TSS 33 | Cardio Versus Strength

33: Lebron James teams-up with Tonal plus our interview with Coach Nicolette!

TSS 33 | Cardio Versus Strength


Lebron James teams up with Tonal.

Tonal Live classes are almost upon us.
You can RSVP to live classes so you won’t forget.
Tonal is looking to partner with niche groups.
The Tonal blog explores what’s the best way to strength train – barefoot or with shoes.
New Tonal members can check out the Quick Start Guide.
If you’re looking to find other Tonal members check out the Social Sunday in the OTC.
Coach Jackson was on the 15 Point Plan podcast.
We break down all the new content.
Don’t forget about the October Challenge.

All this plus our interview with Coach Nicolette!

Watch the episode here:

Listen to the podcast here:

You’re pretty excited. Your work from home day sync up.

The brand new Tonal live classes will start. It’s my work from home day. I am going to be on those live classes as many as I can be. It’s going to be amazing.

You still actually work from home. Don’t forget the so-called work from home, in case the bosses are tuned in.

I know, Tom. There’s one that falls right over at lunchtime and it’s the first one, so I’m really excited.

Outside of that, what do you have in store for people?

I’ve got big news. We’re going to talk about who joined the Tonal team. We’ve got more to talk about with this live classes thing, and then some group updates and some tidbits of Tonalness that are coming up.

Before we get to all that, shameless plugs, don’t forget we’re available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts. Wherever you find a podcast, you can find us. While you’re there, be sure to rate, review and follow us so you never miss an episode. You can also find us on the interwebs at Facebook.com/supersetpodcast. While you’re there, like the page and join the group. It’s a great way to stay up to date on things throughout the week. We have a YouTube channel, YouTube.com/theclipout, where all the episodes for both of our podcasts live. You can go over there and subscribe as well. You’ll get notifications whenever we post new ones. There’s all that. Let’s dig in. Shall we?

We shall.

Big news in the world of Tonal. They have inked a deal with LeBron James, an athlete so well-known even I know who he is.

This is big because we don’t follow sports.

We live in a town that doesn’t have an NBA team. When we don’t care about sports and we don’t even have that league in our city, and we still know who somebody is, they’re a big deal.

This is exciting. I love his quotes. He’s into the Tonal. I like the video commercial because there’s all this stuff that you see him do every time he’s on the court, but then there’s all the stuff that you don’t see him do, and that’s getting shape. As a person watching a game, you take this for granted because there are all these amazing players out there. You don’t think about what it takes to get into shape.

The hours of work they have to do besides playing basketball.

I like where this is coming from. I also like seeing that they put his actual weights on the Tonal like #goals. Did you see him do that front squat?

Yeah. He must have his neck in a different place because that sure doesn’t work for me like that.

With the kind of cardio that we have on Tonal, you are put into movements that you don't do every single day that are good for your joints, back, knees, and shoulders. Share on X

He’s killing it. It’s pretty awesome. I am excited for Tonal. This is huge.

He’s now an investor as well.

Do we have any details on that?

If we do, I don’t know what they are, but he put his money where his mouth is. It’s like that old shaver commercial, “I liked it so much, I bought the company.”

It’s pretty cool. That’s awesome.

Moving along, live classes are almost upon us.

October 20th, 2021 is the day that we were going live. I’m excited about this. If you guys haven’t seen it over on the Official Tonal Community, there are a bunch of classes that have been put out. You can go out and RSVP for them. My understanding is we’re going to see these about a week at a time. They’re planning on having these come out three days a week. The live classes will be three days a week. There will be some that are live and some that are encore.

For those of you who are not aware of what an encore class is. It is the exact same class but with a fresh leaderboard. It’s still going to be something we can all join together in case you couldn’t make it to the live class. It will live on and it’s nice because it’s still at a set time. You can still use the social zone, because the social zone is new. You’re going to be able to see when other people hit milestones. You’re not going to be able to talk to them but you’re going to see like, “So-and-so got a PR.” The instructors are going to give shout outs. This is going to be amazing. I am incredibly stoked about this. I cannot wait.

Tonal is launching a Community Ambassador Program. This is pretty cool.

The idea is that they partner with community managers who are building their own niche groups that align with the values and the mission of the Official Tonal Community. The first one they are partnering with is the Tonal XXL Community, which is led by Richelle Martin who is a long-time Peloton rider. We’ve known her for a long time. She’s also one of the community admins for the Official Tonal Community.

