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If the Forme caught your eye, but you’re not crazy about the price (or you wish there was more strength training with weights involved), I know how you feel. It has some features that other options don’t offer (like that barre). Still, I’ve found some of the best Forme alternatives that are as good–if not better–for people who love working out at home but want something interactive to keep them going.
I’ve worked out for years and have devised my own workouts and splits. I’ve done circuits at the gym, ventured into the noisy weight room. I know it can feel like people are critiquing your form without giving you feedback (not that you’d want a random person to come up to you and tell you you’re doing it wrong). I’ve done dance classes, yoga, bootcamps, and pretty much a little bit of everything available.
Things I’ve learned:
- I thrive when there’s variety.
- Working out “with” others feels different and can boost your energy. (Yes, using a screen to connect with others counts.)
- Having a trainer correct your form can help you prevent injuries and engage the proper muscles, so you progress more quickly.
- Having someone else create the routine frees up so much mental space. I love just showing up and being told what to do!
Forme and its best alternatives can provide many of the perks of the gym without the drive, the germs, the waiting to take your turn, and any self-consciousness you might feel there (it happens to the best of us!).
Bottom Line Up Front
I like the idea of the Forme with all the bells and whistles, but I would buy the Mirror or Tonal instead. I’d buy a Peloton Guide in a heartbeat if it’d work with my bike’s screen instead of requiring a second TV to be installed in my home gym just so I could use it.
You can’t go wrong with any of these Forme alternatives. It’s all about what fits your workout goals, your budget, and the experiences you want to have.
My Top Picks
Of all the choices, I think Mirror and Tonal are the stiffest competition for Forme. Others can get the job done, too. However, suppose you’re considering the Forme. In that case, I think you’ll be disappointed with most of the alternatives on the market that take up more space or involve lots of equipment.
- The aesthetics are similar to Forme’s.
- It costs less.
- It’s portable if you want it to be (it can be wall-mounted, too).
- There’s a focus on bodyweight workouts, and you won’t always need a lot of equipment to work out.
- You can take live classes or work with a trainer (for an extra fee).
- You don’t need additional weights, and you can lift heavy.
- It attaches to the wall like Forme.
- The coaches are motivating, and programs are designed to get results.
- Of course, you can do strength training, but there are also Pilates, barre, yoga, and meditation classes.
If neither of those will work for you, these are fun to use and might be perfect for your home gym situation:
Echelon made the list for its class variety and affordability (especially the Reflect vs Reflect Touch if you’re okay with not having a touchscreen).
See Also: Best Echelon Alternatives.
Peloton Guide also made the cut for its inspiring coaches. I love all their personalities for different reasons. It also made the cut because of the wide range of class types (and the fact that they’re always adding more). It’s also affordable, but I hesitate to wholeheartedly recommend this one unless you’re already using one of Peloton’s bikes or treadmills.
Fiture is similar to the Mirror and can be wall-mounted or propped against the wall while in use. You can choose from five colors, which is something most other options don’t offer. The number of classes is a little on the light side (100+), but if it’s got what you want and they’re adding more, it could still be a good Forme alternative that’s portable and costs a lot less.
There were a few things I was looking for, based on what the Forme offers. The best Forme alternatives:
- Don’t take up a ton of space.
- Don’t cost a lot more (ideally, they’re less expensive!)
- Have similar workouts to Forme.
- Feature excellent coaches.
- Offer standout features, like live classes and/or personal training (though I didn’t limit exciting features and capabilities to just those things).
About the Forme
You’ll need about 6 ft. x 6 ft. for the workouts and at least seven feet from the floor to ceiling.
It comes with a yoga mat, heart rate monitor, cleaning towel, camera covers, and mounting hardware. It’ll be functional just as it comes, but the real magic is in the Barre and LIFT add-ons.
Those extras bump up the price, though, and take this from a competitive (though on the high end, closer to Tonal’s pricing but beyond most others’) $2495.00 to $3000.00+ (especially if you tack on the Sculpt Bundle).
I love going through and recognizing coaches I’ve worked out with (not in person, though that would’ve been nice!) over the years, like Harley Pasternak and Chevy.
