Tonal gym shelf

Tonal gym shelf DEFAULT

There are a lot of ways to work out at home. You can install the quintessential suburban home gym—that is, a treadmill and a set of dumbbells beside a dusty ping pong table and a media shelf containing Grease and Rat Race on VHS. You can use the glow of your laptop to lead the way through an exercise routine from one of the many fitness gurus that run rampant on YouTube, or go old school by revving up a classic Jane Fonda video.

Or you could take it next-level by investing in Tonal, a smart connected home workout system with digital weights that possesses aspects of all, without the clutter of free weights or the monotony of a video—and, of course, with a hefty price tag.

That price starts at $2,995, plus tax; plus delivery and professional installation ($250); plus “Smart Accessories,” the handles, bench, and mat that you need to do a lot of the exercises ($495); plus a monthly membership fee ($49), which adds up to a (very) grand total of about $4,400 for the first year. There's also a financing plan of $149 a month for 36 months—on par with the high-end gym membership it’s designed to replace. For that kind of money, it has to be a great product—right? I tested it to find out.

What is Tonal?

Tonal is a Peloton-esque smart device that offers streaming workouts that include strength training, thanks to its resistance cables that go up to 200 pounds. All of this is condensed in a wifi-enabled vessel about the size of a flatscreen TV turned on its side. Like a lot of new, smart fitness equipment, it comes from a company based out of San Francisco, and looks something like The Mirror, a similar smart fitness device, but with arms and handles. It achieves its function and compactness thanks to internal electromagnetic resistance that, when paired with its “Smart Accessories,” allow you to do much of what you'd usually do in a gym's weight room—bench presses, rows, lat pulldowns, deadlifts, and so on—with a single machine. You can pair it with your phone to play music, or connect to one of Tonal’s music channels, which have options like pop and hip-hop. These stations play actual artists, not covers or instrumental songs, which is nice.

Tonal also uses AI to identify which weight is best for you and your abilities for each exercise, and automatically adjusts the weights in real time as you go through a workout. As you get stronger over time, the AI increases your weight for each exercise. Tonal offers multi-week workout programs that include strength training, cardio, yoga, partner exercises, and more, all of which are led on the screen by a rotating cast of trainers. Classes are available on-demand for you to do at any time, but Tonal doesn’t currently offer live classes like Peloton or The Mirror. You can also connect Tonal to a Bluetooth heart-rate device as a gauge for exertion, but it’s not mandatory and the classes don’t seem to hinge on calorie burn as a motivator.

In its ads, the device seems akin to a strength training machine geared towards more serious weight lifters (with an emphasis on upper body strength, based on the ads I saw). Fitness-wise, I do not identify this way. I am more of a group fitness person who tends to veer towards spin, yoga, barre, and Pilates classes, and I’ve always been nervous about trying heavy-duty weight lifting in a public gym, where great pain—or worse, humiliation—could befall me. In trying the Tonal machine, I hoped I might learn some lifting techniques (beyond my usual lightweight bicep curls) to make me stronger overall and help me gain confidence at the gym.

How do you use Tonal?

Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

When you order Tonal, you pick a time and date you would like it to be installed, and wait for it to arrive. Our delivery guys arrived to Reviewed's offices on time (though they were sent by the PR team, who offered to lend us a test unit). The overall installation process—which involves bolting the appliance into the wall—took about 30 to 45 minutes.

Once installed, you perform a fitness assessment to gauge your starting strength, which includes a seated lat pulldown, a bench press, a shoulder press, and a deadlift. You also pick out a few fitness goals, like “lose weight,” “maintain fitness,” or “boost energy,” and are prompted to join one of Tonal’s programs, which are classes led by certain instructors that you do a few times each week in order to meet a goal. (You don’t have to join a program right away, however—I opted out initially and joined a program later.)

Like most things, Tonal has a learning curve. You adjust the arms alongside the screen and clip the smart handles, bar, and rope in and out depending on the workout, which can be a little challenging at first, but grows routine after a few tries. As with most cable machines, the weights have an inherent instability—particularly when using the long bar—so they can feel heavier than they really are. The machine provides some form feedback, which is helpful when you're getting started.

What are the classes like?

Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

There are a few ways to do classes on Tonal. One is by joining one of the programs, which is best for someone looking to meet a specific goal. You can also pick classes a la carte on Tonal's homepage, which are sorted by muscle group and workout type (such as “lower body,” “high-intensity,” and so on). Each of these is between five to 50 minutes long in a range of difficulty levels. Finally, you can build custom workouts in Tonal’s app by picking exercises and assigning your own reps, sets, and rest periods.

To get a feel for the breadth of Tonal’s offerings, I mostly did the pick-and-choose workouts. And they kicked my butt. I tried both high-intensity and strength training classes, and even though I mostly picked 25- to 35-minute workouts, I felt like I had done the equivalent of one of the hour-long studio workout classes I'm used to. I also felt noticeably sore in the days after my first few workouts. This is probably because I’m not as used to straight-up strength training as I am to lower-impact classes, and the soreness and fatigue I felt after a 30-minute workout receded as I grew more used to Tonal and strength training in general. Still, it was cool that the classes felt as efficient and effective as they did.