Coach Natalie hosted her first-ever Extra Loud Chat where she was going to go live and talk about all things training on the Tonal for the XXL Community. She covered adjustments for exercises with larger stomachs, breasts, thighs, etc., as well as answering questions that come in. This is cool for people who are in the XXL tribe, but also for anybody that might know somebody who isn’t necessarily in the community. They might be thinking about a Tonal and maybe they’re on the larger side. They’re like, “I don’t know that this is the place for me.” This is totally the place for them because Tonal is inclusive.

We have this amazing community. If there is anybody that you know that’s starting a community, or if there is a community of members that you want to be able to highlight as well, make sure you reach out to Kate. If you haven’t heard of the XXL Community for Tonal, also check them out as well.

This is great. We’ve seen so much of this over in the world of Peloton, which is where we started. There are these kinds of niche groups where there are Jewish Peloton riders. There are doctors and all sorts of things. It’s great to see them fostering that in a way that they exist over in that other world but they’re not fostered in this manner. I dig that.

What I hear you saying that other people may not pick up on is that Tonal is making a point to allow the coaches to have a voice in those communities and to speak to their specific niches. That’s amazing.

I thought this was interesting. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet but I have had the same thoughts when I’ve used the Tonal which is, should you train barefoot or with shoes?

TSS 33 | Cardio Versus Strength


I haven’t read it either but I feel like I know the answer, and the answer is going to be barefoot. I think either is okay, let me just say that, but if you have a preference for working out bare feet, there’s nothing wrong with that when it comes to using the Tonal trainer. The reason I think that is because it does so many things like add to your natural balance when you’re on your bare feet. What I used to do is take my shoes off and leave my socks on.

What I used to do is I would put shoes on and then I’m like, “I don’t know that this is getting me anything,” so now I just have my socks on.

I can’t work out in my socks because I slide around too much. If I try to do a downward dog with my socks on, I’m an inchworm. I fall to the floor. It’s not good and it’s not pretty. I like to do no socks. I’m a no socks kind of gal when it comes to the Tonal.

This seems to say that you can do either but if you’re going to wear shoes, you need to make sure you have the right kind of shoes.

You don’t want something that’s too stiff. You want something that’s going to support your foot but you don’t want something that’s not going to let your foot move. You need to be moving your feet around a lot whenever you’re doing strength training. Be sure that you have enough room in your shoes if that’s what you’re going to do. It’s a big debate. I have seen that question come up quite a bit over in the Official Tonal Community.

If you are new to Tonal, welcome. They have a Quick Start Guide for you that can maybe jumpstart your foray into the world of Tonal.

It breaks it down step-by-step so you can see everything you need to know, how to prepare for your space, go through the strength assessment, and figure out your perfect first workout. Also, it describes Tonal’s dynamic weight modes and features, and form feedback so you can use everything right out of the gate. I love that because whenever you get your Tonal installed, there’s no one standing there to explain that to you. The person who delivers it is not able to give you that information. I love this about Tonal. They take the initiative to put this thing together and put it out there for people so that as a user, you know where to go. If you see people asking questions, make sure and lead them to the Quick Start Guide. It’s got everything.

If you’re wondering where you can find that, it’s over on Facebook in the Official Tonal Community. Go there and search for Quick Start Guide.

I have not seen this, Social Sunday.

Somebody suggested that we do a Social Sunday in the Official Tonal Community. Tonal being as awesome as they are. Kate started using a thread that every Sunday you can share other ways that you can connect with Tonal members. You can put your Tonal username, your Instagram handles, YouTube channels, TikTok, blogs, whatever you crazy kids are using these days, as Kate says. It’s Tonal related only. Anything outside of it will be removed. Isn’t that cool? I love that people are like, “I’m over on Instagram. That’s where I spend most of my time. I don’t spend most of my time on Facebook. Here are all these Tonal users that I can now follow over on Instagram.” I love it.

Coach Jackson was on the 15 Point Plan podcast.

Take Action and Build Your Energy with Tonal Coach Action Jackson Bloore on Apple Podcasts.

If you can’t get enough of Coach Jackson, that’s where you can find him over on the 15 Point Plan.

It’s not our show but I’ll still talk it up.

When you work out, it's so important to do things that you're not innately good at because that's where you need the most practice. Share on X

We’ll allow it.

I didn’t get a chance to link to it but I did want to take the time to mention that Coach Pablo’s Baloney show that they’ve been doing went international. They did their first international premiere in Canada at the Canadian Queer Film Festival. That’s pretty cool. Congrats to Coach Pablo.

