Here’s My Review Of Tonal, A Strength-Training Smart Gym That Works For Small Spaces

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Along with many other changes, the pandemic ushered in a new emphasis on home exercise equipment, some of which is quite expensive. Yes, platoon was founded in 2012 and the Mirror launched in 2018, but you never heard much about them until spring 2020, when lockdowns and gym closures meant most people exercised at home or not at all.

More recently, a machine focused on strength training called Tonal has been turning heads, due in part to the company’s remarkable lineup of celebrity spokespeople, including Serena Williams, LeBron James, Steph Curry and Maria Sharapova.

Tonal is basically a digital screen that sticks to the wall (professional installation required) that has a pulley system attached for strength training. You can use the screen to access exercise videos, connect with other users, and track your progress.

Another reason (COVID aside) that Tonal may be taking the limelight is that muscle-building workouts are taking the fitness space by storm right now.

“Whether it’s body composition, athletic performance, or even endurance athletes, I always tell people that strength is like the foundation or foundation for just about everything,” said Tony Gentilcore, co-founder of Cressey Sports. Performance, which is a high performance company. athletic training facility in Boston. For endurance athletes, like her clients who are interested in running the Boston Marathon, Gentilcore recommends strength training to help them put more force into the ground and propel themselves forward.

Strength training can be intimidating for a beginner, especially in the gym or without a personal trainer to provide guidance. While the Tonal sounds like a good idea, who wouldn’t want to try the machine Serena Williams supposedly uses for training? Is it really worth $3,000 or more to do it? I decided to check one out to find out.

Testing Tonal

Tonal addresses those deterrents in what I really think is one of the most compact home workout formats I’ve seen, which could be really helpful for people who have small spaces or live in smaller homes.

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I visited their Fifth Avenue showroom in New York for a demo, which anyone can do for free if there’s a location nearby. (Tonal is now available on 40 Nordstrom retail stores in 24 states across the country.) You can also check it out via a live video demo if there are no physical locations near you (or you just prefer to do it at home). I would recommend in-person experience if possible, as adjusting the arms and connecting the smart accessories for force testing can be tricky to figure out on your own.

Aside from the price, my biggest concern about Tonal is the potential difficulty of navigating the hardware and interface. It is not impossible. But as with any technology, there is bound to be a learning curve.

How much does Tonal cost?

The standard machine consists of a mirror-mounted touch screen with an adjustable arm on each side (for $2,995). The arms stay flush with the screen when not in use, so it truly does look like a stylish mirror that you can view on any wall in your home.

That said, the screen on its own is relatively useless unless you buy the Smart Accessory Pack, which costs an extra $495. The package includes two smart handles, a smart bar and a rope, all of which can be attached to one or both arms and allow the machine to adjust the weight based on your own personal strength. Also includes a bench, foam roller, and exercise mat. Without these accessories, I don’t see how I could get a personalized experience; it would just be a screen that projects exercise videos.

The bench is quite slim and can be tucked under the machine without taking up too much extra space, while the rest of the accessories can be hung from a sleek black bracket that sticks out about the same distance from the wall as the screen. On top of that, delivery with professional installation (which is required for warranty) is $250, and the Tonal membership that gives you unlimited access to the entire library of workouts is another $49 per month and is required for the first 12 months.

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While the device is relatively compact, it still requires 7 feet of vertical and horizontal space to install it and a ceiling height of 7 feet 10 inches. You also need a three-prong grounded outlet and walls that can support the nearly 150-pound device. (Tonal can generate up to 200lbs of resistance through the use of an electric motor.)

There is no doubt that the equipment and membership add up to a lot of money.

Here’s why you might want a Tonal

The thing is, my brother just converted his suburban basement into a home gym, which takes up about 10 times the space with 20 times the equipment. (He bought a bench press with various weights, Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells, a stationary bikeand a mini treadmilljust to name a few). A complete home gym will probably cost as much or more money than a Tonal.

Not everyone has the space to fill an entire room with workout equipment, the time to hit the gym four or five days a week, or the ability to hire a trainer to learn how to use the equipment and help keep you motivated.

One of the best advantages of using Tonal, in my opinion, is that it not only adapts with you as you get stronger, but also tracks your progress from the privacy of your own home. Each household member can set up her own profile and take a personalized strength assessment to establish her baseline. That allows the machine to set an optimal weight for each of the 200 moves you can do on this machine (provided you have the smart accessories, that is), ensuring you’re maximizing each exercise without overexerting yourself. far. Each smart accessory also has a button you press to turn the weight on and off, so if you’re having trouble, just press and all the weight will be released.

While a maximum resistance of 200 pounds may not be enough for professional powerlifters, it should be enough for beginners and intermediates. With membership, you can also access the app’s videos from anywhere, including everything from strength training to yoga to guided training. Theragun sessions that do not require the Tonal equipment.

Navigating through the library of workouts with the touchscreen interface was generally easy and intuitive, though even with the video guidance it took me a few tries to adjust the arms to the proper positions. Spotter technology monitors for signs of stress or fatigue and automatically reduces weight if you’re struggling, while 17 sensors provide guidance on form and technique.

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After my guided strength assessment and completing a 15-minute full-body workout video, I felt confident that I could do it all on my own and eventually master the mechanics of the machine. My workout only used the smart bar and bodyweight to complete exercises like Romanian deadlifts, incline rows, weighted squats, and burpees. Since my lower body is significantly stronger than my upper body, the smart bar was much heavier during my deadlifts and lighter for the incline rows. By the end, I felt engaged, challenged, and excited enough to see my strength score go up ever so slightly.

If you’re more experienced and prefer to choose your own moves, you can design your own workout and even connect to your favorite music service to play your favorite soundtrack while you do it. To help motivate you even more, you can connect your Tonal account with those of friends or family to compare progress or even see where you stand among all Tonal users across the country.

Is Tonal worth it?

Full disclosure, at this time and place in my life, I am not willing to make the monetary investment that a Tonal requires. But that’s not to say you don’t see value in it, especially if you can’t find another way to exercise. If I lived further away from the training facility, or had a family or work lifestyle that didn’t allow me the time to practice strength training in another context, I would definitely consider Tonal over other home training machines at this price point.

Another factor: I live in an apartment, and permanently attaching a heavy device to a wall could make it difficult to move at some point in the future. (Tonal will help you move it for a fee.)

That said, it’s really everything you need in a relatively compact, impressively high-tech and customizable machine.

you can buy the complete Tonal system starting at $2,995.

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