It’s shaping up to be the summer of social distancing and sheltering in place. But gyms being closed for COVID-19 doesn’t mean you have to miss your summer gains because we live in the time of wearable heart monitors, ZOOM yoga classes, and now smart home workout equipment.
These aren’t your grandfolk’s old Bowflex or dusty stack of P90X tapes. Modern home workout equipment the likes of Peloton, Mirror, and Tempo offer a smart, operating system driven home workout experience with a streaming service model for classes.
Basically, imagine the old exercise bike rusting in your grandparent’s garage being tricked out with a touchscreen, smartwatch compatibility, and a catalog of live and prerecorded classes to stream.
If that sounds like something your budding at-home gym rat heart desires then look no further, we’ve got the low-down on the prices, features, and pros/cons of some the latest in smart home gym equipment. And most of these can fit into even a small sized apartment!
- Peloton: The best Power Tray Tables for your Indoor Trainer
- Forget 10,000 steps a day! How to use Fitbit active zone minutes and why they matter
- Strength training using Apple Watch, a quick primer
- Komoot: best tips and tricks for every bike enthusiast!
- Stressed out? Try one of these wearables for stress detection and management
Pedal with Peloton!
Starting off with the cardio king, Peloton is one of the more recognizable names in the smart home gym market. If you’re pining for the spin-cycle experience at home then Peloton is the name to beat.
Upon the bike’s compact four by two-foot steel frame sits a fully adjustable seat and sweat resistant 22 inch HD touch display. Below the seat, though, the Peloton bike houses a near-silent belt driving the Look Delta-compatible pedals.
Peloton also offers a host of different classes to stream to the bike’s HD display as well as some light social interactivity such as leader boards and who else is streaming the class with you.
Mobile devices and third-party apps supported!
The bike also has apps that work with Android devices, Apple products including Apple Watch and both Fitbit via an app and Strava and has general Bluetooth connectivity allowing you to pair headphones, speakers, or a heart rate monitor for your next ride.
You can even connect a Bluetooth-enabled heart rate monitor and/or cadence sensor to view your real-time stats!
For Apple enthusiasts, Peloton offers Apple Health app integration so you can sync your workouts to Health App and see a complete picture of your daily activity from all types of activities and sources.
But the Peloton bike isn’t without its faults, that flaw primarily being the cost
With a $2,245 starting price for the bike and an additional $39 a month subscription fee for classes, Peloton is a more pricey option for getting in your cardio at home.
But fret not, there are other smart home gym systems out there with price tags a few hundred dollars less steep.
Marvel at Mirror
With a tagline like “the nearly invisible home gym,” Mirror elegantly provides more than 20 different types of guided workouts from its wall-mounted screen.
Like the Peloton, Mirror offers a variety of trainer lead classes with an added variety ranging from kickboxing and dance to yoga and pilates.
Mirror is also one of the more apartment-friendly options currently available due to its LCD-mirror hybrid design that can either sit in its included stand or be wall-mounted. The mirror in Mirror provides two primary functions.
Firstly, it allows you to monitor your stance and form while working out with the device, and secondly, the LCD portion of the display shows the instructor and tracks your workout.
Companion app for mobile
Mirror offers its Mirror Workout Companion app for Android and Apple devices including Apple watch and even supports Apple’s Message app stickers! Plus, Mirror companion app fully integrates with Google’s wearOS and Apple’s Health app, allowing for heart rate data exchanging.
Using the Mirror companion app, you can also sync a Bluetooth heart-rate monitor or Apple Watch to enable heart-rate based training. There’s also a competition mode where you earn points by hitting pre-defined target heart rate zones!
What about price?
At $1,495 for the initial asking price, Mirror does come in roughly $700 cheaper than the Peloton bike, but there’s also a $250 installation fee if you’d like your Mirror to be wall-mounted, and there’s also $39 a month subscription fees for classes on top of all of that.
Mirror gets a few more knocks against it for nor connecting to Android or supporting third-party fitness apps. You also may need to invest in weights, if you haven’t already, to get the most out of the classes the home gym system offers.
Training with Tempo
But what if you want to lift?
