TuffStuff CXT-200

The TuffStuff CXT-200 is billed as a high end multi-functional trainer and although it promises to replace 5 pieces of gym equipment in one setup it does sport a pretty hefty price tag. We had heard some good reports about it so we decided to take it for a review. Read on to find out what we found in our full TuffStuff CXT-200 review below.

TuffStuff CXT-200 Tech Specs

TuffStuff CXT-200The CXT-200 is a pretty intimidating piece of kit to look at. In fact, it certainly wouldn’t look out of place in a full commercial gym. It is recommended for home use or light commercial gym use and it would be considered by most to be a one time investment – in other words, you would buy this and never need to upgrade to another model. It is backed by a pretty impressive warranty (more on that later) and as such there is good chance it could live up to its price tag if it performed well.

The tech specs of the CXT-200 are pretty impressive. It has two weight stacks of 68kg each (2 x 150lb in old money) and is housed within an 11-gauge tubular frame with 3″x3″ steel supports.  The CXT-200 weighs in at a whopping 336kg making it one of the most robust home gyms we have tested. Indeed, once this thing is installed it is best kept where it is.

One of the most impressive features of this multi-function trainer is that it takes up minimal space compared to owning the 5 individual units it is intended to replace. With a floor space of 201cm x 112cm required and standing at a total height of 213cm the CXT-200 is surprisingly compact given its functionality. It is designed with a space saving corner design and although it doesn’t have to be positioned in the corner of a room, if you are tight for space then this design is ideal. If you have been wanting an extensive home gym setup but are limited by space then this is an excellent solution.

The TuffStuff CXT-200 has three cables in total with the two side cables being mounted on to 15 adjustable point columns for high and low workouts. The other cables are used for lat pull downs and low rows. The two side pulleys will be the ones used more often than not with a range of push and pull exercises at your disposal with the opportunity to complete the full range of chest, shoulder, back and arm exercises. The side pulleys can also be used for rowing exercises and there is a fixed pull up bar to complete the repertoire. Should you want even more from this multi functional unit then you can upgrade with a smith machine attachment but in all honesty this isn’t really necessary unless you specifically need to be using a smith machine for your training.

Unfortunately, the CXT-200 does not come with a bench so you will have to source yourself a decent weights bench if you don’t already have one and if you do buy the smith machine attachment you will need to invest in some plates to add extra weight.

All weights are easily selected by the selector pins on each side and the majority of the weight stack is hidden behind a neat covering which has a range of exercises displayed on it. TuffStuff have seemingly thought of everything with the CXT-200 as there is even a handy rotating accessory compartment to store the various handles and bars when not in use.

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CXT-200 First Impressions

It’s hard not to be impressed by the CXT-200 on first viewing as it really does have an imposing feel about it – despite having dimensions that will suit most home gym spaces. The CXT-200 really does look like it belongs in a commercial gym and even with daily use it is likely that this piece of kit will last a lifetime.

chest exerciseThe 68kg of weight per side provides more than enough resistance for most users and the lat pull down combines this weight to offer more than enough resistance for the back muscles. If you do find yourself needing or wanting more weight then you can opt for the TuffStuff Weight Upgrade which gives you a total of 180kg! The cables are smooth to use and we experienced zero plate sticking which makes the CXT-200 an absolute pleasure to use.

The accessories included are a lat bar, straight bar, ankle strap, chin up strap, two pairs of handles and a cable bridge bracket. You can add your own accessories if you wish such as split ropes and other handles but you can easily manage on everything that comes with the CXT-200 and it is all made to a high specification.

When it comes to sturdiness there is no bettering the CXT for home multi purpose stations. The sheer weight of the 336kg of the main unit is enough to keep it securely in place and the design enables it be perfectly secure even when performing vigorous workouts or performing ab exercises such as hanging leg raises from the centre bar.

In terms of looks, the CXT-200 certainly looks like a premium product and one befitting of a commercial setup. The powder coated finish is sublime and will keep the CXT-200 looking pristine for years to come. More importantly, all the elements that could cause issues such as the quick change triggers, cables and weight plates all work perfectly with smooth motion and no sticking – it really is like using a piece of equipment at the gym.

Using The CXT-200

Despite having a decent upper limit when it comes to weight, the CXT-200 is surprisingly beginner friendly as it allows for either one or both of the weight stacks to be used with a clever hooking system. The weight plates are in 2.25kg increments (similar to what you will find in most commercial gyms) rather than huge 4.5kg jumps that you tend to find on the cheaper multi-trainer models. This alone makes the TuffStuff model worthwhile for beginners and experienced users alike and allows it be classed as a true progressive overload training aid from beginner level right through to advanced.

cxt 200 exercise chartThe dual adjustable pulleys can be used individually or together and allow for a wide range of exercises including chest incline and decline presses, tricep pushdowns, face pulls, cable crossovers and an awful lot more. It is fair to say that thanks to the 15 point adjustable height positions and the attachments that come supplied it is easy to switch between these exercises and performing them is comfortable thanks to the fluid motion cables. The distance between cables is perfect and they swivel to allow you to work at the perfect angle no matter your size.

The low row station and the pull down station are perfect for performing a range of muscle building exercises aimed at targeting the back and the shoulders. For low rows, you can use the straight bar for a perfect seated row with foot pads to help you secure a powerful base to work from. Like the low row, the lat pull down station features two fixed cables and the lat pulldown bar is comfortable to use and allows for a full range of motion when attached to the pulleys. You do need a bench to use this feature so be sure to invest in one if you don’t already have one. The dual 68kg stack should provide plenty of room for progressive overload even with the lat pull downs but if you do need more you can grab the weight upgrade pack.

The pull up bar is the final piece of jigsaw and it performs well. It is absolutely solid and provides the opportunity for developing the upper and lower lats thanks to the 4 knurling points that are ideally positioned. In addition to using the pull up bar for lat and bicep development it can also be used for ab workouts including hanging leg raises.

The height of the unit should allow pull ups to be performed without too much of a problem in most homes but if you are using spaces with lower ceiling heights such as a garage it is well worth a height check before you buy.

All in all, the CXT 200 is a joy to use and during our 30 day testing phase we had no issues with it whatsoever. In fact, it very quickly became an office favourite.

TuffStuff back up the CXT-200 with an impressive warranty. They offer a lifetime warranty on parts for at home use and for light commercial use they provide a 10 year warranty on the frame, cams and plates, 5 year warranty on the bearings, bushings, gas shocks and pulleys and 1 year warranty on cables and pull pins. Pretty impressive stuff!

CXT-200 Verdict

The TuffStuff CXT-200 comes with a hefty price tag but it is fully justified thanks to the high quality of the product. The lifetime warranty gives peace of mind but the real showstopper is how many pieces of equipment the CXT-200 can replace and it does so with aplomb. Anyone looking for a lifetime investment for their home gym setup who is limited for space but doesn’t want to compromise on their workout opportunities would do well to consider the CXT-200.

This is a best in class model for home use and is also ideally suited for light commercial use too.

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