Is the hype around smart home workouts legit?
That’s what Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, CSCSset to evaluate when he put the Tonal—An all-in-one workout solution that uses patented digital weight, machine learning, and personalized training programs — to the test to see if it met our MH Strong criteria across categories including innovation, comfort, durability, and versatility.
Joined by fitness trainer Josh Bailey, the duo put Tonal through the ringer to see if this digitally-focused gym is a solid buy for those looking to get shredded in the comfort of their own homes. Running off of a new technology for fitness equipment known as electromagnetic resistance, this smart cable tower also uses artificial intelligence to track reps, sets, and weights while you pump. You’ll also enjoy customizable resistance throughout each session, with a max weight of 200 pounds (about 100 pounds per arm). Each Tonal rig comes with a bar, cable handles, and pressdown rope. You can also access a guided workouts library through the WiFi-enabled panel, though we’re partial to our own catalog of moves if you really want to get shredded.
After a quick unboxing (Tonal sends a professional install crew to your home as part of the purchase, so you do not need to worry about a flimsy setup if you’re not handy), it’s onto the power moves. Samuel and Bailey ran through bench pressing, cable flies, pulldowns, and more. One neat feature: After each set, the Tonal displays specs like how long your muscles are under tension, your power output, and reps so you can get real-time feedback.
Our verdict? The eccentric resistance is the real standout feature for Tonal. “In theory, it’s gonna help me blow up, it’s gonna help me build muscle, and it’s gonna help me get that muscle I really want,” says Samuel. “This tool right here is something that I’ve never seen that you can put at home and get the results that I believe you can get [with Tonal]so innovation’s at the top of the chart here, ”Bailey later echoed.
Watch the full video above to see if we think what bills itself as the “smartest home gym” gets the MH Strong seal of approval. Check out an even more in-depth review here.
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