Inspire Fitness FT2 Functional Trainer Review – Garage Gym Pro

The FT2 functional trainer has people getting rid of their old weight plates and basically replacing their whole gym with one machine.

It's tempting to slim down your gym, but functional trainers are expensive, and you need to be sure before you pay thousands of dollars for one.

In this full Inspire Fitness FT2 review, I'll share my views firsthand on the product and hopefully help you decide whether it's worth the money, and the right choice for you.

Our Ratings

Workout Versatility

10.0

Value For Money

9.0

Ease Of Use

10.0

Ease Of Assembly

8.0

Materials & Durability

10.0


Overall Rating

9.4

I’ve been through the whole process with the Inspire Fitness FT2 functional trainer, including order, waiting, assembly, and using it.

Here are my thoughts about the trainer and who it would be useful for:

Our Experience Using This Functional Trainer

I've been using the Inspire Fitness FT2 functional trainer for over a year now, with all the different configurations.

I've used a lot of functional trainers, but I was really impressed with this one. In fact, I now use it more than my free weights!

It comes with 10 different accessories as standard, including a pull-up bar, smith bar, straight bar, bench, leg extension, and some other handles and accessories.

It's a complete functional trainer and really works for full-body workouts.

I love how heavy-duty the FT2 feels. It's designed and made well and is very different from some of the flimsy home functional trainers on the market.

It feels like a cross between a functional trainer and a free weights setup.

It uses a cable machine with a weight stack, but there's also an Olympic bar and smith system, so you can do all the compound lifts. This is perfect for any seasoned lifters.

The Inspire Fitness FT2 functional trainer comes with a leg attachment as standard in the fully loaded model.

This means you can train your upper and lower body together without relying on just the ankle strap, or spending more money on an additional accessory.

I also love the smooth operation of the FT2. This home gym functional trainer has dual stacks with the option to upgrade the stack resistance too.

Even with the resistance, it moves like a dream, and the cables glide well no matter what position it's in. This makes it easier to train, and easier to build lean muscle with consistent strain from the cables.

When using the FT2, I did sometimes feel like the smith bar got in the way a bit. Don't get me wrong, it was great to have it there, and the smith bar makes it much easier to train.

However, the positioning of it meant that when I had the cable machine handles set to the high position, it got in the way. I also found the size of the machine a bit of an issue. 

It mostly worked fine for me, but very tall users will struggle to do pull-down movements or cable pullover exercises with a full range of motion.

However, these were pretty minor things, and this is a really good functional trainer with almost unlimited functional training capabilities.

The precision steel ball bearings and smooth fiberglass reinforced nylon cables make it a pleasure to use, and it combines the good qualities of lifting Olympic weight plates and using smith machines in one place.

I've used a lot of different home functional trainers, but this is definitely one of the best.

Size & Dimensions In The Home

This is the biggest of the Inspire Fitness functional trainer range and is noticeably bigger than the FTX and FT1.

It's also bigger than the popular Titan Fitness and REP Fitness FT5000 trainers, but it does have a lot more to offer.

It doesn't have the V shape of the Inspire Fitness FTX and FT1, so this functional trainer doesn't neatly fit into the corner.

At 88 inches tall, too, it may be too big for small garage gyms, or at least make it difficult to use the pull-up bar.

I have a medium-sized home gym, and it did fit ok. I had to move a few things around to get it in, and it did dominate the space.

However, once I had it in place, I was able to get rid of some of the other gym equipment in my home and free up other space.

When you look at the specifications, it's basically commercial gym standard, so it's not too surprising that it takes up more room. However, if space is at a premium, then this functional trainer probably isn't for you.

Design & Build Quality

Inspire Fitness FT2 V-shaped setup

The Inspire Fitness FT2 functional trainer is really high quality. The Inspire Fitness FTX and FT1 were both good, but the FT2 feels like a step up. 

It has a heavy-duty steel frame with rounded and straight components and a matte black protective powder coating that protects the frame from accidental denting or scratching.

As part of the FT2 functional trainer review, I really put it through its paces with some of my longer workouts, and it didn't shake or wobble at all.

The pull-up bar handles felt sturdier with this model, and the whole machine felt solid and reliable.

