Coach Kristina Talks About Her ‘Deload Workout’ Program

TSS 60 | Deload Program


  • Tonal releases State of Strength report.
  • Tonal’s Year In Review.
  • The Four-Week Fast Track Challenge is here.
  • Updates have been made to Movement Replacement.
  • Coach Ackeem was on The Today Show.
  • Ash Wilking gave her parents a home gym.
  • Coach Ash answers a question from the community.
  • Tons of new content like Glutes To The Max, All-Around Core, Build Your Stamina, and more!

All this plus our interview with Coach Kristina!

Watch the episode here


Listen to the podcast here


Coach Kristina Talks About Her ‘Deload Workout’ Program

Welcome to episode 60. We’re back. We’ll still be doing our same basic cadence. Bear with us while we get through the holidays of 2023 because not everybody is available for recording.

It’s exciting to be back.

We’ve got a new setup for everything.

It won’t be radically different but we’re making some tweaks around the edges to get it a little bit more streamlined and a little bit more information so you can get the most out of your Tonal. Let’s start with what you have in store for people.

We’re going to talk about new features that Tonal has put out. We have some coaches in the news we’re going to cover. We also have special questions that people have submitted for the coaches and the coaches are going to answer those. We also have new content to go over as well.

In this episode, we will be talking in depth with Coach Kristina.

Coach Kristina is going to tell us all about her new programs like the Deload program. We’re going to start with that but we also have a visit from another coach to answer one of your questions. It’s going to be a lot of in-and-out conversations. We’re going to keep it quick and moving. Please let us know what you think. We’d love to hear all about it.

I also want to talk about something real quick before we dig in proper. It’s something that you pointed out to me, which I thought was cool. If you are a Mirror owner, you can trade in your Mirror to get a Tonal. Not one for one but you trade in your Mirror and get $250. You get your first year of membership.

I didn’t see that part.

Through the trade-in program that they’re doing, Tonal is offering customers $250 off the purchase of a certified refurbished Tonal. You get a free membership for the first year and they’ll get rid of your Mirror for you. I feel like a lot of people bought Mirrors thinking that they were like Tonals but cheaper. They’d get them and they were TVs hung sideways. If you’re on the fence, I can assure you, Mirror owner, who’s drifted into this ecoverse, that the Tonal is nothing like the Mirror. It’s like you are lifting weights and gaining muscles. You’re not just doing aerobics. If you want to do aerobic and HIIT-style stuff, it’s on there too.

The weights are built into the machine and Mirror did not have that. You had to use your free weights, whereas Tonal has electromagnetic weights built into the machine. It’s a freaking game-changer. It’s nothing like a Mirror.

If you have a Mirror and you bought a Tonal, when you finally interact with a Tonal, you’re going to be like, “I feel like they stole my money.” This is a way to get it back for you. If you have a Mirror, you should give that some serious consideration. We think that you will be very happy with your decision. Before we dig into the show proper, shameless plugs.

Don’t forget we’re available on Apple Podcasts, YouTube, iHeart, TuneIn, and Spotify. Wherever you find your podcasts, you can find us. While you’re there, be sure to follow us so you never miss an episode. Maybe leave us a review. It’s super helpful and greatly appreciated. You can find us on Facebook at You can watch these episodes on YouTube at, which is the name of our other show but this one lives there too. There’s all that. Let’s dig in, shall we?

We shall.

Tonal has released its 2023 State of Strength report.

This is pretty cool. First of all, when you say they’ve released the 2023 State of Strength report, I want to clarify that this is the first one of its kind. I don’t know if everybody realizes that.

I did not realize that which is why I said the 2023 State of Strength report. This is why we have you here.

It’s pretty cool that they take all of these fun data points and then share them with us. I love hearing this. There are two of my favorites on here. “Women are breaking barriers and lifting heavier. Female members lifted an average of 3,431 pounds per workout.” That’s amazing. I love this so much. “Older adults are fighting age-related muscle loss. Tonal members over 55 increase their strength by an average of 73% in their first year on Tonal.” That’s so cool.

I’m so glad you said 55. I’m not quite there. When you said older, I was like, “65.” When you started with 50, I was like, “Son of a.” You then said, “55.” I’m like, “I got a little bit of time left in my youth.”

You’re just an adult. You’re not an older adult yet.

However, the clock is ticking.

