Coach Ash Wilking Talks ‘Four Week Fast Track Challenge’

The Superset | Ash Wilking | Tonal January Program


  • The Four Week Fast Track Challenge is here!
  • More details from Tonal’s State Of Strength report.
  • Details on new Movement Replacement feature.
  • New content overview:
  • Knee-Friendly Lower Body
  • Epic Chest & Triceps
  • Full-Body Supersets
  • Biceps, Triceps, & Planks
  • 400-Rep Chellenge
  • Gradual Strength

All this plus our interview with Coach Ash Wilking!

Watch the episode here

Listen to the podcast here


Coach Ash Wilking Talks ‘Four Week Fast Track Challenge’

Welcome to episode 61.

Welcome to our first episode in 2024.

We’re starting 2024 everybody else. I am super excited about this new program that Tonal has going.

The Four-Week Fast Track Challenge, which we’ll be talking about in this episode. We’ll also be interviewing Coach Ash. She can tell us even more about the Four-Week Fast Track Challenge.

This is the third time we’ve had this challenge. Isn’t that crazy? It seems like that’s too fast.

It hasn’t been that long already. That’s crazy. We have all sorts of things coming up for you on this episode. We’re going to talk about all the new programs and workouts for people just to let you know. Especially since it’s the first of 2024, maybe some of you out there are stumbling upon us and you got a Tonal.

That is true. We also have some tips for you on how to use your Tonal and get the most from your Tonal. We have a whole discussion about perimenopause as well. We’ve got a lot going on in this episode.

We should also take this chance to remind people about the friends and family program that they have going on there at Tonal. You can refer family, friends, or general acquaintances. I don’t think they make you prove that your friends.

It’s anybody you know. Send them on over.

You can give them $125 off their Tonal purchase. You, as a member, will get a one-month free membership when you refer a friend and they purchase a Tonal. You could do that up to ten times a year. That’s almost a whole free year if you can spread the word to that degree.

You should because Tonal is freaking awesome.

If you want to know how to do that, it’s easy. You go to the Tonal app, click on Settings, go to Refer Tonal, and select Referral Program because you’re there to refer. It’s all pretty self-explanatory. They give you a special link and you’re good to go.

Share it with your friend, done.

I want to get to the shameless plugs. Don’t forget that you can find us on Apple Podcasts, YouTube, and Spotify. Wherever you find a podcast is where you can find us. While you’re there, be sure to follow us so you never miss an episode. Maybe leave us a review. That is super helpful and greatly appreciated. You can also find us on Facebook at While you’re there, like the page and join the group. You can watch all of these episodes, including our instructor interview, over on YouTube at, which is the name of our other show but these episodes live there as well. There’s all that. Let’s dig in, shall we?

We shall.

Let’s talk high-level about the Four-Week Fast Track Challenge, which we will get into more in-depth later in the episode with Coach Ash.

This one is titled Evolution. It’s the third annual January challenge. This specific focus is going to help you accelerate your strength gains and stay engaged all month long because you’re going to be using different training methods in every single workout. It started on January 1st, 2024. It’s not too late to join when you read this. It’s never too late ever. You could start in February 2024 or whatever it is. It doesn’t matter.

As far as why you would want to join, you’ll get a chance to take a class with all the different coaches. They are all amazing. You also get to select from two different tracks so you’re going to have one that’s a beginner and then they have another track that is for your intermediate and advanced users. The other big thing is you’re going to get a different training method every single workout. The best part for me is you get new badges when you complete the workout. Who doesn’t like new badges? New badges are fun.

If you say so. They don’t motivate me. A lot of people dig them, which is why they do them but it’s never been my jam.

The people who were not happy about not having a Christmas badge would disagree with you.

Wholeheartedly, yes. It’s also a great sampler platter for coaches.

What a great way to check out all the different coaches with their different ways of teaching and their different senses of humor. It is a good sampler platter.

It gives you a great pivot point when you’re done with this. If you had a coach you particularly enjoyed, you can go find one of their workouts or programs and move on from there. If you’re wondering what the difference is between the beginner programs and the intermediate program/advanced, and where you fall, and you’re wondering if you feel like maybe you’ve got a foot in both worlds, our interview will help you suss out which camp you should sort yourself into. It’s like a sorting hat except please don’t sue us, Warner Brothers. I also want to remind people about Tonal’s State of Strength report that came out.

