Recommended Functional Trainer

Here is the best functional trainer that most people will be very well served by in their home gym. It’s high quality and ticks a lot of boxes for a relatively friendly price.

You can also find a few alternatives at the bottom.

BodyCraft HFT

The best functional trainer under $3000 is the BodyCraft HFT. It has quite a few things going for it that make it hard to beat, especially for the price.

To start off with, BodyCraft makes great gym equipment all round. And all their products are backed up with a pretty good warranty. The HFT gets a lifetime warranty on the frame and parts although wear parts are not included. Wear parts are things like the cables and pulleys. They will last quite a long time though.

Another reason why the HFT is so good is its size. First, it’s pretty low for a functional trainer. At 82” it’s the shortest full size model available. The foot print is also quite compact at 55” x 40” which is not the smallest but still on the compact side of things. If that’s still too big, the BodyCraft PFT is even smaller and the same height but quite a bit more expensive.

The machine is well designed and looks good especially compared to other functional trainers. The fit and finish is at a pretty high level for the price.

As standard, it comes with 2 x 150 lbs. weight stacks. However the pulleys create a 1:2 ratio which means there is 75 lbs. of effective resistance at the handles. This is the standard among most functional trainers although some have more resistance available. The benefit of the 1:2 ratio is that the movements become much smoother and the range of motion is doubled.

There are some good add-ons as well. You can get a rowing attachment to make cable rows easy. The speed trainer option limits the movement of the stack which makes it very suitable for very fast movements. There’s also a bench that connects to the trainer. While that bench is nice, I’d personally prefer a separate bench so you can get it out of the way more easily.

If you want more resistance, you’ll have to buy upgraded weight stacks. This upgrade adds 50 lbs. on both stacks which is a 25% increase over standard. That extra weight does cost extra money but at about $250 it’s not too bad. And every other functional trainer with an upgradable weight stack will cost about the same to add the weight.

Alternatives

Not convinced by the HFT or just looking for something else? Here are some good alternatives;

Inspire Fitness FT1

Probably the closest competitor to the HFT. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the Inspire FT1. It is actually a very close call between the HFT and the FT1. The FT1 is a bit more expensive and the weight stack upgrade is a bit more expensive so after upgrades it’ll cost about $400 more than the HFT.

The standard weight stack is a bit heavier at 165 lbs. though which is 15 lbs. higher than the HFT. The warranty conditions are very similar, the exercise options are similar, the accessories are similar.

The FT1 is slightly larger than the HFT but the difference isn’t huge. The FT1 is 83″ tall and has a 54″ by 46″ footprint.

The Fit and finish is slightly better on the BodyCraft but the FT1 has a height adjustment for the pulleys that’s easier to work.

These two models are very close competitors and both have some small pros and cons.

Body-Solid PFT100

Need something cheaper? This is one of the cheapest two stack functional trainers you can get. When you look at it, you can see that it’s pretty basic. It’s all functional and not much money has been spent on making it look nice.

If you’re looking at pure usability, it does pretty much the same as the two mentioned above. There are a few small differences in functionality though;

  • Very few cable attachments included. Only normal handles. The other two have way more accessories included so you instantly have access to more exercises. Cable attachments aren’t too expensive though.
  • The pull up bar is straight: On most functional trainers the pull up bars are angled in different ways for targeting different muscles. A straight bar works well but the other types allow a bit more variability and are more comfortable.
  • No shrouds around the weight stack. That means it’s easier for things that shouldn’t be there to get between the weight plates. (think about children and pets)
  • Bigger spacing between pulley positions than other models.

Other than that, it has two 160 lbs. weight stacks that can be upgraded to 210 lbs. and after you get some extra cable attacments, the exercise options are the same as with more expensive trainers. The build quality is solid and comes with a 10 year warranty on the frame and 1 year on parts.

So there are some downsides but you pay less as well.

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