As always, there are tons of new content for you to enjoy.

There’s a brand new program, Unstoppable Strength and Sweat. This is with Coach Nikki. It’s four times a week but it’s for two weeks. They’re doing more of these two-week little HIITs and I like that. This one is strength-focused days that are going to get you stronger, but then they also have sweat days that are going to build your endurance and added in stability, balance and power. We have new strengths. We have Lean Mean Upper Body with Coach Woody. That’s 23 minutes advanced for upper body. We have a Quick Fit Start Confident with Coach Trace, beginner, upper body, fifteen minutes. That’s going to help you build a solid foundation. The next is Quick Fit Chest Attack with Coach Trace, intermediate upper body. You have chest day in under fifteen minutes. That’s pretty convenient.

Chest Attack is what it feels when I do too much cardio. I’m having a chest attack.

Speaking of cardio, we have new cardio, Incredible Sweat with Coach Paul. That’s an intermediate full-body, 35 minutes. I love this. If you’re not drenched in sweat, did you even work out? This is great and it uses all body-weight moves. Tom, I could see this being a good one if you have to travel again.

There’s also new boxing, Level Up Your Boxing with Coach Woody, intermediate workout, full-body, 29 minutes. This is going to help you level up your boxing skillset with some fun combinations. Not to be forgotten, new yoga, Yoga Studio Standing Neutral Hip with Coach Frances, all levels, full body. New barre, Barre Intervals with Coach Frances. Intervals scare me in barre. That can be tough. There’s a new recovery, Remedy for Sore Legs with Coach Jared. This is great for whenever you have stiff or sore muscles.

They should combine a barre class with a core floor class and they could call it a barre crawl.

Maybe just a leopard crawl between moves.

I’m here with ideas, Tonal. You’re welcome. They’re free and worth twice that.

We also have some new meditation, Self-Worth Meditation with Coach Jared. I am digging these meditations. I love the released negative thoughts. It’s super helpful. I love it. It’s twenty minutes and it helps every time. New family fitness, Kids focus and Chill. This one is a full-body, eighteen minutes and it gets rid of stress, anxiety or excess energy. Don’t we all have that? That’s not just for the kids.

Excess energy, I don’t think I do have that.

It’s stress and anxiety for us.

That makes a lot more sense.

I also wanted to talk about the October Challenge. We talked about how it was going to be a different format. We knew it was going to be a Bingo format, but you have to fill up the entire board. There’s going to be live classes you got to do. You have to do encore classes. You have to do meditation. You have to create a custom workout. You have to do pretty much at least one time of everything your Tonal trainer can do, which is smart. It’s a good way to learn your Tonal trainer. I like that a lot.

TSS 33 | Cardio Versus Strength


Joining us is Coach Nicolette to talk to us about cardio. I feel like I should do that whole introduction out of breath.

If you had my job, you would have to do that out of breath. That’s my job to work out for a living. I feel like I’m always trying to get better at it because it never gets easier.

It’s probably a lot harder to get you out of breath than to get regular people out of breath.

I don’t know. You know me as this strength coach. I like to lift heavy for short bursts and then rest for five minutes. That’s my kind of working out. I do love cardio but probably more of my kryptonite would be cardio versus strength for sure. It’s the missing element sometimes.

I feel like that’s good information for us to have as we take your classes. We’re frustrated because you’re making us work hard. The next time you have a reverse birthday workout we are going to be like, “Do all the cardio.”

I was so scared for my reverse training birthday workout but it wasn’t terrible. I thought I was going to have to do 500 Bulgarian split squats because somehow I’ve been named the person who loves this exercise but I probably do like it. I do mostly strength training. The beautiful thing about Tonal is we do offer a lot of variety. That’s why I enjoy the bootcamps so much and the high-intensity classes because it is strength training but also cardio.

You’re getting your heart rate up the whole time.

It’s mixing the peas into the mashed potatoes for you.

The only time I don’t do that is with my yoga. I’ll message Frances and be like, “Can we have a chiller yoga?” She’s like, “I don’t like chill yoga. I like it to be like a workout.” I’m lazy. I wanted to feel like I’m stretching and not doing anything so I do prenatal yoga.

That’s a good tip for people who want yoga but a little lesser.

Frances did launch Chill Yoga Flow. I was stoked about it. I feel like this was for me even though it wasn’t. The cardio is not meant to be chill.