There was so much interesting information in this that if you haven’t gotten a chance to check it out, I highly recommend that you do. It’s all of the top training trends that are going on. They take a year’s worth of anonymized data.

Don’t worry, they’re not watching you specifically.

It has 175,000 unique users from October 1st, 2022 through October 1st, 2023. This is where we’re getting this super deep insight. It’s pretty cool to look into this. I also think it’s good to know because they look at the predictions for the future of strength training. The best part is they’re illustrating a path forward for an industry that’s constantly evolving.

One of the cool things about Tonal that sometimes people lose sight of is that they can collect data in a way that’s never been available before. Before, if you’re going to collect, especially strength training data, and you’re like, “How many sets did you do? When did you fatigue? At what point did you give up on something and move on to something else,” if you were even asking that question, you could only ever get self-reported data, which we all know self-reported data is garbage.

It’s questionable at best.

You’re so much kinder than me. You’re like, “It’s questionable,” and I’m like, “It’s dog crap.” It’s questionable dog crap. We’ll meet in the middle.

It’s somewhere on that whole trend line.

With the Tonal, they know exactly when someone stopped lifting, started struggling, or saw gains. There’s no like, “I feel like I’m doing better. I think I did better that day. I don’t want to look bad so I’m going to write down that I can bench press 125 pounds.”

I was thinking about this because I was doing a workout. I’m working through a custom program that we talked about to Kristina Centenari last episode where it’s all about the runner’s strength. It was interesting to watch because my power started sliding on my third set and I noticed that it dropped pretty significantly on my bench presses. I started so well. I thought this is exactly the kind of thing that Tonal excels at to your point because I can not only see I lifted that weight over and over again but I can see how quickly I lifted that weight. That’s a big thing.

The important thing to remember, which is a little bit I’ve learned, is that struggle isn’t a failure. You want to be struggling by the end of sets like that because that’s how you gain muscle. In those moments, it’s easy to get frustrated or down on yourself because I know I do. It’s funny when you say it. I’m like, “That’s good, though.” When it’s happening to me, I’m like, “This is the worst ever.”

That resonates with people.

That’s ultimately a very good indication, especially when you’re making it to the third set before that happens. If that happens on the first set, then the weight is too high. I’m not a licensed personal trainer. You are. No one’s ever licensed me for anything except driving.

You can learn and you have. You’ve learned a lot, if nothing else, by being around the ecosystem.

It’s through osmosis. I don’t want people to think I’m more educated about this stuff than I am.

I appreciate that.

I do offer free legal advice.

No one should ever take it but he does offer it.

This is why Warner Brothers won’t sue us over our sorting hat because they know what a great legal mind I am. As you’re digging into your New Year workouts, we should remind people that Movement Replacement has been expanded.

It used to be we would go to the Movement Replacement and be like, “I don’t want to do this one.” They would give you this super small subset of classes of moves to be able to swap out that were very similar to what you were doing. The thought process was that if you were doing a well-rounded workout and they had programmed it in, you would swap it out for something that you would be able to do but would still be what had been intended. Through the feedback of this community, they found that they needed to be able to be more inclusive for people because there are people that have all kinds of reasons for not doing a movement.

Let’s say an overhead press. Maybe it’s a person who has a shoulder issue that they can’t lift above their head. Maybe they don’t have an arm. There are a million reasons why things would need to be more inclusive. Tonal has listened to the feedback that came from this community and they made a new setting or update that when you go to Movement Replacement, you can choose from all 240 available movements, whether they use the same muscle group or not.

You can swap it out for anything you want. I like how they do it. If you’ve been using Movement Replacement, don’t worry, it still gives you the suggested six movements that get close to replicating what you’re trying to do. My concern when I saw this initially was, “I want to do something close to what they want me to do but I don’t want to do that,” which is lifting weight with my Adam’s apple.

