Review of the Nautilus NT-CC1 Smith Machine with Cable Crossover

Last Thursday, nearing the end of a $160 promotional discount at Costco, Mandy and I purchased a Nautilus NT-CC1Nautilus NT-CC1 Smith Machine with Cable Crossover.

For reasons beyond my understanding, the Nautilus website contains no trace of the NT-CC1 at all. Not only that, there does not appear to be any mention of it on the internet anywhere. Not even Google can find a reference to it. So welcome to the only review of the Nautilus NT-CC1 on the Web.

The NT-CC1 is a combination of a Smith machine and a cable crossover. It comes with a adjustable bench (capable of upright, inclined, flat and decline positions), several attachments for the cables (handgrips, tricep rope, low row pull bar, and ankle cuff) and 205 pounds of olympic-style weights (2x45lbs, 2×25, 4×10, 4×5, and 2×2.5), not to mention a built-in chin-up bar. It retails at Costco for $949.99CAN, but after taxes and the $160 discount it came out to just over $930.

Unlike other Smith machines that I have used, the bar is not counterweighted, which means the unweighted bar is quite heavy (~45lbs), which could be unweildly for novices.

Assembly of the unit went smoothly. The assembly instructions are understandable, but somewhat lacking in illustrations (only 5 figures for 42 steps of assembly). In total, it took me around 5 hours to assemble everything, but I took my time and made a stupid mistake that I had to go back and correct [1]. I’m sure a motivated person could assemble it less than 4 hours. I had no problems getting pieces to fit; everything aligned perfectly.

I managed to find one mistake in the assembly manual, but not one that would cause any problems for somebody of reasonable intelligence. The mistake is that there are no instructions on how or when to install the top pegs on the uprights. Here’s a tip: install them at the top of the uprights in the only open slots after following all the other instructions.

I have had one workout with bench so far and am so far very impressed. The motion of the bar is very smooth. The cables move well, too, but not as smooth as other gym equipment I have used. I hope this will change with the application of some silicone-based lubrication as the assembly manual recommends. It is very versitile. The owner’s manual describes 36 exercises, but between the cables and the bar there are countless more. In fact, about half of my first workout was exercises not mentioned in the owner’s manual.

In conclusion, I am very happy with the purchase and look forward to using it regularly from now on.

[1] If you really must know, I installed the chin-up bar backwards.

[Update: see the follow up review for some of my impressions and experiences actually using the NT-CC1]