The craze for connected home gym equipment likely peaked during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, with indicators like Peloton’s fortunes pointing to waning interest as people start using their gym memberships again. gymnasium. But the category still has a lot of potential, especially if the gear in question can combine smarts with other key value propositions, including a small footprint that can fit into anyone’s home. Vitruvian’s Trainer+ offers that and more, nailing the tricky proposition of delivering a complete home strength training experience while keeping things small and simple.
The Vitruvian Trainer+ is not cheap. At $2,990, that’s about the cost of six years of gym membership at the average rate paid in the US per month, and it doesn’t include the recurring Vitruvian All Access membership fee for feature access. advanced workouts, including guided sessions, which is a $39 per month after the first 12 months, which are included free with the purchase of the machine.
The fact that the recurring sub is itself more expensive than what the average American pays for their monthly gym membership is a very steep hill to climb, and Vitruvian clearly knows that because they don’t make it easy to find those prices on their website – even in the FAQ question which specifically asks how much membership costs. You can choose to pay for a subscription that lasts for the lifetime of your machine for a one-time fee of $990, which is definitely a better deal if you actually use the machine consistently and plan to keep going. Finally, you can always opt out of the subscription features, which still gives you great workout gear as long as you know how to chart your own workout journey.
Speaking of hardware, it’s actually easy to see why, even with a base price of nearly $3,000, Vitruvian also has to charge high recurring fees from its users: The Trainer+ is a fantastic piece of kit that no doubt has required high development and production. costs.
What you get is a compact yet strong platform with two clips that connect external accessories, including various handles, a bar and ropes, to an active resistance mechanism contained within. The platform itself is easy to store under a sofa or table, and measures approximately 46 inches by 20 inches and weighs only 80 pounds. Considering the range of workouts the Trainer+ offers and the fact that it can deliver up to 440lbs of resistance, the fact that it comes in such a small package is incredibly impressive.
The Trainer+ is super easy to set up and pair with your smartphone using a QR code on the machine itself, and the quick-clip system it uses to connect to grips and other accessories is incredibly smart. and useful for quickly switching between different elements during a structured session. coaching.
The resistance is app-controlled, and each time you start a workout, the machine requires three setup reps to establish your proper range of motion before you begin doing the exercises with actual weight. Once you get into an actual exercise, there are three possible modes for each, including one that adds 1 kg (2.2 lbs) with each clean rep, once that decreases weight over time, and a sustained mode where the weight remains the same.
On the surface, there’s not much too much about the Trainer+’s design: the flashiest thing about it is the customizable LED lighting that also offers helpful visual cues as to whether you’re competing correctly or No. Otherwise, it looks like an overgrown Wii Balance board if you’re old enough to remember what it is, or just an elevated stand. The upper surface of the Trainer+ is made from a carbon fiber composite, which can be used alone with training shoes, but you can also choose to get the extra soft sticky mat that is included in the kit of Entry or Pro level accessories. (I received the $500 Pro Kit in my sample pack).
As mentioned, the Trainer+ weighs around 80 pounds and it comes in one solid piece pre-assembled. Installation is therefore a breeze compared to just about any other home gym equipment, but you should probably ask another person to help you move it, for example, up the stairs. To move it around your space, there are wheels on the underside that contact the floor when you flip one end up, making it easy to glide across floors to store it under a sofa or desk.
The key to Trainer+’s versatility is its two recessed “Quick Connection System” receivers, which are themselves permanently connected to retractable cables that link to the device’s programmable active resistance system. Quick connectors allow the included hand grips and ankle straps to easily engage, and they release via a simple collar push mechanism that won’t come loose during use but is very simple to change between exercises . This replaces a much bulkier carabiner system on the Trainer+ predecessor, and it’s a fantastic, intuitive upgrade.
Another area where the overall cost of ownership of Trainer+ increases further is in the various accessories offered. There is a “Basic” kit that adds a long bar, triceps rope, “premium” hand grips, the aforementioned workout mat, and safety cables. Then the “Pro” kit I tested the Trainer+ with includes all of that, plus a short bar, belt, and even a bench. You can accomplish a lot with the Trainer+ without any of these things, but the truth is that the experience is greatly enhanced by adding them – especially the bench and bar – and you can’t buy them piecemeal.
The Trainer+ works with a dedicated Vitruvian companion app, which connects to your machine via Bluetooth. The nice thing about the pricey All-Access subscription is that it’s tied to the machine, not the individual – meaning anyone in your household (or even visitors) can create their own profile in the app on its own phone and pair with your machine to access all workout options and guided workouts. The app itself is excellent, offering multi-week programs you can follow, trainer-led classes, and a wide range of individual exercises you can piece together into your own personalized workouts if you’re also a subscriber. I used the app’s guided video on my gym Apple TV via AirPlay and it also worked perfectly.
The Trainer+ is probably going to feel different from other workouts you’ve tried if you haven’t used an active resistance machine in the past: it’s different from either all-in-one cables and weight-based equipment, or free weights. To Vitruvian’s credit, however, the learning curve isn’t steep at all, and it only takes a few sessions before you’re using the Trainer+ like second nature.
Vitruvian’s app also provides everything you need to use the Trainer+ with maximum effectiveness, whether you’re new to personal fitness or are experienced and looking for something to integrate or supplement your existing routine. It’s basically as guided or as self-directed as you want it to be, and anywhere in between.
The Trainer+ is also great for making real-time adjustments to your workout based on your strength and performance level. There’s a strength assessment that the app will ask you to do initially to establish your base suggested weights for all the different workouts, and you can come back to it at any time to change that calibration, which is useful to do all the few weeks while you progress in your training.
In a month of testing, with almost daily use, the Trainer+ was incredibly consistent. Once you’re done with your workout, you can simply drop the grips or attachments and retract the cables, without having to worry about damaging the durable carbon composite material of the gear itself. The clips go in and out easily, and the platform is easy to wipe down with simple soap and water when needed. The connection is rock solid and remembers your phone as long as you enable this option in the app, and the Trainer+ automatically goes to sleep so you can leave it plugged in all the time if you want.
One problem I found with the machine: the power cable seems to rest rather lightly in the socket of the machine, and until I learned to walk away from it, it was relatively easy to cut the powering the Trainer+ just by lightly brushing the cord itself. This hasn’t been an issue since identifying it as an issue and avoiding contact with the cord, and it’s possible this was intentionally included as some sort of safety safeguard, but I’d appreciate a tighter fit between the cable and the machine.
At the end of the line
There’s no doubt that the Trainer+ is fantastic home workout gear, with a smart and useful app that’s both a lot more accessible than something like Peloton, but also a lot more flexible for people who are on the go. train very seriously and want to be able to customize their experience accordingly.
The real sticking point with Vitruvian’s offering, however, is the price: with the Pro kit, which I recommend, you’re already down to $3,500, and that’s before you start adding the ongoing cost of app subscription. This could pay for a good amount of gym membership, as well as personal training.
With the Trainer+, however, you get a number of things that are basically unobtainable elsewhere, including a solution so portable that it not only works in just about any home or condo environment, but can also be easily packed in the car for a road trip – or fit in your #vanlife if that’s what you like. It is much more versatile in this regard than other similar active resistance products like the Tonal.
If you value flexibility with almost zero sacrifice compared to a full set of free weights or a much bulkier home tower or full gym, then the Trainer+ is easy to recommend. It’s clearly well designed and designed, with a focus on adding value for real athletes and fitness enthusiasts who can be notoriously hard to please, yet it’s also a great place for people to start their fitness journeys. home exercise – as long as they want to incur the initial cost that comes with it.
Or buy: Vitruvian’s website