If you love cardio and strength-based training, then the NordicTrack Fusion CST may have slipped into your radar. We’ve got all the info you need in this NordicTrack Fusion CST Review following rigorous testing.
The NordicTrack Fusion CST is one of the most innovative pieces of home gym equipment to be released over the last few years. In fact, it is not innovative – we aren’t really sure what to call it. The Fusion CST is a cross between a home multi-gym and a full-blown cardio workout station, and it can operate in both of these arenas quite comfortably.
We got our hands on a NordicTrack Fusion CST to see whether the innovation was worth it and whether one machine really can deliver a good cardio and strength-based workout all in one session. Read on to find out in our NordicTrack Fusion CST review.
Fusion CST First Impressions
The Fusion CST by NordicTrack is one of the best-looking pieces of home gym equipment you could imagine. With its silver finish and 10-inch tablet only playing second fiddle to the impressive centrally located flywheel, the only thing that raises eyebrows is the lack of a weight stack – and that is because there isn’t one.
The Fusion CST uses the silent magnetic resistance flywheel to provide 20 levels of weighted resistance through a combination of pulleys that you might find on any home gym. The benefit to this is that they can be used in a slightly different way to how a standard multi-gym would operate, and they can be used much faster and more safely which is where the cardio elements come in.
The NordicTrack Fusion CST has such sleek looks and such a compact footprint that it wouldn’t look out of place in a domestic environment whether that was dedicated to gym use or not.
Ideally, we would suggest placing it in your home gym but it is completely free standing and solid enough to go in any part of your home and it certainly wouldn’t be an eyesore – this thing is a piece of engineering beauty.
It comes with a 1 year family iFit membership which is worth £349 on its own – this is well worth it as it gives you access to live personal training sessions. This is a key selling point of the Fusion CST as your resistance levels can actually be controlled by the trainers and through the app, which makes the CST the ideal workout companion for those who want the benefit of a personal trainer but don’t want to see them face to face.
Nordic Track Fusion CST Specifications
The Fusion CST is suitable for both men and women and for users of all experience levels. There is little to compare it to like for like, but for anyone who wants to build lean muscle and have a seriously good cardio workout then the Fusion CST is well geared towards satisfying both of those goals.
For a machine that is capable of so much it takes up such a little amount of floorspace and the height of it is pretty small too so it should easily fit in any indoor space including garages with low ceilings – always check the measurements with the supplier before ordering though.
It measures up at 107cm (l) x 157cm (w) x 188cm (h) which is extremely compact when compared to a multi-gym. If you compare it to a multi-gym plus an exercise bike or rowing machine then its space-saving benefits are clear to see. The Fusion CST weighs approximately 160kg once fully assembled and it has a completely free-standing base.
From a technological standpoint the CST is very well spec’d and is controlled via the 10″ touch screen tablet that sits at eye line level and dominates the focus along with the inertia enhanced flywheel.
There is an iFit chest strap included which reads your heart rate and you can see and track all your vital stats on the main screen as well as on the app.
There are 20 levels of magnetic resistance and these are digitally controlled via the touch screen tablet as well as by the quick select buttons and dials beneath it. As the CST uses the flywheel and magnets to create the resistance there is a slightly different feel when performing strength-based exercises.
There is still no issue using this machine to build muscle through progressive overload, but you are also going to achieve it through metabolic stress which might mean more reps at lower weights. If you are looking for major muscle mass gains then you might want to consider some standard weights in addition to this machine, but it really depends on your goals.
There are 6 cable positions in total with two high cables, two middle cables and 2 bottom cables – these all have their own removable handles and there are also 2 squat pulleys included with the package. It seems the idea behind the Fusion CST is that everything is bundled together so there is no need to buy anything else to enjoy the full functionality of it, and for this we applaud NordicTrack.
Fusion CST In Use
For experienced gym-goers there is no denying it will take a little bit of getting used to the Fusion CST. Whether you are used to working out purely for cardio or purely for strength gains, when you come to use the CST it will feel a little different to what you are used to.
The good news is that the learning curve is pretty shallow and you quickly adapt to the workouts that are provided through iFit. The included subscription also means you are up and running in no time, with hundreds of exercises and routines to help you hit your goals no matter what they are.
The Fusion CST is well designed and the pulley system works as you might expect. The flywheel resistance does take some getting used to and tends to lead to faster repetitions and more repetitions per set. There are many studies to back up the benefits of increasing your cardiovascular strain whilst working on improving strength and if you are looking for lean muscle building in particular then the Fusion CST is a great option.
Every aspect of the CST is comfortable to use and has a quality feel. The main touch points are the handles and these are ergonomically designed and removable with a standard carabiner attachment meaning you can add your own accessories if you wish such as straight bars, ropes, curl bars, etc.
Although there are 6 pulley points (essentially 3 different positions) this does not provide a great deal of flexibility and anyone who is used to using a 12- or 16-point machine will be used to utilising a range of different positions for their workouts.
Upper, middle and lower positions do provide some variation, but for those who want to target very specific areas of the chest (for example, with a very specific angle of incline or decline) are going to be left frustrated. It also means that if you are shorter or taller than the average person, then these middle and upper positions might not be ideally positioned for your body.
One area where this cardio machine come multi-gym does perform well in is the quality of the cables and the flywheel. They are smooth in operation and you don’t experience the sticking of weight plates that you sometimes get on multi-gym stacks. The inertia-based flywheel is also very quiet (almost silent) in operation and the range of resistance is very impressive and will suit all levels.
Where the Fusion CST really excels is in the personal training element. Anyone who is looking for a Peloton-style workout but without the bike and having the opportunity to focus on strength as well as cardio is going to love the CST. The fact that the iFit can automatically adjust the resistance based on your performance and based on the fitness programme is very impressive and the range of workouts is virtually unlimited. There is something for everyone and the trainers are some of the best in the world.
You can create up to four user profiles with this machine, which makes it ideal for couples and small families who all want access to a high-quality machine. All stats are completely trackable and this helps you to show progression over time which supports you in achieving your fitness goals and staying motivated.
The CST comes with a 10 year warranty on the frame and a 2 year parts and labour warranty on everything else when you purchase through our link below. We have seen some retailers selling this with a 1 year warranty, which is not enough for a machine of this expense. That being said, there is little to go wrong with this machine in terms of the machine itself and maintenance should be minimal.
Fusion CST Verdict
The Fusion CST is a quality piece of equipment that has seen NordicTrack show great innovation in creating a new genre of workout equipment. Filling the void for those who love cardio and strength training and being one of the most motivational live interactive trainers, the CST will appeal to many.
Considering what it provides, the Fusion CST is compact and looks incredible. It might not be cheap but it is built to last, and will provide you with years of high-quality cardio and strength training in the comfort of your own home. If you can make use of the family iFit plan then it is even more cost-effective as an ideal machine for use by multiple users.