Smart home gyms are all the rage today, and it makes complete sense. One of the major shifts that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic is more people working out from - not only because their gyms and studios were closed, but because they’ve been enlightened to the convenience and affordability of it.
According to a CNBC article published recently, 56% of Americans don’t plan to renew their gym membership after the pandemic. So what are these folks planning to do? For many, the answer is to build their own home gym setup and take advantage of the amazing new technology available in smart gym equipment and fitness apps.
In this article, I’m reviewing the Vault by NordicTrack, a smart fitness mirror. NordicTrack is well-known for producing innovative equipment and programming, so I’m excited to analyze their latest release and bring you all the information you need to decide if this smart gym is a smart investment for your home.
What’s a Smart Home Gym?
The idea of a smart fitness studio for your home is relatively new, so it’s important to first understand what it means and why you might be interested in investing in one.
At the most basic level, a smart gym is a system that connects to the internet and allows you to train from home using the latest technology and streaming content. The majority of fitness equipment that falls into the smart category feature an integrated screen, dedicated programming, AI-technology for personal training simulation, and more.
Most smart gyms are all-in-one systems that are designed to replace the need for users to invest in any additional equipment - this is a huge money and space-saver for so many people, especially those who live in small homes/apartments and/or don’t have a dedicated space for working out.
Replacing Local Gyms?
Between the integrated tech included on the machine and the dedicated programming, home fitness studios are designed to cover all your fitness needs, replacing your need to go to the gym, hire a personal trainer, and attend group fitness classes.
And if you’re someone who thrives on community and engagement, you can still get that, too! Most programming and apps include options for live workouts, one-on-one training sessions, and access to a full community of others who are on a journey similar to your own.
Next, let’s introduce the NordicTrack Vault and what this exciting new piece of home fitness equipment has to offer.
Introducing the NordicTrack Vault: Reflective Training Via iFIT Workouts
The NordicTrack Vault is an all-in-one smart mirror that’s designed to give users a comprehensive fitness experience all from the comfort of their own home.
NordicTrack is a well-known and well-respected fitness brand that’s a leader of innovation and quality. The brand offers a wide range of connected fitness products from treadmills and bikes to rowers and ellipticals, each one fueled by their powerful iFit programming.
This latest release is a sleek, reflective mirror that’s affixed to a wall in your home, opening up to reveal a complete arsenal of fitness gear (dumbbells, kettlebells, bands, etc.). On the screen, users can both watch themselves and watch their trainer as they’re coached through guided workouts found on their iFit application.
The Vault is the company's direct response to popular competitors like Mirror, Tempo, Tonal, Forme Life, and other smart studios that have already made major waves in the industry. But what makes Vault different? We’ll break that down next.
Take a look at the video below to get a visual experience that NordicTrack's team put together:
What Makes This Mirror Gym Different From Its Competitors?
While at first glance this smart studio may appear to be very similar to the competition, there are some unique features and nuances of the Vault that help give it an edge, namely in the design of the system.
Integrated Vertical Storage
Most mirror gyms are simply that, a mirror that displays streamed workouts. But NordicTrack takes their model a bit further by adding complete discrete storage space for all your gym equipment, located behind the screen.
This inclusion of storage is so beneficial for those who have limited space. The concept is similar to that of another popular smart gym, the Tempo Home Gym, which includes a cabinet and racks to securely stow away the equipment when not in use.
Everything You Need for a Complete Workout From Home
Not only does NordicTrack include storage with the Vault, but they offer the Vault: Complete, which includes your full set of equipment with purchase.
No need to worry about stocking your home gym, NordicTrack includes their premium dumbbells, kettlebells, yoga, pilates, and strength training accessories to make a complete package. Couple that with the fact that their vertical storage design neatly tucks everything away when not in use, and you have yourself one of the most efficient home gyms on the market.
Many competitors offer the mirror or screen only, leaving you to stock your equipment on your own, which can be incredibly pricey and cumbersome to have to drag out every time you want to workout.
World-Class iFit Programming
It’s one thing to produce a great piece of equipment, but it’s of no use if you don’t have quality programming to use in conjunction with it. Luckily, NordicTrack offers their iFit subscription full of live and on-demand workouts that stream right on the giant 60” screen.
With your iFit subscription (which is included with your Vault purchase for FREE for an entire year), you get access to a complete library of workouts and customized workouts that include the following modalities:
- Strength training
- HIIT & interval training
- Sculpting & toning
- And so much more
There is an endless supply of workouts that will keep you engaged, entertained, and always striving towards your goals. What’s more is that if you have any other fitness equipment, like a connected bike, treadmill, or rower, you can use your iFit membership to stream dedicated workouts on those machines, too.
iFit is truly an all-encompassing app that will provide you with endless workout options, led by leading fitness experts. They offer programming that’s perfect for every fitness level, goal, and motivation style, making it one of the most inclusive programming options on the market.
Next, let’s take a look at some of the key specs of this studio.
The Vault's Key Specs Everyone Needs to Know
32” Rotating Smart HD Touchscreen
1-Year iFit Family Membership Included
Dual 3” Digitally-Amplified Speakers
Bluetooth Audio Connectivity
24" x 60" Pivoting Reflective Mirror
Carbon Steel Frame, Freestanding Construction with Heavy Base, Safety Wall Strap with Mounting Bracket & Screws
Vertical Storage, Hanging Shelves for equipment storage, Microfiber cleaning towel included
Dimensions (Full Unit):
72.65” H x 24.25” W x 14” D 258 lbs.
