Inspire Fitness FT1 Functional Trainer Review

The Inspire Fitness FT1 Functional Trainer is an excellent piece of fitness equipment with some standout features that put it ahead of the competition. In this review we’ll be looking at the main features of the machine as well as identifying its one drawback. We’ll also run through some of the main exercises you can do on it to demonstrate the versatility and convenience of the Inspire Fitness FT1 Functional Trainer. We’ll also compare it to it’s cheaper sister-model, the FTX.

Inspire Fitness FT1

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Why The Inspire Fitness FT1?

(paid link)

I’m in the midst of writing a series of articles on functional trainer machines. Partly because I’m considering buying one myself but also because they are a fantastic addition to any home gym.

In a recent article about the best home muscle building machine, I praised the BodyCraft XFT – declaring it the best machine you could buy for a home gym setup.

In the time since writing that article I have done further research into functional training machines and have found several interesting alternatives.

The most interesting of these and the one which most closely competes with the Bodycraft XFT is the Inspire Fitness FT1.

The inspire fitness FT1 is approximately half the price of the body craft XFT yet offers nearly as much functionality.

In this review we’ll take a closer look at what makes the FT1 such a compelling choice.

Inspire Fitness FT1 Workouts

build muscle on a functional trainer

The main benefits of any functional trainer are the variety of exercises available and the convenience of cable training. The FT1 takes this to another level.

Using the standard D handles attached to the cables, users can perform all the familiar exercises from the gym such as chest press, shoulder press, shoulder flyes, lateral raises, bicep curls, cable rows and cable squats.

As you can see, without even changing the cable attachments, you have sufficient flexibility for a full workout.

The cables can be quickly slid up or down the full length of the frame, locking into different points with just the flip of a lever for total flexibility.

For instance, if doing face pulls you want the cables to be anchored towards the top of the machine frame. But if doing squats you’d want to anchor the cables to the bottom of the frame.

There is sufficient cable length to enable users to perform complex exercises such as squat to overhead press, or work on plyometric jumping drills while attached to the cable.

In addition to the standard D handles, the FT1 comes with the following attachments to add to the variety of exercises available:

  1. Multi-Functional Belt
  2. Easy Curl Bar
  3. Straight Bar
  4. Ankle Cuff
  5. Swing Handle
  6. Tricep Rope
  7. 2 x 5lb add on weights

Rather than bore you with a description of what each attachment offers, watch this excellent demonstration of the Inspire Fitness FT1 in action.

Here is a table of exercises you can look forward to doing on your FT1:


Cable Machine Exercises by Muscle Group

Muscle Group Exercise
Chest Cable Fly
Cable Chest Press
Cable Chest Fly with Twist
Cable Crossover
Single-Arm Cable Chest Press
Single-Arm Cable Chest Fly
High-to-Low Cable Crossover
Low-to-High Cable Crossover
Back Cable Lat Pulldown
Cable Seated Row
Cable Straight-Arm Pulldown
Cable Face Pull
Cable Reverse Fly
Shoulders Cable Front Raise
Cable Lateral Raise
Cable Shoulder Press
Cable Rear Delt Fly
Single-Arm Cable Lateral Raise
Cable Upright Row
Biceps Cable Biceps Curl
Cable Hammer Curl
Cable Preacher Curl
Single-Arm Cable Biceps Curl
High Cable Curl
Triceps Cable Triceps Pushdown
Cable Overhead Triceps Extension

What’s Good

Revolving accessory stand

The first thing that needs to be stated is that this is an extremely high quality machine. In my research for this review, I was able to find multiple reports from users who have had the machine for years. They all praise the machine for its durability.

It’s clear that this is a machine that will last for years if well maintained. With that said, if you’re going to be storing and using this machine in a cold, damp garage, you’ll need to make sure that you oil the cables and all moving parts regularly.

Were you impressed by the attachments that the FT1 comes with? Then you’ll love the revolving rack which they are all stored on. This sits at the back of the machine and makes it so easy to grab the handle you’re looking for. Now there’s no excuse for losing an attachment!

