I have to make a confession: I cheated on the Tonal. I've had a steady relationship with the so-called peloton of strength training since the start of coronavirus quarantine, but recently a new smart home gym came into my life – the Tempo Studio for $ 1,995. Suitable for beginners and advanced users, Tempo Studio uses 3D sensors and artificial intelligence technology to suggest the appropriate weight you should lift for each move, count your repetitions, and give real-time feedback on your shape to be honest and to be honest, sure. Like Tonal, it offers on-demand workouts with knowledgeable, motivating teachers. And with a larger screen, form corrections, and live courses, Tempo outperforms Tonal in many ways and significantly undercuts its price. Both are undoubtedly excellent fitness machines, but Tempo Studio is our new choice for editors.
Price, design and installation process
The Tempo Studio costs $ 1,995, which is significant, but $ 1,000 less than the Tonal, and you can fund it for just $ 55 a month for 36 months. The cost includes all the accessories you need for class, including two 7.5 pound dumbbells, a Coospo heart rate monitor to track your calorie consumption, an exercise mat and a recovery role. To load your dumbbells and barbells, you will receive four red plates weighing 1.25 pounds (red), four plates weighing 2.5 pounds (yellow), four plates weighing 5 pounds (gray) and four Plates weighing 10 pounds (blue). The machine itself is available in white or black (which is really a dark, gray-blue color).
The costs do not include delivery, tax and membership fees. Shipping costs $ 250 and taxes vary by state. Membership costs $ 39 a month and gives you unlimited access to on-demand and live courses, as well as the ability to set up as many profiles as you want on your computer. Everyone in your house needs their own profile so that the pace can recommend the right weights for everyone.
Monthly membership fees are common for smart exercise equipment. For example, Tonal charges $ 49 per month for courses. Peloton's subscription service costs $ 39 per month. Echelon charges $ 39.99 for Reflect classes. With its training equipment, NordicTrack offers a free one-year iFit subscription. After that, it costs $ 33 a month for families.
Though Tempo is only a few months old, it already offers hundreds of courses, and the company reports that at the time of this writing, it had released about two new ones a day that were shot in its San Francisco studio. Live class schedules are currently limited due to COVID-19: the company currently offers three per week (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays), but plans to add more gradually.
Most live courses appear to take place at 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. PT. When I live in Florida I'm three hours ahead, so those times weren't the best for me, but my goal was to try a live class, and I'm so glad I did. As the pace community grows, the live classes grow, but when I was there, I was one of only 14 people in the class. The instructor called my name several times, which was exciting.
The company does not currently offer partner workouts, but a spokesman says that this may be the case in the future. This is an area where Tonal has one leg up and an excellent partner workout experience.
Tempo Studio is primarily focused on strength training, but its library also includes a wide range of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), mobility, cardio, and recovery classes. The mobility courses involve many yoga movements (although they may have different names than in a yoga class).
When you're away from your computer, you can stream bodyweight workouts through the Tempo Fit app (available for Android and iOS). In the app, you can also chat with a member of technical support, view your profile, and add workouts to your calendar.
If you are not happy with the pace, you will receive a full refund minus shipping costs within 30 days of delivery. This gives you enough time to try it out and see if you feel it is worth the money.
All accessories delivered with the pace are of high quality. The barbell and dumbbells have clips on both sides so you can easily and safely remove and add weight plates. The weights each have a different rubber coating, so they look good and do less damage to your floor than bare metal weight plates.
The company sent me the black model for this test, and it's much more stylish than I expected, with a much larger screen than the tonal. The pictures on Tempo's website don't do it justice.
The Tempo Studio has an easel-like design. It measures 6 feet tall, just over 2 feet wide, about 1.5 feet deep, and weighs 100 pounds. In contrast to the tonal, which is mounted on your wall, the pace is free, so that you can move it relatively easily if necessary.
It occupies 3 square feet on your floor, but you must have 5 feet free in front of it. It is important that you have enough space as you need to place your mat horizontally 5 feet from the pace so that the 3D flight time motion sensor can track your movements (more on that in a moment).
