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For years, working out at home has been a popular alternative to working out in a gym. Self-consciousness, commute times, and expensive monthly memberships all contribute to people’s desire to work out at home.
As technology has advanced, so have different kinds of work out equipment you can place in your home. Now, there’s a whole category of “smart” equipment that will analyze your exercise posture as you go through a work out and provide you with feedback. This gives you the feeling of being with a personal trainer at the gym without the need to commute and without the associated costs.
As the COVID-19 pandemic has caused gyms across the US to close or initiate mask mandates, many people have started to work out at home more than ever before. While there’s a large variety of “smart” fitness machinery on the market, two of the top contenders are the Mirror and Tempo Studio.
At first glance, MIRROR and Tempo seem extremely similar to one another. Both “smart” machines advertise being able to replace your home gym, and both of them take your posture into account with a camera or 3D sensor so you can receive real-time feedback.
However, as you look more closely at each system, you’ll find that the two have a lot of features that make them different from one another.
MIRROR vs. Tempo: Features Head-to-Head
While both Mirror and Tempo offer a large variety of live classes and on-demand classes, the ways that each machine offers its real-time feedback on your workout form varies. Each one of us has different tendencies and goals when it comes to working out, so you might find that one system appeals to you more than the other.
Mirror features a camera on the top of its screen, which looks like, you guessed it, a mirror. As you’re working out, you can see your reflection in the mirror and adjust yourself based on the movements that you see the instructor making. The camera also allows for the digital instructor to provide you with feedback on your form as you’re working through an on-demand class.
If you’re attending a live class, then the instructor will be able to see you (and all the other people in the class) with their camera and provide feedback to you that way. Since your reflection overlaps with the instructor’s, you get a seamless workout session that allows you to feel as if you’re in the room with the instructor.
The Mirror comes with its own system, 20,000+ classes to choose from, a heartrate monitor, and resistance bands.
Unlike the Mirror, the Tempo doesn’t let you see your reflection as you work out. Instead, the front of the Tempo features a 42-inch touch screen TV. The camera at the top of this TV uses 3D sensors to create a model of your body by collecting 80,000 individual points of data. From there, Tempo will determine 25 pivot points on your body and create a digital version of yourself on the screen.
This is a nice alternative for people who don’t like to look at themselves as they work out. Even class instructors can’t see your full form and instead see a “skeleton-like” figure, and this provides you with more privacy.
Which device you ultimately choose to get your workouts off of will probably depend less on the technology they use to provide you with feedback and will instead come down to the types of work out sessions you’re looking to get out of your “smart” devices.
Types of Work outs Tempo Studio Offers
Tempo Studio focuses more on strength training related work outs. Based on all of the weight plates that come with the machine, this difference in class offering makes sense. Most of the classes that it offers will attempt to incorporate the weights in some way, but you can also pick classes that don’t have any weights involved. You can also always choose to go through a class and not use weights even if the class is calling for them.
On top of strength training, Tempo offers classes from categories such as HIIT, cardio, and recovery. It does offer some yoga classes as well, but it offers far less of them than Mirror does. At this point in time, Tempo offers fewer classes overall than Mirror does. As a newer company and a newer product, this isn’t entirely surprising. Like Mirror, Tempo is adding new classes every week. These include both on-demand and live classes.
While Mirror advertises that you need to only focus on you for your workouts, Tempo incorporates leader boards into its live classes. If you’re a competitive type, this could be a piece of social interaction that you miss from going to an actual gym. Even better, you won’t be able to see other people in the same way that they won’t be able to see you at these classes: instead, they’ll just be able to see your stats.
Like Mirror, you can have multiple accounts associated with your Tempo Studio. Each user will need to complete a fitness assessment and enter their work out goals. From there, Tempo will start to personalize their work out experience.
See all Tempo workout options below:
Types of Workouts The Mirror Offers
Mirror tends to be a more cardio-focused device. In the classes that it offers, most of them don’t involve weights and instead have individuals rely on their own body weight as they’re moving through a program. The Mirror doesn’t come with any weights when you order it, so it makes sense that the product would focus more on people utilizing their own body weight.
The categories that Mirror offers classes in include cardio, HIIT, dance, stretching, sculpting, meditation, yoga, boxing, kickboxing, pilates, and more. These live and on-demand classes are created with users of all skill levels in mind. You can pick whether you want a beginner, intermediate, or advanced class as you browse the sessions. Mirror offers thousands of classes on-demand already and is constantly adding new ones (the company estimates that they’re probably adding 70 new classes a week!)
Mirror also allows you to connect with a live, personal trainer for a 1-on-1 training session at an extra cost of $40 per class. This can be a perfect alternative for someone who wants to avoid going to the gym but is looking for more personalized coaching in their at-home workout programs.
On top of its other options, Mirror allows for you to do partner workouts. This is great for the couple that’s looking to get in shape together or maybe you want to work out with your kids. If there are multiple people in your household who might be using it, Mirror makes it simple. It can hold up to six different accounts. Each user just needs to download the app and then take a fitness assessment from there.
Both the Mirror and the Tempo are pricey, so it comes down to other factors that you’re looking for before you make your purchase.
