There is no doubt that the pandemic has changed the way we exercise. And with so many of us switching to exercising using home gym equipmentOne frustrating aspect has been finding the space to properly train strength. Traditionally, weightlifting has required bulky racks for squats or racks full of free weights, two factors that limit what you can do for gains outside of a gym. Not anymore.
The Vitruvian Trainer+ (starting at $2,495) is the latest in a new generation of smart strength systems that pack a host of training options into a compact size. Hidden within a carbon fiber shell is electromagnetic technology that can generate up to 440 pounds of resistance. Coupled with smart algorithms and app-based training, it takes the guesswork out of strength training on your own.
I spent a week testing the Vitruvian Trainer+, and here’s what you need to know.
The Vitruvian Trainer+ is a good choice for people with limited space who are willing to invest in a compact home gym system that offers tons of different strength workouts within an easy-to-store frame.
I live in a one-bedroom condo and have limited floor and wall space that I am willing to dedicate to fitness equipment. The Vitruvian Trainer+ measures just 46 x 20.5 x 4.5 inches and, weighing in at 80 pounds, it’s basically step aerobics on steroids, with recessed wheels for maneuverability. This means I can hide it under my sofa and easily pull it out when it’s time to pick it up.
The Trainer+ comes with basic handles and ankle straps, but your best bet would be to purchase the Entry Kit, which includes premium handles, a long bar, tricep rope, exercise mat, and safety cables, for an additional $237. The Pro Kit is also something to consider, as it includes all of the above plus a short bar, bench and belt, for an additional $450. Without at least the starter kit, you’ll only be able to do a fraction of the 200+ exercises the machine supports.
Vitruvian Trainer+ uses artificial intelligence to learn from your short-term and long-term training behavior and adjust the weight accordingly. In the initial 15-minute strength test, I set benchmarks for movements like deadlifts and squats. Then when I made my first exercise — a full-body class using the long bar — the machine used those benchmarks to program the weights I would need to perform at 50 or 60 percent of my max for each exercise. (Let’s say your one rep max for a back squat is 100lbs; the app would automatically program 50-60lbs for a back squat in this class.)
The first three reps of any exercise in each class are meant to be warm-up reps that measure your range of motion. without weight. The point of this is to determine where you are at any given moment so the machine can lower the weight if you’re struggling to get through an exercise’s full range of motion, or raise it if you’re crushing reps too easily. You can also manually adjust the difficulty of an entire class or specific exercises within that class; and if you used the app to create custom workouts, you can scale the weight based on your gains when you repeat that workout in the future.
On the fourth repetition, the weight is loaded. I found this to be a bit abrupt at times: during one set of Sumo Squats, the machine momentarily added another 15 pounds and caught me off guard, and it takes a few classes to learn how to load and unload weight during exercises and the series. .
The Vitruvian Trainer+ algorithm syncs with the Vitruvian app for iOS and Android to deliver personalized training performance, and within the app is a library of 200+ classes and 20+ strength training programs. But that’s a small library compared to other pieces of smart fitness equipment that offer live classes every day and regularly deliver new on-demand workouts.
Still, I liked being able to choose between short (many of the workouts are under 30 minutes) full-body options like Full Body Progression, as well as the barbell class mentioned above, and specific workouts like “Build your back and biceps.” “. ” and “Lower body volume”. And I found it helpful that the instructors followed the instructions to change the required attachments in each class.
There’s also no screen embedded in the device (naturally, since you’re standing on it), and it can be hard to follow the video demos on a smartphone (and I currently have the big one). iPhone 14 ProMax). Vitruvian recommends casting or streaming classes from the app to your TV using a AppleTV either chrome cast for the best experience. I agree that it made the classes a lot more enjoyable, but it took some creativity to set up my workout space so it wasn’t a foot from my TV.
The Vitruvian Trainer+ is similar to home strength training devices like the Tonal ($3,495), Time Study (starting at $2,495), and the SAND Platform ($2,495). Arena is the closest thing, generating up to 200lbs of resistance for over 300 workouts and programs created by top trainers and making adjustments in real time. But Tonal, a wall-mounted system that generates up to 200 pounds of resistance, and Tempo, which uses a motion capture camera to analyze movements performed with free weights, offer the added benefit of real-time feedback. Y community engagement through live classes.
Smart fitness equipment is always going to be an investment, but for anyone familiar with strength training and looking for a way to lift weights at home without littering the floor with dumbbells and kettlebells or devoting an entire room to a squat rack, the Vitruvian Trainer+ is a great way to make gains at home.
I loved being able to hide it under my trainer instead of mounting it on my wall, and being able to schedule custom workouts from my strength training trainer in the app to use alongside pre-scheduled classes. From both a storage and educational perspective, the compact machine makes strength training more accessible.