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Home / Fitness and Health / Are smart gyms like Tonal and Spiegel worth it? Best home training

Are smart gyms like Tonal and Spiegel worth it? Best home training

I've done exactly three reps, each with four different exercises – shoulder presses, pulldowns, bench presses and deadlifts – but the artificial intelligence in this Tonal unit is a cable-based system with a wall-mounted screen turning a television vertically, believes , I found out everything. I think I should put 63 pounds of resistance per arm next.

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WTF? I usually put 90-pound dumbbells on the bench. So when I position myself for a 63-pound bench press in the Tonal unit, I'm ready to take revenge. I support my torso, put my feet, push up and the weight moves. , , just like 90 pounds would have.

I have not considered that the electromagnetic resistance of Tonal feels different than with conventional weights. Tonal's AI did it. The future of home fitness does not just give you a workout. For $ 3,000 he will provide you with equipment, discover you, motivate you and drive you. And it lets you guess. When building your own personal training rooms, this compact efficiency is an attractive concept.

Home Training Becomes Smarter

Tonal, the flagship product of a three-year San Francisco start-up of the same name, is the most-publicized entry in the "Smart Gym" revolution, promising you high-quality home-training expert instruction ̵

1; without leaving your living room to make a Marriott fitness center.

Following the rise of Peloton, which rose to $ 4 billion in August from an unknown networked stationary motorcycle company in 2012, Silicon Valley is focused on home fitness. Tonal and another start-up, the Manhattan-based Mirror, represent a wave of gadgets that want to bring big-box fitness home so you can preach before you sit at the dining table.


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A decade ago, home training was a P90X DVD and a clutter of dumbbells on the entire floor of your living room. For these three giants plus $ 49 a month for streaming workouts, Tonal cleans up the mess. It's a slim, 22 by 51-inch device that can be fixed to your wall, a LED touch screen in the middle, and two adjustable cable arms that hide behind it. If you want to work out, pull out your arms and the screen lights up to display a Netflix-like workout collection. These range from distance-improving exercises (faster running, driving on) to HIIT sessions (HIIT it Hard) through to muscle-building circuits.

You can also choose Free Lift, which turns Tonal into a kind of cable machine you would find in almost any gym. The AI ​​does not guide you in this mode, but the device still tracks your movement and provides feedback that fitness experts appreciate. Immediately after the bench press, I go into this mode to learn more about Tonal's resistance and its progressive smarts. I do shoulder press repetitions, enjoy the smooth resistance and look at the screen. After each repetition, a bar chart is displayed. The machine tracks my repetitions and shows my power output in each one.

The grips of the unit have gyroscopes to track the range of motion, and the internal sensors measure the power output. Tonal can collect and store this data along with other basic information (your favorite workouts, your typical resistance, the reps you're completing), and then feed the data via their AI algorithm to optimize resilience. The goal is to be more than a smart gym. Tonal could be a smart training assistant. The workouts are designed by the company's training staff, but the AI ​​helps you choose the right weights and directs you to workouts that meet your goals and preferences. A Tonal unit could one day determine better exercises for you, eg. Size, age, even motivation, but the company does not have a timetable for it.

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Transition to new forms of resistance

Tonal's ability to imitate various resistance training strategies is currently a selling point. Its electromagnetic resistance can be changed in no time. With his programming, he can simulate more than just lifting weights. You can use advanced techniques that normally require extra equipment – such as curling, as if you had chains attached to your weights (with resistance increasing gradually as you lift them) – or even using eccentric loading methods, with resistance increasing when You reduce the resistance weight.

I hit a series of lat pulldowns, then a series of biceps curls with simulated chain resistance and get a solid burn. Next, I experiment with more bench presses, this time with the unit's automatic spotter system, to push out a few extra repetitions. That does not feel right. In essence, the "point" is a programmed weight reduction that I can not change. I tell the representatives of Tonal that a human spotter would force me to continue to work for my representative. You mention that problems like these can be quickly resolved with a software update. "You can wake up one morning," says David Azaria, Tonal's software chief, "and just find new features."

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Over the past two years, trainers have begun to favor full-body moves: even cheap big-box gyms like Blink Fitness now have combat ropes and medicine balls Resistance seems to come from [TheJetsons. But for foresighted coaches, Flintstonian says, "In the fitness world, we're clearly off machines," says Mike Boyle, a seasoned Boston coach Bank k You can do a lot of things. "

Alyalady, founder of Tonal and CEO, gives me other ways to perform the moves Unity does not offer. No power cleans? I can optimize my training to do deadlifts and squats. Do i have to do that?

Fitter Reflection

At a Glance the mirror looks very similar to Tonal: another wall unit for the home fitness future, with the exception of the cable arms. The training approach is different. Founder and CEO Brynn Putnam, a former professional dancer and veteran of the group fitness scene, designed the Mirror ($ 1,495 plus a $ 39 per month subscription fee) as a giant iPhone with a well-designed streaming fitness app. (Think of Nike Training Club or Beachbody on Demand.)

Its screen makes a difference: it's highly reflective so I can see my shape while watching a screen trainer. With the Mirror app, I pick a workout on my iPhone, sync my Apple Watch, and I'm greeted by my video coach, Gerren Liles, who guides me through a high-intensity interval workout.


Mirror, another entry in the smart home gym.


It's peloton for biceps The heart rate, measured via my Apple Watch, is displayed in the lower left corner along with a list of other users performing the same workout. A few minutes later, I'm on the leaderboard – and bathed in sweat. "The quality of an iPhone training is not very good," says Putnam. I wanted people to get more excited. "A pair of dumbbells and a bench can not do that."

The Mirror's exercise library includes yoga, HIIT, and power building dumb bells routines, but Putnam does not consider the mirror simply a fitness machine, and sees it as a new platform. 19659004] "You have your TV and your phone," she says, "We're struggling to be the next screen in your life, fitness is our first vertical."

The mirror and the tonal give heads to the fitness world Up: Do not be surprised if electric resistance electric motors soon end up in your gym – right now we're expecting stumbling, but you know that Tonal and the mirror are on the right track, which makes us home-workouts that do a lot more than just burpees and body weight there.

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