I also thought Tonal provided a decent way to learn the basics of lifting. The system offers demos taught by Tonal's on-demand personal trainers that you can watch before you start a set in a workout, and the screen is a little reflective, so you get a glimpse of what you’re doing and can size up if it matches with what the instructor is doing. The nature of the machine means I still don’t know much about how to use free weights at the gym, but I have a better idea about how much weight I can bear for different exercises. And the cable machine there no longer intimidates me.

As for the AI weight adjustments? In almost all cases, it was smarter than I am. Sometimes I had to adjust the weight a pound or two, but in most of its workouts, it was spot-on. In fact, a few times, I was assigned a seemingly low weight that I scoffed at, deciding I would be fine bumping it up a little. But by the halfway point in the set, I'd realize that, yes, for the reps required, I needed the lighter weight originally assigned to me.

What isn’t so great about Tonal?

Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

Despite the tutorials and reflective screen surface, there were a few instances in which I worried about my form. This was particularly true during exercises where I couldn’t look at the screen, like bench presses, to verify that my technique was correct. I dealt with this by watching demos and listening to instructions extra-carefully before starting the exercises, but my form still could have been totally off and I had no real way to know. You also don’t get to join in on live classes, so you don’t get the sense of community that comes with some home workout devices.

Also, the machine is bolted to the wall. This means it’s sturdy and secure—and it can be removed, with effort—but I wouldn’t recommend it to someone who rents or moves frequently, because heavy, semi-permanent fixtures tend not to mix well with lease agreements and moving trucks.

Finally—and this is more of a quibble than a real complaint—the trainers, though clearly human, take on the appearance of Sims or computer-generated Instagram models during certain parts of the workout. They don’t stop doing reps until you stop or tap the screen to go to the next exercise, so if you happen to rest for a moment without pausing the video, they keep doing squats or deadlifts or whatever on a loop, without any change in form or appearance, and keep going until you finish the set or power off the machine. I don’t know what I would have them do instead (turn their head a little bit? Wipe their brow? Stop and yell at me for slacking off?) but it felt odd enough to me during almost every workout that I wrote WEIRD!!! in my notes.

Is Tonal worth it?

From the perspective of making strength training accessible and fun, Tonal is excellent, and arguably the most robust at-home system for total fitness that you can get. Its competitors—the Pelotons and Mirrors—focus on cardio or body-weight training and don’t involve weights unless you buy them separately. Tonal combines top-notch instruction with up to 200 pounds of resistance, in a compact and attractive package that’s mostly unobtrusive in the home.

I thought every Tonal workout I tried was effective, efficient, and enjoyable. But I also found myself missing some aspects of my beloved group fitness classes. I don’t mind paying for workout classes because part of what I’m paying for is a 45- to 60-minute period of time in which I am separated from my phone and I don’t have to look at a screen. I also don’t find motivating myself to work out on my own to be too hard. What is hard is tearing my eyes away from my phone and laptop if they are not physically taken from me. You don’t get that with Tonal—you can play music from your phone if it's connected to the Bluetooth, but you have to stare at the Tonal screen to do the workout. This happens with most other home workouts, too, and l would say that the Tonal screen falls into the good screen category as opposed to the bad screen one. But I did find myself missing the eye break I get when I go to a studio workout.

That said, the workouts are great. If you don’t mind the screen factor, and you feel the price is in your budget, and you know you will use it, Tonal may be worth it for you.

Should you get a Tonal?

Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

I loved working out with Tonal. If I had the money (I do not) and lived in a large space I owned and did not rent with several roommates (ditto), I would get one for myself. Tonal is a great for someone with some fitness experience—though not necessarily in traditional weight training—who is interested in working more with a weights machine, learning more lifting techniques, getting into cross training, and doesn’t want to leave their house to exercise. Sound like you? If so, you’ll enjoy this home gym upgrade.

Get the Tonal starting at $2,995 or $149 a month

The product experts at Reviewed have all your shopping needs covered. Follow Reviewed on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest deals, product reviews, and more.

Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.


The Tonal Smart Gym: What It’s Like to Work Out in 2051

Smart fitness mirrors are the newest high tech wellness gadgets on the scene. On top of being futuristic enough to be featured in a Philip K. Dick novel, they actually offer some really cool features to take your home workouts to the next level.

Tonal is one of the innovators of the smart mirror world, and their mirror isn’t just a mirror with a video screen. Nah, it’s a whole gym (including your very own AI personal trainer, to boot) in one sleek, high tech package.

Intrigued? Us too. So let us tell you (Ton)allllll about this workout device and what it can do.

What do you get with your Tonal purchase?

