Tonal Home Gym is among the most recognized smart home gyms on the market. The wall-mounted screen has two adjustable arms that move up, down, and at various angles. Pushing and pulling exercises use dynamic, magnetic resistance. Attachments include handles, bars, and rope for varied, total body workouts.
Tonal is more than a giant mirror with handles. Ai-based technology offers personalized weight selection, and a membership gives access to classes and pre-recorded personal trainers. All this comes at a hefty price, which is a deal breaker for most people. So what are the best Tonal Home Gym alternatives for 2023? We take a look at the best, more affordable, smart home gym options.
Why Does Tonal Cost So Much?
Tonal’s smart home gym has a starting price of $3,000. For access to all the exercises, add another $500 for the accessory kit. For delivery and installation (don’t try this on your own), add $250. For classes and pre-recorded personal training sessions, add on a $50 per month membership. Combine these details and you’re looking at just under $4,000 to get started with your Tonal Home Gym.
Is the price worth it? It depends on your budget and goals. Tonal is a smart home gym that comes packed with advanced technology. The system uses Artificial Intelligence to identify which weight is best for you and your abilities for each exercise. It automatically adjusts the weights in real-time as you go through a workout. As your strength increases, the Ai learns you’re getting stronger and offers you more challenging weight selections.
Tonal comes with a multi-week workout program that includes strength training, cardio, yoga, partner exercises, and more. Each program is led by a cast of trainers which you’ll see on the Tonal screen. Beginner workouts include strength training how-to’s.
Tonal offers a library of pre-recorded classes you can do on your schedule, as well as on-demand live classes that let you work out with friends or the Tonal community. Connect Tonal to a Bluetooth heart-rate device and you’ll get real-time information about how hard you’re working.
What do People Love About Tonal?
Tonal users love the personal trainer feature. The on screen instructors show you how to set up the machine for each movement and give you verbal cues to guide proper form. When you’re done with a workout, you’ll see a summary on the screen showing how much you lifted, your total time under tension, and other motivating stats.
If you prefer a lot of instruction before, during, and after your workout, Tonal delivers this in your home. It’s one of the best in-home trainer alternatives. If you prefer working out listening to loud music or zoning out with other people talking to you, then this bedrock feature of Tonal might be a turnoff.
What Can’t Total Do?
If you’re a serious bodybuilder who needs a home gym that will promote muscle hypertrophy, Tonal might not be the choice for you. The cable-based resistance trainer offers a maximum load of 200 pounds, or 100 pounds per cable. For some people, this isn’t enough resistance to trigger growth, especially when performing compound movements. If you’re new to strength training, or trying to get back in shape, Tonal could be fine for you.
- Fun and easy to use
- Sets and adjusts weight for you
- Wide selection of on-demand fitness classes
- Supports partner workouts
- Offers form feedback with 17 built in sensors
- Expensive to get started
- Sometimes miscounts reps
- Cords can rub against skin
- Maximum 200 pounds resistance
- Monthly subscription is expensive
Among the biggest deterrent to Tonal is the price. Among other smart fitness mirror choices on the market, it’s the most expensive.
In this article we’ll look at the Tonal Home Gym alternatives that might better fit your budget and your fitness goals.
The Best Tonal Home Gym Alternatives in 2023
Tonal is a smart, total body workout for the home. Resistance training fitness equipment, home cardio workouts, bodyweight exercises, and free weight alternatives offer the same fitness benefits, but often at a much lower cost.
The following is a rundown of what our research found for the best tonal gym alternatives that users of all fitness levels enjoy.
Price: Starts at $1,195
The Mirror is a full-length smart gym screen that features expert trainers teaching a wide range of live classes. The on-demand classes include cardio, strength training, pilates, and yoga. Users report that the workouts are fun and light. The classes are accessible with a click on the app from your phone or tablet.
