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Functional trainers may not be at the top of everyone’s home gym shopping list, mostly due to their size and cost, but there’s a place for them in everyone’s setup. Yup, that includes people looking for the best compact exercise equipment, those in apartments, people who are always on-the-go, or those who are on a tight budget.

Don’t believe us? We’ve picked the best functional trainers on the market today, and we’re willing to bet there’s one on this list that works for you. We’ll go over what makes each one so special, why a functional trainer is a great addition to your home gym, and what you should look for when shopping for one. 

Our team of certified personal trainers, competitive weightlifters, and home gym equipment experts have assembled dozens of functional trainers, performed tens of thousands of reps to test cable pulleys, and tested attachments for durability and versatility.

After testing each functional trainer, we rate them based on an important set of factors including:

  • Footprint: How much room does it take up?
  • Stability: Does it stay still during use? Can you perform pull-ups (if it has a pull-up bar) without it shaking?
  • Attachment versatility: Are the attachments of good quality? Are they included or do you have to purchase them separately?
  • Pulleys: Are the cables smooth?

The 10 Best Functional Trainers in 2023 

Best Functional Trainer Overall: REP Fitness FT-5000 

Good for: Anyone who wants a top-of-the-line functional trainer for a reasonable price

Best Overall

REP FT-5000 Functional Trainer

Product Highlights

  • Frame constructed with 11-guage steel
  • Chip-resistant powder coating
  • Dual 220-pound weight stacks
  • Multi-grip pullup/chin-up options
  • Ships partially assembled
  • Lifetime frame warranty

Pros & Cons


  • Multi-grip pullup/chin-up grip options
  • Ships partially assembled
  • Lifetime frame warranty
  • Dual 224-lb weight stacks


  • There have been some complaints of inconsistent craftsmanship
  • Starting weight may be too heavy for some isolation exercises

Bottom Line

The REP FT-5000 is a great choice for anyone looking for a functional trainer in their home gym.

The REP Fitness FT-5000 is our recommendation for most home gym owners because it’s a high-quality machine that ships partially assembled (a huge plus when it comes to functional trainers, which often take many hours to put together), sells for $2,500 (a great price for this kind of machine), and has a lifetime frame warranty. 

The dual 220-pound weight stack has a 2:1 ratio, which means that pulling 220 pounds gives you 110 pounds of effective resistance (functional trainers can have pulley ratios as high as 4:1). It also comes with a multi-grip pull-up bar that has a neutral grip, supinated grip, and wide-grip. 

RE FT 5000 V2 IN USE

Our one complaint is that the starting weight of 12.5 pounds may be too heavy for some isolation exercises, a concern some reviewers have voiced in their reviews of this machine. The handles are also only capable of reaching 52 inches off the ground, so taller lifters may not be able to get a full range of motion.

If none of those things are a problem for you, you’ll be rewarded with a 1,000-pound frame made of 11-gauge steel that’s sure to last in your home gym for many years, and you’ll have a lifetime warranty to give you peace of mind should anything happen to it. 

Dimensions85.5” H x 68” W x 36” D
Construction11-gauge steel
Attachments2 D-handles, storage pegs for the attachments, 4 2.75-lb incremental weights, mountable diagram demonstrating 12 movements
ResistanceDual 224-lb stacks (2:1 pulley ratio)

Best Commercial Functional Trainer: Titan Fitness Functional Trainer

Good for: Those who want a more budget-friendly product that still delivers on quality

Best Commercial

Titan Fitness Functional Trainer

Product Highlights

  • Smooth guide rods
  • Dual 200-pound weight stacks
  • 2:1 pulley ratio
  • Multi-grip pull-up bar
  • Free shipping

Pros & Cons


  • Heavy 200-pound stacks (100-pound working weight) with a 2:1 ratio
  • Aluminum pulleys
  • Low starting weight of 20 pounds (10 lb working weight)
  • Competitive price point


  • Would’ve preferred a taller option (but the 82-inch height allows it to fit in home gyms with low ceilings)
  • The unit can shake when using the top end of the stack, but not enough to be concerned
  • Only comes with 1-year warranty

Bottom Line

The Titan Fitness Functional Trainer is much like the functional trainer you’d find in a commercial gym, in that it uses commercial-grade materials, but comes in a home gym footprint.

The Titan Fitness Functional Trainer almost took our top spot on this list, but it’s still one of our favorite machines and is the exact same price as the REP FT-5000 ($2,500, and also comes with free shipping). 

