Is the BodyCraft HFT Functional Trainer Worth It? (Our Review)

Is the BodyCraft HFT Functional Trainer Worth It? (Our Review)

The BodyCraft HFT Functional Trainer offers all the basics you’ve come to expect from a mid-range at-home cable machine.

This functional trainer retails for the low to mid $2,000s,

Which is the sweet price point where most functional trainers sit.

That begs the question: How does the BodyCraft HFT Functional Trainer compare to similarly priced machines from brands like Inspire, HCI, and Body-Solid?

If you’re wondering whether the BodyCraft cable machine pulls its weight (pun intended), read on for our in-depth analysis. We’ll break down everything you need to know before buying the BodyCraft HFT model, including:

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A quick snapshot: The pros and cons of the BodyCraft HFT Functional Trainer (and who it’s best for)

Check-blue.svg Technical specifications, measurements, and weight

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Weight stacks and weight ratio (and why it matters)

Check-blue.svg Included attachments and options

Check-blue.svg Frame construction, durability, and assembly

Check-blue.svg Exercise options that work with the BodyCraft HFT Functional Trainer

Check-blue.svg  What we love

Check-blue.svg  What to watch out for

Check-blue.svg Our final thoughts: Should you buy the BodyCraft Functional Trainer?

Change into your workout gear, and let’s get started! We’ll help you determine if a mid-range functional trainer delivers only mid-range benefits, or if BodyCraft can pull off the best-in-class performance.

In a Snapshot: The Pros and Cons of the BodyCraft HFT Functional Trainer

The cable machine from BodyCraft strikes a tricky balance between high-end features and a budget-friendly sticker price. It offers just enough to appeal to serious athletes while keeping the cost low enough to make it accessible to more casual weekend warriors.

We’ll break down the full BodyCraft HFT Functional Trainer measurements and options later in our in-depth equipment review, but here’s a quick summary of what you can expect from BodyCraft right off the bat.

BodyCraft HFT Cable Machine Pros

Customers rave about a few of the BodyCraft HFT Functional Trainer benefits, including:

Check-blue.svg  The oval steel tube frame with chrome accents makes this functional trainer shine (figuratively and literally) compared to most other functional trainers’ design aesthetics.

Check-blue.svg Dual weight stacks stand out compared to most budget models that only include one weight stack.

Check-blue.svg Fully adjustable, independent pulleys rotate a full 180 degrees for maximum range of motion and exercise customization.

Check-blue.svg Clear, concise instructions make assembly a breeze (many customers say it took them just a couple of hours to finish).

Check-blue.svg The surprisingly comprehensive warranty covers the functional trainer for its entire lifetime.

BodyCraft HFT Cable Machine Cons

At its mid-range price, buyers shouldn’t be surprised that the BodyCraft HFT Functional Trainer has a few weaknesses:

Check-blue.svg The dual weight stack comes with just 150 pounds on each side, which is far too light for many people.

Check-blue.svg The weight plates come in 10-pound increments, but there is no option to use smaller 2.5- or 5-pound increments.

Check-blue.svg People with broader body sizes often say they have a hard time fitting themselves between the two weight columns.

Technical Specifications: Size Measurements, Shipping Weight and More

If you live in an apartment or are otherwise short on space, the BodyCraft HFT Functional Trainer is one of the lightest and most compact cable machines available:

Check-blue.svg Diameter: 40 inches

Check-blue.svg Width: 55 inches

Check-blue.svg Height: 82 inches

Check-blue.svg Shipping Weight: More than 500 pounds

Weight Stacks and Adjustable Pulleys

BodyCraft’s Weight Stacks Are High Quality, But Potentially Too Light

First, let’s talk about the good news. In the low-$2,000 price range, some functional trainers leave a lot to be desired. They often cut costs by including just one weight stack, which significantly reduces your exercise variation options (e.g., no cable flys, no crossovers, etc.) and the load you’re lifting.

Not so with the BodyCraft HFT Functional Trainer, which provides dual weight stacks.

Also, BodyCraft uses cast iron weight plates instead of cheaper vinyl or cement plates, which is what many other more budget-focused brands use.

Unfortunately, the weight stacks have a total weight of 150 pounds each.

That is too light for some people, although beginner or intermediate athletes may find it sufficient.

Other features, highlights, and things to know:

Check-blue.svg BodyCraft uses 1-inch guide rods made of chrome-plated tubular steel to keep the weights moving smoothly.