I was shocked to see so many different types of classes, like Recovery for Golfers, Recovery for Runners, Boxing, Breath Work (I’m getting into this lately!), Pony Sweat, Family Recess, Full Body Barre Burn, Hip Hop, Bodyweight Recovery.
- I love the versatility here, beyond class offerings. I haven’t seen another option with an actual barre add-on, even when barre classes are offered.
- I always wanted to take Barry’s classes because they seemed fun and challenging, but there were never any near me. This allows you to experience them (as well as other classes) in your home.
- It looks like a mirror when you’re not using it–even if you purchase add-ons. Everything gets tucked away nicely.
- There are so many instructors and personality types to choose from, plus various workout types for any preference or mood.
- It’s one of the most expensive options out there, especially if you love it for the add-ons, which cost extra.
- It has to be mounted on the wall, so you won’t be able to take it from room to room. If you move, it’ll be a little more complicated to take it with you than something like the Mirror.
The 5 Best Forme Alternatives
The more I learn about Mirror, the more it moves up my list in the top Forme alternatives and alternatives to any similar product. It looks nice and I think I could put it on the main floor instead of the basement gym for impromptu bodyweight exercises throughout the work day.
I feel like Mirror really works to achieve a whole experience, between the music, aesthetic, community, workout guidance, and ability to take it on the go without actually taking the Mirror itself anywhere.
It does so much, and the price isn’t even that bad compared to others (except for the Peloton Guide and Echelon Reflect).
- You have the option to work with a trainer (you’ll have to pay extra; the monthly membership doesn’t cover this).
- There are live workouts every day, so if that motivates you, you’ll love it.
- You don’t have to guess which workout or program to do next; it’ll make recommendations based on your previous activity.
- You can invite a friend to work out with you.
- Searching for a class you want to do based on difficulty, length, instructor, and class type is easy.
- It uses Apple Music so you can enjoy playlists that match the workout you’re doing and/or your mood. Some people enjoy creating their own playlists and always have something ready to go, but that’s not me at all. I appreciate built-in playlists. If left to my own devices, I might not even turn any music on and then wonder why my energy levels are suffering.
- Not home? No problem. You don’t have to figure out how to strap your Mirror to the top of your vehicle to get credit for your vacation workouts (go, you, working out on vacation, though!). Just do the workouts on your phone or tablet. It works on the television too.
- You only get a one-year warranty. Come on, Mirror, give us at least three.
- It seems pretty affordable at first (compared to Forme and Tonal, at least). Still, if you don’t have a lot of random fitness accessories at home, you’ll need to purchase a package or hit the store for dumbbells, a heart rate monitor, a mat, and a few other things. Those Mirror packages go up to $2045.00 (for the family package, which is still less than some other options).
- Those weights that pair with the Mirror are looking awfully tempting…(and like an extra–and extra-pricy–expense, with the 1-lb set priced at $50.00).
- As much as the Mirror has going for it, it’s still really best for bodyweight exercises. If you like lifting heavier weights, this probably won’t keep you motivated for long.
- You will probably need to store at least a few things, and there’s nowhere on the Mirror to do that. You’ll have to put a shelf or cabinet of some kind nearby.
- It’s not a touchscreen and needs to be controlled with your phone.
I hate that Tonal is so expensive, but I love that it allows you to lift up to 200 lbs (100 lbs per arm). I don’t know that I’ll ever need more than that.
It’s not the most aesthetic option (I love those inconspicuous mirrored options!). Still, it’s low-profile enough when everything’s folded into place.
You’ll need seven feet of wall space and floor space when it’s in use, but it’s only 50.9″ tall and 21.50″ wide.
- It’s compact–everything you need, even for lifting heavy, is built-in. You may need some small accessories, but using digital weight reduces the storage space you’ll need.
- It’s safer than lifting dumbbells over your head without a spotter or shimmying under a barbell and back out again.
- It tells you when to increase your weight and personalizes your programs, so you don’t have to think about creating your own routines. If you’re someone who gets stuck in a workout rut that keeps you doing the same things without progressing, this is great.
- If you don’t like to create your own workout routines or just don’t have time for it, having something do it for you is incredibly valuable. Just show up, get it done, and reap the benefits. Track everything the whole time, too, so you can see evidence of your progress.