In my review of the BodyCraft XFT I raved about its unique barbell system. However, when I discovered the XT1 and studied its functionality, I became convinced that it offers pretty much the same functionality.

For instance, with the straight bar attachment, you’ll be able to perform a power clean and even a clean and press.

What’s Bad

There’s nothing bad about the FT1!

The only negative comments I have been able to uncover from owners are that the range of movement can be slightly limiting on certain exercises if you’re over 6″2.

The FT1 comes as standard with two 165lb weight stacks. Bear in mind that due to the gearing ratio of the pulleys, you’ll be lifting half that weight at the handle.

For this reason I’d recommend upgrading the stack at the point of purchase. Inspire Fitness offer a 50lb upgrade and I definitely consider it to be worth the additional cost of approximately £150 / $220.

Installation & Dimensions

The dimension of the FT1 are:

  • Length (Depth): 207.5cm / 83″
  • Width 135cm / 54″
  • Height: 203.75cm / 81.5″
  • Weight: 246kg / 541lb

If using the chin up bar is a deal breaker for you, then you need to check that your ceiling height will be sufficient not just for the machine, but for your head too.

For this reason, you want to make sure that there is a minimum of 25cm clearance between the top of the machine and the ceiling of the room you’ll be housing it in.

If you’re buying the FT1 predominantly for the cable exercises this may not be a concern to you, but just be aware of the height restriction.

Many owners of the machine report that they managed to assemble the machine single handedly in around 3 hours. The biggest difficulty is handling the weight of the various packages that the FT1 is delivered in. The machine is relatively straightforward to assemble however many retailers offer an installation service if you would prefer.


The Inspire Fitness FT1 comes with a comprehensive warranty for home use:

  • Lifetime frame and parts
  • 2 years cables
  • 90 day upholstery

The warranty, coupled with positive reports from owners who have used the machine heavily over a period of years, gives me confidence in recommending the FT1.

Inspire Fitness FTX vs FT1

I’ve seen a number of people confused over whether to buy the Inspire Fitness FT1 (paid link) or the Inspire Fitness FTX (paid link).

Here’s a comparison picture of the FTX and FT1.


The FTX appears to be a slightly more basic version of the FT1, with fewer attachments and without the weight stack covers.

The FTX is approximately 20% cheaper than the FT1. Despite being cheaper, I would personally choose the FT1 with the additional 50lb weight stacks.

You wouldn’t want to shell out around $2,000 for the FTX only to find that within a few months you need the extra weight offered by the FT1. Yes, it’s around $900 more expensive, but spread over the 15 or 20 years that you could reasonably expect these machine to last, the difference isn’t that significant.

If you’re going to make an investment in one of these machines, I’d recommend going  for the FT1.

Let’s Raise the Roof

So I’m currently working out how I can either extend my house or increase the height of my garage ceiling to accommodate the FT1!

That may sound extreme, but I REALLY want a functional trainer in my life and pound-for-pound / dollar-for-dollar the Inspire Fitness FT1 appears to be the best machine available.

If you’re as inspired by this machine as I am, let me know in the comments. If you’re an owner and you think I’ve missed something I’d be interested to hear from you.

Before you go… check out Body-Solid Functional Trainers

I recently discovered a range of functional trainers from the manufacturer Body-Solid.

To say that I’m impressed by their machines is an understatement and you may be pleased to hear that they have a model to suit every budget.

You can check out my full rundown here:

RELATED: Which Body-Solid Functional Trainer Should You Buy?”>Which Body-Solid Functional Trainer Should You Buy?

10 thoughts on “Inspire Fitness FT1 Functional Trainer Review”

  1. Hey Matt,

    Thanks very much for putting together this post on The Fitness FT1 Functional Trainer. I’ve been looking for a multi-purpose exercise equipment that works out various parts of the body and this one seems to fit the bill.

    I especially like the exercise chart you’ve put together as it creates an instant visual of all the capabilities of this machine.

