Smart All-In-One Connected Home Gyms

Tempo Studio vs NordicTrack Vault: Which Home Gym System Is Strongest?

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Upgrading your home gym with bulky equipment doesn’t seem like the most efficient way to get a killer workout in. On the other hand, going to the local gym takes precious time out of our days. The question becomes, how do we balance both scenarios? Or, better yet, is there a way to combine everything to an all-in-one home gym system?

When COVID-19 ran its course through the world like a California wildfire, fitness equipment brands emerged from the woods one after another in an effort to help fitness fanatics like us get our strength training in while also helping our mental health.

Speaking of fires, today, we bring you two hotly anticipated smart home gyms that took advantage of the working out from home craze (semi-forced because of the shutdowns) – the Tempo Studio and the NordicTrack Vault.

Trending Smart Gym Comparison: Tempo vs Tonal vs Forme Life

Smart Home Gym Vs. Building A Home Gym With Equipment

Exploring the benefits of choosing an all-in-one fitness studio over building a home gym from scratch.

Choosing a smart home gym benefits

  • All-in-one system
  • A.I. Technology / Form Correction (depending on which studio you chose)
  • Takes up a fraction of your room
  • Built-in safety precautions
  • Coaching from world class weight lifting instructors

Choosing to build your own home gym common pitfalls

  • Have to designate an entire space or room for your home gym
  • Must take safety precautions
  • Have to find the right equipment
  • Multiple items can get costly. For example, a bench, barbell, weight plates, dumbbells, squat rack, platform, and the list goes on.
  • Recommended to have a spotter and will most likely have to hire a personal trainer

Why Have Smart Connected Gyms Thrived Recently?

Exploring the pandemic and the rise of home gym equipment.

The Coronavirus had a monumental impact on people’s mental health from all walks of life. From the wealthy to the poor and Americans to Germans, studies such as the CDC showed a significant increase in anxiety, depression and stress. Obviously people lost their jobs and social lives, but some of us lost our bad-ass local gym that had everything we needed to execute our weekly workout routine.

Many world class athletes like Steph Curry, one of the best NBA players in today’s game, had to adjust from working out at their team facility to working out from home. Curry chose the Tonal. Other athletes chose to build their own home gyms since they have huge mansions and a plethora of space. Not all of us have the necessary space needed for a “real” home gym. However, most of us have an 8 ft. x 8 ft. space to work out in.

Ladies and gentlemen, choosing the Vault or Tempo is all about preference. But before you even think about buying either, you’re going to want to read what we have to say about each smart home gym. It is with our full intention to extensively evaluate each one to help you make the best decision possible.

In this article, I’ll Cover…

We’ll base this comparison (or versus article because that’s what we do here at Gym VS Reviews) on the following criteria:

But, first, I’m going to give you a piece of my mind (lucky you) on the Tempo and Vault individually. After that, I’ll get down to the brass tacks by showing you a head-to-head comparison on the points made above.

Jump to All About Tempo

Jump to All About NordicTrack Vault

All About Tempo Studio Home Gym

Does it actually match the hype?

Weight lifting with Tempo can be a great challenge!

Tempo is gaining massive popularity, and for good reason – for 95% of people, it provides everything you need to get a killer strength training workout from home. If you’re the advanced weightlifter (the other 5%) and you are interested in structured lifting classes with prime-time coaches, you’re going to want to buy extra weight plates and possibly even a 45lb barbell.

But, for the masses this sleek-looking powerful smart home gym can help you with these 3 main things:

  1. Fine-tune your lifting Technique
  2. Routine and purpose: Weightlifting structure and programming
  3. Improve Your Strength

I have personally used Tempo and am an avid user of their products, including their membership. The thing I want everyone to understand though, is that I also narrowed down my Tempo purchase to a few other smart gyms and NordicTrack Vault was one of them. It’s also important to note that just because I bought and workout with Tempo on a daily basis, doesn’t mean it’s right for you.

