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Last Updated: December 11, 2023
The NordicTrack Fusion CST Studio is a total-body strength training cable machine. Its freestanding base allows you to perform all kinds of exercises using the 6 different pulleys that come with removable handles and ankle straps. The Fusion CST Studio has a 70” long mirror on the front so you can check in with your form when you need it, as well as follow along with an instructor on the included 10” tablet. The tablet streams workouts specific to the Fusion with a subscription to iFit. iFit is a popular training platform available on equipment from NordicTrack and ProForm, so if you have a NordicTrack treadmill or exercise bike, the Fusion CST Studio could be a great addition to your home. It’s also a machine to consider if you’re a beginner or are looking for an all-in-one standalone smart cable machine. This NordicTrack Fusion CST Studio review dives into everything you can expect from our team of fitness equipment experts.
Why You Should Trust Our Review Of NordicTrack Fusion CST Studio
We’ve tested pretty much every piece of equipment from NordicTrack, over the years. Even though we don’t have the NordicTrack Fusion CST Studio yet, we have a great idea of how it functions, performs, and the features it includes. We’ve been using iFit as one of our main training programs for years, and iFit is a large component of this machine. We also have reviewed other smart fitness machines like the Tonal and Vitruvian Trainer+. We’ve relied on this experience to help us compile this spec review of the Fusion CST Studio.
- 10” Portable Tablet Included
- 70” x 15” Full-Length Mirror
- Bluetooth Connectivity
- Freestanding Base
- Magnetic Device Rack
- Adjustable Independent Device Rack
- 2 Safety Spotter Arms
- Integrated Charging Stations
- 6 Integrated Ergonomic Removable Handles
- 2 Squat Pulleys
- 2 Ankle Strap Accessories
- Footprint: 41.5” L x 60.5” W x 73.5” H
- Weight: 10 – 100 lbs
- 95” Independent Cable Travel
- 20 Digital Power Settings
- Inertia-Enhanced Flywheel
- Silent Magnetic Resistance
- Product Weight: 378 lbs (in box)
- Warranty: 10-years frame, 1-year parts, labor, and tablet
In-depth Review of NordicTrack Fusion CST Studio
iFit is a popular training platform available to use on fitness equipment from brands like NordicTrack and ProForm. iFit has thousands of workouts available to take on demand in a variety of disciplines including running, walking, cycling, and strength training.
On the NordicTrack Fusion CST Studio, however, the workouts available to follow along with are specific to the Fusion. This means that they’re filmed specifically in studios where the instructor is using the Fusion CST.
There are guided workouts led by instructors and the ability to use the manual mode to do your own thing. There are also workout programs, so you can take a series of classes over a period of time to progress your fitness.
Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a way to access other workouts, even other strength workouts using free weights on the Fusion CST Studio. The library of the Fusion workouts is also much less than iFit’s regular library of indoor and outdoor-filmed trainer-led classes. You do get access to these workouts in the iFit App and on other iFit-enabled equipment, so the Fusion CST Studio might be a good idea if you already use iFit and have other NordicTrack equipment in your home.
One aspect that we really like about iFit is that the equipment automatically adjusts as you’re taking a workout. This means that the Fusion CST Studio will adjust the resistance based on the instructor’s cues. iFit also takes into account your previous workout history and how you performed in prior workouts to adjust the tension to work for you, specifically.
The NordicTrack Fusion CST Studio comes with a 10” tablet. This is where you stream iFit’s Fusion workouts. What’s cool about the tablet is that you can put it on the mirrored front of the Fusion CST Studio or put it on the standalone device stand. A magnetic device rack sticks on the mirror and can be adjusted to whatever height you want, and you can move the stand around you to see the tablet for exercises where you’re facing away from it.
The tablet only streams the iFit workouts available with a subscription, it isn’t a tablet to use for streaming other content, as far as we know. The tablet is where you’ll track your workout metrics.
