Home gyms allow us to work out when we can, need to, or have the desire. They eliminate gym fees, membership dues and save on transportation or inclement weather concerns. The biggest issue is finding the best among the top home gym equipment brands.
One popular brand is Inspire Fitness. Among their long line of home gym equipment are the Functional Trainers. This Inspire Fitness Functional Trainer review will focus on the three most popular options (FTX, FT1, and FT2) to help you decide which is the best for your needs.
Table of Contents
- Pros & Cons Of The Inspire Fitness Functional Trainers
- Unique Features Of The Inspire Fitness Functional Trainers
- Inspire Fitness Functional Trainers (FTX, FT1 & FT2) Reviewed
- Add Ons & Accessories Available
- Comparing The FTX Vs FT1 Vs FT2: Is Inspire Fitness A Good Brand?
- Inspire Fitness Functional Trainer General Maintenance Guide
- People Also Ask (FAQs)
Pros & Cons Of The Inspire Fitness Functional Trainers
The Functional Trainers have a lot of benefits and use. And like every other product ever made, there are good and bad sides. Let’s see if one of the following factors makes or breaks your decision.
What We Like
What We Didn’t Like
Unique Features Of The Inspire Fitness Functional Trainers
Inspire has a lot of hidden benefits. Aside from the functionality of the entire system, the FT series trainers are made to last and be problem-free by utilizing the following features.
Heavy Duty Steel Frame
The FT frames are made from heavy-duty steel. You will get solid steel construction with square and round 11-gauge beams.
This added the strength and durability you need to perform long, intensive workouts. Without the worry of denting, buckling, or wobbling from lower-quality designs, the Inspire Fitness frames will last for a lifetime.
Electrostatic Powder Coat
Powder coat finishing does a lot more to steel than making it look great. On top of that shine, you will get added protection from dings, dents, and scratches.
Preventing rust and corrosion from the moisture and humidity in the air, the electrostatic powder coat finish adds a layer of protection standard painting can't compete against.
Dual Pulley System & Weight Stacks
The dual independent pulley system means you can work out in multiple ranges and angles and in a more natural body position. With twin weight stacks you use independent movements and work a weaker muscle group individually to offset lop-sided training.
Space-Saving Design (FTX)
The FTX model is one of the most space-saving functional trainer designs on the market. With a wide base and slender build, the tower is sturdy yet sleek.
You can install it in any room or even in a corner without disrupting the area with a lot of equipment.
Olympic Bar No Plates (FT2)
The FT2 model utilizes a smith cage system that uses an Olympic bar without the need for Olympic plates. You can get the benefit of proper lifting with a full-sized bar and never have to change or add bulky plates or add adapters.
Fully Functional With Smallest Footprints (FT1)
If you want small area equipment, the FT1 is arguably the smallest footprint of any fully functional workout device.
You won't have to worry about extending out of the sides of the back with your handles and bars like some models have.
Instead, you get a compact and functional design that takes up very little floor space.
With multiple pulleys, up to 30 positions and iso-lateral style lifting, you have a range of almost unlimited exercises.
Each functional trainer combines over 50 exercises with a vast array of positioning and weight balances to give you more routines and value from every lift.
Inspire Fitness Functional Trainers (FTX, FT1 & FT2) Reviewed
There are a lot of home gym equipment reviews for you to read through. However, if you already have an idea of what you want, a functional trainer, for example, there isn’t a need to read through everything.
In this section we will review the Inspire functional trainers individually. This will give you a better idea of what each model has to offer, what is missing (if anything), and which one makes the most sense for you and your specific needs.
Inspire Fitness FTX
FTX Product Specifications
40 x 54 x 85 inches
Maximum Load Capacity
2 x 165 lbs
All parts 1:2 ratio
The Inspire Fitness FTX model is the basic functional trainer model out of the group. It is the most cost-effective, but that doesn't make it the highest value model. With this model, you do miss a few things the others offer, which may not be worth the cost savings to some.
For starters, there isn't a Smith bar (only on the FT2), so many muscle-building exercises are eliminated right away. You will also discover that, unlike the FT1, the frame is more lightweight and less bulky.
The FTX is an ideal light workout home gym system. It does offer dual weight stacks, a full range of motion and multiple handles, grips, and attachments. This is the noisiest model of the three, and the available noise shrouds don't work well with this mode because of the thinner frame.
However, if you are looking for a recovery machine, something to get you moving while toning and building strength and endurance, there isn’t much better on the market.
The assembly of the FTX is fairly simple and straightforward. A single person can accomplish the assembly in a few hours, but a two-person assembly is recommended. The unit is still heavy and takes some patience to rout the cables correctly.
You will be able to perform standard FT exercises, cable rows, triceps pulls, and wood choppers. You can purchase the ab bar for increased resistance during an abdominal routine, too.
For leg workouts, though, you are limited to ankle strap cable pulls, leg lifts, and minimal calf raises.
Inspire Fitness FT1
FT1 Product Specifications
45 x 54 x 84 inches
Maximum Load Capacity
2 x 165 lbs
All parts 1:2 ratio
The next step up from the FTX is the FT1. The FT1 is a more durable build with more accessories and attachments available than the FTX. It also has a slightly higher price point. However, the added value is hard to ignore, and for those looking for a little more from their home gym, the FT1 may be the answer.