But, you’re getting a little more bang for your buck with Titan in that it comes with seven different attachments (REP only comes with one pair of handles), more than 1,000 different adjustment positions, and a multi-grip pull-up bar. 

coop using titan fitness functional trainer with arms in cables lunging forward

Titan, however, only comes with a one-year warranty, whereas most functional trainers have a lifetime warranty on the frame (and shorter ones for other parts). The dual weight stacks also go up to 200 pounds, whereas REP tops out at 220. 

We think both are high-quality products, and you can’t really go wrong with either. Go with Titan if you’re looking to save money on attachments and don’t mind the short warranty period. 

The Titan Fitness Functional Trainer is also a bit more compact and lightweight than REP’s, and despite the fact that it’s under 700 pounds, it’s still stable in use and doesn’t have to be bolted into the ground (there is some shaking at heavier weights, but nothing to be concerned about). 

Check out our full Titan Fitness Functional Trainer review to learn more about it. 

Dimensions82” H x 64” W x 44” D
Construction‘High-grade steel’ (thickness not specified)
AttachmentsShort bar, long bar, ankle strap, dual stirrup handles, rope handles, and single and double D-handles
ResistanceDual 200-lb stacks (2:1 pulley ratio)

Best Value Functional Trainer: Bells of Steel Functional Trainer

Good for: Those who want to get the most bang for their buck

Best Value

Bells of Steel Functional Trainer

Product Highlights

  • Dual 160-lb weight stacks
  • 2:1 ratio (so 20 pounds is really 10 pounds of force)
  • Hooks for easy storage
  • Under $2,000
  • Customers say assembly is easy and straightforward
  • Smooth aluminum pulleys

Pros & Cons


  • Smooth aluminum pulleys
  • Hooks for easy attachment storage
  • 160-lb weight stacks (2: ratio)
  • Comes with a multi-grip pullup bar
  • More affordable than most functional trainers


  • Attachments cost extra
  • 14-gauge steel is pretty thin for a functional trainer
  • Only one height/depth option

Bottom Line

A relatively inexpensive functional trainer that's easy and straightforward to assemble.

The Bells of Steel Functional Trainer costs under $2,000 but has some of the same features found on much more expensive models. Before we even go over the many great things this machine has to offer, we should note that it’s incredibly rare to find a well-built functional trainer for under $2,000—and we’re usually wary of any such machine that costs that little.

Bells of Steel, however, has reliable construction and a 4.9 average customer review rating to allay our concerns. Alright, now onto the machine.

You get dual 160-pound weight stacks with a 2:1 pulley ratio, which means that 160 pounds is actually 80 pounds of force, which is still enough for most home gym owners to get some heavy resistance on isolation movements. The aluminum pulleys are what’s used on most home gym functional trainers to provide a smooth pull each time.

As a bonus, you get hooks for easy attachment storage and a sleek-looking black powder coat.

Our one knock against it is that it uses 14-gauge steel, which is thinner than what’s found on most other functional trainers (the bigger the number, the thinner the steel) but this is one of the ways that Bells of Steel is able to keep costs down. Just make sure you take extra care of this functional trainer.

Dimensions30″ L x 53″ W x 81″ H
Construction14-gauge steel
AttachmentsNone included
ResistanceDual 150-lb stacks (2:1 pulley ratio)

Best Smart Functional Trainer: Tonal

Good for: Anyone who likes or is curious about AI resistance training  

Smart Trainer

Tonal Smart Home Gym

Community Score: 3 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • AI gets to know you and makes weight adjustments for you
  • Up to 200 pounds in digital resistance
  • All-in-one gym that takes up minimal space
  • Access to on-demand and live classes
  • 30-day trial period

Pros & Cons


  • AI gets to know you and makes weight adjustments for you
  • Lift up to 200 pounds in digital resistance (much different from free weights)
  • All-in-one gym that takes up minimal space
  • AI assesses your form and gives real-time cuing
  • Access to on-demand and live classes
  • 30-day trial period


  • High initial price tag
  • Accessories cost extra and are pretty crucial to your workouts
  • 12-month initial subscription required (and an additional cost)
  • 200 pounds in resistance might not be enough for heavy lifters

Bottom Line

A complete smart home gym that offers versatility in a compact piece of equipment, but at a high price.

