November 25


The Tonal Home Gym Hands-On Review: Is It Pricey?

Home Gyms rose to popularity amidst the pandemic because people really did not have any other option. But even when it is over, people’s interest in home gyms has not died down. And the companies are trying their best to capitalize on it.

While there are plenty of options in the market, the Tonal smart gym stands out.  It offers a range of features that were unprecedented for home gyms up till now.

But an expensive price tag makes people wonder whether it is good enough to justify that. And in this Tonal Home Gym Review, we will discuss exactly that. So, let’s get straight to it.

A Quick Look At Tonal

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The tonal home gym is a strength training machine that uses an electromagnetism system and creates resistance using adjustable cables. It mounts to your wall for a personal workout with more than 200 exercises, including overhead presses, bicep curls, deadlifts, and an on-demand training coach.

Forget the anxiety and the peer pressure you feel at the gym with the Tonal. You can be more confident about yourself and feel no more self-conscious in front of your more experienced peers.

It allows you to do workouts any time in our home, which means no more 30-plus minute rounds to the gym. Best part? No more gym membership that can be quite expensive, especially compared to Tonal’s subscription fee.

How Much Does A Tonal Home Gym Cost?

The price starts at $3,495 with the addition of tax, add $395 for the delivery and professional installation charges, and it costs around $3890 in total. Furthermore, the basic bundle does not come with any accessories or attachments. You have to purchase them all separately. 

The smart attachments like the bench, foam roller, rope, handles, bars, and exercise rug mat that you would need for most exercise cost around  $495. An additional $49 subscription fee also has to be paid every month. 

So, in total, the complete package will cost you about $4900. It will also include 1000s of on-demand workouts and advanced Tonal features for proper strength training. However, after the initial investment, you would have to pay just $49 if you want to maintain the membership.

Is The Tonal Smart Home Gym Worth It?

Tonal Home Gym is an expensive unit; in fact, it is one of the most expensive smart home gym systems. Whether it is worth it comes down to your preferences and the types of workouts, you are into. You can also consider cheaper options, but those would not provide the same features and quality as the Tonal. 

    Get the latest exercise types, equipment reviews, fitness tips and exclusive offers to help you on your fitness journey.

    If you are looking for a personal trainer and a luxury high-tech training machine in your house that offers a complete range of workouts, there is no better option than Tonal. People who are just considering or dabbling with the idea of a home gym should avoid it.

    It is too expensive equipment to use for a few weeks or months and go back to the gym again. Try some cheaper alternatives and ensure whether or not you are into home gyms. And if you begin to enjoy it and have the budget to invest in quality hardware, Tonal is the way to go.

    Tonal Smart Home Gym Specs

    The Tonal smart gym has two adjustable arms that move up, down, and in different directions to enable various exercises. You can also change the arm grips with a bar or a rope. The Tonal home gym uses electromagnets for adjusting resistance weights. You can also wear wrist weights for additional resistance.

    Furthermore, the Tonal also includes a 24-inches touch-sensitive interactive display that shows workouts with instructions. You can explore cardio exercises, yoga, and pilates or focus on increasing upper body strength. It has 17 sensors designed to give feedback about your form and posture to target specific muscles and save you from injury.

    You can also track your strength using the Tonal mobile app and compare your progress with other people of the same age.

    Specification Table

    Amp12 AMP
    WirelessIEE 802.11a
    Bluetooth4.2 Wireless Technology
    Operating Temperature50 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit
    Storage Temperature-12 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit
    Max Tension100lbs per Arm
    Screen Size24 inches
    Total Weight150lbs

    Using Tonal

    We have used the Tonal for 25 days to understand what it offers and whether it is as good as the hype around it. Let’s take a look at what we observed.


    Tonal offers up to 200 pounds in total resistance, which we found to be more challenging. It is probably because Tonal does not let you use gravity for momentum.

    For example, if you can comfortably curl with 150 pounds, it will be difficult on the Tonal because of the lack of gravitational advantage. But the machine quickly adapts to your strength which is incredible and provides you with the resistance that can be endured without damaging the muscles.


    Tonal is equipped with various interactive and fun features that can be used to connect with friends and family. You can share the workout routines, goals, and the joined programs with each other to stay motivated.

