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My Subscription Addiction

Who Wins This Strength Training Battle: Tonal or Tempo?

Caroline Levere
ByCaroline LevereJan 2, 2023Sponsored

True life: I’m a fitness addict. Fitness is my form of meditation, and I crave a daily sweat sesh. I lived at my parents house throughout most of the pandemic, and got spoiled by their diverse array of exercise equipment. I’m not quite sure why, but my dad seems to think that he’s competing with gyms when it comes to buying random strength training machines. A leg press? We have it. A lat pulldown bar? Check. I moved back into my NYC apartment about a year ago, but haven’t been ready to return to the gym, so I was missing this equipment. Luckily, there are two smart home gyms that can accomplish the same goals as all of my dad’s equipment - Tempo and Tonal.

I tried both Tempo and Tonal, and there was a clear winner. Which one carried enough weight to tip the scales? Let’s find out!

If you prefer to use free weights…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).

Tempo Is Offering You $800 OFF The Studio or $100 OFF The Move and Free Shipping!

If you care about form correction…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 (they have a tendency to fall in). I can honestly say that my knees feel better squatting now than they have in the last few years. Both machines also leverage their technology to track the number of reps you have completed and suggest the proper weight for each exercise.

If you’re tight on space…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 is extra appealing to me.

If you want to lift heavier than 100 pounds…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.

If you are looking for the most cost efficient option…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.

Tempo Is Offering You $800 OFF The Studio or $100 OFF The Move and Free Shipping!

The Ultimate 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!