“Consistency peaks in the morning with the most dedicated exercisers working out in the same time window each day.” That makes total sense to me.

I am not a morning guy but I am the same time every day. I’m an afternoon guy but I’m very consistent in the afternoon.

You’re good at, “Nope. I said I was going to do this and I’m going to do this.” I’m not one of those people. At the end of the day, somebody needs me and exercise goes to the back burner. It always does.

I get why most people do it first thing.

It’s understandable. “Artificial intelligence will make science-backed training plans more accessible than ever before without replacing the human element of expert coaches.” It’s interesting.

Are those your key takeaways that you wanted to share?

Those are the key takeaways. That’s the important stuff. There were lots of cool things in there though so I highly recommend if you haven’t read it, please do.

If you want to read the whole thing, it’s over there. You probably got an email about it but if you can’t find that, run over to It’s over there so you can check it out.

State of Strength.

Tonal has also put out their Year In Review. This is not the first year for it.

I love this because I love seeing what you’ve accomplished this year. I love Tonals because I get my Strava and Peloton but do you know what I love about Tonal? It tells you how many pounds you’ve lifted. The thing is it’s so hard to visualize that you lifted something like the Statue of Liberty or a redwood tree. Seeing it broken down that way is so cool. It’s so much better than how many miles you went. I don’t want to say it’s a bigger accomplishment because they’re different accomplishments but it’s not one that I ever would have thought of before I used Tonal.

If you want to see your Custom one, you go into the app and it’s right there on the main page of the app. You can click Year In Review.

That is exactly what you do. It’s little pages so you click to go to the next page. If it’s a static image, you click on your screen.

They also have information about what the Tonal community collectively has done.

It is so cool. 67 billion pounds across the entire Tonal community and 83 Empire State Buildings. My head explodes when I think about that.

I also want to know how they weighed the Empire State Building but go on.

We worked out for 6.2 million hours together. That’s 700 years. This community has grown a lot. Our strength score increased by 92 points. To put that in perspective, that’s the same as adding 4 pounds to a 10-pound rep set of bench presses like keep doing that over and over. That’s crazy.

I saw something else that said it was 67 million. I went and looked because I was curious about what we collectively lifted in 2022. It’s 54. It’s gone up significantly.

Eleven million pounds?

It’s got to be a billion because I have done 2 million pounds in 2023.

Eleven billion pounds, that’s so much. If you think about all of that effort that we’re all putting forth together, that’s pretty cool.

Don’t forget, if you want to see your personal numbers, head on over to your app.

You do have to update it before it works.

If you want to kick the year off right so you can contribute to 2024’s 80 billion pounds, and it’s what we’re shooting for, you can kick off 2024 with the Four-Week Fast Track: Evolution Challenge.

This is going to be the biggest fitness challenge Tonal has ever had. In 2023, I did the Four-Week Fast Track and I loved it. I don’t know if everybody out there got a chance to try it but it was amazing. I am looking forward to trying it out in 2024. This is called Evolution. It’s all about progress so creating those progressive changes that you keep doing long beyond the end of the month. There’s going to be a huge variety of training methods and you’re going to get all the coaches. There’s no boredom happening here. Every week, you get new nutritious recipes to add to the things you’re doing.

That’s great because your diet is such an important part of this process.

These aren’t recipes that are like no fat and you can only have protein.

Eat a protein bar and go to bed.

It’s not that. There’s a whole bunch of good stuff coming. The challenge is going to kick off on January 1st, 2024. It’s going to be four weeks of workouts. You can follow along in the Official Tonal Community. You also can follow along two different tracks. There’s going to be level 1 and then level 2. Within the blog, you can even download printable calendars for whichever one you want to do. The cool part is level one is very beginner-friendly. Even if you just got your Tonal and you’re excited to use it, this is perfect because this is where you need to start. It has all full-body workouts so you’re going to get very well-rounded fitness.

Level two is going to be more for intermediate and advanced lifters. It’s going to introduce that upper and lower body split. That’s going to max out the muscle groups while it allows you time to rest in between. We’re going to hear more about this during our next episode because we’re going to bring in one or more of the coaches specifically to talk about this but for now is a high-level overview. I also thought it was cool because it’s going to have a lot of hypertrophy focus and burning fat focus. They’re going to use things like the German Body Composition.

