Inspire Fitness FTX Functional Trainer Review – GarageGymPro

Inspire Fitness make good functional trainers and they're a favorite with loads of home gym owners. 

The Inspire Fitness FTX functional trainer is their budget model, but it's one of the most popular out there. 

In this review I've put it through its paces, and hopefully it will help you determine if it's the best option for you. 

What We Like 

  • Compact - with one of the industry's smallest footprints
  • Solid and durable
  • 30 different pulley position for a full body workout
  • Smooth to use
  • Comparably affordable

What We Didn’t Like 

  • Most optional pieces are mandatory for a full workout 
  • Not great for taller users
  • Heavy and poorly packaged
  • Not enough weight for experienced lifters

Our Review of the Inspire Fitness FTX Functional Trainer

Our Ratings

Workout Versatility

9.0

Value For Money

9.5

Ease Of Use

10.0

Ease Of Assembly

8.5

Materials & Durability

10.0


Overall Rating

9.4

Specifications 

Dimensions 

40 x 54 x 85 inches 

Weight 

544 lbs 

Maximum Load Capacity 

230 lbs 

Weight Stack 

2 x 165 lbs 

Resistance Ratio 

All parts 1:2 ratio 

Warranty 

Limited Lifetime 

Our Experience Using This Home Gym

The Inspire Fitness FTX functional trainer is one of most popular trainers and it's considered a good alternative to joining a commercial gym.

I wanted to really get under the hood of this machine, so I went through the whole process - from ordering to using it - so I could give you some real insight. I've been using the Inspire FTX for about 1 year so here is my first hand experience.

What I really love about this trainer is how well the cables moved. Often with home gym machines it's a bit clunky or the cables stick and mess with my rhythm.

The Inspire FTX cables were gliding like a dream and even though it's a bit louder than the FT1 and FT2 Inspire models, it's still not very noisy. 

There's a lot to like about the FTX and I have been able to develop an awesome workout. I am able do a lot of different movements and train effectively and efficiently, though I would have appreciated a bit more weight

It also looks really good and is small, but despite being compact, there's still two weight stacks, and a range of grips, handles and attachments, with an ankle strap for lower body movements. 

What lets the Inspire FTX down is the lack of weight and the fact some accessories aren't included. 

The FT1 and FT2 both have additional accessories included to give you a full, challenging workout, and similar products like the Titan Fitness full functional trainer have up to 400 pounds of resistance. However, that being said the 165 pound weight stacks are still plenty for most users. 

I was also a bit disappointed by the delivery and self-installation. The set up instructions themselves are good, but just getting the various bits and pieces inside was challenging and some beginners could struggle. 

Size & Dimensions In The Home

Once I had the Inspire Fitness FTX functional trainer set up I could actually see what it looked like, and I was impressed.

It has a matte back powder coat finish and sleek design that worked well alongside my other equipment. It's compact too, at least 10 inches smaller than comparable models, so it's perfect for a smaller home gym

The design, as well as the dimensions, make it great for home use. The V shape means it fits comfortably in the corner and doesn't have to take up a lot of room in the middle of your gym.

If you want a good looking piece that will match a modern home gym then this trainer is definitely the one for you. 

Design & Build Quality

The frame is made from heavy duty steel and is very solid. It felt very stable (once set up) and even though it's heavier than other models I did really appreciate how durable it was.

There's a limited lifetime frame warranty too so that, combined with the construction quality, gave me quite a lot of confidence that it would stand up to serious use. 

Workout Options & Versatility

The FTX comes with two handles, a straight bar, a dual hook curl bar, a pull up bar, and an included accessories tricep rope as standard, so I found it easy to train my whole body.

There are 30 different configurations with the FTX, so you won't struggle for workout options. However, if you are a taller user (probably over 6ft 3) then you might find it a bit more challenging to do all the exercises. 

The straight bar and curled handles are good for most exercises, but you can purchase additional extras for the Inspire FTX too, and I got the ab bar for increased resistance during my abdominal routine.

The ab bar was decent, and was definitely a good investment, but if you want to target everything you may have to purchase the other attachments too. 

I found it good for a wide range of exercises, but because there's only an ankle strap for your lower body it's tough to get a good leg workout. 

Weight Range

Each weight stack is 165 pounds, but with a resistance ratio of 2:1. This means the actual max weight you can pull is 82.5 pounds on each pulley, and you can't upgrade the weight stacks on the FTX model.

That's still a reasonable amount of resistance for most beginners or intermediate lifters, but not enough for serious lifters. 

Assembling This Product

Inspire provide a detailed manual and there's a video online (1) to help you through each step. I do have some experience with this and I thought it was somewhat simple.

The only challenging bits were the abundance of smaller nuts and bolts and the two weight stacks but even then it didn't take me long.

All in all it was a 3-4 hour job, but it is heavy and the full unit weighs over 540 pounds, so it's worth getting a friend to help you out. 

Price Guide

This is a mid range functional trainer which is perfect for beginners or intermediates who need something that's not too big and bulky.  