A built-in camera on The Mirror scans your body to create a virtual version of yourself you can see on screen. For those new to strength training or cardio routines, this real-time feedback on posture and form can be helpful.
The Mirror also measures and analyzes your heart rate using Bluetooth and comes with 6 fitness bands to help you get more out of each workout.
- Allows you to play your own music via Spotify
- Tracks calories burnt
- Takes up very little space Huge library of classes to choose from
- Expensive and comes with hidden workout and accessory costs
- No touch screen
- Unlike Tonal, it doesn’t offer form feedback
- No weights are included with the base package, which limits workouts
Price: Starts at $1,195
The Tempo Studio is an easel-shaped smart home gym that’s growing in popularity for those who like the idea of a weight room at home, but don’t have the space. One of Tempo’s most attractive selling points is the large variety of gear it offers within a small footprint.
Two dumbbells, a 25-pound barbell, 16 weight plates, and a foam roller are included with Tempo. In total, the starter package offers 75 pounds of resistance. Upgrade to include a kettlebell system, weight bench, squat rack, and additional free weights.
A 3D virtual tracking system follows your movement and allows you to measure your performance with each exercise. This is nice for beginners who enjoy feedback on form.
Tempo Studio Pros
- Comes with gym equipment and integrated storage space
- Experienced on-screen trainers
- Large library of workouts for all fitness levels
Tempo Studio Cons
- Expensive and comes with accessory and membership costs
- Requires high-speed internet
- Not great if you don’t like lifting weights
Price: Starts at $1,895
This 60-inch, lightweight, fitness mirror comes packed with some impressive tech. NordicTrack Vault is armed with first-class gym equipment and iFIT fitness classes, led by professional, world-class trainers.
The Vault gives users access to a variety of on-demand classes on its 32-inch HD touchscreen. The integrated storage space keeps all of your equipment secure without cluttering your home.
The unit comes with built-in speakers, an exercise mat, resistance bands, dumbbells, 20-30 pound kettlebells, and yoga blocks. It’s a great full home gym package for those with the money to invest.
NordicTrack Vault Pros
- Longer warranty compared with competitors
- Rotating touch screen doubles as a full length mirror
- Adds-ons give you a complete home gym
NordicTrack Vault Cons
- Expensive and comes with extra membership and accessory costs
- No option for personal training
- Includes maximum 30 pound dumbbells and kettlebells
Price: Starts at $1,499
The Echelon Reflect Touch features a large, 50-inch interactive display screen which includes a front-facing camera. Bluetooth connectivity and speakers let you workout with headphones or pipe in your own music.
Users can monitor their heart rate with a bluetooth device and interact with an Echelon fitness community. Echelon is known for its extensive library of thousands of on-demand workout routines. It offers routines for cardio, yoga, boxing strength training, pilates and more, like meditation. The device can be mounted on the wall to save space or you can use a stand.
The Echelon does not come with any equipment. So make sure to be ready to go with your yoga mat, resistance bands, and other essential equipment for your workout session.
Echelon Reflect Touch Pros
- Excellent library of classes
- Leaderboard for motivation
- Bluetooth can connect to headphones
Echelon Reflect Touch Cons
- Expensive and comes with additional membership costs
- Doesn’t come with any workout equipment
- Screen is hard to view in bright light conditions
Price: Starts at $2,249
The JaxJox Interactive Studio features a 43-inch 4K touchscreen that serves as your control module for the entire system. The screen doubles as a stand for the digital weights system, which includes adjustable kettlebells and dumbbells, a vibrating foam roller, and digital push up board.
For those who need music as motivation, JaxJox includes a soundbar that connects with Spotify and Apple Music so you can play your favorite tunes while you get a full body workout.
Like most smart home gym equipment on the market, JaxJox has a subscription-based model which means monthly payments are required to get the most out of the hardware. For $40 per month, JaxJox grants you and up to six members of your household access to daily live and on-demand classes.
