M2 GYM rocks!
I can tell you first hand that this gym is very well design and manufactured. The biomechanics in this gym are very defined and properly allow you to work out on it. I generally do not like machines, however this free-range with the combination of linear motion creates a very desirable unit. As per the company, I would not worry too much. It is not like a treadmill where there are electrical components that are going to wear to burn out.
In one word "simple". I too was impressed with the M2, most stylish machine in the showroom. It is very compact, it looks living room worthy (if that is a goal). Very simple and clean looking. Probably not as versatile as some machines (exercise wise) but it doesn't have an abundance of levers and straps hanging all over it either. The frame doesn't look overbearing but since it is oval it is probably as stong as others. One concern I had was user friendliness (e.g. the seat back did not seem very adjustable if more than one person uses etc ) and the limited weight stack ~150lbs (which was upgradable to 200). Other than that it seemed to be built pretty well. I didn't try it out to see if it was stable. I did pick up the speck sheet to check it out further. I was impressed and it sure was pretty.
Bringing this post back to fruition, considering that I just bought one of these.
I bought it with the 200lb option and leg press/calf raise station option.
One word... This machine ROCKS!
I use it in addition to my large assortment of free-weights, dumbbells, cardio machines, etc. By itself, it would not be a perfect mass or strength trainer, but I think it is VERY appropriate for people just looking for a single machine to do everything to keep them in excellent shape and healthy.
A bit pricey (~$2,500 after haggling). But, this included the options and delivery (and assembly).
But, the price is well worth the quality of this piece.
My personal rating is 5 out of 5 stars. I feel that it is high quality (I looked at a lot of home gyms) and a good size to fit nearly everywhere.
Most of my excitment comes from the lat pull-down, tricep press down, seated rows (stationary and cabled), and the leg-press (which uses a 2:1 ratio that will double the actual weight lifted).
BTW - I bought mine at Leisure Fitness and they knocked ~$750 off of my price...
I looked at & experimented with an Inspire M2 today. It's quite nice -- I will be purchasing one soon.
There are many exercises that can be done on it (far more than those listed on the chart) -- for instance: if you sit far-back (away from the machine while still facing it) & grab the long strap-handles on each side, you can do a very effective rear-delt exercise some call a Reverse-Flye.
Something else you may want to consider, is sitting in it like an astronaut preparing for take-off when using the high or mid pulleys -- it offers a whole other range of effective exercise possibilities.
And with a few extra accessories you can do even more -- for instance: if you have a dip-belt (the type that folks attach weight-plates to for doing parallel-bar dips with extra resistance), then you can hook it to the low-pulley attachment, use the seat as a support for your hands & do Donkey Calve-Raises (as is, without any extra accessories you can already do Upright Calve-Raises with it). Note that a Donkey Calve-Raise approximates a Calve-Press done on a leg-press machine (only the leg-press machine allows for more resistance than the low-pulley).
The seat only adjusts up-&-down & was a good all-around fit for me (at 6'-tall, long legs, medium arms) -- it wouldn't be as good of a fit for a short person, but they could still use it with good effect (such might have to put a sturdy pillow behind him or her, or do some exercises without back-support). A 6'6" man with long arms would probably find it too short. The M3 has more adjustments, but it seems much less simple in design & more complicated to use (all those adjustments would just slow-down a workout & make it less enjoyable, whereas a pillow is easily tossed on or off & that is no great hassle).
It's a very smooth machine & the company that makes it (I was told) has been around for at least 15 years. It has a limited lifetime warantee -- I haven't asked what those limits are yet.
At 2-Grand it's a big investment, so you may want to have each of your family members try it out for size & whatnot before forking-out so much do-re-me.
It;s really quite compact & well put together (sturdy & well though out). I used the aluminum accessories -- they were sturdy & very light (easy for anyone old enough to use the gym to handle, unlike some steel ones I've used, which get more-&-more difficult to attach & detach after a hard workout).
As for the weight-stack: 150-200# is plenty. If it feels too light, just move more slowly (like 5-seconds up & 5-seconds down each rep) & it will feel plenty heavy in very few reps (6-reps like this is usually plenty -- that's one whole minute of constant resistance) -- if you can do up to 10-reps this way & still feel the 150-200# is light, then you really don't need a gym, you need a cape, a mask, & a desire to fight crime.
I hope this helps.