10-Year Frame, 2-Year Parts, 1-Year Labor
Vault Complete includes:
6 Sets of Dumbbells (Ranging from 5lbs. to 30lbs.)
This brand new piece of fitness equipment comes loaded with some of the best tech and features available right now. Let’s take a look.
An Immersive 24" x 60" Pivoting Reflective Mirror
First things first, the Vault features a massive 60” mirror screen that not only provides tremendous value while working out but also looks sleek and aesthetically pleasing when not in use. When you aren’t using your Vault, it will blend in perfectly with your home decor, adding a touch of elegance to any room.
This has been a major shift in the fitness equipment industry over the last couple of years - equipment that not only serves its purpose for your workouts but also fits in well with your home. Because let’s face it, most of us are setting up shop in our living rooms, bedrooms, and anywhere else we can find the space.
The 60” mirror is by far the biggest available right now, closely rivaled by the Forme Life Studio, another luxury home gym mirror that’s making its way into homes across the country.
A Dynamic 32” Rotating Smart HD Touchscreen
Within the mirror’s frame, is a 32” Rotating Smart HD touchscreen that you’ll use to control the programming, make adjustments, and view your streamed workout. The best part about this entire screen/mirror combo is that it features 360-degree rotation, so no matter what exercise you’re performing, you always have the best view in the house.
One look at this machine and it’s easy to see where NordicTrack got the name “Vault” from. The Vault quite literally has a vault behind the screen that makes storing your equipment easier and more convenient than ever before. When you’re ready to begin your workout, all you need to do is open the mirror and take out whatever equipment you need from the neatly stacked shelving.
Everything has its place inside the vault, allowing you to be efficient and to keep your equipment protected from any damage. This feature reminds me of Tempo’s home studio in that they, too, included storage for their equipment within the unit. I think that this idea is genius as it allows for maximum efficiency when it comes to saving time working out and for keeping your home gym compact and tidy.
Constructed From High-Quality Materials
NordicTrack’s Vault is designed with a high-quality, durable carbon steel frame that’s made to last. When you’re considering investing in a smart fitness studio, you must make sure the gym is durable and will last you for years to come.
With a carbon steel frame, you can feel confident that you’re investing in a piece of equipment that’s going to maintain its structure and integrity for a long time. Plus, to further provide peace of mind, NordicTracks offers a great warranty, which includes a 10-year frame warranty, which speaks volumes to their confidence in the quality of the product they’re releasing.
Wall-Mounted for Safety and Security
With such a large machine, you might worry about it tipping over and causing damage to itself or you as you workout. However, Vault is safely and securely attached to your wall where it will remain firmly in place.
Integrated Speakers and Bluetooth Connectivity
Included with the Vault are dual 3” Digitally-Amplified Speakers for premium sound throughout your workout. Additionally, the system is Bluetooth capable, so you can hook up your headphones if you’d rather listen privately.
- Beautifully designed, fits in with any home decor
- Giant 60” reflective mirror that pivots to accommodate your needs
- 32” rotating touchscreen display
- A vault that opens to reveal complete storage for all equipment
- The complete model comes with all equipment and accessories
- Access to iFit for free for the first year
- Tons of dedicated programming to choose from
- Form check technology integrated to make sure you’re on track
- It must be wall-mounted, which limits where you can put it in your home and the option to move it
- Large size - again, limiting those who have small spaces
- Brand new to the market, so there’s not a lot of information and reviews out there yet
- It’s pricey - the Complete Package costs $2999 (all equipment included) and the Stand Alone version is $1999
Who is This Smart Connected Gym Best For?
The Vault is a great option for anyone who’s looking to be able to work out from home, experiencing a well-rounded workout routine, without the need to purchase multiple pieces of bulky exercise equipment.
Those with small or limited space will love that this system is all-inclusive and doesn't require you to purchase anything additional. And the programming found within the iFit platform is perfect for users of all experience levels.
I also want to note that the Complete package, which includes the weights and other resistance-based equipment, is mostly geared towards those who are looking to strength train. If you’re not someone who’s into lifting weights, I would recommend just going with the stand-alone package and saving yourself a significant chunk of money.
Regardless of your workout style, you’ll no doubt find workouts that match it within the iFit app.
The Verdict: Is This Latest Smart Studio Worth It?
After researching all the information that’s currently available for the NordicTrack Vault, I am convinced that this smart gym is going to make a big splash in the industry as it’s the brand’s direct response to competitors like Tempo, Tonal, Forme Life, and Mirror. And as a leader in the fitness equipment industry, you know NordicTrack is going to bring some serious competition!
Overall, I think the vault concept is genius. Consumers are going to love the idea of being able to store all their equipment, including their heavy weights, discreetly behind the mirror. NordicTrack offers the Vault fully loaded with all their professional-grade equipment or just the stand-alone model which includes the mirror and an empty cabinet for storage. The model you choose should depend on what type of workouts you plan to enjoy and what equipment, if any, you already have at home.
I personally own the Tempo Studio, which costs $1995, and includes all the equipment you need with that price, and I absolutely love my system. So that's a worthy option if you’re looking to get a similar experience for less. Conversely, if you want the top of the line mirror-style gym, then check out Forme Life as they have one of the best, most innovative products on the market right now.
No matter what you choose, you can’t go wrong! Having a smart gym in your house is going to provide you with an abundance of value for years to come.