    Connecting with friends is super easy as you just need to connect a Facebook account with it. Furthermore, an unofficial community group with more than 45,000 members is also available on Facebook. You can join it to learn new things that can be explored with the Tonal. 


    Everybody who has used Tonal would tell you that it is no good without accessories. You simply cannot get the full value out of it without the accessories and unfortunately, it does not come with any of them.

    You have to purchase all the accessories yourself which is a shame considering the price of this unit. That said, the accessories are worth the extra price.

    The smart handles and smart bars enable you to increase and decrease the weight with a touch of a button. You do not need to interact with the screen for basic functions with these smart accessories. 


    The 24-inch touchscreen of Tonal is fun to watch but it can be a little overwhelming at first. Like Tesla’s entertainment unit, the screen allows you to control everything about the machine. You can start off with a strength assessment which personalizes the weight for you for strength and resistance training.

    The machine will put you through a trainer that requires you to deadlift, squat, and biceps curl in addition to other exercises. Based on the assessment, Tonal calibrates the exercises for you and memorizes the strength for the future.

    And quite surprisingly, the assessment is very accurate. You would find it really fun to use. And as you level up in strength, the machine will automatically re-calibrate to make it challenging for you.   

    Training Programs

    Right now Tonal offers more than 1,000 guided workouts and over 60 programs. The library of programs and guided workouts are growing every month.

    Furthermore, it also offers live and on-demand classes that are taught by 14 coaches. You learn a number of exercises from them including but not limited to strength training, boot camp, yoga, pilates, and mobility. 

    Even if you do not want to learn from coaches or trainers, there are five dynamics modes that will challenge you exactly like them. You can pick between Spotter, Burnout, Chains, Eccentric and Smart Flex based on the exercises you want to perform.  

    Tonal Home Gym’s Construction And Durability

    While purchasing equipment as expensive as the Tonal Smart Gym, durability should be a major concern. Fortunately, it checks all the right boxes and offers premium quality, ensuring longevity and durability. It goes through many hours of testing to ensure it is durable and strong enough to survive years despite the abuse that some may throw at it. 

    You may occasionally break down the cables, but a three-year limited warranty covers their replacement. Once per month, after every 10 uses, you should check the condition of your cables and smart attachments.

    You can increase your tonal’s life by taking care of your tonal’s cables and accessories. Furthermore, customer care is also incredible, offering immediate solutions to minor hiccups and quickly providing replacements for broken parts.

    Tempo vs. Tonal

    In comparison between Tempo vs. Tonal, the Tempo is better for those who want to lift weights freely without any limitations, While tonal is more packed since it uses a pulley system with different smart accessories. You can lift almost 200 pounds with tonal weight.

    Tonal is a device that is mounted on a wall with a large HD touchscreen and moveable cable arms. The touchscreen displays your workout stats, workout trainer, and other relevant data. The cables automatically increase or decrease weight according to your lifting strength or fitness level.

    Tempo is a free-standing device. It uses free weights rather than cables and barbells to produce resistance. Tempo also works with your TV and smartphone with a face ID.

    So, if you have less space in your house, you can still enjoy a great workout with tempo. It provides a unique Move option in addition to a wall-mounted Tonal.

    Tonal vs. The Barbell

    Tonal is about 23 percent heavier than free barbell weights due to RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion). Comparing the free weights, Tonal’s 200 pounds feel much heavier than 260 pounds of free Barbell weight. Tonal can provide the same muscle activation as free weights but at a lower weight load.

    You can clearly feel the difference between Tonal and The Barbell free weight when performing a workout. Tonal also feels heavier than you expect. Some researchers found that Tonal can do more muscle-building stimulus in each rep, set, and every workout than free Barbell weights.

    Tonal vs. Peloton

    The choice between Tonal or Peloton depends on your fitness goal. For example, the peloton can be a much better option for weight loss because it offers many features pertaining to Cardio, an area where Tolan is not that great. Thus, it makes the Pelton a better option for individuals who want a Cardio setup.

    Conversely, if you are interested in strength/weight training, Tonal is a better option. It offers a range of muscle-building and strength exercises, as mentioned earlier.