NOTE: I originally wrote 5-seconds each (up, then down): 4-5 seconds up-then-down is good for doing 8-15 light reps, or for doing 4-10 moderately-weighted slow-reps; such slow-reps will build decent tendon & muscle strength over time; 10-sec up + 10-sec down is tougher & 6 reps are usually plenty with a fairly light weight; for helping with power-development you'll need to occassionally "go ballistic" & heave a moderate weight up quickly (with good form to help avoid injury), then bring it back down with control as this sudden-burst effect seems to help the nervous-system develop for athletic ability; some people like to vary a routine by mixing rep-schemes &/or set-schemes &/or rest-periods; one can also add variety into a given training-schedule by changing rep-speeds (along with perseverance in exercising, change challenges the body & therefore promotes development; not just for muscles, but for all affected organs or systems to include tendons, capillaries, & nerves); still, one more common thing you can occassionally do with light weights is pick an antagonist-pair (or 2) & do very-high reps until you get a tremendous pump for the affected body-part(s); again, 150-200# is plenty for fitness & body-building [in the early 1900's Bobby Pandour developed his upper-body to a tremendous degree using only extremely-light dumbells weighing up to only 10# (refusing to train with anything heavier), & by doing gymnastic exercises with his own body-weight (note how gymnasts do both slow & fast moves); he developed great legs by running stairs with his younger brother on his back]
Last edited by SgtTTTT; Feb. 21/07 at 08:37 AM.
Well, I'm now quite familiar with the Inspire M2 home gym. It's a gem: small/compact with smooth, quiet operation (& able to do a wide variety of exercises with it). I'm a very happy camper.
I have a 5-lb (off-brand) rubber-weight so I can raise weight in 5-lb increments if & when I'd like -- works best only if slit-opening is facing front (so pulley isn't interfered with when it is raised to full-height, as it rests on upper-most plate), & only for 20# & on up [if I don't use the pin (making 10#) & add the rubber-weight (making it 15#) there's a slight cant in the center pole which causes some noise/friction; but with 20+ pounds this center pole can't cant, so the 5# rubber-weight doesn't cause any noise/friction.
All my extra (off-brand) attachments (v-bar, specialized lat-bars, triceps-rope, ez-bar, etc) work well. The gym came with 5 attachments: ankle-strap (which works well for me without having to adjust it or tighten it, even though such things can be done); very-light but strong (annodized aluminium) ez-curl bar; a very-light but strong & fairly-wide-gripped (annodized aluminium) lat-bar; & 2 short nylon-straps with plastic/rubber handles. I think that the clips that come with the M2 to attach these various attchments were too small for quick-changing, so I substituted larger clips (which I found at Lowe's hardware) & the changing of attachments goes extremely fast now (what can I say: I'm impatient -- especially when tired).
All other adjustments (like seat height, pressing/rowing-arm positions, long nylon-strap usage & stowage, & seated-row foot-flap) go smooth, quick, & pretty quiet as well (I'm quite impressed)
I intend to get the high-pulley ab-attachment soon (or at least try it out). In the meantime, with my back being bad (from an old injury or three), I found that placing a pillow behind my lower back when doing mid-pulley weighted-crunches eliminated my back trouble & put the emphasis well on my abs. There's a knee-up variation on the exercise chart (included with gym) that uses the leg-extension roller-pads for support which eliminated the strain on my low-back & put the emphasis on my abs & front upper thighs (I'm so stoked ).
I've got everything but the fabric shroud (my choice color, blue being on back-order), & the leg-press attachment (which I didn't opt for due to space considerations, plus I feel that the leg-press would be better/safer with a larger foot-surface than what it has). I just got the Basic M2, without any extras.
It took two men (one very-experienced & one novice at gym assembly) 1-hour to assemble. I watched & pointed out a mistake that the novice was in the process of making -- before it became a critical/time-consuming isssue). I fell that it's important to get an experienced, caring assembly-man as oppossed to a novice or anyone who's just in a hurry (my old Body-Solid gym was ruined as it was being built by a hurried assembler that put far too much torque on the pulley system -- so much that I never got any negative resistance -- things seemed to just bind-up & return slowly). My M2 was assembled well & I get good positive & negative resistance.
I give the basic Inspire M2 home gym a 5-star (out of 5-stars) rating: most-excellent.
Last edited by SgtTTTT; Feb. 25/07 at 01:40 AM.
