AT THE END OF THE DAY
The Tempo Move strength training machine has certain drawbacks and requires the purchase of various peripherals. Still, it provides a fun and practical virtual personal training experience at a reasonable price.
- Workouts that are both enjoyable and effective
- Design that is both attractive and small
- Equipment of excellent grade
- Leaderboards are displayed.
- Doesn’t work with heart rate monitors or Apple Watch
- A TV and an iPhone XS/XR or later are required.
- At the time of launch, there were no live classes.
- Occasionally skips reps or counts them incorrectly.
- Weight recommendations aren’t always accurate.
- Range of motion is not tracked.
Tempo Studio and its primary competitor, Tonal, revolutionized strength training by incorporating artificial intelligence into the process. Both, however, are priced out of reach for many people at $2,495 and $2,995, respectively. At $495 (plus $39 per month for a class membership), Tempo’s latest intelligent home gym equipment, the Move, is substantially more reasonable. It provides a similar innovative strength training experience to the Studio while taking up significantly less room in your house thanks to its ability to integrate with your TV and iPhone. However, the Move currently only supports dumbbell and bodyweight classes, comes with just 50 pounds of weight, and is not compatible with Android phones. Nonetheless, the Tempo Move leaves you feeling the burn and wanting to work out day after day, making it an excellent alternative to much more expensive machines due to its low pricing and high-quality lessons.
Tempo Studio vs. Tempo Move
The Tempo Move is a screenless cabinet that houses an intelligent home gym and is about a side table. The machine typically costs $495, but it’s presently on sale for $395, and while the discount is only temporary, a spokeswoman for the firm says there are no plans to raise the price anytime soon.
Tempo offers financing options through Affirm that start at $16 per month for 24 months for the Move and $52 per month for 48 months for the Studio, making the cost more accessible. A 30-day trial, free shipping, returns, and a three-year limited guarantee are all included with The Move.
Like the Studio and most other intelligent fitness machines, the Move requires a $39 monthly membership to access Tempo’s library of on-demand workout classes. According to Tempo, the Move will soon offer live lessons, a capability that is already accessible on the Studio. You can have up to six accounts under one membership, each with its own set of statistics.
The Move is 22 by 13.5 by 13.5 inches (HWD) and requires a 6-by-6-foot workout area in front of your TV. It’s a far better option if you’re low on space than the Studio, which measures 72 by 26 by 16 inches (HWD) and requires at least 6-by-8 feet. This computer has an easel-style design and a built-in 42-inch touch screen where you may stream classes.
The Move, like the Studio, is available in two colors: light and dark. It has a solid wood top and a fabric door that can be opened from left or right. The company supplied me with the light-colored model for this review, which goes wonderfully with my TV stand. I have just enough floor space in my living room to work out with the Move once I move my coffee table out of the way.
Two 7.5-pound dumbbells, 35 pounds of weight plates (four 1.25-pound red plates, four 2.5-pound yellow plates, and four 5-pound gray plates), and four clips to secure the plates to your dumbbells are included in the cabinet. There’s also capacity in the cupboard for four 10-pound blue plates that operate with the system, but Tempo charges an additional $145 for them.
Colorful weight plates from Tempo make me joyful, but they have a purpose that goes beyond aesthetics. The device scans and detects the weight plates based on their color to precisely track how much you’re lifting. The weight plates also include a rubber coating, making them more comfortable to use and less prone to scratch your floor.
All of the equipment included with the Move is also included in the flagship Tempo Studio and a set of four 10-pound weight plates and a workout mat. Tempo’s barbell, kettlebell, foldable squat rack, and folding bench are also supported by the Studio; however, the firm costs extra for these accessories. The Move now supports Tempo’s dumbbells and weight plates, but the company believes barbell and kettlebell functionality will be added soon. Keep in mind that the Move’s cabinet is too small to store the barbell; the Studio, on the other hand, includes a hook on the back to hang the barbell, allowing you to keep it safely (and discreetly).
On top, the Move has a puck-shaped docking station for your iPhone that uses an HDMI cable to connect to your TV or monitor. Using this connection, you can stream classes from the company’s mobile app to your big screen. This component, dubbed the Core by Tempo, interfaces with your iPhone and TV to operate the Move’s virtual personal training features and serves as the system’s brain.
