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TuffStuff CSM-725WS review: Find out how this "fully loaded" home gym replaces 7+ weight machines

By Natasha Hernández
Last Updated on 17th August 2020

Welcome to my TuffStuff CSM-725WS Review. Since you're here, you're probably interested in buying the TuffStuff Smith machine with cables for your home gym or fitness facility. Or maybe you're just looking for more information about the product, to see if it's worth the money.

Well, spoiler alert. The CSM-725WS isn't cheap. But with 7 gym machines in one unit, it is worth the money if you're serious about gaining strength and muscle mass.

And you'll soon learn why.

full body strength training system with weights and a bench
Pros
  • Combines 7 gym machines into one workout system
  • Includes 16 Smith machine lockout points
  • Safety catches have a 362kg weight rating
  • 6-pulley cable station provides silky-smooth resistance
  • 7-position adjustable bench supports 272kg
  • Stable frame doesn't wobble even when lifting heavy
  • Lifetime warranty on everything
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Takes up quite a lot of space

TuffStuff CSM-725WS facts and figures

The CSM-725WS borrows the Smith machine, squat rack and pull up station base unit from the TuffStuff CSM-600 and then supercharges it with 4 extra workout stations—6 if you get the leg developer and preacher pad attachments.

TuffStuff gives us a 90kg cable pulley system that replaces a lat pulldown machine, a low row station and a functional trainer. Yet it requires only a fraction of the space that this trio of gym machines would demand if bought individually. Not to mention the cable system is far more cost-effective.

woman in gymwear doing squats

The CSM-725WS package also includes a 7-position adjustable bench that's rated for a whopping 272kg and which offers a variety of angles ranging from decline to fully upright. Like the main unit, it comes with a lifetime warranty and boasts a heavy-duty 11 gauge steel construction, which consists of the thickest and most durable metal used in gym equipment manufacturing.

Put all of these 8 workout stations together, add in the stability-enhancing base, the 362kg-strong safety stoppers and the lightning-fast weight adjustments, and you have what many would call the ultimate home gym.

The only questions you need to answer are these: can you afford this one-time investment in your fitness?

And how would it feel to own the most versatile and durable home gym on the market, one that's the product of five decades worth of research and development?

  • Dimensions: 201cm L x 203cm W x 213cm H
  • Unit weight: 411kg
  • Weight capacity: 272kg
  • Workout stations: Smith machine, half rack, pull-up station, low row station, dual adjustable cable pulleys, adjustable bench
  • Starting weight: 12.7kg
  • Lockout Points: 16
  • Storage: 10 plate pegs & 1 barbell holder
  • Warranty: lifetime
  • Price: Click for Lowest Price

TuffStuff CSM-725WS workout stations

Smith machine

strength training rack system with barbell

The Tuff Stuff Smith machine comes with self-aligning linear bearings that provide a silky smooth vertical motion, regardless of how heavy or explosively you're lifting. Naturally, this fluid resistance produces a more intense pump, and thus faster muscle growth, because you can achieve a stronger mind-muscle connection now that you have a Smith machine without sticking points.

Similarly, the built-in 7-degree lifting angle recruits more muscle fibres—helping you to build a more proportional physique—by aligning your joints in their biomechanically-optimal positions. Besides producing more symmetrical muscular development, the 7-degree slant allows you to recover quicker since your joints and tendons take less of a beating now that they're correctly aligned from the very first rep.

athletic man doing weighted lunges

Although a potent muscle-building tool, the TuffStuff Smith Machine is also remarkably easy to use—a quality which is especially sought-after by those who often train alone, like me. You can re-rack the knurling-enhanced barbell onto any of the 16 steel lockout points with a simple turn of the wrist. It's like having an on-demand spotter, minus the mistakes.

Unlike standard Smith bars, the CSM-725WS's Olympic-sized barbell is a weightlifter's best friend because it enables you to generate more pressing power by maintaining a firmer grip on the bar. Combined with the angled frame (which mimics a free weight barbell's natural range of motion) the Olympic bar provides a feeling of familiarity that will have you well on your way to hitting new PRs.

Half rack

bar catches for the squat rack

The half rack portion of TuffStuff's Smith Machine Half Cage has dual-adjustable bar holders that are rated to a hefty 272kg (600lbs). And while most commercial squat racks can handle somewhere in the vicinity of 220kg-270kg, the majority are incredibly cumbersome to adjust. And by cumbersome, I mean a royal pain in the arse.

With the CSM-725WS, however, you don't need to remove the bar hooks from the frame to change their position. Instead, you can simply pull a small adjustment tab and then move the J-Hooks along the rack until you reach your desired height (at which point you simply release the pin and watch the bar holder slot neatly into the precision-cut hole).

close up of a squat rack

I'm big on training efficiency, and these clever wing-lock bar holders slash at least 5-10 minutes of wasted time off each of my workouts.