It’s another tab. The first thing you get shows you like, “If you’re doing a leg movement, here are the six closest leg movements for you.” It still gives you the option where it says Similar Setup, whether it’s barbell or handles. You can choose from the ones that use those settings. There’s another tab that says  All Movements. If you want to go rogue and do something like, “I don’t care if it’s a leg day, I’m throwing in biceps,” you can go in and do that but it doesn’t clutter it up by showing you every conceivable move like Tinder and you’re swiping and swiping.

We’ve started doing a new segment on the show where a coach drops in and answers a quick question from people. In this episode, we’re going to talk to Coach Tanysha. She’s going to talk to us about using Tonal in conjunction with perimenopause. Also, we should say if you have questions that you would like a coach to answer in the future, that’s a wonderful reason to join the Facebook group at You can leave a question there.

You can also always email me at

If you have a question you would like a coach to ask, we can’t promise you that you’ll get a specific coach but if you have a preferred coach, maybe include that and we’ll see if we can get him or her. If you’ve got a question, shoot it our way. Here is Tanysha Renee talking about perimenopause.

“How can I use existing programming to train as a woman in perimenopause? Perimenopause can last several years, actually much longer than it’s commonly thought to be. For some women, it happens as early as their late 30s and then it continues well into their early to mid-50s. The body can be experiencing those fluctuations for quite some time.”

“Since that’s the case, we do want to start putting into practice the use of load-bearing exercises to combat some of that bone density decrease, as well as any potential atrophy of the muscles, losing strength in the muscles. 20-in-20: Functional 5 by yours truly, Tanysha Renee, is one of my favorite programs on Tonal. It allows you to get in and out very quickly but it is also very functional and effective. Be sure to take a look.”

As there is every episode, there have been all sorts of new content released. Let’s start with different workouts and programs we should explain to the newer people.

Workout is one workout. Everything that you’re going to get out of it is all in that one workout.

One and done, it’s like an appetizer.

Whereas a program is several workouts strung together. Tonal’s programs are anywhere from 1 week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks, and up to 4 weeks. In this particular instance, we are saying workouts so each one is one workout.

Don’t worry, we’ll get to some programs.

They’re next.

We’re going to start with workouts. Here you go.

The first one is the Knee-Friendly Lower Body. This is for anyone with achy joints. For anybody that has some pain in their knees, this is going to help you be able to do a lower body workout where you can still build strength but you’re going to be working around the discomfort. You’re going to get a focused warmup, reduced weights, and an emphasis on your posterior chain. That’s going to help you strengthen the muscles around your knees and avoid excessive bending so you can focus on feeling good and getting strong.

Up next is Epic Chest & Triceps.

This is great because you are going to be able to work on gains in the targeted upper body. You’re going to lift heavy with your chest and triceps. That’s going to drive hypertrophy. You’re going to take advantage of burnout mode and keep repping it out even as your muscle starts to fatigue. As to Tom’s point, failure is a good thing. This is going to give you a variety of rep ranges and you’re going to build muscle and stamina as you get a lot of volume.

Trust the process, trust the program. Share on X

Next is Full-Body Supersets. I love the fact that they named one of these workouts after the show.

It had nothing to do with the name of the show being named after a movement type of thing.

Did they come first?

I think so.

I didn’t know.

That was a whole thought process. For the Full-Body Superset, you’re going to reach muscular failure and this is going to help build that hypertrophy. It’s a short but super intense session. You’re going to go back and forth between low-rep heavyweight sets in a high-duration set targeting similar muscles both times. You’re going to feel the burn because they’re going to be back-to-back. That’s going to help you build more lean muscle in less time.

Your fourth and final workout is the Biceps, Triceps, & Planks.

If you’re looking to focus on some muscles that maybe you don’t pay attention to all the time, this would be a good place to do that. This is going to help you prep for a massive pump in this upper-body workout that feels like an uphill climb. The challenge intensifies with each block as the exercises increase in difficulty and work duration. By the end, you’re going to have a burn that’s going to prove you did a job well done.

We have some programs for people.

I’m curious about this.

I am too. I was like, “I might do this one next.”

All of the words are toward us type A people. It’s called the 400-Rep Challenge. The idea is that you’re going to have this high-volume program and it’s all about wrapping it out while you’re fighting that fatigue. First, you’re going to build up to 300 reps per workout. You’re going to alternate between upper and lower body sessions while climbing up and down the rep pyramid to test your muscular endurance but then you show your mental fortitude when you plant your flag atop the 400 rep mountain. This is with Coach Tanysha.