Related Reading: Tempo home gym review

Space You Need Tempo’s Home Gym

How much space do you actually need to be able to workout correctly and take advantage of Tempo's AI technology?

Tempo provides specific space requirements that you should know before you buy. That said, according to, you’ll need 8 ft. of clear space in front of the smart studio. Be sure that you’ll also need room to do the following exercises that require height:

  • Overhead squats
  • Jumps
  • Extend Arms
  • Shoulder Press
  • Side-to-side squats
  • Any other workouts you can think of when your arms are over your head or side movements.

Specs: What the numbers look like

Size does matter, and here's a detailed look!

Specifications are great to know, it’s one of the main things I looked at when deciding which home gym is best for me. Let me serve it to you on a silver platter, or, what I like to call, a beautifully designed table.

I.D.Tempo's Specs
Height6′ Tall
Width2'2″ Wide
Depth1'4″ Deep
Screen SizeImpeccable 42″ HD Touch Screen
StorageBarbells behind the Tempo and compartment weight racks in the sleek-looking front cage
Warranty3 year built in warranty on parts, 1 year labor
More Specs Info

Included Gym Equipment: Can You Purchase Extra Weights?

If you're an experienced lifter, you're going to need MORE weights!

First and foremost, the weights that are included are SUPER HIGH QUALITY. Second, Tempo has EVERYTHING you need, but for the hardcore weight lifters, you’ll need extra weights.

Here’s what you get when you purchase this smart home gym (I’ll create another one of those tables for us to make it visually appealing):

I.D.Included With Tempo
Barbells1x 25 LB Barbell
Dumbbells2x 7.5 Dumbbell Bars
Plates4 plates of the following weights: 10 LB, 5 LB, 2.5 LB, 1.25 LB
Collars / Clamps6 collars
Workout MatYes (I can attest that it is weight room esq.)
Recovery RollerYes
BenchNo (I use this bench I got off amazon)
Squat RackNo
Heart Rate MonitorYes

Accessories: Add ons

Tempo currently offers additional things to purchase via their website. Let's take a look.

Tempo offers a wide array of accessories that you can “add to cart” including:

  • Competition Plates (Choose from 25 LB and 45 LB plates)
  • Essentials Plate Bundle
  • Dumbbells
  • Barbell (25 LB)
  • 5MM Workout Mat
  • Recovery Roller
  • Heart Rate Monitor

Testimonials: Those Who Own it Speak Out

A complete summary of user reviews, experiences and testimonials.

On Tempo’s home page, you can navigate to their “reviews” page. It shows an average rating of 4.9/5 Stars. Obviously this can be taken with a grain of salt because it’s their website and they are showcasing all the red-hot fire testimonials. They also have ambassadors who promote the heck out of it in an effort to get a healthy commission. So, does tempo live up to the hype after buying and trying?

Here’s a customer that loves it, is 44 years old and calls Tempo’s Studio “Life Changing.”

And, another customer who loves Tempo’s A.I. technology, membership classes and much more:

After Using It: My personal experience with TEMPO.FIT

I have a total of 27 workouts in so far and I want to share my experience and results with this machine.

After using it myself for a few months now, I can say with full confidence that if you want real weights (not a digital weight system) the Tempo home gym is worth every penny it sells for. Which is why I did this versus comparison of Vault and Tempo – they each have real weight sets with smart fitness technology.

Good to Know

Things you may want to know before you make a purchase (we'll talk pricing later).

White glove delivery. When I got mine two strong guys that looked like handymen unboxed everything and set it up within 30 minutes. They were respectful, friendly and cleaned up all the mess from box/packaging debris.

A.I. Technology combined with 3D Sensors provides personalized feedback for your lifts.

Choose from a plethora of strength, cardio and flexibility workout programs. When I scroll through the screen, it looks like an unlimited amount of programs.

