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At-home gyms have always been a viable alternative to working out at a fitness center. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic, the popularity of at-home gyms have spiked. Fear of the virus and gym closures have caused more people to exercise from the comfort of their living room.
Unfortunately, many people face one obstacle when they work out at home: a lack of social interaction and a lack of routine (mainly if they frequently worked out with a physical trainer previously.) Luckily having a “smart home gym” is starting to become more popular, and more options are beginning to enter the fitness market.
While most people have heard of MIRROR before, today, we’ll cover some of Mirror’s main differences and similarities compared to one of its competitors, Tempo Studio.
Critical Differences Between Tempo and MIRROR
Both Mirror and Tempo show you your “reflection” as you work out, but the two machines do this in very different ways. For this Mirror vs. Tempo comparison, it’s essential to understand how the two different devices operate.
How Tempo Studio Operates
Unlike Mirror, Tempo doesn’t have a reflective surface where you watch yourself workout. Instead, it features a 42-inch touch screen TV with a camera at the top of it. This camera utilizes 3D sensors to create an outlined figure of your body by collecting 80,000 individual data points. With the data points, the system then locates 25 pivot points on your body and creates a digital version of you that appears on the screen.
This “skeleton-like” figure gives you more privacy because your background isn’t shown to instructors, and neither is a video image of you. What you see on your screen is what instructors see on theirs.
With both machines, you can receive real-time feedback from instructors.
How MIRROR Operates
As its name states, Mirror is an oversized Mirror that allows for a physical trainer to appear on the reflective screen as you’re working your way through a live or on-demand class. It features a camera at the top of its structure that captures your movements so the AI or live instructor can tell you to make adjustments to your movements. The screen’s reflective nature also allows you to see yourself so you can more easily adjust your body placement as you follow along with a workout.
Workout Comparison: Does MIRROR or Tempo Win Head-to-Head?
Types of Workouts Tempo Offers
Tempo also offers cardio-related workouts, but the machine tends to be more focused on strength training. Tempo comes with a variety of weight plates when you order the machine. The company is attempting to reach a different market audience by offering classes that utilize the included weights.
If you’re someone who likes the style of Tempo better, but you’re unsure about purchasing it because of the strength training that’s woven into so many of the workouts, know that Tempo offers an extensive range of classes that don’t include weights at all. You can also work your way through a class and not use the weights that are recommended.
Tempo’s Workout Categories
In addition to their strength training classes, Tempo has exercises from the categories: HIIT, cardio, recovery, and yoga. At this point, Tempo has fewer classes in their library than Mirror, but, like Mirror, Tempo is adding new classes each week, and this includes both on-demand and live classes.
- Tempo Offers A Competitive Style
Tempo workouts can also differ from Mirror because the device allows you to have a more competitive edge. After all, it showcases leaderboards during its live classes. If you consider yourself an athlete or a competitive person, this feature could be a central selling point since it could be a piece of motivation or could provide you with a sense of social interaction. As you workout, the other people in the class won’t be able to see you- just your stats. Only the instructor will be able to see your 3D model and provide feedback.
- Create Multiple Accounts With Both Home Gyms
With both Mirror and Tempo, you can have multiple accounts. Each user will need to complete a fitness assessment and fill out what their fitness goals are. After that, each user will be able to get started with their personalized workout experience.
While each smart home gym hosts a powerful operating system that features a large variety of live and on-demand workouts, the fitness option you end up choosing will probably depend on the specific exercise style you’re looking for.
Types of Exercise Programs MIRROR Offers
Although Mirror features over 20,000+ classes to pick from, most of its classes are cardio-focused. Many of the sessions don’t involve free weights and instead rely on people to use their body weight to build muscle and cardio endurance. Since Mirror doesn’t come with weights included when you order it, it stands to reason that a majority of its classes wouldn’t involve equipment that its users may not own.
(Mirror does come with a heart rate monitor and resistance bands, though, so many workouts will include those.)
