Get Smart: Tonal Home Gym Review

Like most people, 2020 rocked my entire world—including my fitness world. COVID and quarantine were tough emotionally, physically, and financially. It cost millions of people their lives or quality of life, and it even resulted in enormous shifts in our culture. Beyond all that, it truly changed how we all exercise. Gyms around the WORLD shut down for months, if not indefinitely (which does break my heart).

And because of the big D (I’m talking divorce, guys), I unfortunately lost literally HALF of my gym equipment, the machines and equipment I’ve spent decades acquiring, pinching pennies to save for, and invest in. So, going from having every piece of equipment I could ever need (including the dang cable machine that I didn’t necessarily love but DID rely on) to scrounging for odds and ends here and there to try and do my regular workouts was TOUGH, to say the least. As with most areas in my life, I had to completely pivot my fitness routine. But I do want to add that if there’s one good thing that came out of this pandemic, it’s that we ALL learned how resourceful we can be.

I’ll be honest, it was brutal in the beginning. I literally used whatever I could find in my pantry or cabinets to do a few curls (like most of you, I’m sure!). I have done more body weight exercises in the last year than I had probably done my entire life, and I generally just wasn’t getting the same experience and results from my lifting sessions that I’m used to.

And then the heavens opened up and dropped a little piece of its divine beauty right in my lap.
The Tonal.

A few weeks back, I posted stories highlighting my beautiful garage organization, and my new Tonal happened to show up in the background. Holy cow, you guys, my DMs have NEVER been so flooded asking about a particular product! Seriously, the response was overwhelming and unexpected! It became very apparent (based on the numerous demands for a detailed review, questions about the worth and features, and Tonal workout requests) that you guys were just as desperate for quality, easily accessible home gym equipment as I’ve been. I wasn’t quite ready to share my thoughts just yet because I wanted to be sure that I fully understood and had taken advantage of ALL the incredible features and was certain that it was worthwhile for you guys too. BUT NOW, I can proudly present to you one million and one reasons why I LOVE my TONAL.

What is Tonal?

Click here to read more and purchase Tonal →

It is the ONE piece of equipment that takes the place of EVERY other piece of gym equipment you could ever need, allowing you to perform every move you could ever dream of! I am NOT exaggerating when I say you will NEVER need to step foot in a gym again OR purchase another piece of gym equipment if you have a Tonal. I have to admit, I was skeptical at first because I truly didn’t realize that it would be possible to do ANY move using the Tonal, but you CAN!

Ok, ok, so I could rave about how I obsessed I am with my Tonal all day long (it truly is So. Much. Better. than I could have ever imagined!), but I know y’all need specifics when you’re deciding where to invest your hard-earned money, so without further adieu, here. you. go!

The built-in virtual spotter

No workout buddy’ No problemo! When the machine senses that you’re struggling to complete your reps, the Spotter will lower the weight until you finish the set OR you can even hit a button to automatically release the weight for you. You guys, how friggin’ incredible is that?!?!

Since the Spotter acts just as a real-life spotter would, you can also test yourself, knowing that the Spotter has your back—and the rest of your body—at all times. I definitely find myself pushing my limits more when I’m using the Tonal as opposed to using dumbbells or free weights because I just feel more comfortable knowing I have a little extra support! So, no more taking it easy on yourself at home because your trusty Tonal will keep you safe.

Easily track your progress

Tonal has a handy dandy progress tracker. Tracking progress during workouts is absolutely key to achieving your goals, but it’s often overlooked because it can be so dang tedious. Tonal offers strength analytics, which essentially means the machine will calculate your progress by muscle group and specific areas of your body. It is SUCH an incredible feature! I’ve never seen ANYTHING like it on a piece of home equipment. It’s also constantly measuring things like range of motion, power output, and your overall strength so that it’s easy to see how you are progressing. In addition to tracking your progress, Tonal has two additional features related to moves:

  • Form Feedback
  • Movement Guide

Form Feedback:

Deadlifts are a favorite move of mine, but it’s a move that requires a lot of focus on your form. You want to make sure you have a neutral spine so that you don’t put undue stress on your back and cause injury. That’s just one tiny part of the form, and form itself is one of the things that can hold us back…until now!?