Functional trainers are often marketed as being a personal trainer you can keep in your home gym because of their versatility and ease of use. The Tonal smart home gym takes that concept and kicks it up a notch by adapting to your strength levels as you do certain exercises. 

For example, if you’re doing a lat pulldown, the machine’s artificial intelligence (AI) can determine how much force you’re applying and adjust the resistance to that exact level. This way you’re always lifting Goldilocks weight—not too light, not too heavy, but just the right amount of tension to build muscle without injuring yourself. 

man using best functional trainer Tonal Smart Home Gym at home

The Tonal machine is a perfect fit for those who are curious about AI strength training equipment, anyone who lives in apartments or small spaces (you need 7 feet of space around the machine), or those who just want a machine capable of providing a full-body workout. 

One group of people it’s not for, however, are those on a budget. The machine itself costs $3,500 (psst, don’t tell anyone but we have a Tonal coupon), which includes the cost of professional installation. But that’s still expensive, and on top of that, you need to pay a $49 monthly membership fee to access all the classes. 

If you have the money for it, we think it’s well worth the investment. But if you’re on a budget, we have other options for you. 

Check out our full Tonal review to get our complete in-depth look at the future of fitness. 

Dimensions21.50″ W x 50.9″ H x 5.25” D (wall-mounted)
AttachmentsHandles, bar, rope, bench, roller, mat
ResistanceUp to 200 lbs of digital resistance per arm

Most Versatile Functional Trainer: Force USA G20 All-in-One Trainer

Good for: Those who want their functional trainer to do just about everything 

Most Versatile

Force USA G20 All-In-One Trainer

Product Highlights

  • Use code GGR5 at checkout to save 5% on all Force USA orders above $1,200! 
  • 578 lbs. of weight stacks
  • 11 machines in one
  • 29 attachments
  • Durable steel construction

Pros & Cons


  • More than 400 exercise options
  • 11-gauge tubing
  • Westside spacing with 51 adjustment points
  • J-hooks and safety bars included
  • Includes 578 lbs of stacked weights (dual 289-lb weight stacks)
  • 3 chin up bars with knurling
  • 1:1 pulley ratio for functional trainer
  • 29 attachments included
  • Additional lat pulldown station compatible
  • Supports multiple users


  • No dip bar attachment
  • No barbell storage
  • Only compatible with Olympic bumper plates
  • Difficult assembly
  • Shipping weight 1,525 pounds so not portable once delivered

Bottom Line

The Force USA G20 All-In-One trainer is an impressive strength training machine that combines 11 strength systems in one compact and stable unit making it possible to do hundreds of exercises at home. Although it comes at a price point that is overwhelming for many home gym owners, this piece’s overall value is still remarkable considering all that is included.

Just about every functional trainer can be described as “versatile,” but only one truly personifies that term: The Force USA G20 All-in-One-Trainer. Is it expensive? Heck yeah, but consider that it’ll probably be the last piece of strength training equipment you’d ever have to buy since it comes with a power rack, Smith machine, functional trainer, leg press, and more (11 machines in one). 

Sam using Force USA G20 trainer

Not sold on it yet? The entire rig has 29 different attachments, 51 adjustment points (with Westside hole spacing throughout the bench area), and dual 289-pound weight stacks with a 1:1 ratio for maximum resistance. A 1:1 ratio gives you more tension, but it also means the cables can’t travel quite as far as a machine with a 2:1 ratio. 

It can also be used by multiple people at the same time, and the frame is backed by a lifetime warranty. Is it a perfect machine? No, but nothing is ever perfect. As you could probably guess, one of the downsides of this beast is that it has a lot of parts that require extensive assembly—heck, it took GGR Operations Manager Sam “Assambly” Presley 35 hours to put it together, and he’s a professional gym equipment assembler (yes that’s a real thing). 

And yes, $6,000 is a lot of money (even if you finance it), but we maintain it’s a worthwhile investment for those who have the space and budget for it. 

Find out why in our full Force USA G20 review.  

