Online Tech Tips is reader-supported. We may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Learn more.

The average person today seems to be abnormally busy. If that’s you, maintaining good physical health is really important.

Physical activity has been shown to improve mental health, energy, and alertness as well as prevent illness, all of which are critical to supporting an always-on-the-go lifestyle. Study after study has proven this, yet, as compelling as the data may be, it doesn’t make exercise any easier to fit into your day.

Table of Contents
    Tonal vs. Mirror vs. Weela: Three Smart Home Gyms That Make You Sweat image

    With how little time most of us have, exercise is really easy to put off. Hitting the gym takes a lot of time–the drive there and back, the sharing of free weights and machines with others. And when it comes to exercise classes, they aren’t scheduled according to what times or days work best for you, so building them into your already busy schedule can become a hassle.

    Not only that, but entering these environments–where there are hundreds of people cycling through and sweating, coughing, sneezing every day–could put you at a much greater risk of getting sick.

    That’s not to say the gym isn’t worth your time or effort–it works well for plenty of people. But if it doesn’t work for you, here are three new smart home gym solutions that make it much easier to get the physical activity you need each day to stay healthy and productive.


    If you could pack your most fundamental workout machines and some free weights into one contraption, it would be Tonal. It’s a digital weight machine with two adjustable arms that mounts on your wall and uses electricity to create resistance up to 200 lbs. As the company says, “It’s an entire gym on your wall.”

    Tonal image

    Currently, you can purchase Tonal either online or from the company’s San Francisco showroom, but only if you live in the 48 contiguous United States, as one of the company’s concierges must install the equipment for you.

    And it’s safe to say Tonal is an investment you should be serious about making, coming in at $2,995 for the equipment and $49 a month for a minimum 12-month subscription to Tonal’s coaching, exercise programs, and workout videos. You can also finance Tonal for $199 a month, which includes a two-year subscription plan.

    There are also smart accessories you’ll likely want to purchase, including smart handles and a smart bar that allow you to adjust Tonal’s weight load, as well as a bench and several other available accessories.

    Here’s what you can do with it all.


    To begin using Tonal, it first assess your current state of strength so it can recommend how much weight and what movements you should use to begin working towards your desired state.

    To make continuous progress, you can have Tonal spot you as you increase weight, ensuring you can pump out a few extra reps and make incremental gains. And if you’re looking for more control of your workouts, simply turn on Free Lift Mode.

    Tonal image 2

    Tonal claims it can replace the free weights and resistance machines you use in a gym (up to its weight max at least), allowing you to accomplish fundamental workouts like the chest press, curls, squats, and more. Because its adjustable arms create so much versatility, you can accomplish virtually any workout you need to–and then some, with the additional accessories available.

    And no more pausing to add or remove weight while you work out. Tonal makes it easy to increase or decrease what you’re lifting with a simple click of a button on its handles or bar.


    With hundreds of workouts to learn, you can continually confuse your muscles to keep them growing and adapting to avoid plateauing. And you aren’t doing this on your own. Tonal provides regular content around workouts, fitness programs, and exercise classes that are led by multiple experts who coach you through each session via the Tonal interface on your wall.

    Tonal image 3

    The biggest difference between what’s available at the gym and what you get with Tonal is that Tonal makes it easy to set strict goals and stick to them. Whether you’re building muscle, toning up, boosting cardio, or making progress with the many other exercises offered, Tonal sets you up to succeed with the right weight and program and the right trainer to keep you in line.


    It’s hard to tell when you’re making progress at the gym, aside from manually or visually measuring muscle mass or standing on a scale. With Tonal, you get a true understanding of your improvements through real data it collects as you exercise.

    Instead of tracking weight, reps, and performance with a pen and notepad, Tonal tracks it all for you. But you also gain insight through data it collects on your range of motion, time under tension, power, and volume. You can see this data in real-time to enhance your workouts, and review it after to see how you’ve progressed overall.

    You might wonder how a rather expensive digital gym on a wall could be better than a traditional gym membership, but with its versatility of workouts, built-in guidance from expert fitness coaches, and data-driven improvement methodology, Tonal seems capable of helping anyone make progress if they can afford the investment.


    Not everyone wants to work out with weights and machines. Others are more inclined to train with bodyweight exercises. Mirror is perfect for this sort of physical activity.

    As an interactive smart home gym that can be mounted on your wall or lean against it, Mirror serves as a monitor that displays an instructor and classmates in a digitally delivered exercise class–plus your reflection, of course. When it’s off, it serves as a full-length mirror. When it comes to using it, all you need is the right amount of space for a great workout.

