial models on the new market.)

    I'm not a fan of Freemotion. Most guys here that have purchased their cable machines have been happy with them, but I had them at both LA Fitness locations I used to frequent and the damn things were always sticking and getting jerky. I would get 80% of the way through a cable fly movement and the thing would stick for a second and then jerkily start again like a train leaving the station before freeing itself up so I could finish the rep. It's possible the sealed design of the machines just made the service staff less likely to maintain them, but regardless it has kept me away from their cable machines in my home gym.
    Last edited by Duplicitous; 05-12-2020 at 12:09 PM.
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    Registered User robbieuva's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Asjogren View Post
    I have the Inspire FT2 and I love the thing. I was limited in ceiling height (88") so that limited my choices when looking into the Freemotion,Paramount,Cybex dual arm style(all great machines). The FT2 has multiple pulleys(narrow top,narrow bottom ,and the adjustable columns) so I have handles on all of them which works well for me. I can go from exercise to exercise without having to move anything. The built in Smith machine isn't bad to have and works very well for some movements. The pulleys are ridiculously super smooth. I have a Freemotion Bicep machine and the FT2 is smoother than that.

    The one disadvantage is that you can't get a narrow pull point at your sides at different hieghts like you can do with the dual arm style units.

    I have no regrets and its one of those things I would not ever sell due to it's versatility

    Happy hunting!
    I've had the FT2 for about 3.5 years, and would echo the above sentiments. I ordered through a local authorized dealer, who had a much better price than Inspire's website, even after adding delivery and assembly. The pulleys are super smooth, and I would assume that would be the same across the Inspire line. If any problems arise, it came with a lifetime warranty for home use, which is nice.

    Up until the pandemic, I primarily used the FT2 and a set of Powerblocks once a week or so when I either didn't feel like or couldn't make it to the gym. Now I am using it 5-6 time a week. With the heavy weight stacks and the weight multiplier, I did some deadlifts (more like RDLs at the bottom carriages) at 410 pounds today, and they are actually not awful. It's really filling the void better than I would have imagined while I wait for weights to come back into stock somewhere and I can begin doing free weight work with the bar once again.
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    Chihuahua in the rain Corbets's Avatar
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    Another vote for the FT2. Very happy with it the last 2 months, though I still have my power rack for the heavy compound lifts and primarily use the Inspire unit for accessory work.

    There are a couple minor cosmetic points I don’t care for with it, but it’s by far the best functional trainer I could find.
    My home gym: https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=175136471&p=1623181551&viewfull=1#post1623181551

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    I've always preferred the Freemotion FT but they're pretty hard to come by used (dual-stack one) and they're quite pricey new. The biggest advantage is the adjustable arms and endless pulley configurations compared to the fixed width type FTs. The one downside that I see is that the stacks are 210 lbs with a 3:1 ratio, which seems a bit low for certain exercises.

    I see that you're in Texas, I'd check out Bolt Fitness, they have a Freemotion clone on their website. Looks pretty interesting and the price is about what you'd pay for a used/refurbished Freemotion unit.

    https://boltfitnesssupply.com/main-p...tional-trainer
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    Registered User ncsuLuke's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone, definitely have a few things to look into.

    That Bolt Fitness model sure is interesting, I wish I could get some first hand reviews of that because the price is definitely right. I wonder if they use 3:1 as well, that would be a definite negative. Currently, the Prime model is still probably the one that interests me enough since the stacks are heavy, 2:1 ratio, and it adds lots or variation. Price is certainly up there though so I am going to have to be sure before pulling that trigger if I go that way.
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    Registered User ArnoldHAMnEGGer's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by squat802 View Post
    Check your messages I'm the Bolt Fitness Rep for Dallas/Fort Worth area. Thanks
    Your plate loaded Lat Pulldown and Hack Squat look wonderful, reminiscent of two pieces that are beloved in this community.
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    I have a functional trainer in my garage, though I am looking to sell it at somepoint as I want to get a combo powerrack/functional trainer to have a smaller footprint in my garage. Right now I live by myself in a townhouse (with a garage), but I am likely getting married in September and the future wife may not like me taking up the whole garage with my exercise stuff (its a single car garage).