- Classes combine cardio, strength training, and recovery
- Digital weights are space saving
- Every movement and rep is tracked using Ai technology
- Huge library of live and on demand classes
- Expensive starting price
- The technology can be overwhelming for some
- A max 142 pounds of weights is not enough for everyone
- Requires monthly membership
Price: Starts at $1,499
The ProForm Vue is a fitness mirror that allows users to bring a full training experience into their home. The ProForm is a sleek, compact, full length digital mirror with an HD touchscreen. Users can access hundreds of workouts from ProForm’s dedicated application called iFit.
The small footprint of the ProForm Vue is designed to fit nearly any space in your home. When not in use, it looks just like a free standing mirror. The unit comes with convenient storage on the back to conceal and store your weights after your workout.
Vue integrates with iFit programming and an interactive streaming fitness library. Sound familiar? This is the same library NordicTrack uses. Inside the app, you’ll find a large selection of workouts to choose from, many of which are led by professional trainers.
ProForm Vue Pros
- One full year of iFit programming is included
- 15 pound bar and two 5 pound dumbbells included
- Reflective display allows you to check your form against instructors
- Large HD touchscreen display
ProForm Vue Cons
- Expensive and comes with additional add on costs
- Only comes with 25 pounds of weight
- Programming is tailored more toward beginners
- Need to buy an exercise mat and heart monitor separately
What to Consider Before Buying a Smart Home Gym
As you can now see, the smart gym market is growing and you have a lot of options. The biggest deterrent for most people is the high entry price. At just over $1,000, Tempo studio is the best priced on our list. That said, this only considers the starting cost.
Many smart home gyms require the purchase of additional equipment before you can access the full features of every class. Plus, you’re locked in to monthly membership fees to access the latest content.
Upgrading your fitness mirror so it includes the essential equipment you would need for each workout, like heart rate monitors, resistance bands, dumbbells, kettlebells, benches and mats can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,000 extra.
Construction, assembly, and installation can be a deterrent as well. Tonal Home Gym’s mandatory installation fee of $250 is something to consider. What if you move, or wish to place it in a different room? And if working out while you travel is important to you, it’s worth noting that none of these smart gyms can come on the road with you.
Best Smart Home Gym Alternative
If you love the idea of ditching the gym membership but are looking for something with an affordable price, the X3 Bar Elite will give you all the benefits a smart home gyms offer and a bit more.
The X3 Bar is the next evolution in resistance training, packed into a portable home gym. Unlike smart home gyms, you can take X3 Bar with you to the office and when you travel. When you’re not using it, just put the tiny home gym in the closet, under the bed, or in a storage bag.
The X3 Bar Elite offers an entire body workout, scientifically proven to burn fat and build muscle mass more efficiently than traditional free weights. Because X3 Bar offers dynamic resistance which is just as strong as you are, the guided workouts are appropriate for any fitness level.
The X3 Bar offers the most advanced form of strength training available, variable resistance. Traditional weights tend to overload your joints and underload your muscles. Variable resistance training maximizes your potential for muscle growth by providing a changing resistance that’s lightest in your weakest range, and introduces greater resistance in your body’s strongest range.
The X3 Bar Elite:
- Reduces risk of injury compared to traditional weights
- Allows you to safely lift heavier loads
- Protects both your joints and tendons
- Recruits more muscle fibers and stimulates hormones for faster, greater gains than traditional weightlifting
What Comes with the X3 Bar Elite System?
X3 Bar is a simple, yet smart, home gym system that comes with everything you need for total body fitness. With X3 Bar, there is no need for expensive bluetooth accessories, live fitness classes, or extras like free weights, yoga mats or benches. The portable home gym also helps you save on installation fees.
X3 Bar’s variable resistance comes from its elite level latex resistance bands. The quality and strength of the bands sets X3 apart from other gym equipment that relies on rubber bands for resistance. X3 comes with four resistance bands. Each strength training band is made specifically for the X3 bar and features layered latex for maximum strength.