Well, then Tempo might just be what you’re looking for.
With a similar design sensibility as Mirror, Tempo is another large screen in your living room to work out in front. And in many ways, especially if you’re looking for a smart home gym option for weight training, Tempo is the superior option for home fitness.
While Tempo’s cabinet design won’t as easily disappear into the architecture of your home as Mirrors wall-mounted design, all the weights you’d need to take full advantage of the smart classes offered by Tempo are stored below the screen with dumbbells in the back.
In addition to streaming classes, Tempo’s screen also serves to capture a 3-D model of you while working out.
The two selling points for Tempo’s 3-D motion tracks are that the machine tracks 25 of your “essential joints” as you lift to ensure proper form, while also preserving your privacy by not taking video of your home.
Tempo’s membership app
Tempo only offers its members its app for iOS.
Membership gives users access to their library of live and on‐demand strength, HIIT, mobility, cardio, and recovery classes. The iOS app also offers personalized coaching with Tempo’s trainers.
What about price?
However, all of the bells and whistles in Tempo do come at a little bit of steeper price point than its nearest competitor, Mirror.
At a $1995 upfront price and the standard $39 for classes, Tempo rest somewhere in between Peloton and Mirror price-wise, but it may be worth the money considering it’s a complete home workout.
Fitness with FightCamp
What if you want to punch-up your smart work home workout experience, exchange inclines and squats for jabs and uppercuts, or take your frustrations out on the bag?
Well, then FightCamp might be the smart workout solution for you.
Unlike anything on this list thus far, FightCamp could best be described as smart boxing gloves. Included with the FightCamp are a standing bag, a set of boxing gloves, and the punch trackers.
FightCamp’s workout follows a HIIT structure–3 minutes of boxing and bodyweight exercises + 1 minute of rest and then repeat for 4, 6, 8 or 10 rounds. FightCamps method blends cardio and strength training to tone all your major muscle groups too.
Essentially, FightCamp punch trackers slip into the included boxing wraps to track your performance as you work your way through the variety of classes included in the FightCamp app.
Unlike Mirror, Tempo, and Peloton, Fightcamp requires that you provide your own screen (Apple product like iPhone or iPad) to stream the classes.
This, in turn, also considerably cuts down the price to $1,219 with the expected $39 a month for classes.
FightCamp offers an iOS app for iPhone and iPad that includes workouts and training tips from experienced fighters with new programs every week. Plus, there’s leaderboard competitions and FightCamp’s signature Interactive Punch Goals.
With Apple’s AirPlay, you can even stream FightCamp workouts to your TV from your iPhone or iPad.
Room to move!
However, this is also one of the more spatially demanding pieces of equipment in the smart gym market since, for the best experience, you need a room that you can fit both a TV and a punching bag into.
That’s not to mention that Fightcamp requires that you already have a tablet or smart TV to stream the classes to, and Fightcamp’s lack of Android support.
Assuming that you have space, a television, and the desire to punch and jab through your home workout, then Fightcamp might be the smart home gym option for you.
Need a tiny smart workout? Or a cheaper one?
How about an effective workout that you complete in under 30 minutes and that fits just about anywhere?
If all of the above suggestions are just too big or too expensive, there’s almost nothing cheaper than a smart jump rope! Specifically, a rope that includes magnetic sensors and LEDS (on some models) on the rope and a companion app!
So let’s all feel like kids again and jump some rope together!
Introducing the Tangram Factory Smart Rope–a fun workout that hits your cardio hard and helps you build strength and endurance.
Plus, for the top models you only need to charge once for a whole months exercise (36 hours of active exercise)!
Built for mobile
Sync the jump rope to the Tangram’s Smart Gym mobile app for Android, iOS and Apple Watch.
Track your jump count, calories burned, workout times, and interval training and collect fitness awards or compete with friends in a jump roping contest.
And it’s small plus affordable
Where Tangram Factory Smart Rope really shines is in the price. Tangram Factory offers beginner models (the Rookie) starting at just $40 USD. And at this time, their most expensive smart rope tops at less than $100 USD.
Plus, there’s no monthly subscription fees!