Tempo Studio Review—The Latest Interactive Fitness Mirror
As you’ve seen in our recent coverage of things like Mirror , Tonal, and Fight Camp, you know that the at home fitness space is changing fast. This latest trend is all about video workouts, about streaming training of all shapes and sizes, and Tempo Studio is the latest competitor to throw their hat in the ring. How is it different, you might ask? Well, Tempo Studio is definitely more focused on strength training than Mirror, as it comes complete with a set of dumbells, a barbell, and a reasonable assortment of weight plates to fit both. Going beyond that, there’s more technology at play here, as the Tempo Studio uses motion capture technology to analyze and provide feedback on your form as you’re doing different exercises. The biggest challenge to following fitness workouts at home is not getting feedback, and that’s exactly what the team behind this new piece of home gym tech set out to change.
Looking at the Tempo Studio from both a design and function standpoint, there’s a lot to love. Sure, the unit takes up a touch more space by not being wall-mounted, but its built-in storage is a welcome trade to make in exchange for its 16″ by 26″ footprint. Standing 6 feet tall, you’ll have no problem finding a corner for it somewhere in the house. A lower cabinet is designed to hold all of its weight plates, while a rear-mounted rack will hold the unloaded dumbbells and barbell. The display itself is 42 inches, measured as you would a conventional television (cross-corner), and unlike its competition is not only HD but also touch-compatible. This means no fussing with your phone or laptop in order to access or change your programming path.
Getting started is relatively simple. Connect the Tempo Studio to your local WiFi network, ensuring you’re placing it somewhere with a solid connection. Because these classes are streaming, you want stable WiFi wherever you’re working out. Log in with your account (set up when purchasing your machine and subscription), and start browsing through their catalog of training courses. There are several hundred courses to choose from. On the topic of programming, there’s no shortage of options. Strength training comes first, as that’s really the primary category that Tempo is targeting with this new piece of kit. Workouts range from full body, to AAA (Arms, Abs, and Ass), and overall they prove quite easy to get into. Instructors are personable and encouraging, and feedback relating to your form appears in the bottom corner of your screen. This is also a type of class that would typically be offered live, but (until COVID passes), the live class setup has been paused.
Of course, strength training is just the beginning. Alongside these classes, HIIT, Mobility, Recovery, and Cardio are all part of the equation. Want a bit more push than your average training session and leaderboard? Tempo Studio also has a category for Challenges—workouts that set benchmarks for you to reach or blow past, and see how you fare against other users around the globe.
Before starting the class, you’ll see a breakdown of what movements are involved, and what equipment you’ll need. Be sure to strap on the supplied heart rate monitor, as heart rate is one of the key metrics in all of its training data. On screen during your workout, you’ll see notes about your form, a countdown timer for each segment of the workout you’re in (warm-up, cooldown, etc), number of reps, pacing (in reps per minute), and current heart rate. With the aid of a 3D motion capture camera (not an actual camera in the traditional sense, all the information is fed seamlessly into the machine in timely fashion, and you can see your rep count click up with each movement. Some have raised concerns about being recorded in their homes, but rest assured, this system uses infared pulses to get a map of your body and form, and does not record you or your likeness in any kind of recognizable fashion.
At just shy of two grand, we’re happy to report that the quality of the dumbells, barbell, weights, and other pieces are all solid in terms of quality. Tolerances between weight plates and bars are minimal, meaning little movement of the weight plates as you’re working out. We’re also fond of the quick-release collars, as they’re easy to slide and lock without fuss—a million times better than the standard collars found at your usual local gym.
- Access to wide range of fitness activity on demand
- Compact size
- Smart storage
- 60w built-in speaker system
- Quality weights and other gear
- All the necessary bits included
- Growing catalog of streaming content
- Smart use of 3D mapping/modeling tech
- Reasonable warranty
- Entry price + carrying costs
- New company—long term viability questionable
- Average Warranty
This is a nice surprise—in a space quickly filling with new brands that are trying to be ‘the Peloton of ____’, the vast majority of offerings are only coming with a 1-year warranty. This is a bit concerning when dealing with an upstart, especially when the product in question os rather expensive. We’re pleased to report that the Tempo Studio has a warranty of 3 years.
All told, this is a very niche piece of fitness kit, and depending on your workout interests, budget, and residential space constraints, it could be a good fit. Its startup costs are high, but the payout in convenience is substantial, especially in a time where gyms remain closed in many places, and those that are open might not be a comfortable space for you to be working out just yet. Consider this your perfect at-home personal trainer if you aren’t ready or willing to hit the local gym again, or if you’ve just never been keen on the gym atmosphere but still need a bit of guidance. If general health and wellness is more your speed than strength training, or looking to stay on more of a budget, you might want to also consider an iFit enabled treadmill or exercise bike.