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Smart home gym equipment is still on the rise, despite a seeming reversion to traditional (which I like to call “analog”) gym equipment and resurgence of commercial gym memberships post-pandemic.
New products continue to pop onto the market, capitalizing on Tonal- and MIRROR-esque technology that is now the norm. One such product is the Vitruvian Trainer+, a compact piece of smart exercise equipment that functions much like a cable machine—except it’s a singular, slender platform that weighs less than 70 pounds.
In my Vitruvian Trainer+ review, you’ll learn the ins and outs of this small, smart, functional trainer, along with its standout features and what needs improvement.
Smart Gym Connoisseur at Your Service
I’ve been writing about fitness equipment for more than five years now, and for many of those, I’ve been testing and reviewing high-tech workout and recovery products. These complex products can feel confusing, but rest assured, I’ve used enough of them to understand and explain their intricacies.
Super Small Smart Home Gym
The Australian-made Vitruvian Trainer+ is a machine that only takes up 46.06 inches by 20.47 inches by 4.52 inches of space. This makes it easy to store wherever you have a few square feet of floor space.This machine allows you to complete over 200 different exercise movements and the weights intelligently adapt to you and your strength. These weights resistances range from 0 to 440 pounds, which means it can accommodate the vast majority of people with varying fitness levels.During your workout, the weights will adjust 50 times per second, so it’s like you have a real-life, personal spotter at all times.This product is quite expensive and is newer to the market. A lot of the reviews state that Vitruvian has a lot of room for improvement, especially when it comes to the app. As usual, it takes fitness tech companies a while to work out all of the kinks in these computer-controlled products.You are able to connect the Trainer+ to Bluetooth and the machine itself is very quiet. You are also able to purchase different add-ons such as a bench, handles, and straps.
A Quick Look at the Vitruvian Form Trainer+
The Vitruvian Trainer+ is the second iteration of the Vitruvian V-Form Trainer, which is now out of production due to the update and improvements of the hardware and electronic components in the Trainer+.
The Trainer+ is a piece of smart home gym equipment that uses computer algorithms to produce automatic, adaptive resistance. The Vitruvian Trainer+ consists of a thin platform with cables attached, to which the exerciser can attach handles or ankle straps. The user stands on the platform and uses the handles or straps to perform various exercises.
This machine is similar to the Tonal, except much smaller—yet it provides more digital resistance (up to 440 pounds compared to Tonal’s maximum of 200 pounds).
Vitruvian is an Australian-based company that’s in its infancy. It’s named, presumably, after the drawing Vitruvian Man, which was meant to depict artist Leonardo da Vinci’s vision of the ideal human form.
The first Vitruvian Form trainer (called the V-Form Trainer) was released in 2020, with the second iteration releasing in 2022. The Trainer+ fixes many issues and bugs that were prominent in the first version: The newer version weighs a little less, has wheels for easier transport, sports a simpler attachment mechanism for the accessories, and features smoother resistance.
- Understand that this product comes from a new company and the machine still needs some improvement. It might be wise to wait for some software improvements or even a third generation of hardware.
- Provides up to 440 pounds of resistance
- Small and compact
- Relatively easy to move and store
- Workouts led by certified instructors
- Adaptive weight changes as you work out
- Community challenges and leaderboard
- Tracks several workout metrics
- Can easily view progress
- Safe and controlled way to exercise
- Provides exercise technique tutorials
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- 1 membership allows unlimited profiles
- Lifetime membership available
- Financing available via Affirm
- Can create your own workouts or follow classes
- Expensive, with prices starting around $2,500
- Subscription required for full functionality ($39/month)
- Accessory kits sold separately
- 6-week lead time for shipping as of writing
- Shipping is expensive
- Workout classes only go as long as 30 minutes
- Customer reviews indicate app is buggy
- Takes a long time to create your own workouts in the app
- Buyers are responsible for return shipping if sending the item back
Is the Vitruvian Trainer+ Worth It?
I know a thing or two about smart home gym equipment. I’ve had a Tonal, Tempo Studio, Mirror, Echelon Reflect, and other tech-heavy fitness equipment installed in my home (many at the same time!). I’ve tested the Tempo Move and Peloton Bike and some of the fanciest treadmills money can buy.