- It tracks your reps, range of motion, power, volume, time under tension, and sets. You won’t have to wonder if it’s working.
- It’s not just about strength training. You can do yoga, cardio, dance cardio, kickboxing, Pilates, Barre, HIIT, mobility work, Bootcamp, Theragun recovery sessions, and more. You can even create custom workouts if that’s more your speed.
- Live workouts and virtual group workouts give a sense of community. I’ve also found some of the Tonal communities on Facebook helpful.
- One of the standout features of Tonal is your ability to work out with a partner. It keeps up with both individuals’ reps and weight.
- Like Forme, it’s expensive. It starts at $2995.00, and if you want the smart accessories to go with it, that’s an extra $495.00. Ouch. You can finance for $63.00/month, which is probably still less expensive than a personal trainer (when I was going to hire one, it was $150.00/month even with a discount and I still had to drive to the gym for the sessions).
- I think the accessories should be included in the $2995.00 price.
- You have to have it installed by a professional. They want you to pay them again to relocate it if you move. It’s not a flat fee; the price will depend on the details of the move.
Echelon gives you two choices–the Reflect, which doesn’t have a touchscreen, and the Reflect Touch, which does work as a touchscreen.
I overlooked Echelon at first, but it’s gotten progressively more attractive. I like that two different price points make it more accessible. It’s still not inexpensive by any means, but there’s a big gap between paying about $750.00 and roughly $3000.00.
The Reflect Touch has a 50″ screen, and its dimensions are 50″ H x 20″ W x 2″ D. The Reflect is 10″ shorter (and 12 lbs lighter, at 40 lbs) but everything else is the same.
If you already use an Echelon bike, this might be the best Forme alternative for you.
- You can do live classes.
- There are over 2000 on-demand classes to choose from, too.
- You don’t have to spend over $1000.00 to get a smart home gym.
- There’s no tiered membership–you get access to all the classes when you sign up.
- It syncs with smartwatches.
- One of my favorite things about Echelon has to do with the cost of the membership, believe it or not. Sometimes, it’s not about how much cheaper something is compared to the alternatives (though this one is a little less than average). I like that you can choose to pay for a year or two upfront and save a few more dollars per month on that.
- It plays music to keep you in the zone.
- If you’re competitive, you’ll love the leaderboard. I never pay attention to them, but I know they’re incredibly motivating for many people, encouraging them to strive to hit the top.
- It’s one of the shorter options, and I think that could be less motivating than feeling like a trainer is standing right in front of you.
- The Reflect needs your phone or tablet to work, which might feel like one more hurdle to jump over. This is especially true if your phone tends to distract you or you want time away from it when you work out), but the lower price makes it worth the trade-off. I’d have to work on my willpower not to look at it.
- It has to be mounted on the wall. I have mixed feelings about this. I like that putting it on the wall keeps it out of the way, and no one will walk by, trip, or knock it over to break. However, moving it around the house or to a new home isn’t easy.
I like the Fiture for some of the same reasons I appreciate the Mirror. It can be mounted on the wall, but it doesn’t have to be.
Say you like to use weights and do your cardio in your home gym, but it’s loud there for one reason or another.
You could take your Fiture to another room for quiet yoga or meditation. Remember that it’s 60 lbs, though, if you’re making the decision based on this.
This is one of the most interactive options I’ve found. You get feedback on everything you do, not just form (the corrections are detailed!) and pace in strength training workouts. I love that!
It feels more like a game, a competition, and a challenge than some others, which could be highly motivating for some users.
It’s 68″ H x 23″ W x 1.6″ D. The screen is 43″ tall.
- You don’t get locked into a membership ($39.00/month) of any length. You can pause or cancel it whenever you need to.
- It’s somewhat portable (though a little on the heavy side).
- It’s less expensive than Forme or Tonal by a lot at $1495.00.
- Delivery and installation are free.
- It counts your reps–even in HIIT workouts–and gives you feedback on dance workouts (it kind of reminds me of the Just Dance video games that way)
- It syncs with heart rate monitors and smartwatches, including the Apple Watch.
- It doesn’t come with weights or other accessories.
- There are fewer classes to choose from with Fiture than other options.
- I wish there were options to get dumbbells, a yoga block, and any other accessories someone might need, but it just comes with a camera cover (important!), power cord, cleaning cloth, and an anti-tilt anchor set.