Check-blue.svg You can adjust your resistance in 10-pound weight plate increments.

Check-blue.svg The cast-iron plates provide durability and a premium touch that’s superior to many other budget models.

Finally, while not technically included with the BodyCraft HFT machine, you can upgrade your BodyCraft functional trainer’s weight stack. The manufacturer offers a 50-pound weight stack add on that brings your total weight to 200 pounds. However, BodyCraft does not offer 5-pound or 2.5-pound plates, so you’re stuck with 10-pound increments when loading or deloading.

BodyCraft’s Pulleys and Cables Are Very Durable

The pulley and cable system in the BodyCraft HFT Functional Trainer is on par with many premium machines. We especially like that the side pulleys rotate a full 180 degrees, which is ideal for wide-range movements like rotations and crossovers.

Other features include:

Check-blue.svg Thirty-one different height settings, letting you do everything from lat pulldowns with a high setting (the highest you can set it is 78 inches) and bicep curls with a low setting (the lowest setting is 14 inches off the ground).

Check-blue.svg BodyCraft reinforces its nylon pulleys with fiberglass, which is unique at this price point and adds extra durability against daily wear and tear.

Check-blue.svg Cables, which extend up to 79 inches from the machine, are made of tensile-strength steel (BodyCraft claims they can hold up to one ton of tension) covered in flexible nylon.

Check-blue.svg Unlike some functional trainers, BodyCraft includes protective steel covers for added user safety.

It’s in the pulleys and cables that you notice how BodyCraft carefully balances premium features and budget-friendly sticker prices.

For instance, more expensive machines like the XMark Functional Trainer have cables that are reinforced with PVC and stretch a few inches longer than BodyCraft’s model. However, BodyCraft’s shorter cables with nylon reinforcements are cheaper and maybe a bit less durable, but should suffice for most home gyms.

Included Attachments and Options

With the notable exception of a bench, BodyCraft provides everything you need to get the most out of your new functional trainer, including:

Check-blue.svg Two single D-shaped handles

Check-blue.svg One long bar

Check-blue.svg One sport stick (what many other manufacturers refer to as a short stick)

Check-blue.svg One triceps rope

Check-blue.svg One assist strap for chin-ups and push-ups

Check-blue.svg One ankle cuff

Check-blue.svg Two extension chains

Check-blue.svg One integrated chin bar with multiple grip options

Check-blue.svg One exercise book with example exercises and best practices

Check-blue.svg One exercise DVD

Frame Construction and Assembly

When used in a home gym, BodyCraft offers a lifetime warranty on both the parts and the frame. However, it’s important to note that the lifetime warranty on parts does not apply to normal wear and tear.

Frame Construction and Overall Durability

This functional trainer’s mainframe is lighter than more expensive models, but you don’t sacrifice any durability or quality. BodyCraft constructs its frame from 11-gauge steel oval tubing.

And while some elements of the machine are chrome plated, such as the guide rods and adjustment bars, most of the machine is powder-coated for extended resistance to rusting, denting, and scratching. This is similar in quality to some functional trainers that easily cost a thousand dollars more than BodyCraft’s model.

The overall machine, once assembled, has a very stable feel and doesn’t move when pushing or pulling. According to BodyCraft, the frame can support a bodyweight of up to 450 pounds.

Assembly

The functional trainer arrives completely disassembled with hundreds of pieces, including nylon nuts, chromed washers, and hex bolts. Despite this, customers who have recently bought this machine say it took them just under half a day to assemble. That may seem like a long time, but it is significantly shorter than other machines on the market.

Assembly requires a handful of tools that aren’t included by the manufacturer, including:

Check-blue.svg Ratchet

Check-blue.svg 9/16″ Socket

Check-blue.svg 3/4″ Socket

Check-blue.svg 9/16″ Combination Wrench

Check-blue.svg 3/4″ Combination Wrench

Check-blue.svg Adjustable Wrench

Check-blue.svg Rubber Mallet

Check-blue.svg Metric Allen Key Set

Check-blue.svg Silicone Spray

Check-blue.svg Window Cleaner or Water

It’s also important to note that BodyCraft recommends at least two people during the assembly process. One person will need to hold the bigger steel frame pieces while the other person does the fine-tuning. Should you have problems with assembly, BodyCraft’s team offers support via email [email protected] or by telephone at 800-990-5556 (9 AM – 5 PM Eastern Time).