I want to say you and Bulgarian split squats. I think I know why. Whenever I have a Bulgarian split squat, whether it’s you or somebody else, you’re the one that they always show. It’s like nobody else there did it or maybe everybody else has lousy form and they default to you. It’s always you that I see.

I recorded this one bit of VO years ago that was like, “I love Bulgarian split squats. They’re my favorite.” Now I can split every single time.

Nobody else in the history of time has ever uttered those words.

That combined with the fact that I’m always the demo coach. It’s leading people to falsely believe that this is something that I do regularly, which it’s not.

Strength training puts your body under a lot of load and tension. Make sure that you are fresh and at the top of your game with your tank completely full when you do strength training. Share on X

Here on the show, we are getting the hard heading news and digging into the myths of Tonal. You’d have to tell us because we don’t want to do all the things. Why is it important to do both strength and cardio from a workout perspective?

As I was saying before, quite literally, if you don’t work that muscle, you’re going to lose it. For me, cardio is the most challenging because it’s not something that I am drawn to. When I do it, I have to be very intentional about getting in my cardio. It’s something I have to make myself do. It also is a great way to train for your strength training. Being underload for extended amounts of time for cardio is important.

Being under tension, that’s how you create better athletic abilities and your performance can skyrocket. We also know that it’s great for your heart. From a performance perspective, it’s important that we push our bodies for extended amounts of time under load, which is why things like the high-intensity classes and the bootcamp classes are a great form of cardio because they’re conditioning.

You’re essentially exercising underload for a quicker tempo and for a longer time under tension. It’s a great way to build up your athletic abilities and stay well-rounded. Just like with our weightlifting, we can’t always lift heavy and have four reps. We need to increase our repetitions, decrease and increase our sets and the kind of exercises we do. Especially with the kind of cardio that we have on Tonal, you’re being put into movements that maybe you don’t do every single day that are good for your joints, back, knees and shoulders. Whether it’d be kickboxing and mobilizing your hip in a way that you don’t normally do is going to create a lot of cross-functional strength.

On that note, going down that path, what kind of options does Tonal have? There are the HIIT classes. We have kickboxing. What other kinds of cardio does Tonal have?

We have the dance cardio with 305 Fitness. If no one has ever tried that, they are sneaky as hell. It’s like a kick in the face. Sometimes I feel like, “That’s a lot more challenging than I anticipated.” I like their classes too because it’s not always just dance. When you pop in, sometimes they have you jumping around, a little bit of bootcamping as you’re moving to a rhythm and a beat. We have the dance cardio and the bodyweight bootcamps, which I have a couple of those on Tonal. Those are very classic.

We have off Tonal exercises. Some of them are Tonal-specific exercises that are off Tonal. Some of them are any type of bootcamp that we come up with. I love one that Frances has. I forget what it’s called but it’s very yoga flow but cardio. Some of them are not Tonal exercises so we can take them in any direction that we want. I know Coach Allison has a good one as well. These are all great for on-the-go. If no one knows, on-the-go workouts on the Tonal App are essentially any of our bodyweight workouts that you can do from anywhere.

We have the high-intensity classes, which are on Tonal, which are probably my favorite when it comes to proper conditioning because you’re still underloaded. I love weightlifting. We have the dance, the bodyweight bootcamps, the kickboxing, and then the HIIT classes. I don’t take kickboxing as much because I’m not coordinated when it comes to punching the air.

I suck at anything that involves coordination. I took one of those dance cardio things. I was like, “I need to do a cardio thing. This has cardio in the title.” By the end of it, I was firmly on the side of John Lithgow in Footloose. I was like, “These kids need to calm down.” By the end, I’m like, “I guess I’m just jumping around. I can’t do the move. I’m never going to be in sync. I’ll just jump around like an idiot for the last five minutes.” I feel the same way about boxing.

Personally, I would rather be doing boxing because it’s single-sided moves. I find that easier to do from a coordination standpoint than the dancing.

My problem is I am like, “How hard do I punch when I’m not punching something?” I feel like an idiot when Ido it. Whenever I see Coach Gabby or Coach Woody do it, I’m like, “You guys look badass. You look strong as hell. You look so amazing killing it up there, and I’m in my house feeling and looking like a baby giraffe. It’s so bad.” I do them, though, because this is my number one rule. This should be everyone’s number one rule. Always incorporate things that either you don’t like or you’re not good at because it’s such an important muscle to work with. Mentally, it’s so valuable to be bad at something. I feel like that is so important. That’s in life but it’s also on Tonal. When you workout, it’s so important to do things that you’re not innately good at because that’s where you need the most practice. I do them but it takes a certain day and time. I would be like, “This is going to suck. I’m going to be terrible at it but here we go.”