It's the cheapest of the Inspire Fitness functional trainer range and offers some good value for money at around $2000. It can actually save you money because it removes the need to buy lots of smaller pieces of training equipment.

It's worth spending a bit extra to get all the accessories with it if you can, but even with those extra costs it's still good value.

Shipping And Warranty

Ordering the FTX was pretty straight forward. It's a popular model and you can find it in fitness equipment stores, or online. I ordered direct from Inspire, but you can easily find it on Amazon or other 3rd party websites. 

It took 5 days to arrive, which is pretty standard, and got delivered to me in about 9 different boxes, 6 of which were just for the dual weight stacks.

The packaging itself was a bit beaten up but still functional I guess, but the main issue was that it was HEAVY.

I was genuinely surprised at how difficult it was to lift each box inside, and I ended up asking a buddy for help. You shouldn't necessarily let this put you off, but make sure you have somebody there to help you get it in inside. 

Inspire offer a limited lifetime warranty on the FTX which protects it from any material and construction defects. This helps to protect your investment, and should give you increased confidence in the trainer. 

Who Should Buy The FTX?

Despite some delivery issues, the Inspire Fitness FTX is a solid trainer and perfect for someone buying their first functional trainer.

If you're an experienced lifter who wants a full functional trainer then you're better off looking at the FT1 or FT2 (more below).


Add Ons & Accessories Available For The FTX

The FTX functional trainer comes with a straight bar, pull up bar, triceps rope, dual hook curl bar, and metal deluxe D handles as standard.

These are good for most exercises, but the Inspire FTX functional trainer standard package is particularly lacking in the lower body department. 

In fact, with the FTX you're limited to the ankle strap movements which aren't great for leg development. You can buy the extra leg curl attachment for about $50 and it's much more effective for leg training. 

The other useful accessories are the ab bar attachment, bench attachment, and lat bar. The ab bar isn't essential (though I would recommend it), but you do need the lat bar if you want to do lat pull downs.

These accessories cost between $60 and $200, but are definitely worth it if you are serious about full body workouts. You can also get a preacher curl attachment to go alongside your dual hook curl bar if you want to push your biceps to the max.

It's worth noting that there are extra weight stack add-ons in 5 and 50 pound increments, but these are not compatible with the FTX. They can only be used with the FT1 and FT2 functional fitness trainers.

The Inspire FTX has fewer available accessories than the FT1 and FT2, but the ones I've mentioned above are pretty important if you want to get a decent full body workout.

All of these accessories are available through the Inspire Fitness website or through their storefront on Amazon. 


Unique Features Of The Inspire Fitness FTX Model

The Inspire FX full functional trainer is well made and I can see why it's so popular. There are a few key reasons why it stands out from the crowd: 

inspire fitness ftx functional trainer from behind

Heavy Duty Steel Frame 

The FTX frame is made with a heavy-duty steel round frame. You will get heavy duty steel steel construction with square and round 11-gauge beams. 

You can feel how strong and stable this full functional trainer is and even when I was using it for tougher workouts I wasn't worried it was going to be dented or damaged. 

Often smaller functional trainers are less sturdy, but the Inspire FTX frame should last.

Electrostatic Powder Coat 

The heavy duty steel frame itself looks great with a matte black powder coat finish, but also has an electrostatic power coating on top.

This helps to protect from ay dents or damage, and can stop rust and corrosion from occurring on the outside of the equipment. 

It's worth noting that the FTX isn't designed to be used outside and the electrostatic coating will only go so far.

However, it should protect the metal from the moisture and humidity in the air and keep it looking good for longer. 

Dual Pulley System & Weight Stacks 

I'm a big fan of dual pulley systems because you can just train in a much more versatile way.

The FTX  dual independent pulley system means you can work out in multiple ranges and angles and in a more natural body position.

You can also target one side of your body at a time if you need to - perfect for injury recovery or specific athletic training.

inspire fitness ftx functional trainer pulley system

Space-Saving Design  

This is one of the best features of the Inspire FTX functional trainer.

It's noticeable smaller than other models and the V positioning makes it perfect to sit in the corner of a small gym.

Despite having one of the industry's smallest footprints, it's still sturdy, with a wide base to support the 544 pounds. 

You can install it in any room or even in the corner of a garage gym without disrupting the area with a lot of equipment. 

Infinite Exercises 

The FTX has multiple pulleys, grips, pull up bar and attachments which offer up to 30 different positions to give you complete freedom in how you train.

At this affordable price point it's really impressive and can save you a fortune buying lots of different gym equipment to target different muscle grounds. 

If you are looking to do compound and isolation exercises, then using the Inspire FTX trainer is one of the best ways to do it.  


Inspire Fitness FTX Maintenance Guide 

The FTX is well made and, for the most part, pretty low maintenance thanks to the sturdy frame and the matte black powder coat protecting it from damage.

