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Does Tonal Work for an Apartment Home Gym? Here’s What Members Say

With minimal space requirements, Tonal makes it easy to work out in even the smallest apartments.

Tonal in an apartment home gym

It’s not easy to find equipment that fits in an apartment home gym. Treadmills and exercise bikes take up a lot of precious floor space, and your downstairs neighbors might not be too happy hearing you drop heavy dumbbells on their ceiling during early morning workouts. 

Tonal, on the other hand, offers a perfect solution for your apartment home gym. Mounted on the wall, it requires minimal space and replaces multiple dumbbell sets and other types of bulky gym equipment.

Image of Tonal in an apartment home gym


All around the country, Tonal members and even coaches are working out and getting stronger in apartments of different shapes and sizes. Here, Tonal members, along with Tonal coach and certified personal trainer Kendall “Woody” Wood, share their experiences and answer common questions about creating an apartment home gym with Tonal.

Is my apartment big enough for Tonal?

No matter how cramped your apartment may be, it likely will still fit Tonal’s size requirements. In fact, Tonal’s compact size actually makes it especially convenient for small spaces. All you need is 7 feet of wall space (3.5 feet on each side from the center of Tonal) and ideally, you’d have 7 feet of surrounding space, but members have made do with less thanks to Tonal’s adjustable arms that allow you to perform exercises from different angles. Tonal also only comes out 6 inches or less from the wall, not much more than a flat-screen television. 

 In that small amount of space, you’ll get a full apartment home gm that replaces dozens of dumbbells and multiple pieces of equipment. “It’s ideal for apartments given its compact nature and the fact that you won’t be dropping weights and disturbing your neighbors,” says Jennifer C., a Tonal member from Long Beach, California. 

Tonal member Tessa Waters's apartment home gym.
Tonal member Tessa Waters’s apartment home gym

Tessa Waters, a Tonal member from Long Island, New York, also likes how well Tonal fits in her apartment. “We have a very small one bedroom, and the Tonal is in the middle of our living room. We make the best of our space, and Tonal has definitely made it easy to work out efficiently in our small apartment,” she says. Since Tonal only takes up a bit of wall space, Waters’s living room can double as an apartment home gym–and her Tonal doesn’t get in the way when it’s not in use.

Some apartment dwellers have gotten even more creative with their apartment home gym set-ups: In his one-bedroom apartment, Tonal deputy editor Christopher Hunt found the best location for his Tonal was in his living room, even though he has to temporarily move his couch when it’s time to work out.

 “Before I tap my screen on, I simply push my couch over to one side of the room so that I have all the space I need to perform any of the movements,” he says. “Once I’m done, I just push the couch back. I honestly thought the back and forth would be an annoyance, but it adds maybe two minutes to my workout.”

Wood, a New Jersey resident, adds that because Tonal is so sleek, she doesn’t mind that it’s the first thing people see when they visit her apartment. Like most apartments in the New York area, Wood’s Hoboken apartment also doesn’t have much spare space. Even though her Tonal is right across from her kitchen table, she can still do all her usual on-Tonal moves in her apartment home gym thanks to the flexible nature of the cables. “You can move your body and do the movements from a different angle than what is specifically shown,” she says. 

Kate, a Tonal member who rents an apartment in San Diego, agrees. “I’ve been able to use the Tonal successfully in a fairly small space by getting creative with body positioning or swapping out movements,” she says. 

For more inspiration on how to fit Tonal in a tight space, check out these members’ setups.

Does my landlord or business management company need to approve my Tonal apartment home gym installation?

One downside of apartment living—especially if you rent—is that you don’t always have the final say in what you can build or install in your unit. Fortunately, none of the members we spoke with had any problems with their landlords or business management companies.
  
Depending on your specific building, there may be different requirements for equipment installation, though, so it’s best to check first before ordering your Tonal and setting up your apartment home gym. One possible requirement is a Certificate of Insurance, a document verifying that Tonal’s delivery partners have an insurance policy to cover accidents or injuries, which is issued by Tonal and the installation team. You can request a Certificate of Insurance in your pre-installation survey or by contacting Tonal directly.

Is Tonal loud? Will my neighbors hear it?

Share walls with neighbors long enough, and you learn what genre of loud music they prefer and what time their baby goes on a nightly crying jag. While Tonal isn’t silent, the cables are very smooth, and it’s not excessively loud, so you probably won’t be on the receiving end of any noise complaints when you’re using your apartment home gym. 

Coach Woody's apartment home gm
Coach Woody’s apartment home gym

The members we spoke with haven’t had any problems: “Although the room [my Tonal’s] in is adjacent to my neighbor’s apartment, they have never said anything about it,” says Kate. Waters says her downstairs neighbor complained when she was riding her exercise bike but hasn’t said anything about her Tonal workouts. If your walls are very thin or you know your neighbors are sensitive, consider installing Tonal on an internal wall within your apartment.

Will Tonal damage the walls in my rental apartment?

Don’t worry about losing your security deposit: Tonal’s installation does involve drilling holes into the wall, but it’s not much different than mounting a flatscreen TV. 

“People assume that when it’s taken off the wall, there’s going to be all this damage and massive holes,” says Wood. “But the holes are no bigger than they would be if you were to hang a heavy mirror or piece of art on the wall.” 

Last year, Kate moved from a house in Denver (which she was also renting) to her current apartment in San Diego. When she uninstalled her Tonal, she didn’t have to do much to get her walls looking like new again. “The Tonal only left small holes in the wall at our old place, and the holes were very easy to patch with spackle,” she says. “Our landlord didn’t have any issues with the patched holes and was able to repaint the wall with no problems.” 

Tonal member Kate's apartment home gym
Tonal member Kate’s apartment home gym

Jennifer had a similar experience when she moved. “The holes were so much smaller than we anticipated,” she says. “I just bought $2 worth of spackle from Home Depot and filled and sanded them. We were not charged for any damage to the unit.”

What happens to my apartment home gym if I move?

There’s no need to say goodbye to your favorite coaches and workouts even if you move hundreds of miles away. Tonal makes it easy to bring your apartment home gym with you. Simply choose a relocation package (prices vary depending on how far you’re moving and if you plan on uninstalling Tonal on your own), and you won’t have to miss a workout. For a seamless move, notify Tonal at least three weeks before you plan on arriving in your new home. 

Kate and Jennifer took advantage of Tonal’s relocation services when they moved and both reported a smooth process. Kate and her husband easily uninstalled Tonal on their own, but Jennifer opted to have Tonal’s delivery partner remove hers, and she was happy with how carefully her Tonal was packed and handled. 

Wherever you go, you’ll find that Tonal is the perfect small space solution for your apartment home gym.


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