You might remember when we had a whole conversation with one of the coaches about German Body Composition. We did those workouts and they were so challenging and very effective. There are also going to be cluster sets and pyramid sets. It’s going to be all seven Tonal coaches throughout the program. You’re going to have all kinds of excitement and variety to be able to keep you going for the whole month.

It’s a nice little sampler platter, especially if you’re somebody who just got a Tonal and you’re trying to figure out if you like one coach better than the other and it more fits your style. This is a great way to check them out. If this doesn’t sound like your jam, you want to keep reading because we’re going to go through all sorts of new content, programs, and classes later in the episode.

What a great point.

We want to start giving people little tips and ways to use their Tonals more efficiently.

Maximize it and get every bit of use out of your Tonal.

Maybe there are things you don’t even realize are things. There are lots of little hidden nooks and crannies in the software and sometimes there are little corners you don’t know about. Here’s something that they rolled out. They’ve been doing movement replacements for a while but it was always limited to movements that they felt were similar, which could be frustrating. I use movement replacement a lot because I am a puss. We all know my long-standing struggle with the one where they want you to lift the barbell with your Adam’s apple.

I believe you. We call that the front barbell squat.

I don’t even bother to commit the name of that move to memory because I hate it so much.

What if you accidentally choose it in the movement replacement?

I will immediately leave the program and pick a new program. That’s how much I hate that movement. It goes like racism, that movement, and then maybe like the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie. It’s bad but now, you can choose from all the movements.

This is cool because if you have an injury or maybe you have a limb difference or a temporary issue with lifting above your head, things like that, or a range of motion issue, you can choose a movement replacement. Not just within the similar ones. Now, you can choose from all 240. Let’s say that there is a shoulder press but you’re not allowed according to your doctor to lift above your head. No problem. Swap it out for something you can do.

If your doctor’s like, “No, you can’t do that,” you can still do lat exercises or bicep curls. You can add those instead. It gives people a lot more flexibility and how they use Tonal. It also is specific to people who might have found ways to use Tonal but not be able to get into the programming world because they had to make all of these custom workouts work for them. It’s a great way to be more inclusive to the entire community for all kinds of different reasons and also be more flexible for people.

Sometimes the problem I ran into was with the one that I refused to do. Is it the Adam’s apple press?

The front barbell squat.

Yes, the trachea squat. For a long time, I had replaced that with a goblet squat. I stopped doing the goblet squat. This is going to sound like a humble brag and I don’t mean it like this but I had maxed out the weight on the goblet squat. I hated doing it because it was so much weight. It’s shaking in my hands. It’s trying to yank it back out of my hands. I was like, “One of these days, I feel like it’s going to slip and something bad is going to happen.” I had to pick a new movement to swap out. Sometimes, it wasn’t there. I ended up doing the mini-sumo squats because I feel like that’s easier to hold. That wasn’t always an option.

That was brand new. It’s being able to have access to not only those squats but different lower-body workouts or moves that might give you more variety. There’s a couple of different ways to do it. You can do this before a workout and before you start exercising. You’re going to see each move listed in the breakdown. You can tap the movement there and then sub it out with options showing up for your replacement. That’s one way to do it. However, you can also do it during a workout. Tom tries to do the front barbell squat. Let’s say he gave it a chance and it’s not going to work. He realizes that. He can click on the movement right in the middle of the workout. It’s on the bottom left of the trainer screen.

This is a mistake I’ve made so I want to put it out there. You can’t click on it when it’s an upcoming move. You have to let it load and then click it once it’s your official move, which can be problematic sometimes if it’s time-based. If you know you’re about to go into a time-based move, be at the ready.

Hit the pause button before you do anything else. You’re going to see the same process as before. You’re going to see options for filtering moves and selecting. There’s a couple of different ways to do it. You can have maximum flexibility with your movements to be able to get the most out of your workout, whichever works for you specifically. It’s so cool.

Coach Ackeem was on The Today Show.

He sure was. It was the third hour of that particular day.

That’s weird to see a Tonal coach and a Peloton coach.

You saw that?

I did. That was Ally Love talking to a Tonal coach. Do you think there was a knife fighting back like the Sharks and Jets?

I don’t.

I don’t either.

The fitness world in New York is very small and these people probably all see each other at events all the time. He led the cast, crew, and people of the show in a fun workout so I thought that was neat. I love it. I love seeing him out there and doing his thing. He’s got such a contagious smile. He lights up whatever room he’s in so that’s cool to see.

