So many of us are working out from home these days. If there’s one thing that the pandemic has shown us it’s that working out from home can be effective! Not to mention fun, interactive, and community-driven.
In fact, a recent survey discovered that 90% of Americans have no plans of going back to the gym even after they feel safe doing so. This stat speaks volumes about the shift to at-home workouts and the kind of tech and apps available that are convincing folks to keep their workouts in their living rooms.
If you’re one of the nine in ten people who plan to continue sweating it out from home for the foreseeable future, then there’s a good chance that you’re looking to equip your home gym with the right equipment to reach your fitness goals.
There are so many options for at-home fitness right now, giving the average fitness enthusiast several options at varying price points to choose from. In this article, I’m comparing two very popular connected home fitness options, Peloton and Tempo; what’s the best piece of equipment and workout style for you?
I’ll compare these two fitness brands and what they have to offer across several criteria, including:
These are two very different machines, providing different workout styles, but some factors make them similar. Before I get into the comparison, I’ll first highlight the difference between cardio and strength training workouts as a starting point for the conversation.
So let’s dive in and get to the bottom of which brand offers the most comprehensive workout.
Cardio Vs. Weight Training: What’s better?
This is an age-old question and one that women, in particular, have struggled with. Historically, we’ve been told that the way to lose weight and get the body we desire is to sweat it out with intense cardio. Lifting, on the other hand, is a man’s game, and participating will leave us bulky and “manly.” This is a myth that I’ll have to debunk in another post…
The bottom line is that, no matter who we are and what our goals, we all want to find a fitness routine that helps us get to where we want to go while having some fun doing it.
The core of Peloton’s workout offering is cycling, a common cardio-based workout. Tempo’s main fitness style is strength training using free weights. Let’s take a look at the benefits of each type of workout to get a better understanding of both forms of fitness.
Benefits of cardiovascular exercise
Cardio provides us with a fun, exhilarating experience that gets our hearts pumping and our bodies moving. Here are the main benefits of cardiovascular activity:
- Strengthens your heart and muscles
- Burns calories
- Helps to control your appetite
- Boosts your mood through the release of endorphins (feel-good chemicals)
- Helps you to sleep better
- Increase joint movement and mobility
- Prevents or manages common conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes
Benefits of weight training
Weight training also provides the body with immense benefits, although it hasn’t been hyped up as much as cardio and there is a lot of misinformation out there about what it does for your body. Here are the main benefits of weight training:
- Develops strong bones and muscles
- Helps you manage your weight (fat loss)
- Speeds up your metabolism so you can burn more calories throughout the day
- Increases your balance and reduces your risk of falling
- Reduces signs and symptoms of common ailments like back pain, arthritis, obesity, depression, and diabetes
- Increase your flexibility
- Change your body composition
As you can see, both workout styles offer a ton of value and positive benefits for your body. And it’s important to note that a well-rounded workout routine combines both of these modalities. The great news is that both Peloton and Tempo offer classes that do this, so you’re certainly not locked into one category or the other when you choose a machine, but they each heavily lean in one direction over the other.
Next, let’s begin the comparison of Peloton and Tempo, by lining them up head-to-head based on the most important criteria.
Tempo Vs. Peloton: The face-off between leading connected gym equipment brands
Now that you have a good idea of the benefits that each workout style offers, some important factors need to be considered that are specific to each machine as you navigate deciding which one is going to be the most impactful for you, your unique workout style, and your fitness needs.
Features and Tech
This is one of the most exciting parts of “smart” fitness equipment - all the technology that brings the experience to life and allows you to crush your fitness goals from home. Both machines provide an intuitive, interactive, and totally immersive experience that’s designed to push you to be your best both physically and mentally.
Tempo Studio Features and Technology
Tempo is one of the most technologically advanced pieces of fitness equipment on the market right now. Using AI technology, this home gym studio gives you the closest experience you can get to having a personal trainer live and in-person.
- Instant form feedback using sensors and innovative 3D technology
- Rep counting
- Intuitive weight increases based on your personal progress and ability
- Personalized programming that’s designed to get you closer to your goals
- 42” interactive touchscreen
- Sleek, compact design that’s meant to blend in seamlessly with your home
- All equipment (Olympic-grade weights) included
- 60w stereo speakers Bluetooth enabled
- Heart rate monitoring with included heart rate monitor
- 3 equipment and accessory bundles to choose from for a personalized workout experience
Peloton Bike Features and Technology
Peloton is perhaps the most widely recognized name in the fitness industry today. Why is that? Because it’s so much more than just a bike, it’s an experience! And it’s fully loaded with the latest in cycling tech that maximizes your effort and your experience.
