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Recently, founder Coop Mitchell and other members of the Garage Gym Reviews team went across the pond to the leading trade show for fitness, health, and wellness in Cologne, Germany—FIBO Global Fitness. While there, Coop got to see and try out some of the latest fitness innovations in home gym essentials from top brands.

One of the products Coop was most excited to see was the latest REP Ares cable attachment, an upgraded version of the initial cable system released just two years ago. The REP Ares was one of our favorite machines then, integrating functional trainer capabilities into a power rack.  But how much does the second version improve upon its predecessor?

In this REP Ares 2.0 review first look, we’ll take a look at the prototype for the REP Ares 2.0, as well as some of Coop’s initial thoughts to see who this upgraded cable system is right for, plus the type of value it could bring to consumers.

REPping the Top Fitness Reviews

Since 2014, Garage Gym Reviews has been bringing honest, expert reviews on fitness equipment to consumers—all to help inform and educate home gym users on what home gym equipment and purchases they should make for their garage gym.

Our team consists of certified personal trainers, CrossFit Level 1 Trainers, weightlifting coaches, and lifelong athletes, all with the experience and knowledge to know what different fitness products can bring to the table for consumers. From weight plates to weight stacks, we’ve got you covered.

While we haven’t had extensive testing of the REP Ares 2.0 yet, Coop got to try it out at FIBO, and looked at many of the changes made to the cable attachment, shown in this full video of his first impressions. With all cable machines we test, we look at features according to our fitness equipment testing methodology such as:

  • Construction and durability
  • Cable travel and smoothness
  • Versatility
  • Footprint and portability
  • Overall value

REP Ares 2.0

REP Fitness Ares 2.0

Product Highlights

  • Upgraded version of Ares cable attachment
  • Compatible with PR-4000 and PR-5000 power racks
  • Dual weight stacks with 260 lbs each
  • Adds cable machine functionality to a power rack
  • Built-in micro-adjustment plates
  • Low row is updated to seated row height

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Comparable in price to the OG Ares
  • Customizable rack options
  • Compatible with PR-4000 and PR-5000
  • Swiveling pulleys
  • Built-in micro-adjustment plates
  • Adds versatility to a power rack

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Likely only works with REP racks

Bottom Line

The REP Ares 2.0 is an upgrade of the original REP Fitness Ares Cable Attachment. This functional trainer integration features improvements such as a raised low row attachment point, as well as a deeper set weight stack, to allow for more space within the power rack. The Ares 2.0 comes with dual 260-pound weight stacks, with an option to make them 310 pounds.

A Quick Look at the REP Ares 2.0

REP Fitness has really been pushing the envelope on product innovation, releasing a new line of Olympic barbells in 2023, constantly innovating their adjustable benches, and now releasing new cable machines in 2024, starting with the REP Arcadia and the Adonis Cable Tower.

RELATED: REP Fitness Colorado Bar Review

The REP Fitness Ares was originally released in 2022 alongside the REP Athena, being one of the first cable attachments that integrated a functional trainer onto a squat rack. Both cable rack attachments can fit on REP PR-4000 or PR-5000 power racks, but  the Athena is the lower-end version—it gives the user the option between plate-loaded weight horns or selectorized weight stacks. 

RELATED: REP PR-4000 vs REP PR-5000 Power Rack

The Ares is a premium product, with dual 260-pound weight stacks that can be used one at a time or together with lat pulldowns and low rows.

REP Fitness Ares 2.0

While the REP Ares cable attachment was received well by consumers, it did have some faults in its design, covered in our REP Ares Cable Attachment review. The 2.0 seeks to solve those issues and also improve on the victories of the original Ares.

Some of the major changes to the Ares include:

  • Swiveling pulleys on the low and high pulleys
  • A raised low row to allow for seated rows (not floor rows)
  • The weight stacks being set back to open up the inside of the rack more
  • Cables traveling from the bottom of the upright to allow for shorter racks to utilize their full height
  • Add-on weights included along the guide rods for micro-adjustments

Along with these major changes, REP uses high-quality components, like aluminum pulleys and smooth-traveling trolleys, to create a great in-use experience.

Before You Buy 

  • The REP Ares 2.0 will be on pre-order starting in May 2024, and products will begin shipping out in August, although dates may change prior to pre-orders opening up.
  • There won’t be an upgrade kit from the first version of the Ares to the 2.0, since most components have been changed up. If you’re wanting to upgrade, the best way to do it with the best value is to sell your current Ares attachment and then pre-order the new one.
  • Although the Ares 2.0 that Coop tried out was pretty neat, the product page on REP’s website does say that the final product may vary slightly from the images on the website. We’d expect those changes to be minor though.