I love Peloton strength classes. I have underestimated them in the past but always ended up more sore than I expected to be (by a lot!). I learned that lesson.
The coaches are uplifting and inspiring, and there are so many, there’s a match for everyone. You can choose a coach based on your mood once you’ve become familiar with their personalities and teaching styles, which I love.
However, the Peloton Guide isn’t perfect. It actually annoys me, but that’s because it doesn’t make sense for me to have one despite my love for Peloton’s strength classes.
With the Peloton Guide, you’ll need the subscription. For 2022, they’re charging $24.00 for the subscription when you buy the Guide–great price! After that, however, it’ll go up to the regular $44.00/month price.
This $24.00 membership does not give you access to the whole library, but you’ll still be able to choose from thousands of live and on-demand workouts.
- It barely takes up any space at all.
- It works with your television, so there’s no screen or mirror to worry about.
- It’s inexpensive, comparatively speaking, at under $300.00.
- Suppose you’re already a member of the Peloton community and have the All-Access membership. In that case, you won’t have to pay for another membership on top of that. Just buy the Guide, and you’re all set.
- You don’t need to wait for anyone to come to install it for you, and it’s not heavy, so you won’t even need to have help getting it in the door and to the right room.
- The coaches have so much personality you’re unlikely to get bored (but you will continue to be challenged).
- The Guide-only membership, though temporarily low for 2022, costs less than others. Of course, in 2023 when it jumps up, you’ll be paying about $5.00 more than the average smart home gym membership.
- If you’re a Peloton app user, you’ll have to upgrade to use it.
- If your home gym isn’t set up in a way that allows for a television across from where you’ll be doing your strength classes, it won’t work. That’s the case for me–I do all the classes from my bike screen, iPad, or iPhone. I’d have to add another television, which I don’t want to do, just to use The Guide. I’m hoping they’ll devise a solution that lets it work with the Bike+ screen sometime.
- You’re not getting live feedback from a coach. It’s up to you to compare your movements to the coach’s (you’ll be side-by-side on the screen) and keep an eye on your stats.
- The current class selection that works with it isn’t as robust as other options. Still, they’re working on adding more all the time, and Peloton does put out a ton of content every week.
Question: Which smart gym is best?
Answer: That depends on what you’re looking for. If you want strength-training and lifting heavy is your goal, Tonal is perfect because it uses digital weight and goes up to 200 lbs. You won’t need to find room for a collection of dumbbells, a barbell, etc.
Question: Is there a competitor to Tonal?
Answer: There are a few, but in my mind, Tonal’s ahead of most of them as far as strength training is concerned (Mirror and Forme are great for studio-style workouts).
Question: Are home gyms worth it?
Answer: Absolutely. Even if you don’t go for the interactive home gym and just get a few sets of dumbbells and/or bands, it’s worth it. If you can find a fitness app you enjoy using to go along with that, you’ll never be without a plan or a way to work out.
Question: How much is a Forme?
Answer: The Forme Studio is $2495.00 and comes with a premium yoga mat, heart rate monitor, cleaning cloth, and camera covers.
You can add the Barre option for $295.00 (it comes with the barre, barre socks, and barre ball).
A LIFT add-on option is coming soon (including handles, rope grip, short bar, ankle straps, and a storage cabinet) that doesn’t have a price listed yet. I’m guessing it’ll be similar to the Barre price.
Finally, you can add the Sculpt Bundle for $225.00, which includes dumbbells (3 lb, 5 lb, and 10 lb), a dumbbell tree, ankle weights (3 lb), and a resistance band set.
Conclusion: Forme or Something Else?
Forme is impressive, but the price is a little off-putting for me. I’d want all the add-ons for versatility, but I’d probably skip the Sculpt Bundle because I already have weights.
Unless you’re really into barre classes, it still makes more sense in my mind to choose the Mirror (for a studio feel) or Tonal (for a focus on strength training).
If you already own Peloton or Echelon equipment for cardio, it makes sense to stick with the same subscription unless something else really stands out as the perfect solution to your at-home workout needs.
Even with interest in barre, installing your own in your workout space might be cheaper than buying the whole Forme setup.