BodyCraft HFT Functional Trainer Machine Exercises

BodyCraft’s cable machine lets you perform all of your favorite cable-based exercises. The included DVD and workout manual highlights just over 70 example exercises, including step-by-step instructions and photos, focused on your:

Check-blue.svg Arms

Check-blue.svg Chest

Check-blue.svg Back

Check-blue.svg Legs

Check-blue.svg Core

Check-blue.svg Glutes

Specific exercises that are easy to do on BodyCraft’s equipment include:

Check-blue.svg Twisting movements for your core, such as the core twist and the woodchop

Check-blue.svg Various forms of crunches, including the reverse crunch

Check-blue.svg Pressing movements, such as chest press and squat press

Check-blue.svg Crossover movements like the incline fly, low fly, and high fly

Some movements will require the use of the included attachments. For instance, swinging movements (such as bat swings or golf swings for those who are training for a specific sport) will require the included sport stick. Various hip extensions and flexions will likewise need the ankle strap add-on. One unique thing to point out is the extension chains. These can be used to lengthen the D-handles should you require more length during your workouts.

BodyCraft HFT Functional Trainer Review: What We Love

Besides the main features and elements discussed above in this equipment analysis, here’s what we love if you’re wondering if the BodyCraft cable machine is worth it:

Check-blue.svg BodyCraft is no fly-by-night operation: They’ve been building workout equipment for decades and are based in the U.S.

Check-blue.svg The V-shape of the trainer saves a lot of space for home gyms, and the BodyCraft machine is much slimmer than nearly every other functional trainer available.

Check-blue.svg The inclusion of the DVD and exercise manual goes above and beyond what other manufacturers do and may especially appeal to first-time fitness enthusiasts.

We also can’t over-emphasize the relative ease with which you can assemble your new functional trainer. One of the most common criticisms of other functional trainers is how incredibly complex they are to build. Many customers rave about the straightforward assembly guidelines provided by BodyCraft.

BodyCraft HFT Functional Trainer Review: What to Watch Out For

The biggest drawback, by far, is the 150-pound weight limitation in the BodyCraft machine’s dual stacks. Even if you can’t lift that much to begin with, you may hit this maximum over the years with regular training. Thankfully, BodyCraft lets you buy an add-on that boosts each weight stack by an extra 50 pounds, but that’s an added cost and requires more assembly.

That being said, it’s one of the ways that the manufacturer balances premium features and budget costs. By eliminating 50 pounds in each stack, BodyCraft keeps the sticker price down while appealing to the greatest common denominator. However, we wanted to point that out in case you’re a seasoned athlete who needs 200-pound weight stacks right out the gate.

The other main drawback that many potential buyers don’t consider is the machine’s small footprint. This is, for many people, a big benefit. However, at only 55 inches in width, broad individuals may find the machine literally too narrow to exercise in. Even slimmer people may find the lack of space difficult when performing some exercises.

Of course, the narrow width also means BodyCraft’s trainer can squeeze into spaces that other machines simply can’t. Only you can weigh whether this is a true pro or con.

Final Thoughts: Is the BodyCraft HFT Functional Trainer Worth It?

The Final Word

In the end, despite some of its drawbacks, yes — the BodyCraft HFT Functional Trainer is worth it. At its price tag, in a very crowded market with many competitors, BodyCraft has managed to strike the perfect balance between various trade-offs. You simply can’t get a better value in its specific niche.Other competitors at similar prices offer far more negatives. And the numerous included add-ons, like the extra equipment and the workout DVD, is just icing on the proverbial cake.

BodyCraft HFT Functional Trainer

9.6

VALUE FOR MONEY

10.0/10

Sturdiness

9.5/10

Versatility

9.5/10

EASY TO ASSEMBLE

9.5/10

Pros

  • The oval steel tube frame with chrome accents makes this functional trainer shine (figuratively and literally) compared to most other functional trainers’ design aesthetics.
  • Dual weight stacks stand out compared to most budget models that only include one weight stack.
  • Fully adjustable, independent pulleys rotate a full 180 degrees for maximum range of motion and exercise customization.
  • Clear, concise instructions make assembly a breeze (many customers say it took them just a couple of hours to finish).
  • The surprisingly comprehensive warranty covers the functional trainer for its entire lifetime.

Cons

  • The dual weight stack comes with just 150 pounds on each side, which is far too light for many people.
  • The weight plates come in 10-pound increments, but there is no option to use smaller 2.5- or 5-pound increments.
  • People with broader body sizes often say they have a hard time fitting themselves between the two weight columns.