The Tonal device itself is a large wall-mounted mirror/touch screen display with two GIANT ROBOT ARMS (really).

These arms can slide up and down the length of the Tonal device to accommodate a variety of upper-body, lower-body, and core exercises. You can also attach different accessories to these arms to simulate dumbbells, kettlebells, ropes, and barbells — so it really can replace your home gym.

Plus, the Tonal has 17 different sensors to detect your form, technique, and speed, and it offers immediate feedback to help you self-correct and get the most out of every move.

Even better, the Tonal’s arms can each deliver up to 100 lbs. (45 kg) of resistance, so the device can be used for lifts of up to 200 lbs. (91 kg).

The Tonal adjusts the weight automatically based on your initial fitness assessment on the device and how you’re progressing — it can even adjust the weight throughout the lift to help maximize the impact of each lift or to ease up if it senses you’re struggling.

And all this data it collects about your workouts is stored so the Tonal can track your progress and offer personalized guidance and the perfect amount of resistance for each and every future workout.

Let’s just hope these things never become sentient or we’ll all be bowing down to our Tonal overlords.

To get full use of your Tonal, you need to buy the Smart Accessory bundle, which contains handles, a bar, and a rope made to use with the Tonal device as well as a bench, a roller, and a workout mat. Alternatively, you’ll need to buy T-locks (available on Tonal’s website) and carabiners to attach your own accessories.

Without the Smart Accessories, the Tonal comes with a set of basic handles. However, the Smart Accessories let you switch the resistance on and off with the touch of a button, making it easier (and safer) to change position between moves or to take a break.

The specs: Tonal product details

Here are all the deets on the Tonal that you’ll need to know before you click “buy.”

The Tonal device itself is wall-mounted and measures 51 inches (in.) ( (130 cm) tall and 22 in. (56 cm) wide. It weighs 100 lbs. (45 kg). For a Tonal workout, you’ll need a 7 foot (ft) by 7 foot (213 cm by 213 cm) space and ceiling clearance of at least 7 ft 10 in. (239 cm).

If the studs in your walls are farther than 16 in. (41 cm) apart but no more than 24 in. (61 cm) apart, the Tonal will need to be installed using Tonal’s wide mount bars.

You’ll need to set up your Tonal close to a wall outlet as well, and you’ll need decent Wi-Fi to stream workouts.

In addition, it’s a good idea to buy the Smart Accessory bundle, which contains:

  • smart handles
  • smart bar
  • smart rope
  • bench
  • mat
  • roller

The Smart Accessories connect to the Tonal via Bluetooth and provide some additional functionality and safety by allowing you to quickly turn the resistance on or off by pressing a button.

You operate the Tonal using the built-in touch-screen display, which measures 24 in. diagonally and is centered on the upper portion of the Tonal device.

Buyer’s guide: Price, financing, and warranty options

The Tonal itself costs $2,995, but it’s a really good idea to go ahead and buy the $495 Smart Accessory bundle, too, so you can use your Tonal to its full potential from day one. Alternatively, you’ll need to buy T-locks ($19.99 for a 4-pack) from the Tonal website and attach your own accessories using carabiners.

A major downside is that you can’t buy the Smart Accessories individually, so if you want them, you’re gonna have to pay the full $495 — even if you already have a mat, bench, and roller.

Tonal membership costs another $49 per month, and upon purchase you agree to a 12-month membership commitment.

Professional installation (which is required unless you want to void your warranty) is another $250.

So, for the machine, accessories, and installation, you’re looking at a total price of $3,740 (plus taxes on that) and a recurring monthly payment of $49 for the Tonal membership.

If you qualify for financing through Affirm, you can pay as little as $149 per month with no interest for 36 months — and this payment includes the machine and accessories, installation, and membership fee. From what we’ve read online, though, it’s pretty rare to get 0 percent interest on 36 months and much easier to get 0 percent on a 12-, 18-, or 24-month payment plan.

You can get a full refund if you decide to return the machine within 30 days of installation. Tonal also offers warranty coverage of 3 years for parts, 1 year for labor, and 1 year for accessories.

Note: As of this writing, it’s taking an average of 10 to 12 weeks after placing an order for the Tonal to be delivered and installed.

Time to sweat: Exercise programs/classes

A Tonal membership comes with TONS of on-demand classes, including:

Tonal offers several guided workouts that automatically adjust your weight and provide form feedback, or you can improv it in Free Lift mode. You can also create your own workouts from a library of more than 170 moves.

The brand also offers in-person partner workouts, so you and your roomie or partner can work out together, and virtual group workouts for you and all your Tonal friends.

Is Tonal right for you?