Which Body Solid gym did you have and how would you compare it, if it had been assembled properly, to the M2?
Originally Posted by SgtTTTT
I recently purchased a G4i which I like but I had issues with novices setting it up. Notably, it was a floor model and instead of disassembling the whole thing to reassemble at my place, they did took it apart into a couple of pieces. When the set it up, they bent the rods that the weight stack moves on. I didn't know why I had issues with the machine at first until someone else came back to fix the problem.
The M2 looks really nice but for less then half the price, I'm content with the G4i.
I had the Body-Solid EXM1950S Iso-Flex Home Gym w/Leg-Press attachment (which I later took off as I could hardly move in my room -- but I kept the foot-plate as it's great for doing calve-raises & Hacke-squats).
The two Body-Solid floor models that I saw & tinkered with (at 2 different show-rooms) both operated well (with both positive & negative resistance); however, mine was assembled so poorly that something binded (even after loosening the nuts & bolts, the binding remained, causing a lack of negative resistance on the high-cable; and there were a couple of sticking-points on the low-cable making it difficult for me to rehab my delts); also, it turns out that the pulley nearest the seat-back tended to twist as a matter of poor design (& un-twisting it was such a hassle).
The distributor I went to said that they've since cut-back on their Body-Solid line due to various problems; for about a year or year-&-a-half now they've been more impressed with Inspire. I'm well-pleased with the M2 model (& I feel it's the best of the 3 "M" models available). My shroud has been back-ordered & will take about 2-weeks to arrive (apparently blue is the most popular shroud color).
I can do more with the low-cable of the Inspire M2 than with the big, old Body-Solid gym since its shorter length allows me the space to lay down in front of it... & I can more-easily do my calesthenic warm-ups near the gym without worrying about striking it.
I purchased the high-cable ab-bar today & it's great (comfortable & effective; it would work on any similar high-cable set-up with a seat below, or with the addition of a second clip, it could also work on a Body-Solid Iso-Flex which has two high-cables side-by-side above a seat).
The Body-Solid G4I is very similar to what I used to have -- had it worked well I would have enjoyed it much-more. I hope that you don't have the problems that I had with mine.
Oh, I found that using just one of the high-pulleys independently tended to cause the twisting problem moreso than using both pulleys in tandem (but not always) -- so whenever I aquired another attachment I would thread parachute-cord through the hole a few times & attach a clip on each of the 2 ends of the cord so that I could attach it to each high-pulley (another hassle, especially when using heavy, special lat-bars when tired, but it works).
That looks very much like the TuffStuff Axt model
Actually the Body-Solid gym is quite different than the TuffStuff Axt model, as the Body-Solid one allows for movement that simulates dumbell-training (free-movement as opposed to a single/locked-tract). It's a good concept, but the version I had had some problems ('though most were from poor initial assembly which damaged the machine).
Originally Posted by SgtTTTT
I meant the TuffStuff looks like the Inspire
There are some similarities, but the important difference (in my opinion) is that the Inspire M2 has straps that allows for a free-movement option as opposed to only having a fixed-tract set-up.
Did I mention that I like the Inspire M2?
I just recently bought an Inspire M2 as well (with the ab bar) and can't be happier. Not only does it fit into my low ceilinged basement, but my wife even likes using it...
I posted a review over at John Stone fitness if anyone is looking for some more info on this gym:
I have to agree with you about the small clips. I'll have to look into getting some bigger ones in addition to the 5lb add on plate.
For those looking for a great home gym, I would highly recommend checking this one out. You'll be impressed once you try it out.
Originally Posted by SgtTTTT
Do you mean like these?
I missed seeing those when I took a glance earlier (at a different photo)... those pulleys offer the same kind of free movement that I was mentioning, yes (although the M2 does it in a different way, the results are similar).
There are certainly some cool home gyms these days.
For me, 4" clips work quite well (the extra inch makes quite a difference in ease of use). If a free-hanging clip is in a position to make un-wanted noise during an exercise, then I take it off & attach it thru one of the holes at the base of the main post. Also near there on the lowest post is an extra hole (since I don't have a leg-press attached), & I believe that that's a good spot for keeping the (magnetic) weight-selection pin when not in the weight-stack.
Oh, I finally got the ab-bar too (a few days back) -- it's a sweet tool (makes focused ab-training a piece of cake).
Last edited by SgtTTTT; Mar. 02/07 at 12:33 AM.
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