A New Way To Train

Exercising within a structured training environment to retain muscle mass, improve mobility and rehabilitate injury is essential for good health and well-being. However, there is a growing number of people who would prefer to do these exercises at home or work, particularly since COVID-19.

The Adapt Cable Trainer makes this type of exercise readily available outside the commercial fitness environment, its compact design eliminating many of the barriers that prevent the uptake and use of conventional home fitness equipment. Its multi-use functionality provides the benefits of full body training and rehabilitation, while the innovative wall-mount design adds stability, frees up floor space and positions the trainer so that it is instantly ready for use. The sleek form was ultimately engineered to be unobtrusive, seamlessly integrating into any home or work space.

The design allows a cable extension of 1.4m in any 3D direction from the wall, and together with the 6 force settings and 9 mounting height options, it provides a wide variety of exercises targeting all major muscle groups. This allows it to cater for applications from lighter weight toning and rehabilitation, to complex movement patterns and major muscle group workouts.

The simplicity and sophistication of the user experience was a major design objective; acting as a driver for both the mechanical configuration, design language and human factors design. For example, only two simple and intuitive adjustments are required to set up the Adapt Cable Trainer for any given exercise, and the fresh aesthetic creates an appropriate departure from the typical expectations of ‘steel and sweat’. The design ensures all interfaces are intuitive, and new exercises can be set simply by sliding the unit on its track and selecting the desired force via a dial.


  • Identify and eliminate typical barriers that prevent the uptake and use of conventional home fitness equipment
  • Innovate a patentable mechanism that allows an ultra-compact, low mass form factor
  • Design for seamless and unobtrusive integration into any home or workspace
  • Provide a simple, intuitive user experience, through installation, set up and use


  • Adapt Cable Trainer uses far less material and energy in manufacture than typical weights based cable machines.
  • Unlike other cable machines the compact size and low weight allow delivery by parcel services, simplifying on-line sales
  • Taps into a growing market sector and establishes our client ADAPT FIT as a design leader in the health and fitness sector


  • User Centred Design
  • Industrial Design
  • Form and ergonomic models
  • User interaction models
  • Product Engineering
  • Prototyping
  • Design for Manufacture
  • Test Rig Machine Design
  • Cyclic testing
  • Davis Tolley
  • Craig Burton
  • Rob Cuzner
  • Libby Christmas
  • Thao Nguyen
  • Ben Goodwin
  • Nathan Scanlon
  • Warwick Brown
  • Graeme Marshall
  • Daniel Farmer

Streamlining Fitness

Typical cable trainers are often bulky, using weights to deliver resistance which makes them heavy to ship, install and move. While commonplace, they are broadly unsuitable for smaller, urban homes and apartments. Therefore the challenge pitched to the Cobalt team was to re-imagine how full body training could sit comfortably in a more compact and aesthetically sophisticated domestic setting. We looked to move beyond the cumbersome set-ups and weight changes traditionally required and instead provide a wide range of programmes via a few simple touch points.

Cobalt’s final design solution exercises a restrained approach in developing the form and appearance of the Adapt Cable Trainer to ensure it could integrate into a variety of domestic settings, and to create a simplicity that invites confidence in use. A white vertical cylinder reduces visual bulk and allows the polished rings highlight the primary user interaction points.

Additionally, the overall size and mass of the product was able to be drastically reduced by using nitrogen-filled struts, which provide the same force as cast-iron weights at 1/10 of the mass. An internal cable path and swivelling guide head give full cable extension in all directions, and moving parts are safely enclosed in the compact body.

Additionally, to further enhance the user experience, the mechanisms were designed and rigorously tested to ensure minimal noise and a smooth feel during use, and to provide consistency of force and direct user feedback during exercise. To conduct the required testing, Cobalt developed a test rig to perform extended automated cyclic testing during engineering refinement, allowing us to simulate and test extreme situations to provide data for engineering optimisation and refinement early in the process.

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