So, is it right for you? You and your Tonal will be BFFs if it fits your:

  • Budget. Let’s be real here: The Tonal is PRICEY. To be fair, the price is justified because it’s a pretty one-of-a-kind device with some seriously advanced tech, but still — don’t buy if it’s gonna jeopardize your finances.
  • Space. If you don’t have a 7 ft by 7 ft (213 cm by 213 cm) space against a wall with an outlet, then you’ll need to pass on the Tonal. And if you do have the space but you’re renting, you may wanna talk with your landlord before having it professionally mounted on the wall.
  • Workout style. I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T, do you know what that means? The Tonal is for you if you’re an introverted exerciser. The brand is starting to offer live classes, but most of the content is still on-demand. If you thrive in a group setting or love going to the gym for the social aspect, the Tonal might not be the best fit for you.
  • Tech obsession. Are you an early adopter living in the year 3008 with the Black Eyed Peas? Or a self-avowed biohacker who loves DATA? You. Need. A. Tonal.

Verdict? The Tonal is (rightfully) really expensive, but if you wanna get swole like a Jetson, it’s *tonally* worth it.

Shop now at tonal

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I tried the $3,000 digital weights machine that's like a Peloton for strength training and found how at-home fitness systems are the future — at least for those that can afford it

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Megan Hernbroth/Business Insider
  • Tonal is an at-home workout machine that's like a Peloton for strength training that mounts to your wall and offers on-demand coaching and digitally-connected personalized exercises.
  • It costs $3,000 and is one of the first products in the at-home fitness workout market that focuses on resistance training instead of cardio, like Peloton does.
  • I gave Tonal a try in 2019 to see how it compares to traditional weight lifting.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Tonal is an at-home strength training machine that uses electromagnetism to create resistance and mounts to your wall for a personalized workout with over 200 exercises, like deadlifts, bicep curls, and overhead presses, and on-demand coaching.

With Tonal, performance anxiety at the gym could be a thing of the past — no more feeling self-conscious in front of your seemingly more experienced gym-goers, no more 30-plus minute round trips to the gym, and no more gym memberships.

That is, if you can afford the $3,000 price tag.

Tonal was invented by Aly Orady, a Hewlett-Packard veteran who wanted an easier way to stay in shape at home that didn't involve sweaty, used equipment and tedious trips to the gym.

It operates similarly to its cardio cousin Peloton, whose stationary bikes retail starting at $1,895. Both are a part of a growing trend that is seeing digital, at-home fitness systems on the rise and gym attendance and boutique fitness studios declining in popularity. Even Apple is getting in on the at-home fitness trend, which has only been amplified by the pandemic, with it's new Fitness Plus subscription service. 

Tonal is one of the first products in the market with a focus on strength training. Fitness experts have increasingly stressed the importance of resistance training in addition to cardio to maintain good health. And in an interview with TechCrunch, Orady said that a significant amount of Tonal users also own a Peloton bike (amounting to a collective $5,000 investment, if you were wondering.)

I tried a Tonal workout for myself at the company's San Francisco showroom in late 2019. It was a bit hard to get used to at first, but I knew that if I were to own one, I'd adjust and would eventually have a convenient way of staying fit in the privacy of my home.

Too bad it's way out of my budget and that even if it wasn't, mounting such a piece of equipment onto a wall in my rental apartment would likely make my landlord less than pleased.

Here's how my workout went.

When I work out, I opt for weight lifting rather than cardio. So Tonal stuck out more so than would a cardio-based at-home fitness machine, like the ultra-popular Peloton bike.

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Megan Hernbroth/Business Insider

And that's something Tonal has going for it — it's among the first strength training-focused, digitally-connected fitness systems that you can use in the privacy of your home.

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Katie Canales/Business Insider

The company has a showroom in San Francisco's Cow Hollow neighborhood, so I decided to give it a try.

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Megan Hernbroth/Business Insider

I was a little apprehensive. Eliminating the need to travel to and from a gym is appealing, and so is not having to work out surrounded by strangers.

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Megan Hernbroth/Business Insider

But I didn't know how I'd like using what is called digital weights instead of tangible, more traditional dumbbells or machines.

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Megan Hernbroth/Business Insider

The resistance is created through electromagnetism, which basically means that the weights are digitized.

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Megan Hernbroth/Business Insider

You can activate the resistance yourself from the Bluetooth-connected handles or from the screen. Just click the button on the handles with your thumb to turn the weights off …

Tonal Smart Home Gym Review: The TRUTH After 6 Months

Tonal Home Gym Review: Is It Worth the Cost?

Equipped with an interactive touchscreen and electromagnetic pulleys, Tonal is a digital workout system that’s designed to provide a full-body workout in one compact device.

The machine provides access to hundreds of trainer-led classes and uses advanced technology to deliver a truly personalized workout experience.

In addition to a variety of strength and cardio classes, Tonal offers several unique features and exercise modes to keep you challenged and moving toward your fitness goals.

However, as it isn’t cheap, you may be wondering whether Tonal is worth the cost.

This article provides a comprehensive review of the Tonal home gym to help you decide whether it’s the right fit for your exercise needs.

What is Tonal?

