Vitruvian V-Form Trainer review TL;DR: futuristic home workout machine that will allow you to 'go heavy' at home without the need to build a full home gym.
As I was wheeling the Vitruvian V-Form Trainer out from behind the bedroom door where I kept it just after I got home from work, a thought occurred to me: I was about to do a workout on this multi-gym not because I had to but because I wanted to.
Yes, I had a long day (lots of meetings and 3+ hours of commuting: the perfect combo) and was a bit knackered, but still, I didn’t want to miss my daily V-Form trainer workout. And it’s not just because I love the Aussie accent of the instructors in the Vitruvian app, although admittedly, that also played a significant role.
The V-Form Trainer is not the perfect home workout machine, but it’s fun to use, and thanks to the unique way it provides resistance, the V-Form cuts down on workout time which might be appealing to people with a busy lifestyle.
Vitruvian V-Form Trainer review – Price and availability
The Vitruvian V-Form Trainer is available to buy now directly from Vitruvian (opens in new tab) for a recommended retail price of £1,190 / $2,200 / AU$2,950. You’ll also need to pay a monthly membership fee of $39 to activate your V-Form Trainer. Through the subscription, you’ll access all app and hardware functions and benefits, including all future new features.
Shipping of the V-Form Trainer and Accessory Kits is free to mainland USA, Canada, the EU, UK, Australia, Singapore and Malaysia. Other countries and regions incur a flat $200 shipping cost.
Vitruvian V-Form Trainer review – What is it?
It’s hard to describe what the Vitruvian V-Form Trainer is. The closest category it might fit in is multi-gym, but it’s not your traditional home gym for sure. The machine itself is a platform with a cable outlet on each side. You can attach all sorts of things to these cables, including handles, bars, ankle straps etc. There is even a bench that enables you to perform compound exercises such as the bench press.
What makes the V-Form Trainer one of a kind is how it applies pressure. According to the company, the V-Form Trainer’s algorithm adjusts resistance multiple times per second to match the power you put into your workout. Essentially, doing an overhead press with the V-Form Trainer is a very different experience than doing the same exercise with a pair of dumbbells. The V-Form doesn’t allow you to monetise on kinetic energy (momentum), putting the muscles under more tension at each rep.
Vitruvian V-Form Trainer review – Design and build quality
The Vitruvian V-Form Trainer’s hardware is encased in a robust carbon fibre shell. I was pretty surprised by just how sturdy the machine was; I expected creaking sounds coming out of the platform when I stepped on it, but it stayed silent. Very impressed!
The machine itself looks relatively simple: it’s just a platform to step on that lights up when you turn it on. When not in use, you can simply wheel it away using the handle and the recessed wheels. It’s somewhat heavy (38 kg/80 lb), so make sure you lift it with a straight back. Connecting the attachments is easy; just clip in the carabiners, and you’re ready to go. It takes a couple of seconds to secure a new attachment; the process is fast enough so you can swap them in and out between exercises.
Vitruvian V-Form Trainer review – Workout performance
Setting up the V-Form Trainer is straightforward: connect the power cable to the mains and flip the switch on the side of the machine. Then, you need to connect the machine to the Vitruvian App by scanning the QR code on its side. This process needs to be done every time you use the Trainer, from what I can tell.
You can follow class workouts or create your own training in the Vitruvian App. At first, the machine will adjust the resistance for you, but later, you will be able to set the resistance for yourself. As I’ve been told, this is to avoid people injuring themselves by cranking up the resistance before they even get used to the sensation of working out with the V-Form.
Once you’ve done a few workouts, a few options will open up where you can adjust the resistance and the workout mode to train more efficiently. The latter will be a bit hard to wrap your head around at first, primarily if you have only used free weights before and are a beginner.
There are six exercise modes available on the Vitruvian V-Form Trainer, including Focused, Progression, Pump, Old School, Eccentric Only and Beast. Each method loads the resistance differently depending on what your goals are. I won’t explain all of them; you can always check what they do in the Vitruvian App by clicking on any exercise and swiping up.
Most classes use the Focused mode that uses the same resistance all the way through the workouts. What I found interesting is how differently the default weight affected my muscles. The default seven kilo sounds way too light for a bench press (when I use barbells and weight plates, I do my sets with around 70-75 kg), yet I found the cables almost impossible to lift by the 12th time in some cases.
Shoulder exercises, in particular, were almost impossible to complete correctly using this even the lightest weight setting. I do my strict shoulder presses using a pair of 20 kg dumbbells, but I couldn’t pull the Vitruvian’s cable out properly for the life of me when it was set to the lightest, 7-kilo setting. The fact that the V-Form Trainer applies resistance differently means it’s hard to set the correct weight unless you know exactly what seven kilos mean in Vitruvian terms. Therefore, assembling workouts can be tricky at first.
Classes are a different story. If you’re after that Peloton feel, you’ll enjoy Vitruvian classes. They are a bit clunky – for example, they feature no music – and there aren’t quite as many workouts as you’d find in iFit or Peloton apps. Still, given how unique the machine is, it’s no wonder the company hasn’t built a comprehensive workout library yet. More workouts are added frequently, though, and I've been told the app itself will also be revamped soon.
Vitruvian V-Form Trainer review – The Vitruvian App
The Vitruvian App is not a terrible companion app. It offers an overview of your progress and even a breakdown of the muscles/areas you work the most. You can check all your previous workouts and even see how many reps and sets you did. You can also collect Vitruvian points and participate on leaderboards, should you want to. Want to change the colour of the lights the V-Form Trainer emits? You can do this in-app, too.
Vitruvian V-Form Trainer review – V-Form Trainer+ incoming!
During testing, I was informed that the next generation of the V-Form Trainer – called Vitruvian V-Form Trainer+ – is already well underway. As a matter of fact, the new machine is being launched on 19 November 2021, so very soon indeed! The Vitruvian V-Form Trainer+ will address some of the issues of the original V-Form, including the loading of certain muscle groups (e.g. delts), and adds more functionality in general.
The new features include custom apps for iOS and Android smart TVs, 4-8 week programs users can follow and monitor compliance, four mini-games in Vitruvian Play (Hang-gliding, Kayaking, Asteroids and Air Hockey) and teams where you can work and hang out with a select group of people. The Vitruvian V-Form Trainer+ will have a higher max resistance setting (200 kg [Trainer+] vs 180 kg) and feature a custom-made quick connector to switch between attachments.
Vitruvian V-Form Trainer review – Verdict
It’s hard to put a pin on the Vitruvian V-Form Trainer as it’s such a unique home workout machine. Due to its uniqueness, it both takes a while to get used to the type of workout it provides, and it is easy to get over it as you’ll be preoccupied with enjoying yourself working out in such a different way. By the time you get comfortable using this multi-gym, you have already learned the ins and outs of the V-Form Trainer.
Admittedly, the price of the V-Form Trainer will put some people off from getting this machine. However, if you’re short on space but don’t want to compromise on workout quality, you can count on the Vitruvian V-Form trainer to help you progress in your body transformation process. I wish it came with all the trimmings (e.g. weight bench) as default; the fact that you have to lie down on the ground to perform specific exercises hinders the quality perception of the machine. Only slightly, though.