Too tired? Too busy? Just not in the mood? There are myriad reasons for skipping a workout, but the hardest thing can be going to the gym. Tempo Studio makes showing up much easier.
The AI-powered home gym is a machine that is delivered to your door complete with weights and a barbell that can be stored away inside it to conserve space. The machine is programmed with a built-in personal trainer and workout sessions.
It comes in two versions: Temple Studio and Temple Move. The first comes with an in-built screen and is recommended for those who have at least 1.8 metres of free space for completing a workout. Temple Move is better suited to those with smaller spaces and comes as a cabinet that contains equipment and uses your television to stream workouts.
Since I had enough space, I chose to test the Temple Studio that, unlike Temple Move, also comes with a workout mat, heart rate monitor and recovery roller.
Getting started with Temple Studio
The set-up comes with free delivery, which is a plus as the machine is quite heavy. It is also important to ensure that there is enough room for movement wherever the machine is placed, and that you will be in its camera's line of vision.
To begin, you have to create an account and fill out a questionnaire: age, gender, height, weight, how experienced you are with exercise and how many workouts you want to do each week.
I chose to sync my Apple Watch to the machine after downloading the Tempo app so I could use it not only to check my heart rate, but also to record my workouts and keep track of how many calories I burnt. After completing three 25-minute introductory classes, I was able to view the entire catalogue of workouts available to me.
What's on offer and what is a class like?
There are a range of classes to choose from, such as strength, high-intensity interval training, boxing, low-impact sessions, yoga and mobility. Workouts also have differing times with some at only 10 minutes, while others can stretch to 45 or 60 minutes.
The machine comes with two 3.4kg plates, one 11.3kg Olympic barbell and 34kg of weights plates, so I could challenge myself by adding more when necessary.
The first class I tried was a recorded lower-body strength session, a body weight workout, with a focus on the glutes. This I did to a background of pre-stored pop music.
The on-screen instructor, Melissa, guided me through an introduction, warm-up, workout and cool-down in the 25-minute session.
By standing away from the camera, my movement repetitions were counted on screen. The class consisted of alternating reverse lunges, good morning-style squats and donkey kicks.
Although I didn't burn as many calories as I would have liked (my Apple Watch said about 100), I still consider the class a success — any movement is better than no movement.
I also tried the 40-minute "Full Body Build: Because We Can" workout, which uses dumbbells. It's classified as a weightlifting class for beginners. The moves include tricep kickbacks, lateral raises, lunges and bicep curls to work the entire body.
While I did feel the burn (getting close to 250 calories), I found the change in weights when using dumbbells frustrating. I felt as though there wasn't enough time between exercises to add or decrease weights as I'd have liked to and the plates didn't glide on as smoothly as I'd hoped.
One advantage of a home gym is you can work out without feeling shy or conscious since you are by yourself. However, because I am used to group fitness classes, I missed being in a setting with others. I also tend to become more energised even if I am physically tired.
If you're used to lifting heavy weights or if you prefer the energy that comes from being around others in a group fitness class, this isn't for you.
However, Tempo Studio is a game-changer for those who prefer exercising alone or who can be easily swayed to simply not show up. The classes are diverse, and we can all use sessions such as the 10-minute meditation and full-body stretch cool-down.
The touchscreen, which is just over a metre long, is easy to use. It also has a 4K screen that streams in 1080p quality, making it a breeze to follow the workouts as long as there is a stable internet connection.
For those who really want to work on themselves, the AI-powered, at-home gym is a wonderful way to get started.
Tempo Studio is on sale for Dh5,995 and includes a 12-month membership; tempofit.me