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NordicTrack Fusion CST Studio Review

Quick Summary

Bigger and more dynamic are the buzzwords for the NordicTrack 2022 lineup, and the new Fusion CST Studio fits that description well. Serving as a replacement for the outgoing Fusion CST Pro, this new 2-in-1 strength and cardio piece adds a full size mirror to the mix and enters a whole realm. Like the entry-level Fusion CST, this unit operates off of Silent Magnetic Resistance (SMR) and is built to work with the iFit workout app.

Consider all the possibilities of a functional trainer without the banging and clanging of weight stacks, plus a full size mirror right in front of you. Operating by way of an inertia-enhanced flywheel and featuring 20 levels of digital resistance up to 100 pounds, users can perform any cable-style exercise they could with a conventional tower, but with substantially less friction or limitations by way of pulleys. With the smooth performance of magnetic resistance, this machine is engineered with High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) in mind, and in that sense, one can break a sweat with the same kind of movements normally found in an aerobics class.

Purchase does include a 10-inch portable HD tablet and 30 days of the iFit Family Membership plan. Built with automatic trainer control, users can let professional trainers, or the machine itself, control the resistance settings while they go through the drills. Watch a video preview of the training sessions to see the machine in action). Much like the iFit workouts for bikes and treadmills, this program has a virtual library of pre-built routines as well as live trainers and new programs created regularly.

No question this all sounds great, particularly for a home gym. Don’t be confused by the mirror here though. With this model it is purely for reflection of the user and does not serve as a screen. For a look at units offering that kind of mirror-as-screen technology, check out our list of the Best Fitness Mirrors here. Meanwhile, read our detailed review below to check the specs on the NordicTrack Fusion CST Studio and determine if the latest in NordicTrack interactive workout technology belongs in your home.

Specifications

Model NordicTrack Fusion CST Studio
Rating

Our custom rating considers all of the Home Gym's features, specs, warranties, and 100's of user & expert reviews, to save you time!

88%
List Price

Suggested retail price, typically higher than the price you'll pay with our recommended retailers.

$2,199
Best Price

Since prices change daily, this link goes to our preferred retailer for the current best price. Note: MSRP stands for Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price.

https://www.cmtcr.com/clk.trk?CID=144406&AFID=361317&ADID=2162333&SID=FR_NT_fusionCST_review
Type

There are a few different types of Home Gyms. There are weight stack, power rod and body weight.

Pulleys
Max. Weight

Home Gym Max Weight is the maximum amount of weight, in pounds (lbs), that can be lifted on the machine.

N/A
Exercises

Home Gym exercises is the number of exercises you can do on the machine.

Variety
Seat

The seat on a Home Gym can be adjustable, padded, or detached.

None
User Weight

Home Gym User Weight is the amount of weight, in pounds (lbs), that it can safely support, which can represent durability.

Undisclosed
Dimensions

Dimensions are included to help you figure out if this Home Gym will fit properly (Length x Width x Height and Height x Depth).

73.5 H x 60.5 W x 41.5 D footprint
Workout Area

Home Gym Workout Area is the amount of space needed to use the Home Gym (Length x Width)

N/A
Legs

This field lets you know if this Home Gym has the option to do leg workouts or not.

Abs

This field lets you know if this Home Gym has abdominal workouts or not.

Curls

This field lets you know if this Home Gym has the option to do arm curls or not.

Pulldown

This field lets you know if this Home Gym has the option to do pulldown workouts or not.

Rows

This field lets you know if this Home Gym has the option to do rows or not.

Accessories

Many Home Gyms have optional accessories you can purchase separately.

10" Tablet Included
6 Pulley System Included
Warranty

The warranty is a very important part of your investment. The longer the warranty, the longer you can get free/discounted repairs by the manufacturer.

