tonal gym review

Tonal Gym Review: Does it Really Work?

Latest posts by Alexandra Gavrilescu (see all)

Most people associate weight machines with bulky structures, massive arms, hefty weights, and a lot of cables and pulleys that overwhelm the users. With Tonal Gym, all those issues disappear because this is a wall-mounted system that isn’t larger than a common full-length mirror.

But will this fitness tool live up to its popularity and offer a body-toning workout or will it disappoint its users? Go on and read my honest review to find out.


Tonal Gym Review – What It Is

Tonal Gym is a popular strength training machine that you can use at home. It relies on electromagnetism which further creates resistance. It is installed by mounting it on your wall. Once the setup process is completed, you will have access to numerous personalized workouts that include more than 200 different exercises.

It is a very intelligent home gym system. This compact machine is, in fact, an all-in-one fitness equipment that includes the guidance of specialized trainers. It comes with many smart accessories and it helps you keep track of your progress in real-time.

tonal gym

How Tonal Gym Works

Tonal Gym is a piece of fitness equipment that focuses on both magnets and electricity to digitize weights. The touch screen measures 24 inches and, on it, you can browse and select your desired workout. On each side, there’s an arm that’s adjustable. Both arms feature smart handles as well as a rope and a smart bar.

The machine provides a maximum resistance of 200 pounds (each arm offers 100 pounds of resistance). With it, you can perform over 170 lower and upper body movements, from inline chop and glute bridges to standing incline presses and goblet squats.

I must mention an additional aspect regarding the touch screen: it is bright, sharp, and highly responsive.

Foldable System

The Tonal Gym machine is foldable. Users can place Tonal’s arms down neatly to get them out of their way. The structure is also sleek and very appealing. This home fitness tool is almost 51-inch tall and 21.5-inch wide.

Using the Tonal Program

You must use the digital keyboard on the screen to create a new account and sign in on the platform. Then, you will have to insert some of your personal details and set a password.

Finally, users are required to input their weight, height, and gender for a more accurate experience. The system will also need to determine your fitness experience level, from beginner to advanced.

What I like about Tonal Gym is the fact that it allows you to establish both primary and secondary goals. You will find multiple options to choose from:

  • Build muscle mass;
  • Get lean;
  • Boost energy;
  • Improve performance;
  • Gain strength;
  • Maintain fitness.

For instance, those who want to boost body strength will receive programs and workouts that focus on increasing their resistance and toning large muscle groups. If your goal is to get lean, you will receive calorie-burning and high-intensity exercises.

jumping jack

Even the very first workout you will do with this machine will in fact be a strength assessment. An instructor will guide you through a short warm-up after which you will have to perform several different movements by mimicking what you see on the screen.

This first step is the best way to get acquainted with how the machine works. During the strength assessment, users have to do four exercises to help Tonal’s software to establish their starting point. From that point forward, the weight resistance for each exercise will be set automatically for you.

The artificial intelligence of this system will also adjust the resistance and the weights as your body gets stronger. Still, it’s good to know that you can adjust the weight yourself, manually, whenever you feel the need to.

Customization Features

As you continue to complete workouts on the Tonal Gym machine, the system’s AI learns your body characteristics and your stamina. Then it personalizes the guidance of the instructor based on your personal pace, strength output, and range of motion.

The software is so smart that it’s searching through hundreds of videos with workouts in real time. Beginners might notice more verbal cues compared to more advanced users. On the screen’s left side, you will find an Info button that you could press when you’re not certain how to perform an exercise.

It also has Bluetooth connectivity so that you can listen to your favorite music on your smartphone. Still, you will have to keep your eyes and attention to the machine’s screen to make sure you’re doing the movements properly.

Unlike Peloton, Tonal Gym doesn’t provide live classes but has numerous on-demand workouts and programs created by experts for everyone, from beginners to advanced users. One workout session can last from 15 minutes to over 40 minutes. There are several filters that you can use to find a workout that suits your preferences because they are grouped by duration, goal, coach, level, and category.

Tonal Gym Review – Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of the Tonal Gym home fitness machine.


