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Tempo vs. Tonal: Which Is The Better At-Home Fitness Option?

RC Williams
ByRC WilliamsJan 24, 2023Sponsored

I'll admit it - I'm a fitness addict. Fitness is my form of meditation, and I crave a daily sweat sesh!

But I've come to realize there are a lot of different at-home options nowadays. And I was having trouble deciding between which at-home fitness set up to invest in. Luckily, I came across two smart home gyms that can accomplish my fitness goals - Tempo and Tonal - but had to narrow it down to just one!

So I tried them and found myself a clear winner...

Comparison #1: Access To Free Weights

Winner: Tempo!

I’m someone that prefers to use free weights for my workouts, versus cables & pulleys. I find that the weights allow for a fuller range of motion, and support a wider range of exercise versus the cables.

I can also personally feel more of a weight difference for each move when I use the weights. Plus, I was slightly concerned when my dad used the Tonal that he was going to rip it out of the wall by having too much weight on the cables (he’s much stronger than I am).

So, Tempo definitely wins this comparison for me!

Comparison #2: Form Correction Technology

Winner: It's a Tie!

One of the selling points of both Tonal and Tempo for me was the AI powered technology to help you improve your form. As a former fitness instructor, and someone who has had their fair share of injuries, proper form is huge for me and something I’m always working on (and encouraging my friends to pay attention to).

Both of these home gyms can track your form through their technology and give form cues; I was constantly reminded to keep my knees tracking more over my toes in my squat. I can honestly say that my knees feel better squatting now than they have in the last few years!

Comparison #3: Size and Spacing

Winner: Tempo!

Tempo comes in two sizes: the Tempo Move and the Tempo Studio. The Tempo Move is basically the original Tempo but without the 42” screen; it comes with a small cabinet to store your weights & equipment, plus a dock for your phone.

The workouts are projected on a TV or screen of your choosing, and the AI technology still works. As someone that lives in a small apartment now and doesn’t have unlimited space for fitness equipment, this offering from Tempo is extra appealing to me.

Comparison #4: Ability To Lift Over 100lbs.

Winner: Tonal!

Tempo comes with up to 75 lbs. in weight plates, plus a 25 pound barbell. As someone that barely uses a weight heavier than 20 pounds, this was plenty sufficient for me.

However, if you’re more like my dad and you want to lift heavier, Tonal might be the better choice for you. You can have up to 100 pounds per cable on Tonal, for a max of 200 pounds total. Any heavier than this, and there is a risk that the cables could rip Tonal out of the wall.

Comparison #5: Price and Affordability

Winner: Tempo!

The Tempo Move is definitely the most economical option, coming in at $395 for the product (or $16/month if you finance) and $39/month for the subscription.

The Tempo Studio, which comes with the full 42” screen, starts at $1495 (or $16/month) and goes up to $3,995 (or $62/month), depending on how many weights you purchase with it. The Tonal subscription is $49/month, already making it slightly pricier than the Tempo, and the machine itself is $3,495.

Overall Comparison Winner: Tempo!

For me, Tempo was the ultimate winner. It is less expensive, fits better in my apartment, and gives me as good as - if not better than - the strength workout I got with my dad’s equipment. Now I just need to convince him to buy it!

Additionally, Tempo is having a limited-time sale of $800 off The Studio or $100 off The Move - both come with free shipping too!