Tonal is a smart gym that offers challenging workouts in the privacy of your home.

The sleek, compact device attaches to your wall and features an interactive touchscreen and 2 adjustable, electromagnetic pulleys, which provide up to 200 pounds (91 kg) of resistance.

You can use the Tonal trainer to enhance athletic performance, build strength, or gain speed.

It’s also useful if you want to lose weight, tone specific areas of your body, or simply maintain your current fitness level.

When you’re ready to work out, simply turn on the device and select from over 170 instructor-led classes.

How it works 

Tonal is equipped with 2 adjustable arms that use electricity and magnets to provide up to 200 pounds (91 kg) of smooth resistance.

The arms can also be used with a variety of accessories, such as Tonal’s Smart bar and handles, for performing a variety of full-body exercises.

One of the machine’s most notable features is its 24-inch (61-cm) interactive display, which allows you to stream workouts using the Tonal app.

The first time you log into the app, you’ll select your fitness goal from a choice of either get lean, build muscle, or improve fitness.

Next, you’ll perform a strength assessment to determine your optimal weight load for each exercise included in the Tonal library.

Using this data, Tonal is able to personalize your workout experience by recommending classes based on your current fitness level and goals.

Once your account is set up, you’re free to browse from over 170 on-demand classes — including warmup and cooldown exercises — or build your own custom routine.

Exercise modes and features

Tonal offers a large variety of features and exercise modes, including:

  • Bluetooth capabilities. The machine is Bluetooth-enabled for listening to Apple Music, Tonal Radio, or your Tonal coach through your headphones or speakers. It also pairs with smartwatches and Bluetooth heart rate monitors.
  • Chains mode. This feature increases resistance as you push or pull through the movement, mimicking the use of metal chains or a resistance band.
  • Continual tracking. During workouts, Tonal records your reps, sets, weight load, time under tension, and range of motion, making it easy to monitor your progress.
  • Eccentric mode: This feature adds resistance during the eccentric portion of each movement, allowing you to increase time under tension.
  • Form feedback. To ensure that you’re performing moves correctly, Tonal uses data from 17 sensors to provide feedback and guidance on your form and technique.
  • Free Lift mode. If you’re in the mood to perform specific exercises, Free Lift mode allows you to pick and choose individual moves for a customized workout session.
  • Smart Flex. Combining Chains and Eccentric Modes, Smart Flex continually adds or subtracts weight to make each move as challenging and effective as possible.
  • Spotter mode. Acting like a spotter at the gym, the machine will automatically reduce the weight if you’re struggling to complete a rep.
  • Strength assessment. Using the results from this assessment, the machine calculates your optimal weight loads for each exercise. It also calculates a strength score for tracking your gains over time.

In addition to the gym itself, Tonal also offers a Smart Accessories bundle.

Designed to provide a complete home gym experience, the bundle includes a weight bench, workout mat, foam roller, tricep rope, Smart bar, and two Smart handles.

While you can use your own accessories, the Smart bar and handles are unique in that they allow you to turn the resistance on or off with a touch of a button.

In fact, most customers agree that the Smart bar and handles are necessary to get the most out of Tonal’s strength workouts.


Classes are available on the Tonal app, with new content added weekly.

To select your workout, you can sort either by targeted body area, such as arms or abs, or by exercise type, including:

  • strength training
  • kickboxing
  • boot camp
  • high intensity
  • quick fit
  • triathlon
  • dance cardio
  • barre
  • Pilates
  • yoga
  • meditation
  • mobility
  • recovery
  • pre- and postnatal
  • family fun

It’s important to note that the app doesn’t include live classes, which may be a deal-breaker if you prefer the community feel of exercising with others in real time.

However, the company occasionally offers workouts on Facebook Live, which you can access by joining the Tonal Facebook group.

There are also benefits of having prerecorded classes, including being able to move at your own pace and repeating classes as often as you’d like.

Another unique feature of Tonal is the ability to create a custom workout by inputting specific moves, sets, and reps.

There’s also a Free Lift mode that allows you to select exercises on the spot from Tonal’s library. While you get to choose the moves, Tonal will still recommend weight loads and record your progress.

As maintaining proper form is important for effectiveness and safety, the app also includes video demonstrations of each movement.

Space and installation requirements

The Tonal home gym weighs 150 pounds (68 kg) and measures 21.5 × 50.9 × 5.25 inches (55 × 129 × 13 cm).

For a safe and secure workout, Tonal recommends the following space and installation requirements:

  • a 7 × 7-foot (210 × 210-cm) area
  • a minimum ceiling height of 7’10” (240 cm)
  • a supportive wall made from drywall, plywood, or exposed wood studs
  • 16-inch (40.6-cm) wide wood or metal support studs
  • a grounded, 3-prong power outlet
  • a strong WiFi connection with a minimum bandwidth of 15 megabits per second (Mbps)

There are some exceptions to these recommendations. For example, if your walls are 1.25 inches (3.2 cm) or less in thickness, you can also attach Tonal to concrete, paneling, pine board, plaster, or stucco.