That’s cool to see the Tonal coaches starting to pop up in places like this. Congrats to him. That’s awesome. Coach Ash had a fun Instagram post. She’s got a little Instagram journey going on as she converts one of the rooms in her parent’s home into a gym.

This was a total surprise to them. She sent them on a trip and then snuck into their house without them knowing for a weekend and revamped the room, including giving them a brand new Tonal. How exciting is that?

I watched some of this and she was talking about how her father was having some health issues. He retired and had some cognitive decline. She’s like, “No, we need to get you moving, do things, and try to offset that.” If you retire, sit around, and do nothing, that’s bad for the brain.

It’s so true. If you would like to watch the whole journey, I saw parts 3 or 4 in total that she was going through this, including her parents’ reaction so feel free to follow her on Instagram @AshWilking. You will be able to see the entire thing for yourself.

When you go to her Instagram channel, right at the top is one of her highlights. The first one is the Parent’s Gym. It’s easy to find. Even I, someone who never goes on Instagram, found it. Speaking of Coach Ash, we’re going to start doing this thing where we have the coaches do a little quick hit-answering questions from the community.

First of all, if you have a question for a Tonal coach that you would like to hear featured on a future episode, please send that to me at and put Tonal Question in the subject line. Otherwise, I will never find it. We will make sure that if possible, your question is included.

Not really making sure. We’ll make sure, maybe.

“Can I have a date with Coach Ash?” No. We’re not going to include that.

We’re not going to facilitate that shenanigans.

If it is an appropriate question, we will make sure it gets included.

Our first question is for Coach Ash since we were talking about her. The reader wanted to know how they can string together programming for themselves on Tonal when their primary goal is another sport say running, training for a marathon, or that sort of thing. Without further ado, here’s Coach Ash with her answer.

First, “How do I string together programming on Tonal if my primary focus is on a different sport? Let’s say training for a marathon.” The first thing to remember is the answer is almost in the question, which is primary sport. Whatever you are mainly focused on, whether that’s marathon training or triathlon training, whatever your goal is, whatever outcome you hope to achieve from your programming, that needs to be the focus but we always want to make sure that strength training plays a big role in that programming and we’re doing it the right way.

The first question I want you to ask yourself is, “Are you in season or are you preseason?” Let’s start there. That’s going to give us an identification as to whether you are in the full volume of your particular sport or you are prepping the body and setting a foundation to get into that season. Preseason is pretty easy. You have a ton of options. You can focus on strength and hypertrophy. You can do a power phase and also some overall quality of movement, mobility, and higher endurance so getting in a lot more reps. You ran the gamut before you were in season.

However, once you’re in season, here’s something that I want you to think about and this is specific for running. There are three factors that I want you to take in when you’re choosing which program you want to join. The first thing is going to be the volume of your training, how many miles you’re going to be putting on your feet, and how many days are you planning on training. Number two is going to be your schedule outside of training. Hello, work. Hello, kids. Hello, all of our responsibilities outside of working out. We want to make sure that it works for you.

The third one is the availability that you have to recover. It’s all fun and games until you’re exhausted. You slept for three hours and your muscles are empty. Once you take those factors into play, the one thing I always want you to think about and Coach Kristina talks about this a lot in her Strength for Runners Training program is going to be if you’re in season, the number of days that you’re running, you want to strength train about half of those days. If you’re going to be running 6 days a week, you’re going to strength train 3 days a week. If you’re going to be running 3 to 4 days a week, you can strength train, let’s say, 2 days a week.

Another thing you want to try to do is match your phases of running to your phases of strength training. In the running, especially when it comes to marathon training or any training program, you’re going to have three phases that you’ll particularly focus on. You’re going to have your build phase, which is where you’re focused on building that endurance you’re going for. Let’s say lower heart rates. It’s prepping the body to take on faster speeds and longer runs.

You’re going to get into phase two, which is your peak phase. That is when you were hitting your max volume, max mileage, and a lot of your speed work. The last is going to be your taper phase. That’s when you start to bring it down and get ready for race day. Your strength training should match those and compliment them instead of fighting against those phases. In phase one, as you are working to build, you can think about higher reps within your training. This is going to decrease the amount of weight that you are lifting but it’s also going to help your body again prepare for that endurance.