Inspire Fitness hasn't used their V design to make this functional trainer more compact, so it is more imposing, but it looks good.

The matte black finish looks professional, and it should fit in well in a modern home gym.

Workout Stations & Versatility

The Inspire Fitness FT2 functional trainer has 32 different configurations, and I've tried them all out.

It's simple to switch between them, and the instruction manual/exercise booklet is clear, so I was able to use the two weight stacks to train all the different parts of my body.

The real advantage of the FT2 is the built-in smith machine. This makes it a lot more versatile, and you can use the smith machine for loads of different workouts.

It makes bench presses and shoulder presses much easier and works well alongside the other attachments.

The other thing that stood out for me was the leg extension attachment.

This means you don’t have to rely on the ankle strap and can perform leg extensions to build solid quads, glutes and hamstrings.

The Inspire Fitness FT2 leg extension kit comes as standard and is included in the price.

The FT2 is much more versatile than the FTX or FT1, and the smith machine, bench, and leg attachment mean that you can train your whole body - something many functional trainers don't offer.

Related Article - What Is A Smith Machine For?

Weight Range

Inspire Fitness FT2 Functional Trainer

The Inspire Fitness FT2 functional trainer is a step up from the FTX and FT1 when it comes to the weight range.

It has dual weight stacks, each with 165 pounds as standard, but a 2:1 weight ratio, so it's actually only 82.5 pounds on each weight stack.

I didn't really find the 82.5 pounds enough, so I chose to purchase the weight stack upgrade for each side.

Each weight stack can take 110 pounds more, which means you have a maximum weight range of 385 pounds.

This is much more than the FT1 and is almost as good as the heavy-lifting Titan Fitness functional trainer.

On top of that, you've got the weight of the smith machine. The smith machine bar itself weighs 20 pounds, but you also have the smith machine weight multiplier.

This doubles the weight by altering the tension on the cable pulleys and leaves you with a massive amount of resistance.

What I felt really held the FT1 back was the lack of resistance in the weight stacks, but the Inspire Fitness FT2 functional trainer has really solved the issue.

The weight stacks are now some of the heaviest on the market, and the weight multiplier makes it even higher - which is great for my compound lifts.

The improved weight range makes the FT2 much better for experienced lifters than the FT1 or FTX.

Assembling This Product

This home gym functional trainer is big, heavy, and quite bulky. It’s 800 pounds fully assembled, but that was split into 10 different boxes when it was delivered.

Some of these boxes (the ones with the weight stacks) were really heavy, and you may need some help getting them inside.

Once I had everything in my home gym, it was just a case of following the instructions and taking it step by step.

Most of it was straightforward, but the dual-weight stacks had some bits which had to be loosened first to attach them.

The smith machine components were a bit tricky too, but Inspire Fitness has some assembly videos I used to help me.[1]

The FT2 was more work to assemble than the FT1 and FTX, and it took me about 5 hours.

Beginners may struggle with this one, and I'd really recommend getting a friend with some experience to help you out.

Price Guide

The Inspire Fitness FT2 functional trainer costs around $5000, so it's definitely in the premium price range.

It's a lot more expensive than the FT1 (~$3000), Titan functional trainer (~$2500), and the Rep Fitness FT5000 (~$2800).

In fact, it's more expensive than most home trainers except the commercial-grade Life Fitness range (~$8000-$10,000).

Many home gym owners won't be able to afford the FT2, but I think it offers a lot of value.

The smith machine, leg kit, weight bench, and other included accessories remove the need for other gym equipment which can save you money.

Plus, the maximum resistance with the extra weight stacks means that even advanced lifters can get a great full-body workout.

If you're a beginner or even an intermediate lifter, this fitness equipment may be overkill, and you're better with a cheaper model.

However, the Inspire Fitness FT2 functional trainer can replace most of the equipment in your entire gym and does offer great value for money.

Shipping and Warranty

The Inspire Fitness FT2 is available directly from their website, their Amazon storefront, or through third-party websites.

You generally won't find this premium model in stores like Costco, but it is sometimes in specialist fitness equipment stores.

I ordered from Inspire Fitness directly, and the process was simple. It took less than a week to arrive, which is fairly standard, and came split into 10 boxes.