Additionally, if your home’s support studs are between 16 and 24 inches (40.6–61 cm), you can install the device using wide mount bars.

Worried about installing the machine? No need! Professional installation is included and takes less than 1 hour to complete.

The installers will also connect your Tonal trainer to WiFi, pair your Bluetooth Smart accessories, and set up your account.


The Tonal home gym costs $2,995 and includes delivery and professional installation within the continental United States.

There’s an additional fee of $300 for orders shipped to Alaska or Hawaii.

To make the home gym more affordable, Tonal offers a payment plan called Affirm, which allows you to pay off your purchase in monthly installments.

Keep in mind that the Smart Accessories bundle is sold separately and costs an additional $495.

Alternatively, to use your own accessories, you’ll need to purchase a set of T-lock adaptors from Tonal and two carabiners.

Upon purchasing the gym, you’re also required to sign up for a 12-month subscription to the Tonal app, which costs $49 per month.

After the first year, you have the option to renew your subscription or cancel at any time. Just note that without the app, you’ll only have access to WiFi updates, safety features, and weight adjustments.

Warranty and return policy

If you’re unhappy with your purchase for any reason, you have 30 days to return the device for a full refund.

The Tonal trainer also comes with the following warranties:

  • 3-year on parts, excluding accessories
  • 1-year on labor
  • 1-year on accessories

Replacement parts are covered for 45 days or the remainder of the original warranty period, whichever is longer.

What customers are saying 

Many customers report feeling satisfied with their purchase, thanks to the convenience and class variety that Tonal offers.

Several reviewers also credit the device’s state-of-the-art technology with enhancing their workouts and improving their fitness level.

However, not all the reviews are positive.

Some customers complain that the machine is louder than expected, which may not be ideal if you have roommates or share a wall with your neighbors.

People have also raised privacy concerns related to Tonal’s collection of personal information.

According to Tonal’s privacy policy, the company may collect your personal information for a variety of purposes and disclose this information to third parties including ad networks, social media, and legal authorities.

If you have any questions about the privacy of your data, it’s best to reach out to the company directly.

How Tonal compares with other workout mirrors

If you can afford it, Tonal offers a convenient and compact way to exercise at home. However, it’s far from being the only workout mirror on the market.

For example, the Echelon Reflect 40″ is one of the most affordable options, costing less than $1,000.

Using the Echelon United app, the mirror provides access to live, on-demand, and scenic workout classes.

However, the Reflect doesn’t include a pulley system or weights, so you’ll need to provide your own equipment for strength-training workouts.

Another popular option is The Mirror.

The Mirror features a thin, sleek design that’s well suited for small spaces. It’s also less expensive than Tonal.

While it doesn’t include accessories, such as free weights or resistance bands, the company offers one-on-one personal training for $40 per session.

The Mirror’s monthly membership fee costs $39, which allows up to 6 people to have unlimited access to thousands of live and on-demand classes, including cardio, tai chi, weight training, and boxing.

Finally, the Tempo Studio is an armoire-shaped fitness mirror that offers a 300-pound (136-kg) barbell capacity, making it ideal for serious weightlifters.

It also features 3D sensors to provide form feedback and personalized training programs.

There are three Tempo models available, each of which includes a variety of exercise equipment, such as dumbbells, weight plates, a barbell, and a weight bench.

While the basic model is around the same price as the Tonal home gym, the Tempo Plus and Pro are more expensive.

The bottom line 

If you’re looking for a full-body workout without having to purchase a bunch of exercise equipment, the Tonal home gym is worth considering.

In addition to being compact, the device delivers a personalized and challenging workout experience to help you achieve your fitness goals.

However, the machine is not cheap, especially once you factor in the additional costs of the Smart Accessories Bundle and Tonal app membership.

Still, Tonal is worth the investment if it helps you stay motivated. After all, maintaining a consistent workout regimen has numerous benefits for your physical and mental well-being.


Gym shelf tonal

Training with Tonal, the ‘Peloton for weightlifting’

The first reaction people have when they see the Tonal, a connected strength training machine, on my wall is often one of two things: 1) is that the Mirror (a different internet-based piece of fitness equipment)? 2) can I try it?

Both are valid reactions, especially when you consider how much money the industry has poured into marketing connected fitness. There are ads for the Mirror all over train stations and cars, Echelon bikes are in nearly every Costco, and, well, you must have seen or at least heard of that Peloton holiday commercial. Five years after the first Peloton product launched, the concept of an at-home workout regimen no longer requires retro workout videos of the past. Even if you’re not interested in buying one, you’re probably at least curious what all the fuss is about.

Tonal is unique in this field for its focus on weight training instead of cardio. Think of the machine like a slimmer, low-profile Bowflex that mounts flush against the wall rather than taking up an entire corner of your room. With arms that can be adjusted and folded away, it’s also a bit less likely to end up as an expensive coat rack.