On the front is a 42-inch touchscreen that is almost twice the size of the Tonal's 24-inch display. It's a 4K screen, although Tempo is currently streaming in 1080p quality. The company tells me that it plans to switch to 4K streams in the future as the infrastructure improves and more people get gigabit internet. There is a cabinet under the screen in which all weights are stored neatly so that they are not visible when not in use. You can hang the dumbbells and barbells supplied on the back.
Left to right: Tempo Studio, Tonal
I always get a little nervous when I put up large, heavy exercise equipment, but the pace delivery and installation process couldn't have been easier. After I placed my order, it only took me about a week and a half to arrive. Tempo’s logistics partner called me a few days in advance to arrange a delivery window. On the day of delivery, they called me again to confirm and arrived on time.
They carried the device and all the accessories into my house, set the pace in my training room where I wanted it, plugged it in and switched it on. My test device was used and was not delivered packaged, but Tempo tells me that its delivery partners generally unpack the machine and accessories and collect and recycle the packaging for customers.
After setting up, all I had to do was enter my WiFi password, create an account and get started.
How Tempo Studio works
Tempo uses a 3D motion detection system and artificial intelligence technology to suggest the appropriate weight to lift for each movement, count your repetitions, record your pace and range of motion, and provide real-time feedback on your shape. On the front of the tempo is a 3D time-of-flight sensor that emits infrared light pulses 30 times per second and then measures the time it takes for that light to go back to create a 3D model of your body that is made up of 80,000 single points.
The flight time motion sensor differs from a normal camera. It does not record videos of you and does not capture the inside of your home. For the system, you simply look like an undetectable computer-based skeleton made of points. Then 25 of your joints are identified and compared, where they relate to each other, to determine which exercise you are doing and whether you are doing it correctly. For example, if you're doing a bicep curl, your wrist point will move as you lift the weight toward your shoulders, but your elbow point should stay in place. When the system detects that your elbow point has moved, a response is displayed on the screen. During the live training, the trainers cannot see you, but they can see and instruct your heart rate, number of repetitions, and any feedback the system gives you.
To start pacing, just plug it into the wall, press the little power button behind the screen, connect it to your WiFi, and create an account. When you create your account, enter your gender and answer a few onboarding questions about your level of experience, your goals, and the number of workouts you plan to do per week (a number based on your level of experience is recommended).
After you create your account, watch a short introductory video that explains how to set up your mat and load weights onto the bar. From there, your first class is a fitness assessment. In this first class, Tempo uses your onboarding answers to determine the weight recommendations for each move. From then on the recommendations will be adapted to your performance. If you miss your repeat goals, your weight recommendations may be lowered. If you exceed your repeat goals, they may increase.
In addition to the individual classes, Tempo offers programs that you can participate in, including a 3-week pace kickoff for those unfamiliar with strength training and a 6-week build-up for advanced users looking to build muscle. There is also a beginner-friendly program called Reload & Recover that offers mobility and body weight courses for your rest days.
Train with the Tempo Studio
At the bottom of the main interface there are three sections: Home, Classes and Your Profile. In Home, selected classes are shown above, including any upcoming live workouts. Below that, the next class in your program is shown if you have joined one, followed by the last classes and full body workouts. One minor criticism is that there is currently no schedule for live classes, which would make it much easier to schedule one. I suggest checking the home screen on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings for when to start a live class.
In classes, you can search workouts and filter by duration (10, 20 or 30+ minutes), type (HIIT, mobility or strength training), level of difficulty (beginner, intermediate or expert) and trainer. If you're short on time, Tempo offers a number of fun, fast-paced challenges, such as the 10-minute challenge: Guns only or the 8-minute challenge: 100 Rep Squat Pyramid.
You can select any class to view the training schedule, duration, music genre, level of difficulty, and equipment required. The training plan lists all the movements you will make, with pictures of each one, so you can quickly see what you want.
They play pop or hip-hop in most strength classes. You cannot change the music like the Tonal, but you can turn it up, down or off. The name of the song appears at the bottom of the screen, and you can tap the volume icon to customize it. There's also a slider that allows you to increase the music and decrease the volume of the trainer, or vice versa.