  • This system is easy to use and very entertaining;
  • It features a compact size and supports more than one single user;
  • The system adjusts the weight and resistance automatically;
  • You will be able to perform many effective and customized workouts;
  • The instructors are highly knowledgeable and they offer clear instructions;
  • There are even some HIIT and yoga classes available;
  • You can move at your desired pace because the interface is flexible and allows that.


  • It is a pretty expensive fitness machine;
  • There are no live classes;
  • The cords of this equipment might rub against the user’s skin;
  • When it comes to yoga, Pilates, and cardio workouts, you will only find a limited number of options;
  • It requires a professional to install it.

Price and Installation Process

If you’re at least 18 years old, you’re able to use this machine. It can also be used by teenagers who’re at least 15 years old but they need an adult’s supervision. Tonal Gym costs nearly $3,000 but that’s only for the main structure. Clients must also pay the cost of the accessories that’s an extra $495.

Elements such as the rope, smart handles, the smart bar, a mat, a roller, and a bench are all accessories. You will need all these items for the majority of the workouts. Therefore, buying the Tonal Gym without these additional items is basically pointless.

tonal gym price

Delivery and Installation

The manufacturing company doesn’t let clients install the machine themselves to avoid any potential errors. So, delivery plus installation is an extra $250. Finally, to become a member of the Tonal platform, you will need to cover a monthly fee of $49. This fee lets you access an entire library of strength training workouts.

The membership will also allow multiple user profiles of people who live in the same household.

I know what you’re thinking: the price and all the extra costs are a bit steep. However, the company provides some appealing financing options that start at a monthly fee of $148.89 for a period of 36 months without any interest. This solution might make the high cost of the machine become a tad more manageable.

Things to Consider when Buying At-Home Fitness Equipment

If you want to make sure you’re choosing the right gym equipment for home use, there are several things you should keep in mind. Here are the most important features to remember:

  • Size – most people, including myself, don’t have a special room that’s dedicated to workout activities. If that’s your case too, you should always measure the area or room in which you want to place the equipment you’re about to purchase to make sure it fits and doesn’t occupy too much space. It’s also important to choose those models that can be easily stored away like foldable machines;
  • Progress monitor – a fitness machine that has a monitor where you can look to see your progress will help you keep your motivation high. These screens usually show numerous useful metrics such as your heart rate, distance, speed, duration, how many calories you burn, the workout’s intensity, and more;
  • Warranty – if you want to use your gym system on a daily basis without worrying about wear and tear, you should opt for a product that comes with a more than decent warranty. There are many cases in which the owner is required to replace some of the parts of the machine after a longer period of use. A good warranty policy will most likely cover the cost of the new parts;
  • Noise – before you order the product, you should first find out how loud it is when you’re working out on it, especially if you’re going to use it in an apartment or in the bedroom. I, for one, will always choose tools and systems that barely make any noise;
  • Portability – this is another important aspect although it isn’t essential for all home gym system owners. For me, it is very important to be able to move the machine around easily and almost effortlessly because of two things: my house is not that big and I am a petite person;
  • Settings and programs – a better product is the one that has multiple settings and a wide variety of programs that you can choose from based on your fitness level and experience. Enjoying variety will maintain your fitness routines interesting;
  • Quality and stability – these two features are essential and, based on the manufacturer and the model, they can vary a lot. The best thing to do is to try these types of products in person, at a physical store, before placing an order, to see how stable they are and whether they are high-quality or not;
  • Load limits – each machine has its own user weight limit. So, make sure the one you want to buy suits your weight. Otherwise, it can be dangerous to work out on it.

Tonal Gym Review – Main Alternatives

Here are alternatives to Tonal Gym that are all worthy of your consideration.

1. Tempo Studio

All weight lifters, regardless of their experience level, can use the Tempo Studio home fitness tool. With this machine, you will receive the personalized guidance of an expert while also benefiting from the convenience of a home gym system. Tempo Studio has an easel shape and a large touchscreen where it displays all the workouts.