At $2,995 plus a monthly subscription cost, Tonal’s pitch is that it will replace a personal trainer at the gym by putting an on-demand one inside your home. I’ve been working out with Tonal for a few months, and while it’s got a lot of potential, there are also a lot of quirks and flaws.

Good Stuff

  • Space-efficient design that offers a broad range of exercises
  • Multiuser friendly
  • Dynamic modes like Eccentric and Partner are useful for challenging yourself and / or a buddy

Bad Stuff

  • No live class offerings means programs get stale quickly
  • No one’s really monitoring your form
  • Pricey

Buy for $2,995.00 from Tonal

The Tonal is a wall-mounted machine that has two adjustable arms; you can move them up and down and angle them for various push or pull exercises. The grips can also be swapped out for either two handles, a bar, or a rope. Some of these handles include an on / off button that allows you to get into position before starting the weight. The starter set also comes with a bench and a floor mat.

Inside the Tonal, electromagnets create resistance so that you can push and pull up to a maximum of 200 pounds combined, or 100 pounds per arm. (That might not be enough for some people, but it should suit most beginner to intermediate levels. If you want more resistance, you’ll have to wear your own wrist weights.) The center features a touchscreen that includes a roster of classes to suit your goals, whether it’s to bulk up in muscle or get toned and lean.

When you start up Tonal, you’ll need to perform a strength test to measure just how much weight you can handle. Based on the speed and force you’re able to lift, Tonal will auto-adjust the resistance and recommend weights for each program. You can also select your goals and difficulty levels for suggestions on the best classes to take. The machine keeps a “strength score” that shows you how much more you’ve been lifting over time.

Tonal currently offers a handful of coaches with different personalities, but most of their classes are structured the same way: the instructors start with some small talk then lead you through two to three sets of three to four exercises, which includes a warm-up and cool down. Most workouts last anywhere between 25 and 45 minutes, and you can also select a freestyle mode to perform specific exercises if you want to craft your own sets. Currently, the machine supports hundreds of different movements targeting all areas of the body, from arms and abs to legs and shoulders.

As the instructors talk you through the exercises, a video appears to show you how to adjust the machine’s arms to prepare for what you’re about to do. It’s a little clunky to get accustomed to at first, but I got used to it after a few workouts. As you push or pull, Tonal prepares the weight and counts your reps for you, beeping at the end for your last three reps so you know it’s almost over. If necessary, you can also pause or skip a section.

This is a similar setup to many other exercise apps, but what’s interesting about the Tonal are advanced modes like Eccentric, which automatically adds a few pounds to your last couple of reps and the “negative” portion of your lift (when you lower the handle during a bicep curl, for example) to further challenge you. I was often surprised by how much more I could lift even though it felt like I had already maxed out. There’s also Spotter mode, which is supposed to sense when you’re struggling to complete a rep and automatically decrease the weight, though I never found this to turn on unless I am shaking and unwieldy. With any kind of exercise, there’s always a risk that you can seriously injure yourself, so I wouldn’t rely on Spotter mode to save you over your intuition.

Each push and pull from the Tonal arms were smooth and quiet. There’s a small crank-like hum behind the screen, but you won’t hear much of this anyway, as Tonal offers various music radio stations you can listen to while you work out. Unlike the Peloton, Tonal music doesn’t synchronize with each move so it’s not running into similar issues Peloton is with copyrights. However, the music selections are slimmer as you can only select by genre instead of artists / albums, and you can’t personalize your own playlist.

The sleek hardware is cool and all, but the most important thing about connected fitness is whether it’s actually fun to use. After all, home workouts are only effective if it’s entertaining enough for you to do them regularly.

That’s where I found Tonal to be a bit underwhelming. Currently, Tonal doesn’t offer live classes, and it comes with pre-taped programs that you use to work out three to four times a week and repeat over the course of the month. There’s something mildly impersonal about this; whereas Peloton shines in the instructors bringing the boutique workout experience into your home by engaging personally with students, talking about their day, cracking jokes, or even pushing themselves to the point where they’re as out of breath as you are, the Tonal classes feel a bit robotic and rehearsed to the point where some of the script come across as cringeworthy. In one class, a coach flexes his incredibly sculpted biceps to show them off, then smirks at the camera. I found this to be corny, but maybe someone out there in inspired by that.

Since classes are just Tonal coaches narrating what you’re supposed to do next, followed by an instructional video of what you should be doing, it feels akin to watching a YouTube tutorial on how to perform certain weightlifting tasks. The thing about having a personal trainer (aside from someone to yell at you to work out) is someone to watch your form, and that’s just something Tonal can’t quite do. Tonal says it’s programmed the videos to be as detailed as possible, and the coaches do blurt out reminders to check your forms periodically, but without being able to see yourself, it’s hard to tell whether you’re doing a new exercise correctly for the first time.