You won't need to dedicate hours to this full functional trainer, but there are a few things to do to keep it in tip-top shape: 

  • Follow The Assembly Guide
    The assembly instructions for the Inspire FTX are good, but it's important you follow them or you could end up in a mess. The user manual will help you, but there are also videos on the Inspire Fitness website. (2)
  • Check The Manual
    The FTX user manual gives you detailed instructions on how build and properly maintain your functional trainer. This should help you protect it and keep it functional for longer. (3)
  • Check Cables And Pulleys 
    The FTX has super smooth gliding cables, but before every workout, it's a good idea to visually inspect the cables and pulleys, including pin locks, to ensure no damage, kinking, fraying, or excessive wear.
  • Clean The Machine 
    Cleaning your FTX will stop moisture, dirt, sweat, and oils from damaging your machine. Wipe down the seats, padding, and deluxe d handles after every use, and look to dust off the machine from top to bottom after every use. This will prevent any oxidation and rusting on the matte black powder coat that covers the machine, and keep the cables, pulleys, and frame all working properly. 
  • Vacuum Regularly 
    Keep the floor area clean around and under the unit at least once a week. This will prevent dust and debris from getting into the system and pulleys and prolong the life of the machine.
  • Don't Leave It Outside
    This should go without saying, but don't leave the trainer outside. It isn't designed to protect against the elements and it will become rusted and damaged. Keep it inside, covered, and safe. Thinking of exercising outside? See our guide to outdoor gyms.

Comparing The FTX Vs FT1 Vs FT2: Is Inspire Fitness A Good Brand?

Inspire Fitness clearly know how to make a good functional trainer and I can see why the FTX is so popular. It's durable, reliable, compact, and has a smooth pulley operation that makes it effective. 

Alongside the FTX, Inspire Fitness have created the FT1 and FT2. They each have their pros and cons, but the one you choose depends on exactly what you need from the product. 

The FTX is the smallest, lightest, and cheapest of the 3 models. It has a lot of functionality, but it's considered the most basic of the three. It's perfect for those with less space and those on a tighter budget, but less well suited for experienced lifters. 

The FT1 is a step up in quality. It has a slightly thicker frame, some additional accessories included, and most importantly - you can upgrade the weight stacks.

This makes it a much more attractive model for those with more experience, and intermediate and advanced lifters will get much more use from it.

The downside is that it's more expensive, and you'll pay more on top of that for the extra weight. It's also bigger and not as well suited to a compact garage gym space. 

The premium model is the FT2, which is a big step up. It includes a wide range of accessories and handles, including a Smith bar, and you can add extra weight too.

It's perfect for serious full body workouts, and has a tougher frame so that it lasts longer. It even gives the option for traditional workout and free weight style so you have complete freedom to train in the best way for you. 

The FT2 is a lot bigger and heavier, and it's more expensive. It's perfect for experienced lifters who have a tougher training routine, and has a lot of functionality.

Beginners may not need it, but if you have the space and it fits your budget then this is the best Inspire functional trainer for serious lifters. 

All in all, the FTX makes a great entry level functional trainer. The resistance, quality, and operation are all good (and way above the market average), but if you need a bit more you're better off looking into the FT1 and FT2 models. 

Also see other Inspire home gym (not functional trainer) models below:


Common Questions About the Inspire FitnessFTX

Where can I buy the Inspire Fitness FTX Functional Trainer?

You can purchase them through the Inspire website or their storefront on Amazon. Both offer the same items, accessories, and add-ons. Shopping through Amazon may have some additional perks, such as lower or free shipping costs.

What is the difference between a home gym and a functional trainer?

The main differences between a home gym and a functional trainer are usage and technique. Home gym exercises focus on a single muscle group at a time and increase strength through repetition. A functional trainer uses the full body and natural motion, not restricting your movements to a certain plane or angle.

Are functional trainers good for building muscle?

Functional trainers are not mass or bulk-building machines. They are designed to improve overall strength, balance and for sport-specific technique training (such as swinging a golf club). You will get stronger with proper use, but muscle tone and strength do not always equal mass and size.

What is the approximate size of the room to work out safely on FTX?

For the FTX functional trainer you do not need a whole lot of room. A ceiling height of at least 8 feet, plus side and front clearance of about 2 to 3 feet (with bench), will be plenty of room for almost any exercise.


Conclusion - Should You Buy It?

The FTX is a great functional trainer for beginners and intermediate lifters. It's small enough to fit into almost every home gym set up, and removes the need for other gym equipment to give you even more space savings. 

Plus, it's effective and durable. Inspire have made it well and it should give most users a great workout. It may not have as much resistance as the Rep Fitness FT 3000, or the Titan Fitness Trainer, but it should work just as well, and it's cheaper.

If you're a reasonably experienced lifter then you might be better off with the FT1 or FT2, but for most people the FTX offers great value for money and should help you reach your fitness goals.

References:

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_6OkJ7gFuE
  2. https://inspirefitness.com/product/ftx-functional-trainer/#videos
  3. https://manuals.plus/inspire/ftx-functional-trainer-manual
Paul J

Last Updated on November 4, 2022