Fusion CST Pro
The future is present, and as technology affords more people the opportunity to work remote from home, the same technology is permeating all things fitness, as is made manifest in the Fusion CST Pro. If only the home fitness fans of the 1980s, who used workout videos on VCR to exercise alongside their favorite celebrities, could see this.
The King Kong model of NordicTrack’s Fusion CST series, the Fusion CST Pro is a 3-in-1 unit featuring a commercial grade power rack, cardio, and resistance-style strength options. But what makes the CST series stand out among its competitors is the dynamic software package associated with the included 10-inch Portal 10i HD Tablet. Purchase of the unit comes with a one-year NordicTrack iFit membership and inclusion in an online community chock full of members and professional trainers around the world. The tablet offers an interface whereby users can live-stream studio workouts alongside their selection of personal trainers who have the ability to adjust the machine’s resistance remotely. In addition to the live workout, users can see in real-time their own bio-feedback and performance metrics with the assistance of an included iFit Bluetooth Chest Strap, watts and heart rate LED display. New workouts are available every day, or an expansive on-demand library is available complete with regimens ranging from yoga to hard-core strength training. The tablet affords users the ability to log and track their workouts and maintain a virtual journal which can be shared with fellows around the world. The included package provides for up to four profiles per 1-year membership, meaning everyone in the family can create their own profile and use it as well. All that, and the machine itself is a dynamo fit for a variety of users.
Working out with the CST Pro
The commercial grade, 11-gauge steel power rack is fitted with J-hooks, adjustable safety arms, and Westside spacing, meaning any traditional barbell exercise from bench press to squats or overhead press is an option. The rack also features an integrated pull-up station and ski erg, and so even without the iFit membership users can satisfy their quest for hypertrophy from the comfort of their own home. The strength-side component of the 3-in-1 operates from an inertia-enhanced flywheel system and Silent Magnetic Resistance (SMR), with 20 digital power settings. The freestanding base comes equipped with an integrated tablet/smartphone holder and charging stations. The flywheel system features six integrated ergonomic removable handles, six cable ends, two ankle strap accessories, and two squat pulleys with 95 inches of travel.
To access the iFit options afforded by way of the included tablet, users must have an Internet connection, and given the volume of live-streaming involved in the bio-feedback and real-time training, a sufficient data package would be required. The machine itself is 83.9 inches tall, 70.5 inches wide, and 48.5 inches long, and comes with a 10-year frame and one-year parts/labor warranty.
But there’s really no question the big value with the package is the live training from user’s choice of more than 130 iFit trainers, spanning the range of diversity in all respects. In addition to leading the workouts, the trainer-side of the community can adjust the speed, incline, and resistance of your machine at home to keep up with the team. Because this is an inclusive community membership, the workouts can be taken outside too for running, hiking, rowing, and any kind of cross-training. The goal is to establish the cadence and energy of a gym class all within the user’s own home. Trainer-led classes include those from locations as remote as New Zealand, Egypt, Patagonia, and Easter Island. Trainers can respond to questions and comments live, in real-time, and live workout leaderboards are used on the tablet interface for competition.
The sheer volume of workouts offered by way of the virtual library guarantees something for everyone. For those home fitness veterans who miss the feel of a “fit-fam,” or “gym family,” this would be the answer. A great day working out could include an early morning of stretches, four sets of barbell squats, barbell lunges, and perhaps stiff-legged deadlifts off the safety bars. Later in the day, the same person could get their cardio on alongside the trainer-led classes and incorporate the cables for a session of High Intensity Interval Training. And then in the evening, a trainer-led yoga session might just be what the body needs.
For $3,299.00, this seems quite the deal for the right person. The 11-gauge steel power rack and magnetic resistance pulley system alone is a solid unit. But when you start figuring in the Bluetooth technology and ability to check your heart rate while exercising, and log all progress digitally in the included tablet, now you’re getting into a whole new level. The purchase comes with a one-year family membership in the iFit program, valued at $468. This is something to be considered for the long-term, in addition to the requisite Internet connection. But people used to exercising alone at home know the challenge is in self-motivation. This system takes the old home workout VCR tapes into the 21st Century while including a solid machine which can be used as a stand-alone.