Yet even if I'm in a rush and make a mistake, I know that the heavy-duty safety catches always have my back. They're rated to 362kg (800lbs), are fully adjustable and they protrude much further than the barbell holders, making them an excellent place to dump the bar if I reach muscular failure (or bail on a pre-workout-induced a 1RM attempt).

Dual adjustable pulley

The versatile TuffStuff CHL-610WS Dual Adjustable Pulley comes with a 90kg (200lb) weight stack that ascends in manageable 4.5kg (10lb) increments, and which saves us space and money by replacing 3 different cable machines: a lat pulldown, a functional trainer and a low row station.

man doing cable chest presses

All 6 of the pulleys are constructed from durable nylon and each benefit from sealed ball bearings, helping us to achieve a stronger mind-muscle connection by providing a smooth, uninterrupted range of motion.

The two upper pulleys are fixed and are purpose-built for developing a more imposing upper body via constant tension exercises like lat pulldowns, which broaden the back and improve your v-taper, and tricep pushdowns, which increase your pressing power and fill your sleeves.

Likewise, the lower pulleys are fixed, which makes them ideally positioned for a variety of compound and isolation movements that require stability: cable rows, which improve your posture and thicken the back muscles; lateral raises, which widen the shoulders; and bicep curls, which add another dimension to your arms.

cable add on

On the contrary, the two functional trainer-style pulleys are completely adjustable. As such, they offer the widest variety of exercises—more than I could name here—out of the three cables. But some of my favourite moves are cable crossovers, for expanding the chest muscles; ab crunches, for developing a more prominent six-pack; and overhead extensions, which really bulk up the arms by emphasising the triceps long head.

Since you can use the pulleys together or independently, the only thing missing is a rope attachment. However, we still get two single handles and a pulldown bar, which is afforded its own holder above the high pulley, so that you don't have to store it on the floor or leave it permanently hanging from the cables.

Pull up station

man doing bodyweight pull-ups

While a neutral grip option would've been the icing on the cake, the knurling-enriched pull-up station still offers a variety of grip options that enable us to achieve complete back development (with enough hard work, of course).

The wide grip, for example, will increase your v-taper by widening your lower lats and taking your arms out of the equation.

Conversely, the under-utilised close-grip option will bulk up your forearms and provide an increased range of motion at the shoulder joint, enabling you to attain a deeper stretch in your lats, and thus develop a broader upper body.

man training his ab muscles with leg raises

Since this welded pull up station is so sturdy, you can also test your bodyweight strength by performing weighted callisthenics movements—without having to worry about the stability of the frame, which supports a hefty 272kg.

Yet if you want to switch gears and train your abs, you can do that too. This pull-up station is ideal for building more defined lower abs because you can perform hanging leg raises, which are easy (for your hands, that is) thanks to the enhanced grip that the knurling provides.

Evolution Multi-Purpose Bench

weight bench with leg attachment

Like the main unit, the Evolution Multi-Purpose Bench (CMB-375) has an impressive 272kg weight rating and is constructed from damage-resistant 11 gauge steel. Not only does this solid construction fight off wear and tear, but it also provides a more stable base to lift from, lending extra support to your back in the process (especially with the padded upholstery on top).

Most importantly for the developing bodybuilder, the backrest has 7 adjustable angles, ranging from decline to fully upright, so that you can achieve a more proportional upper body by working your muscles from different angles.

weight bench close up

Likewise, you can create more customised workout positions by changing the angle of the independently-adjustable seat. The benefits of this are most noticeable during incline presses. When you narrow the angle between the seat and backrest, you'll emphasise your upper chest over your front delts, which are probably not lacking in size if you do plenty of presses.

On the flip side, you can generate extra pressing power on decline presses (and thus build a thicker lower chest) by hooking your feet into the densely-padded leg supports, which also work well for crunches and sit-ups.

TuffStuff also makes re-positioning this 46kg bench painless and easy. They've equipped the CMB-375 with convenient transport wheels and an accompanying handle, negating the need for you to awkwardly drag your bench across the floor—as if you were a reluctant schoolboy dragging his oversized rucksack along the ground.

preacher curl attachment

Although the CSM-725WS has everything necessary for a full-body workout (and for making your lifting buddies jealous in the process) you can take the adjustable bench to the next level by investing in the optional preacher curl attachment (CPA-316) and leg developer add-on (CLC-385).

By investing in these two attachments, your CSM-725WS will replace a total of 9 different gym machines while taking up almost no more space than a regular squat rack and bench. In other words, it's the ultimate bodybuilding home gym for those who're serious about getting the best possible workout.

I was sceptical at first, but it looks like the 50 years of research and development has paid off for TuffStuff!

