I have been testing out the Tempo Studio over the past few months to give you a review packed with all of the information you need to know about this high-tech home gym. This Tempo Studio review will cover everything you need to know, as well as my personal experience and thoughts.
Tempo Studio design
Every part of this home fitness gym is just packed full of quality, including the:
- The 42” 4K Touch Screen on the Tempo Studio is both the largest and highest quality of almost any competitor.
- Underneath the screen is a high-tech, 3D LIDAR camera that is used to count reps and analyze your form with AI feedback.
- The 10th Gen i5 Processor the Tempo Studio runs on is leaps better than many others. This helps keep it future-proof and makes the process of selecting and taking classes extremely smooth.
- All Tempo packages include loadable, Olympic-Style dumbbells and 75lbs of Olympic dumbbell plates. These are higher quality and more expensive than the normal rubber dumbbells you often see. They alone are easily worth over $500.
- The 60-watt stereo speakers are definitely adequate and provide good sound.
- Everything is held compactly in a great looking, 100lb aluminum frame. The frame does not need to be mounted so it can be moved (with two people).
- The best workout mat I have ever used. Normally, I do not spend a lot of time emphasizing workout mats. But this mat is so grippy and comfortable it is and my favorite of the dozens of workouts mats that I own.
Tempo Studio packages
The Starter Package for the Tempo Studio costs $2,495 and includes:
- The Tempo Fitness Studio
- One 5mm Workout Mat
- Two 7.5lb Dumbbells
- Four weight collars
- 75 lbs of Weight Plates
The Plus package costs $3,245 and includes everything mentioned above, along with:
- One 25lb Barbell
- Polar Heart Rate Monitor
- Recovery Roller
- Folding Bench
- Six weight collars
- Two 25lb competition barbell plates
The Pro Package for the Tempo Studio costs $3,995. In addition to what is included in the Plus Package, it has:
- Folding Squat Rack
- Kettlebell System
- Weight Plate Storage
- Two additional 45lb competition barbell plates
I currently have the Starter Package – so I cannot speak to the quality of the additional accessories. Based on what I do have, however, I think it is safe to assume that the additional equipment is high quality as well.
Tempo Studio automatic rep tracking
The rep counting works well most of the time, but it can definitely start counting extra reps here and there. I also had to learn a whole new skill set of how to finish a movement without setting it off.
For example, I was doing dumbbell squats and I wanted to put the weight down after my last rep. I quickly learned that I could not stand back up too fast or else it would count that as an additional rep. Also, depending on the movement, if I wanted to use my own dumbbells, Tempo could not count those reps. I had to use their specific dumbbells for them to register.
Tempo Studio form correction
When I received my first AI form correction for a squat, I became very excited about the potential for this feature, however, after continuing to test the Tempo Studio, my enthusiasm for the form correction rapidly dropped.
Since the 3D LIDAR Camera is one of the most unique features of the Tempo, I had high hopes that it would impress me. Unfortunately, it did the opposite.
While the AI seemed to be decent for squatting corrections at least, that is about as far as it went. I tested hundreds of movements changing up my form with as many faults as I could think of. I rounded my back on deadlifts, lunged while hunched over while on my toes, and held messy broken planks. I only ever found 3 form corrections.
Tempo Studio programs
The Tempo Studio does not just focus on quality equipment, they focus on quality training. One of the things I noticed right away was how the programs are built much differently than others. I have said it before, but I am a sucker for well-designed, thought-out programs that have progressions and goals.
Tempo seems determined to provide programs that people need, over what people want. I feel a lot of other home fitness memberships cater to what people “think” will help them accomplish their goals – which tends to make the workouts less effective since what people want and what they need can sometimes be quite different.
One program I took started not with an intense workout, but with one that built balance. It helped me work on imbalances to create a better base from which to build on throughout the program. Tempo knows these classes are ultimately the right thing to do for the success and health of its members.
They even have tons of twenty, thirty, and forty-minute mobility and foam rolling classes, which is amazing. I mean, is there any other program that has a thirty-minute class dedicated to ankle mobility?
Other classes, which may be more strength-based, give you adequate rest to build strength and tone up. Tempo even suggests pausing the workout so that you get the exact rest you need to make progress. Tempo does all the right things based on up-to-date exercise science and real results. Tempo and its coaches deserve a lot of credit for that.