Every once in a while, you can see your reflection in the Tonal. They’re doing shadow boxing and I’m over there looking like I’m having a slap fight with a goat. I look like I’m getting attacked by a bee.

Hand me any of the Coach Jared, Coach Gabby high-intensity classes and I’m there. I’m all about it. For me, incorporating more cardio on Tonal has been essential as I’m getting more used to doing on Tonal workouts being filmed. As you both know, years ago, we only had content where we were coaching people. We were not working out with the members. Now that we have a variety of on Tonal, off Tonal, cardio, bootcamps, HIIT classes that we’re shooting, I need to get in better shape. I did a shoot where at the end, I thought I was going to die.

If you need to get in better shape, what hope do we have?

This is because I don’t do it enough. It was eye-opening. I was like, “This is something that I need to incorporate more.” I posted it on my Instagram. I was like, “I’m going to change my training up a lot more. I’m doing a lot more bootcamps and HIIT classes. I’m feeling a difference.” What’s funny is with HIIT classes and cardio, either your body weight or you’re doing more reps at a lighter weight, whatever that may be, whether it’s on Tonal or not, you’re preparing your body for lifting. When I get on to Tonal, even though I’m not doing a HIIT class, I find that I recover so much quicker in between my working sets, even in a strength program.

Maybe it’s not my heart rate getting in my way on those twelve goblet squats but instead, it’s the fatigue in my muscles. That’s what I’ve seen the most. I’ve changed my training up intentionally. I started to add in a lot more cardio and bootcamps. I’ve noticed the most that when I come back to my strength workouts, I’m going quicker in between. I’m not having to pause nearly as much but that’s a cool added benefit that I don’t feel as worn out, and I can move a little bit quicker.

TSS 33 | Cardio Versus Strength


I had a moment like that not too long ago. We talked about this in the other show. We went to see Marc Maron, the comedian. We get to the door. You need to show vacs but you also were supposed to wear a mask. We didn’t realize that our masks are in the car. We got back to the car. The show started in five minutes because we were late. We book it back to the car and then we’re booking it back inside. We’re almost all the way back inside. We’re talking while we’re doing this. Crystal’s like, “A year ago, you would’ve been bent over panting.”

I’ve always done a lot of cardio comparatively but since Tom’s new to it, this was a very new experience. We were booking it. There was no out of breath or breaking a sweat.

We’re talking the whole time. I was like, “I guess this does matter over time.”

It’s so important. The biggest difference between regular cardio, whether you’re on a bike or you go running, is those are great for that. When you do that kind of cardio, you’re improving the function and the health of your heart, that movement pattern, whatever that pattern is if you’re on an elliptical, on a bike or you’re running outside. When you’re doing actual HIIT classes or bootcamp classes, you’re working through the same movement patterns that you’re going to do in your weightlifting workouts.

You’re able to do both. You’re doing cardio but you’re also continuing to strengthen those same movement patterns in those muscles for what you do on Tonal. That’s where I’ve seen the biggest difference with myself. When I get on stage and I then go work out, I’m feeling so much better, not because I’ve gone running, which is great for you, but because I’ve done cardio versions, high-intensity versions of the workouts and the movements that I do on Tonal.

It’s like when a batter swings two bats in the on-deck circle. You go up to the plate and you only got one bat. When they’re warming up in the on-deck circle. There’s a guy at-bat and then the next guy is in the on-deck circle. He’ll swing two bats to loosen up. When he gets to the plate, he’s only allowed to use one for fairness. I don’t even know if it would benefit them. He’s used to swinging two bats and now his bat weighs lighter.

That reminds me of my program, Power to the Max. We use a method called Post Activation Potentiation. What you do is long. In that program, we have 3, 5, 3, 5, 3 as the rep scheme. You can do a variety of rep schemes. Usually, it’s like 6, 1, 6, 1, 6, 1 but to make it easier, I did 5, 3, 5, 3, 5. What that does on Tonal when you have the three reps, it’s heavier weight. When you do the five reps, it’s lighter weight.

You can bring more power into that five-rep range because your body thinks from the set before that it’s about to lift the weight of the three reps, which is heavier. You’re able to bring more power and intensity. What they’re doing with that is they’re tricking the body and the nervous system into thinking like, “I have to swing this many pounds. I don’t have to? Now I can swing way quicker and stronger.” I now know sports.

