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NordicTrack Fusion LT

Quick Summary

Starting with the launch of the Fusion CST, and now the wall-mounted Fusion LT, NordicTrack spent significant time and effort trying to bridge the gap between cardio and strength training—and it shows. This latest piece of equipment is a bit confusing at first for those used to traditional fitness machines; the cables look familiar, yet there’s no weight to be seen. Instead a flywheel similar to what we see on conventional indoor cycles rests in the middle of the rig, and much like those cycles, a magnetic resistance system is used to control the amount of load on the cables during your workout. This setup can be used for a host of your usual strength training  exercises—cable flies, lateral raises, bent cable crossovers, etc.—but NordicTrack’s big selling feature here are the intense cross-training workouts that are served to you via iFit. Much like what’s available for their treadmills and exercise bikes, trainer-led workouts run you through fast-paced sessions to keep your heart pumping and build muscle in the process. Conceptually this sounds great, but how effective is it really? That’s precisely why we’re here.

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Our Rating

87/100

Compact, wall-mounted, well equipped with features, and capable of bringing studio-level training into your home, the Fusion LT has a fair bit going for it. The most noteworthy element that NordicTrack likes to hang their hat (outside of the variety of iFit training sessions) is the way this unit can meld cardio and strength training into a single workout. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), and other fast-paced workouts are a big part of the equation. It’s also easier on joints than a traditional weight-based home gym on account of how its magnetic resistance system works—a major plus who’ve struggled with muscle and joint pain over the years.

While clever in design, and practical for those looking to both lose weight and build a bit of lean muscle, the Fusion LT isn’t a replacement for conventional strength training home gyms. Don’t get me wrong, the programs NordicTrack’s pro trainers have designed for this rig will will be effective for building lean muscle to a point, however if your goal is specifically increasing muscle mass, you’ll be better off looking at more traditional home gyms, or things like the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE. What stood out most at first glance is the lack of adjustability on the cable points, which could be a hindrance with some exercises for those looking to do more conventional strength training workouts.

Pros:

  • Combines cardio and strength training in a single workout
  • Uses magnetic resistance to make strength training relatively gentle on your joints compared to weight stacks
  • Has three sets of pulleys and a maximum pulley extension length of 95 inches
  • Has a range of 20 digitally adjusted resistance levels
  • 1 year iFit membership included
  • Comes with an adjustable height tablet stand
  • Includes a Bluetooth chest strap heart rate monitor
  • Operates quite quietly compared with machines that have weight stacks
  • Wall-mounted design saves space in your home gym

Cons:

  • Will not replace a conventional home gym setup
  • Not height-adjustable
  • Lifetime frame and 1-year parts warranty is short compared to the competition

Full Review

The Fusion CST is NordicTrack’s contribution to a whole new class of home gym. While most home gyms are merely designed for strength training, this clever fitness station saves time and maximizes workouts by “fusing” strength training with high-powered cardio exercise. Other highlights include smooth magnetic resistance and a 10″ tablet computer for use with iFit Coach Plus and other fitness apps. With 20 resistance settings plus iFit Coach Plus, it’s easy to create the right workout for any skill level. Follow a long-term training program or choose from hundreds of video guides anytime.

iFit Coach Plus is central to the Fusion CST and it ships with a one-year subscription. This high-end personal training technology is even more motivating than traditional iFit. Older iFit technology can be pretty riveting when you integrate Google Maps with real scenery, but iFit Coach Plus is even better because it adds a real personal trainer who appears on screen. You can cross train with a view of ever-moving scenery and also benefit from watching a pro in action!

The NordicTrack Fusion supports cardio and strength training with four sets of pulleys. These work with magnetic resistance instead of weight stacks. The magnetic system brings three key advantages: smoother motion for a faster recovery period, quiet operation, and minimal need for space.

The machine indicates your workload and power with an easy-to-read Watts meter. It’s also shipped with a chest strap for wireless heart rate monitoring.

Fusion CST gyms sell for $2299 retail but are often found for hundreds less during online sales. The purchase price includes domestic shipping (excluding Alaska and Hawaii) as well as a lifetime frame warranty and a one-year parts and labor warranty. Is this the best gym value for your cross training? The machine is certainly impressive but wait for a sale price.

Workout Programs

Pro guidance helps make the most of the Fusion CST. With pulleys placed from ground level to above your head (with a max extension of 95″) this unique home gym brings infinite possibilities. Thus it’s paired with a 10″ tablet computer and a one-year iFit Coach Plus membership (billed separately) for top-notch personal training.

Essentially iFit Coach Plus is an on-demand virtual personal training system. You can schedule reminders to tune in for daily livecast classes made especially for Fusion CST owners. A new workout is presented every day, so you can benefit as a personal trainer models the moves to make with your machine.

You can also log on to iFit Coach Plus anytime to follow a personal trainer through your choice of hundreds of Fusion CST workouts, coastal treks, mountain hike,s and more. These workouts are interactive so that personal trainer feedback and streaming video is tailored to your progress.

Besides workout guidance, iFit Coach Plus can help you reach fitness goals with comprehensive health feedback. It can count your daily steps (a wearable device is included), make personalized recommendations about your sleep cycle, provide video recipe instructions, and much more.

Features

A good fit for most homes, the NordicTrack Fusion CST is a mere 42″ wide. It works as both a cardio trainer and a traditional home gym but is smaller than both!

A 10″ tablet computer is provided with iFit Coach Plus video training in mind. The Fusion CST lets you set the tablet at varying heights and you can adjust the viewing angle.

The Fusion has four sets of pulleys with 20 levels of resistance. Following an on-screen personal trainer or your own routine, you can exercise all your major muscle groups in a single workout. You can also choose training especially focused on “problem areas” or sports-specific preparation.

Compared with traditional strength trainers, the Fusion CST is easier on the joints and connective tissues because it uses magnetic resistance instead of weights. The smoothness of magnetic tension helps users recover quickly and avoid muscle soreness.

For easy monitoring of your exertion level, this machine has a prominent Watts readout. The Fusion CST can also provide constant heart rate feedback if you wear a Bluetooth chest strap (included).

Warranty & Guarantee

NordicTrack sells the Fusion CST home gym with a lifetime frame warranty and one-year parts and labor warranty.

Conclusion

NordicTrack and a few other brands have begun combining strength and cardio training like never before. The Fusion is one of the best. It’s extremely versatile, efficient, and comes paired with high quality personal training. Sadly, the sale price ($2699) plus the iFit Coach Plus commitment makes this model too pricey for most shoppers. Keep an eye out for a sale though. NordicTrack online discounts are common, so this price could drop several hundred dollars unexpectedly. Definitely keep an eye out. You won’t be disappointed with this powerful and versatile machine.

Rating: 94/100