DimensionsExterior: 75” W x 67” D x 91” H
Interior: 40” W x 60” D x 84” H
Construction11-gauge steel
Comes withPower rack
Functional trainer
Smith machine
Leg press
Suspension trainer
Core trainer
Lat pulldown
Low row
Calf raise
ResistanceDual 289-lb weight stacks 1:1 ratio

Best Budget Functional Trainer: REP Fitness FT-3000

Good for: Anyone looking to save money on a functional trainer 

Budget Trainer

REP FT-3000

Product Highlights

  • Only 34 inches in depth
  • Ships partially assembled
  • Lifetime frame warranty
  • Sells for $2,150, a relatively low cost for a functional trainer

Pros & Cons


  • Great price for a quality functional trainer
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Ships partially assembled


  • May be too short for taller lifters
  • No included attachments
  • Requires a bit of a break-in period

Bottom Line

The REP FT-3000 is a functional trainer that helps you save on space and money, but still delivers on quality.

Budget-friendly is a relative term here, but the $2,150 REP Fitness FT-3000 is the functional trainer we’d recommend for people looking to save money. Now it’s not the cheapest machine out there, but anything lower than this is likely made with materials that could break on you during use or may require extensive maintenance to keep it functioning. 

There’s no such worries with this trainer, though the pulleys require a bit of a break-in period (no longer than a week) until they start feeling buttery smooth. 

REP Fitness FT-3000 Functional Trainer

One of the biggest advantages of this functional trainer, besides the price, is its size. It’s only 34 inches in depth and 53 inches in length, so it should fit in most garage gyms with no problem. The 78-inch height may cause some issues for taller lifters, though reviewers on REP’s websites say it’s nothing that a little ingenuity can’t solve. 

As is the case with any budget home gym equipment, you are sacrificing some quality to save on money. The dual weight stacks max out at 180 pounds with a 2:1 ratio, and besides two D-handles there’s no included attachments. 

On the bright side, it comes with a lifetime frame warranty and ships partially assembled. And with the money you’re saving on the machine, you can easily purchase some high-quality attachments to add to it. 

Dimensions52″ W x 34″ D x 78″ H
ConstructionSteel (thickness not specified)
AttachmentsDual polymer D handles, storage pegs for attachments, four additional 2.75-lb incremental weights, and an exercise movement placard
ResistanceDual 187-lb weight stacks 2:1 ratio

Best Portable Functional Trainer: MaxPRO SmartConnect

Good for: People who are constantly on-the-go

Best Portable

MaxPRO SmartConnect Portable Cable Machine

Community Score: 5 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • All-in-one machine that works different muscle groups
  • Lightweight at 9 lbs
  • Small footprint at 16" L x 10" W x 4" H
  • Produces resistance up to 300 lbs

Pros & Cons


  • Lightweight
  • Small footprint
  • Produces resistance up to 300 lbs


  • Pricey for a small piece of equipment
  • Sub-par accessories
  • Compatible app is not streamlined

Bottom Line

The MaxPRO SmartConnect Portable Cable Machine is a lightweight and portable full body machine, which offers up to 300 pounds of resistance. This makes it an extremely versatile piece of portable equipment with a small footprint.

If you’re someone who’s on-the-go a lot, or lives in an apartment, you may think that a functional trainer is out of the question for you. Not so, and the MaxPRO SmartConnect is proof of that. 

This machine weighs less than 10 pounds and packs up to 300 pounds of resistance. Cooper Mitchell, GGR founder and home gym equipment expert, says the cables require a break-in period but after a few training sessions they’re smoother than butter.

Coop rated the overall workout experience a 4 out of 5, with his only knocks being that it doesn’t have eccentric capabilities, or the ability to provide resistance in the lowering part of the lift, and the cables weren’t completely vertical during moves like bench press. Other than that, he loved it. “I use the SmartConnect way more than I expected to,” Coop says in our MaxPro SmartConnect home gym review.

Coop using the MaxPRO Smart Connect Cable Machine to do rows

The main feature of this portable functional trainer is that it’s…well, portable and allows you to do workouts anywhere. Coop even used it on a beach.

There’s an optional wall-mount so you can use it to perform more traditional functional trainer movements, like single-arm rows, but even without it we think it’s a high-value machine.