She sounded so nice when she was talking about perimenopause and then she turned around and did something like this.

You’re going to feel this one.

I have no doubt. The other program is Gradual Strength, which is the exact polar opposite of the 400-Rep Challenge.

Not only that but it focused toward beginners. It’s going to simplify everything because it’s going to introduce you to the fundamental movement patterns that you’re going to be using every time you use Tonal. That’s going to help boost your confidence. You’re going to get guidance on every step and workout. They’re full-body workouts, which is great because you’re getting the most bang for your buck every time you hop on the Tonal. They’re going to give you gradual increases in resistance and that’s going to keep the sessions manageable while still encouraging you to challenge yourself. You’re going to feel empowered when you’re done with this. This is by Coach Kristina.

It’s a great place to start if you’re new to the world of Tonal, or maybe you’re not only new to the world of Tonal but you’re new to the world of strength training. That’s how I was. Some people come in and they’ve already been lifting free weights and they have some comfort level. I had nothing. If I was brand new, that would be my jam.

You would not want to start with the 400-Rep Challenge.

That’s a good way to get hurt.

Also, depressed like, “I can’t do it.” You would feel overwhelmed.

It could hurt your feelings.

You could hurt everything. Don’t do that as a beginner.


In this episode, joining us from Tonal is Coach Ash, who is here to talk to us about the new January Challenge. She’s trying to trigger Zoom emojis because we discovered that she has the magic power.

I don’t know what you guys are talking about. I was giving the team a thumbs-up.

On her screen, there was a thumbs-up emoji that appeared on the screen out of nowhere.

Coach Ash has magic powers. Welcome.

Thank you. It’s good to be back with you, guys.

Is this a new feature? Will my Tonal workouts be doing this?

That would be fun. We should throw that out to the team.

It wouldn’t be cool if every time you, as a coach, are doing the coaching.

They got thumbs-up emojis on the screen.

With my luck, it would only work on decline fly and I would never see it. I’d turn around and be like, “What was that?”

I’ve had many times where I forget to turn the sound up for the beeps. I’m like, “How many revs am I on?”

I have the same problem but it’s not about beeps. It’s about that I’m weak. I’m like, “How is this not done yet? This machine is broken.”

You hear it giving you form feedback and you’re like, “I don’t want to look. Don’t tell me.”

I like my Apple Watch for that reason because the last three reps give you a light tap when it gets down to the end. How do you use your Tonal, people? We’re here to help.

I don’t have an Apple Watch. I was missing out on all that fun.

We only had money for one. She got it.

He would never use it. He hates watches.

I don’t have an Apple device and I hate watches. I could have an Apple Watch if I wanted one.

Please, don’t add me.

Yes, don’t add her.

Ash, you’re here to talk about the new January Challenge. I’m curious if we can start with how this particular challenge is different than 2023 because there are some differences.

There are a lot of differences in an exciting way. The nice thing about the Four-Week Fast Track is we always go with that four-week program. It is going to be a longer program. We always have two tracks. We’re going to have a beginner program and an intermediate track that will be intermediate and/or advanced. For any of our advanced users who are like, “Where’s ours,” the intermediate is going to include some more advanced movements. For those users who are in between and are like, “I’m an intermediate,” it will trend a bit more on the advanced side. We’ll be bringing some of our new bodyweight movements.

We’re going to be doing some nutrition on the side. Members will be getting all of our fun, coach-inspired recipes. For those of us who don’t cook, we’ll be like, “Try these things that I like to have.” As always, we’re going to follow an improved fitness focus. That will be our goal, which is to build muscle, get leaner, and improve fitness.

Most of us are coming off of the holidays in 2023. We’re coming off of 1 or maybe 2 months of not necessarily following a program. The idea is to get members moving and moving better. We’re always worrying about movement proficiency. We’re introducing some new movement mechanics. We’re going to focus on different planes of motion and rotation.

