Strength training has skyrocketed in recent years, and, ever since COVID-19 spread like a wildfire, more people have turned to smart home gyms to start their lifting journeys. Rightfully so, because weight lifting can provide both strength training and cardio all in one workout.
According to a recent study by the CDC, strength training can play a significant role in preventing chronic disease. In addition, Harvard Health Medical School shed light on how you can strengthen your mood with weight training. One of the key takeaways from both articles was that this applies to men and women. From young adults to senior citizens, there are so many benefits from pumping iron. Mix that with smart gym equipment, like Mirror, Echelon Reflect or Tempo Fit, and you have yourself a recipe of a healthy mind and body (just like the CDC and Harvard suggests).
Are these smart mirror home gyms right for you? Will they help reach your fitness goals? Which one is best? Let's take a deep look into those questions and match you up with the right one!
Strength Training and Cardio to Reach Your Goals
The days of using one fitness method to achieve your ideal body are over. We know more about total wellness than ever before. That's precisely why so many people are interested in machines that make it possible to tone, slim and strengthen the body simultaneously. Enter the smart home gym that combines cardio and strength training to help you get a complete workout for every part of your body. These machines even sprinkle in some meditation exercises for a “mind” boost!
A smart home gym essentially recreates the experience of going from station to station at a “real” gym using a compact, stationary all-in-one system capable of multiple configurations. While these home gyms are typically full of features, you can tailor your gym experience based on personal fitness goals. Smart home gyms can evolve with your goals as they change. They can help achieve goals of:
- Toning up your body.
- Adding muscle.
- Focusing on strength and sculpting.
- Shedding pounds.
The big concern that many people have when approaching smart home gyms is the burden of “doing it alone.” Yes, it's up to you to get in front of the screen every day to put in the time. This can be difficult for people who rely on motivation and instruction from a trainer to stay on track with goals. However, smart home gyms really do have you covered on this. The best home gyms out there are fully interactive. Once you plug in, you're accessing a portal full of streaming classes, live instruction and partner workouts delivered via a vivid, high-definition screen that transports you to a world-class gym right in your own home.
Comparing Tempo Studio vs Mirror vs Echelon Reflect
It only takes a little bit of research into the world of smart home gyms before discovering that there are three gym names to have on your radar as you make the decision to create a world-class workout experience in your home. Those names are the Tempo Studio, Mirror and Echelon. These three smart home gyms have a lot in common. However, your decision will ultimately come down to those fine details that place each one in its own category for performance, ease, workout style and accessibility. Let's sprint through what each of these impressive smart systems offers gym-minded home dwellers looking to get in the best shape of their lives without even walking out the front door!
Tempo Home Studio Overview
Tempo takes the top spot as far as being the most comprehensive smart home gym out there. It's a robust system that comes with tons of equipment, great storage and a game-changing 42-inch touchscreen monitor. The standout feature on the Tempo is a network of 3D sensors that monitor your movements for real-time commentary and correction from your virtual trainer during workouts. If you're new to the gym experience, this is extremely beneficial for making sure your form is both safe and effective!
Since you already have this gym narrowed down to one of two of the others in this versus article, chances are you already know a great deal about Tempo.fit. But, if you're interested in learning more about this smart home gym, read our detailed review of Tempo fit where you'll find out if it's really worth it. In addition to that article, we also wrote all about Tempo vs NordicTrack Vault. Finally, we also posed the very popular question, should you choose between Tempo or Tonal?
How Tempo Studio Helps With Strength Training
The Tempo offers a hybrid virtual-tangible experience during workouts. Unlike some other home gyms, the Tempo comes with real weights. That means that you're holding actual weights instead of just “concept” weights that are formed by resistance. The gym is stocked with a 25-pound barbell and 100 pounds of plates. Tempo offers AI-guided rep counts. It also offers dozens of classes focused on lifting for various muscle groups.