MIRROR’s Workout Categories
Mirror’s classes include cardio, HIIT, dance, stretching, sculpting, meditation, yoga, boxing, kickboxing, pilates, and more. These classes are created for people across a broad spectrum of fitness levels. As you scroll through each section, you can pick if you want to do a beginner, intermediate, or advanced class. You can begin to follow the trainers you like and get a notification when one of them adds a new class (Mirror adds approximately 70 new classes a week, so you’ll always have plenty to choose from!)
If you’re still looking for a more personalized connection, you can buy sessions with a live, personal trainer for $40 per class. This option is excellent for someone who doesn’t want to go to the gym but wants the routine and discipline of working with a trainer.
Workout Equipment Needed for Tempo and MIRROR
Both Mirror and Tempo are quality pieces of home gym equipment because you don’t need to order any additional workout equipment to use them.
Mirror is a more cardio-focused device, so all of your classes may involve body weight or the resistance bands that come with the machine. If you’re looking for strength training, you can find classes that incorporate weights, but you certainly don’t have to have them to be productive during a majority of workouts. The heart rate monitor will also help you keep track of how much energy you’re exerting during workouts.
Tempo is excellent if you’re at the beginning of your home gym journey and don’t own any other equipment yet. In addition to its smart system, Temp comes with: weight plates that range from 1.25- 10 pounds, a 25 lb. stainless steel barbell, stainless steel dumbbells that you can put the plates on, a foam roller, a workout mat, and a heart rate monitor. On top of all the equipment that Tempo comes with, you probably don’t need to purchase anything more unless you want an incline bench to complete exercises with. Due to the equipment it comes with, Tempo makes it simple for you to perform strength training exercises.
Price Comparison: Is MIRROR or Tempo Cheaper?
Since both home fitness options are pricey, you’ll want to make your purchasing decision based on your main exercise goals.
Although Mirror is less expensive than Tempo ($1,495 vs. $1,995), it also comes with far less equipment (and fewer areas to store that equipment).
For both machines, you’ll need a $39 per month subscription service to receive on-demand classes and live classes. The pricing of delivery for both devices also cancels each other out because each machine has a delivery fee of $250. In many ways, this makes your buying decision simpler because you only need to focus on the pricing of the machinery itself when you’re considering which one to purchase.
How to Make Your Home Gym More Affordable
If you struggle to fathom putting up that much money for a workout machine, each company also offers financing without interest over a 12, 24, or 36-month timespan. Each company also offers a 30-day “free trial,” but you will have to pay for the shipping and handling.
If you’re going to be working at home for an extended period, it could be worth it to invest in one of these “smart machines.” Most gym memberships by themselves cost around $30 a month (depending on your location and the gym size). Then getting sessions with a personal trainer costs more. Even if you’re looking at doing a group class at a boutique fitness gym, the average cost is $21-45 per class. If you use your smart home gym for more than the first year, you’ll be saving money. Paying $39 per month for an unlimited amount of classes is a steal when you think about how you might only be able to get one or two group classes for that same cost.
If you’re mainly looking for cardio sessions from your home workouts, then Mirror could be the better option for you. However, if you’re looking to build more muscle mass through weights, then Tempo would be the “smart” equipment you want to choose.
Summary: Tips For Picking the Best Smart Home Gym
Both Mirror and Tempo are excellent machines that would make for a great addition to your smart home gym. However, if you’re on the hunt for an intelligent machine that provides you with an endless amount of cardio workouts and a sleek aesthetic, then Mirror could be the top option for you.
If you’re someone who’s looking for a wider variety of workouts, then you may want to consider Tempo. If you don’t own a lot of weight equipment already, it comes with many items you need to get a full-body workout. It’s also perfect if you live in a small space since you can discreetly tuck the equipment away.
When deciding which machine is best for you, take a look at your goals. Then, pull the trigger and get moving!
Our top pick?
I prefer Tempo because it comes with everything you need to get started, including the fitness equipment. Learn more below: