Is the Workout Mirror Worth the Price?

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Looking to ramp up your strength training routine at home? You may have heard of Tempo, a smart fitness system that brings one-on-one strength training right to your home. Complete with seasoned instructors, real-time metrics and form feedback capabilities, this high-tech studio is taking the home fitness space by storm.

Good Housekeeping Institute fitness experts and certified personal trainers tested the Tempo for over six months, evaluating ergonomics, workout programming, exercise variety, construction quality, accuracy and more. Here’s everything you need to know about the Tempo Studio and whether or not it’s worth its expensive price point.

What is the Tempo Studio?

Tempo is a smart home gym studio that uses 3D sensors and artificial intelligence to count your reps, track metrics and provide feedback and corrections on your form. Live and on-demand fitness classes are led by seasoned trainers and range on areas of focus, types of workouts and experience level.

While strength training classes are the bread and butter of Tempo, you’ll also find HIIT, cardio, yoga, prenatal, boxing, mobility and recovery content too. New classes are added regularly and programs are available to follow to help you work towards specific goals be it building muscle mass or improving endurance. The sleek, stand-alone design is available in two colors and discreetly stows equipment like barbells, weight plates and more.

Courtesy of Tempo

What makes Tempo different from other smart home gyms?

When our Good Housekeeping Institute fitness experts and certified personal trainers first looked at the Tempo, we were very impressed by use of 3D sensors and form feedback features. You don’t need to wear any special equipment for the platform to analyze your form, just stand about eight feet away from the unit and Tempo’s sensors and artificial intelligence analyze your form and provide feedback.

tempo form feedback

Courtesy of Tempo

Shifting your weight into your heels or need to go deeper in your squat? These on-screen corrections provide notes and visual cues to show you how to improve you form and get in a safe and effective workout. Our fitness experts found the corrections on upper body work like keeping the core engaged during overhead presses especially helpful. If you are taking a live class, coaches can see your form in real time and give you corrections instantly.

What is the Tempo workout experience like?

Once you log-in to your profile, you’ll start out with an initial assessment class that figures out what weights to suggest to you in the future. Then, you’ll be able to select from a variety of classes and programs that Tempo offers. Search by class time, body focus (i.e. shoulders, biceps, back, core, glutes), experience level and more. If the large library of classes is overwhelming, you can follow one of the many programs on the platform that are designed to help you achieve a specific goal such as building endurance, improving overall muscle tone or strength.

tempo studio interface

Courtesy of Tempo

When you select a class, you can preview what moves will be included and the sequence of exercises so you know what to expect (this was one of our favorite features). You can also select the type of music genre you’d like for your workout. All of the Tempo trainers are credentialed through major fitness organizations such as the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM); we found the coaches to be very skilled, knowledgeable and motivating.

You’ll run through a quick warm-up (or you have the option to skip the warm-up), and then your workout begins. Tempo will let you know what equipment is needed and provides weight suggestions for each move. The system gets smarter as you use it; if the weight is too heavy or too light, you can give Tempo feedback which is helpful as you progress through the workout and future classes. Classes are based on free-weight exercises like squats, curls, presses and more, and include bodyweight movements as well. While you may be tempted to go heavier than Tempo suggests, the workout itself may humble you; Tempo coaches use exceptional programming that manipulates rep schemes, timing of movements and more to create an effective workout and we found the weight recommendations to be spot-on.

Throughout the workout, you can see how you rank on the leaderboard and will also have an option to monitor your heart rate. Your ranking on the leaderboard is determined by your workout volume, which tracks both weight and reps. For bodyweight exercises, the intensity of the movement and the number of completed reps completed determines your ranking. If the leaderboard isn’t your thing, tap it to minimize it from the screen.

Tempo will count your reps for you, track your metrics and provide comments and corrections on form when needed. Instructors typically give ample time to change weights in-between exercises too, but you can tap the screen to pause if you need more time or have to take a quick break. The large 42″ HD touchscreen allows you to clearly see the instructor and their form cues, and the coaches do the entire workout with you. After the class cooldown, you can rate the class quality, instructor, and accuracy of the weight recommendations that Tempo provided and more.

How much does the Tempo Studio cost?

A hefty investment but comparable to the cost of competitors like the Tonal, the Tempo Studio is available in three different models and starts at $2,495. As you’ll read below, keep in mind that the systems come with everything you’ll need to strength train including top-quality barbells, weight plates and a thick exercise mat so there’s no need to purchase additional equipment like is necessary for many other fitness platforms. Discounts are currently available for military and healthcare workers. Financing is available through Affirm, and you can qualify for monthly payments as low as $69 with $0 down and 0% APR.