Dimensions10″ L x 16″ H x 4″ W
Battery Life3 Months Of Standby, Or 1 Month Of Daily Use
Charging Time2.5 hours
ResistanceUp to 300 pounds of digital resistance

Best Premium Functional Trainer: Inspire Fitness FT2

Good for: Those who want the crème de la crème of functional trainers

Best Premium

Inspire Fitness FT2

Product Highlights

  • High-end functional trainer gym
  • Comes with upper pulleys, a pull-up bar, a Smith bar, adjustable pulleys, an accessory rack, four lower pulleys, and dual weight stacks
  • Can do a wide variety of exercises on this piece of exercise equipment without having to purchase additional add-ons

Pros & Cons


  • Smith machine attached
  • Wide variety of pulleys
  • Multiple angles and attachments for variety in workouts


  • Lack of freeweight compatibility
  • Some reviews state that the smith machine bar gets in the way of other exercises
  • People who are shorter may struggle to use some of the equipment

Bottom Line

While the price is high, this functional trainer comes with a lot of extra accessories that you would normally have to purchase separately. The main highlight of this product is the Smith machine that allows you to do more traditional compound exercises such as back squats, which you normally wouldn’t normally do with a functional trainer.

Inspire Fitness is one of those brands you often see in commercial gym facilities, so you know their equipment is made from premium materials. I mean, if it’s good enough to be used by hundreds of people a day and still function well (see what I did there?), then it should hold up in a home gym with little-to-no problems at all. 

With the Inspire Fitness FT2, you’re getting a cable crossover machine and a Smith machine all in one. So while the $5,000 price tag may be shocking for some, just remember you’re getting two pieces of strength training equipment for that price (and you can finance it). 

inspire fitness ft2 functional trainer review main image

Each component is made with heavy-duty steel, and backed by a lifetime warranty (so long as you’re only using it in a residential setting). 

The FT2 has eight different pulleys, in addition to the Smith machine bar that’s tied to the dual 165-pound weight stack with a 2:1 ratio. If you want to go heavier, there is a 50-pound weight stack add-on, which will take you to 107.5 pounds of effective resistance. 

One of our only issues with this versatile and well-built machine is that the Smith machine bar can get in the way of some exercises, but that might only be a concern for taller lifters. 

Dimensions61″ W x 58″ D without bench; 61″ W x 89″ D with bench; minimum height
83″; maximum height 88″
ConstructionHeavy-duty round & rectangular steel (thickness not specified)
AttachmentsTriceps Rope, two Rubber D Handles, Straight Bar, EZ Curl Bar, Ankle Strap, two Water Bottles, Mutli-Function Belt, Sport Handle, two 5-lb Add-On Weights, and Exercise Booklet
ResistanceDual 165-pound weight stacks (2:1 ratio)

Best Compact Functional Trainer: Torque F9 Fold-Away Strength Trainer 

Good for: Home gym owners who don’t have a lot of space but still want a functional trainer 

Compact Option

Torque F9 Fold-Away Functional Trainer

Product Highlights

  • Compact functional trainer 
  • Fits in a 3-foot-by-3-foot corner
  • Comes with fold-away doors 
  • Available in 3 different weight stack sizes 
  • 6 different accessories available

Pros & Cons


  • Compact and easy to store
  • Well-designed and versatile
  • Perfect for a gym looking for a space-saver


  • Reviews show that assembly is difficult for some
  • Expensive (especially the 225 LB stack)

Bottom Line

The F9 Fold-Away Functional Trainer is a full trainer with a small footprint that can be easily stored. Its design is sturdy and versatile, it even comes with a handful of accessories to help you customize your workouts.

When in use, the Torque Fold-Away Strength Trainer tucks into a 3-foot-by-3-foot corner while still giving you up to 94 inches of cable travel. There are functional trainers much larger than that without nearly that much range. 

But the beauty of this trainer is its ability to be folded to an even more compact footprint, which is not only great for those looking to save on space, but also for anyone with small children who may want to play with sharp and heavy objects. Simply fold the doors, and your little ones won’t be able to access any part of this machine (until they get old enough to figure out how it works). 

torque f9 fold away functional trainer

It comes with multiple accessories, an optional stow-away bench, and pulleys with a 2:1 ratio (you can pick from a 150-pound, 200-pound, or 225-pound dual weight stack). Just know that you’ll be sweating as much, if not more, assembling this thing as you will working out with it. Several reviewers claim the instructions are not very helpful, and that it took several hours until it was installed. 

If you already have a squat rack, another great option is the Torque Relentless Rope Trainer.  While it may not be as versatile as some of our other options, it fits on most racks and gives you a full-body workout that doubles as your cardio session. 