    The functional trainer I have is a cheaper one. That said it gives me everything I want in a functional trainer. You can get a nicer functional trainer for more money, but you can get something pretty solid for about $2,000.
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    Originally Posted by philibusters View Post
    Right now I live by myself in a townhouse (with a garage), but I am likely getting married in September and the future wife may not like me taking up the whole garage with my exercise stuff (its a single car garage).
    Easy solution there, mate. Time to find a new wife!
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    Hey all been looking at the force USA g3 or g9 any opinions from usage. Ps in Aus so options are a bit limited over here. Cheers
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    Well I decided to go with the Prime FT. I really like the adjustable arms, the heavy stacks, the 2:1 ratio, and that it's not made in China. The Cybex unit was appealing but the price seemed to high for what I was looking for without the adjustable arms. The Freemotion ones would have gotten more consideration if they didn't have a 3:1 ratio.

    Now if I could ever get Prime to let me give them my money. I know things are crazy right now but it shouldn't take 3+days to get a formal quote. Wish I could just plug in my credit card info like Rogue and other websites but I know I am small potatoes compared to most of their orders.
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    Originally Posted by ncsuLuke View Post
    Well I decided to go with the Prime FT. I really like the adjustable arms, the heavy stacks, the 2:1 ratio, and that it's not made in China. The Cybex unit was appealing but the price seemed to high for what I was looking for without the adjustable arms. The Freemotion ones would have gotten more consideration if they didn't have a 3:1 ratio.

    Now if I could ever get Prime to let me give them my money. I know things are crazy right now but it shouldn't take 3+days to get a formal quote. Wish I could just plug in my credit card info like Rogue and other websites but I know I am small potatoes compared to most of their orders.
    I am so close to pulling the trigger on this as well. I'm also debating the freemotion. Was hoping 70lbs would be enough for accessory work. What was your quote? I heard there is a fee for credit cards? It ships fully assembled, how do you plan on moving where you need it?
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    Registered User ncsuLuke's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by kevin3636 View Post
    I am so close to pulling the trigger on this as well. I'm also debating the freemotion. Was hoping 70lbs would be enough for accessory work. What was your quote? I heard there is a fee for credit cards? It ships fully assembled, how do you plan on moving where you need it?
    The quote is dependent on if you buy some of their accessories, basically you would be foolish not to because a pair of $125 handles knocks it down like $1500. I believe if you buy their handles the base quote was $4500 without shipping (I am sure this is subject to change) and it ships 90% assembled (shipping was around $1k for me). I was hoping to slip the freight guy a $20 to wheel it up to my garage and then I was going to take it apart into two pieces, each of the weight stack portions separate. From there I was going to try and lay it down on some furniture dollies and roll it where it needs to go. If I have to take the stacks off then so be it.

    If there is a fee for credit cards I'll just cut them a check or direct deposit the funds. I haven't been buying hardly anything since I have been stuck at home but I've sold thousands in equipment I don't use so luckily I am in a good position to make such a stupid expensive home gym purchase. Just wish I could give them my money already to get this order started. Not the best customer service experience so far but I am withholding judgement until I see the process through.
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    Originally Posted by ncsuLuke View Post
    The quote is dependent on if you buy some of their accessories, basically you would be foolish not to because a pair of $125 handles knocks it down like $1500. I believe if you buy their handles the base quote was $4500 without shipping (I am sure this is subject to change) and it ships 90% assembled (shipping was around $1k for me). I was hoping to slip the freight guy a $20 to wheel it up to my garage and then I was going to take it apart into two pieces, each of the weight stack portions separate. From there I was going to try and lay it down on some furniture dollies and roll it where it needs to go. If I have to take the stacks off then so be it.

    If there is a fee for credit cards I'll just cut them a check or direct deposit the funds. I haven't been buying hardly anything since I have been stuck at home but I've sold thousands in equipment I don't use so luckily I am in a good position to make such a stupid expensive home gym purchase. Just wish I could give them my money already to get this order started. Not the best customer service experience so far but I am withholding judgement until I see the process through.
    I got the same quote. It's hard to swallow $1250 in shipping costs. I assume you have been working with Mike? Seems like he is the only one who answers questions about the product/quotes/etc. I've usually been receiving a reply within 24hrs. Haven't asked for a formal quote yet.

    The freemotion lite commercial is about $3400 shipped to my door, the commercial is about $4400. It's ether the lite commercial or the going all out for them prime.
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    Registered User ncsuLuke's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by kevin3636 View Post
    I got the same quote. It's hard to swallow $1250 in shipping costs. I assume you have been working with Mike? Seems like he is the only one who answers questions about the product/quotes/etc. I've usually been receiving a reply within 24hrs. Haven't asked for a formal quote yet.