It’s like, “I need to get moving. I want to feel better.” There’s plenty of time to build muscle and get lean before the summer, which most people are always interested in doing. I would like to say that our improved fitness is probably the most underrated aspect of our programming. It’s some of my favorites. We’ll do cardiovascular work and endurance work capacity. We’re going to give you all some love with the mobility and the days off because we’re all going to be a little sore.

When you say new movement mechanics, does that mean introducing moves that maybe people don’t do as frequently? Did you guys invent new things to do?

No, it means introducing and/or reintroducing some movement patterns and different mechanics that we have. For some who are not as consistent, doing some lateral movement or a lateral lunge is rocket science. They’re like, “This is different. I’m not used to going in this plane of motion.” We’re trying to say, “Can we not only hit on all of our basics? We’re going to hinge, squat, push, pull, and carry but can we start introducing different planes of motion?” For beginners, we’re introducing some new patterns that maybe they’ve never seen before.

Some of the big questions most people have is, “How many days am I going to be working out?” When we have two tracks, we want to try to mimic them because we don’t want to feel like the beginner track feels wildly different than the intermediate. We also want to be cognizant of different abilities and where we are at our starting point of the program.

We’re going to be doing three days a week. Everyone will be lifting three days a week. That will be a Monday, Wednesday, and Friday split. For the beginner track, we’re going to do 2 rest days and 2 supplements/recommended days. Those are going to be your stretch and mobility to get you moving on your off days in between lifting. You do have those full rest days on Saturday and Sunday.

You don’t have to follow those exact days. I personally like Mondays off. I like to work out on the weekends. You can adjust them but we try to make it so that everyone feels like it is consistent. For our intermediate track, what we’ll do is we’re still going to have the three days of lifting but we’re going to do an additional supplementary day rather than two rest days. You have one rest day.

Mobility workouts can be fifteen minutes. They can be short and get you moving for the day. What we’ll do is two strength days. On Monday and Friday, on both tracks, we’re going to do strength days. On Wednesday, everyone gets the same HIIT workout. Whenever you tag us in your workout sweaty selfies, it’s like a collective love-hate selfie across the end beginner and the intermediate track.

What we did was we wanted the beginners to feel accomplished in that but we also didn’t want the intermediates to feel like it was lacking. We are able to slightly reduce the weight for our beginner track. You can still get those reps in but maybe it’s not at 100% of what we would prescribe otherwise because we still want you to feel like you can finish out the week. Day 1 and 12 are going to be benchmark programs or benchmark classes.

The big difference that we made with our Four-Week Fast Track for January 2024 is we wanted everyone to have this opportunity to see their progress from day one until the end of the program. You’ll do the same workout. We were in the OTC. One of the things I said was, “If you don’t want to come out the gate too hot, don’t because it’s a benchmark workout.” Tim also reminded us to try and give it our best. You’ll see that progress from the first workout to the twelfth, which is cool. You’ll be able to see the strength that you built over those four weeks, which I love. Those are the big highlights of the program.

Crystal, to go back to your question, I didn’t want to forget it. What are the big differences? We wanted to make sure, specifically with January 2024, because it’s our biggest turnout, that is not only coming and enjoying this program with members who have been here for years but also appealing to those who are like, “I’ve never done a program. I got my Tonal installed. What are you talking about with all of these different types of training styles?” We’re always going to give that learning element of the different types of classes that we can do.

We’re going to talk about German body comp, cluster sets, and pyramids. If you’re an advanced user, you get to hear it again but you’re also going to get your butt kicked. For our newer members or someone who hasn’t done German body comp before, they’re like, “I’ve never heard of this.” You get to learn a little, which is going to empower you when you go to choose your next program. We want you to understand a bit more so you can be like, “I love this program. Let me lean into this,” and also, “I hate this. Maybe I should also lean into this the next time.” Our big thing was we wanted it to be a method behind the madness.

Let's be smart about this. Let's get you through this program and maybe that's a huge change on its own. Share on X

Whether we like it or hate it, we’re supposed to lean into that.

That makes sense because if you love it, keep doing more of it but if you hate it, you probably need to do more of it. Tom hates doing anything balanced. He always gets crappy at it because he needs to do more of it.

Lio Roddy is getting a strongly worded email when this is over.

