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The best smart home gym workouts of 2021: Peloton, Mirror, Tempo and more

We tested out a ton of exercise equipment to see what works -- and doesn't work -- in today's homes.

There's no better time to get fit than the present and in many cases, people's homes are becoming their fitness centers of choice. Luckily, a premium home gym equipment market has popped up to meet demand, giving fitness enthusiasts all everything they need to get a professional personal training session in their own living rooms. That's right, a new wave of smart fitness technology and equipment is helping to recreate both the gym and fancy studio classes at home with live and on-demand classes, touchscreen displays, built-in cameras and all-in-one systems.

All that said, smart gym equipment is pricey -- typically costing a few thousand dollars -- so it's not yet accessible to everyone. But if you're truly ready to bring a fitness studio into your home, replacing your gym membership or weekly SoulCycle class with a smart exercise bike could pay for itself over time. It also ensures you always have access to your favorite fitness machine, weights and whatever else you need to complete your workout routine on a regular basis. Also, because you spent a pretty penny, there's a really good chance that your smart home gym equipment will not suffer the same fate as that exercise ball, kettlebell and yoga mat that are now taking up space in your closet.

As with any new technology, it can be expensive at first, but the costs can come down over time as more products hit the market. Whether you want to do resistance training, high-intensity interval training, a full body workout, indoor cycling or other workout routines, this is the top smart workout equipment you can buy right now.

Echelon

Lusting after the Peloton, but don't have the funds to get one for your home gym? Echelon's Connect Ex series starts at $840 and offers a similar experience, but you need to bring your own screen. There's a built-in tablet holder for it when you're exercising.

Like Peloton, you can participate in virtual cycling classes, both on-demand and live. And since you're using your own tablet with the bike, you can forgo those classes and watch Netflix instead, which you can't do with the Peloton. 

Read our hands-on with Echelon.

 

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Peloton's $1,895 Bike is a spin bike designed to mimic what it's like to ride on the road. This indoor bike has an adjustable seat and handlebars and features a 21.5-inch touchscreen display. Use the display to participate in live and on-demand classes from home -- this feature costs an additional $39 per month. 

Peloton recently introduced its new Bike+ spin bike, which has a movable touchscreen display and costs $2,495.

Read our Peloton Bike review.

 

Angela Lang/CNET

Want to pretend to be Rocky in your own home gym, but have no idea how to box? FightCamp's in-home boxing bag, guided workout classes and smart boxing gloves can help. FightCamp has sensors that you place inside the boxing wraps you wear on both hands, under the boxing gloves. 

Those sensors can tell you how hard you're hitting and how many punches you land. Every workout tells you how many punches to throw and the sensors give you real-time info to see how you're progressing. Access to classes is $39 per month, and the base package with just the wraps and sensors will cost you $439. The full package with gloves, an exercise mat and a bag, is $1,219.

Read our hands-on with FightCamp.

 

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

At first glance, the $1,495 Mirror is nothing more than a full-length mirror you'd use to check your outfit in the morning. But look closer and you see that it's also an LCD screen. With the Mirror you can watch instructor-lead live and on-demand fitness classes (with a required $39 per month membership) and check your form at the same time. Anyone who's worked out at home knows what it's like to wonder if their form is correct during each workout.

The Mirror offers classes in different disciplines -- including yoga, strength and cardio -- and with different workout lengths and fitness levels. It recently added one-on-one personal training to its repertoire, which takes advantage of the built-in camera so that your trainer can see your form and help correct it. It comes with the mirror, a Bluetooth heart-rate monitor and six fitness bands. 

Yes, it's expensive, but the Mirror is still the best personal training system we've tested out (so far). 

Read our Mirror review.

 

Best luxury smart treadmill

Peloton Tread

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Editor's note, May 5, 2021: Peloton has issued a voluntary recall of its Tread Plus treadmill (formerly called the Tread) because of a potentially fatal risk to children and pets. At this time, you cannot purchase the new Tread or older Tread Plus from Peloton. See the full details of the recall.


The $4,295 Peloton Tread is a smart treadmill for your home gym. Pay $39 per month to access Peloton's live and on-demand Tread classes. Train for a beginner 5K on the track or participate in an advanced high-intensity class alongside other seasoned runners and exercisers to boost your heart rate. 

The Tread features a 32-inch touchscreen display, too, so you can easily follow along with whatever guided classes you select, access your profile settings and view your stats, including calories burned, from each workout. (It's not yet available in the UK or Australia.)

Read our Peloton Tread review.

 

Angela Lang/CNET

Meet the $1,995 Tempo home gym. My colleague, Sarah Mitroff, describes it best in this hands-on article: "Similar to Mirror, Tempo's sleek design is meant to blend into your home -- it looks like an industrial bookcase and a TV had a baby, in a good way."

Complete with a 42-inch HD touchscreen display and storage for 16 plates (four each at 1.25 pounds, 2.5 pounds, 5 pounds and 10 pounds). The system also comes with two 7.5-pound dumbbells and one 25-pound barbell, collars for locking the plates in place, a heart rate monitor, a workout mat and a foam roller. Participate in live and on-demand classes ranging from high intensity interval training to strength training and more. The device uses 3D mapping and AI to give tips on your form in real-time. And, like most of its competition, classes cost $39 a month.

Read our hands-on with Tempo.

 

James Phelan/CNET

Can you really get a full weight room from a machine that's the size of a TV? Tonal thinks so. Tonal's "weight machine" uses digital weights to workout your muscles using a truly compact home gym. No weights, no metal plates, no weight stack, no dumbbells or kettlebells, just two giant arms that extend outward from the sides of the screen at the push of a button, plus a built-in coach on its touch screen. 

It offers up to 200 pounds of resistance and guided workouts. Much better for exercise and strength than free weights. Oh and it has real-time feedback so it can automatically adjust the resistance during your workout if it senses the current weight is too easy or hard for you. 

Read our hands-on with Tonal.

 

More fitness for 2021

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.