Great for beginner lifters and those who don’t need to lift super heavy weights. As a former NCAA Division 1 football athlete, I’ve done my fair share of squats, deadlifts and all the explosive lifts. I just wanted something that I can go in, get my workout going and get out. That’s what Tempo provides me.

Go To Tempo

NordicTrack Vault: The Complete iFIT-Connected Smart Home Gym

Hey, TEMPO, it's time to compete! There's a new kid on the block and they got it going on!

Dumbbell workouts with Vault's fitness system

NordicTrack is a leader in fitness equipment, and, more specifically, home gym equipment. Their S22i studio cycle is one of the most popular indoor cycling machines. And, their strength training CST was on the cutting edge, is still being bought today, but at the same time it doesn’t come close to the infamous VAULT. It just sounds powerful, am I right?

Quick side note: Vault comes in two models. Vault Complete and Vault Standalone with a $1,000 price difference between the two.

Vault’s appearance is totally different from Tempo’s look and feel. Vault looks more like a mirror than a smart home gym. But, when you turn it on with NordicTrack’s IFit programming you’ll get an immersive experience like the rest of their home gym equipment.

Faults in the Vault?

Are there any faults in the Vault? Let's find out if this home gym is all that and a bag of peanuts!

Not to poison the pool, but my only knock on NordicTrack is that they have sister companies that sell the exact same equipment and some prices are cut down because the “brand” isn’t as trusted as the mother company, NordicTrack. Unusual, I know, but it’s the truth. Knowing this, however, doesn’t change the fact that Vault is bad-ass (a little Cobra Kai coming at ‘cha!).

This next part comes from experience when choosing between Vault or Tempo. I wanted to make sure I had everything I wanted in a smart home gym. You can call me old school, but I do enjoy smart fitness technology. Both Tempo and Vault are equipped with advanced fitness technology that will help you improve your strength, fall in love with weight lifting and help you master your craft (A.I. form correction).

Space You Need for NordicTrack’s Vault

Let's see how much space is necessary to be able to do all the workouts this machine offers.

See yourself in a new light with the Vault’s reflection and interaction mirror-like smart gym. If you decide this is the perfect match for you, you’ll need at least 8 FT of clear space in front of Vault. In addition, it’s important to know that tNordicTrack recommends that you mount Vault on the wall. It can be free-standing like TEMPO is, but for safety purposes, you should mount it. Personally, I believe in free-standing equipment so I can move it around.

Specs: What the numbers look like

How big is this sucker? In short, it's pretty big compared to Tempo. In fact, it's much bigger and bulkier.

I.D.Vault's Specs
Height72.65” (6’ ½”) Tall
Width24.25” (2’ 2”) Wide
Depth14” (1’1”) Deep
Screen Size60” Mirror with 32” Rotating Smart HD Touchscreen (the screen is inside the mirror)
StorageOpen the Vault and you have vertical storage with shelves
Warranty10-year frame, 2-year parts, 1-year labor
More Specs Info

What Equipment is Included? ​

The answer depends on what model you choose. Let's take a look at what each version offers.

Vault Standalone

  • 1-year iFit Family Membership
  • Hanging Shelves (for your own free weights)
  • Cleaning Towel

Vault Complete

  • 1-year iFit Family Membership
  • 5-30 LB Dumbbells
  • 20 LB and 30 LB Kettleballs
  • Exercise Mat
  • 2 Yoga Bloks
  • 3 Loop Bands
  • 3 Resistance Bands
  • Premium Shelves (different than the standalone hanging shelves)
  • Hanging Shelves
  • Cleaning Towel

As you can see, there is much more included in the Vault Complete, but you’re going to spend an extra $1,000. I believe it makes more sense to purchase the standalone and get your own dumbbell (like these affordable adjustable ones)

Good To Know

There's a lot of great things going for NordicTrack and their new Vault home gym.

  • Sleek and elegant design
  • Turn any room into your home gym
  • iFit Training can compete with Peloton’s app
  • Numerous training styles
  • Mirror proper form for improved technique

Head-to-Head Comparison: Vault versus Tempo

It's the match up we've all been anticipating, and, it's finally here!