I can fully appreciate the depth and nature of these products, and I understand the target market. But I know they’ll never satisfy my needs and preferences for fitness products—and this is the case for many people.
So is the Vitruvian Trainer+ worth it? Well, it entirely depends: Do you like to work out with cable resistance? Do you have no need for free weights? Do you need something small and compact? Are you fine with paying a monthly subscription fee?
Your answers to these questions and more will determine whether or not the Vitruvian Trainer+ is worth it for you. In case you need a little more guidance, here’s a look at who could benefit from the Vitruvian Form Trainer+ and who might need something different.
- People who want a singular versatile product with which they can do a number of exercises
- Home gym owners who don’t have space for traditional free weights
- Trainees who like to work out with instruction and guidance from an app
Not recommended for:
- People who prefer traditional free weights
- Anyone who can afford (and has space for) a more traditional cable machine
- People who don’t want to pay a monthly fee
Vitruvian Trainer+ Specs
|Product Weight||30 kg (65 lbs)|
|Dimensions||44” L x 20” W x 5” H|
|User Weight Capacity||330 lbs|
|Max Resistance||200 kg (440 lbs)|
|Transport||Recessed wheels, handle|
|Accessories||Bench, long bar, triceps rope, single handles, workout mat, short bar, weight belt|
|Warranty||Limited, non-transferrable, 1-year for electronic components and parts|
|Wattage||Up to 1000 W|
Using the Vitruvian Trainer+
To put it simply, the Vitruvian Trainer+ is a solid idea backed by great hardware. But the product—and the company—is in its infancy, so as it stands, there’s much to be desired.
And, Coop points out, there is a major learning curve when getting started with the Vitruvian Trainer+.
“Honestly, it’s more confusing than Tonal,” he says. “Tonal and Peloton are further down the line in their development than Vitruvian. Although setup wasn’t crazy difficult, the terminology and different workout modes present a challenge and an adjustment period.”
“There’s also not an attached screen, so the phone being a smaller device can make it more difficult to navigate than the large screen on Tonal,” Coop says. (You can mirror your device to an Apple TV or other smart TV, though, if that helps.)
- The Trainer+ can provide up to 440 pounds in digital resistance. But, the motion of the cables can sometimes be jerky.
- You can perform a seemingly endless amount of exercises on the Trainer+, but attaching the correct accessory can take time and it might take a while for you to become proficient at it.
- The Vitruvian App allows you to create your own workouts instead of following classes, but it takes a VERY long time to program them into the app so that the app can communicate to the hardware.
These are just a few examples of what could be improved on the Vitruvian Trainer+. Overall, though, the experience is novel and fun, and it has a ton of potential.
The fact that you can get up to 440 pounds of resistance from this tiny (but robust) platform is amazing and promising. Most people won’t ever lift that much weight even with free weights—and digital resistance feels heavier due to the adaptive algorithms, so this product provides more than enough resistance for the vast majority of people.
Technology is the main draw to the Vitruvian Trainer+ and products like it. You’re unlikely to see a competitive powerlifter or weightlifter using the Trainer+ and more likely to see beginners and general fitness enthusiasts using it.
This is because the Trainer+ takes the thinking out of working out.
With this product, all you have to do is select your workout. You don’t have to count reps, write down your progress in a notebook, change weights, or even pay too much attention to your technique. The technology does all of that for you.
It tells you what exercises to do, counts your reps, logs your progress, and automatically changes weight based on your technique.
If you’re struggling and can’t make it to full lockout on a shoulder press, the machine will lower the weight so you can safely reach full range of motion and continue performing reps. If you’re blasting through squats like you’re doing a bodyweight workout, the machine will increase the weight until it feels you’re adequately challenged.
All of this occurs thanks to computer algorithms and a suite of sensors.
Thanks to the technology Vitruvian utilizes, there are some admittedly badass workout modes.
Notably, the Trainer+ offers eccentric-mode training, which means it challenges you just as much on the lowering (or lengthening) phase of your exercise as it does during the lifting phase.
