Can I get a great workout at home from Tonal?
A Health Coach Review
I’ve written about the Peloton and the Mirror in previous posts, so today I want to focus on the Tonal workout technology. More and more companies are attempting to solve some of the common barriers to being physically active. Barriers can include not having enough time for physical activity, not having the necessary support, not knowing how to properly exercise, and so much more. Tonal attempts to mitigate those barriers by developing workout equipment that utilizes data capture, real time weight adjustments, coach-led videos, on-demand videos, and (eventually) live-streamed classes from the comfort of your own home.
What makes a Tonal workout unique?
Tonal is a specially designed weight machine that uses electromagnetic technology to generate up to 200 pounds (100 pounds per arm) of resistance. The company designed the equipment with a flat screen in the middle and 2 adjustable arms with a variety of configurations to replicate every exercise in the weight room.
You can do chest fly’s and move right into squats with an easy adjustment of the arms. Additional accessories can be purchased, but they will cost you an additional $500. The available accessories include smart handles, a smart bar, a rope, a bench, a mat, and a roller.
Another key feature that makes Tonal unique from other workout equipment is the use of live data. Tonal uses ongoing data monitoring to assess the quality of each rep, decrease resistance if you are struggling, and measure your progress in real time.
Tonal automatically measures and records your reps, sets, power, volume, range of motion, and the time you spend under tension so you can see your progress over time. Another great feature is the dynamic resistance which replicates the feeling of chains or a heavy negative to work the muscles to failure more efficiently and effectively.
Pros and cons of a Tonal workout
After a full review of the features (unfortunately I wasn’t able to test the equipment at home), here are my pros and cons.
- No more driving through traffic or during bad weather to the gym! All you need to do is put your workout clothes on and walk across the room.
- The coach-led videos provide step-by-step instructions on each movement or exercise.
- Tonal meets you where you are. It starts you off with a quick strength assessment so it can recommend weights and movements based on your current fitness level. This allows it to assist you in reaching your fitness goals.
- Workouts can be sorted by specific areas of the body or full-body programs to help you find what you are looking for.
A workout summary is provided after each session, allowing you to use accurate and varied data to keep track of your progress and reps.
- There are four-week programs available for a variety of fitness goals.
- The equipment takes up zero floor space since it is mounted on the wall, but if you decide to purchase the additional accessories you may need some floor space.
- Partner workouts are available so a family member or friend can join you.
- Tonal Radio provides you with a variety of music options to help you keep going with your workout.
- Its high-tech dynamic resistance offers a wide range of uses.
- Their elite coaches provide a range of philosophies and personalities.
- The cost of the equipment is $2,995.
- At $49, the monthly membership is a little more expensive compared to Peloton or the Mirror. It also requires a minimum commitment of 12 months at time of purchase.
- Additional accessories to help improve the experience of the Tonal will cost an additional $500.
- Live classes are not available yet, but they are promised soon.
Tonal certainly brings science into the home gym at all levels. They are one of the first companies to produce home workout equipment that captures data at every level to provide the user feedback and progress reports. The future of fitness is certainly coming fast.