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The at-home workout boom of 2020 and 2021 brought many new trends into the world. The skyrocketing popularity of spin bikes, an unprecedented rise in demand for compact fitness equipment like adjustable dumbbells, and futuristic fitness products that promised to bring the studio experience home to you. Even though fitness mirrors predate the pandemic, they were the perfect product for the new socially distanced world created by COVID-19. As boutique fitness studios and gyms closed, lots of people tried fitness mirrors as an alternative.
The problem with most fitness mirrors, like all luxury at-home gym equipment, is the price. They cost upwards of $1,500 to $2,000 in some cases, and their design can feel a little too futuristic, especially if you’re someone who regularly worked out at said studios and gyms pre-pandemic. Tempo, the creator of Tempo Studio, a fitness mirror that comes with strength equipment and a built-in storage locker, decided to tackle these challenges for the consumer.
Thus emerged the Tempo Move — a compact, smart, 3D fitness system that uses your TV and living room space to guide you through workouts for a more affordable price, without the need for a large HD touchscreen. It promises to give you the same guided feedback a full-blown fitness mirror does for less than a third of the price — as the Tempo Move typically retails for $495 but is on sale for $395.
Does it deliver on this promise? The short answer is yes, it does. I’ve reviewed the MIRROR fitness mirror as well as the ProForm Vue, and I felt the same guidance working out with the Tempo Move that I did with those machines. Is it something that’s as practical to install in your living room as it promises to be? That’s a more complicated question. Keep reading for my full review.
What Is the Tempo Move?
The Tempo Move is a fitness mirror alternative that uses your smartphone and television to stream and track you during your workouts. The makers of the Tempo Move were aiming to cut out the need for adding a large additional screen to people’s homes, and instead use tech they already have — a smartphone and a television — to perform the same functions a fitness mirror does at a much lower price point.
Using 3D Tempo Vision, their tracking technology, they’re able to stream their workouts to your TV through an HDMI connection and, using your smartphone’s camera, count your reps, give you form cues and guide you through the movements.
The Tempo Move also comes with a small cabinet of equipment, two dumbbells, weight plates that are 5, 2.5 and 1.5 pounds and collars for keeping them secure. The cabinet is about the height of a side table in your living room, and is designed to blend in with most decor.
How We Reviewed Tempo Move Smart Gym
I’ve reviewed a bunch of smart home fitness equipment, and the criteria for each product category differs based on the unique features of the equipment. The criteria used to review an exercise bike is different than a rower. I decided to review the Tempo Move using similar criteria to fitness mirrors, since that’s the product category it’s aiming to serve as an alternative to.
- Installation and Setup
- Design of Machine
- Quality of Classes & Instructors
- Smart Component
For my review, I decided to focus on five key areas, as I have when reviewing other smart gyms. I always like to look at how easy the installation and setup process is, since a difficult one can be a buzzkill for consumers. The design of the machine promises to offer flexibility to the user, is that the case? I also looked at the quality of the classes and instruction, how “smart” the smart components are and whether it’s worth it for the price.
Installation and Setup
Unpacking, setting up and installing my Tempo Move system was super easy. All of the weight plates, dumbbells and collars all fit seamlessly into the cabinet, and the Tempo Core dock was easy to plug into my TV. The setup comes with a quick start guide — a necessity for me as I hate reading manuals — and the app guides you through the setup as well when you launch it for the first time.
Similar to the MIRROR setup, they ask you your current fitness level, goals and what level you’re at. I selected expert since I workout most days and have a lot of experience weightlifting.
The Tempo Move is very well-designed in some respects: the cabinet would make a stylish end table in a living room, and the docking station held my phone steady with a spring-supported backing that’s made to fit all iPhone cases. A handy feature, since sometimes similar products require you remove your phone case to use it. The cabinet also closes via a stylish magnetic fabric cover, a nice feature. The inside of the cabinet is very high-quality, and each weight plate has its own slot so they stay organized and protected from bumping into one another or tipping over and causing damage.
However, the overall idea that you can use this in any living room is a bit unrealistic. You need a decent amount of space in front of your TV to be able to set up a workout mat, and have it be far enough away from your smartphone so the app can properly track your movements. If you’re right in front of your TV it won’t work, and if you’re too far away (behind a coffee table or couch) it also won’t work. My living room has a lot of furniture in it, so I had to set it up in front of the TV in my bedroom. This worked just as well, but others might have trouble finding a TV in their home that doesn’t have anything in front of it.
Quality of Classes and Instructors
I haven’t taken every class the Tempo Move offers, but I’ve sampled a range of their material and it’s all been top notch. The movement directions from the instructors are clear, the workouts match the level of difficulty they tout themselves as, and the classes are great workouts.
The instructors are friendly, and the pacing of the classes feels manageable. It’s also easy to find classes of a variety of lengths, difficulty levels and movement types within the app. I needed a strength workout that was less than 10 minutes the other day, and had no trouble finding it.
The Tempo Move doesn’t offer as many types of classes as some of its fitness mirror competitors — the MIRROR also offers dance and pilates — but if you’re primarily interested in strength training and HIIT cardio, and don’t need a ton of other modalities, it’s a solid option.
The Tempo Move is definitely smart. Using your iPhone’s camera, it can track your movements, give guidance on form and count your reps during a set. The Tempo Move comes with smart weights that are read by the machine as correct or incorrect per the instructor’s directions for the movement at hand, keeping you safe and on track with how the class is designed. During my workouts, the machine has always accurately counted my reps, registered my weights as the correct amount and nudged me back onto the mat if I’ve moved outside the trackable zone.
I didn’t get a ton of form cues or guidance for my movements from the Tempo Move while using it, but that very well could’ve been because I selected the “Advanced” athlete profile, which comes with fewer cues overall.
One important note, this machine only works with compatible iPhone models,
As a cheaper, fitness mirror alternative, the Tempo Move definitely delivers. It costs $495 normally, and is currently on sale for $395, a great price for the value it offers. It does require a $39/month subscription to access the classes, which is on par with Peloton, MIRROR and other fitness subscriptions.
It’s a smart system that’s perfect if you have a large, spacious living room and enjoy weightlifting. It’s definitely flexible, compact and delivers on almost all its other promises. Plus, for $100 off? It’s a bargain at that point, even if you just use it for the high-quality weights during your other workouts.
Tempo Move Review: The Bottom Line
Does everyone need this system? No. It’s not particularly revolutionary, and most people would do just as well with a streamed workout class on their iPad and a set of dumbbells. However, if you’re intrigued by the technological promise of a fitness mirror, and the guided experience it can provide, but don’t want to spend thousands of dollars, it’s worth trying. It works well, the equipment is well-made and it is an efficient use of tech most people already own — a TV and an iPhone.
What Comes With the Tempo Move?
The Tempo Move system comes with:
- The Tempo Core, a phone stand that connects your phone to your TV and uses its camera to track your movements during your workout
- A set of two 7.5 pound dumbbells
- Four weight collars
- Four 1.5 pound weight plates
- Four 2.5 pound weight plates
- Four 5 pound weight plates
- A stylish weight storage cabinet
Editor’s Note: Tempo previously worked with SPY as an advertiser, but this relationship is no longer active. Our editorial reviews are based on objective criteria and product testing, and advertisers can never pay for a positive review. on SPY.