This machine is so high-tech that it’s almost like at-home workouts

November 18, 2021 by No Comments

I don’t enjoy exercising in a place where I can cook and watch TV. I am so good at dividing spaces for work–professional and personal–, and I love to lounge . I even wrote about my dislike for at-home exercises. The NordicTrack Vault has changed my mind.

The NordicTrack Vault doesn’t just have a mirror. You can also use the NordicTrack Vault’s closet to store equipment and perform a variety of workouts. The library powers the gift app and hundreds of other workouts.

Although still, I’m not too fond of the idea of working out in my apartment, I have found that the Vault has made me dislike the idea much. After using the Vault for a month, here’s what I thought about it. There are also some drawbacks that you need to be aware of.

How I Tested

My week-long training schedule includes running many kilometres per day. To ensure that my body was performing cardio, I would also do strength training on the Vault on my cross-training days. These workouts were 20-40 minutes long, depending on the amount of time I had before work.

Kenny Thapoung

The Vault offers many workouts, including strength training, yoga and HIIT. Yoga is not relaxing or soothing for me. I also get enough cardio from long-distance running. The Vault for Strength Training was my primary tool. It also allowed me to keep moving and strengthen my whole body.

Certified Instructors

Before I take any class, one of the most important prerequisites is that trainers are certified in the modality they’re teaching. iFit instructors need to be either certified by an accredited organization or have a degree related to exercise. It was a great feeling to be able to replicate the form of my trainers.

One thing that I found funny was how instructors sometimes looked at cameras that were not directly facing the user. Although I could see their faces and continue circuits, it was difficult for me to maintain eye contact with them.

Instruction and Display of High Quality

I live in a one-bedroom apartment. This machine is almost the same size as a full-length mirror. I was able to make a few choices about where it should be placed. The whole piece measures 73 inches high and 24 inches wide, including the base, mirror and display screen. The touchscreen, which is where instructors are visible, is 32 inches high. The rest of the Vault, however, is a mirror that allows you to see your form. The mirror can be opened and angled so you can see your form from multiple angles. This feature was very helpful for me when I had to switch out equipment and also focus on the instructions of the trainer.

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One thing I would like to see in the Vault is the ability to track my exercise form. Tonal and other competitors offer this feature. They monitor the user’s use of the machine cables, which allows them to see how they are moving. The team told me that they are currently looking into other methods to monitor form, aside from the demonstrations within the workouts. These workouts are quite instructive.

The trainers’ actual videos were clear and crisp. It is highly recommended that you leave the default video playback quality set at auto. The quality got blurry and pixelated when I tried to increase it. Perhaps it was my Wi-Fi, but the auto had the best playback quality at my home.

The instructions for setting up different settings, finding workouts and starting a session are all very intuitive. The touchscreen responds quickly and does not experience any delays. It would help if you kept a towel nearby to wipe the screen. Fingerprints can get messy! The touchscreen can be removed and the Vault used as a mirror. It has a darker tint. There is a latch on the top of the Vault to lock everything in place when you close it (more below about equipment storage).

Progressive Programming

The lack of specific workouts was what threw me off my feet when I first tried the NordicTrack Vault. Searching for “chest exercises” yielded only two results. When I did find the workouts, they were called with very formal language that made them sound more like part of a series of routines than one-off exercises.

It turns out that this is not an accident. Colleen Logan (iFIT’s vice-president of marketing) explained that iFIT’s approach in developing programs is to create “journeys” with users. Instead of offering random workouts that don’t lead to more advanced programs, iFIT’s programming focuses on starting at a specific level. Trainers increase the difficulty and intensity of each workout based on previous workouts. This format is crucial to their programming because it reduces the possibility of people doing too much and possibly injuring themselves. Although there are some one-off exercises, most of the workouts seem to be part of a series.

Another problem I have noticed is the inability to access live programming. It supports only live workouts on NordicTrack’s bikes and treadmills, as well as the tablet version. They have confirmed that they are working on live strength workouts. For now, all you have can access filmed workouts, which can be grouped into programs. These programs can be released at any time during the week or during the month. It all depends on if its internal analytics and insights about its user base.

Cardio vs Cardio vs.

NordicTrack Vault is more focused on strength training than cardio. However, you can still get cardio through the HIIT workouts. You don’t have the option to search “cardio” in the “Search and Filter” section. I don’t mind not having cardio as an option. This is mainly because I get my cardio from running outside. You can also check out NordicTrack’s other machines if you are looking for something more cardio-based.

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This is not to say that the Vault workouts won’t pump your heart – I’m always dripping with sweat after the strength workouts.

Equipment requirements

Both the Vault Complete and Standalone versions can be purchased. Both options come with free delivery and setup.