Tempo Studio barbell training
In terms of strength training, the Tempo Studio is the only device out there that provides guidance on barbell strength training. When you first set up your account, you can let Tempo know which equipment you have.
If you do not have a barbell, you miss out on a significant number of classes and almost half of the programs. I did not purchase the barbell yet, but I have watched a lot of the barbell classes and I think they are some of the best that Tempo has to offer.
I would suggest that if someone wants to get the most of the Tempo Studio, make sure they have room for a barbell, along with the squat rack and bench, if they can make it work with their space. It will really open up the training options and that is where Tempo shines the most.
Tempo Studio classes
Tempo offers more than just strength training. As I mentioned, it has a ton of mobility and foam rolling classes as well. It also features yoga, cardio, boxing, balance, functional training, hypertrophy, core, and even short weekly challenges.
Another plus is that every class includes a full description of each movement that will be trained during the session. This is something that is extremely important and very few other programs do. It makes selecting the perfect workout for your goals a lot easier.
Tempo also offers several live classes throughout the day as well, so if you enjoy the feeling of being in a live class, this is a fun option to try out. The coaches even tend to interact with attendees.
Tempo Studio coaches
The coaches on Tempo are a lot different than other platforms. This can be a little hard to understand unless you have used many different connected fitness programs. The coaches on most platforms tend to get completely done-up. They usually have fabulous hair and make-up and over-the-top personalities. Tempo coaches in comparison feel like what you would expect if you walked into your local gym for a personal training session.
This could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on what sort of experience you enjoy most. I personally enjoyed the Tempo sessions more because I felt like I was following along and listening to a real trainer, rather than an actor. Now, that is not a dig at other services, since I do enjoy those too, but is simply a notable difference with the Tempo Studio.
Tempo Studio workout limitations
Another thing that is different about the Tempo Studio that I had mixed feelings about are the adjustable dumbbells. While it is convenient to be able to customize the weight, changing the plates takes some time.
I give the coaches credit as they do an amazing job working around this by pairing movements using similar weights, but there are still workouts that combine several movements back to back where you really cannot change the weights.
I have found myself on several occasions doing a movement with too light of weight because of another movement it was paired with. I found the easy solution was to mix the adjustable dumbbells with some of my regular dumbbells, but as I mentioned before, sometimes the movements using other dumbells do not register in the rep counter.
The equipment limitation and rep counting issues definitely did annoy me – but luckily they did not bother me too much once I figured out the best workarounds. Even though they take a little more time to adjust, I think it was a smart decision for Tempo to use free weights compared to cables or digital weight.
Tempo Studio leaderboard
Like almost all other connected fitness equipment, Tempo has a leaderboard for its classes. Some people love this feature but I usually just hide it. I like the leaderboard on other devices when it is during a cycling or run class, but having the leaderboard for a strength class does not feel right to me.
I feel it just encourages people to do more reps or take less rest than they should. Since the Tempo is about smart training and people following their suggested reps and weight, it feels pretty counterintuitive to have a leaderboard. Thankfully it’s easy to hide and it is there if you really want it.
Tempo Studio app
Tempo also has an app that you can download, which has a lot of the classes on it. You don’t even need the actual Tempo Studio to take Tempo classes. This is a nice feature for people who may be traveling or want to do a quick workout elsewhere.
I also like this app because it makes it easier to plan out your classes, share your workouts, and see your stats. Tempo recently updated the app and added Apple Watch connectivity. This is pretty nice as I like not having to switch to another heart rate band.
Connect the Watts’ Take
Would I suggest the Tempo Studio for someone who is looking for an at-home gym solution? Definitely. The direction Tempo is going here is the right one in terms of classes and programs. Plus, I think the quality and craftsmanship show just how much Tempo cares about its product.
Even as I talk about the Tempo Studio, I like it more. That just goes to show that there is still a lot to love about the Tempo, even though there are some things I am a little disappointed by. I am really hoping to be able to make more use of the 3D camera technology. The potential is there for it to be phenomenal, but it still needs more work. Like I said earlier, I will be posting any big Tempo updates as soon as they come.
Make sure to check out our other articles to see how the Tempo holds up when compared to other equipment like the Nordictrack Vault. That way you get all of the info on which home gym would be the best fit for you.
Buy Tempo Studio here ($450 off until the end of October!)