Underneath the machine, there’s a pretty generous storage space where you can place your fitness accessories when you’re not using them. The package, besides the main frame, also includes extras such as a mat, weight plates, and dumbbells. That’s the basic version.

There are also two other options: Tempo Plus and Tempo Pro. These two offer additional equipment: a barbell, a folding bench, a foam roller, and a heart-rate monitor.

tempo studio

2. Peloton Bike

Those who enjoy spinning classes will certainly love this Peloton bike. The basic package provides users with only the bike. That’s perfectly fine if they already own some accessories such as weights and spin shoes. If you want the package to include those two elements as well, you will need to buy the essentials version.

New live spinning workouts are streamed every day. All members must cover a monthly fee of $39 but they gain access to the aforementioned live classes plus to all the prerecorded on-demand workouts, including stretching, yoga, and many others. The screen features a large HD display. Peloton users can become part of the company’s private Facebook group.

Peloton Bike

3. Hydrow Rower

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If you’ve always wanted to see how collegiate crew members must feel like, now’s your chance with the Hydrow Rower. It’s a high-quality commercial-gym-grade rower. It comes with a 22-inch touchscreen as well as adjustable resistance levels. On the screen, you can browse through more than 500 different prerecorded workouts.

Besides rowing, the Hydrow rowing machine allows users to perform stretching classes, Pilates, and yoga, all of which can be done on a mat placed right next to the rower. There’s a monthly subscription fee of $38 and you can also purchase some extra accessories like a mat, a heart-rate monitor, and a foam roller.

Read our full Hydrow vs Peloton Comparison.


4. Fight Camp Gym

The Fight Camp Gym tool is suitable for anyone who wants to build muscle mass and achieve a leaner body. The package contains four different mats, gloves, a free-standing punching bag, and hand wraps. Users will be required to fill the punching bag with wither water or sand.

There are also two little punch trackers that represent the smart component of this fitness tool. They keep track of your speed and count your punches. It doesn’t come with a screen but you can watch the workouts on your iPad or iPhone.

Fight Camp Gym

Tonal Gym Review – Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Is Tonal Gym Worth It?

Answer: Yes, Tonal Gym is a worthy piece of fitness equipment that offers users a wide range of amazing features. It has Bluetooth connectivity and many other interesting characteristics and functions.

So, if you agree and like all these aspects and the product falls within your budget, then Tonal Gym is totally worth it.

Question: How Much Does Tonal Gym Cost?

Answer: Tonal Gym isn’t cheap. It’s quite expensive with a price point that starts at around $2,995. But it’s worth it because it provides everything you need to complete many effective workouts and tone your entire body. It is the equivalent of a room full of weight equipment.

Question: Is Tonal Gym Suitable for Beginners?

Answer: Tonal Gym’s electromagnets create adjustable levels of resistance which can go up to 200 pounds combined (100 pounds on each arm. This makes the machine suitable for all types of users, regardless of their fitness experience, including beginners.

Question: Could Someone Use Tonal Gym Without a Membership?

Answer: You can still use the machine even though you choose not to purchase a subscription but you won’t receive all the included features and perks. To be more specific, without a membership, you can use all the smart accessories, if you purchase them, and the basic free lift feature.

Tonal Gym will continue to keep track of all your workout time and reps but you will only have three available movements: rope, handle, and bar exercises.

Question: How Long Will Tonal Gym Last?

Answer: This fitness tool has a sturdy frame and solid construction. The mount is done securely and its arms are heavy-duty. The only concern that some users have is linked to the articulating arms that are made of a mix of plastic and metal. Still, the company provides a warranty for the first 3 years since the purchase.
Its accessories, though, come with a limited warranty of one year.

Tonal Gym Review – Bottom Line

What I like most about Tonal Gym is that it gives me the feeling of working out with a personal trainer without even leaving my house. The interface is intuitive and the machine is easy to use, especially once you get the hang of it. You can easily use Tonal Gym every single day. Some users perform two workout sessions per day with this equipment because they want to challenge themselves.

This product is a great addition to your home gym, as long as you have the money to buy it and enough space to install it in. The classes are engaging and fun and the system is a combination of traditional weights and AI technology.

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