Mirror’s $40 Personal Training Sessions Sound Like a Deal but Here’s the Catch

Photo: Alex Cranz (Gizmodo)

It is a universal truth that personal trainers can be an expensive part of a fitness routine. To get around that, Mirror—that at-home, interactive mirror/LCD screen you see ads for everywhere—is launching one-on-one personal training for $40 a session.

Until now, Mirror has basically been like any other at-home fitness equipment with on-demand classes baked in. The unique thing about it was the design—unlike a bulky Peloton bike or treadmill, it was a fully functional mirror. To bring personal training sessions into the home, the Mirror makes use of its two-way audio and video. According to the press release, trainers will “deliver expert feedback, form corrections, and encouragement in real-time.” The company will also match users with their “perfect trainer” based on preferred activities, motivational style, session length, and schedule. Each session will also be flexible enough to accommodate for a user’s goals, preferences, and skill level.

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On the surface this is cool. Personal training is notoriously expensive—the type of thing where all your buff friends totally swear that it helped them, but definitely punched a hole in their wallet. In 2019, the average cost of a personal trainer nationwide was $55—with a range of $35 on the low end, and a whopping $120 on the high end. Those numbers also shift with regard to session length—a 30-minute session is obviously way cheaper than 90-minute session.

Mirror offering a flat $40 rate in your home sounds pretty enticing. That said, a Mirror spokesperson told Gizmodo that $40 is for a standard 30-minute session. Longer sessions will also be available, but the price will jump up accordingly. Gizmodo asked Mirror for more information on how much those longer sessions will cost and a spokesperson told us that “those details are still being finalized.” On the other hand, a plus is that Mirror’s release says you can have additional household participants join at no extra cost—meaning you can coax your lazy roommate to join in and maybe split that $40 in half.

The thing is all this necessitates buying into Mirror’s platform to begin with—and that’s where it starts to get a bit fuzzier. You have to first fork over $1500 for the Mirror itself, and then on top of that, it’s an additional $40 for the on-demand subscription. So say you do one session a week, that’s around $200 a month including the monthly subscription—not counting monthly installments for the mirror itself, if you opt for financing.

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That’s...a lot when you consider the competition. A ClassPass subscription is about $80 for 45 credits (10 of which can roll over month-to-month). That translates to about 6-8 classes per month, or $10-$13 per class. Meanwhile, if you’re strapped for cash, you can also just download Peloton’s app on your phone and use your regular gym’s equipment for roughly $20 a month. Even SoulCycle costs less at about $35 per class. Of course, Mirror is obviously trying to set itself apart by offering you one-on-one time with an instructor, but there’s some technical questions there too.

From what it sounds like, this is basically a Skype or FaceTime session with a trainer through your already expensive Mirror. And if you’ve ever video chatted before, you know that connectivity issues are inevitable. In our review, Gizmodo noted you need wifi speeds of 10 megabits per second for Mirror classes to work properly. That can be a problem if you don’t already shell out for faster speeds. There’s also the itty-bitty detail about privacy. The device does come with a cap to cover the camera, as well as three-factor security to turn the camera on. But when Gizmodo reviewed the device, the company was scant on details about how user data is protected and what exactly can the microphones catch. Also, keep in mind there’s a giant mirror in your living space serving as a constant, on-the-nose reminder of your self-surveillance.

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Mirror’s personal training sessions launch today, so if you’ve already got one you can go bananas. If not, it basically boils down to your own personal napkin math, and how much privacy you’re willing to maybe sacrifice to have a personal trainer streamed into the comfort of your own living room.

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About the author

Victoria Song

Consumer tech reporter by day, danger noodle by night. No, I'm not the K-Pop star.