inspire fitness ftx functional trainer for garage gym review

Inspire Fitness FTX/FT1/Centr 2 Home Gym Functional Trainer Review

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Like a lot of you, I too am setting and committing to my 2024 fitness goals. Part of that process is evaluating exercises and equipment that have helped me the most in the past year(s). In retrospect, there’s one piece of equipment I’ve used the most and that’s the Inspire Fitness FTX or Centr 2 Functional Trainer cable machine.

Is the FTX trainer perfect? No, it does have some drawbacks. But do I still think the Inspire Fitness Functional Trainer is worth a look? Absolutely.

In this updated review, we will take a closer look at the features and benefits of this product, and help you decide if it is the right choice for your fitness routine.

Inspire Fitness FTX Functional Trainer Summary

  • Functional trainer with two 165-lb weight stacks
  • 2:1 resistance ratio or 82.5 lbs resistance per side
  • Footprint of 54” L x 40” W x 82” H
  • Includes: two D-handles, tricep rope, steel curl bar, and chin/dip assistance belt
  • Equipment weight: 544 lbs
  • Lifetime Warranty

Inspire Fitness FTX vs Centr 2

Before I move forward with this review, I’d like to clarify why I’m making mention of what seems, two different functional trainers. As it happens, Chris Hemsworth’s fitness company Centr was bought out a few years back and merged with Inspire Fitness.

So if you’re shopping around and notice a strong resemblance between the Inspire Fitness FTX and the Centr 2, that’s because they’re the same. So just take notice that when I mention the FTX, all the same information applies to the Centr 2 as well.

Features and Benefits

Now the Inspire Fitness FTX and FT1 on the other hand are technically two different models, but they’re very similar in size and features, with just a few small differences. At their core, they’re identical, so for that reason, I’ve also included both of them in this review.

One of the key benefits of owning a functional trainer or cable machine for a home gym is its versatility. Yes, I love me some free weights, but a good functional trainer can introduce you to a wide range of exercises you otherwise wouldn’t perform. It’s quite fun discovering new exercises. These posters from Amazon are pretty helpful in that department.

Weight Capacity

inspire fitness ftx functional trainer for garage gym review

Regarding specs, the FTX and FT1 feature dual-weight stacks of 165 lbs each that can be adjusted in 10-pound increments. With a 2:1 resistance ratio, that equates to 82.5 lbs per side. That’s more than enough weight to build muscle no matter how advanced of a lifter you are. That includes the heavy gainers too.

Related Reading: Light Weights Vs Heavy Weights: Which Is Better?

Attachments and Accessories

The FTX model comes with an assortment of attachments, including a lat bar, a triceps rope, D-handles, and a pull-up strap. These attachments allow you to perform a variety of exercises, including lat pulldowns, triceps pushdowns, and leg curls. The product also features a pull-up bar, which can help you build upper body strength and improve your posture.

Speaking of the pull-up bar, that is one area of complaint that a lot of taller folks take issue with. With an overall height of 82″, unless you raise your legs and feet, attaining full extension while hanging is impossible without your feet touching the floor.

inspire fitness ftx functional trainer for garage gym review

The FTX system also comes with an adjustable bench that can be used flat, inclined, or declined. While I have grown to love the bench myself, others may not for its height. Only measuring 13.5″ when laid flat, some may find it too low to the ground compared to a standard bench height of 17-18 inches.

inspire fitness functional trainer included bench height
Here you can see the Inspire Fitness bench on the left and the REP Fitness bench on the right.

Design

Another key feature of the Inspire Fitness FTX Functional Trainer is its compact design. Unlike other functional trainers, this product has a relatively small footprint, making it ideal for home gym use. It measures 54” L x 40” W x 82” H, which means it can fit comfortably in most home gyms.

