A year ago, I complained about not getting out of the house enough.
This year, I complained about having to go out and do anything at all.
Such is life.
Not willing to sacrifice my cardio workouts, I picked up the MIRROR fitness studio to see how it compared to other in-home premium fitness solutions.
After weeks of workouts, I’m ready to share what I’ve learned. Is the MIRROR worth it? Keep reading and find out.
What Is MIRROR?
MIRROR is a premium in-home fitness studio that looks just like a mirror when it’s off.
The workouts focus on bodyweight movements, pilates, cardio, yoga, strength training, stretches, and meditation. There’s plenty of variety (you can even box, but make sure you don’t punch the screen a la Nintendo Wii).
There are several alternatives to The MIRROR, like the Tempo, which supplies its own weights, and FightCamp, which is basically a high-tech punching bag.
But none of the other options on the market look as good as The MIRROR. Sure, they’re all pretty aesthetically pleasing, but they just can’t blend into your apartment decor like a MIRROR can.
In 2020, lululemon announced they had bought the start-up, MIRROR, and you can now
Things to Consider Before Buying a Home Workout System from MIRROR
There’s an upfront cost for the unit, plus the $39.99 monthly fee. Also, it’s worth noting that if you get the MIRROR, you’re also signing up for 12 months of classes at the minimum.
With the MIRROR, you’ll be relying on bodyweight exercises. It’s a great machine for boosting your cardio and flexibility, though there’s a significant limit for weightlifters. There are some weightlifting classes available, but you’ll need to supply your own dumbbells.
It’s a holistic workout system, but you’re still working out in your living room, so you’ll be limited to what equipment you have on hand. If you want your focus to be on health, toning, and flexibility (and even some mindfulness), then you only need a floor and the will to push yourself.
You should also think about where you’re going to put The MIRROR before you get it. I’ll say, it’s much easier to fit The MIRROR into your apartment aesthetic compared to another fitness studio like Tempo.
MIRROR only requires two feet of wall space, and even then, it just looks like a nice, sturdy mirror when the device is off. It’s a great looking machine, and best of all: it’s unobtrusive.
The Set Up
All delivery and installation is free with a promo code. If you’re thinking about having your MIRROR hung on the wall (as opposed to having it leaned against the wall), then I’d absolutely add that service.
It’s a fairly heavy machine—somewhere in the 100-pound range, and doesn’t have any handles for convenient moving, so take that into account when deciding on whether or not to get the white glove delivery.
I’m a relatively strong dude, so I can move the MIRROR around my apartment, but if you’re not able to lift an awkward 100-pounds, get the white glove.
From there, setting up the MIRROR was really easy. You start by downloading the app on your phone (iOS and Android), and all the connection steps are laid out in easy to understand sequential order.
The set up took me around 15 minutes from start to finish until I was ready for my first workout.
The MIRROR also came with a few extras, including a cleaning kit and a handy clip you can place over the camera portion of the machine, which I appreciate. While the ol’ blue piece of tape works fine on my laptop, it’d definitely be an eye-sore on the sleek MIRROR, but the plastic cap blends right in and is barely noticeable.
MIRROR also sells accessories on their site like elastic fitness bands, a heart rate monitor, and some lululemon workout gear.
I picked up the Starter Pack, which comes with the elastic fitness bands and heart rate monitor.
The MIRROR is different from other in-home fitness studios I’ve used in the past in that everything is done through the app, which is reflected in The MIRROR. So everything is conveniently done on your phone, and when you’re ready to work up a sweat, you just click play and get working.
The home page of the app has several cool features, including setting weekly workout goals. You can actually see the previous workouts you’ve done, and if you did them with the heart rate monitor on, you can even see your BPM data—that’s really useful for when you re-do a workout and want to see your progress.
MIRROR is adding new workouts every week, so they’ll send you a notification if there’s a particular teacher or exercise style you like.
And there are so many types of workouts available with the MIRROR—that was the most surprising thing for me. A lot of styles don’t really appeal to me, like Barre, Dance, and Prenatal (though I’m a bit curious about the Postnatal workouts).
But Cardio, Competitive, Kickboxing, Strength, and Stretching all offer a balance of muscle-building and body-toning I’m excited to have access to.
There are plenty others, too—I tried a meditation class for one when I was feeling burnt out in the middle of a work day, and I found it super refreshing.