The longer reps you’re going for, the more time under tension you’re getting into. The more your ligaments, tendons, muscles, joints, and everything is preparing for those longer miles. When you are in the peak phase of training, that means that you are going for long runs, big volume, and fast speed. You want to take those reps and the time under tension in your strength training down so your focus can be on lower rep ranges and higher resistance, focusing on power efficiency in that peak phase.

As you’re heading into your taper phase, which is going to be where your volume is going to come down and you’re running, you also want your volume to come down in your training. This is where you want to focus on the quality of movement, mobility, and making sure that your body is ready and primed for race day. The nice thing is you can always use our filter section to be able to focus on exactly what you want to get out of those phases.

There are all sorts of new content as always. The first one we should talk about is Kristina’s Deload workout.

It’s a week-long program and there are two tracks. There’s going to be one that’s a deload from a HIIT workout and then a deload from strength. I’m going to stop there because later on in the episode, we have a nice short interview with Kristina, where she digs into exactly how to use and when to use them. It’s every question you would want to know specifically about this program.

More importantly, why use them? A lot of people hear deload and are like, “I’m here to gain muscle and that’s a waste of my time.” If that’s what you think, you should make a point to read this interview because it might change your perspective on programs such as this. Moving right along, we’ll start talking about some of the other workouts that are waiting for you on the Tonal.

The first one is Glutes to the Max. This is a nice well-rounded training session for the lower body. It’s going to focus on your peaches and be peach in. It’s a mix of strength and high-volume back offsets all about building power and stamina. This is from Coach Joe.

The next item up for bid is Build Up and Break Down.

This is a high-intensity workout so it’s going to be some mental challenge as well as physical. In each block, you’re going to have three exercises with the first two building up to the third. You then move through all of them again but in reverse order rapid fire.

Number three is All Around Core.

This is going to go past your abs. This is going to be a 360-degree core workout that’s going to strengthen your obliques and trunk muscles. It’s very important. It’s going to have 3 moves per block, 1 for the front, back, and sides of your core.

Full Body Pull.

This is very efficient. You’re going to do a full body strength with a pair of custom workouts that drill pushing and pulling patterns. This was designed by Coach Ash and it is one of the new Custom by Tonal.

We also have another Ash-design Custom by Tonal workout called Full Body Push.

It’s full body strength. It’s the pair of custom workouts but this one is pushing and pulling.

If you’re like me, and God help you if you are, but if you are, I don’t like the one-off workouts. I prefer the programs. I’m about commitment. There are lots of new programs out there for you. First up is Complexes and Cardio.

This is another high-intensity program. It’s going to be for your advanced users. You’re going to have advanced lifting techniques like ladders, pyramids, cluster sets, and complex circuits. The rep schemes switch up between blocks, which I love because it keeps me focused and the variety helps it go faster. Regardless, super short rest periods are going to help keep your heart rate up. That’s going to burn some calories and you’re going to be sweating.

If you want something a little quicker, you got 20-in-20 Train to Failure, which I’m already good at failing. I don’t know that I need to be training for it, not to brag.

I love these because, with all of my running training, I often don’t have time for long workouts first on strength. Train to Failure, in this case, failure is a success because it’s a muscle-building program so it’s going to be focusing on hypertrophy and it’s going to be efficient. Each session is going to start with a pre-fatigue block to light up your working muscles and then you’re going to go in for a big compound move and kill it.

Your third program is Build Your Stamina.

This one is all about endurance. This is going to help you be able to accomplish more in your future workouts and reach your goals faster. You’re going to have a strength block and also a fast-paced HIIT round that’s going to supercharge your stamina. As the weeks go on, you’re going to have more complex moves. It’s also going to be more demanding work-to-rest ratios and that is going to make you stronger.

I thought they were going to have you think about baseball.

That’s a whole different thing.

That’s a different kind of stamina. That makes sense. Finally, not forever but for this episode, Built By Intensity.

This program builds maximum strength. That’s the focus. This is another advanced program. You are going to be focusing each workout on one main lift to push your limits and then that’s going to be paired with explosive accessory work to keep your power output high. This is perfect to do right after you do a hypertrophy-focused program like House of Volume and Extreme Accumulation. It’s going to expose your body to a different stimulus and that is going to get you the results that you’re looking for.

There’s a whole bunch of new things that you can check out on the machine if any of them sound interesting to you.