The Move is only compatible with the iPhone X, iPhone 11, iPhone 12, and iPhone 13 models. It is not compatible with the 2020 iPhone SE. The Move uses the TrueDepth camera on your iPhone to create a 3D map of you and your surroundings to analyze your movements. The technology will instead use the LiDAR scanner in the iPhone 12 Pro and subsequently.
The Move, like the Studio, monitors 25 of your joints and compares their positions to identify which exercise you’re doing and whether you’re doing it right. Both provide real-time form corrections, weight recommendations, and rep counts. Tempo’s technology is built to adapt to your development as you train. It can tell you to increase your weight if you’re meeting or exceeding your rep targets for a particular move.
Keep in mind that you won’t text, check social media, or take pictures while doing out with the Move because the experience takes up your phone. In the future, Tempo plans to add support for the iPad and LiDAR-equipped Android phones.
“Now that iPhone models can run complex AI locally and have perfect depth-sensing technology, we’re reaching an inflection point,” Tempo CTO and cofounder Josh Augustin noted. “Experiences that used to necessitate high-end hardware may now be created on devices that many of us already own.”
The Studio employs built-in 3D sensors to analyze your movements instead of your phone. The Studio’s 3D sensor is significantly more potent than the one in the iPhone, according to a spokesman, “so it might pick up more nuances in the motion than the Move.”
Getting Started and Exercising With the Tempo Move
The Tempo Move and its attachments are packaged together in a single box, with a quick start instruction on top.
Identifying your workout environment is the first step in the setup procedure. As previously stated, the Move requires at least a 6-by-6-foot area in front of your TV to track your motions. The accessories cabinet can be placed opposite your media console, as I did, or anyplace else within reach of your training area. The Core has a diameter of 3.75 inches and is movable, allowing you to nestle it in the Move accessories cabinet or position it atop your media console. Tempo recommends avoiding working out with the Core in direct sunshine because the light can interfere with the camera on your phone and produce feedback problems. I haven’t had this issue because I usually use the Move first thing in the morning with the shades closed.
Then connect the Core to your TV with the included connection. You’ll need an HDMI port and a USB port on your TV or monitor. Next, download the Tempo app on your iPhone and set up your membership if you don’t already have one. Finally, place your phone in the Core dock, and a “Trust This Computer?” pop-up should appear; hit Trust, then follows the on-screen directions to complete the setup. If a case protects your phone, you’ll probably need to remove it before docking it into the Core. This procedure annoyed me at first, but my phone case is simple to put on and take off, and I’m used to it now.
After that, the app guides you through creating an account. It requests information such as your name, date of birth, weight, height, gender (female, male, or other), and significant aim (get more robust, improve definition, lose weight, or get healthier). It also asks about your strength training, HIIT and cardio training, and mobility training experience, as well as a few more questions to assist you in creating a recommended training regimen.
It allows you to add up to five people to your account during the initial setup procedure. They’ll also need a compatible iPhone to utilize the Move. If you skip this step, you can always go back to the Settings section and complete it later. It also allows you to sync your workouts with Apple Health to be used to earn Activity Rings. Finally, the app displays a tutorial video to assist you in becoming familiar with the system.
The Tempo app is well-organized, with Home, Classes, Live, Programs, and Profile at the bottom.
It suggests a class each day in Home, followed by various other possibilities. When I first created my account, I stated that my main goal was to enhance definition by working out three times per week for 30 to 45 minutes each time. A full-body build session on Wednesday, a full-body endurance class on Saturday, and an upper-body build class on Sunday are all advised by Tempo.
You can browse and filter the workout library on the Classes tab. Carousels of classes, such as recently added aerobic, beginner, lower-body strength, upper-body strength, meditation, boxing, and more, are available here. You can search the library by workout type (HIIT, power, and mobility), difficulty (ideal for beginners, intermediate, and expert), time (up to 75 minutes), trainer, and muscle group.
According to Tempo, the app has over 1,000 workouts. It doesn’t have as much material or diversity as other platforms like iFit, MYX + Openfit, Peloton, and Tonal, which all have hundreds of classes. Still, it’s developing fast, and its exercises are enjoyable and effective.