Frame: 10 years
Parts & Labor: 1 year

Rating: 88%

Our Rating

Our Rating: 88/100

For those who had been shopping for a way to combine interactive fitness with both strength and cardio training, the new Fusion CST Studio looks like a strong competitor. A fair-sized unit for sure, this 2022 model is still fairly compact and well-engineered. Whether one wants to remain in the iFit community or not, there are a nearly unlimited number of cable-based resistance routines one can perform with this using the 20 digital digital power settings of the Silent Magnetic Resistance. Easier on the joints than the weight stacks and barbells, it’s also a much more home-friendly machine than a power tower. 

 

 

Measuring 73.5″ x 60.5″ x 41.5″ and weighing 378 pounds in-box, the only real difference one will see at first sight between this model and the Fusion CST is the 70″ x 15″ mirror affixed to the front. To get this, the new model sacrifices the watts and heart rate display, as well as the chest strap for heart rate included in the Fusion CST. Priced at $2,199 versus $1,799, it really does come down to how much one values the mirror. That said, given the importance of form and the impact motivation can have on intensity when workout out, this could be of value. True, one could set the Fusion CST up near a mirror, but this is clearly much more convenient.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Full-size 70″ x 15″ mirror for form and motivation
  • 10-inch portable HD tablet included
  • Uses magnetic resistance to make strength training relatively gentle on your joints compared to weight stacks
  • Six integrated ergonomic removable handles
  • Six precision cable ends
  • Two ankle straps
  • Total of 95″ independent cable travel
  • Trainer-controlled resistance during iFit training sessions
  • Has a range of 20 resistance settings approximated at 100 lbs max, adjusted digitally
  • Comes with an adjustable height tablet/smartphone stand
  • Integrated charging station
  • Fusion CST operates more quietly than machines with weight stacks

Cons:

  • This unit sacrifices the Bluetooth chest strap
  • The parts and labor warranty is only valid for one year—much shorter than warranties from the competition

Introduction

Like a functional trainer with a full-size mirror attached, the Fusion CST Studio brings a freestanding base and plenty of connectivity to the home, as well as the opportunity to merge cardio and strength. Introduced as part of NordicTrack’s 2022 lineup, the Fusion CST Studio replaces the outgoing Fusion CST Pro and adds a 70″ x 15″ mirror to the mix. Complete with a 30-day Family Membership to iFit, the machine is engineered with automatic trainer control. Professional trainers can control the resistance levels of the machine while working out, or various programs within iFit, making for an easier way to take exercise to the limits.

By opting for a magnetic resistance system, the unit offers smoother movements than a weight stack, and it’s also considerably smaller and lighter in size. A true weight stack of this kind would be tougher to move about the room. With digital resistance levels numbering 20, the machine can approximate up to 100 pounds of resistance. With two safety spotter arms, the machine also comes with six ergonomic removable handles, six precision cable ends, two squat pulleys, two ankle strap accessories, and 95 inches of independent cable travel. Any movements one could do on a traditional functional trainer would replicable here with some imagination. 

The machine also comes with a 10-inch HD tablet, integrated device charger and holder. If iFit isn’t the program for you, one could always opt for a different app this way. One downside we note is that with the 2022 upgrade, for some reason NordicTrack opted against including the wireless chest strap heart rate monitor which comes with the Fusion CST.

 

NordicTrack Fusion CST iFit

Workout Programs

Whether using iFit, another app, or none at all, at the end of the day users of the NordicTrack Fusion CST Studio get a functional trainer with multiple options for cable workouts. Using magnetic resistance instead of traditional weight stacks, the machine also offers a longer cable pull at 95 inches. This diversifies the exercise options considerably. The goal of the manufacturer is to combine cardio with strength training and create High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) circuits.

If used in conjunction with iFit, then users have a virtual library chock of full of programs, or the opportunity to participate in live classes with professional trainers who can adjust the resistance levels to keep up with the class. With 20 levels of resistance, there’s very few athletes who won’t be challenged by any number of cable-style exercise movements offered here. From overhead presses to squats and lat work, one could switch from heavier weights and low reps to lighter weight and high repetitions, either alone or with music.