- Fully adjustable set, handlebar, and screen so that users of all shapes and sizes can achieve a comfortable ride
- Whisper-quiet operation
- 22” touchscreen (Bike + has a rotating touch screen for optimized floor workouts)
- Bluetooth connectivity for heart rate monitor, headphones, and smartwatch
- Sleek, compact design
Class format and experience
A piece of equipment can have all the tech and features in the world, but if the programming is lacking, it won’t matter. Luckily, both Peloton and Tempo have exceptional programming and workouts that are going to allow you to have an epic workout experience from home.
Tempo focuses their programming primarily around strength training, using the weights included with the studio in every workout. Each one of their hundreds of workout classes features personalized feedback and guidance.
Every class is led by one of their expert trainers, and you workout face-to-face with them as they guide you through the workout. While the core of the classes are resistance training-based, there are tons of class options to choose from, including:
- Cardio Boxing
- And More
Always Adding New Workout Classes
Tempo is constantly adding new classes to their line up and is always looking to innovate and provide classes that are inclusive for all populations, including various fitness levels. They offer live and on-demand class options and have special features like live group sessions where you can feel the power of the community without physically being in the same room. There is even a live leaderboard that helps push users to put out their best effort in the spirit of friendly competition and reaching their fitness goals together.
Additionally, Tempo's companion app and their My Plan feature allows you to take your plan with you on the go. Whether you're near your studio or not, you can maintain your fitness seamlessly.
Expert Trainers That Motivate
The trainers bring with them not only their expertise but also their motivational spirits and incredible desire to help you reach your goals. Tempo Studio is dedicated to helping users start from where they’re at in their fitness journey and progress safely and efficiently towards their goals, whatever they may be.
Peloton is the mega-success that it is because of its programming. They deliver a first-of-its-kind experience for users working out from home. They truly set the bar for which other fitness brands are now trying to compete. The thing that makes their classes so special is that you get to feel like you’re riding front and center in a live fitness studio. It’s you, the instructor, and the hundreds of other riders who logged on for the ride, competing for the top positions on the leaderboard.
World Class Instructors
The instructors are loveable and have all different types of personalities, backgrounds, and fitness experience. You get to know who they are, what types of workouts they provide, and what their motivation style is. They’re there to push you to be your best, and you’re willing to do it because your name is on that leaderboard and you want that next milestone -it’s powerful stuff!
Other Workouts to Choose From
In addition to their spin classes, they offer a whole library of workouts to choose from, making it a well-rounded fitness experience. Their list of class types include:
- Strength training
- And more
They have a full calendar of live classes to choose from every day and each live class gets added to their on-demand library to be taken at a later time when it’s convenient for your schedule. Of course, if you miss the live class and take it later, you’ll miss out on the live leaderboard, but the experience is still great regardless.
Community and support
This criterion ties in well with the last one, as the workouts and the community often go hand-in-hand.
This brand is newer to the market, so it’s hard to put any concrete facts down here. That said, they are a very community focused brand and they really encourage users to connect with others by sharing workouts, experiences, results, goals, and more. You can workout with the community by participating in live classes or group sessions where you’ll experience some friendly competition and camaraderie with others via their leaderboard.
While community is certainly important to Tempo, I wouldn’t say that it’s what makes programming special and unique. The secret ingredient for Tempo’s success is their advanced technology that blows almost every other piece of connected fitness equipment out of the water and their ability to allow every user to complete customized workouts that take 100% of the guesswork of it for them.
It’s no secret that Peloton has a cult following. Those who own their equipment or subscribe to their app know that they can expect to connect with others through their workouts and on social media. Peloton encourages competition and camaraderie amongst its users with their leaderboard, callouts, high faves, and hashtags.The community currently consists of 3.1 million members and is predicted to only continue to grow and expand in the coming months. Most users find that the community is vibrant, uplifting, and a welcome reprieve from the stressors of life. Community is a very impactful factor in Peloton’s continued popularity.
Price comparison: Is there a more budget-friendly option?
The last criteria by which I want to compare these two is their pricing as that can play a pretty big role in the decision-making process. When it comes to pricing between Peloton and Tempo, there isn’t a huge price disparity, however, it’s still important to understand the investment before making a purchasing decision.
Tempo's pricing and bundles
Tempo offers 3 bundles: Tempo Starter, Tempo Plus, and Tempo Pro. The Starter comes in at $2,495, the Plus costs $3,245, and the Pro is priced at $3,995. You can also choose to finance it with zero money down and get low monthly pricing (as low as $69 per month, depending on the bundle you choose). Check their payment plan page for more information and read my detailed review of the Tempo Home Gym that also shows what's included in each bundle.
