Fun and challenging workouts
Variety of classes and programs available
Requires 6 feet of room around screen
About the Tempo Studio workout mirror
The Tempo is an all-in-one home personal training system, similar in concept to The Mirror and other connected workout mirrors. These devices look like large wall mirrors when not in use but house a WiFi-enabled screen that displays streaming workouts ranging from HIIT and strength classes to mobility and barre sessions. The idea is that you can follow along with the instruction as well as keep an eye on your form. Unlike other workout mirrors, The Tempo is freestanding and its base doubles as a weight rack—it looks more like a triangular easel stand propping up the screen than it does home decor. Aside from its shape, the Tempo also lacks the typical reflective surface that makes workout mirrors... mirrors. Instead, it looks more similar to a TV screen, darker and less reflective, when not in use.
With a connected workout mirror, you can still see your reflection while watching the instructors during class. When using Tempo, if I intentionally stopped focusing on the trainers, I could sort of see my reflection on the screen, but it was a departure from the typical experience. However, I didn’t really miss this feature, because instead of letting you check your own form and course-correct as needed, Tempo does it for you. While exercising, Tempo’s cameras analyze your movements and give you tips on how to improve your form. This is one of the main advantages Tempo offers over other pre-recorded classes and mirrors.
Tempo’s $2,495 “Starter” package comes with plate-loaded dumbbells that range from 7.5 to 45 pounds each, and a yoga mat. The $3,245 “Plus” package throws in a 25-pound barbell, additional 25-pound weight plates to take the dumbbells up to 95 pounds or the barbell to 150 pounds, a heart rate monitor, a foam roller, and a bench. The $3,995 “Pro” package includes two 45-pound plates (and storage), a handle to turn weight plates into a kettlebell, and a folding squat rack. However, you don’t need to buy Tempo’s equipment to get a good workout. I only used the dumbbells and a medium resistance band I had on hand and felt plenty challenged. If you already own weights, a barbell, or kettlebells, you can use those for added resistance.
From the on-screen workout menu, you may select individual classes that suit your fancy or follow Tempo's workout programs—a couple of options recommended to me were ”two-week intro to strength” and “six-week functional fitness.” Classes and programs can be filtered by fitness level, exercise type, and duration. Tempo offers both pre-recorded and scheduled live classes, which feature an optional scoreboard. During class, you earn points by completing reps or lifting more weight and can check your standing on the side of the screen, or you can turn that function off, if competition doesn’t get you going. And whether you use the leaderboard or not, Tempo keeps track of the reps you completed the previous round, so you can aim to match or one-up yourself the next time you do that movement.
What we like about the Tempo Studio
The classes and instructors are high quality
I thoroughly enjoyed every class I completed with Tempo. I took mostly strength and barre classes—two types of workouts I enjoy—but you can choose from plenty of others, including yoga, cardio boxing, and HIIT.
The instructors are cheerful and chatty, which helps the time go by quickly and makes the workouts fun. They motivate you to do your best in class and are helpful when it comes to explaining how to correctly perform the movements. I always felt like I got a solid workout and often felt sore in the following days. I also liked how classes challenged me without getting overly complicated. In the strength classes I took, instructors focused on effective, basic movements like squats, lunges, chest presses, and bicep curls, and I left every class feeling like I was getting stronger and developing more endurance.
Personalized plans and workout recommendations
Tempo is great for getting you to stick to a workout plan you enjoy. When you first create your account, Tempo asks you questions like how many days a week you want to exercise and what workouts you prefer. From there, the software creates a personalized plan. I made it my goal to exercise three days a week and do one leg, one arm, and one full-body workout to gain all-around strength. I thoroughly enjoyed the classes that were recommended to me and felt Tempo offered a good mix of sessions that suited me well.
Tempo also personalizes your workout by recommending how much weight you should lift. You can let Tempo know whether the weight was too heavy, too light, or spot-on, and it will adjust accordingly. I found the weight recommendations to be pretty darn accurate. A few times they were too light, and when I let the program know, the next round of recommendations were perfect.
Tempo encourages you to stick to your workout goal without bombarding you with statistics and information. When selecting classes, the screen shows you how many days a week you exercised and if you met your goal. When you look at your profile, you can see the progress you’ve made, including how many total classes you’ve taken, days you’ve exercised, and weight you’ve lifted. This set-up made it easy to see my statistics, and reading that information encouraged me to stick with my workouts. On the other hand, it wasn’t in my face to the point where I felt guilty if I didn’t meet my goal for the week.
What we don’t like about the Tempo Studio
The form feedback isn’t foolproof
I found the feedback offered on my exercise form to be useful, but it’s not a perfect system. The feedback pops up on the screen for you to read, but it isn’t read aloud, which makes sense, because that could overlap or distort the instruction. But there also isn’t an audible tone to alert you to the corrections suggested. If you’re performing an exercise where you’re not facing the screen, it’s easy to miss the prompted tips.
It requires a decent amount of space
Apartment dwellers beware: Tempo requires you to be at least 6 feet away from the screen while exercising (possibly so the form cameras get a good look at you, but I couldn't confirm this). And it’s not just a warning—your workout won’t even start if you are too close to the machine. Though that distance doesn’t sound like much, it can feel like a large chunk of your living space if you’re working out in a smaller home or apartment. If you creep forward during class, Tempo will display a message telling you to move back, which obscures some data—namely, the number of reps you’ve completed. I was using the Tempo in a narrower room where I frequently wound up too close to the screen, and found this feature annoying.
Should you buy the Tempo Studio?
Yes, if you enjoy variety in your workouts and have the space
The Tempo is great for those who love changing up their workouts and want easy access to tons of high-quality workout classes. I felt challenged and fatigued after exercising with Tempo, and the personalized training plan made me look forward to using it for each and every session.
But it’s not a true one-size-fits-all system. The main drawback to Tempo is the amount of space you need in order to use it. If part of your rationale for purchasing a workout mirror is their inconspicuousness in your living space, the Tempo is probably not the best option. Its easel-like shape takes up much more room compared to some slimmer wall-mounted competitors, and the required 6 feet of distance from the screen makes it difficult to use in tighter spaces. What's more, if you like the idea of a connected workout mirror looking like a piece of decor when not in use, you should look elsewhere to The Mirror, which is wall-mounted and reflective, as you would expect something so-named would be.
But if you have ample room to exercise and enjoy taking different workout classes each day, you’ll love the Tempo Studio. It’s easy and fun to use, and you’ll get a great workout with it.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
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Staff Writer, Health and Fitness
Esther is a writer at Reviewed covering all things health and fitness.
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