When you find a workout you want to do, press the red start button in the top right corner of the screen. When participating in strength training, the pace shows you how much weight you need to load on the barbell or dumbbells, if available.
You then attach the heart rate monitor to your forearm, press the button above to turn it on, and it should automatically connect to the pace. When the connection is established, your heart rate is shown in the lower right corner of the screen. A Tempo spokesman tells me that the device will soon support the Apple Watch for heart rate measurements.
A message on the screen will then instruct you to place your exercise mat six feet from the screen and stand in the middle. If it detects that you are there, it counts down from five seconds and then starts streaming the workout. Just make sure no one else is standing or sitting right next to you when you start exercising. Otherwise, the pace can get confused. I stood in the middle of the mat a few times, but the training didn't start because my friend was sitting right behind me on the couch and the pace recognized him too. As soon as he was out of the way, the training started immediately. Fortunately, after he started training, he was able to get back on the couch behind me and the pace had no problem counting my repetitions.
Tempo workouts usually start with a quick warm-up. In the upper right corner of the screen the remaining time for the workout is shown. While you exercise, the trainer does all the movements with you. In resting phases, they show and explain exactly how the next step is carried out correctly. When it is time to work, the timer changes color and counts down to the end of this sentence.
At the bottom of the screen, your repetitions, your pace, your range of motion and your heart rate are shown in real time on the screen. The heart rate shows which zone you are in. The average and the max. Your goal is shown under Tempo, e.g. B. 30 repetitions per minute.
There is a leaderboard on the right side of the screen and you can switch between the leaderboards for total volume increased (based on weight) and the number of repetitions. During on-demand class, Tempo displays the leaderboards as if you were attending a live course. At this point in the training, you will see your scores and leaderboards next to those of everyone else, repeat for repeat. If you like the class, you can always repeat it later to see if you can exceed your score or climb higher on the leaderboard.
Depending on the movement, you either point forward towards the pace or to the side. If you look in the wrong direction, the machine may not count your repetitions. Therefore, make sure to orientate yourself on the mat as the instructor is. If you look in the wrong direction, you will be informed of the pace by a message on the screen.
It is also important to stay on the mat while lifting and keep the distance between you and the pace clear. Once I had the barbell on the floor in front of me, and when I got on the floor to do exercises like sit-ups, the pace did not count my repetitions. As soon as I moved the barbell, it started counting my repetitions again.
The pace doesn't come with a bank, but a spokesman says it could be in the future. Some exercises, like squeezing the barbell chest, make it easier with a bench so you don't have to fall all the way to the floor. I used the bank that comes with the tonal, but if you use your own, your repetitions are not always counted.
When it's time to rest during training, the timer in the top right corner turns white and counts down to the next set. At the top of the screen is the next step you will take and your goal of repetition. If you need to change weight for the next move, you will be shown how much to put on or take off. Because the weights are color coded, you can quickly grab the weights you need during your workout. You can tap the screen at any time to take a break if you need a break or more time to load weights onto your bar or dumbbells.
After each workout, Tempo prompts you to rate it on a scale from 1 (very easy) to 10 (very difficult) and choose whether the weight recommendations were too easy, just right, or too difficult. You will then see a workout summary that shows your calorie consumption, volume, and ranked rank.
After reviewing your workout summary, another class is suggested that you may want to cool down or keep burning. For example, if you have just completed strength training, this can indicate a short stretching or mobility session.
In your profile, Tempo tracks how far you are in your program, your personal recordings (for biceps, back, shoulder, leg, chest and cardio movements) and training activities. There is a calendar that shows which days you have exercised and a list of all the courses you have attended. For each workout, you can view statistics such as calories burned, volume increased, repetitions for each set, ranked rank, range of motion, feedback received from Tempo, and a graphical representation of your heart rate. It also shows whether you have reached new personal records.
My experience with the pace
During the onboarding questionnaire, I selected Get Lean and Gain Strength as my goals and indicated that I had some experience. Based on my goal and experience, Tempo recommended doing five workouts a week.
