Comparing Smart Home Gym Equipment: Mirror vs Tempo vs Tonal

by fitness journalist

The path towards better overall fitness often starts with baby steps, a brisk walk here, a jog there, some bodyweight exercises. But for those individuals more accustomed to a highly regimented routine of weightlifting and high-intensity workouts, these basic exercises simply are not enough. Treadmills, bikes, and ellipticals are all great forms of cardio, but these machines are narrowly focused in their targeting of muscle groups. Enter: Smart Home Gym Equipment, which is quickly becoming a mainstay in American households as we attempt to remain socially safe. These exercise options appear to be the wave of the future, as larger gyms and fitness studios struggle to stay afloat. 

The Advantages of Modern At-Home Gym Equipment

A home workout provides numerous benefits for the fitness-hungry folks of the world. The question then is, how do they compare to physically going to the gym, going for a run, or attending a class? 

Let’s dive in: 

Whether you are a workout champion or a green novice, figuring out the best home gym for your needs takes some time and consideration. Allow us to break down what they have to offer: 

Of the three gyms, the Mirror is both the market leader and the most cardio-based. There are tens of thousands of available classed to select from, including pilates, boxing, yoga, sculpting, stretching, dance, and cardio. Plus, these classes feature some of the country’s top fitness instructors and are made to suit exercisers of all skill levels. 

Photo courtesy of The Mirror

The Good

The Bad

Final Thoughts

Think of the Mirror as the simplest, most frills-free of the trio. It may not offer much in terms of weights and performance tracking, but it has other unique advantages. The generous variety of workouts, large screen, and ability to sync with heart rate monitors come to mind. Plus, the ability to move it is very advantageous, especially if you choose to move the Mirror to another room in your house or move houses completely!

The included 3D Motion sensors on the Tempo are a huge plus because they allow class instructors to not only critique your form but to do so with your privacy in mind. How? Instructors see participants as skeleton-like figures, which permits them to correct mistakes in real-time without peeking into your living room. Plus, the 42-inch screen is a welcome addition to any living room or bedroom. Additionally, the weight storage system built into the Tempo makes neat storage a breeze. Ultimately, compared to the Mirror, Tempo includes more workout equipment:

  • 2 dumbells
  • 1 barbell
  • Assorted plates
  • Collars
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Workout mat
  • Premium foam roller
Photo courtesy of Tempo

The Good

The Bad

Final Thoughts

Beginner-intermediate weight lifters will relish this home gym, which means that more advanced lifters are likely to be disappointed by Tempo. That being said, Tempo provides form checks from respected instructors, a huge interactive screen, and plenty of workout equipment. (Plus, no membership fee!)

You will instantly notice that Tonal brings something different to the table. After installing it on studded walls, you have access to 2 adjustable arms with cable handles, which can be used in 170+ unique ways. Thanks to electromagnetic energy, you have access to 200 pounds of resistance with Tonal (100 lb. on each arm). This next-level home gym performs an initial strength assessment when you first set it up, to discover your individual body and strength levels. Afterward, it recommends the weight you should lift for each exercise and gives adjustments as you go. The digital weight system is very futuristic feeling, offering advanced options such as Spotter Mode and Eccentric movements (changing resistance levels throughout the range of motion for specific exercises). 

The Good

The Bad

Final Thoughts

Tonal is the complete package, offering yoga, high-intensity cardio, expert guidance and form checking, plus strength training. It’s a classic get-what-you-pay-for scenario because this is the priciest gym by far, but it is marketed as a replacement for going to the gym. If that’s something that appeals to you, Tonal is the equipment for you. The one caveat? (which is true for any home workout equipment) Advanced weightlifters will not be able to attain the levels of resistance they need, the ones they can obtain at a gym.

In Conclusion

All of these at-home gyms provide unique advantages and disadvantages. The Mirror is a great way to get a good workout and involve your family, without hassling with equipment or intense strength training. The Tempo is ideal for those that have some familiarity with the gym environment, offering barbells and dumbbells that mimic the traditional gym experience — it’s a happy medium between the other two. Last but not least, the Tonal is the most serious investment of the group, a premium price for a premium product (just as long as you can drill some studs in your wall). 

This content was originally published here.

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