Mirror, Tonal, Tempo, Jaxjox … If you’ve heard of these brands, you’ve heard of the latest training trend: high-tech fitness. These high tech systems create a workout studio experience in your own home. From streaming live workouts right on the wall to digitally adjustable weights, these setups may be the closest substitute for IRL Fitness classes.

The home technology device room has become increasingly popular across the country COVID-19 Pandemic – many of the products are space-saving, have adjustable weight settings and offer varied training content, Chris Howell, CSCS, founder of SPX Gym Designsays YOURSELF. The ability to bring all of this right to your home can be appealing to those looking to avoid a crowded gym.

Some of these intelligent systems even have all the necessary equipment so that you no longer have to look for the right tools for your workout. Ava Fagin, CSCS, coach and class teacher Bodyspace fitness in New York City, tells SELF. And that’s been huge since then Exercise equipment for the home like dumbbells and kettlebells were hard to find at various points in the pandemic (especially without markups).

When choosing one “smart” brand over another, the important thing to ask yourself is what type of exercise machine you are. Marcel Dinkins, CSCS, personal trainer and group fitness instructor in New York City, tells SELF. For example, do you want community? Do you love boutique fitness? Would you like to be guided and motivated? Are you looking for instant feedback (from an AI trainer)? You may also want to consider long-term issues such as: B. Whether you want to focus mainly on cardio or cardio Strength goals. The size of the setup, the variety of workouts, and the tracking and synchronization functions are also important. Once you know what’s important to you Workouts at homeThen you can figure out which features need to be prioritized, says Dinkins.

Ideally, you could test the products in a showroom before buying them, says Dinkins. However, for security reasons, this may not be possible at this time. Some brands like Tonal therefore offer you a personalized virtual demo. “You can see how it works firsthand, which is pretty cool,” says Dinkins. Others may offer a 30-day trial. After that, you can return the product if you don’t love it – though they may charge you for the return, Howell says.

It is also important to do your research. “Companies are racing to be the Apple of the smart fitness movement,” says Dinkins. “However, [some] Companies are sacrificing quality software and even the production value of their streamed workouts. “To find out which products meet their needs, Dinkins recommends reading a lot of reviews and considering the ratio of positive to negative feedback and when all buyers are complaining about the same things. “No matter how affordable something appears to be in the first place, if it doesn’t work as it should, it’s overpriced. Good products take time and will have tons of great reviews and word of mouth testimonials. “

The bottom line is that if you want to go for a high tech fitness setup – it tends to be significantly more expensive than traditional fitness equipment like free weights and Resistance bands– Then you want to make sure that it’s safe, of good quality, and of the right solution for your goals, Howell says.

In SELF’s product reviews, where we thoroughly test and rate all types of wellness products to help you decide what is worth buying, we wanted to know exactly what to look for when shopping for a high-tech fitness system need to watch out for at home. We spoke to Howell, Fagin, and Dinkins to find out what the experts are suggesting. Because of their contributions, when testing these smart fitness systems, we look for ratings for the following.

Evaluation and test criteria for high-tech fitness systems for the home

Certified instructors

Make sure the trainers and coaches on the streaming platform are certified and qualified, says Fagin. “As you learn from them, you want to make sure that you can trust them!” Look for certification from an accredited organization (you can search Here). It’s also not always necessary, but definitely a plus, when an instructor has additional certification in the discipline they’re teaching – for example, a kettlebell certificate if teaching kettlebell workouts.

High quality display and instructions

You want to make sure that any device with a screen is clear, high quality, and large enough so that you can really see what the instructor is doing and keep track of it throughout the workout. Some smart fitness systems have full-length screens, while others have screens the size of a large tablet or a small TV.