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Fitness mirrors are interactive devices that allow people to work out at home. Part mirror and part LCD screen, they provide interactive classes, workouts, and personal training sessions. They also work with other devices to display metrics, such as heart rate, during exercise.
This article compares two of the most popular devices: The Mirror and the Tempo Studio. It also looks at the benefits of exercise and how people can exercise safely at home.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based.
The Mirror is the brainchild of founder Brynn Putnam, a former ballerina who owned a series of fitness studios before launching the device. She then sold the brand to the athleisure company Lululemon in 2020. Marketing materials dub the device a “nearly invisible home gym.” People can choose to mount The Mirror on the wall or use a stand.
The device offers interactive, live, and on-demand classes across a wide range of workouts.
However, people must pay a monthly membership subscription on top of the cost of The Mirror to access the classes. Up to six household members can use the subscription.
According to the brand’s website, there are more than 50 genres of workouts and thousands of classes. Classes last 5–60 minutes, and users can select a workout based on equipment, intensity, interest, and stage of life.
- prenatal and postnatal workouts
- family fun workouts
- dance workouts, including ballet, hip-hop, and Latin dance
- meditation sessions
- combat sports and martial arts, including tai chi and kickboxing
The Tempo Studio is a strength training kit that includes weights. It also offers a range of cardiovascular and mobility classes and workouts alongside weight-training sessions.
According to its website, the Tempo Studio uses infrared 3D mapping to monitor a person’s form during their workout, helping them improve their technique to make workouts safer and more efficient. The device also tracks progress, offers personalized programs, and suggests when users are ready to lift more weight.
Unlike The Mirror, the Tempo Studio comes with a range of accessories, including weights and a workout mat. The Tempo Studio is bulkier than The Mirror and has a floor-standing easel-like design, which includes a cabinet for storing weights and barbells.
Classes include on-demand workouts, live group sessions, and tailored training programs. The company states that it adds more classes daily.
In addition to strength-training with weights, people can also choose from:
- high intensity interval training workouts
- cardio fitness classes, including boxing
- mobility sessions to warm up, cool down, and increase flexibility
- a range of yoga classes
The brand also provides a range of accessories available to purchase separately, such as benches, racks, kettlebells, and resistance bands.
Here is how The Mirror and the Tempo Studio compare across key features:
|Dimensions (inches)||Height: 52, Width: 22, Depth: 1.4||Height: 72, Width: 26, Depth: 16|
|Space required||Not specified, but reviews suggest that it is suitable for people with limited space||Website specifies that people will need 6 ft x 8 ft of clear space in front of the device|
|Accessories included||Available separately||Starter package includes 2 x 7.5 lb dumbbells, 4 x collars, 75 lb of weight plates, and a workout mat|
|Price||$1,345 or $42/month (seasonal offers provide more discounts)||Starts at $2,495 or $64/month|
|Subscription for classes||Extra $39/month (1-year commitment)||Included in price|
|Delivery and installation||$250||$250|
|Offers partner workouts?||Yes||No|
The following are potential advantages and disadvantages of fitness mirrors:
- They allow people to exercise in the comfort of their own home, saving on gym memberships and travel costs.
- They provide access to hundreds or even thousands of live and on-demand classes.
- They offer personalized workouts to suit fitness level, stage of life, and interest.
- They offer personalized and trackable metrics, such as calorie count and heart rate.
- They are a good alternative to a home gym for people with limited space.
- They allow for physical distancing during the pandemic.
- A poor internet connection may cause buffering or technical problems during workouts.
- Devices can be expensive, and many fitness mirrors come with add-on monthly subscriptions or require additional purchases.
- Not all devices offer feedback on form during exercise, which may affect safety and performance during a home workout.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) warns that people who are new to working out often push themselves too far, too soon. It advises people to start slowly and gradually build up the intensity, frequency, and duration of their workouts.
People exercising at home should make sure that the space around them is clear. They should remove objects that they could trip on, bang into, or knock over.
The AAOS also notes that people can exercise safely by:
- wearing suitable fitness clothing that can wick away sweat and release heat
- replacing old, worn-out sneakers
- warming up and stretching the muscles before exercise to prevent injury
- staying hydrated by drinking a pint of water before and after exercise and drinking every 20 minutes during the workout
- cooling down after exercising by slowing movements and stretching out the muscles for at least 10 minutes
- taking regular days off exercise and paying attention to how the body feels
Anyone who feels any pain during exercise should stop immediately. If the symptoms continue after they have rested, they should seek medical advice.
According to the
Anything that makes the heart beat faster, including cycling, swimming, walking, and gardening, counts as moderate intensity exercise.
Forms of vigorous intensity exercise include jogging, running, and muscle-strengthening activities.
Exercise is important for both physical and mental health. The
According to the guidelines, people who increase their physical activity to 300 minutes a week can reap further health benefits, including reducing their risk of several cancers.
The authors suggest that it is possible to train effectively and safely at home without any expensive exercise equipment. For example, people can follow online yoga or workout videos. They can use bottles or cans for weight training or perform exercises that use body weight as resistance, such as squats, burpees, and pushups.
Fitness mirrors provide a tailored, dynamic exercise experience at home, removing the need to travel to a gym or see a trainer in person.
However, these devices can be expensive. A person should also ensure that they have enough space to work out safely in their home with a fitness mirror.
Regardless of the type of exercise, people should aim for at least 150–300 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity every week, alongside muscle-strengthening exercises, to get the maximum health benefits.