Home gym systems have become more popular in the last year, and many consumers are opting to stick with at-home workouts instead of flocking to public gyms even as the pandemic winds down. Exercising at home appears here to stay.
Today there are many exciting home gym systems to choose from, and the sheer number of options can be a little overwhelming. To help you out, we put together an in-depth comparison of the three most premium home gym systems on the market – Tonal, FORME Life, and JaxJox – and placed them head-to-head.
But, before we dive into our comparison, let’s break down how home gyms have changed and why you ought to consider one in 2021.
How have home gyms changed since COVID?
The home gym as we know it now changed quite a bit in recent years, especially given that the global pandemic rendered us all homebodies. Not many people invested in home gyms in the past since gym memberships were often inexpensive and came with a ton of perks. Moreover, not everyone had the space in their home for a fully dedicated gym room. It certainly made sense back in the day to simply go to the gym for one’s daily workout.
Now, in the wake of the pandemic, that completely changed. Gyms across the country shut, leaving many Americans with no choice but to take their fitness into their own hands. And now that so many have invested heavily in their home gyms, this trend will likely continue far beyond the end of the pandemic. According to research, most Americans will likely opt to continue at-home workouts in lieu of public gyms.
Are home gyms cheaper than gym memberships?
While the initial investment into a home gym is often quite large, between equipment and home gym training systems, the long-term costs are significantly lower than what you would be paying for a gym membership.
Let’s consider the math. One could build a simple home gym with basic equipment for around $500. The cheapest rate for a basic gym membership is usually around $30 per month. After only 16 months, you’ll have paid your local gym the same amount that you would have spent on your own home gym. When it comes to long-term fitness, that just isn’t sustainable.
Now that we understand the value in home gyms, let’s compare a few big names in the home gym system industry.
Tonal vs FORME vs JaxJox: Which home gym is best?
Before we breakdown each option in more detail, here’s an at-a-glance comparison of each connected home gym.
Tonal vs FORME vs JaxJox
|Size and Dimensions||Height 50”, Width 22”||Height 70”, Width 26”||Height 77”, Width 31.8”|
|Features||24” 1080 Pixel non-mirror Display, 1X 5 Megapixel camera, touch screen||43” 4K UHD Display with mirror, 2X 12 Megapixel camera, voice control, touch screen, live classes||43” Capacitative Touchscreen with full rotation, 142 lbs of adjustable weight, Bluetooth, foam roller, surround sound bar|
|Price||$3495 + $495 Smart Accessories / $49/Month With A 12-Month Minimum Commitment||$4495 flat / $39/Month no commitment||$2199 / $39/Month with commitment|
|Shipping||2-4 weeks after purchase||2-4 weeks after purchase||Unknown|
|Return Policy||30-day guarantee with full refund||30-day guarantee with full refund||30-day guarantee with full refund|
|Workouts Available||Resistance Training, Yoga, Pilates, Barre, Meditation||Resistance Training, Yoga, Barre, Pilates, Mindfulness, Cardio||Strength Training, Yoga, Cardio, Recovery, Mobility|
Tonal Review: A Home Gym System with Built-In AI
Tonal is a smart home gym system that is probably the most well-known on our list. It’s a very comprehensive product and one of the first smart home gym systems to reach the market.
What does Tonal offer?
Tonal attaches to your wall (don’t worry, they offer installation services) and features two adjustable arms that make it possible to perform a wide range of exercises. Currently, Tonal boasts about 170 different types of workouts and movement patterns. The whole system itself is mostly resistance-based.
Just as well, you can enjoy a built-in personal training program that can help you learn how to strength train properly. Though live classes are not available through Tonal, the built-in training programming is quite useful and great for beginners. The intuitive cable system uses electromagnetic energy that offers power resistance in each arm, up to 100 lbs. If you’re a beginner or intermediate lifter, this system could be really beneficial.
Let’s not forget about the AI features, either. Each Tonal unit features sensors that use AI to identify body movements and correct any issues with form. We can certainly expect AI to be a major game-changer in the home gym system industry, and Tonal is already implementing it. There’s no need for a personal trainer with Tonal.
Pros of Tonal’s home gym
- Tons of different workout features, such as spotters and chains.
- Various workout schedules that are customizable.
- User-friendly setup and framework.
- Top-tier installation services.
- Visually stunning product.
- Excellent customer support.
- Shipping is faster than some other home gym systems.
- Flat surface makes it relatively unobtrusive when sticking out from the wall.
- Simplifies workouts for beginners to get used to working out and strength training for the first time.
- Lots of fun and easy to use.
- Can set and adjust weights remotely.
- Wide range of workouts for most skill levels.
- Partner workouts are supported.
- Excellent variety of music.
- Very basic form feedback.
Cons of Tonal
- With add-ons, this is a pretty pricey machine.
- AI isn’t perfect and may miss reps.
- Cords can be uncomfortable against your skin.
- May not be suitable for individuals who do serious, intensive, and advanced bodybuilding.
- No live classes available, though this may change in the future.