You can’t view the schedule on the Live page right now, but it reads, “Live classes are coming soon to the Move!”
The app suggests a training series on the Programs tab, and you may browse more options categorized by objective. Tempo means the Get Healthy Jumpstart program, designed for intermediate athletes looking to increase definition. The program consists of four 10-minute challenges in which you repeat only one Move—bicep curls, burpees, lunges, or push-ups—and it keeps track of your reps. Tempo invites you to revisit the classes as often as you’d like to monitor your progress.
Tempo released a small yoga program called Get Healthy: Thrive the Holiday towards the end of 2021, which I thoroughly loved. It included “a pre-holiday metabolic booster, a gratitude flow, a restorative practice to digest the festivities, and a juicy tension release when the dust has settled,” according to the description. I followed along on my phone while traveling because it was a bodyweight yoga lesson.
The Tempo Move Observation
Tempo is designed mainly for strength training. If cardio and endurance are your primary goals, a rowing machine, stationary cycle, or treadmill are likely better options.
The trainer is set against a dark background during Tempo lessons. There are no spectacular settings like those found on Peloton and MYX + Openfit, nor exotic locations like those found on iFit and Hydrow. Tempo’s trainers have a hip vibe about them, which is a good thing. They appear to be the gym’s most popular bunch, who lift in leggings under shorts and Converse or Vans. Aside from aesthetics and vibe, the trainers are highly knowledgeable and inspiring.
Tempo’s workouts are typically 30 to 45 minutes in length. Lunges, squats, push-ups, chest presses (on the ground), and bicep curls are just a few of the basic but effective techniques used in the classes. My favorites are the lower-, upper-, and full-body build classes. Supersets or trisects (two or three motions performed back-to-back, respectively) are frequently used, with 30 seconds to a minute of rest in between.
Tempo strength classes are great because they give you plenty of time to rest between sets. When it comes to strength training, Head Coach Melissa Boyd emphasizes the necessity of having time to relax so that you can give each group you’re all. Tempo’s coaches constantly demonstrate the techniques beforehand and emphasize appropriate alignment throughout the breaks.
Strength courses often begin with a quick warm-up (which you can skip if you’re short on time or stacking exercises) and end with a quick cool-down. They frequently include stomach exercises and a “burner” at the conclusion, such as a plank hold.
Tempo’s HIIT and mobility routines are a great compliment to the weight training. Pay close attention to your heart rate during HIIT workouts and strive to keep it elevated in zone four or five to push your physical endurance. Burpees, jumping jacks, jump squats, and other exercises are included in the HIIT workouts.
The yoga and mobility options are limited, and the sessions are brief. I could only find four yoga classes that were longer than 30 minutes at the time of writing. Bodyweight strength routines like planks and warriors are combined with stretches like triangle pose and seated forward fold in these classes. Sun salutations are frequently included and a mix of standing, installed, and reclining movements.
When you open the Tempo app and select an on-demand class, a preview screen appears with a textual description. It also displays the ability level, necessary equipment, a fitness schedule, and the most recent leaderboard standings.
Dock your phone in the Tempo Core and select Start Class once you’ve found a suitable class. After that, you can connect a heart rate monitor, alter your leaderboard settings, and choose a music station, if desired.
The Apple Watch and other Bluetooth-enabled heart rate monitors are compatible with the Move. In my tests, the Tempo app worked flawlessly with an Apple Watch Series 7, Myzone Mz-Switch, Peloton Heart Rate Band, and Polar OH1. Connect an Apple Watch to your phone’s Wi-Fi network, then open the Tempo app on your wearable.
The leaderboard is shown by default, but you can turn it off if you like. Each pound you lift and each rep you complete earns you points on the leaderboard. The volume leaderboard is displayed by default, and it ranks participants based on the total weight (in pounds) they have lifted throughout the class. Alternatively, you can use the rep leaderboard, which scores participants based on how many reps they do throughout the session.
Ambient, EDM, Groove and Flow, Jock Jams, Modern Downtempo, Pop, Pride, Today’s Top Hits, Throwback Hip-Hop, and Top Hits are among Tempo’s music stations. The music and trainer audio balance can be adjusted using a slider in the app.
Tempo instructs you on setting up your equipment on the class settings screen. It could, for example, tell you to add the gray and yellow weight plates to your dumbbells. When you’re ready, press Continue to begin watching the class on your TV.