Joining us is Tonal coach extraordinaire, Kristina Centenari. How’s it going?

It’s going great. How are you?

Welcome back to the show. We appreciate you being here once again. You had a new program dropped, Deload to Reload. Tell us the deets.

It’s a deload program. It’s two separate programs, which I’ll get into in a moment. Essentially, what a deload week is it’s like a strategized period of rest that one should implement every 4 to 6 weeks in their training. As we work out, we are breaking down muscle fibers. How we rebuild is through rest, nutrition, sleep, and all that good stuff.

The human capacity only has so much before we need to force more of that rest. I always recommend after 4 to 6 weeks of training hard, you take a deload week, which doesn’t mean you stop working out. It just means that you’re shifting focus to accessory movements, mobility, and a lot of the missing pieces in our hard training.

You usually come out the other side feeling so much stronger than when you started the week. It’s two separate tracks. One’s an intermediate track. It’s called HIIT Deload. Ideally, this would be for the intermediate user coming off of a HIIT program. The advanced track is called Deload to Stay Swole, which I did not name but we’re going to go with it.

It’s like a journalist. They write the articles but they don’t get to write the headlines.

They wrote the program but didn’t write the name. I’m at peace with the name, disclaimer. For the advanced user coming off of more of a high-volume program, Coach Joe’s House of Volume would be perfect.

Besides timing, how do you know when you need a deload week? I know you’re saying 4 to 6 weeks.

Are there physical sensations that someone could tune into even if the timing isn’t right or maybe they don’t want to but it’s time if they’re feeling these certain things like, “I need to take a break?”

Essentially, what we’re trying to do is avoid this idea of over-training or overreaching as it’s also called. Your body has these biomarkers that show when you are pushing into that point and that’s going to look like maybe a plateau in some of your lifts or even a decline. Not sleeping well is a big indicator of, “Maybe I’m going too hard here.” Also, shift in appetite and hormones. Much can come from over-training. Our bodies are always trying to find this state of equilibrium. If we are over-fatigued and pushing too much for too long, we’re going to start to be told by different areas of our bodies.

Sleep is interesting to me because as we work out and put this stressor on our body, our catecholamine levels increase. If the adrenaline and the epinephrine in your body are high, that leads to a harder time sleeping. Not to get too nerdy into the science there but what I tell people is the beauty of these biomarkers is like, “These are messages from your body saying drop the ego a week of a shift and focus from high volume, high intensity to some of these finer details,” which is what you need.

These biomarkers are messages from your body saying to drop the ego. A week of a shift in focus from high volume, high intensity to some of these finer details is what you need. Share on X

That was pretty science-y. In my head, I heard something about if you go to the catacombs, your Nora Ephron levels will get too high. I’m like, “Nora Ephron is delightful. She’s written some of the finest romantic comedies. Why would we not want high Nora Ephron levels? I won’t stand for this Nora Ephron shaming.”

It’s like your sleep and mood. We know if we’re feeling on edge or feeling a little bit stressed or agitated. A lot of the time, it’s a beautiful balance. It’s a paradox. Working out is an outlet for those exact mood circumstances but then sometimes, you might not need to push your body as an outlet. You might need to take a step back.

It’s interesting because you would think if you were exhausted from a workout, you would sleep better. It’s counterintuitive. We’re all so stressed with being asked to do a ton more things than we typically are. It’s great timing for you and Tonal to put these programs out there for people. We all need a little break.

You’re so pressed for time. Am I making a rash stereotype of a deload program? Am I the one being hateful when I say that they’re probably shorter than some of the ones if you’re pushing yourself?

They’re about 30 minutes but you have a pretty good mix of on-Tonal and off-Tonal movements in there. How I programmed it is we know I’m a big mobility person. One of the users/athletes posted on Instagram, “I’ve never felt my glutes before. Even though this was a deload day, I felt like my glutes were activated.” That’s the idea here. We want these shorter workouts but we want them to be so productive and efficient that you are getting the most out of your time.

We want these shorter workouts, but we want them to be so productive and so efficient that you are getting the most out of your time. Share on X

When Crystal complains about not feeling her glutes, I volunteer to fill them for her.

You always want to help out. Thanks, Tom.

I’m a supportive husband.

