Mirror-Style Workout Systems: Tonal and Mirror Compared

One of the newest trends in at-home workout systems is the mirror system. You’ve probably seen commercials for these by now: the basic idea is a semi transparent mirror with a large-format video screen behind it. You can see your reflection as you work out, but you can also see a video-based trainer working out as you do. It’s a very personal experience that’s also very motivating for some.
If you’re considering getting into mirror-style workouts, it all starts with choosing a device. Two of the top contenders are Mirror and Tonal. Curious which is right for you? The guide below will help you make your choice.

Basic Feature Set

The basic feature set of both devices is similar. Both are large-format video screens underneath semi transparent mirrors. Additionally, both contain video cameras to film you and analyze your form. Lastly, both tap into the latest at-home fitness trend in that they’re connected devices that are tied into a deep ecosystem of fitness content. This content is available on demand, so long as you maintain your monthly subscription.
As connected devices, both Mirror and Tonal offer workout tracking, live classes, and a depth of customizations. Only the Tonal offers rep counting and form check, though.
Both devices look great. The Mirror is sleeker and more aesthetically pleasing when turned off, but Tonal isn’t exactly an eyesore. It’s just thicker, thanks to the included weight system.
Now, it’s one thing to read about these devices, but another to see them in action. The truth is, they’re quite beautiful to behold. The best bet is to see the device in action. Check out this video of the Tonal cable system in action, and you can get a clearer visual sense of the Mirror in PC Mag’s write-up.

Weight Format

Of course, a mirror by itself doesn’t create a very compelling workout experience. You need gear – including weights – if you really want to burn some calories. And this is an area where the two systems diverge significantly.
With Tonal, you get a cable-based weight system built directly into the unit. This system offers up to 200 pounds of resistance, and it’s extremely flexible. You can work out just about every major muscle group using the built-in cable machine system.
The Mirror doesn’t include any weight functionality at all. This makes sense, to a degree, since the Mirror is designed to be mounted on the wall. Still, it’s a big limitation. You need to supply the weights, be they dumbbells or kettlebells or resistance bands. You also have to deal with storing that equipment, since it’s not built in and the Mirror doesn’t offer any storage. Part of the draw of these systems is that they are sleek and compact, so they fit in with everyday decor. Having to store a bunch of extra gear is a potential drawback.

Price

The Mirror starts at $1495, with membership charged separately. Delivery and installation can run an additional $250, though the company often offers this for free as a purchase incentive.
Tonal, on the other hand, costs a bit more. This makes sense when you consider the advanced cable-based resistance weights that are built in. Still, the $2999 purchase price is steep, and you’ll want the $500 advanced accessories bundle as well to maximize your workouts. Membership, shipping and installation are all additional here, too.

Digital Training and Class Offerings

With the required subscription, both devices offer access to a wide range of digital classes. These cover an astounding depth of disciplines, from yoga to cardio to strength training and more. Mirror boasts a library of over 20,000 classes, while Tonal has “merely” hundreds.
One advantage for Mirror is their one-to-one personal training service. For $40 per session, you can get live, real-time coaching from a fitness professional – all from the comfort and safety of your home.

How to Protect Your Fitness Mirror

Investing in a mirror-based workout system is a great step toward increasing your overall health and consistency with workouts. It’s also, well, an investment, one that you should protect however possible. Extended warranties are vital to protecting fitness mirrors — however, Upsie doesn’t cover Tonal or Mirror at this time.
Although Upsie doesn’t cover Tonal or Mirror, it does cover Vault from NordicTrack, a similar fitness mirror. In addition, Upsie offers premium extended warranties for a wide range of fitness equipment, including treadmills, ellipticals, and rowing machines. If something goes wrong with your at-home workout system, Upsie will cover repair or replacement up to the purchase price of the device. You’ll be surprised just how affordable Upsie’s plans are, too. Choose three or five years of coverage, and then get to working out!

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