You can adjust the resistance on the Fusion, in case you don’t want to use the AutoAdjust feature that I mentioned earlier. Other than the device racks, there isn’t any storage available for your water on the Fusion CST Studio.
The NordicTrack Fusion CST Studio is a very heavy-duty machine with a large footprint. It weighs a whopping 378 lbs, so it might not be best on upper-level floors, and moving it around is most likely a challenge that requires multiple people. With its size and weight, we recommend having a designated space for the Fusion CST Studio to stay. It also doesn’t appear to have transport wheels so it’s probably pretty hard to move.
Frame & Mirror
The Fusion CST Studio is a freestanding strength training machine. It doesn’t need to be mounted to the wall like the Tonal, but it doesn’t require a good amount of floor space to use. You want to be sure you have enough room for the footprint and some space in front of it for you to do various workouts.
The steel base supports the bottom of the mirror and the entire machine. The floor stabilizers flare out in front to provide a good base of support. With this design, you shouldn’t have to worry about the Fusion tipping over.
The mirror on the front is the height of the machine at 70” high and 15” wide. It should be tall enough for users of all heights to see their entire reflections. The width of the mirror is a little narrow, so you’ll have to stand back a bit to see your reflection better. During some exercises like side lunges, your reflection might be cut off. We have similar problems when using the NordicTrack Vault which is a tall mirror that isn’t very wide.
The mirror serves as a way for you to check in with your form as you workout. There isn’t any AI form correction built in, like the Tonal for added safety, so just keep this in mind. There are other components that I’ll get into that contribute to the safety features.
Pulleys & Cables
The Fusion CST Studio has 6 different cables attached to pulleys. The top two are great for exercises like tricep pushdowns, and the bottom two are ideal for exercises like glute kickbacks. The middle cables are on safety spotter arms that extend on either side of the Fusion. These cables make cable chest presses convenient.
Each cable is long enough to give you a full range of motion for each exercise. The pulleys and cables make the Fusion CST Studio function similarly to a cable machine you’d use in a weight room. The cables are controlled by a flywheel at the rear of the machine. This is where you get resistance on each cable, which I’ll get into in a moment.
Removable Handles & Ankle Straps
Each cable has a clip so you can swap between attaching the included handles and ankle straps. The ankle straps are best for the lower cables. I like that multiple handles are included, so you don’t need to worry about having to clip each handle to each cable. Instead, there are 6 handles for each cable, you just have to swap out the lower handles for the ankle straps when you want to use them.
The handles look to be pretty smooth, but they should give you a good grip. The ankle straps are velcro so you can get a good fit with those, too.
The NordicTrack Fusion CST Studio uses adjustable magnetic resistance. The flywheel at the back of the machine is what provides the resistance. It should also make it feel smooth and we anticipate the Fusion to be pretty quiet. We won’t know exactly how quiet and smooth it is until we get it into our studio though.
The resistance is adjustable to provide 10-100 lbs of resistance. The resistance levels are numbered from 1 up to 20. This should be a good weight range for beginners and intermediates, but for more seasoned lifters, you’ll probably want more resistance.
Another thing to consider is that during the eccentric portions of exercises, where the muscles lengthen, the resistance is lighter. The eccentric portion of a squat for example is when you’re lowering, so you feel less resistance on the way down and more on the way up during the concentric portion of the exercise. This is because of the way the flywheel works since it only moves in one direction.
Eccentric training is said to be better for helping to increase your muscle mass, but you’ll still get a good amount of tension using the Fusion CST Studio. It should also be a great way to incorporate HIIT cardio training and strength training into your routine for an all-in-one machine. The fact that the Fusion Studio loads and unloads the weight at different portions of each exercise should help to make the overall machine a little safer, too.
NordicTrack includes their standard 10-year frame warranty with the purchase of the Fusion CST Studio. A 1-year parts, labor, and tablet warranty are also included.