During the first introductory video and my first workout, the machine stopped frequently to buffer, which was frustrating. As someone testing smart home and portable devices for living, I connected a lot of things to my Wi-Fi network, so I thought this was probably the problem. Fortunately, I have 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi networks at home. I initially connected the pace to the 2.4 GHz network, so I switched it to the 5 GHz network, and that solved the buffer problem.
A Tempo spokesman confirmed that my crowded Wi-Fi network was probably the problem. Tempo requires a high-speed internet connection, but no ultra-high speed (between 10 and 20 Mbit / s should be enough).
As someone who likes to exercise, using the pace is addictive. In the first 24 hours after setting up, I completed four classes. That was a mistake; The next day I was so sore that I could hardly walk.
In less than two weeks, I have already enrolled 16 classes in which I have burned 2,115 calories and raised a total of 32,985 pounds.
I joined the 6 week build program and am thrilled. You complete a 30- to 35-minute full-body strength workout, followed by an upper or lower body session the next day. On the third day, you'll complete a shorter mobility course, which can include foam-roll recovery moves, yoga-like stretches, and core exercises. Then the cycle repeats.
Tempo trainers are competent and motivating. During a training session, coach Melissa Boyd's encouraging words made me tear up. Even if you train alone at home, you feel part of a community because the trainer sweats next to you and you can see the leaderboard rankings on the side of the screen.
Weight recommendations are just right. The 25-pound barbell is heavy in itself, so I was a little surprised and a little nervous when the machine told me to go for 7.5 pounds for a barbell back (a 5-pound gray and a 2.5-pound one – yellow plate) put squats on both sides. To be honest, I wasn't even sure how to get the 40-pound barbell on my shoulders. Trainer Cole Carlton gave safety instructions step by step, raised the bar to your shoulders and carried out the movement. That was one of the hardest and best workouts I've done in my life.
Tempo's form feedback is incredibly helpful. I squat all the time, so I know your knees shouldn't go over your toes when you're doing them. But I still make this mistake occasionally, especially when I get tired during a challenging workout and tempo calls me to do so. If you do something wrong, a message will appear next to your number of employees on the screen informing you how to correct your form. If you then correct the error, you will be informed.
After class, it is helpful to read the full training overview in your profile. Here you can see all the feedback Tempo has given you and whether you have corrected your form or not. For example, when I did the dumbbell neutral grip curl to push, Tempo said I would sit back. "They lean or sway their backs to complete a repetition," it said. "Keep your back stable and isolate the target muscle."
More important than staying honest, Tempo's AI and human form feedback can help prevent injury.
During the live course I attended, the pace provided the same feedback. I leaned back again to lift the weights over my head. Just as the feedback appeared on the screen, the instructor said that when you get this correction, try squeezing your glutes. This advice turned out to be very helpful.
I usually stick to equipment in the gym because I'm a little intimidated by free weights. The pace and excellent trainers teach me how to lift them safely while pushing me to do more than I thought possible. I leave all strength training and feel strong and proud of myself.
Comparisons and conclusions
When I try to get to the heart of what I love about Tempo Studio, I remember Steve Jobs' famous phrase: "It just works." The weight recommendations are challenging but doable, they count your repetitions exactly and the form feedback is helpful even for experienced lifters. Whether you're in the smart home gym market because you're socially distant, or just prefer the convenience and privacy of exercising in your own home, Tempo Studio is worth serious consideration.
In the smart home fitness market, Tonal is the only thing that comes close to pace. While both are excellent options for safely building strength and achieving your fitness goals, I prefer Tempo’s free weight-based system over Tonal's electromagnetic resistance device. The latter offers partner workouts (its main benefit), but Tempo has a much larger screen, corrects you if you do something wrong, and offers live classes. Both machines take up roughly the same space, but I think it's good that you can easily move the pace when needed, and I find it more aesthetic. It's also around $ 1,000 less than Tonal. The Tempo Studio is worth the price, as is the choice of our editorial team for intelligent strength training equipment.
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