REP Ares 2.0 Video First Look

Is the REP Ares 2.0 Worth It?

Although the REP Ares 2.0 won’t be on pre-order until May, REP is very confident that the newest Ares will come in close to, if not at the exact same price point as the OG Ares, which starts at $2,799. The Ares Rack Builder allowed for lots of customization, so the price varies from there based on the dimensions, add-ons, and if you add a rack. 

We rated the value of the original Ares cable attachment a 4 out of 5, so with the added functionality and improvements, we think the new Ares will have high value as well.

For frame of reference, competitors have arisen in the last couple years. Force USA has their X15 Pro Multi-Trainer, which is $3,999. Rogue Fitness is also releasing their own integrated functional trainer for racks called the FM-6; this cable attachment starts at $3,150. Which trainer is best for you will depend on the power rack compatibility as well as the customization options.

Great for:

  • People who already own a REP PR-5000 or PR-4000
  • Those wanting a compact cable machine that integrates with a power rack
  • Any home gym user that prefers premium fitness products

Not recommended for:

  • Anyone interested in budget home gym equipment
  • Those who don’t have a compatible power rack
  • People who already have the first version REP Ares cable attachment

REP Ares 2.0 Specs

PriceStarts at $2,799
Height80” (82.1”) or 93” (93.9”)
Width57.6”
Weight capacity450 lbs (trolleys and cables)
Pulley ratio2:1
FootprintAdds 0.9” to 2.1” in height, up to 5.2” in width, and 0.6” in depth
Tolerance3% (weight plates)

Using the REP Ares 2.0 

While our experience with the Ares 2.0 is still limited, GGR founder Coop Mitchell has had plenty of experience with REP Fitness products, including the original REP Ares. In his review of the REP Ares 1.0, his favorite part was the high pulley with two connection points for a lat pulldown bar. This allowed for using the dual weight stacks at once for heavy pulldowns, and was what Coop called the shining achievement of the cable system.

Man doing flys on the REP Ares

The low row was just a little too low in his use, and the cables came at the sides of his heels, making for an odd angle that limited the range of motion during the exercise. REP Fitness in response raised the low row pulleys in the Ares 2.0 and brought them in the center on swiveling pulleys. A connector banana can allow you to use both weight stacks again, making for heavy rows. 

The footplate is now adjustable, and even has cut out angles to allow a bench like the REP Blackwing to fit in tightly for an incline bench. One of the things Coop is most excited about, though, is that the urethane D-handles that came with a lot of REP’s functional trainers before are now gone, replaced by knurled handles.

Coop kissing knurled handle on REP Ares

Footprint

The Ares 2.0 won’t add much to your power rack’s footprint if you already have a PR-5000 or PR-4000. It adds 0.6 inches to your rack’s depth, an inch or two to the height, and a maximum width of 5.2 inches.

The point where the footprint may be a major issue is if you don’t have a compatible rack, or any power rack at all. Then you’ll have to account for the REP Ares and a REP Fitness PR-4000 Power Rack. A power rack will take up a bit of space in your home gym, but fortunately REP allows a lot of customization in its Ares Rack Builder. You can choose the height and depth, along with a 4-post or 6-post rack.

Durability and Construction

Although the original Ares was nice, the REP Ares 2.0 keeps the level of quality high, using premium cables and pulleys. The aluminum pulleys with plastic-lined trolleys along the uprights allow for very smooth cable travel. The trolley and cables are rated for a weight capacity of 450 pounds, ensuring the machine will withstand repeated use.

Moving the trolley on the REP Ares

The cables work on a 2:1 ratio, which makes 100 pounds feel like 50 pounds. This also helps extend the cable length for functional exercises, allowing for plenty of room and length for chest flyes and similar functional trainer movements.

