Tempo harnesses the power of the iPhone and artificial intelligence for its biggest update ever

Connected fitness company Tempo is today releasing its biggest update yet. An almost overwhelming amount of new features, personalization and data tracking have been added, taking advantage of the technology of the iPhone and artificial intelligence. In fact, this feels less like an update and more like a whole relaunch of the Tempo home gym platform. Let’s dig into everything you should know!

The main focus of Tempo’s suite of new features is to bring together biometrics from wearables, body scanning and 3D camera technology to create a completely personalized workout experience.

Tempo CEO and co-founder Moawia Eldeeb says:

Regardless of your fitness level, every workout is optimized for your body’s changing needs, every time you come back to train with us. This level of hyper-personalization is integral to effective training that keeps you engaged, challenged, and empowered with measurable progress. No more guesswork, no more plateaus: Tempo evolves with you to help you get stronger every day.

A quick note on this update. It should be available today for Tempo Studio, Tempo Move and Tempo Core owners.

Readiness score

Now Tempo can use your individual health data to determine a daily readiness score. This score is based on your sleep quality, heart rate variability (HRV), resting heart rate, and recent physical activity (including workouts performed with and outside of Tempo).

To get a readiness score, you must be wearing an Apple Watch, WHOOP, Garmin, or other wearable device that can provide this data to Apple Health.

As a side note, Tempo also figured out how to make your Apple Watch automatically measure HRV data when you wake up. This is something the Apple Watch doesn’t do on its own and usually requires you to manually get the data. Automatic morning HRV tracking is also something I’ve never seen any other Apple Watch app (out of dozens I’ve tried) be able to do.

Once you have your daily readiness score, Tempo will then provide a unique, personalized daily workout recommendation based on your goals.

We’ll soon find out exactly how this works, but first there’s one more health monitoring feature we need to discuss.

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3D body composition scan

Tempo has now added a new in-app 3D body composition scan. Using the iPhone’s camera, you can now quickly scan for data such as body fat percentage, lean body mass, and even the circumference of various body parts.

So yes, you can even get data on whether one arm has more muscle mass than another. What’s even cooler is that this scan can be used to further customize your workouts. For example, if Tempo detects a fairly large discrepancy in limb size, it may include more single-arm or single-leg exercises to help you create better balance.

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Adaptive training plans

One of the biggest new changes coming to Tempo is the way training plans are created. They are no longer generalized, static and immutable. The new plans suit you in almost every way.

First, Tempo will ask you if there are some areas you’d like to prioritize more than others, as well as your preference for weightlifting and conditioning. Then, Tempo will get to work designing a schedule that fits around you.

For example, let’s say I want to prioritize my upper body. Tempo will then ensure that the upper body is what I work on first each week, in case that’s all I have time for. Once completed, Tempo may suggest a subsequent lower-body or full-body workout.

The workout plan adjusts to not only how many times I end up exercising that week, but also how long the workouts last. Tempo will provide personalized weekly goals (for example, how many sets to complete for a body part) and help you adjust your workouts to reach that goal.

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Custom workouts

These adaptive workout plans don’t just suggest one of Tempo’s hundreds of pre-recorded workouts. The workouts themselves are customized based on your goals, workout history, available time, and even your daily readiness score.

Since the workouts are also trained, I honestly have no idea how Tempo is doing it and can’t wait to get in and try it all out for myself. (Check back in a few weeks for a review!) Evidently, Tempo has figured out a way to mix and match thousands of hours of trainer footage to be able to deliver this personalized training experience.

So whether you have 10 or 40 minutes to train, prefer one trainer over another, or have a low or high readiness score, a custom workout will be generated that will allow you to progress from one week to the next.

Eldeeb also told me that they plan to be able to use your results to help determine which movements are most effective for you. So your workouts and personalized plans should become more personalized and more effective over time.

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Dynamic rest

Tempos’ renewed focus on personalization goes beyond just providing personalized workouts. The sessions themselves will even adjust as you take them!

An example of this is with what Tempo calls Dynamic Rest. If you have a paired heart rate monitor, like your Apple Watch, Tempo will be able to adjust your rest times between lifting sets. If your heart rate is too high, the class will automatically pause to give you more time to rest. The session also automatically resumes once your heart rate drops to where it should be for the set.

Another quick side note here: Heart rate-based extended rest is optional. So you can always manually resume the lesson if you don’t want the extended rest.

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Dynamic weight and rep goals

Tempo already had the ability to automatically log how much weight you’re using and how many reps you complete. But they’re going further by using a combination of the latest in exercise science and AI integration.

First off, Tempo will now use Rep Reserve (RIR) within its workout programming. If you haven’t heard of RIR, it’s a popular way to introduce workout plans based on how many repetitions a person feels they can perform at a given weight. So, for example, 5 reps with a RIR of 3 means doing five reps with a weight that feels like you could do eight reps if you really had to. It may sound complicated, but it’s quite simple and effective once you get the hang of it.

Tempo will now be able to analyze and predict your RIR to automatically adjust both the suggested reps and weight during your workout. It will presumably use at least three factors to help determine your RIR.

  • Movement speed: Time will test the speed of each rep to help predict how many more you can do.
  • Heart rate: Tempo can watch heart rate increases in real time, which can help with analysis.
  • Manual Feedback: Sometimes, Tempo will ask you how many more reps you could have done. (This can be answered on an Apple Watch if you’re wearing one.)

All of this will allow Tempo to have dynamic weight and rep goals. For example, if you’re going too light, Tempo may suggest a heavier weight. Or, in some cases, Tempo can increase or decrease reps per set, depending on your performance.

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Extended motion tracking

According to Tempo, the new update features a significant improvement with its range of motion and motion tracking. Previously, the only motion tracking range available was with squats, so you could see if you were hitting your target depth in real time. Now that same range of motion feedback will be available for a variety of other motions. Additionally, Tempo says they now have 50 exercises in their weight recognition library.

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Connect the Watts Take

To be honest, this update took me by surprise. Time has been pretty quiet this past year in terms of adding new features and I never expected them to be preparing what appears to be a whole revamp of the program.

You see, what excites me about connected fitness is its potential for evolution in two areas:

  • The first is to make fitness more fun and enjoyable. So far, almost all related fitness companies have done a great job here. Provide entertaining instructors, music, or gamification to help keep us motivated to keep training.
  • The second area is using technology to completely customize workouts and deliver far better results than was previously possible without an expensive personal trainer. It is this area where I feel connected fitness has thus far failed to deliver any significant progress.

A probable reason why very few connected fitness companies have made significant progress in this second area is because it also collides with the first. How can you both provide a high level of customization together with a pre-recorded or live instructor?

The best attempt I’ve found so far has been with the Ergatta rowing machine. But even then, Ergatta has barely scratched the surface, and I haven’t seen any significant progress from them in quite some time.

I’ve seen a lot of behind-the-scenes fitness tech that promises to be huge game-changers, but so far none have actually become available.

However, Tempo may have just found a way.

If Tempo can deliver on its promises here, it will be the most impressive upgrade I’ve ever seen on any connected fitness platform. A connected fitness product that can create and customize well thought out workouts in real time while the user is also being taught by a great instructor, that’s why I’m so excited!

Make sure you keep checking in with Connect The Watts for our next review.

For a limited time, Tempo is offering Connect The Watts readers 20% off.
Use discount code COLIN20 here.

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