TuffStuff CSM-725WS parts and frame

While most fitness companies choose to cut costs by using bog-standard 14 gauge steel, TuffStuff opts for heavy-duty 11 gauge steel to give the CSM-725WS a stable and secure base.

Like whey isolate in the protein industry, 11 gauge steel is the gold standard when it comes to gym equipment manufacturing. It's the same metal that all the £3,000-a-piece commercial machines are made from, and it's so durable that it's even used to make buildings.

full body gym machine

However, TuffStuff goes a step further by layering the frame with a protective powder coat finish. Besides helping to maintain the CSM-725WS's aesthetics, the powder coat increases its resistance to wear and tear. Namely, scratches, dents, water damage and even ultraviolet light, which surprisingly, can harm non-coated metal after a while.

As mentioned, the fibreglass-impregnated pulleys are incredibly durable since they're made from hard-wearing nylon. It's little surprise that TuffStuff is willing to guarantee them (and all the other parts for that matter) for life.

man pressing a heavy barbell over his head

However, thanks to the sealed roller bearings, the cable pulleys are also remarkably smooth. There's no annoying friction that makes working out feel like pulling teeth.

Instead, the resistance feels fluid and consistent, which enables you to achieve a stronger pump, a more intense peak contraction and a deeper muscle stretch—inevitably leading to more muscle growth with enough consistency.

TuffStuff CSM-725WS size and weight

One thing's for sure. The TuffStuff CSM-725WS definitely isn't small. It's much bigger than their functional trainer, which you can check out in our TuffStuff CXT 200 review.

However, considering that it replaces a Smith machine, functional trainer and virtually all other gym equipment, the modest footprint is by no means excessive either.

interior of rod smith's gym

To house the 7+ machines that the CSM-725WS replaces, you'd need to open your own fitness studio at a minimum. And more likely, you'd need a full-fledged commercial gym to use all the workout stations comfortably.

Plus, buying all of these machines separately (while a sound investment for a gym chain with more money than sense) would be eye-wateringly expensive for someone like me, who works a regular job and trains at home in the evenings.

So in that sense, the CSM-725WS is not only incredibly space-efficient but also remarkably cost-effective. Especially considering that it's a one-time investment, not something that you'll need to replace 5-10 years down the line, as is customary with most the flimsier home gyms that plague the market (been there, bought those). [1]

athletic man doing heavy barbell curls

Another hidden benefit of the CSM-725WS's size and weight is the enhanced stability that it affords us during training. It weighs 177kg and has a wide, off-the-floor base that distributes the load evenly across the ground.

Naturally, this inherent stability enables you to push yourself harder, because you don't have to worry about the unit shaking—even when lifting heavy. There's a reason why the CSM-725WS supports 272kg (more than most commercial Smith machines), while other products struggle to cope with 135kg. And it's called build quality.

TuffStuff CSM-725WS safety features

I've said this many times on my website. Still, it bears repeating: dependable safety catches can easily mean the difference between crushing your old PR and crushing your chest or windpipe with a loaded barbell.

Safety is where commercial-grade machines like the CSM-725WS and the TuffStuff PPL-900 have a significant advantage over the sea of cheaper home gym systems, which have flooded the market in recent years [2] [3].

man doing barbell rows out of the free weight rack

The CSM-725WS includes adjustable safety catches on both the Smith machine and half rack stations, enabling you to reduce your injury risk by limiting the bar depth. And since the adjustments are so precise, you can restrict the bar travel without limiting your range of motion, which means that you don't have to choose between personal safety and muscle growth [4] [5].

The squat rack safety catches, in particular, are incredibly sturdy. They're rated for 362kg (800lbs) and stick out much further than the J-Hooks, thus allowing you to easily dump the barbell and get yourself out of trouble in the event of muscular failure.

Similarly, the Smith machine negates the need for a spotter by providing 16 steel lockout points, onto which you can hook the barbell with a simple wrist turn at any point during a rep.

Finally, while they might not seem like a safety feature at a glance, the 10 storage pegs are remarkably useful for keeping your home gym tidy, which also keeps it free from trip hazards (and weight disc trees).

TuffStuff CSM-725WS assembly

The assembly manual is detailed enough so that you don't make frustrative mistakes, but also understandable enough so that you don't get overwhelmed if you happen to be less mechanical (i.e. a meathead).

Each step begins with a concise list of the necessary parts, the quantity needed and their corresponding part number, enabling you to quickly verify that you've selected the correct components.

TuffStuff also includes clear-cut diagrams that show you precisely where to connect each part, thereby removing any guesswork from the installation.

Likewise, they highlight essential parts of the instructions so that you don't skip over any critical details that could be essential to the assembly (such as when to fully tighten the bolts, and when to just leave them loosely tightened).