I’m curious if there’s a good mix of cardio and strength that people should target. Should they go for a number of minutes each? To your point, you want to work on your heart and keep it healthy but you want to lift. How do you do both?

One of the questions I get the most often is, “How do I mix up my cardio and my strength? I don’t know which is which.”

What’s the exact amount of cardio that I have to do so I don’t have to do one second more?

We know that you do cardio first before your strength. I remember you telling me this. It always comes down to what your goal is. If your goal is to improve your running, then running is important. Your strength is going to complement that. If your goal is to get stronger on Tonal, if you’re trying to squat more, feel better for life, feel stronger in your daily life with your kids and friends, going hiking, going on vacation, then you want to make sure that your strength training stays at the epicenter of what you’re trying to do. Your cardio should complement that. With that being said, you should still do a majority of strength training and allow the cardio to be that complement.

I like to think strength training being 70% of what you do and allowing the cardio to be that complementary like maybe 30% to 40%. A lot of the time, it looks like 3 to 4 days of strength training and then 2 to 3 days of cardio. If strength training is your goal, you shouldn’t have any bootcamps and HIIT classes more than two times a week, three max. They can be short. We have plenty of ten-minute cardio on Tonal. That’s different.

You could do that after a lifting workout but I would say a 30-minute-plus cardio workout or bootcamp shouldn’t be more than 2, maybe 3 times a week if being stronger is your goal because it’s a complement. Cardio is not your main goal. When it comes to the training parameters, it’s very important to do your strength training first if you are going to do cardio on the same day. That’s because we don’t want to tire out the muscles and even the nervous system for strength training.

Even if strength training is not your main goal, strength training puts your body under a lot more load and tension. There’s more risk of injury when you have 100 pounds on a barbell or your underload, whatever that is. You want to make sure that you are fresh and at the top of your game with your tank completely full when you do strength training and actual weightlifting. Allow the cardio to be that burner that ends like, “Everything else I have left.” The risk is a lot lower. You’re not under tension. It’s body weight. You are able to push yourself to the end without putting your body at risk.

That is very good advice. I have to do strength first. If I try to do cardio, I can feel my muscles already shaky. I don’t feel as sturdy when I go to do the moves. I can’t do them properly. I have tweaked my back before doing that so I have to be careful. Tom is the opposite.

It’s better to save dance, cardio, or high-intensity camps for your off days. Share on X

Tell us why, Tom?

Here’s why. I like to do things in the worst way possible. The real reason I do it is because if I do the strength first and then I’m going to do a cardio program, I’m like, “I already worked out. That’s probably enough,” then I stopped. I feel like if I do the strength at the end, I’m more likely to be like, “I ran around like an idiot. That doesn’t count. I’m going to do this other thing.” That’s my way of tricking myself into doing both. I’m afraid I would only do one.

If you’re doing dance cardio, high-intensity bootcamps, those are better done on off days anyways. You’re mimicking movement patterns that you do when you weightlift. It’d be different if you were going out on the run. You could do that on the same day as you’re lifting. You can still do bootcamps and stuff on the same days as lifting. Some of those classes are also a little bit longer. If you’re going to do a weightlifting class and it’s any more than 30 minutes, doing another 30-minute class, you should be pushing yourself so much when you’re on Tonal. I worked so hard. I don’t feel like I could even do cardio. That’s the goal. Saving high-intensity things like that for your off day and your bootcamps are more ideal because it is a little bit different than if you were doing running or going outside for stairs or something like that.

I have a couple of bodyweight cardio things saved. When I’m in front of the machine, I don’t want to think. I wanted to hit a button and go because if not, I’ll talk myself out of it. My default nature is fat and lazy.

All of us are. Who is like, “I want to work hard every day?” We all have to push ourselves for that.

I could lie on the couch, eating chocolate, drinking wine and watching crime murder shows every day of my life. I’d be fine with that.

I would want to be right next to you. I like to do all of those things.

On Hulu, there’s a show called Guilty or Innocent. They show you the crime. You know the person who did it for the most part. They were arrested and then you followed the trial. A lot of times, they’re like, “The person did it but are they guilty?” It is riveting, exhilarating and heartbreaking. Each episode is a different case. It’s good. Back to cardio, the Allison one you were referencing is one of the ones I have saved. I have one that Jared did when you guys were doing them from home. I have it banked. It’s 20 seconds on, 20 seconds off. I hate it but by the time I’m like, “This sucks,” I’m like, “There are only five more seconds. I can do this.”