Ever wondered if you’re doing exercises correctly? I actually know that this fear of doing movements incorrectly holds MANY of you back from going to the gym because you don’t want to be embarrassed. Now you can work on perfecting your form with just you and your Tonal! PLUS, injuries can happen so dang quickly if your form is incorrect, which can take you out of your workout game for weeks at a time. In fact, it was reported that 468,000 workout injuries happened in 2019. You don’t have to become one of the painful statistics because no matter what move you’re doing, Tonal will provide you with feedback to help you improve your form and help to eliminate potential injuries.

Moves Catalog:

Ok, this one might be my absolute fave. Your Tonal will come with a massive catalog of 170+ workouts and trainers to keep you motivated, encouraged, and progressing every single workout. I haven’t checked out all the trainers yet but because I use our app, The Transform App, and free flow with my own programming, but there is a whole library of trainers who each have their own unique style and flavor. One thing I fell in love with when I started playing around with the programming is that when you choose which attachment you want to use (either a handle, rope, or bar), you are provided with a list of EVERY single move you can do with that attachment. Or, you can even choose the body part that you are looking to work out, and the library of movements for that particular body part is displayed! You guys, no matter what type of program you like to follow (cross training, bodybuilding, circuit training, etc.), the Tonal incorporates EVERY type of programming you could imagine! It’s insanely genius.

The Ultimate Space Saver

You guys, before I even get into WHY Tonal is the ultimate space saver, just take a look at this photo!!! Tonal is nicely tucked in the corner while the rest of my gym equipment takes up the entirety of my garage.

Even if available space kept you from creating your own home gym pre-COVID, the Tonal takes care of this space problem once and for all. If you have 7 feet of free wall space, a 7X7 foot square of floor space, and at least an 8-foot-tall ceiling, then you now have space for your dream home gym! You can even modify some of the movements if your space doesn’t quite meet those specifications. And with a Tonal, which includes up to 200 lbs of resistance in 1 lb increments (try and get those increments from any set of dumbbells or workout equipment!), you’ve got a mighty, workout-customizing gym in a super small space, allowing you to do lower, upper, core, and total body workouts. At home.

Oh, OH! And the one thing that I thought it was missing but it totally isn’t a bluetooth speaker with integrated music capability!!! It is completely WiFi enabled! You guys, it really is the singular piece of workout equipment you’ll EVER need.

Three workouts. One piece of equipment.

Wanna’ know how I know it’s the ONLY piece of equipment you’ll ever need? Well, for one, I am a proud owner, use it religiously, and am OFFICIALLY obsessed, but number two, I created a couple of workouts using only the Tonal with moves I bet you’d never guess you could do using this thing. Check ’em out:

Lower Body (3 sets of 15 reps each)

  • Single Arm Single Leg RDL
  • Lunge Alternating Overhead Press
  • Deadlift with Bar
  • Front Squat with Bar

Upper Body (4 sets of 12 reps each)

  • X Pull Down with Rope
  • Pull Through with Rope
  • Upright Row with Rope
  • Straight Down Lat Pull Down with Rope

Core & Glutes (as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes)

  • Pullover Crunch (core AND lats!): 15 reps
  • Kneeling Cable Crunch: 15 reps
  • Barbell Glute Bridge (added band for extra resistance!): 12 reps
  • Bulgarian Split Squat: 12 reps (each side)

So, let’s be real for a second. The Tonal isn’t something you can buy with the spare change in your couch cushions. It’s a true investment. But it’s one I genuinely, wholeheartedly feel is 100% worth it. I broke down a little cost analysis, and I’m telling you, it truly does feel like a bargain when you factor in the astonishing amount of features and benefits the Tonal provides.

Total Cost: Is It Worth It?

Click here to read more and purchase Tonal

Even when a global pandemic isn’t happening, gym memberships, personal trainers, and even creating your own home gym can be costly—if you can even get the equipment! Here’s a breakdown for comparison purposes:

  • Average cost for gym membership: $696/year + an initiation fee + an annual fee + possible other fees. Keep in mind that higher end gyms can cost double or more!
  • Average cost for personal trainer: $35-$90 per hour in the US. Cost also depends on experience and whether or not you use a gym-based trainer or a trainer who comes to your home.
  • Average cost to set up a home gym: $1500 or more, depending on the equipment you choose.