The best part that I like about what you’re saying is people get a little bit of a sampler platter, which is great to start the year because you’re not locked into anything. You’re trying out this program and doing all the workouts as a group, which is fun to have the comradery of everybody doing the challenge together and you’re all trying different things. I like that.

All the coaches are also coaching. We’re all wildly different in both our expertise and how we come across. It does keep you on your toes. It allows members to get to experience maybe coaches they haven’t tried before. If you’re anything like me, sometimes I’m like, “I want to do something different.” It is January 2024. We need to be excited and stick with it. That first week, we’re like, “Yes, I’ve got this.” By week two, we’re like, “Maybe I don’t get this. I don’t want to show up for this day.” We’re going to keep everybody on their toes but yet we’re being strategic about that progressive overload and how we’re progressing.

One of the things I’ve been saying is, “Trust the process and the program. It’s going to feel very different than if you were to do repeat workouts.” Some programs will say, “You’re going to repeat work week 1 and week 2. In the beginner track, we will be repeating movements but we’ll be changing how we do that so it doesn’t feel as monotonous as sometimes strength training should be.

There’s a time and a place for that. I tend to find myself on week three of any program. My excitement is gone and I always start to lose my motivation. In week three, it starts to go.

This is where I can dive into the differences between the beginner and the intermediate track and the science behind the programming. We’re going to be using daily undulating periodization. You can do this in a lot of different ways in training. Most people are familiar with the undulating periodization that’s done in weeks at a time. For instance, you’ll do those 4 to 6 weeks of a specific program, we’ll change up the stimulus and focus, and you’ll get something different for the next 6 weeks. We’re only doing it for four. Instead, we’re changing those things up daily.

Between Monday and Wednesday, we’re going to change our focus and pattern. It all streams together to create one big goal. We’re trying to prevent anybody from overdoing it. We don’t want to overdo it on volume, HIIT, or endurance-type blocks. We’re going to hit on a few different things so that users don’t ever feel fatigued mentally and physically during any part of the program.

It seems like there’s a lot of science that went into putting this particular program together.

This program may have been the one that we spent the most time programming. Let’s be honest. Sometimes if you do it long enough, it’s easy. It’s like, “Here’s what we’re focusing on. Here’s what we’re going to do. This is where we change. This is where we repeat.” We wanted the beginner track and the intermediate track to feel very similar but also be accessible to either. If we gave the beginner track but did heavier weight, the users in the intermediate program may not feel as fatigued or as challenged. We had to figure out how to change them. There is a method behind the madness, which we’ve talked a lot about in the OTC.

Who is the final arbiter of undulating? I never heard of undulating outside of a Harlequin romance novel.

You’re going to walk away knowing what undulating periodization for strength training means. Our focus is that everyone gets to learn a little bit while they’re doing the program.

Who’s the final decision maker of a certain move or number of reps?

There are a lot of people that come together for this program. You guys have talked with Troy and our sports performance team. You guys have talked with us as coaches. We were all able to sit down. Based on other Four-Week Fast Track programs, we were able to understand that data, where users are like, “I love this class. This one didn’t resonate. Didn’t the completion rate maybe not have been as high?” We’re digging into how members like to train throughout their four-week program and also us, going down to the science and having a little fun being like, “Let’s do Bulgarian split squat internal rotation.”

I knew that was going to be one of them. I had one of those and I was like, “This is the hardest move I’ve ever made on this thing.”

Do you want to know a secret about that one?

What’s that?

Hold on to the Tonal when you do it.

I did. I wasn’t crazy for doing that.

We’re working on stability. Tom knows this because it’s his favorite way to train.

No one has ever described me as stable. I’ll tell you that.

When you do the internal rotation, you can hold onto the back of Tonal because you want to get that internal rotation. If you’re falling all over the place but you’re like, “I need to progress this,” that’s a way to get there. It’s from your friendly neighborhood coach. You’re welcome to do that.

Is that the one where you do the Bulgarian split but you turn while you do it? I was like, “You’re funny.”

I stuck it out.

I feel proud of you for doing that.

Thank you.

I did try it.

This is from the guy that it took me a year to convince to change cable companies when we first met. I am proud of you for trying.

I had to learn all the new numbers.

This doesn’t do well with change.