That’s what cardio should do in a lot of ways. When it tests you in that way, it’s so important to test that part of our brain, drive and grit. For some people, maybe cardio is easy like for Crystal. For me, cardio tests that part of me. That willingness to push myself, that’s where I can appreciate cardio.

That’s me, especially on those Bulgarian split squats and strength. For some reason, anything that’s pushing overhead, whether it’s an overhead press or bench press, anything with my shoulders and upper body, I hate all of it. How do people find a way to balance it? We talked about what’s a good mix time-wise. How do you find the balance? What if you don’t have a goal? What if you’re like, “I just want to be fit. I want to lose weight?” What do you do to find a good mix?

I think 60/40 in that sense is probably good. I still always lean on the side of more strength training. The benefits from strength training are so best. Not only are you going to get stronger but it’s also great for metabolism, joint function, and your health for an elongated amount of time throughout your entire life. It is preparing you to be a healthier, stronger, more able-bodied individual. Not only is there that literal advantage of strength training but it’s also incredible for body composition.

A lot of people do cardio for body composition, which is why I say that. Assume that it’s going to have more calorie burn and it’s going to be better for you in that way. It is good for you. I still think that it’s always important to have mostly strength training and then allowing cardio to still be that complement. Strength training is where the good stuff happens. That’s where the change starts to happen. That’s where the muscles grow and the fat starts to diminish. That’s where we get stronger. We see the physique changes. That’s strength training. That’s not cardio, but cardio is a great thing to make sense.

For anyone who’s general fitness like, “I don’t know when to do cardio,” I would personally do a Monday, Wednesday, Friday strength training split, cardio Tuesday, Thursday. Maybe do cardio on Saturday or maybe do a HIIT class on Saturday or Sunday where you are underload but you’re still working a little bit quicker and working that heart muscle.

Maybe on Tuesdays and Thursdays, you’re doing a bodyweight bootcamp, dance cardio or kickboxing in between your lift days. That’s great if you’re doing it three times a week. If you’re doing four times, I would do Monday, Tuesday lift, Wednesday an off Tonal cardio option, Thursday, Friday lift and then Saturday or Sunday either a HIIT or another off Tonal cardio option. That’s how I would shape days. Still, the majority is strength training but a nice even split. It’s not too skewed to one side. It’s important to do both. They’re both super valuable.

When you’re talking about body composition and the value of strength training, personally, I’ve been stunned because I’ve lost a bunch of weight. I’ve been this weight before but I haven’t had this appearance before. I’m only 5 pounds lighter than when she and I got married. If you look at the picture side by side, I look like I’m 15 or 20 pounds lighter. I was still wearing XL t-shirts and they fit okay. I had to get rid of all my XL t-shirts and switched to large over 5 pounds. That’s more than weight driving that.

It is more than just caloric burn and caloric deficit when it comes to changing our body composition. A lot of the time, people associate cardio with a caloric deficit, “That’s what’s going to get me to burn calories,” but that will take you so far. It’s an incredible complement to changing your body composition, meaning changing fats and creating more muscle, changing the composition of what makes up your body. What strength training does is it changes that. In my book, cardio is always going to be a complement to heavy lifting.

Strength training helps you get stronger and is great for your metabolism rate, joint function, and overall health. It prepares you to be a healthier, stronger, and more able-bodied individual. Share on X

There are tons of cardio options on Tonal. If somebody hates cardio and they’re like, “Shut up. I’ll do it,” where would you recommend that they start? What’s a good way to dip your toe into the miserable waters of cardio?

I laugh because I think that way. The bodyweight bootcamps are great. I know for sure mine. For most of them, I offer variations to each exercise for high or low impact. I’m pretty sure that most of those bodyweights, once the coaches acknowledge like, “You could take out the jump or you can do this.” I like those because you can adjust. The thing about the high intensity on Tonal is those are not workouts where you can change the exercises. Those are a little bit less adjustable. For anyone who doesn’t know, on programs where we are not working out with you or workouts we’re not working out with you, there’s an option at the bottom left part of your screen to be able to change the movement. I don’t feel like enough people know that.

I used that. There’s one particular move that I will not do. I always swap it out.

It’s a great option for sure. You can’t do that in high-intensity classes. I do find that those are a little bit more challenging. We do have beginner ones and stuff but you are underload on Tonal so it’s always going to be a little bit harder. The dance cardio is a great option because there are ones that are leveled out. The chance of you getting injured because of being under heavy load when you’re getting tired, especially if you’re a beginner, is going to be so much lower in a dance cardio class. You’re still going to get into a cardio workout. Those ones white me out more than a lot of the other classes. Also kickboxing.