Once the week is over and you go back to day one of the program, the content also starts to feel stale. Yes, weight training works by repetition and consistency, but hearing a coach make the same cheesy joke gets old after the second time, never mind the fourth. After two weeks of a program, I often found myself starting a different one or ignoring the machine for a few days before being ready to go back to doing the same things over again.

It’s also super easy to cheat the machine. Since Tonal is only monitoring whether a push or pull is being made, you don’t necessarily have to do the exact exercise you’re being told to do. When I was too tired to do a proper bicep curl, I found that performing weighted squat or even just walking the pulley forward still tricked the machine into counting the rep. Whenever I was too lazy to properly warm up or cool down, I skipped during those segments by either using the fast-forward button or just walking away for a drink of water.

You shouldn’t do that, obviously. Part of any physical transformation is your level of dedication, and these programs are designed to only work if you’re committed to following through the way they’re meant to be done.

As it stands, using the Tonal feels like paying to be a beta tester. That’s both good and bad: because Tonal is clearly young, growing, and learning, it’s extremely receptive to current user feedback. Employees are often personally engaging with users on dedicated Facebook groups and via emails; on one occasion where I skipped through a workout and rated it 3 out of 5 stars, someone from the team reached out to note what had happened and asked how the program could be improved. Additionally, the employee suggested other classes I might want to try that might better suit what I was looking for based on my specific reason for rating the class poorly.

The Tonal software is also constantly getting updates. In the six months that I’ve had the machine, Tonal introduced partner mode (for switching between you and a friend while working out), custom workouts, high-intensity mode, progress tracking on the mobile app, and yoga was added to the class offerings. Most of these features were things users directly requested in Facebook groups, and the team seemed to respond swiftly and directly. The whole app even updated with a new font, a cleaner interface, and classes now take place in a mood-lit set. (This all happened so quickly that it made our review photos outdated shortly after the shoot.)

But the con is obviously that the machine costs thousands of dollars for something that’s clearly still relatively early in its stages of development. It’s clear that Tonal wants to be the next Peloton, but it still doesn’t quite have that stickiness Peloton has with getting users —especially ones that are new to strength training — addicted and committed to classes. Peloton forces you to stay through class by not offering a pause button and clipping you into the machine so that getting on and off the bike is an effort in itself. That’s just not something Tonal can easily re-create with any simple formula.

Tonal’s primary focus is strength training, and while it does offer some bodyweight cardio classes, it might not be as challenging as cardio machines like bikes, treadmills, or rowers. Lots of Peloton owners have ended up buying the Tonal to complement their cardio regimen (Tonal even has a Peloton program designed to use in conjunction with Peloton classes), which could mean a lot of upfront costs for those who want a full connected home gym experience. That said, Tonal does offer a financing plan that makes it roughly $199 per month (including the subscription), which compares much more favorably to a gym membership and personal trainer than Tonal’s full hardware cost. (Of course, there’s always the danger of relying on software updates to run the thing, which is now an all-too-common risk with the Internet of Things.)

If you are the kind of person who is already mentally prepared to commit to weight training, the Tonal is an excellently designed machine that’s much sleeker than your traditional home gym equipment. It’s space-efficient and great for multiple people in the house to use since each profile saves their personalized weights for the next time they work out. Plus, you can’t deny the perks of grunting and sweating in your own private space instead of a public gym.

But is the Tonal going to get you the body you’ve always wanted? Not exactly. But really, no machine can promise that since diet is another huge part of that equation. However you choose to exercise, know that working out doesn’t have to be expensive — getting over the mental hurdle is the hardest part.


Tonal Gym Review: Custom Shelf \u0026 Tonal Screen Cover!

Product News The Tonal Accessories Shelf is Here

  • Complete your Tonal gym with our new Accessories Shelf 
  • Available in three finishes — Aged Ash, Black Matte, and Coffee Oak — this floating shelf is the perfect way to store your Tonal Smart Accessories
  • With its sleek design, Tonal’s Accessories Shelf can fit easily into any room

It’s finally here! The Tonal Accessories Shelf is now available for purchase in our Gear Shop. This floating shelf — often spotted in our stores or imagery — has been one of the most requested items for our community, and many members have even taken it upon themselves to build their own rendition.

With a choice of three finishes — Aged Ash, Black Matte, and Coffee Oak — this shelf is the perfect way to complete your Tonal gym and can hold up to four Smart Accessories. Thanks to its sleek design, our Accessories Shelf will complement any room and comes with instructions and installation hardware.

Product Specs: 

  • Dimensions: 24″w x 6″d x 3.4″h
  • Weight Capacity: 63lbs  
  • Self-install. Hardware included. 
  • Care: Dust or wipe off with a soft dry cloth.
  • Accessories not included.
  • Responsibly made in the U.S.A.

It’s sure to fly off the shelves, so head over now to our Gear Shop. 



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