With this model, you get the thicker, 11-gauge steel frame, and it is compatible with the sound dampening shrouds. And, while it does come with the two 165-pound weight stacks, the FT1 model is also compatible with the 50-pound upgrade, making 215-pound weight stacks.
The assembly of this model is also straightforward and relatively simple. A single person can accomplish the assembly in a few hours or two persons in about one hour. While the owner’s manual and instructions are not included in the package, they are available online.
The pull up bar is more stable than the FTX model, and the more durable frame makes it feel more comfortable. You can also perform multiple upper and lower body workouts with the additional attachments like the bench, leg press, and ab bar add-ons.
The dual pulleys rotate fully and have 30 positions to adjust (instead of only 8), giving you a full range of motion, angles, and planes for near unlimited exercises to perform.
Inspire Fitness FT2
FT2 Product Specifications
58 x 61 x 83-88 inches
Maximum Load Capacity
2 x 165 lbs
All parts 1:2 ratio
Finally, that brings us to the FT2 model. This is more of a complete home gym than a simple functional trainer. With a smith bar, dual adjustable pulleys, and a lat pulldown bar, this setup is ideal for those looking for an all-in-one solution without building an entire cage.
The weight stacks are actually the limit maker here and not the build or construction.
Because of the 1:2 ratio, you will need the 50-pound weight stack upgrade. However, with this upgrade, your bench press and squats become a total of up to 360 pounds of resistance, all without using plates.
A complete and total body workout is easily done, or you can use the FT2 as a complete home gym and break up your workouts by muscle group, just as you would in a commercial gym.
Assembly of this model is a bit more involved and should require two persons. Therefore, you will need to set aside 3 or 4 hours out of your day for complete assembly and build it where it will be used.
You can move the Inspire Fitness FT2, but it is heavy (over 800 pounds), cumbersome, and shouldn't be moved once fully assembled.
This kit includes the adjustable workout bench, leg raise attachment, a full Olympic bar (20 pounds), the overhead pull, and all of the handles and grips. Except for the leg press and ab bar add-ons, you won't need much of anything else.
Add Ons & Accessories Available
With the functional trainers, there are several additional accessories you can purchase if needed. The primary additions would be the bench and leg curl attachment.
This may be included already, depending on where you buy. However, if you already have a bench you like to use, you can save a bit of money by finding the model packages without one.
You may also need extra weight stack add-ons, which are available in 5 pound increments (2 each to a total of 215 pounds per weight stack). Or you may want different bars and handles, such as the preacher curl bar or abdominal bar.
All of these accessories are available through the Inspire Fitness website or through their storefront on Amazon.
Comparing The FTX Vs FT1 Vs FT2: Is Inspire Fitness A Good Brand?
As we have seen so far in this review, the Inspire Fitness brand machines are quite noteworthy. Durable, reliable builds, smooth pulley operation, and a space-saving design all in one. What's not to love?
But which model is right for you? With the FTX, FT1, and FT2 to choose from, which one should you go with? It essentially boils down to what you need out of your functional trainer.
The FTX is the smaller, lighter, and less feature-rich of the group. This doesn't make it any less capable, but it is considered the bare-bones model. It works, it does its job, but you won't find any extras here. The biggest draw is the savings on the price tag.
Then you step up to the FT1. This model is designed for those that want a little more in their workouts. You can upgrade the weight stacks, install sound dampening shrouds and get a thicker, slightly stronger frame.
Finally, the FT2 is the big machine from this lineup. With the addition of the Smith bar, you get a full-body strength workout that does just about everything. Function trainer, traditional workout and free weight style features are all included with this model.
You will pay more for it, but that is because of the Smith bar set up, the additional pulleys, and the bench. Well worth the cost, if it is what you need.
Also see other Inspire Fitness models below:
Inspire Fitness Functional Trainer General Maintenance Guide
For the most part, the functional trainers are low maintenance and don't require much care or attention. However, there are a few things you need to do and steps to perform to keep the system working in tip-top shape.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
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?
Anytime you are working out at home, you want as much room as possible. For the FTX functional trainer, though, you don't 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.
Can you perform a lat pulldown on FT1?
You can technically perform a lat pulldown on an FT1 machine. You would need to use a straight or short bar connected to only one pulley, though, which limits the amount of weight you can pull. Your best option is an FT2 which has the pulldown bar and center pulleys for such exercises.
Where can I buy Inspire Fitness Functional Trainers?
You can purchase Inspire Fitness brand functional trainers 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 or package deals that aren't found on the Inspire website, though.
Functional trainers are a great way to incorporate full-body movement workouts into your routine. The Inspire range of trainers is easy to install and assemble and fun to work on. You can also fit them in smaller areas thanks to a minimized footprint.
With the FTX, FT1, and FT2 models for sale, it can be challenging to know which one is right for you. However, it doesn't really matter if you are looking for a general workout, as they all perform remarkably well. If you have a specific need (such as a lat pulldown), then your choice is a little more complex.
Hopefully, this article has shown you the differences between the models and has helped you decide which option is right for your needs, space, and workout goals.
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