Even though The MIRROR is in your home, it’s still possible to get your sweat on with friends. You can keep up with their workouts via a “friends” tab, and you can even do a live group workout together with the camera on if you’d like.
Like I mentioned earlier, I prefer to stick with strength training and cardio as my two main forms of workout. I like to mix in either boxing or kickboxing as a form of cardio to mix things up every once in a while.
I usually crank those workouts out in the afternoon, and if I start to get sore, I’ll throw in a few stretch routines throughout the week.
MIRROR has been helping me with all of those.
The cardio workouts can get intense, too. I wasn’t sure what to expect as you never know how much of a sweat you can work up in your living room. But let me tell you: it can get heated.
After about 10,000 mountain climbers, I can confidently say that a MIRROR workout is plenty to kick your butt.
I liked the strength workouts, too. They focus mainly on bodyweight movements, which makes sense because there aren’t any free-weights associated with The MIRROR.
Many of the strength workouts have options for dumbbells if you happen to have some laying around, but even if you don’t, each movement has an alternative you can do instead.
For my home workouts, I like keeping things minimal, so I stick with the elastic fitness bands. I have a bit of a bum left shoulder, and these are a gentle way to work the shoulder without wearing on the rotator cuff.
Overall, I’m really pleased with the variety and intensity of the workouts. The advanced workouts are truly challenging (and I’ve been working out consistently for years), and the beginner workouts raise the heart rate and teach the fundamentals.
And because there’s so many different types of workouts, I find myself going to The MIRROR multiple times a day: once for a workout, and a second time for a stretch. One day, I even hit a meditation for a total of three routines.
What Do Other Reviewers Say About MIRROR?
Many reviewers picked up their MIRROR somewhere in mid-2020 when it became pretty clear that gyms were closed for a while and the living room was the new workout spot.
And many of the recent reviews come from folks who’ve now had their MIRROR for a year and a half or more. They’re still loving it.
Numerous entries say they’ve ditched Equinox (or any other boutique gym) and are now solely getting their sweat on with MIRROR The design is the big winner in reviews: people seem to love that they can barely notice the MIRROR when it’s not on.
Downsides that come up through the reviews are that the app can have some bugs every once in a while, and that the MIRROR should be somewhat close to your router for the best connectivity.
My Thoughts Overall On MIRROR
What I Like
I love the look of the machine—it completely blends in with my apartment decor and looks like a nice mirror when it’s off.
The variety of classes and workout styles is impressive. I personally like the strength, cardio, and kickboxing classes the most.
The ability to turn the camera on and have live classes with friends makes the workout much more social, which is great for someone like me who works from home.
I like the precise biometric data as there’s no faking a high heart rate—it makes tracking my progress clear.
What I Don’t Like
I like to lift weights, and there isn’t an option to do so with MIRROR unless you buy your own set of dumbbells. MIRROR is releasing a set of connected ankle weights and dumbbells soon, though.
Who is MIRROR for?
MIRROR is an excellent home fitness studio if you don’t have time to drive back and forth to the gym but still want to prioritize your health and fitness. If you’re looking to tone more than bulk up, you’ll like the workout options available.
Compared to other in-home fitness studios, MIRROR does the best job at offering intense toning workouts without creating a decorative distraction.
The design is pretty incredible—it looks just like a fancy mirror in the apartment, but the screen comes through really clear when you turn it on.
There are so many different types of workouts, from kickboxing to strength training, so you can hit a variety of fitness goals.
The biggest downside in my opinion is that there’s not a great weight-lifting option. But that’s true of any in-home fitness studio. Nothing can really replace a good old-fashioned squat rack.
But if you’re mainly looking to get a quick 30 minute cardio session in the spare bedroom before your next Zoom meeting, The MIRROR is a cost effective (compared to a boutique gym) and aesthetically pleasing fitness option.
Can the MIRROR workout see you?
The MIRROR does have a forward facing camera that you can turn on for group fitness classes if you’d like. The MIRROR is also shipped with a plastic cap you can use to cover the camera when not in operation.
Does MIRROR come with weights?
No, MIRROR doesn’t come with any weights. You can buy elastic fitness bands in the MIRROR store if you’d like to add resistance training to your workouts.
How does the MIRROR work?
MIRROR works by connecting your phone to the hardware. You select your workout through the app and follow the routine as it shows up on The MIRROR. The app will track your workouts, and if you choose to add a heart rate monitor, the app will also track that data and hold it so you can mark your progress.