When you think of a home gym, ’90s infomercials, Chuck Norris, and oil-slicked abs might pop into your head. But these days, at-home workout equipment has gotten a serious upgrade. Take the Peloton exercise bike for instance: cutting- edge livestream technology, access to the best instructors, and the ability to squeeze in a sweaty cardio session before work, without having to wait in line for a shower afterwards.

Tonal home gym system

But with the shift, particularly for women, from a constant focus on cardio to a more mindful balance of strength training and functional movement, comes a new wave of convenience in the home gym arena. The Peloton of strength training is here, and it’s called Tonal.

An all-in-one strength training gym that takes up almost no space in your home, Tonal mounts to the wall and has an understated yet stylish exterior. Arms and cables come out when you’re ready to train, and the weight you’re working with is determined by the computer… so say goodbye to tripping over clunky dumbbells!

And Tonal isn’t just sleek and unobtrusive; it’s also like having a personal trainer in your living room. “Our coaches have extensive backgrounds rooted in science, bright and motivating personalities, and an undeniable passion for educating others about how to achieve their strongest bodies,” says Tonal trainer Liz Letchford, MS, ATC.

Tonal home gym system against wall

The Tonal system can be incredibly personalized, far beyond just having a peppy coach on a screen that leads you through a standard workout, and you’ll get a customized plan based on your level. “We start you off with a fitness test that allows us to predetermine your recommended weights before you begin your first workout,” Letchford tells us. “We have a coach and a program that’s right for you, whether you’re just starting out or you are a seasoned athlete. We can help take your training to the next level through education, body awareness, strength, and mobility.”

If you’re still thinking that weight training is intimidating, or wondering, “Should I just get a treadmill?”, you’re not alone. “When most people set out on their fitness journey, they turn to cardio for its accessibility and approachability,” says Letchford. “The gym can be intimidating, and the cardio machines tend to have a much smaller learning curve and therefore smaller barrier to entry. But when it comes to weight loss, strength training with heavy weights trumps cardio.”

Letchford points out that not only will you lose weight faster through strength training than you would with cardio, but you’ll improve your metabolism too. “With cardio there is often an initial weight loss as you begin moving more and perhaps eating healthier; unfortunately, some of this weight loss is due to the body catabolizing [the process of complex substances breaking down into simpler ones, releasing energy] muscle,” she explains. “Less muscle means a slower metabolism.” Which means the opposite is also true.

Woman working out with Tonal

“With strength training, not only do you build muscle, you increase your metabolism, your confidence, and your bone density,” Letchford says. “More muscle means higher metabolism, even at rest.” (Read: You’re burning calories even when you’re not working out.) “As you increase your muscle mass, you increase your energy requirement to maintain that muscle mass and therefore require more calories throughout the day.” You know what she’s saying, right? This means you get to eat more food.

Thinking about getting one of these now? Us too. “The cost of the Tonal is the same as three months of personal training with an elite coach,” Letchford notes. Yep, that’s just under $3,000. You can pay in $199 per month installments (see, it’s just like an Equinox membership!), and with that investment, she says, “Tonal offers access to top coaches and unlimited training programs, and removes the hassle of commuting to the gym.” No more commute and the ability to eat more? Priceless.

Would you try the Tonal system? Let us know on Twitter @BritandCo!

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(Photos via Tonal)