Eccentric training is hard to come by with traditional cable machines and functional trainers: You have to intentionally lower the weight slowly and with control. This is also known as “tempo training.”
On the Vitruvian, you don’t have to think about it. You just perform your reps and the machine takes care of the rest.
Eccentric training is thought to elicit greater muscle stimulation and growth compared to concentric-only training, and that extended-duration eccentric training (tempo training) can improve power output later on.
This is science in practice at its finest!
You can also do concentric-only training on the Vitruvian Form, but you’ll experience greater gains over time by incorporating the eccentric mode, too.
Other available modes include:
- Time Under Tension
- Old School
The Vitruvian App
The app is probably what more people are interested in—the hardware is virtually useless without the app and a membership.
The Vitruvian App houses all of the workouts, challenges, leaderboard, coaching, and more. Within the app, you can select from a variety of workout classes led by certified trainers, as well as view your progress, which is automatically tracked during workouts. The app keeps track of your personal bests, number of reps you perform at certain weights, and much more.
You can search classes by trainer, muscle group, or time frame. In the app, you’ll find a growing library of workouts in a variety of categories, including hypertrophy, strength, circuit training, and more.
You can also create your own custom workouts in the Vitruvian app, but it’s a rather cumbersome process. It takes a long time to hand-select each exercise you want and format it in the way you want (straight sets, supersets, rest intervals, etc). I would like to see some improvement in this area so that people who prefer to do their own workouts can more easily program.
Footprint and Portability
The size of the Trainer+ is a major draw. It’s basically a tiny functional trainer with many of the capabilities of something like the Force USA G20 in a 44-inch by 20-inch by 5-inch platform.
In addition to its small footprint, the Vitruvian machine features recessed wheels and a handle for easy transportation. For storage, it easily slides under a bed or dresser. You can also store it on its side in a closet.
Durability and Construction
Constructed of a steel frame and carbon fiber shell, the Vitruvian Trainer+ is sure to last. Despite its small size, the machine weighs almost 70 pounds and feels hefty during transport. It’s designed to support a maximum user weight capacity of 330 pounds—just as much as many treadmills and other cardio machines.
Vitruvian Trainer+ vs Tonal
Tonal Smart Gym
Looking for a complete home gym that fits in a compact space? The Tonal smart home gym offers 200 pounds of resistance, more than 170 moves, and a range of full-body exercises. Plus, the AI gets to know you as a lifter the more you use it, so the workouts will be customized to your needs.Tonal may be effective, but it's not budget-friendly. The machine sells for $3,495 (which does include professional installation), but you still have to pay a $50 monthly subscription fee on top of that.
If Vitruvian isn’t a direct competitor to Tonal, it’s damn near close. It’s no secret that the technology is extremely similar—upon using the Vitruvian, that was one of Coop’s first thoughts:
“The resistance feels just like Tonal,” he says. “I’m guessing it uses similar magnetic resistance components.”
“The difference,” he continues, “is that it’s heavier, all the way up to 440 pounds total—and 440 pounds on the Vitruvian feels MUCH different than 440 lb on a barbell. It’s significantly heavier.”
The other main (and obvious) difference? The size and weight of the machines.
Tonal is a behemoth, and one that requires drilling six holes into your wall. It weighs nearly 150 pounds and requires a 7-foot-by-7-foot space for proper use. However, Tonal wouldn’t have some of its most crucial features if it wasn’t so large. Thanks to its size, Tonal features a massive touchscreen and motion sensors that track your exercise technique.
The Vitruvian doesn’t offer those features. It’s a little funky to follow along on your smartphone, but you also won’t have holes to patch and paint should you ever move or want to get rid of the product.
Read our full Tonal review for more about our experience using it.
What I don’t love is the measly one-year, non-transferable warranty on the product. For the price (around $2,500 and up), I’d expect a much better warranty. But, to be fair, many other smart home gym products also have paltry warranties and I guess this is just a fact of the equipment type. That doesn’t make it better, though, in my opinion.