Depending on which bundle you choose, you can always upgrade and add on some of their optional accessories and upgrades like heavier plates, a bench, and a squat rack, but you aren’t required to purchase anything extra that’s essential for the operation of the machine or the execution of the workouts besides the monthly membership. The cost of the monthly membership, which gives you access to streaming workouts is $39 per month.
Peloton now has two bike packages, their Bike and the Bike +. They lowered the price on their classic bike to $1895 to compete with other, more budget-friendly options on the market. Their Bike + starts at $2495.
Whether you choose the Bike or the Bike +, you can count on needing to spend a little more for things like dedicated cycling shoes and a heart rate monitor. Their Essentials package is a good place to start. All in all, you can expect to spend an additional $100-$300 on accessories that are essential for the operation of the machine and to get the most out of your experience.
The other thing to consider is the price of their membership. The monthly price for a Peloton Membership is $39, just like Tempo.
Pros and Cons when choosing between Tempo and Peloton
If you’re deciding between these two connected fitness machines, the following pros and cons of each should further help you to decide which one is more up your alley.
What’s awesome about Peloton?
- You get to be a part of an incredible community for motivation and inspiration
- Great instructor who you’ll make a connection with
- Daily live workout schedule
- Library with tons of on-demand options
- Interactive leaderboard for competition and motivation
- Special programing and collabs released often
- Sleek, compact bike that’s easy to use and adjust
- Low impact workout that’s accessible for most people
- It’s one of the pricier bikes on the market
- Your essential accessories cost extra
- Not great for strength training-focused individuals
- Long delivery times
What’s amazing about Tempo?
- 3D technology for personalized workouts and form feedback
- 3 bundle options to choose from that allow you to personalize your fitness experience
- A mobile app that integrates with your studio for cohesive training wherever you are
- Rep counting and weight selection
- Dedicated strength training workouts led by expert trainers
- Safe, efficient progression towards goals
- It’s the closest thing you can get to having a personal trainer in your living room
- Great for all fitness levels
- All equipment is included and stored conveniently under the machine
- Hundreds of classes to choose from across multiple modalities
- Sometimes the sensors can be finicky and may miss a rep count
- There aren’t a ton of cardio-focused workouts for those who prefer more cardio
Choose this option if…
Down to the nitty-gritty.
Who should buy Tempo?
Tempo is the best choice for people who are looking to strength train as their primary form of exercise. Whether you’re an experienced lifter or you’re just starting on your training journey, you’ll find what you need with Tempo’s innovative home fitness studio.
For those who dream of having a personal trainer in their living room to hold their hand and guide them through their workouts, right down to weight selection and reps, then you’re going to love this training studio. The technology and intuitiveness of this machine is bare none. But don’t be fearful that you’ll be locked into doing all strength training all the time, they have a ton of class options that allow you to mix things up as much as you want, while always getting personalized workouts.This is a great option for those who don’t necessarily care a ton about a lot of Ra-Ra and hype. This is for those who wish to put their heads down and get to work training. While there is a community aspect to this machine, it isn’t the main highlight.
Who should buy the Peloton Bike?
You should choose the Peloton Bike if you want cycling to be the backbone of your workout regime. There are so many benefits to cycling, including the fact that it’s low impact and relatively stress-free on the body making it a great workout for nearly anyone of any fitness ability.
Aside from accessibility, the biggest draw to Peloton is the programming which has the ability to light you up and motivate you like no other. If you love connecting with others, then you’re going to love the Peloton experience. If you are/were someone who loves to go to cycling studios for class, then this machine is going to recreate that experience for you at home.
Peloton does offer a ton of different workouts aside from cycling, but they aren’t their main focus, which leaves me feeling like something is missing, particularly with their strength workouts. However, those who wish to increase their cardiovascular health and have fun while doing it will love Peloton.
So, which connected fitness machine (Tempo or Peloton) is best for you?
I know that was a lot of information, and there’s honestly so much more to be said about both. However, I hope that this article has provided you with some insight into both machines so that you can decide which fitness machine is best for you and your personal fitness goals and needs.
Both machines provide tremendous value and will undoubtedly provide you with a great workout. Your decision will come down to what kind of workout style (cardio or strength) you wish to make the cornerstone of your personal fitness routine. I recommend taking some time to consider which machine and corresponding programming will motivate you to stick with your goals and make fitness a part of your daily life.
Remember, fitness should be FUN!