    Both of them provide a range of features with a monthly subscription. However, Peloton has slightly more offerings with its all-access membership than the Tonal mobile app.

    Tonal vs. The MIRROR

    Tonal and The Mirror are excellent options for the home gym, but the latter suits people with limited space in their homes. Because of its sleeker and slim design, the Mirror takes up less than a two-foot of wall space, or you can stand it upright using the included stand.

    It is mostly used for fat loss and cardio exercises. Mirror has a wide glass screen in which you can take your Live exercise training.

    Tonal, on the other hand, occupies more space and focuses more on strength training. However, the number of features is much higher in the Tonal. 

    Installing Tonal

    After the pre-installation inspection is completed, it takes 1 to 3 weeks to deliver and install the Tonal. After getting the useful information, professional installers deliver and install your Tonal. You can’t install it yourself. After the delivery, professional installers do the installation process in less than an hour.

    Tonal mounts on a set of two wood or metal studs with the least dimension of 2 inches x 4 inches on a concrete wall. If you don’t have enough space for the installation requirements, you will have to install Tonal on a built-out stud.

    Customer Experience


    During our testing, we never had to use the warranty because the components of the gym withstood our tests. For the sake of this review, we browsed the internet and learned about the experiences of other users with the machine.

    Unsurprisingly, most people were content with the warranty offered by the Tonal. That said, be mindful that it is a limited warranty and does not cover accidental damage.


    The Tonal comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. And provided that you contact the company for a return within 30 days, there would not be a problem. It was smooth sailing when we contacted the company for a return after about 25 days of use to test it out for this review.

    Tonal Gym Alternative

    Tonal has a unique place in the home gyms market because of its features. Right now, the product features little competition but the price tag can be discouraging for most individuals.

    Hence, if you are looking for cheaper alternatives, Onyx, Fitbod Weight Lifting Workout, and Mirror might be suitable options. Mind you; these home gym equipment are not inexpensive as well; they are just relatively less expensive than Tonal.

    With all the mentioned alternatives, you can work out the most basic exercises. Some are even better at certain categories than Tonal. Hence, do thorough research on each piece of equipment before purchasing it for the home.

    Final Verdict Of Our Tonal Smart House Gym Review

    Tonal is not a home gym that would suit everyone. It is a straight no for people who have just started gymming. Even if you have the budget, it is unwise to spend such a high amount on equipment you are unsure about.

    However, it might be the perfect option for people who understand what home gyms are all about. It is a weightlifter’s dream, and it will attract those who are well-informed in strength/weight training. 

    Tonal FAQ

    Was Tonal Hard To Install?

    Yes, Tonal is difficult to install, and it is better not to try. You should hire professionals that the Tonal authorizes for a safe and secure installation. 

    Does Tonal Really Work?

    Yes, Tonal works well when it comes to strength training and building muscles. The machine can assess the endurance of muscles and knows exactly how to challenge you.  

    Does Tonal Have Live Classes?

    Tonal does have live classes of many trainers according to your goals. It is one of its most noticeable features. The company continuously adds new updates and content to enhance the experience, and it keeps users engaged.

    Tonal Live is a class format that is transmitted directly to Tonal’s touchscreen from the studio in Los Angeles. This live format combines Tonal’s strength workout system with a live training environment. 

    Does Tonal Work Without A Subscription?

    Yes, Tonal does work without a subscription. You can cancel your membership after your first 12 months but lose access to Tonal’s innovative and unique features. Still, you can use Tonal basic free services and use smart attachments.

    You can also check your workout time and rep count without having a membership on Tonal. Without a subscription, the movement demos are not accessible in a basic free lift.

    Would You Suggest Tonal For Advanced Trainees?

    It depends on the type of their training. Tonal has a maximum of 200 pounds of weight resistance. For most trainees, it is enough to weight to work with.

    However, if you are a powerlifter or an elite bodybuilder, Tonal may not give you the right weight. Adding wrist weight helps, but it is not compared to what professional gyms offer.

    Can You Build Muscle With Tonal?

    Tonal might not be able to turn you into the Hulk, but with its strength training, you will be able to build decent muscles. You can perform a range of workouts with it to improve core strength, build muscles and bring the body into the right shape.