In addition to the cost for the gym itself, there is a monthly fee. You’ll also have to subscribe to an all-inclusive membership of $39/month; this gives you and your household complete access to all of Tempo’s live and on-demand content. A mobile app is also available for use. It’s important to note a 12 month commitment to the membership is required after activating your Tempo.

    Delivery, dimensions, warranty and other specs:

    Upon ordering your Tempo, you’ll receive a confirmation email. Then, their fulfillment partner with contact you once your unit has arrived at your local service hub and will coordinate a delivery date with you and a 4-hour delivery window. The $250 delivery fee covers delivery, handling, unboxing, Studio placement and removal of debris. You’ll be in charge of setting up your profile yourself which we found fairly easy, and there are a variety of beginner classes to get you familiarized with using the platform and the provided equipment.

    tempo studio equipment

    Courtesy of Tempo

    You’ll just want to make sure you have set aside enough space for your Tempo and that there is a clear path for the delivery. The Tempo Studio is essentially a giant triangle, weighs 100lbs and is 6′ tall, 2’ 2” wide and 1’ 4” deep. Considering what the platform comes with, this is a relatively small footprint. The unit itself features a large 42 inch HD touchscreen and a high tensile aluminum frame.

    Barbells stow away discreetly on hooks on the back of the studio, the included workout mat which our experts found to be great quality can be rolled and stored in the hollow portion of the studio, and the weight plates (ranging from 1.25 to 10 pounds) and collars store neatly in the bottom cabinet. If you chose to purchase larger competition plates (25 lbs and 45 lbs), those can be tucked underneath the bottom of the Tempo platform. An optional bench and rack system also fold for easy storage.

      The device has 60w stereo speakers and is Bluetooth enabled. The Tempo Studio supports 2.4 & 5 GHZ wireless internet as well as an ethernet port for wired connections. You can purchase the Tempo directly through their website or via Best Buy. Best Buy offers Free Delivery (drop off) of a Tempo Studio in as little as two days; installation is also available for a fee.

      Here is what each Tempo package includes:

      Tempo Starter ($2,495)

      • 5mm Workout Mat
      • 2 x 7.5 lb Dumbbells
      • 4 x Collars
      • 75 lbs of Weight Plates

        Tempo Plus ($3,245)

        • 5mm Workout Mat
        • 2 x 7.5 lb Dumbbells
        • 1 x 25 lb Barbell
        • Heart Rate Monitor
        • Recovery Roller
        • Folding Bench
        • 6 x Collars
        • 75 lbs of Weight Plates
        • 2 x 25 lb Competition Plates

          Tempo Pro ($3,995)

          • 5mm Workout Mat
          • 2 x 7.5 lb Dumbbells
          • 1 x 25 lb Barbell
          • Heart Rate Monitor
          • Recovery Roller
          • Folding Bench
          • Folding Squat Rack
          • Kettlebell System
          • Weight Plate Storage
          • 6 x Collars
          • 75 lbs of Weight Plates
          • 2 x 25 lb Competition Plates
          • 2 x 45 lb Competition Plates

            You can purchase many of the equipment items individually, so if you don’t want to splurge on the Pro but need large plates, opt for the Starter pack and purchase the competition plates separately.

            Our experts recommend reserving a good amount of space in your home for the Tempo since you’ll need clear space of eight feet in front of the machine for the 3D sensors and form feedback artificial intelligence to work; about 6′ by 8′ of clear space is ideal when working out with the Tempo Starter package and 6′ by 10′ if you are using the Plus or Pro package. But when not in use, the Tempo has a conscious aesthetic that almost emulates a piece of furniture, making it fit naturally into a living room or home office. A Limited Warranty is available for the Tempo Studio as well.

            Is the Tempo Studio worth it?

            While the Tempo is a significant home gym investment, our fitness experts found it to be one of the most complete and effective strength training systems we have tested. The sleek and efficient design, effective workouts, top-quality equipment, and artificial intelligence capabilities all provide for a complete smart home gym.

            Although the Tempo does include classes for all levels, our experts say it’s best suited for individuals who have some experience with lifting weights. Those who need guidance with a strength training routine, are interested in improving their form, or want to feel like they are working one-on-one with a personal trainer at home also will find the Tempo to be a great fit for their workout regimen.

            Pros

            • Artificial intelligence tracks metrics, provides form cues and corrections
            • Classes available both live and on-demand
            • Credentialed, motivating instructors
            • Effective workout programming
            • Preview exercise sequences before taking the class
            • Select your favorite music genre for each class
            • Sleek design and aesthetic

              Cons

              • Expensive price point
              • Additional monthly subscription fee required
              • Requires at least 6′ by 8′ of clear floor space
              • Rep counting and form cues not available for all movements

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