Overall, the installation, while not any more complicated, is considerably more time-consuming than putting together your average home gym. But this is simply because there are more stations to assemble. And I think you'll quickly agree that the end results are more than worth a day of moderate labour

Here's what you'll need:

  • 9/16", 3/4" combination spanners
  • Ratchet wrench with 9/16", 3/4" sockets
  • Crescent adjustable spanner
  • External retaining ring pliers
  • Rubber hammer, measuring tape and utility knife
  • Lubricant and grease
  • Windex or household glass cleaner

FAQ

How much does the bar weigh?

The Tuff Stuff Smith Machine bar weighs 12.7kg precisely, which is equal to 27.9lbs.

I'm a weightlifting novice. Are all these advanced features too much for someone like me?

While it's definitely possible to make progress with a less advanced home gym, the TuffStuff CSM-725WS will produce faster and better results because you can recruit more muscle fibres by hitting your muscles from different angles (and with various equipment).

I've been lifting for over 15 years and I've even competed a handful of times. Will I still need a gym membership when I buy the CSM-725?

No, the CSM-725WS Smith Machine Half Cage replaces more than 7 workout stations. So you won't need to maintain your gym membership.

I own a mid-sized commercial gym. Will the TuffStuff Smith Machine stand up to daily use from multiple people?

Yes, absolutely. The CSM-725WS is designed for light commercial use, which TuffStuff defines as less than 30 users per day.

Will I need any other gym equipment when I buy the CSM-725WS?

The only other gym equipment you'll need is a free weight barbell and weights.

Are the leg developer and preacher curl attachments worth it?

weight bench close up

Considering that they're relatively inexpensive compared to the CSM-725WS itself, the leg developer and preacher pad attachments are definitely worth the investment if you're focused on bodybuilding more than powerlifting.

What weights are best for this home gym?

100kg olympic weight set

I recommend the Body Power 100kg TRI-GRIP Olympic Weight Set if you want something affordable, but which also won't rust or degrade in quality. The set comes with safety collars and a full-sized Olympic barbell that fits perfectly on the CSM-725WS's front rack.

I've had these weights for years, and despite my heavy deadlifting, they're still like new. I got the 145kg pack (ok, I wasn't deadlifting that heavy), but you can also get them in 9 other sizes, which range from an 85kg starter set all the way to a massive 235kg disc collection.

The weight plates are all accurate according to my scales, and I must say, they came extremely well-packaged. They're technically designed for home use, but I see no reason why you couldn't use these weights in a commercial gym.

I love my new CSM-725WS, but I could use some extra floor protection for my garage. What do you recommend?

body power heavy gym mat

Go with the Body Power Heavy Duty Rubber Gym Mat if you want the most protection possible. Regular interlocking floor tiles will do the job, but at a whopping 42kg each, these protective mats are something else. Even under near abusive conditions, the mats refuse to tear or stretch, making them excellent for deadlifts and Olympic lifting.

You'll need to get two for the CSM-725WS, but like the TuffStuff Smith Machine itself, the mats are something that you buy once and never again.

Should you invest in the TuffStuff CSM-725WS today?

The TuffStuff CSM-725WS goes beyond Smith machine training by replacing a squat rack, lat pulldown machine, low row station, functional trainer and a pull-up station. And that's not including the 7-position adjustable bench, which connects with the optional preacher curl and leg developer attachments.

Of course, this versatility doesn't come cheap. And understandably, it might not be affordable for everyone. However, can you really put a price on enjoying commercial-quality training at home? Or in your fitness studio?

I spoke to three separate CSM-725WS owners, and even years after buying, all of them were thrilled with their investment. It's little wonder that celebrity athletes like 2x Super Bowl Champion, Rod Smith, are choosing the TuffStuff CSM-725 as their home gym—it simply can't be beaten on versatility [6].

And with a lifetime warranty, you won't have to worry about durability either. All the parts, from the sturdy 11 gauge steel frame to the small ball bearings that make the cables glide, are guaranteed for life.

I hope that you found my TuffStuff CSM-725WS review helpful. And hopefully, you can decide if it's the right home gym for you.

Editor's Choice
TuffStuff CSM-725WS Evolution Smith Machine
full body strength training system with weights and a bench
  • Replaces 7+ proven strength training machines
  • Heavy-duty safety catches easily support 360kg+
  • 6-pulley cable system provides frictionless resistance
  • Lifetime warranty on everything
  • Get it at rock-bottom UK pricing during October 2020

 

Natasha Hernández
I was born in sunny Spain, and I've always enjoyed keeping active by lifting weights and playing beach sports. I manage the social media side of Smith Machine UK and also create exercises guides to help the British public get healthy and stay in shape.
At Smith Machine UK, we create in-depth tests of the latest and greatest gym equipment on the British market so that you can create your dream home gym.
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