Tonal vs. Tempo: Which home gym is right for you?

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If you’re ready to break away from your home gym or just want your home equipment to take up a little less space, it might be time to take the plunge and invest in a home gym. smart like Tonal or Tempo. Similar to other wall-mounted smart gyms, Tonal features an interactive touchscreen; however, its advanced strength and resistance training is its coolest feature. With Tempo, you get unlimited access to your favorite virtual workout classes and, thanks to 3D technology, you also get feedback on your form in real time.

While you may find yourself pinning both machines against each other, it’s important to know that neither is better than the other. Tonal and Tempo actually have more differences than similarities, which in the long run can help you make a more effective decision. Still, choosing a smart home gym that will fit your lifestyle and help you achieve your fitness goals can be tricky, not to mention the cost. That’s why we’ve created this helpful buying guide, so you know exactly what you’re getting before you add Tonal or Tempo to your cart.

Tonal vs. Tempo: Aesthetics and Imprint

Right off the bat, you’ll notice that Tonal and Tempo are physically very different. Tonal ($2,995) is a wall-mounted machine with adjustable arms on either side, and is often praised for its sleek, compact design. While the machine itself doesn’t take up floor space, the company recommends mapping out seven feet of wall and floor space before installation, as Tonal’s arms can move horizontally and vertically to take supports 200 different body movements. Visually, Tonal looks a bit like a TV when it’s not on. (Unfortunately, this does not duplicate.)

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You will need to cut out three square feet of floor space for Tempo Studio. The freestanding gym is six feet tall and features a 42-inch touchscreen with a cabinet for equipment storage below. Alternatively, if you’re short on space, you can consider Tempo Move. Sleek and extremely compact, Tempo Move uses a device called Tempo Core to connect your iPhone when you’re ready to workout. Simply open the Tempo app to get started, or for a larger display, connect Tempo Core to your TV using the included HDMI cable. Tempo Move also includes a two-shelf cabinet with a magnetic fabric cover to store gear.

While all of these machines maximize space, both Tempo gyms require no assembly, which can be ideal for renters. Plus, Tempo Move only needs an outlet, Wi-Fi, and your phone to work, so you can take it anywhere you go.

Tonal vs. Time: price

Tonal retails for $2,995. However, this does not take into account delivery and installation costs, which vary depending on your location. If you plan to take advantage of Tonal’s digital weight workouts, you’ll need to add Tonal’s smart accessory pack. The package will set you back an additional $495 and includes smart grips, smart bar, rope, bench, roller, and workout mat. Once you activate Tonal, you’ll be locked into a subscription that gives you access to unlimited classes. It costs $49 per month with a minimum commitment of 12 months.

Tempo Studio ($2,495+) is available in three different priced packages. Whether you opt for the Starter, Pro or Plus pack, the smart touchscreen is the same. It’s the amount of gear that sets these tiers apart. The Tempo Studio Starter Pack ($2,495) includes the Tempo Studio itself, a workout mat, two 7.5-pound dumbbells, four collars, and 75 pounds of weight plates. The Tempo Studio Pro Bundle ($3,245) includes two additional collars, along with five other pieces: a 25-pound barbell, heart rate monitor, recovery roller, folding bench, and two 25-pound competition plates. For all of the above, plus a folding squat rack, kettlebell system, two 45-pound competition plates, and a weight plate storage cabinet, you can purchase the Tempo Studio Pro Bundle for $3,995. Remember that the more gear you accumulate, the more space you will need.

Tempo Move ($495) has a fixed price, which includes Tempo Core, an HDMI cable, two 7.5-pound dumbbells, four weight collars, four 5-pound weight plates, four 2.5-pound weight plates , four smart 1.25 pound weight plates, and a weight storage cabinet to store everything.

While Tempo Move doesn’t require professional installation and has no shipping costs, Tempo Studio charges can cost you upwards of $250. Customers can choose to configure Tempo Studio themselves and pay only standard shipping ($150) or opt for home assembly for an additional $100. Both Tempo smart gyms charge a monthly membership fee of $39 and require a minimum 12 month commitment. This gives you and five other profiles unlimited access to workout classes and personalized training plans.

Tonal vs. Tempo: Training Class

Tonal can be used to target a variety of areas – core, lower body, upper body and full body – with its digital weight system. The smart gym’s adjustable arms support up to 200 pounds of resistance and let you perform 200 upper and lower body movements. With Tonal, everything about your workout, from equipment weight to rep count, is tailored to meet your fitness needs and goals. Tonal’s weight and resistance technology can even detect when you’re slowing down or struggling with gear that’s too heavy, and will adjust accordingly. It will also let you know if your form needs to be corrected and give you instructions on how to do so. Although Tonal is primarily billed as a machine for strength and resistance training, it also includes a library of live and on-demand workouts covering a variety of genres including dance cardio, yoga, kickboxing , etc.

On the Tempo app, users can browse live and on-demand workout classes of all difficulty levels across nine categories, including HIIT, core, and low-impact workouts. Along with a virtual trainer, Tempo displays your rep count, the name of the exercise you’re doing at the time, a workout timer, and your pace and heart rate. You can also set fitness goals such as “improve flexibility”, and Tempo will organize a personalized program based on your needs.

Tempo’s coolest feature is its 3D Tempo vision, which monitors your form throughout your workout and provides instant feedback if anything needs fixing. Comments will appear on the screen – for example, “Try to keep your knees above your toes” – and will turn green if corrected or red if you need to try again. Not only will this help you achieve a better workout, but it can also prevent injury.

Ultimately, when choosing a home gym, you need to keep your fitness goals, space, and budget in mind. Tonal is ideal for those who prefer strength and resistance training and want to keep their equipment off the ground. If studio lessons are more your jam, Tempo Studio may be a better investment. Meanwhile, those looking to upgrade their home gym without sacrificing their limited space (or budget) may find Tempo Move more appealing.

Still having trouble making a decision? Tempo offers a 30-day risk-free trial, and you can try Tonal in person at select Nordstrom stores.

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