FORME Life Review: a newcomer to watch
This impressive machine (also known as the Form Life Studio Lift) is, at first glance, an enormous machine. Yet despite its size, it’s also very sleek and adaptable. You have the choice of mounting your Forme Life System on your wall or propping it up on the floor.
What does FORME offer?
This home gym looks a lot like a very fancy mirror, and that’s essentially what it is and more. Your touch-screen display features the talents of well-known fitness experts who help guide you through a wide variety of workouts. You have a library options including yoga, HIIT, and strength training, just to name a few popular ones.
Unlike Tonal, FORME Life offers live classes and curates workouts for you based on your unique abilities and needs when it comes to fitness. The possibilities are virtually endless with this machine. If you’re looking for a system that is as technologically advanced as it gets, we’d recommend Forme Life.
Pros of FORME Life
- Compared to other home gym systems, this system is quite affordable. You also have the option to pay $149 per month for 39 months to cover your hardware and your content membership.
- Combination of cardio and strength training, complete with pulleys.
- Beautiful design by Yves Béhar will suit any home. Once the arms have been put back at the sides and the device is powered off, it just looks like a fancy mirror.
- Weight can be remotely adjusted.
- AI technology is quite advanced for the price.
- Your innovative programming will be developed from the best trainers in personal fitness today.
- Can be seen as a sort of “personal trainer simulator.”
- Goal-oriented programming.
- An all-in-one design that uses a bunch of different modalities to create a well-rounded basic fitness routine
- Holistic programs seek to offer a whole wellness experience, combining body, mind, and spirit.
- Tons of extra accessories are available but not necessary.
- Two-way camera is perfect for tracking and form cues.
- Touchscreen is ultra-responsive.
Cons of FORME Life
- While the product launched back in autumn of 2020, some consumers online have complained that they are still waiting on shipping.
- It’s not that much more different than your typical smart mirror.
- The company itself is still young, so it’s hard to find in-depth reviews of the product just yet.
JaxJox review: A flexible machine that emphasizes recovery
JaxJox produces a lot of different smart equipment products, but the Interactive Studio is their first all-inclusive home gym system. What sets this product apart is that it is designed to be used with the rest of JaxJox’s products– specifically the KettleBell Connect, Foam Roller Connect, Dumbbell Connect, and Push Up Connect.
What Does JaxJox Offer?
As with the rest of the systems on our list, this system is wall-mounted and comes with white glove delivery and installation. With JaxJox’s Interactive Studio, you can enjoy AI-powered performance tracking not unlike FORME Life’s product. JaxJox also offers live-streaming classes and can be used for a wide variety of fitness workouts from strength training to cardio to recovery.
JaxJox gives you the ability to purchase different pieces of the studio separately, rather than all at once. This can be helpful if you’re on a budget and don’t want to invest so much into a very expensive machine. If you want a powerful machine that is more customizable than other systems, we recommend this product.
Pros of JaxJox’ home gym
- You have the option to pick and choose which Connect products you’d like to include with your purchase of the base machine.
- Tons of live classes.
- AI form check is fairly accurate.
- Supports partner workouts.
- Enjoy a wide range of workouts from strength training to cardio to yoga to mobility.
- Recovery is a focus of this machine, which can’t be said for similar systems.
- Surprisingly compact for the power this machine packs.
- Built-in soundbar with Bluetooth connectivity.
- Workout tracking makes seeing your progress a dream.
Cons of JaxJox
- This is a very expensive machine for what you get.
- The AI tracking capabilities are at the core of this machine, so if you want a simple workout, you might be disappointed or overwhelmed with this system.
- No one-on-one personal training.
- JaxJox’s dumbbells only reach 50 pounds each, which could be problematic for experienced powerlifters.
- As of January 2021, the system is not for sale and there is little information about its release. Currently, it is available for a $250 preorder and won’t ship for 12 or more weeks, most likely.
Reviews: What are customers saying about Tonal vs FORME vs JaxJox?
Customers have a lot to say about these home gym systems, but we found a few reviews that could provide helpful information for narrowing down your search.
FORME Life Reviews
The Verdict: Which smart gym is best for your home — Tonal, FORME Life, or JaxJox?
If you’re looking for a set-in-stone winner, you’re out of luck. When it comes down to it, all three of these systems are fantastic. It all depends on what you’re actually looking for.
If you’re looking for a very well-rounded, full immense gym experience with equipment to match, we’d have to recommend JaxJox. This system essentially combines kettlebell, foam roller, dumbbell, and weight-lifting into one whole system. If you want to make a single purchase and don’t feel like worrying about other home gym components, we’d have to recommend JaxJox.
We recommend Tonal if you want to be able to pick and choose your add-ons. We’d also recommend this system if you don’t want to spend an insane amount of money or if you’re a newbie in the strength training department. This system is a great place to start.
If you want a huge screen with mirror capabilities or access to excellent live classes, FORME Life could be an excellent choice for you.
How was our comparison of Tonal, FORME Life, and JaxJox? We Want to hear what you think about these home gym systems and your experience with them in the comments below!