Also, customers are responsible for return shipping fees if they decide the Trainer+ isn’t the right fit for them. For a near-70-pound product, shipping fees can be quite high. At least you’ll get a refund less shipping if you return it within 30 days of delivery.
Ordering and Assembling the Vitruvian Trainer+
There’s little to no assembly required for the Trainer+. As for the machine itself, you’ll simply slide it out of the box, power it on, and attach the handles you want to use. Most of the setup required involves getting the hardware connected to the app. You’ll need WiFi and a good Bluetooth connection for it to work.
Most reviews are mediocre—and most call out that many of the issues are easily fixable software problems. Like I said before, Vitruvian is a new company, so bugs and minor annoyances are to be expected. Don’t buy a first- or second-generation product if you don’t want to deal with things like software glitches.
Here’s one review from the App Store summing up these common issues:
“Vitruvian, the device is great but the app needs improvement. All the way from remembering the device I pair with and automatically connecting to it vs requiring me to scan the QR code each time. Workouts are mediocre [at] best compared to Peloton and Apple Fitness (the trainers lack the energy and vibe). The app is slow and buggy at times. Works well on a new fast iPhone but older iPhones and Android devices, not so much.”
However, it’s not all bad. This review from a Reddit user is enthusiastically positive:
“…It’s easy to see several comments expressing dislikes or at [sic] last need for improvement and get a sense that the machine is problematic. For me at least, that isn’t the case. Overall, I think it’s a fantastic machine and the experience around it is very strong…The resistance is very real, as much as you want it to be (and more), feels very smooth and also a unique feeling. The eccentric pull is a huge part of it, and other aspects – such as their claim that it can adjust resistance up to 50x/second (if I remember correctly) is something that has to be experienced.”
It’s worth noting that many customer reviews are on the original Vitruvian V-Form Trainer, not the Trainer+, so be sure to look out for that during your research.
Other in-depth written reviews I’ve read have the same general sentiment as I do: Vitruvian has a lot of potential, but there’s room for improvement, specifically in regard to the app.
Final Verdict of Our Vitruvian Trainer+ Review
The Vitruvian Trainer+ is a solid improvement over the original V-Form Trainer. It’s clear to see that Vitruvian is passionate about its product and technology, and is working hard to continue improving its offerings. I’m excited to stay up-to-date on this smart home gym device and am looking forward to future iterations.
- The Trainer+ is a smart home gym that functions much like a cable machine.
- It’s similar to Tonal, but much smaller and offers a higher maximum resistance (440 pounds versus the Tonal’s 200).
- This is a great option for small home gyms and those who want to take the mental work out of their workouts.
Vitruvian Trainer+ Rating
Our Vitruvian Trainer+ review examines the science and technology behind one of the latest smart home gyms.
Product Brand: Vitruvian
Product Currency: $
Product Price: 2495.00
Product In-Stock: InStock
Vitruvian Trainer+ Review FAQs
Here are some commonly asked questions about the Vitruvian Trainer+.
What is the Vitruvian Form?
The Vitruvian Trainer+ is a piece of smart home gym equipment that utilizes magnetic resistance components and computer algorithms to provide adaptive strength training workouts.
How does the Vitruvian work?
Despite being labeled as a smart home gym, the Vitruvian Trainer+ is pretty straightforward. It’s a carbon fiber platform with two cables on the inside. The user attaches handles to said cables and, when the exerciser pulls on the cables, resistance is created via magnetic and electronic components. The hardware (the machine) communicates with the software components in order to change resistance, count reps, and more.
Does Vitruvian require a subscription?
You don’t need a subscription to use the Vitruvian Trainer+ or to create your own workouts in the app. However, if you want full functionality of the device, including the different workout modes, trainer-led classes, and automatic progress tracking, then yes, you do need to subscribe to the Vitruvian app for $39 per month.
What exercises can you do on Vitruvian?
You can do most exercises you’d normally do during a home workout on the Trainer+. You can do bench press, squats, deadlifts, lunges, bicep curls, shoulder press, and any variation of those. You can even mimic exercises like the dumbbell snatch. You can also choose to do straight-set strength training, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), full-body workouts or isolated muscle group workouts.
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