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The fitness company MIRROR is attempting to take interactive workout classes out of the gym and into your home. With Mirror, the company claims that you can perform live and on-demand workouts by yourself and receive the benefits of having an in-person instructor without any embarrassment you might feel at an in-person class.
Do their claims live up to the hype?
In this MIRROR Home Gym review, will bring answers…
What is the MIRROR?
Mirror’s general concept is simple- you place the reflective mirror on a wall in your at-home workout space. Like with any mirror, you can see your reflection as you perform workout poses. Mirror is a full length mirror that takes up virtually no room in your home and doesn’t look different from other mirrors when it isn’t turned on.
However, Mirror features built-in technology where an interactive instructor can walk you through a fitness class while helping you with your form. The Mirror offers hundreds of on-demand classes that you can stream. If you prefer to attend live sessions, Mirror also offers a wide array of those weekly.
The interactive instructor is where Mirror begins to stand out.
Although it’s simple to stream an on-demand or live class on your phone, computer, or television, the Mirror features a camera at the top of it along with a microphone. The instructor appears on the screen next to your on-screen reflection and can advise on poses or tell you if they feel like you need to adjust your pose to more closely align with the workout they want you to do.
Mirror allows you to have a personal trainer’s experience without the ongoing fees that come with meeting with a personal trainer regularly. The Mirror offers a “connected fitness” experience. Connected fitness is the community feel that’s provided through Mirror’s live fitness groups or a user’s ability to follow one of their favorite instructors to get a notification whenever they release a new fitness class.
Here’s a look at the MIRROR in action…
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Setup and Features
Usually, the Mirror is installed professionally. You can either hang it on your wall or you can prop it against your wall if you prefer. A carbon-steel stand comes with the Mirror as does a small anchor. The Mirror weighs around 70 pounds, so it’s highly recommended that you use the anchor if you’re going to prop it against the wall.
When you’re picking out the location to put the Mirror in your home, you’ll want to be sure that you’re choosing an area by a power outlet. It comes with a 1-foot and a 6-foot power cord.
You’ll also want to be sure and pick a space in your home where you’ll have enough room for movement. Mirror doesn’t suggest a minimum square footage for setup, but you’ll want to have enough room in front of it to place a yoga mat, and then you’ll want to have enough space around the perimeter of the mat so you can move from side to side or back and forth while doing your home workouts.
To get started with using the Mirror, you’ll need to download the associated app. The Mirror app is an iOS app and is now compatible with Android users. Just provide your email address, and then you’ll be free to set up your profile!
As you move through the steps of setting up your profile, you’ll be asked to provide information about your age, height, weight, and workout frequency. Mirror also asks you about what your workout goals involve and what types of classes you prefer. This helps Mirror to make workout class suggestions. The Mirror is even intelligent enough for you to document any fitness injuries you have on the app. For example, if you have an ankle injury, then Mirror is going to suggest daily workouts that are low-impact and take out certain exercises (like jump squats).
On top of the Mirror itself, your purchase provides you with a heart-rate monitor, six resistance bands (four long looped bands and then two smaller ones), a glass-cleaning kit, and seven emoji stickers (just for kicks and to improve their customer experience).
The Mirror app has thousands of on-demand workouts for you to choose from. The app includes staples like Pilates, yoga, cardio, and strength-training, but the app also provides more specific workout types like postnatal, kickboxing, and chair. The Mirror app also allows you to filter workouts based on the kinds of workout equipment you have. Most of the workouts can be done with your own bodyweight, but if you’re looking for a workout that incorporates dumbbells or kettlebells, the app allows you to search for those.
On top of the on-demand classes, Mirror offers more than 70 live classes a week, with 16 to 20 workout sessions taking place each day. To appeal to the largest number of people possible, class times usually take place between 4 a.m to 11:30 p.m on Eastern time on weekdays; on weekends, the classes happen are shorter, and often take place between 8:30 a.m to 8 p.m. Eastern time.
Mirror also offers a variety of duration for class times. Each class is typically 15, 30, or 45 minutes. If you’re in a rush and are looking for a short exercise session or you’re in need of a longer workout, Mirror provides plenty of options for both.
The Mirror app also lets you search for a class and filter it down based on the level of difficulty that you’re looking for. Mirror offers beginner to advanced classes in each workout category, and the company is continually having instructors upload new workouts so you’ll never run out of sessions even if you like to do the same difficulty in the same category for every workout.
What it’s Like Working Out with MIRROR
Working out with Mirror is fun and allows you to really push your body to get a hard-hitting workout. The Mirror will enable you to try out new kinds of workouts so you’re never bored with your workout routine. It also allows you to constantly try out new kinds of workouts without feeling self-conscious about the folks in the class who might be slightly more in shape than you.
The Mirror provides the feel of working out at a boutique fitness studio and gives a sense of exclusivity since you’re the only one using it in your own home. However, the heart-rate monitor and the real-time data you see on the screen allow you to feel like you’re getting a more involved experience than a boutique studio could ever provide due to the insights that Mirror offers.
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What We Love About the MIRROR: Pros & Cons
Although the Mirror is a nifty new piece of technology that many people find appealing, it still comes with a couple of cons that you could be off-put by.
- You’re able to try out any kind of fitness class when you want to. You might be more inclined to take on a new kind of workout strategy if you aren’t nervous about possibly looking foolish in front of the “regulars” of a class. The home workouts allow you to try out different kinds of personal training programs.