For those unfamiliar with iFit, a full review can be found here. On-demand virtual personal training system created by the parent company of both NordicTrack and ProForm, it’s becoming more common to find it added as a bonus to their equipment. The automatic trainer control feature is one of its hallmarks, and the plan normally costs $39 per month. Users can schedule reminders to tune in for live daily classes, or choose from a huge archive of sessions that have been previously recorded. Besides workout guidance, iFit can help you reach fitness goals with comprehensive health feedback. It can count your daily steps, make personalized recommendations about your sleep cycle, provide nutritional guidance, and much more.

That said, if iFit isn’t for you, then the machine does work without it, and experienced users can work out solo or to music.

Features

A good fit for most homes, the NordicTrack Fusion CST Studio has a 73.5″ x 60.5″ x 41.5″ footprint, so it won’t burn a ton of space wherever you choose to set up your home gym. With multiple pulleys and 20 levels of resistance, the machine can afford up to 100 pounds worth of resistance. These levels can be adjusted via buttons on the console, and when you’re following an iFit course, the program/trainer will adjust your resistance up and down from your preset baseline as you work through the training session.

Because the machine uses magnetic resistance rather than weight stacks, the movements are bound to be easier on tendons and joints due to the smoother delivery. This is great for older fitness enthusiasts, or those in a home with people who don’t appreciate the noise of plates. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Does the Fusion CST Studio require an iFit subscription to work? No, the machine can used in manual mode.
  • What are the differences between the Fusion CST and Studio? In addition to the 70″ x 15″ mirror, the Studio offers an integrated charging station, device holder, and better automatic trainer control features.
  • Is the Fusion CST Studio hard to assemble? Not really as the instructions are quite simple. That said, the device is quite large and some assistance might be required.

Warranty & Guarantee

NordicTrack sells the Fusion CST Studio home gym with a 10-year frame warranty and 1-year parts and labor warranty. The included tablet also comes with a 1-year warranty. The manufacturer also offers a 30-day return policy and free threshold deliver. 

Conclusion

Priced at $2,199, the the NordicTrack Fusion CST Studio brings a mirror machine that otherwise functions much like the $1,799 Fusion CST. It’s an interesting unit for sure, and for the right person, we can see a lot of benefits here. This would be a great add-on to a home with complete with other NordicTrack cardio equipment which could match up with the iFit programming, or perhaps go along with a garage full of free weights and provide the needed HIIT workout. If price is a problem, we’d recommend the basic model as the mirror can always be replicated within a home somehow and other than the motivation and assistance with technique, it just doesn’t seem worth the extra money.

Check Price

Rating: 88/100

Trainer’s Tips for the NordicTrack Fusion CST Studio

Let’s face it, everyone loves to see themselves pumping up in a mirror. But in all truth, mirrors can help perfect form, particularly when isolation movements are being used. I really have a hard time imaging myself not using a mirror when doing dumbbell lateral raises for my shoulders anymore. It’s just too easy to get sloppy and not reach the upper part of that movement if simply going by feel. The same is true with standing cable chest flyes. Doing this in front of a mirror allows your eyes to keep your body in check.

If using the NordicTrack Fusion CST Studio and it’s mirror, one tip I’d offer as both a bodybuilder and powerlifter is to remember form matters. All of the cable-based movements offered by this machine are very easy to cheat on when you can’t see yourself. Consider the triceps press down movement. A key to this exercise is isolating the triceps themselves and not leaning into the effort and using the whole body. With a mirror affixed to the machine, you can see your form as you do it. Given the fact that the machine is engineered to work with iFit and live trainers taking you through HIIT workouts, it’s even more important to use good form, both for efficiency and to prevent injuries. So don’t just check the pump, keep form in mind as well.

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