How Tempo Fit Helps With Cardio
Tempo offers tons of full-body shred and sweat exercises. In addition to classic cardio, there are many core, yoga and mobility lessons available. While you are getting personalized workouts, there's no one-on-one training with Tempo. You also can't tap into partner workouts.
Is Tempo.fit Worth the Money?
Tempo just released a new bundle pricing structure. Here's the pricing:
|The Deets!||Tempo Starter||Tempo Plus||Tempo Pro|
|Monthly Payment Option:||$69/mo||$90/mo||$111/mo|
|Where to buy:||More info||More info||More info|
Starting at $2,495, or $69/mo finance option, Tempo is the most expensive smart home gym on this list. The $39 monthly membership is reasonable. The price on the Tempo is going to be worth it to people who want that fusion of a smart, AI-driven unit that still allows them to use real-life weights.
Mirror Home Gym Overview
Designed to look like a mirror fixed to your wall, this sleek and futuristic home gym is a portal to the physique you've been dreaming about! Mirror simply checks more boxes in terms of workout variety than its competitors. It's a top pick for anyone who gets bored easily because you can spice up your workout with everything from kickboxing to yoga while exploring more than 50 genres. Live classes, on-demand classes and one-on-one instruction are all waiting. One fun feature offered by Mirror is a “family” subscription that allows you to work out with up to six members of your household under a shared subscription. Mirror uses camera technology merged with algorithms to allow for in-workout corrections and adjustments based on your personal fitness profile. You also get a personal dashboard that tracks calories, heart rate, workouts, personal performance and more.
How Mirror Helps With Strength Training
Mirror is very effective for targeting specific muscle groups using high-intensity, ultra-niche workouts. In addition to traditional weight training and kettlebells, you can partake in barre classes, ab classes, Pilates and more! You will also find stretching and toning exercises. While Mirror doesn't use cables or actual weights for strength training, it does come with six fitness bands.
How Mirror Helps With Cardio
One of the big ways that Mirror helps with cardio is by giving you the variety you need to actually feel excited about plugging in! You can try a new form of cardio essentially every day of the week if you're prone to boredom. This is great for keeping you on your toes as you master balance and agility while burning serious calories! In addition to traditional guided cardio workouts, you can try kickboxing and dancing. Mirror even throws in some special prenatal and postnatal workouts. Performance monitoring and interactions with other workout partners are all done through a Bluetooth connection.
Is Mirror Worth the Money?
Mirror starts at $1,495. This places it in the middle of the pack between Tempo and Echelon Reflect. The price on this model is more than reasonable if you value a sleek, mountable and unobtrusive design that unlocks a world of mind-expanding, body-changing workout genres that are good for both your physique and mood. At $39, the monthly membership fee is really a steal when you consider all of the access you're getting. You'd pay more than that for access to just one genre of in-person classes at a local gym. While Mirror's 40-inch screen is one of the larger ones out there, it's not a touchscreen setup.
Echelon Reflect Overview
Designed to look like a mirror until activated, the Echelon Reflect offers a portal to workouts spread across 10 categories. It's your source for everything from intense cardio to meditation exercises! Both on-demand and live classes can be accessed. Unlike some other smart home gyms, Echelon Reflect doesn't come with any weight-training or resistance equipment. That means you're either relying on your own body weight or bringing in some outside weights to get that burn. Echelon Reflect has interactive capabilities that are part of a larger Bluetooth-enabled setup that allows you to nicely customize your experience. There's also a built-in system for tracking your heart rate.
How Reflect Helps With Strength Training
Echelon Reflect offers tons of strength-training classes that help you build muscle using tried-and-true favorites like deadlifts and sit-ups. You're getting lots of classes that allow you to really work up a sweat and tone muscles in quick pops. However, the lack of built-in strength-training equipment can make it hard to justify this setup if your primary goal is building muscle. You will need to supply your own weights and resistance tools if you'd like to move beyond using your own body weight.
