I have been using my Tonal home gym for a little over two years at this point. A lot of workouts, a lot of different movements, a lot of progress... so, what do I really think after all this time? This article is going to cover exactly that.
How Has The Tonal Held Up?
I am not the strongest person in the world, but I do push this things pretty good. Not only do I dial in higher resistances from the machine, I am 220 lbs. pulling and yanking on this machine from all the different arm angles it provides. After two years of this, I can tell no difference between my Tonal now and the day it was installed. The Tonal has held up so well. It has never done anything to indicate it was a poorly designed machine or uses low quality parts. Nothing has broken or weakened, the screen still functions like day one, and the resistance is as strong as ever. I am very impressed with the quality of the Tonal.
Tonal Home Gym Cost
This is really my only struggle when it comes to the Tonal. It is expensive from two fronts. First, the machine delivered to your house as of today is around 4,000 dollars. Then you have to pay a 49 dollar a month membership fee to have any level of functionality you expect from a machine like this.
As for the cost of the machine itself, I know it is very expensive but I also feel it has been worth it. I have a busy life and with 3 little kids, I can't just leave them at home alone because I want to go to the gym. I am also extremely busy and only have small windows to exercise when they actually become available. To have a machine that does so much, so well, and is available and ready to go the second I am has been huge for me. On top of that, it does not feel like I am missing out because I am not at the gym. With the Tonal I get that great resistance I have pointed out, plenty of different exercises, personal trainer built in, guided and manual workout modes, different lift modes that really enhance the exercise, exercise tracking and motivational tools, a companion app, takes up virtually no room, and so much more. The fact that it does so much, so well, while barely utilizing any space in my house has made this more than worth it to me.
Moving on to the monthly membership fee. I pay it because I have to and I understand why it exists. I just cannot understand why it is so much. It is more than Peloton, iFIT, JRNY, and basically any other connected fitness service. I personally believe the cost should be lowered but also offer a tiered approach that allows you to chose a package more aligned to how you use it. Maybe someday, but for now... I will pay it because I love the machine.
Maybe a category that helps justify paying the price of these machines is that your product will keep getting better. Gone are the days where you buy home gym equipment and it is the same thing day 1 as day 1,000. Tonal makes improvements to the machine basically monthly. So many features and functionalities exists that did not when I bought it. I loved the Tonal day one but it is so much better now than when I got it. How lift modes they implemented allow technology to enhance the lift quality have been a massive improvement for me. Device integration, music, exercises available, filtering, content... and so much more. The Tonal you purchase is not a "you get what you get" situation. You get something that will only get better over time.
I knew I wanted the Tonal before I got it. I was almost certain I was going to love how it worked and what it offered. Yet, I still second guessed myself for what seemed like ages before I finally bought it and this was largely due to the price. What if I didn't use this enough? What if I don't really like it? What if I waste all of that hard earned money?
Well, after a couple years, I can say I am completely satisfied. I am happy with the workout selection and feeling like I can target all of the areas of my body that I want to. The Tonal does not come with accessories to target all leg workouts like I would prefer, but some inexpensive ankle straps fixed that quickly and easily. The resistance quality is amazing but the tech built in allows you to challenge and push your muscles in ways that free weights cannot (I still love free weights as well). The resistance can be adjusted in one pound increments so it easy to build strength and challenge yourself without having to make large weight jumps that are overwhelming. In short, satisfaction is off the charts.
My Tonal Usage
As I write this, I have done 149 Tonal workout sessions in two years. If you are thinking this is light, you are right. If you are thinking this is because I don't really enjoy the Tonal as much as I say, this is not correct. Being a home gym equipment reviewer is both a luxury and a curse at times. It is a luxury because I get to test and play with all sorts of new and exciting equipment. It can be a curse because that means I cannot put as much time into the machines that I personally enjoy. This is where Tonal falls. Out of all the products I have tested and used, Tonal is one of them that I wish I had a lot more time for. I enjoy it that much, I enjoy that results that much, and I enjoy the experience that much. Yes, I used enjoy three times there to emphasize this point.
Personally, I think this is a very strong statement. Even though I have had my hands on all sorts of home gym equipment, Tonal is one of the few that stands out and I wish I could be using more.
If we focus on the Tonal Home Gym in terms of quality, longevity, content, features and functionality, resistance quality and modes, and space requirements in your home... it is outstanding in every category. I guess this is what you would expect from a product at this price point. The opposite would be that this is an overpriced piece of junk and don't waste your money. I am glad I do not need to say that. If you are strongly leaning towards getting a Tonal, obviously you need to figure out if the cost works for you but I can say I have zero regrets. I am glad I have it and feel like it is a much better product than the day I got it. I have every expectation that in one or two years it will be an even better product than what I am discussing today.
I hope that helps you with your decision! Until next time, here is to a healthier you, and have a good one!