Opinion requested on NordicTrack 360 with Free Motion
I have been looking at this machine also. They have it on sale at Sears every couple of weeks for $599. If all the pieces fit together (sometimes NordicTrack has a problem in that area) It should be a great value. I have worked out on it in the store and it seemed quite good to me. The 360 motion is the newest craze in fitness today. It is refered to by different names, one of them being functional training. There are other similar units on the market, but they are much more expensive than this one. This is basically a dual cable machine dressed up with a bench arangement. If you can get it from Sears, you have a 90 return window, so if you don't like it, just take it back.
I have not used this unit but I use a Freemotion in my physical therapy clinic.
this machine will allow you to perform a lot of exercises and target muscles that you can not get with free weights alone. I have patients working with the freemotion all day long and it is one of the most used piece of equipment I have. I would buy one if it is a sturdy unit.
Thanks Toddd for your reply, I do believe that this is a great machine for the money and for what it can do. One can always suplement with freeweight if I EVER outgrow.
I have this machine, bought it at sears last fall(On Sale).
First it was a pain to put together. The box is very heavy and requires at least 2 people to move. The machine needs about a 7foot ceiling once setup. I needed to remove the drop down ceiling panel during the setup. Most of the pieces fit together smoothly, except for the top support of the weight rail. The predrilled holes did not line up. I ended up drilling new holes, not a major problem if you have the tools.
Once the setup is complete the machine works well. The exercises are outlined on a poster and included DVD. It is flexible enough that I came up with some of my own.
The machine has 2 downsides:
- One is that the cable seems to have a dead spot so the resistance is not constant through the exercise.
- The second is the base; it is slippery if wet and it limits your foot placement.
The machine is good for beginner to intermediate users. Setup is time consuming if the parts don’t fit. Overall I am happy with the machine for the price I paid.
thank you very much for you personal experience review. I agree with you that it sounds like a great machine for the price (on sale). I am a beginnner level hoping to be intermediate one day so the range is perfect for me.
Do you find that it works your entire body or are there are parts left out? how about back exercises? are they effectives?
Being the handy man you are, do you see a possibility to add more weights to the machine if ever the need arise? Do you think that that the cables and the arms will support additional weight?
you can find a free weight exercise for every muscle in the body. unless im misunderstanding what you are saying, thats a false statement.
Originally Posted by toddd
I would take a hard look at a Bowlex Sport before buying this. Don't believe all that "multiple planes of motion" stuff, that's just marketing jargon for different pully positions. 150lbs will not be enough and there are no weight upgrades. On my BF Ultimate (same set-up as the Sport) I use well over 200lbs on all the essential compound exercises, bench press, back, deadlifts, squats etc., and I use all 410 on leg press, traps and low back extensions. The max weight of 150 would put it out of the running for me considering the Sport is upgradable to 410 (comes with 210). I would hate to buy a home gym that I would soon outgrow. Other than that it looks like a nice machine.
Last edited by garyl43; Sep. 07/06 at 02:53 PM.
I just bought this machine sight unseen. Unfortunately, it is so new in Canada that none of the Sears stores in Canada had it on display. Conceptually it is a great machine because of all the different types of exercises you can do.
Haven't used it much yet as I just finished putting it together but some initial comments:
- The ad claims "precision bearing pulleys and hand pivots for super-smooth operation". I do not find this super-smooth at all. Even after lubricating all the pulley bearings and the weight guides I find a lot of friction with this cable system. I think it has to do with the fact that there are so many pulleys. Not very ideal for people who want to use it for toning (many reps at low weight). For beginners who are expecting to use a single plate, you may find this frustrating because a single 10 pound weight feels like 20+ lbs (pull motion) with the additional friction. Also because of the friction, the release/return motion is very slow for a single plate. The return feels more like less than 5lbs because it is so slow. Feels mostly okay for 3 plates or more but I still find that the return motion feels lighter because of the friction. This probably why they advertise 150lbs feels like 180lbs (because of the friction). For the release motion, they should probably say 150lbs feels like 120lbs if they want to be truthful . Anyone else having problems with the friction? Not really a problem for me but my wife will probably want to use a single plate.
- I didn't have the problem with the screws lining up like other people mentionned. In the install guide when they say "do not tighten the lock nuts" for certain parts it is important that you keep them loose. This will give the frame the necessary "flexibility" to line up the holes.
- However there is one part in the manual where you are suppose to use 6m spacers but the bolt wasn't long enough so I didn't need them. Not a big deal since there were not enough spacers anyway. Could be that the manual was wrong.
- The only other problem I had assembling was that one of the bolts on the top support was too long (bolt that secures one of the weight rails). I double checked I was using the right one but with the spacer and the lock nut that the manual tells you to use, the bolt protruded out too much. This was a problem because there is a pully that is suppose to sit slightly over it and when installed it scrapes against the bolt preventing the pulley from turning. I actually had to remove the spacer on the bolt and use that spacer to extend the pulley out a bit so that there was no contact. This seemed to work for me. Didn't seem to be any alignment problem when I did this.
- Return policy may be 90 days but there is a 20% restocking fee for all fitness equipment. So try to find a store that has it setup before buying. Otherwise if you don't like it you get hosed for $200+ ($CDN) for returning it.
- If you really need super smooth pulleys then test out other systems. There is a really nice one I tried (parabody CM3) at fitness depot that worked very well for a single plate but a bit out of my price range ~$1750.
Yeah, friction in the system sucks. I bought a Marcy Pro1 back in '87 and the pulleys were fine, the friction was coming from the iron weight stack, the plates had plain plastic bearings that rode up a steel bar and it didn't matter how much I greased them, the travel was never smooth (and I paid over $900 for it back then!). Thats the problem with most of the cheaper "do everything" home gyms out there today, quality. That's one of the things I really like about the bowflex, smoooooooth resistance, simple yet solid construction.