That’s the only reason my first marriage lasted as long as it did but that was a special hell. I call that the Bulgarian chubby checker split squat because you’re doing the twist.

With the nutrition, differences, programming, and whole challenge being everybody is super involved, is there anything that you would say to be on the lookout for red flags? You’re training too hard. You picked the intermediate-advanced. Even though you’re trying the new nutrition and eating, you’re not recovering fast enough. What are the things people could look for to be careful of?

The one thing I’ll say is that our nutrition is more like nutritional guidance. It’s the same thing that we want out of the actual strength program. We want you to get out of the nutrition program. We worked with registered dieticians to say, “Here are some things that you may want to learn when it comes to your nutrition.” By no means is there going to be a specific meal plan that’ll make people feel like you’re changing too much at one time.

The first thing I’ll say is if you are going into this program and you are changing your entire workout routine, the way you eat, what time you wake up, and how often you’re lifting, all of those things can be very jarring. It’s hard to be consistent when you change that much. Joining this program could be your change. The first week is like, “I’m not even putting sneakers on but I got my workout clothes.” Not even that. You were even in your pajamas but you showed up for the actual workout program.

In week two, you’re like, “I was thirsty in that HIIT program so I’m going to add a little bit more water into week two.” By week three, you’re like, “Maybe I should eat more protein because Joe talks about protein in my smoothies.” That’s the idea. The biggest red flag as a coach is saying too much too soon. That’s not just volume, sets, or movement patterns. It’s across the board. Cold turkey might work for some people. It doesn’t work for me. I’m like, “I can only manage one change now.” That’s what we’re going to focus on.

With how we program the strength and HIIT, the idea with that is that we’re hopefully not changing too much too soon. There’s going to be those two days where we’re going to be lifting focused on hypertrophy and strength. We have the one day in the middle that’s HIIT. It’s a bit more cardiovascular-focused. You have two mobility days and some rest days.

The idea is, “Let’s be smart about this. Let’s get you through this program.” That’s a huge change on its own. When you come back from the holidays and you haven’t used your Tonal in 2, 3, 4, or 10 weeks, recovery mode is your best friend. Even if on your benchmark workout, you have to use recovery mode. Do it because there’s nothing worse than coming back and you start doing a single-sided movement. Your back was like, “I haven’t lifted that in a long time.” Be cautiously optimistic as you get into a new routine.

If you do a recovery one for your benchmark, think about how good the final one is.

I’m not telling you guys about the sandbags.

You’re not telling them that.

Tom, I don’t know what you’re talking about. It can go either way. If you’ve been crushing it and you’re like, “This is a new program. I’m ready full weight and to go for that benchmark,” know that recovery mode is there. It’s something that’s meant to help, not hold you back.

That’s a good point. There are lots of good tips in there.

I was disappointed when you were talking about the nutrition component. I thought there would be snacks. I was like, “This is the best program ever. There are snacks.”

Tanysha will say this all day. She’s like, “I don’t cook.” Her thing is like, “Here’s the best thing to order if you’re going to order.” They’re all healthy-ish versions of things that we all love. Big changes don’t work. Small changes can get you there.

What else do people need to know to get started on January 1st, 2024?

Picking a track is going to be a big one, understanding the difference between beginner and intermediate. The beginner program is going to be fully body-focused the entire time. We are not going to be doing an upper or lower. On Mondays, it will be a full-body strength day. On Friday, it’ll be full strength. On the second workout of the week, it’s going to be a full-body HIIT.

In the intermediate track, on Mondays or day one of that week is going to be a lower body strength. We’ll do HIIT in between and go for upper body strength. If you do the intermediate track, you’re going to feel that fatigue and isolated burn in specific muscle groups. If you’re someone who loves to have that break out in between upper and lower, intermediate track is your way. The beginner track is going to stay with the full body.

The focus is to progress the exercise variations and the intermediate. We’re going to say, “Here’s what you did in week one. In week two, we’re going to do something similar but change the movements and exercises.” In the beginners, you’ll see a bit more repetition but we’ll change how we’re doing those movements to keep it a bit more mentally engaging. A lot of things that people ask are going to be, “Can I do additional workouts?” Let’s be honest, it’s the number one question. It’s like, “What do you mean we’re only doing strength twice a week?” You come off a House of Volume. You’re like, “I should be doing more than this.”