Dimensions34.9” L x 44.6” W x 83.8” H (doors closed)
61.2” L x 69.7” W x 83.8” H (doors open)
ConstructionHeavy-gauge 3” x 2” steel
AttachmentsT-grip short strap handles, chin-up/push-up assist strap, leg
boot, squat harness, and snap hooks
ResistanceDual 150, 200, or 225-pound weight stacks (2:1 ratio)

Best Functional Trainer on Amazon: XMark Functional Trainer

Good for: Anyone who prefers to do all their shopping on Amazon 

Prime Option

XMark Functional Trainer Cable Machine

Product Highlights

  • Dual 200-lb weight stacks
  • 19 adjustment positions
  • 2:1 pulley ratio
  • Split-grip pull-up bar
  • High-quality construction

Pros & Cons


  • 2:1 pulley ratio
  • Split-grip pull-up bar
  • Made with high-quality materials
  • 19 adjustment positions


  • Complicated assembly process
  • Not budget-friendly

Bottom Line

The XMark Functional Trainer Cable Machine is a great choice for people who want to buy their home gym equipment on Amazon, or need a machine with a lot of accessories.

The XMark Functional Trainer would be higher on our list, were it not for its $2,900 price tag. But if you have the budget for it, or you’re just someone who refuses to shop anywhere besides Amazon, it’s a great option. 

The adjustable cable pulley system starts at 12 inches and goes up to 78 inches in height, allowing people of multiple height levels to use it. 

XMark Functional Trainer Cable Machine

The accessory bundle includes a triceps rope, triceps pressdown bar, a multi-grip revolving curl bar, and two single-grip handles, in addition to the two short handles that come with it. Not many functional trainers offer that many attachments without having you pay extra. If that’s not enough versatility for you, it also comes with a split grip pull-up bar and 19 adjustment points.  

RELATED: Best Curls Bars

Lastly, it’s made with 11-gauge, 2-inch-by-3-inch steel, so it’s built like a tank. The dual weight stacks go up to 200 pounds with a 2:1 ratio. 

Price aside, the only other major red flag about this trainer is the assembly process. We spotted several reviews stating customers had to make frequent trips to the hardware store to replace low-quality bolts and screws, or that certain parts were missing in their order. 

Dimensions65″ W x 43.5″ L x 83″ H
ConstructionAlloy steel
AttachmentsRevolving Seated Row/Chinning Triangle, Two Single Grip Handles, Triceps Rope, Multi-Grip Revolving Curl Bar, Triceps Pressdown Bar
ResistanceDual 200-pound weight stacks 2:1 ratio

Other Functional Trainers We Researched 

Body-Solid Functional Trainer: We saw this model, along with the Body-Solid Powerline, come up often during our research, but the resistance was too light, and the materials weren’t up to our standards. They may appear to be great budget-friendly picks, but looking at the construction, we expect it will cause more headaches than anything else.  

What is a Functional Trainer? 

Functional training has become a fitness buzzword in recent years, to the point where some companies and Instagram influencers are slapping the term on just about everything. 

A functional trainer, as a noun, refers to any type of machine that helps train your body for everyday movements. So that could be shoulder rotations (reaching around to grab something on your desk), proper squatting (sitting down on something), hinging our hips (bending down), and much more. 

Functional trainers often provide full-body workouts, so we can train every muscle group to keep our bones and muscles healthy as we age. 

How We Picked and Tested the Best Functional Trainers 

We had quite a number of functional trainers to choose from, so here’s how we were able to narrow down our final list to just 10. 


Functional trainers are often quite big, but we wanted to find machines that could fit in most people’s home gyms. Obviously some people have more space than others, which is why we gave different options that work for garages and even apartments. 


A functional trainer should not only look nice (such as having a smooth powder coat and chip-resistant coating), but it should also be designed in a way that makes it…well, functional. That means not having parts that can get in the way of certain exercises, or that using it is difficult at any time. 


Although people’s resistance needs can vary greatly, we wanted to make sure each machine had a variety that could work for beginners as well as lifetime lifters. 


Attachments aren’t necessarily a vital part of a functional trainer, but they do increase their versatility by quite a lot. We tried to find models that either came with attachments or accessories, or had options at a budget-friendly price range. 


A functional trainer is inherently versatile, but we tried to find ones that offered even more bang for your buck than the average machine out there. 

Pulley Ratio

As we mentioned before, some functional trainers can have pulley ratios as large as 4:1, which would mean that pulling 100 pounds only gives you 25 pounds of effective resistance. We kept our options at 1:1 or 2:1, but that means the cables may not travel as far as a 4:1 pulley ratio (you win some, you lose some). 