The complete Vault includes the following:

  • 30-Day iFIT Family Member (more information below).
  • An exercise mat
  • 2 yoga blocks
  • Three mini-resistance bands for light, medium and heavyweights
  • Three larger loop resistance bands available in heavy, medium and lightweights
  • Dumbbells from 5- to 30-pounds
  • Kettlebells 20- and 30 pounds
  • Shelves
  • Use a towel to clean the mirror

The Vault: Standalone includes the 30-day membership, shelving and a cleaning towel.

If possible, purchase the complete version. The shelving can hold all of your equipment. Although your equipment may fit in the storage area of the mirror, it is a risk. Note: My Vault didn’t accommodate the exercise mat because the delivery team had set the shelves up. Because I was busy during setup, I didn’t pay attention. It would have been easy to ask the team to adjust the shelves to match the mat. They were extremely friendly. You can adjust the shelves yourself if you aren’t satisfied with them!

I loved that all of my equipment was in one location, so I could easily adjust my weights. If I felt my muscles needed more weight (or I was unable to resist the urge to change to lighter weights), then I could open the Vault and listen to the instructor, then grab the items I needed, and I would be on my way to the next circuit. My workout area would have three sets of dumbbells and kettle bells.

Regular software updates

Although I have not noticed any system upgrades, I was informed that Vault updates focus on data protection, security enhancements, bug fixing, and program performance. Usually, updates are processed automatically after one hour of inactivity.


The NordicTrack Vault can be expensive, regardless of whether it comes with the equipment. The entire system is $2,999 with equipment; the Vault by itself costs $1,999. Both delivery and assembly are included.

You get a 30-day free trial of iFIT Family Membership. However, once you have access to their workouts, you will need to purchase an actual subscription. A monthly family plan costs $39, but a $369 yearly plan will save you $99, so it’s worth considering if you are ready to commit. iFIT’s family plans let you and up to four others access iFIT’s database with one subscription. You could use the Vault, while your mom could use NordicTrack’s treadmill, and your friend could use it at a gym. Each person can make their profile to ensure that workouts don’t interfere with each other. Each person can create a profile for $144 each year. This allows only one account.

Keep an eye out for other useful stuff.


You can access if its entire database of workouts suitable for all NordicTrack products via the App. You can also access workouts for specific machines (treadmill, bike rower, rower, and elliptical) and join challenges with other users. You can also run at scenic locations all around the globe, which is a great way to break up the monotony of running on a treadmill. About a dozen workouts can be done outside of the studio, such as yoga in Bermuda or a dumbbell strength program in Portugal and a HIIT session in front of Seljalandsfoss waterfall in Iceland.


A bar at the top of your screen displays the estimated calories burned, remaining time, and the estimated calories burned per hour when you start a new workout. A user’s metrics, such as age, height, and weight, can be combined with an algorithm to calculate calorie burn. This algorithm calculates calorie burn by factoring in the duration of each exercise and the estimated heart rate during the movement. These metrics can be very calorie-focused. This is my only gripe. I prefer to concentrate on the movements and feel how my body feels during workouts. For most workouts, I swipe up to hide the entire bar.

Music and Volume

The workouts don’t have to be timed according to a specific playlist. Instead, the “radio station” with preset songs begins playing immediately after the workout starts. This is more of background music and not controlled by trainers. Although you can choose from different genres of music (pop, R&B and country), neither the trainer nor you have any control over what is played. If you like to be challenged for 30 seconds on a particular song, you won’t find anything here.

NordicTrack Vault

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Volume is amazing. You can control the volume of iFIT music and the volume of your trainer’s voice. In-person studios are very frustrating because I cannot hear the trainer’s voice over my music. It’s a real pain to be able to do this at home.

If you are worried about your neighbours being annoyed by the volume, Bluetooth can connect earbuds. This was done twice with two different headphones. Here’s how it happened: I tried this twice with different headphones. The same problem recurred when I tried to use different earbuds with a different workout. Whatever the reason, my connection seemed to work better once I had connected the devices after the workout started. Although it is not ideal, it is possible to attach your headphones and listen to the trainer explain what you are doing.

Bottom line

The NordicTrack Vault is not designed to increase deadlifts. The Vault is ideal for anyone looking to strengthen their muscles through progressive, strength-based workouts. With the guidance of trainers, you’ll learn foundational movements and then progress to more difficult exercises. That’s what you need to do for long-term, safe strength training.

Kenny Thapoung

Personal preferences are the only thing that can make it difficult. Except for classes that are actually, I don’t do live workouts. You can still access these types of workouts within the iFIT App. Although I’m not too fond of the Vault’s automatic presets of metrics, they are easy enough to hide. You might find the music annoying, so you could turn the music volume down on the Vault to play your songs.

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