For those who like to exercise and work out, a home gym of some kind became a necessity early in 2020. Many people bought home gym equipment in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic which forced commercial gyms to close, and having discovered the convenience of gym equipment in the home many are now committed to this option.
There’s been a massive spike in purchasing top rated personal trainer apps, fitness equipment and overall wellness products – and for good reason. For some fitness enthusiasts that have the drive to reach their fitness goals, getting your workout with a jump rope is enough. But, for the majority of people out there, they’ll need a helping hand – enter smart home fitness equipment.
In this review we are looking at smart home gym equipment. We will explain what a smart home gym is, why they are becoming popular, and take a look at some of the best models on the market.
What Is A Smart Home Gym?
A smart gym is a piece of equipment – or in some cases a number of pieces – that allows the user to work out using digitally managed systems. Some are equipped with weights, others with bands, and all are connected via the internet. The advantages of these devices differ; some offer access to online workouts – often live and interactive – while others access online personal trainers. They also analyse data and the more sophisticated can offer you advice on where you need to improve.
The idea behind the smart home gym is that you don’t need to buy lots of different bits of gym equipment. This has its merits, yet it has to be said that some of the smart gyms are notably costly. Let’s have a look at three of the most popular: Tempo Studio, Tonal Smart Gym, and the Peloton Bike.
Tempo is perhaps the most popular of the new breed of smart home gyms, and in some ways it is the most versatile. If you are into weight training or are looking to get into weights, and you like to have a personal trainer on hand, Tempo might be the choice for you.
Tempo has a large touch screen for selecting and following workouts and resembles a TV on an easel. You get a set of dumbbells with it and weight plates that attach to the dumbbells. For a monthly subscription – currently $39 – you get access to many classes given by quality personal trainers and instructors. The cost of the unit itself is $2,495, which may put it out of reach of some customers.
The system cleverly tracks you during exercises and gives real-time feedback on how you are doing and what you need to do to improve. This is an impressive piece of kit that gets great reviews from users, and sets the standard in some areas for smart home gyms.
Tonal is often cited as a direct competitor to Tempo, but there are distinct differences. This is a strength training machine rather than one for weight lifters. It is also a tall screen – wall mounted in this case – that comes with some innovative features.
Tonal works by way of arms that offer resistance up to around 200lbs. This makes it perfect for strength training in the home environment. Prior to use, the user completes a fitness assessment which prompts the device to offer a suggested workout. This clever touch makes it more detailed than some rivals. It’s also useful to use with any of the top personal training apps that can be downloaded to your smartphone.
The machine is equipped with a series of sensors that recognise what you are doing – it doesn’t time your workout, and instead recognises when you begin and finish different reps – and also offers real time feedback useful for improving your training.
There are many guided workouts from top trainers that can be part of your routine, or you can let the system tell you what to do and how much resistance to use. All in all this is a clever and useful smart home gym for people who want to indulge in strength training, and at a price of $2,995 is comparable with the Tempo Studio.
Which Is The Better Smart Home Gym – Tempo Or Tonal?
Tonal is a great fit for those looking to level-up their strength training with limited space, as their machine is wall-mounted with cable pull-down arms on the sides, promoting the digital weight system. Tempo, on the other hand, is downright better for fitness enthusiasts who want the look and feel of a home gym setup with a barbell, dumbbells, weight plates, foldable bench and squat rack, and more. When comparing the two, both Tonal and Tempo have excellent training programs and trainers that will help you get stronger.
Tempo has the edge with their newly added squat rack and folding bench press along with their hotly anticipated sport-specific workout classes (like golf). So, as the leading fitness + tech resource, and after testing both, our choice, if you want cardio plus strength training – is Tempo any day of the week.
For lovers of spin classes, Peloton offers the opportunity to enjoy this type of workout in the home. The clever part is the screen which links you to other riders in the same class or performing the same routine, and a scoring system that tells you how you compare. The bike itself is very similar to one you would find at a gym.
Peloton has a $39 subscription for the online live classes and it’s worthwhile. New rides accompanied by DJ’s are a frequent addition. Notably, Peloton has announced a series of themed sessions with superstar singer and actress Beyonce who is an ambassador for the brand.
Clever, usable and practical in the home, if spin classes are your exercise of choice Peloton may be the answer. The basic cost of the bike and screen is $1,995 but we recommend you also check out the accessories package with this option.
Other Smart Home Gyms
The three smart home gyms mentioned above are the leading players in the market along with Mirror. Mirror is a very neatly designed device that sits on the wall and resembles, you guessed, a Mirror. Where it appeals is in its versatility. This machine offers a variety of workouts completed with an online trainer. Sessions include cardio workouts, kettlebell training and resistance band exercises (kettlebells and resistance bands come with the package) and much more. You pay a $39 a month subscription for all the live access and the basic cost of the machine is $1,495.
Also worth a look at the Hydrow Rower, a computer controlled digital rowing machine that replicates the real thing for a cost of $2,495, and the Technogym MyRun Treadmill, which is a machine that allows you to run on the spot and links with a tablet, at cost of $2,980.
There are many more smart gyms and items of smart gym equipment in a market that is growing quickly, so it’s worth looking around for new models and also for upgrades and accessories for the popular models as they can be useful if you want to make your machine and home gym as versatile as possible.
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