Benefits of Having a Functional Trainer 

If you’re still not sure whether you should purchase a functional trainer, here are some reasons why we think you should. 


For one, you have a complete full-body workout system at your disposal at any time. No waiting in line behind the guy who’s been looking at his phone for 30 minutes while you’re trying to do some quick cable raises. 


We’ve used this word a lot throughout this piece, but it can’t be understated just how many different movements can be done with a functional trainer. Besides the almighty Olympic barbell, dumbbells, and kettlebells, there are very few pieces of equipment that can work every part of the body the way a functional trainer can.  

Save Money 

This might be hard to believe when you look at the price of some of these, but consider how much you spend on monthly membership fees, the cost of gas and the amount of time you spend getting to and from the gym, and other expenses that rack up during commuting. A functional trainer can pay for itself in as little as two years, especially if you finance it. 

What to Look for in a Functional Trainer 

Think you’re ready to purchase your first functional trainer? Here’s a quick buyer’s guide to make sure you’re taking all important factors into account. 


Bust out the tape measure and find out if the functional trainer you have your eye on can fit in your home gym, and also check to see what the cable travel distance is (this is how far the cables can go to get maximum tension). 


Cables and pulleys on functional trainers are made with different materials, with aluminum (the best choice, but also the most expensive) and fiberglass being the most common. Each manufacturers’ website should disclose what their cables and pulleys are made of, but if you can’t find it, you can always reach out to customer service and ask them. 


You’ll also want to look at what the frame is made of. If it has a lot of plastic parts (some is fine), odds are it won’t be as durable as something that’s mostly made with 11-gauge steel (the lower the number, the stronger the steel). 


Most functional trainers will come with a pair of short handles, and for some that may be all you get. Others come with included accessories such as a straight bar, long bar, short bar, ankle cuff, ankle straps, curl bar, triceps rope, D-handles, or a push-down bar. These attachments make the machine much more versatile than it already is, and if they’re not included with your trainer, are often sold on the manufacturers’ website. 


As with any piece of strength training equipment, you’ll want to make sure the resistance is light enough that you’re not constantly struggling with it, but also heavy enough that it’s not a constant cakewalk. The one thing that might complicate that is the pulley ratio. 

Pulley Ratio 

Most machines will have a 2:1 pulley ratio, which means that pulling 50 pounds gives you 25 pounds of effective resistance. As we’ve said, some machines on the market go as high as 4:1. It should be noted that even functional trainers that work with weight plates, or plate-loaded trainers, also have pulley ratios, so that 45-pound plate may not give you 45 pounds of resistance.  


Listen, most functional trainers worth buying are going to be at least $2,000. The good news is most companies allow you to finance your order, and the monthly payments can sometimes equal or be less than a gym membership. 


With very few exceptions, most functional trainers will have a lifetime warranty for the frame. You’ll want to see what type of coverage you get for the other parts, including the pulleys, cables, and attachments. 

Best Functional Trainer FAQs

What is the best functional trainer?

That depends on your fitness goals, the amount of space you have in your home gym, and budget. Here are our top 10 recommendations. 

Best Functional Trainer Overall: REP Fitness FT-5000
Best Commercial Functional Trainer: Titan Fitness Functional Trainer
Best Value Functional Trainer: Bells of Steel Functional Trainer
Best Smart Functional Trainer: Tonal
Most Versatile Functional Trainer: Force USA G20
Best Budget Functional Trainer: REP Fitness FT-3000
Best Portable Functional Trainer: MaxPRO SmartConnect
Best Premium Functional Trainer: Inspire Fitness FT2
Best Compact Functional Trainer: Torque F9 Fold-Away Strength Trainer 
Best Functional Trainer on Amazon: XMark Functional Trainer

Is a functional trainer worth it?

A functional trainer may be expensive, but at the end of the day you’ll be able to do a full-body workout anytime you want, without having to wait in line behind someone else. So if you have the budget and space for one, it’s a great addition to any home gym.

What should I look for in a functional trainer?

When shopping for a functional trainer, you should consider the machine’s size, how good the cables and pulleys are, how durable it is, what resistance it offers, the pulley ratio, price, and warranty. 

Can you build muscle with a functional trainer?

Yup! Functional trainers are a form of resistance training, which means they can induce muscle hypertrophy and help with muscle gain. In fact, some studies suggest they’re better for muscle growth than free weights because they provide constant tension throughout a movement.

Further reading

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