Last edited by garyl43; Sep. 27/06 at 12:47 PM.
I always say, you get what you pay for. The design of this machine is amazing, but when you put a $599 price tag on it, you know that you are not getting the quality you want.
I purchased the Nordic Track 360 Free Motion about six months ago and would like to give my opinion on it.
First of all I absolutely love this machine. If it was a piece of crap I wouldn't hesitate to tell everyone to avoid it. I also believe one size doesn't fit all. This machine may be right for me, but not for you. I'm 5'7, 175 Lbs, 40 yrs old. My goal is to build a fit, lean, muscular build with a target weight of 160-165 and 15% body fat. If your goal is significant size and strength, this machine is probably not a good choice, but may fill the role for various isolation exercises.
I purchased at sears on sale for $599. Regular price is $799, but it seems to be on sale frequently enough you shouldn't have to purchase at full price. It comes in 3 boxes, 1 for the main assembly, 2 for the weights. The main assembly is big and heavy. I took the individual pieces from the box and carried separately into the house. It took hours to put together, even though the main pulley assembly was already put together at the factory. All parts were there and everything fit fine except for the seat. I had to grind down the seat bracket to get it to fit the dowels. This would have been a major issue if I didn't have a grinder.
The machine performs well with my range of use (3-15 plates). 1 plate is almost unusable; there isn't enough weight to overcome the friction. 2 plates get a little better, but still some friction, 3 plates and over the machines works well. The range of motion is real and works well.
The 150 Lbs of weight does feel heavier. 4 years ago I could max bench press 255 Lbs of free weight. After not lifting for 4 years I could barely get up 185, but could do a couple reps. With the NT 360 I could only do a few reps at 10 plates and couldn't lift the stack. I was initially interested in the Bowflex sport, it seems to be a well built and smooth piece of equipment, but I was concerned when I was able to bench press the full 210 Lbs 5 times. I would have to purchase additional rods immediately at an additional $200.
Chest exercises - Excellent, the different angles give you the ability to perform flat, incline, decline, fly movements, and dips.
Back exercises - Excellent, rows, pull downs, single arm pull (not sure of proper name).
Shoulders - Good, military press, upright rows, lateral raises. Not enough weight for effective shoulder shrug, I'm already maxed out.
Midsection - Excellent, weighted crunch, leg lift, abdominal twist.
Arms - Excellent, curls, reversal curls, tricep extension. I really get a great arm workout.
Legs - This is the machine's weakness. The weight feels like 150 Lbs when doing squats which may not be enough for an effective workout.
The more I use this equipment the better it feels. I get a great workout and am happy with the muscle gains I'm achieving.
Last edited by TomC; Nov. 12/06 at 11:04 PM.
When they say "multiple planes of motion" makes the 150lb max enough weight, they are talking about isolation exercises like chest fly, leg curl etc. which aren't nearly as beneficial as compound exercises like squats and bench press. With the Bowflex Sport it will cost you $100 dollars to add an extra 100lbs, $200 to add 200lbs, but at least you have the option to upgrade rather than having to replace the whole machine with something even more expensive. I really don't understand why the designers wouldn't make room for an extra 100lbs of plates, because it would attract a lot more buyers? Instead of simply giving us the needed resistance, they choose to BS us with marketing jargon like "multiple planes of motion".
Gary, you sound like a big advocate of the Bowflex which is cool. I tried it before I purchased the NT 360, but it felt like the resistance wasn't consistant throughout the range of motion. The 210 Lbs didn't feel like 210 Lbs until near the end of the motion. Otherwise the Bowflex felt like a quality product.
For those who own this machine or are interested in getting one, I did an easy weight upgrade in about 5 minutes, by inserting a dumbell bar through the hole at the top of the weight carrier rod below the pulley closet to the weight stack. This allows me to add additional weight as needed. I tried it with 2 25 pound plates and it worked great. I do perform compound excercises and can perform them with this machine due to the multiple planes of motion, that's what makes this thing so great.
One other suggestion, get a bolt the size of the weight pin and insert it into the first plate and just leave it there. This makes inserting the weight pin in the other positions much easier.
Hey Tom, don't get me wrong. The only difference between the Bowflex and the NT 360 is that the NT uses a weight stack for resistance instead of rods. The planes of motion are dictated by the pulley positions and the fact that they use cables so you aren't locked into one plane of motion like you would be on say a Smith machine. You can go from a chest fly right into a bench press without breaking stride on both (so they both give you the "multiple planes of motion").
The rods on the BF start at about 60% of the indicated resistance and when they are fully bent they are at 100% (so 210 is really starting at around 125 and ending at 210, giving you the equivalent workload of around 167 per rep). Right now I'm using 250 on the BF for dumbbell bench press which is equal in workload to about 200lbs of dumbbells and I still have 160lbs of rods left.
I went over to our community gym the other day and put all 210lbs on the Hoist gym and pressed it 18 times with ease so I know I'm getting a better workout on the BF.
Cable gyms are going to be the next generation of home gyms. They are much better than machines that lock you into a single plane of motion. They just need to do it right and supply the resistance needed. So far I haven't seen one that uses a weight stack (so you get linear resistance) that has enough weight. If someone were to take the NT 360 or the BF Ultimate configuration and design a high quality machine with a 400+lb iron weight stack/stacks, I would be willing to pay a premium price for it. Here's one I saw on the Fitness channel the other day, but it can only be upgraded to 210lbs and costs $3000: Notice the "CABLE MOTION" trademarked? Still, not enough resistance.
Last edited by garyl43; Nov. 27/06 at 04:07 PM.
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