REP Ares 2.0 vs Rogue FM-6 Functional Trainer

Rogue FM-6

Rogue Fitness FM-6 Functional Trainer

Product Highlights

  • 2:1 pulley ratio on functional trainer
  • 1:1 pulley ratio on lat pulldown and low row
  • Integrates onto a Rogue Monster rack
  • Built with 3” x 3” 11-gauge steel
  • Customizable height, depth, and color

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Customizable rack height, depth, and color
  • Added versatility
  • Upgrade kit available for Monster Racks
  • Compatible with Monster attachments
  • 1:1 cable ratio on lat pulldown and low row
  • Made in USA
  • Option for plate-loaded or weight stacks

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Only compatible with Monster Racks

Bottom Line

The Rogue Fitness FM-6 Functional Trainer is a power rack integrated with cable machine features, including a functional trainer, low row, and lat pulldown machines. If you already have a power rack, the FM-6 cable system is compatible with and can be added to Rogue Monster racks. The functional trainer cables have a 2:1 ratio, while the lat pulldown machine has a 1:1 ratio, allowing for maximal loads on the exercise.

The FM-6 Functional Trainer is similar to the REP Ares because it incorporates functional trainer functionality onto a power rack—in this case a Rogue Monster Rack. The FM-6, which launches May 1st, has the optionality to be bought with a rack, or as an add-on attachment for a rack you already own.

The limiting factor on both of these racks is the compatibility with the rack. If you already have a Rogue or REP power rack, then the cable system you should look at is pretty much decided already.

However, if you’re looking for a cable system and functional trainer integration, both are solid options. The Rogue FM-6 uses a 1:1 pulley ratio for its lat pulldown and low row, but a 2:1 for its functional trainer trolleys. Plus, it’s American-made, which may be a determining factor for some.

While the price of the Ares 2.0 isn’t official, the cable machine is expected to start at $2,799, which is notably less than Rogue’s starting price of $3,150. Both are high-quality products, but if cost is important, then the REP Ares 2.0 might be the better choice.

REP Ares 2.0Rogue FM-6 Functional Trainer
PriceStarts at $2,799Starts at $3,150
Height80” (82.1”) or 93” (93.9”)91.5″, 101.5″, or 109.5″
Width57.6”53” without weight storage
Weight capacity450 lbs (trolleys and cables)Not disclosed
Pulley ratio2:12:1 for the functional trainer, 1:1 for the lat pulldown and low row
FootprintAdds 0.9” to 2.1” in height, up to 5.2” in width, and 0.6” in depth99.5″ x 53″ (plate-loaded), 92.6″ x 53″ (weight stack)
Tolerance3% (weight plates)Not disclosed

Customer Reviews

Since the Ares 2.0 isn’t even on pre-order yet, there aren’t any customer reviews to speak of. However, the original Ares was received well by consumers, receiving 4.9 stars out of 321 reviews. Most of the common complaints about the low row pulleys and rack space seem to have been addressed in the new version, so once this product gets in consumers’ hands, we’ll see how the public opinion has changed.

Final Verdict of Our REP Ares 2.0 Review

Starting on pre-order soon and releasing in August of 2024, the Ares 2.0 is going to be hotly anticipated. While it seems a bit soon to be innovating a well-received product already, I can appreciate how REP Fitness constantly pushes the envelope with fitness equipment. Stay tuned for an updated review on this product!

REP Ares 2.0: FAQs

Is the REP Ares Cable Attachment worth it?

The REP Ares Cable Attachment adds functionality and versatility to a power rack, adding a lat pulldown and low row attachment, as well as using the front uprights as trolleys to double as a functional trainer. The greatest part is that the footprint added to your rack is minimal, saving you a lot of space in your home gym, instead of needing dedicated space for both a power rack and cable machine.

What are the improvements in the REP Ares 2.0 cable attachment compared to the previous version?

Here are some of the major changes to the Ares:

-Pulleys for the low row and lat pulldown are now swiveling pulleys.
-The low row pulleys have been redesigned for seated cable rows.
-The weight stacks are set back to save more space inside the power rack.
-The cables travel along the bottom of the rack, allowing for full use of the uprights on the shorter 80-inch rack.
-Add-on weights are included along the guide rods for micro-adjustments.

How do I choose a cable machine?

The best cable machine for you will depend on your budget, your home gym’s footprint, and the weight capacity you need. Here are our top recommendations for the best cable machines:

-Best Overall Cable Machine: REP Fitness FT-5000
-Best Cable Machine for Small Home Gyms: Titan Fitness Functional Trainer
-Best Smart Cable Machine: Tonal 
-Best Portable Cable Machine: MAXPRO SmartConnect Cable Machine 
-Most Versatile Cable Machine: Beyond Power Voltra I
-Best Cable Machine Power Rack Attachment: Bells of Steel Cable Crossover Rack Attachment
-Best Functional Trainer Cable Machine: NordicTrack Fusion CST
-Best Home Cable Crossover Machine: REP Fitness Ares

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