Mirror is less expensive than Tempo Studio ($1, 495 vs. $1,995), but it also comes with far less equipment (and less areas to store that equipment). The Mirror price tag includes resistance bands and a heart rate monitor, and the ginormous workout library.
On the other hand, the Tempo Studio costs $500 more than the Mirror, but if you’re building your home fitness gym from scratch and live in a small space, so you need a nifty way to store all your equipment, then the higher dollar amount could be worth it. When you purchase the Tempo, you’ll get numerous weight plates that range from 1.25- 10 pounds, and you can combine the plates to get a range of 7.5 – 100 pounds. You’ll also receive a 25 lb. stainless steel barbell and stainless steel dumbbells that you can put the plates on. On top of that, you’ll get a foam roller, a work out mat, and a heart rate monitor.
For both, to receive the on-demand and live classes, you’ll need a $39 per month subscription service. Likewise, the pricing of delivery cancels the other one out because each company charges $250 for their device to reach your home. In a lot of 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.
Although both are expensive options to have in your home gym, if you think you’re going to be working out at home in the long run, either option is worth it. Both offer 12, 24, or 36-month financing without interest, so if you need to plan out the payment options, you can. Once you make it past the first year, if you’re still using either piece of equipment several times a week, you’ll be saving yourself money. When you consider that the average price of a group boutique class is $21-45 per class, $39 a month for an unlimited amount of classes isn’t bad.
If you’re mainly looking for cardio sessions from your home workouts, then Mirror could be the better option for you. However, you’re looking to build more muscle mass through the use of weights; then Tempo would be the “smart” equipment you want to choose.
RELATED: Is the MIRROR Workout Worth it?
Tips for Choosing Between Tempo and MIRROR
Reasons to Consider Tempo
- Counts your reps for you. Although this piece of technology isn’t perfect, the fact that Tempo keeps track of your reps, so you don’t have to is pretty cool. The machine will also analyze your heart rate and the speed at which you’re completing your reps to tell you if you need to slow down or go faster
- It’s constantly getting smarter. Tempo is an intelligent piece of machinery, and its AI- technology shouldn’t be underestimated. As you work out with it more, it’ll be able to offer you more personalized workouts that fit closely with your goals and your fitness aptitude. You can also pick a fitness training program, so you’ll feel more of a sense of accountability as you work your way through the program. Tempo will provide you with a schedule and send notifications to the app on your phone (if you allow it to).
- More focused on strength training. If you’re looking to build muscle rather than simply expanding your lung capacity, you’ll want to choose Tempo Studio. Additionally, if you don’t have much lifting equipment or a lot of space to store that lifting equipment, then Tempo makes it easy for you to hide all of your equipment away
Reasons to Consider MIRROR
- Apple Watch users can sync it to Mirror. This is a huge advantage for people who want to be able to track all of their exercises on one device. With Tempo, users have to wear both their fitness watch in addition to the heart rate monitor.
- If you already own equipment at home, like kettlebells, dumbbells, or resistance bands, the Mirror will offer classes that fit with the equipment that you have so you can focus on building muscle. You’ll also save yourself money since you won’t be paying extra money for weights that you already own the equivalent of.
- Mirror has the largest collection (20,000+) of live and on-demand classes. With all of the options available, you’ll never be bored. They’re also constantly adding new classes.
- Offers a large selection of yoga, boxing, and cardio classes. While Tempo also offers some of these class types, Tempo’s work outs are more focused on weight training in conjunction with cardio.
- Mirror has a larger music selection than Tempo provides and it allows for you to control the instructor’s voice and the music levels separately, so you can make one much higher than the other if you want.
Summary: Mirror Vs. Tempo: Which is Right For You?
This is a hard question to answer because there’s no piece of home gym equipment that’s perfect for everyone. Each person has his or her own preferences when it comes to working out, and each of these smart pieces of machinery fits a different kind of need.
The Tempo is geared more towards people who are looking to build muscle on their work out journey. With the weights that it offers and the classes that accompany them, you’ll easily be able to learn how to lift like a pro if you’re a beginner, or you’ll be able to mature your muscle mass more even if you’ve been lifting for years.
The 42” screen easily makes you feel like you’re a part of a fitness class- which is everyone’s largest downfall for when they’re working out at home on a regular basis. Unlike Mirror, Tempo introduces more room for a competitive spirit because you’re able to see other people’s work out stats during a live class.
Out of the two options, Mirror is slightly more portable (although it still weighs 70 pounds). Mirror is also more aesthetically pleasing than the Tempo since it looks like a regular mirror when it’s not in use.
Mirror is the better option for someone who’s looking to get more cardio-related or yoga-related fitness. With it’s lower price tag, it’s also a more affordable option for someone who isn’t looking to work out with weights on a regular basis. It could also be an ideal option for someone who already owns several pieces of workout gear and doesn’t need to pay a higher price tag to get weights.
Overall, if you’re still split about which option you should buy, worry not. Both Mirror and Tempo offer a 30-day warranty. If you order one and find that the workout style isn’t for you, you can return it and only have to pay the shipping and handling. Keep the differences outlined above in mind as you make your buying decision and evaluate your fitness goals! If you have a clear fitness goal in mind, then the decision between the Mirror and Tempo Studio becomes much simpler.
My top pick? Tempo is the more complete package, in my opinion…