    L, Sammy

    • I’m glad you found it helpful Sammy. Yes, I’m torn between this model and another that I’ll review shortly. These machines are so versatile that if your budget and home gym can accommodate one, they are a great investment. Thanks for you comment!

  2. Really not a bad price for the Fitness FT1.  My son and I both do not like going to the gym.  We have been looking at getting a stationary bicycle, weights, and bench.  This is a much better price than everything we are looking at purchasing.  Plus, it would take up much less space.  I am wondering as far as a cardio work out goes though, this does not provide that right?

    • Hi Leah. 

      Thanks for stopping by.

      I agree with you – for the versatility the Inspire Fitness FT1 offers, it really is reasonably priced.

      As for cardio workouts, while I’m sure that you could be creative to come up with a decent cardio workout using the pulleys and the jump belt, the truth is that if cardio is your priority then you may be better off looking at a dedicated cardio machine such as a rower or a stationary bike. 

      If I were you – I’d go for the FT1 and drag your son out jogging with you for the cardio!!

      • I would highly recommend purchasing the TrakHandle sport handles for any functional gym. They provide a my better workout experience with my FT1 gym. They are pricey at 120.00 dollars for a set of two but worth every penny. Cheers

        • Thanks Jason.

          Wow, they look good, a bit less bulky than the KKH Ergonomic Handle that I’m waiting to review.

          I agree with you though, that a great set of handles, while a further expense, will ensure you get the very best out of your functional trainer.

          I hope you have a fantastic 2023 Jason, and please stop by again.


  3. I was looking for a new home gym and chose the FT1 right after New Year’s, to start my resolution.  I thoroughly impressed by Inspire FT1.  The quality, options, ease of operation and cost made it my number one choice. There are couple of things to be aware of, like delivery. When the Inspire FT1 was delivered, it was in 8 separate boxes, weighing a little over 700 lbs. Moving it was a workout within itself. Anyway, there are 6 boxes containing 50 lbs. of weight plates each, 1 small box containing the shroud parts and a very large, heavy box containing the actual FT1 and accessories. But everything was packed tight and professionally.   

    Setup was much easier than I anticipated, especially after seeing all those boxes and their weight. I thought I was in for a marathon set-up. But, not the case, the installation instructions were excellent. Between my son and me, we had Inspire FT1 up and working within an hour. One piece of advice, make sure you know where you’re putting the FT1 before you add any of the weight stacks because once it’s all together it’s very heavy.

    In terms of versatility, the FT1 is incredible. Changing exercises, changing position of the handles/pulleys, changing the weight you want to lift, is very quick and easy. The number of different exercises you can do on the FT1 is seriously only limited to your imagination. The pulleys are super smooth and quiet while, and the whole FT! is built solid! It comes with high quality handles, both a straight bar and a curl bar, a triceps rope, a couple other nifty accessories and an exercise guide.
    Overall, I am very happy with my Inspire FT1 purchase. I would recommend this machine to anyone looking for a new home gym.

    • Hi Terry, thank you for commenting. I appreciate your real-world experience of assembling the Inspire FT1 and your advice concerning ensuring you situate it in it’s finalposition before adding the weight stacks!! I bet your heart sank when you took delivery of all those boxes! But I’m glad to read that assembly is straightforward. Happy working out Terry!

  4. Matt – my husband is worried about having the FT1 in the garage with the humidity and dust. Do you feel that’s an issue? Recommendations on car if kept in the garage?

    • Hi Pam, thanks for stopping by!

      I totally understand the concern about keeping the FT1 Functional Trainer in the garage, especially with the humidity and dust. From my corner of the world, where there is much more rain than sunshine, I’ve seen firsthand how quickly the elements can turn gym gear into a rust experiment!

      Even if your garage isn’t as damp as mine, I’d be cautious about situating such an expensive piece of kit in it. Meticulous maintenance might slow down the rust, but it will probably be an uphill battle.

      If the FT1 must live in the garage, consider a dehumidifier, regular cleaning, and maybe even a protective cover to combat those dust particles and moisture.

      Hope that helps! Let me know what you decide to do.


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