    Mirror image

    Mirror will cost you $1,495 currently, plus $39 a month for a one-year-minimum subscription to access all of its live and on-demand workouts. But if you consider what you’re getting, it’s the convenience of serious exercise classes on par with what you would experience in a gym or a studio–only it’s all in your home


    Mirror’s classes include complete cardio, strength, yoga, barre, Pilates, boxing, HIIT, and other workouts that you can complete within the comfort of your home. Like Tonal, you can buy several accessories for Mirror to enhance these workouts, including fitness bands, heart rate monitors, and even a mirror cleaning kit to keep your reflection and the display looking great.

    Mirror image 2

    And to continually challenge your body, Mirror makes sure you don’t have to repeat the same class or routine every day. It offers new classes regularly, with over 50 new classes streamed every week. You also have an array of on-demand options to choose from, so you’ll never be bored or undertrained.


    You’re not alone in whatever program you choose. Mirror’s exercise classes are led by experts who coach you through each session, stay personal and encourage you with feedback during your training to keep your confidence high. In the future, Mirror plans on further personalizing the experience with one-on-one training.

    Mirror image 3


    While you don’t have smart resistance cables tracking your ability to lift a weight and collecting data from each movement in your set, Mirror does have its own way of capturing data based on your exercises and providing feedback to help you make adjustments.

    You can sync Mirror’s complimentary Bluetooth heart rate monitor or your Apple Watch with the Mirror’s technology to compete against yourself. Mirror will track your progress against baselines and previous improvements of your heart rate to help you make regular progress.

    And you don’t have to wait until after a workout to reap the benefits of data. Mirror will enhance your workout in real-time based on what you’re capable of achieving, what your goals are, and what level of activity you’re comfortable with to ensure you get the best results.



    If you’re not the kind of person who needs or wants to use weights or machines to get a good workout in, but you also struggle to fit exercises classes into your schedule, this technology  could be a great investment. With Mirror, get the high-intensity workout you need at any time with expert coaching and specific data that helps you continuously improve.


    Bodyweight exercises may not be enough for you, but hitting the gym also may not be feasible with your schedule. But having an expensive smart gym like Tonal that hangs on your wall and requires a decent amount of open space to operate isn’t for everyone. If you need something you can move from room to room in your home or maybe even bring to the office, Weela is a great smart home gym option.

    Weela is a portable home gym built as a platform you stand on with a hub at the front containing an electric motor that creates weight-like resistance for workouts. It uses a cable system with which you can accomplish an array of resistance-based workouts similar to using free weights and machines.

    And it’s reassuring that this technology works as it should for your body, given it was invented by a doctor and developed by health and technical professionals before going through several research studies. Today, you can preorder Weela for $599, with a launch date set for August 2019.

    Weela image


    Weela comes with three different handles you can change out to accomplish over 100 different workouts comfortable–from cable rows to curls to leg extensions. The nice thing is you can accomplish these easily in as small a space as nine square feet.

    To adjust the weight you’re pulling, you can use Weela’s control panel. Meanwhile, Weela’s app will inform you on how to correctly execute the workouts to ensure you’re lifting properly and getting the best results from your workouts.

    Weela image 2

    The electric resistance that creates the effect of lifting weights is unique in that it provides stability through your movements. It also supports eccentric training through a multiplier you can turn on, which makes the resistance in your negative movements–i.e., when you’re releasing from a lift–up to twice as heavy. This makes it easier to repair and grow muscle faster as well as increase metabolic rate.

    Fitness App

    Because Weela is designed to be lightweight and portable, it doesn’t come equipped with an interface like Tonal or Mirror; however, it does come with an app that provides much of the same benefits these other technologies offer.

    With the app, you can view hundreds of simulated workouts that show you how to properly complete a movement and guide you with instructions. With these workouts, you can compile a customized routine to make it easy to work out with goals in mind.

    Weela image 3

    As you make progress, you can track it with the app. This allows you to see how you are or aren’t improving based on weight, reps, sets, and possibly other factors. With this information, you can set goals and determine how to achieve them.

    Go Get Fit

    Just as technology has accelerated the way we do things, making it difficult to fit things like exercise into our lives, it can also be used to help us plan better for these critical activities. If you can make it to the gym every day or follow an at-home routine with some free weights and a treadmill on your own, that’s great.

    But if it’s a struggle to motivate yourself, make progress, or get a good workout over with in a short amount of time, it might be worth turning to technology and checking out Tonal, Mirror, or Weela.