How Reflect Helps With Cardio
Echelon Reflect is an amazing cardio tool based solely on the wide variety of cardio classes you're getting. In addition, the community aspect of Echelon provides tons of fun motivation. You can actually sync up for “remote” competitions with friends that allow you to earn points based on how you perform against your goals. This is a great feature if one of your motivations for investing in a smart home gym is inspiration to keep going with workouts!
Is Reflect Worth the Money?
Echelon Reflect is available in two price tiers. At $1,039, the Echelon Reflect 40″ is actually the most affordable smart home gym on our list. The Echelon Reflect 50″ Touch is much pricier at $1,639. Monthly membership comes out to $39.99. The Echelon Reflect beginner tier seems like the obvious choice if you're simply looking for the cheapest home gym because it's $500 to $1,000 less than the competing Mirror and Tempo. However, this is one of those situations where value is really in the eye of beholder because someone who is specifically looking for built-in strength-training and resistance options may feel disappointed.
What’s Better: Echelon Reflect or Mirror?
Duking it out as the two mirror-style home gyms on the list, the Echelon Reflect and Mirror both dominate in different ways. The Mirror falls in the middle of the Echelon Reflect 40″ and Echelon Reflect 50″ on the price front. However, that $500 difference between the Mirror and the 40″ is going to be a big factor for some people considering that you're looking at such a big gap for units that have the same screen size. Adding to the “dead heat” factor is the fact that neither system has a touchscreen interface. On the strength-training front, the Mirror wins out over the Echelon Reflect because of its resistance bands. You're also looking at Mirror's 50 genres of fitness workouts versus Reflect's 10. The decision between the Mirror and the Echelon Reflect 50″ comes down to being willing to pay a few hundred dollars more for a bigger screen that also has a touchscreen.
Which Is Better: Mirror or Tempo?
Features like real-life weights and a larger screen place the Tempo a little bit ahead of the Mirror. However, you'll need to decide if the Tempo's price tag of $1,995 is doable when compared to the Mirror's $1,495 price tag. Both are excellent choices for mixing cardio and strength training. The big decider for people who are coming to these primarily for strength training comes down to the real weights of the Tempo versus no weights with the Mirror.
What’s Better: Tempo or Echelon Reflect?
The chasm between the Tempo and Echelon Reflect is pretty wide in several key areas. First, the price difference between the Tempo and Echelon Reflect 40″ stands at about $1,000. Additionally, you're looking at a workout system designed around using real weights versus a system that doesn't include any weights or built-in simulated resistance. This makes the Echelon Reflect much more of a cardio pick when compared to the cardio-strength versatility offered by Tempo. The Echelon Reflect 50″ is the only system in this class to beat the Tempo's 42-inch screen in size while still coming in at a few hundred dollars cheaper.
Our Recommendation: Choosing Between Echelon Reflect, Mirror or Tempo
If your goal is to invest in a true strength-training machine that's equally as engaging for cardio, the Tempo places first. You're getting the best mix of virtual immersion with real-life weights to help you enjoy simulated workouts that rest on your familiarity with classic strength-training tools like dumbbells. The 3D sensors on the Tempo are really second to none in terms of allowing for form correction to make workouts more effective.
Featuring a sleek mirror design, the Mirror impresses with versatility and motivation. The 50 genres of live and on-demand classes really help to keep workouts spicy and energized for people who struggle with workout boredom. While the Mirror doesn't have the 3D sensors of the Tempo, its camera-based technology for in-workout corrections and adjustments does a great job of creating an interactive experience that leads to better, safer workouts.
Lastly, the Echelon Reflect is an attractive unit that offers a wide variety of strength and cardio classes. While it's hard to deny that it leaves a little more to be desired than the Tempo and Mirror, the Reflect shines at offering a good mix of different workout genres that burn calories and boost energy levels! For overall ingenuity and strength capabilities, the Tempo takes top billing. The Mirror wins in the category of offering the most versatility in terms of classes and genres. The Echelon Reflect succeeds at offering a scaled-down experience for a lower price.