Like many people, we converted our garage into a workout studio, once we realized the pandemic wasn’t going away anytime soon. It now includes a stationary bike, yoga mat, weight bench, resistance bands, and an assortment of weights scattered throughout. Plus we hooked up a smart TV with YouTube, so that my wife can watch workout videos and follow along. One thing it apparently is missing, so she tells me: some kind of sleek, pricey workout machine that mounts into the wall. My wife keeps oohing when she sees ads for Mirror and Tonal on TV. My thought had always been: That’s not gonna happen anytime soon for us.
But then the people at Vitruvian contacted me. They brought one of their new-for-2022 Trainer+ units out to my garage for a quick demo, along with one of their personal trainers who was able to show me how the machine works and how it might benefit us. And I have to say that it opened my eyes. Essentially it’s an intelligent carbon fiber platform — 3’10” long and 80 pounds — that you plug in, power on and then step onto. Emerging from it are two pulleys with handles. Through its sister smartphone app, you can adjust the resistance from each band. And then of course there are hundreds of exercises you can do with it, by just using those two pulleys. It’s actually a very clever design. And I immediately realized I could eliminate a lot of the scattered apparatus from our garage floor, if we had one of these, and get a much more meaningful workout.
The system is smart too, adapting to how you’re performing each exercise — with respect to speed, form and resistance level — and adjusting the weight resistance accordingly on the fly. In fact, this dynamic tension system can simulate weightlifting up to 400 pounds. All the while, the app is recording your score so to speak, to let you know how you’re performing in real time. As the company states in its marketing material, the machine motivates, responds, and adapts to you, providing an entire gym at your fingertips. It’s pretty cool that it knows how much weight you can safely and effectively move at any given time, as you work out. The app also offers video sessions with leading trainers, customizable workout plans, performance data insights, technique tutorials, and the ability to compete with friends.
The company claims you’ll get great results through eccentric training — repeated exercise that keeps your muscles in tension, or under load, during the eccentric phase. Where the concentric phase is the upwards lift of an exercise that contracts your muscle, the eccentric phase is the downwards lowering in an exercise that lengthens your muscle. Because your muscles are engaged in both phases of any exercise, you expend energy with purpose. According to the company, you work harder without becoming aerobically fatigued. This also allows you to work your muscles more effectively, and for less time, to achieve better results.
Mind you, like many upscale workout devices, this equipment has a pricey cost – $2,200 – plus a monthly subscription package of $39. It starts shipping today.