The boxes were heavy, and I needed a friend to carry them inside, so this is worth noting when you order it. The packaging itself seemed fine, and there was no damage to any of the pieces.

It comes with a limited lifetime warranty if you're using it at home, or a light commercial warranty that covers it for 10 years (home users don't need to worry about the light commercial warranty).

This covers the frame, adjustable bench, smith machine parts, and all accessories. Just make sure you register your warranty with Inspire.[2]


Pros & Cons Of Inspire Fitness FT2

What We Like

  • High-quality and durable
  • 32 different configurations for full-body training
  • Built-in smith and bench machine and bench
  • High weight resistance
  • Lots of accessories included

What We Don't Like

  • Very heavy (800 pounds)
  • Too big for small gyms
  • Relatively expensive

Who Should Buy Inspire Fitness FT2?

The Inspire Fitness FT2 functional trainer is one of the advanced fitness machines best suited for experienced lifters.

It's only for those with a big budget, but the heavy-duty round commercial-grade frame with a limited lifetime warranty offers tremendous long-term value.

The FTX is for those who want a high-quality full-body trainer that will last a lifetime.

The Inspire Fitness FT2 functional trainer isn't a good option for those with a small budget or small space. It's too bulky for small garage gyms, and in a tight space, the Inspire Fitness FTX is better.

If you're looking for a more affordable functional trainer, you're better off with the Inspire Fitness FTX or FT1, or the REP Fitness FT3000.


Unique Features of the Inspire Fitness FT2 Functional Trainer

Fully Integrated Selectorized Smith Machine

Smith machines are good for controlled barbell strength training, and many people have a dedicated smith station in their home gym.

Having a smith machine integrated into the functional trainer is a huge plus, and I use the smith system for all my vertical lifts. Not many other functional trainers have smith machines built in.

Read Also - Which Way Do You Face On The Smith Machine?

Dual Independent Weight Stacks

Inspire Fitness FT2 Dual Independent Weight Stacks

Having two separate stacks makes it easier to target each muscle group and lift more weight.

It's great for isolation strength training and beneficial for competitive athletes doing specific free-weight exercises.

If you are an athlete, it's worth getting the sport handle to use with the extra weight stack.

Dual Pulley System Adjusts To 32 Positions

Inspire Fitness FT2 Dual Pulley System

The cable machines can be adjusted into lots of positions so you can train every part of your body.

This, combined with the adjustable bench and smith machine, makes it one of the most versatile home trainers.

The instructional manual will show you have to adjust the cable system into each position.

Innovative Weight Multiplier Feature

The smith machine has an option to double the weight so you can push yourself when doing chest presses or other vertical lifts.

Related Article - Adding Weight To Home Gyms

Tablet Holder

The Inspire Fitness FT2 functional trainer has a built-in holder, so you have entertainment while you train. I found it really useful for following YouTube workouts.

Optional Preacher Curl Attachment

You can pay extra for a preacher curl attachment on the trainer. This is kind of like an EZ curl bar for your bicep curls and can help you grow bigger arms.

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Optional Leg Extension

The leg extension is something I would recommend for everyone. It’s much better than the ankle attachment and is essential for training your lower body properly.

Related Article - Best Cable Machine Exercises For Legs

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Comparing The Inspire Fitness FT2 With Other Functional Trainers

Inspire Fitness FT2 Vs FT1

There are a lot of similarities between the FT2 and FT1, which isn't surprising given they're from the same collection.

They both have smooth pulley systems, an attractive color scheme, and an electrostatic powder coat to protect the solid frame. However, the FT2 is a much more complete trainer.

The FT1 doesn't come with all the accessories as standard and only has the option to add 50 pounds to each stack rather than 100.

There are no smith machines or bench attachments, and there are fewer exercises you can do with the pulley system.

The FT1 is a more compact functional trainer and is more affordable, so it's better for small home gym owners on a budget.

If you have more space and want to lift heavy, then the FT2 is the better option.

Also Read - Inspire Fitness FT1 - My Review

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Inspire Fitness FT2 Vs FTX

The Inspire Fitness FTX is a stripped-down, bare-bones functional trainer.

It gets a lot of positive reviews because of the design and build quality, but compared to the FT2, it lacks a lot of functionality.