If someone’s trying to incorporate cardio for the first time or maybe not running, not biking cardio, do the off Tonal stuff. Read the descriptions because in the descriptions a lot of the time we say like, “Coach Nicolette offers variations for high impact or low impact.” Find the ones that are beginner or all levels. Whenever I program for an all-level workout, that means I’m going to be queuing for all levels personally. It’s usually what that means, all levels, beginner, bodyweight, cardio options. You can also do them anywhere. That’s cool too.

Before we let you go, I have a quick question about the replacement stuff. You and I had talked about this. When you hit replacement, it normally gives you 3 or 4 options and they pop up in a row. My question is, is it showing them to you in any particular order? Is the first one in the queue like, “This is the closest replication to the thing you’re not going to do,” then it stair-steps down or is it like, “Here are three things, pick one?”

No, I don’t think so. I haven’t replaced a move in a while but the only reason I say, “No, I don’t think so” is because I feel like I’ve had to scroll through a little bit to find the one that I feel like is the closest, but I’m not positive. What we’re looking at with the moves replacement is the movement pattern. First of all, the movement pattern being similar and then the Tonal setup being similar because we don’t want to have you move it.

I’m pretty sure there’s almost always an off Tonal option. The off Tonal option is probably going to be the farthest. If it’s an on Tonal move, it’s probably the farthest from being the most closely related. I would first look at the movement pattern. If you’re making a lunge, then all the lunge variations are going to be the most similar. Less similar would be a split squat versus a reverse lunge. It’s the same but slightly different movement pattern. A resisted glute bridge would be a bilateral hinge movement. It’s probably not nearly as closely related as lunge movement. Look at the pattern itself. Look at what your legs or arms are doing and find whatever is closest to that.

I think I’m choosing properly. The thing I’m always bailing on is the thing where the barbell chokes you, the front squat.

You would change to goblet.

That’s what I picked because it seems the closest. I can do all the things. I just would like to breathe while I do it.

Has he watched any of my Tonal Talks?

He got so frustrated, Nicolette.

I know this isn’t the topic we’re talking about but real quick. The front squat is challenging. Know that that is so normal in the front squat. It should be touching the neck. As a back story, I’ve had clients who have done front squats with me. I’ve had to take the bar off because it emotionally is very overwhelming. They’re not used to things touching their neck. It’s a very sensitive area. We don’t like things on our neck. That’s not comfortable as humans. It’s very common for that movement to be uncomfortable. The biggest piece of advice I can give is to practice it for a couple of weeks or even a couple of months.

Strength training is where the good stuff happens. It’s where the change starts to happen. Share on X

In a custom workout, you don’t need to do these front squats. Do it as barre move. Do it lightly. Slowly add weight every week and get comfortable with the arms. Watch my Form in Fives. There are a couple of squat videos in the official Tonal community where I go over the front squat, the positioning, and the bar. It tends to be helpful for people as well. Switching it up for the goblet is fine too. A lot of people do that. Depending on your shoulder mobility, the front squat might be super-duper challenging and that’s okay. The goblet squat is also an incredible exercise. It works in a similar movement pattern.

That’s good to know that I’m not wasting my time by doing it. I also don’t want to get so far removed like, “Instead of this, I do a pushup.” Every time I get that move, instead I eat ice cream. Thank you so much for joining us. Before we let you go, remind everyone where they can find you.

I’m @Coach.Nicolette on Instagram. You can find me in the official Tonal community. I try to be as active as possible but we’re up to 20,000-plus members. It’s getting a little bit harder. NicoletteAWellness.com is my website. You can reach out to me if you have questions about movement, technique, posture, program design, curriculum and things like that. Thank you both so much. This is great.

Thank you.

I guess that brings this episode to a close. Until next time, where can people find you?

People can find me on Facebook at Facebook.com/crystaldokeefe. They can find me on Instagram and Twitter, and the Tonal leaderboard @ClipOutCrystal.

You can find me on Twitter @RogerQBert or on Facebook at Facebook.com/tomokeefe. You can find the show online at Facebook.com/supersetpodcast. While you’re there, be sure to like the page and join the group. Wherever you’re getting your podcasts from, be sure and follow us so you never miss an episode. That’s it for this one. Thanks for tuning in. Until next time, keep lifting.

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About Coach Nicolette

I strive for not aesthetic or lifting results, but how you feel from the things you do.