    The freemotion lite commercial is about $3400 shipped to my door, the commercial is about $4400. It's ether the lite commercial or the going all out for them prime.
    Yep, working with Mike. He got me the quote today so I am just going to go ahead and buy it. They do charge a fee for credit cards that is more than my rewards on my credit card so I'll be paying directly. They do a 50% payment upfront and then 50% later. Will be nice mentally to have it not hit all at once, makes dropping $6k not seem so bad.
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    I have the Bodycraft HFT and I love it. In my opinion a big X factor to look into is the space factor and adjustment points. The Bodycraft fit perfectly in the corner for me and had the most adjustment holes which will come in handy for rotator cuff and rehab work. If you need a lat pull-down though I wouldn't recommend it, too short. Whatever you get, make sure it's dual stack.
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    Congrats on your "soon" to be purchased FT. Prime looks amazing and has always been in my #1 slot though due to ceiling height in a portion of my gym I don't think I could extend the arms all the way up.

    I'm sure the rest of the forum will echo a request for full all out photo thread when you get it all set up!
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  20. #20
    Registered User ncsuLuke's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by C123C View Post
    Congrats on your "soon" to be purchased FT. Prime looks amazing and has always been in my #1 slot though due to ceiling height in a portion of my gym I don't think I could extend the arms all the way up.

    I'm sure the rest of the forum will echo a request for full all out photo thread when you get it all set up!
    I'll be sure to post up a bunch of pictures and do a review/answer questions when I get it, should be 6-8 weeks. From the discussion I had with Prime, the arms extend up to 94.25" high, at their widest are 107.75" apart, and front to back the longest distance is 78".
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    Registered User C123C's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ncsuLuke View Post
    I'll be sure to post up a bunch of pictures and do a review/answer questions when I get it, should be 6-8 weeks. From the discussion I had with Prime, the arms extend up to 94.25" high, at their widest are 107.75" apart, and front to back the longest distance is 78".
    My ceiling height in the front of the gym is 86-88" I think (plenty of height further back but 6 post rack and other tall equipment back there). That's what gave me pause when I first moved into the house. Not sure if I'd need the top arm positions but I'd hate to find out after the fact. If I ever get serious about the Prime again I'm close enough to go visit and demo for a day so I'd probably do that. Maybe your review gets me there!
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  22. #22
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    Originally Posted by ncsuLuke View Post
    I'll be sure to post up a bunch of pictures and do a review/answer questions when I get it, should be 6-8 weeks. From the discussion I had with Prime, the arms extend up to 94.25" high, at their widest are 107.75" apart, and front to back the longest distance is 78".
    I'm really looking forward to your review, when I was looking for an adjustable arm FT, the two units that took my attention were the Prime and the Cybex Bravo, in the end the Bravo was my only real option, I live in the UK and I couldn't find a Prime unit to try out, spending that kind of money I really had to try it beforehand.

    New in the UK there was very little difference between the cost of the Bravo and the Prime, as I'd have to import the Prime unit myself, plus I'm way too mean to shell out for new.

    After much searching I picked up a next to new Bravo for about half the retail, I'm very pleased with my Bravo, but that Prime unit looks extremely interesting.

    One thing I'm curious about, what's the distance between the arms/attachment pulley at their narrowest position?.
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    Originally Posted by gym62richard View Post
    I'm really looking forward to your review, when I was looking for an adjustable arm FT, the two units that took my attention were the Prime and the Cybex Bravo, in the end the Bravo was my only real option, I live in the UK and I couldn't find a Prime unit to try out, spending that kind of money I really had to try it beforehand.

    New in the UK there was very little difference between the cost of the Bravo and the Prime, as I'd have to import the Prime unit myself, plus I'm way too mean to shell out for new.

    After much searching I picked up a next to new Bravo for about half the retail, I'm very pleased with my Bravo, but that Prime unit looks extremely interesting.

    One thing I'm curious about, what's the distance between the arms/attachment pulley at their narrowest position?.
    Looks like 20" from what they sent over
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  24. #24
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    Originally Posted by ncsuLuke View Post
    Looks like 20" from what they sent over
    Thank's, it's that I find I use the Bravo with the arms closer together way more often than in the wider positions, on my Bravo the arms are about 14" apart at the narrowest point, but of course only about 64" at their widest.
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