The four included resistance bands come in the following tensile ranges:
- Super lightweight: 10 – 50+ pounds as a single loop, 100 pounds doubled over
- Lightweight: 25 – 80+ pounds as a single loop, 160 pounds doubled over
- Middleweight: 50 – 120+ pounds as a single loop, 240 pounds doubled over
- Heavyweight: 60 – 150+ pounds as a single loop, 300 pounds doubled over
The X3 Bar Elite heavy-duty resistance band is sold separately. The band provides 110–300+ pounds of resistance as a single, closed-loop and over 600 pounds when doubled over.
Steel Workout Bar
The 21.5-inch workout bar is engineered from machined alloy steel. The familiar, Olympic-style bar is designed to withstand over 600 pounds of force. Each side of the bar features ball bearings with hooks attached which allow the bar to rotate, keeping the resistance band’s orientation consistent and your grip secure throughout the full range of each movement.
As resistance bands become stronger, anchoring them by standing on them becomes increasingly difficult. They tend to dig into your feet and put a tremendous amount of pressure on your ankle joints. One slip and a band can snap back at you.
The X3 Bar system solves this common problem by providing a stabilizing ground plate. The ground plate is engineered to withstand over 600 pounds of force, which allows it to keep up with the heavy-duty resistance bands.
A high-density polyethylene plate has a notched-out area on the bottom designed to keep the band in place, while allowing it to expand and stretch as you perform each lift. Using the ground plate makes exercise safe, effective, and more comfortable.
The ground plate is not an add on—you get everything you need with the X3, unlike the smart home gyms.
With the steel bar and ground plate, the X3 workout bar system lets you safely accomplish the total-body strength training movements you may already be familiar with. A complimentary 12-week online training program helps you get the most out of every X3 workout and has been proven effective by thousands of users.
You’ll start by alternating between a push day and a pull day, each performed twice per week for a total of 4 workouts. After completing week 4, you can move to a 6-day/week workout schedule which includes a few more advanced movements.
Each workout consists of just four easy-to-follow exercises. The exercises are so easy to learn, you do not need a live personal trainer. Working out isn’t complicated if you do it right. Users perform just one set each.
Don’t confuse ‘easy to learn’ with easy. A single set is all it takes because each set is performed to failure. When you can no longer do the complete movement, you continue doing partial reps until you can no longer move the bar.
The intensity of the X3 Bar workout stimulates growth hormones and triggers hypertrophy much faster than traditional weight lifting. If losing weight is your goal, keep in mind building muscle will burn calories much faster than any cardio routine.
Push Day Exercises Include:
- Chest Press
- Tricep Press
- Overhead Press
- Front Squats
Pull Day Exercises Include:
- Bent Row
- Bicep Curl
- Calf Raise
Advanced Variation Exercises Include:
- Pec Crossover
- Split Squat
The free online program includes nutrition tips to help you lose weight and gain muscle even faster. Tips vary from week to week and are designed to be progressive.
Is X3 Bar Right for You?
If your goal is to workout at home and on the road with equipment that helps you burn fat while building lean muscle then you need to take a close look at the X3 Bar Elite and everything it offers. When compared to traditional muscle building equipment, X3 has an affordable price point and is proven effective.
X3’s thriving online community offers the motivation and camaraderie you’ll find in the smart gym communities featured in this article, without a monthly membership cost. Get inspired by the stories of others, submit your questions about proper form, and engage in the comment section with X3 Bar’s inventor himself, Dr. John Jaquish.
X3 is the only home gym system to offer enough resistance for muscle growth, yet with varying tension levels that make it suitable for all levels. It’s also the most portable on this list, so with X3, you’ll never miss a workout when you’re on the road.
It may be time to bypass the expensive smart home gyms, and make the truly smart choice, the one that functions best for an improved physique.