It has two 165 weighted stacks, but you can't upgrade them. It comes with a straight bar, triceps rope, multi function belt, and bar for pull-ups, but everything else is extra.

It's much smaller and cheaper, so it's a better piece of gym equipment for small garage gyms, but it isn't anywhere near as versatile as the FT2.

The FTX offers a lot of value for beginners, but if you're looking for a genuine full-body trainer, the FT2 is better.

Also Read - Inspire Fitness FTX - My Review

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The Inspire Fitness SCS is a similar product to the FT2, but with one key difference - it has a power rack.

This makes it easier to do free weight exercises and pull-ups, but you need a lot more space around the machine, so it just won't work in every home gym.

If you want your power rack and functional trainer all wrapped into one, then the SCS is perfect.

It's a little more difficult to assemble and move, but it has all the same high quality you'd expect from Inspire Fitness products.

Unfortunately, you can't add a power rack to the FT2 after you buy it, so you'll need to decide if you need one beforehand.

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Inspire Fitness FT2 Vs Life Fitness G7

Life Fitness specializes in commercial-grade products, but the G7 is one of their home machines.

The Inspire Fitness FT2 functional trainer is actually really similar to the Life Fitness G7. They both have dual-weight stacks and are made to a high standard.

The only real difference is that the G7 is slightly bigger and bulkier.

My only complaint about the Inspire Fitness range is that the trainers can be a little small, which impacts some pull-down exercises (particularly the tricep pulldown).

This isn't an issue unless you're really tall, but if you are, then the G7 is better.

For most people, the G7 or the FT2 will do the job; they are both very similar high-performing trainers.

FT2 Workout Programs & Exercises

Hopefully, this FT2 functional trainer review has shown you that the FT2 isn't really for beginners, so I've put together a more challenging full-body workout program for you to try:

  • Wide grip lat pulldown 10-12 reps
  • Seated row 8-12 reps
  • Standing bicep curl (with EZ curl bar if you have it) 8-12 reps
  • Core cable pulley rotation 8-12 reps
  • Leg extension 8-12 reps
  • Smith machine bench press 8-12 reps
  • Tricep rope pulldown 8-12 reps
  • Kneeling ab crunch 10-14 reps
  • Shoulder press 8-12 reps

Aim for less than 60 seconds of rest between sets and try to go through the whole routine 3-5 times.

Inspire Fitness also have an exercise booklet that will show you how to get the most from the equipment.[3]


Common Questions About The FT2 Functional Trainer

How much weight is on the Inspire FT2?

There are 165 pounds on each stack as standard, but with the option to add 110 pounds onto each. There is a 2:1 ratio, so you only lift half of the weight on the stack.

How do you double weight on Inspire FT2?

The smith machine has a seamless device to double the weight. Just switch the red lever on the smith machine, and it should double.

What's the difference between the regular and fully loaded versions?

The fully loaded FT2 has the leg and bench attachment as standard. This FT2 functional trainer review is based on a fully loaded version.

Do I need to bolt it down?

No, it’s really stable and doesn’t need to be bolted down to use it safely.

How do you move Inspire in FT2 once set up?

It isn't easy to move this heavy machine once it's set up. You'll have to take the smith bar and weight stacks off before you move it. It's best to have the position set before you assemble it.

Will I need to buy any other equipment when I get the Inspire FT2?

You won’t need much else alongside the FT2, but some cardio machines may be useful.

Our Ratings

Workout Versatility

10.0

Value For Money

9.0

Ease Of Use

10.0

Ease Of Assembly

8.0

Materials & Durability

10.0


Overall Rating

9.4

Conclusion - To Buy Or Not?

The FT2 is an elite-level functional trainer. It has a lot more to offer than the FT1 and is a real jump-up in quality.

It's best suited for experienced lifters and should remove the need for a lot of other equipment in your home gym.

The only downside is the cost, and while it does offer good long-term value for money, it is a big expense.

Hopefully, this FT2 functional trainer review has helped you determine whether it's worth the money and if it's right for you.

References: 

1. https://inspirefitness.com/product/ft2-functional-trainer/#videos
2. https://inspirefitness.com/warranty-registration/
3. https://inspirefitnesssolutions.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Inspire-FT2-Exercise-Manual.pdf 

Last Updated on November 2, 2022