Time to get down to the brass tacks and compare what I believe to be the most important deciding factors when choosing between these two smart gyms.

Here’s a comparison table that outlines what I’ll cover:

Price and Pricing Plans$2,495 one time payment or pay as little as $69/month. Shipping costs $250. Membership is $39/month.$2,999 one time payment or pay as little as $82/month. Shipping costs $199. 1 year iFit membership included, then $39/month after that.
Fitness TechnologyA.I. Powered technology with 3D sensors to capture body movement and execute form correctionMirror movements to match the form of your instructor.
ProgrammingTempo’s exclusive training system, coaches, lifting programs and classes.iFit by NordicTrack, which is very popular.
Training and Workout CategoriesStrength training, Cardio, Mobility, HIIT, RecoveryStrength training, Mindfulness, HIIT, Cardio, Interval

Price and Pricing Plans: Does Tempo or Vault have the strongest value?

Money, cost, price, dollars, cents… what's the difference between the two?

This is a big investment so knowing exactly what you’re getting is critical when deciding between the two.

The Real Cost of Tempo.Fit

Sales 101: get the customer in the door and flash around the small number first until they're excited, then the other numbers don't seem so bad, am I right?

As noted above, Tempo costs $2,495 one time payment. Your other option is to do a monthly payment plan for as little as $65 per month and zero money down, plus zero interest. Shipping will run you an extra $250, but you’re getting white glove delivery service with that. That means they set it all up for you. The other extra cost is the $39 monthly membership, which provides you all the personal training you need.

The Real Cost of Vault

Are there hidden fees?

Vault, on the other hand, has two models to choose from. The most comparable model is the Vault Complete, which is priced at $2,999 one time payment (no coupon codes out there). Your other option is to choose a payment plan for as little as $82 per month with zero money down and zero interest. Shipping will run you $199, this also includes delivery and setup, which is huge. You’ll get a free 1-year iFit family membership, then it will run you another $468 for the year after that.

Remember, Vault Complete comes with all equipment needed just like Tempo’s included equipment. Vault Standalone does not. This was a major deciding factor when I chose Tempo over Vault. In addition, I wanted barbells and weight plates. Vault doesn’t offer that and at $1,995 for tempo, it was crystal clear that the strongest value went to Tempo.

Fitness Technology: Tempo's AI vs. Vault's Mirror Match?

Oh, how times have changed! And, for the better! What a time to be alive!

As a former Division 1 football athlete, we never relied on technology to get us stronger. We had a legitimate support staff with the best strength coaches in the industry. They were there to teach us the lifts, correct our form and motivate us to get bigger, stronger and faster.

Most people don’t have access to a support staff, strength coaches, gym equipment, and nutrition 24/7 (what we called training table). However, times have changed with smart gyms because of their fitness technology combined with gym equipment – a recipe for a home gym opportunity.

Take Advantage of Tempo’s A.I. Technology and 3D Sensors

I can't tell you how awesome it's been to use technology that helps you get better technique.

Tempo was the first smart home gym system to incorporate Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) along with their 3D sensors. With this technology combined, you get to see your body on the screen and so does your personal trainer on the other end.

Don’t worry though, they see your body like a bunch of particles, not your actual self. Technically you could work out naked and they wouldn’t even know.

Your coach will be able to correct your form in real time and you’ll know exactly what they’re talking about because you’re both seeing the same thing. That’s something we can all be excited about! What a time to be alive!

Take Advantage of NordicTrack Vault’s Mirror Match System

Smart mirrors have come a long way since “Mirror” surprised everyone. Here's what Vault can do.

On the flip side, Vault is as much of a mirror than a digital display screen. You’ll be able to see your body move as if you’re training in front of a mirror. So, for people who can see a movement and then copy it, vault is perfect for you. If you’re someone that needs more of a simpler approach to correcting form, vault isn’t your best choice.