A green rectangle with a dot is located at the bottom of the Tempo class screen. The dot symbolizes you, while the rectangle is your virtual mat. Tempo will track your reps if you stand within the virtual mat area. The virtual mat becomes yellow when you go out of frame, then red when you get far enough away. Tempo can’t count your reps if you’re out of frame, so it’s critical to stay in the tracking zone. If the virtual mat is green, you’re in the correct spot as a general rule.
It takes some trial and error to figure out where to stand, and I’m still unsure how to position myself for specific activities like lunges and chest presses. I usually stand facing the instead of turning to the side when performing lunges. I find that counting reps for chest presses is more accurate when I’m laying down with my head closer to the TV and my feet further away, rather than the other way around. If Tempo’s trainers didn’t tell you how to orient yourself if you weren’t intended to look forward, it would be helpful too.
The name of the motion you’re executing, a countdown timer to the next set, and a countdown timer to the finish of the exercise are all displayed on the Move class interface.
It also shows which color plates are loaded onto your dumbbells and the amount of weight you’re lifting below that. The Move double-checks that you loaded the proper weight plates onto your dumbbells at the start of each set. During testing, I discovered that the Move’s weight recommendations are frequently too low and can lift more than it recommends, which was not a problem with the Studio. For deadlifts, for example, the Move instructed me to use unloaded dumbbells (each weighing only 7.5 pounds), which was ridiculously simple.
If you load your dumbbells with a different quantity than advised, the screen should instantly change, so you get credit for what you’re lifting. Tempo’s verification mechanism works most of the time; however, it occasionally fails to identify changes.
It displays your rep target, real-time rep count, and pace at the bottom of the class interface (seconds per rep). The Move’s rep-counting feature isn’t flawless, but it works most of the time as long as you stand within the tracking area.
The class leaderboard is located on the right side of the screen. Your rank changes in real-time as your dumbbell weight and rep count increase. For each rep, you gain one point per pound. So, if your dumbbells are loaded with 10 pounds, each representative is worth 10 points. Your leaderboard scores will be inaccurate if the Move mistakenly checks your dumbbell weight or fails to count a rep, as it sometimes does. The leaderboard isn’t a big concern because you can’t participate in Live courses on the Move.
The interface displays your heart rate and heart rate zone on the bottom right side of the screen (as long as you have a heart rate monitor connected). The Move cannot track your range of motion, which is included in the more costly Studio. I discovered that the Move provides significantly less form feedback than the Studio during my testing. Only lateral rises have gotten me to develop comments on the Move. I also received form critique for bicep curls and squats in the Studio.
During Move workouts, you may use the app to pause the class or change your settings at any time. When you remove your phone from the Core at the end of the course, you’ll see a workout report in the app that shows how many calories you burned, how much volume you lifted, your leaderboard rank, and a graph of your heart rate.
When I was streaming Move lessons, the audio and video occasionally went out of sync, which I don’t recall having with the Studio. Both devices sometimes miss or miscount reps, especially if you’re not in the proper position, although the Move frequently had this problem. I also think the Move’s weight recommendations are often too light, and it provides less form feedback than the Studio. The Studio is, without a doubt, the superior product in terms of overall performance. It costs more than five times as much, so this isn’t surprising.
Budget-Friendly Strength Training
The Tempo Move is part of a new series of intelligent strength training machines that includes the $429 Alexa-controlled NordicTrack iSelect Adjustable Dumbbells, which we haven’t yet tested, and the $495 Peloton Guide, which isn’t yet available. By employing technologies you may already own, the $495 Tempo Move lowers the expense of intelligent strength training. To power the experience, the compact and elegant cabinet connects to your iPhone and TV and provides storage for the accompanying weights. The Move’s $39 monthly class membership is a tad pricey, especially considering the Move doesn’t offer live courses currently and has a smaller on-demand library than the company’s flagship Studio machine. Furthermore, while the Move’s rep-counting, weight verification, and form feedback capabilities aren’t nearly as strong as the Studio’s, they’re still quite good—especially considering the price difference. This makes the Move an excellent option to the Tempo Studio, especially if you’re new to strength training or purchasing on a budget.
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