Tonal recently announced an upcoming $500 increase to the strength device in addition to a 20% increase in the subscription cost. This is the second time Tonal has increased its price in less than a year. With a total cost for the initial year now surpassing $5,000, you may be looking for some lower-cost alternatives. Below are four options you may want to consider.
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4 Tonal alternatives
The true cost of Tonal
Starting in February, the upfront cost of Tonal with the (pretty much mandatory) smart accessory package will be $4,490; in addition to this is a monthly subscription, which is being increased from $49 to $59.95.
I personally like to add three or more years of membership costs onto the initial cost to get a sense of the true price for equipment like this; for Tonal, that brings the true cost to $6,647 before tax.
This high cost alone is not my concern with Tonal. There are two other issues that I feel are important to understand.
First is that should you want to cancel your subscription, Tonal currently cuts off almost every feature that would make the investment worthwhile. You can’t follow classes or programs of course, but you also can create custom workouts, have access to the movement library, record progress of any sort, or even utilize basic digital weight features like chain or eccentric loading.
The second concern is Tonal’s long term future as a business. On top of massive layoffs and studio closure, Tonal is being sued by their primary manufacturer FOXCONN for not paying their bills. There could be numerous reasons why this is the case, but it puts up an additional red flag to the already many that seem to be piling up.
So with $6,647 being the true cost of Tonal, here are four alternatives you can check out to if you want to save some money.
Tonal alternative #1 – Vitruvian
Vitruvian offers a very similar experience to Tonal. The primary difference being it is a moveable platform that you stand on versus having to be mounted to the wall like Tonal. The benefits of this is that because it is not attached to a wall, it can easily be moved and can provide more resistance. While Tonal can offer 200lbs of digital resistance, Vitruvian provides up to 440lbs.
However, there are a few negatives to a platform like Vitruvian. One is that you have to adjust the weight and take classes via your own phone or tablet. The other is that you cannot yet do movements that require a load to in front or above you (ex. standing rows, lat pull downs, etc).
Initial cost: $3,490
3-year membership cost: $990 (this is the cost for a lifetime membership)
Total cost: $4,480
Tonal alternative #2 – Tempo Studio
Instead of cable weights, the Tempo Studio (see review) focuses on free weights like dumbbells and barbell training. With computer vision and color-coded weight plates, Tempo automatically tracks your load, reps, and even provides realtime feedback on some movements.
The weights included with Tempo are very high quality, and will easily last a decade or two. So should you cancel the Tempo subscription, the weights will still work great (although the whole Studio itself will become pretty worthless).
Tempo Studio Pro Package*
Initial cost: $3,195
3-year membership cost: $1,188
Total cost: $4,383
*Tempo Studio Pro package includes: 2 olympic adjustable dumbbells, 75lbs of change weights, 140 lbs of olympic plates, a barbell, folding bench, folding squat rack, adjustable kettlebell, six weight collars, and additional accessories.
Tonal alternative #3 – Speediance
While Speediance (see review) is very similar to Tonal, it is free-standing and so does not need to be mounted onto a wall. One thing that I really like about Speediane, is that unlike Tonal, many of the smart features will continue to work should you cancel your subscription. Access to custom workouts, the movement library, and digital weight modes like chains and eccentrics are not hidden behind a monthly paywall.
However, Speediance is pretty new and not currently as smart (or as safe) as Tonal is. It also does not provide instructor-led classes yet, but there are hundreds of pre-built classes and programs for you to try out.
Initial cost: $2,499
3-year membership cost: $1,044 (although it is free for the rest of 2023)
Total cost: $3,543
Tonal alternative #4 – PRX Home Gym Package
If you have a bit more wall space or a garage, the PRX Home Gym is a great set-up. What makes this perfect for the home, is that everything is created to be as space efficient as possible; even the squat rack and bench fold up neatly against the wall.
However, since this is not a smart system like the others, you may need to find an additional app or program to follow along to.
PRX Home Gym
Initial cost: $3,352
3-year membership cost: none
Total cost: $3,352
*package includes: foldable squat rack, pullup bar, folding bench, barbell, 160lbs in olympic weights, 15lbs in change weights, 20lb medicine ball, abmat, plyo box, bands, barbell collars, with everything you need to store it all on a wall.
If you watch the video above, you will see that there were five alternatives as compared to the four in this article. That is because the final alternative, MAXPRO, unfortunately does not provide any eccentric resistance (the lowering part of a movement). Because of this, its application towards strength training is much more limited, and I feel is better left off this list of Tonal alternatives.
Let me know what you think! Do you feel Tonal is worth the additional cost?
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