However, that home gym doesn’t come with form feedback, a spotter, progress feedback, or a move catalog. And all that equipment takes up a LOT of space!

Another thing to keep in mind when making comparisons is the travel time to and from the gym. Time IS money, after all. Plus, with one subscription, you can add as many users as you’d like, so if you are a household that has more than one user, the value becomes clear very quickly.

Tonal’s base package is $2,995, which doesn’t include any accessories, membership (required for 12 months at $49/month), shipping, and installation. The accessory bundle is $495, which includes smart handles, a smart bar, a bench, a mat, a roller, and a rope (if you already have your own accessories, Tonal does offer adapters).

Click here to learn more about their membership plans and payment offers →

Tonal also offers a payment plan: $149/month for 36 months at 0% financing, which includes everything you’ll need to create your own home gym: the Tonal itself, the $49 monthly subscription (for 3 years), shipping, installation, the accessory bundle, + all the amazing “Smart” features I’ve talked about above. When you compare that $149/month to the cost of a gym membership or setting up your own home gym + the cost of a personal trainer, the Tonal is really a “Smart” deal!

Whew! That was a lot of information, but I just had to share how much I’m loving my new Tonal. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the perfect, space-saving, goal-achieving, smart home gym that can work for anyone and everyone, no matter what your fitness goals might be. To learn more about Tonal, go here.

Tonal Giveaway: **Giveaway is closed and winner has been notified**

To get yourself a jump start, I’m giving away one full Tonal (value $4328). It includes:

  • Tonal
  • Smart Accessories Bundle
  • Shipping and Installation
  • 1-year membership

Enter to win by doing the following:

  • Follow me AND Tonal on Instagram
  • Like my most recent post on Instagram and tag your favorite gym partner (I know, we all miss seeing our friends this workout season!).
  • Comment below with your biggest at-home workout struggle and how you think Tonal will help you be stronger this year!

The giveaway ends at midnight PST on1/29/21, and the winner will be notified on Monday 2/1/21. **Giveaway is closed and winner has been notified**

Ok, enough gushing over here. Does anyone else feel like 2021 is the year you become your strongest self? I hope the answer is a very loud YES!


**Thank you Tonal, for sponsoring this post! The opinions shared and discussed in this post are my own.**

5,108 Responses

  1. Thanks for the honest review! I trust your expertise and this looks like such a fun item to add to the wishlist. Time to start saving!!

    1. Yes, who would NOT? want this? A machine in your home, I would have no excuses ? to leave the peacefulness of home for a gym?

  2. Would love this! Time to add it to the wish list!! After emergency surgery, and a long year recovering – this would be phenomenal to get my strength back.

    1. This would allow me to gain the muscle back that I’ve lost during pregnancy and postpartum. I would be so grateful to receive this gift

    2. My biggest struggle is movtivation and Self Love being that tops the list. Sometimes when you go to the gym you feel intimidated and having a Tonal home gym would be amazing!

    1. The biggest struggle has been adapting to body weight and bands at home. Going out to the gym and crushing weights gave you ambiance and stress relief being out in public and seeing other get after it motivated on days whenwernt 100%feelin it. Weights have been near impossible to get where I used to live in Northern Manitoba so this Tonal is a game changer with the multi positions weight and interactiveness.
      Would definitely get an amazing workout with this

    1. I would be the luckiest person to win this! So exciting! I prefer to work out at home so this would be a huge game changer for my husband and myself to get into the best shape of our lives for our three daughters and three little grandchildren! Thank you!

    1. This will be perfect for early morning workouts before the craziness begins in the ER or after the long 12 hours at work when I?m lacking the motivation to get something in!! Need this!!???

  3. I have been dying to get my hands on one. I got diagnosed with Cervical Cancer Jan 2020, and surgery Feb 2020. I am thankfully cancer free but with the pandemic I have had to stay home. The only workout equipment I have are 2 kettle bells, and booty bands. This would be a life saver and a complete game changer!

    Saving those pennies!

  4. I?ve been eyeballing this machine for the past year. I?m so glad you have one and did a review. I?m definitely going to have to start saving and invest in one of these.

    1. My biggest struggle with home work out is I don’t have the same equipment at home as I did in the gym and trying to get the same workout in has been difficult. 20lb dumbells get my cardio up, but difficult to progress in resistance.

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