Trust the press and program but on your off days, we set it. If you’re a cardio fan and you like to get your walks, cycling, and runs, add those in. The biggest thing is to level set and ask if doing that run, cycling, and any additional workouts are going to take away from your strength days or your HIIT days on Tonal. That’s the biggest one. It’s great for advanced users still. The difference between intermediate and advanced can be some of the movement exercises that we choose but a lot of it is how heavy you’re lifting. If you know you lift heavy, there’s still going to be great workouts.

A lot of people can get used to longer workouts. We are not going to have any workouts that are going to be over 45 minutes. People who work out on Tonal understand that 45 minutes on Tonal is like two hours in the gym. We don’t waste any time. We keep moving. We don’t have to change equipment or change places in the gym. Remember that less can also be more. We’re going to get it in and get it done. We don’t want to have to spend an hour on your Tonal. We want it to be quick and dirty in and out or going to crush this workout. I’m trying to think of anything else. Those are the big ones.

Those are important things. If somebody has another sport that they’re doing that is their focus sport, like maybe they’re a triathlete, do you have recommendations for which track they should go? Does that still depend on whether you’re able to do it without it taking away, keep doing what you’re doing, and go ahead with an intermediate?

With any program and training, if you are in season, it’s going to be a little different because your sport is gonna take precedence. If you are training for a marathon and your race is the second week of February 2024, and you’re supposed to be tapering, it’s not the best idea to start a brand new program on January 1st, 2024.

If you’re in sport and there is a number one part of your training that you want to stay number one, keep that as the focus. This is mostly meant to be a let’s come together in January 2024, start a new program, do it as a community altogether, and learn a lot together. If you have a sport that you’re focused on, always keep that first.

The way that this program is broken out into 2 full-strength days and 1 HIIT day. It is an easy program to mix in with other training that you’d like to do because you’re getting those lower cardio days but still some heavy lifts. You’re getting some anaerobic work with your HIIT days. You’re going to get that higher heart rate spike. If you’re a runner, you need speed days but you also need a long run zone of two days. With us adding those supplemental days of mobility, it’s easy to space those out and work them into your current training program.

Once you join the program, we use the scheduling. You can also change or move those days. If you go into your app, you can look at the program and say, “I want my long run to be this day. I’m swimming on this day.” You can adjust your training on Tonal. You can do that on the app so that it populates on your Tonal when you’re ready.

I love that feature. I’m such a planner and scheduler.

Anytime we introduce a new feature, there’s always a like, “What is this? How did this work? I don’t know if I like this.” A few months later, people are like, “I couldn’t live without this.” I remember when we were testing the Auto Weight Off feature. I was like, “I don’t like this. People aren’t going to like this. This is awful.” We went through variations of how to make it work for everyone and then I’m like, “This is amazing.” I get done with my gobbled squats and sit there. I’m like, “3, 2, the weight goes off.” You don’t have to worry about it. There are some movements. When it’s heavy, it is difficult to turn the weight.

Even if you’re like, “I don’t want to wait that long,” it’s taking you that long anyway to get your thumb.

Less can also be more. Share on X

The scheduling feature is that way. It is something that I like when it sends me a notification like, “Don’t forget you have day three.” I’m like, “Fine. I’ll do it.”

Thank you so much for taking time with us to walk us through all that, let us know what to expect, and get the most out of it. Before we let you go, remind everybody where they can find you in all the places.

You can find me @AshWilking on Instagram. That is the first place and as always, in the OTC. We’d love to connect. If you’re in the Official Tonal Community, tag us in those posts. That way, we can see those notifications so we won’t miss them. You can catch me on this little thing called Tonal for the workouts.

Thank you again so much.

Thank you both.


That brings this episode to a close. Where can people find you?

People can find me on Facebook at, on all the socials, and on the Tonal leaderboard, @ClipOutCrystal.

You can find me on Twitter @RogerQBert or Facebook at You can find the show online at While you’re there, like the page and join the group. Don’t forget that you can watch all of these episodes on YouTube. That’s it for this one. Thanks for reading. Until next time. Keep lifting.


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