For me, I wanted to take advantage of Tempo’s AI technology and 3D sensors versus Vault’s mirror match approach.

Programming: Vault's iFit versus Tempo's Fitness

Smart mirrors have come a long way since “Mirror” surprised everyone. Here's what Vault can do.

When considering programming, it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting. Vault has NordicTrack’s iFit. People LOVE iFit like they love the Peloton app experience. It may not be as good as Peloton, but it’s pretty darn close. Tempo’s programming is unique in itself because it’s just theirs and it’s just for their Tempo Studio. Tempo doesn’t have a long line of gym equipment like NordicTrack does. They focus on one machine and one program to accommodate that machine.

To me, I like companies that specialize in one thing rather than try to be a master in 20 things. You’re talking about experts in one field, and that’s strength training with a particular smart gym. That’s something I get excited about because what I don’t want is the basketball strength coach training me for football… get my drift?

Training and Workout Categories: What's the difference?

Make sure you like the programming BEFORE you purchase a smart gym. This is what you can expect:

This is a huge deciding factor all things considered. You have to know what types of workouts you like to do, what you get results with and what motivates you to reach your goals. Without that, you’ll jump from one category to the next.

For example, I like to stick with Tempo’s strength training, mobility and recovery. With packing on muscle mass being my goal, I have no interest in cardio-only workouts.

NordicTrack Vault is very similar to Tempo in workout categories and training. At the end of the day, both memberships offer categories to:

  1. Get you strong
  2. Lose weight
  3. Gain muscle
  4. Get flexible
  5. Tone your body
  6. Improve mental awareness
  7. Tighten up

My take is you can’t go wrong with either style of workouts. I recommend you know which types of weights you want to use with your workouts. For me, it was the barbells and weight plates that tempo offered with their training and workout categories.

Vault vs Tempo Studio Conclusion: Which Smart Home Gym is Best?

When I say stronger, I mean mind, body and spirit, not just physical strength. Although these are “gyms” they are also Fitness Studios that have a wide variety of training to choose from. The question becomes, which one will propel you to reach your goals?

When everything shut down because of COVID-19, smart gyms flat out took advantage of an opportunity that was on the table. Although it is uneasy to experience times like these, we should be grateful for fitness technology and connected home gyms like Tempo and Vault. The question becomes…

Which one is better for you?

When I say stronger, I mean mind, body and spirit, not just physical strength. Although these are “gyms” they are also Fitness Studios that have a wide variety of training to choose from. The question becomes, which one will propel you to reach your goals?

At a $1,995 price point, Tempo comes completely packed with revolutionary personalized training and the necessary gym equipment and weights needed to ditch the local gym and a costly personal trainer. With a 25 LB barbell, dumbbells and weight plates, you can get any strength training exercise you want – that makes Tempo better than Vault. If your workouts don’t require barbells and you can use just dumbbells, then Vault can offer nearly the same things Tempo can.

The decision is yours and yours alone. Here’s the good news: If you “make a mistake” there’s a 30-day return on each machine. You may have to cut your losses on shipping, but you can leave yourself an out.

For me, after using Tempo for about 3 months now, I can get my strength training workouts at any time of the day and take advantage of the AI technology. I guess one could say I’m in love!

TEMPO (Popular choice)

Lowest Pricing Plan: $69 per month

  • A.I. Technology
  • Equipment Included
  • Classes and Instruction

Vault Complete (Rising in Popularity)

Lowest Pricing Plan: $82 per month

  • Mirror Technology
  • Equipment Included With Vault Complete
  • iFit Classes
Gino Armado

Gino is a fitness enthusiast who loves working out from home. He's a gym equipment expert, having researched, tested and reviewed over 1,000 pieces of equipment. He puts the team first, and, as a Division I football athlete, he not only excelled on the gridiron, but also earned his Masters degree in Sports Management. He is an ACE Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach, training thousands of high school athletes that want to play sports in college.

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