- Each class is highly descriptive and includes the list of all the exercises you’ll be doing throughout the course of that class. This is a pro because you’ll never get into a class, be halfway through, and then be surprised that the instructor is calling for you to do split squats when you really aren’t looking for that level of intensity that day.
- Mirror offers a ton of insights about your form as you’re working out. It also tells you a lot of information about the progress you make throughout your workout. The Bluetooth heart-rate monitor and the real-time data together give you an estimate of the number of calories you’ve burned in a session.
- The Mirror is well thought out, and this makes it a powerful piece of technology. The classes are paced decently, and the exercise series is logical. The Mirror’s instructors will routinely correct your form to help you get the most out of your workouts as well.
- Your Mirror and the subscription services come with a one-year warranty (you should aim to leave your Mirror in the same place after you install it, but we understand that you might need to move it for some reason. We also appreciate that random accidents happen).
- If you’re a big fan of working out with a personal trainer but hate commuting to the gym or don’t want to go to a gym because of COVID, then you’re in luck. Mirror has announced that it intends to soon add a feature that will allow users to work with a live one-on-one personal trainer for $40 a session. This is less than what most personal trainers or gyms normally charge and allows you to have the best of both worlds- training in your home and working with a knowledgeable human being in real-time.
- If you love attending workout classes in person, the Mirror might not be for you. While the company does a fantastic job of recreating the in-person experience, nothing is the same as seeing your typical group of workout buddies at the same time and place each week. People who love to have a set routine and need other people to hold them accountable for working out may struggle to adjust to working out with Mirror.
- It can take a little while to get used to working out with just your reflection- especially if you’re a person who likes to go to the gym. However, in time, you start to become more used to working out with just your reflection.
- Unlike when you attend an in-person class, the Mirror can have technical glitches. Connecting to the heart-rate monitor or Bluetooth headphones tends to be simple, but Mirror doesn’t always consistently connect with the Bluetooth headphones. Other glitches can include buffering that the Mirror can experience if you have a slower Wi-Fi connection or if you have several members of your household on the Wi-Fi at once.
- Mirror is still a relatively new company. While it had an initial bout of popularity, it’s unclear if that popularity will continue as time goes on (especially if the connected fitness fad begins to fade away). If Mirror were to go out of business, then the Mirror device would fail to serve its purpose because on-demand classes would no longer run. However, with more and more people working out at home due to COVID-19, we don’t see this as a likely scenario.
PRICE: How Much Does it Cost?
Upfront, the Mirror costs $1,495. While professional installation isn’t required, given the weight of the 70-pound Mirror, it’s highly recommended. Unfortunately, installation isn’t included in the original price and costs $250. Last, Mirror requires a subscription to have access to the app and its classes. There’s a one-year minimum commitment, and the subscription costs $39 a month ($468 a year).
In total, for the first year, the cost is $2,213 for the whole Mirror package (and this doesn’t include taxes).
If you divide that $2,213 price tag by 12, you’ll get a monthly cost of $184 for the first year. This is approximately the price of a membership for group classes at a place like Equinox.
Justifying the cost of Mirror depends on how often you’re going to use it. If you’re taking an at-home workout several times a week for the first year, then you’re probably getting your money’s worth. If you continue to use Mirror after the first year (even if you only use it once or twice a month), you’re getting your money’s worth. It’s not uncommon for a single workout class to cost between $21- $40. For a monthly subscription of $39, you’ll undoubtedly be getting a deal if you continue to attend several classes a week.
Review Summary: Tips for Deciding if MIRROR is Right for You
If you’re someone who loves a home workout because you don’t want to leave your house and go to the gym, but you don’t love the lack of instruction that comes from workout videos, then Mirror might be the perfect solution for you. Mirror could also be a fantastic solution if you’re looking to replace a pricey gym membership or you want to cut out the habit of attending fitness classes at an expensive boutique.
Additionally, Mirror allows for workout enthusiasts to continue feeling as if they’re in a social space during COVID-19. As gyms are forced to close or have limited capacities across the US, the Mirror allows people to continue their normal workout habits without risking a gym trip.
While the price of the Mirror can be a major hangup for a lot of people, the Mirror becomes far more cost-effective after the first year of use. Although there is a higher upfront fee through purchasing the Mirror, after using it for the first year, you will save a lot of money if you use the Mirror twice a week vs. attending in-person classes. The Mirror also allows you to add up to six different accounts on one device. If other people in your household are going to be using the Mirror, then this cuts down on the cost even more. Mirror also tries to appeal to more users by allowing a payment plan so you can break down paying for it over a 12, 24, or 36-month time-span.
If you’re self-conscious and don’t love to attend in-person workout classes with many people, but you love the benefits that a workout class can provide, then the Mirror is the ideal solution for you. It offers instructors who will correct your form for the recorded on-demand classes. If you’re looking for a more “routine regime” then attend the live classes that take place every day. The instructors involved with these classes will also correct your form and offer you workout advice.
Most importantly, the Mirror is perfect for a wide range of workout enthusiasts or workout beginners. It can be the perfect addition to your home gym. Whether you’re looking to build more muscle mass or achieve your New Year’s resolution of losing weight and sticking to a workout plan, the Mirror offers a wide variety of classes that can be appealing to every kind of user.
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