For illustration purposes, if you use the 4×6′ horse stall mats as garage gym flooring, the FTX takes up about 3/4 of one mat.

inspire fitness cable machine is compact and doesn't use a lot of floor space

Related Reading: Garage Gym Flooring: 10 Reasons Horse Stall Mats Are The Best

The Inspire Fitness Functional Trainer is also built to last. It features a heavy-duty steel frame that is designed to withstand the wear and tear of regular use.

How To Maintain Your Inspire Fitness Functional Trainer

A functional trainer doesn’t require a lot of attention, but a couple of small maintenance items should be addressed on occasion to keep it working at its best.

Maintaining a Cable Machine

  1. Keep it free of dust and dirt

    Like anything with moving parts, dust and dirt can wreak havoc on the pulley system. When needed, dust off the metal surfaces. Floor dust cloths work great! A simple dust cloth can remove buildup and prevent a lot of potential problems.

  2. Use a biodegradable cleaner

    Mixing 30 parts water to 1 part Simple Green solution mixed in a spray bottle can be used to wipe down grimier surfaces. Using a microfiber towel is recommended because it’s non-abrasive and absorbent too.

  3. Lubricate the moving parts

    If you notice that the weights and pulleys aren’t moving as fluidly as they should, a synthetic spray like Super Lube can be used. A small amount goes a long way and can be applied directly to the pulley bearings and the guide rods. Make sure you wipe down any excess.

  4. Inspect the cables

    For your safety, always inspect the cables. If you notice any fraying, do not use the cable machine and contact the manufacturer to file a warranty claim.

From personal experience, besides using silicone spray to lubricate the pulleys and guide rods, upkeep has been very minimal for me. And after 2 years of extensive use, it still looks really good. There are no signs of rust, chipping of the paint, etc.

Pros and Cons

Like any product, the Inspire Fitness FTX Functional Trainer has its pros and cons. Here are some of the things I like and don’t like about this product:

Pros:

  • Versatile and can be used for a wide range of exercises
  • Dual weight stacks that can be adjusted in 10-pound increments
  • Comes with a variety of attachments
  • Compact design that can fit in most home gyms
  • Built to last with a heavy-duty steel frame

Cons:

  • Comparatively, it’s small, but still requires a fair amount of floor space
  • May be too short for some users.
  • Assembly can be time-consuming
  • Additional attachments may need to be purchased

Inspire Fitness FTX vs FT1 Functional Trainers

I mentioned early on that the FTX and FT1 models are nearly identical and they are functionally the same. There are a few things that differentiate them, however.

ModelFTXFT1
Retail Price$2299$2999
Adjustable Pulleys22
Pull up barYesYes
Resistance Ratio2:12:1
Weight Stacks2×165 lbs (not able to add more plates)2×165 lbs (can add up to 50 lbs of additional plates)
AccessoriesTriceps Rope
2 x Deluxe D Handles
EZ Curl Bar
Chin/Dip Belt
Triceps Rope
Rubber D Handles
Straight Bar
EZ Curl Bar
Ankle Strap
Chin/Dip Belt
Sport Handle
5 lbs Add-On Weights
Exercise Booklet
WarrantyLifetimeLifetime

Beyond those specs, the FT1 is slightly different cosmetically too. A mesh-like metal cage surrounding the plates has been added. Visually it may look better, but adds zero value in my opinion.

Where To Buy

Several online retailers sell the Inspire Fitness collection and it’s a good idea to shop around. While the retail price is set at $2299 for the FTX and $2999 for the FT1, you can sometimes find better deals if you search. Here are a few suggestions:

Final Thoughts

Truth be told, there are a LOT of functional trainer options out there. You can go as basic or complex as you like. I found the Inspire Fitness FTX functional trainer with bench model to be the perfect blend of affordability and functionality for the space I have available. As long as you weigh all the pros and the few cons, you should be extremely happy with it as well.

The Best Tools For Workout Recovery: Cold Plunge, Eye massagers, Muscle stimulators,  Infrared Sauna, Vibration, Foam Rolling

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