The idea of this though is each of these programs is a week-long. You’re not deloading for four weeks. You deload for one week. Would the idea be that you get right back into whatever kind of workout you were doing before? Do you need to take a look at what your goals are? What should people be thinking about what is going to be next?

It does vary. It’s goal and individual dependent. On Tonal, our longest programs are four weeks. I do have a custom runner’s program that’s nine weeks. Ideally, for a Tonal user after four weeks of training, hit a deload week. I say 4 to 6. We have 4 so let’s keep it at 4. Essentially, we want to implement this so that whatever we do choose next for our goal, we feel reset and refreshed. We’re not pushing the limits towards injury and our human capacity. With training, you want to take 2 steps forward and then 1 step back, which is your deload.

When training, you want to take two steps forward and then one step back. Share on X

An analogy I’ve been using on my social is F1 is so big and popular. If that car goes around and around without taking its pit stop, the mechanics come in. It takes a couple of seconds. They change out the tires and do whatever the car needs to continue racing optimally. That pit stop is our deload. We’re going to change out the tires and refresh whatever the mechanics need to be refreshed so that we can keep going around and around.

What goes into the logic behind creating a program like this?

Two programs, I guess.

It’s my background. I grew up as a serious competitive athlete. It was a couple of things. You will note that when you’re looking at serious or professional athletes, they’re training. There is no serious professional athlete where they go hard all the time without some deload phase. That’s how you get better. Growing up, I had an ego competing and playing. I always thought that if being forced to take that rest day or rest week, if I was going to be forced to do that, I would lose whatever progress I was making.

There is no serious professional athlete where they go hard all the time without some sort of deload phase. That's just how you get better. Share on X

Lo and behold, a girl had all of the injuries under the sun. I had all of the hormonal imbalances that I still struggle with. It’s from this chronic history of over-training. I’m still a very serious competitive athlete when it comes to endurance racing but I feel like I’ve learned so much about how to do this right so that you can do it for a long time that I want to bring this to Tonal. It doesn’t have to be endurance racing. It’s just lifting. You’re trying to get stronger but to get stronger, you have to keep your foot on the gas pedal for a little bit and then listen to the signs from your body. Take that week and then jump right back in and go.

Essentially, the inspiration came from my history. Living in New York City, the mentality here is go, go, go. It’s so easy to get caught up in. From the outside, sometimes I’m like, “Trust me, take this week. Tone it down a notch.” The worst thing to feel is being hindered by injury or knowing that maybe if you turn down the volume a little bit, you could have avoided something. That’s what we’re doing here.

Even beyond ego, although I’m sure it plays a role for some people, there is that thought process of you just want to get there.

There’s this piece in your brain that’s always like, “If 4 times a week is good, then 7 times a week ought to be better,” or whatever number of weeks that is.

As you progress in your training, the monitoring, the level of strain that you can handle, how long of recovery you need, muscle readiness, and all of that is going to become more apparent to you but it takes building a foundation. Sometimes we get some of these more beginner-level people who get sucked in, which is, “Be amazing.”

It’s amazing to get sucked into the fitness thing but then it’s like, “My back or knee hurts.” This is where I want to come in and be able to provide some value oftentimes in a very straightforward answer which is, “Take seven days. You don’t have to drive your body into the ground. We’re still going to move but you’re going to come out of this strategic period of rest a lot stronger to go into whatever you want to do next.”

Not only if you’re new to fitness but even if you’re new to Tonal, you want to go down and use it. You want to maximize. It’s an investment. It’s not an inexpensive item. You want to make sure you’re getting every nickel’s worth out of it. I’m sure it’s difficult especially at the beginning to feel like, “I’ll take a step back. That’s not what I’m doing here.”

I want to encourage that but I will also say that earlier on, use it to realize the attachment to an outcome or the attachment to the feeling of needing to be profusely sweating. Life is better when you don’t have that attachment. I’ve been there. The most clichéd idea of balance here is not what we want to grab onto because I have some thoughts on balance but we want to gear more towards that.

It’s tricky because people tend to focus on the movement when they decide that they’re going to change their health habits but then they go all in. They don’t focus on the food aspect and then it’s like, “I got to do 110% to make up for the food that I’m eating that isn’t perfect.” That’s not the way any of it works but I also know there are games your brain plays with you and it’s like you must drive harder.

We give ourselves some time to dial in on some of those areas. Hang out with people who mean a lot to you. That’s so important for health and wellness, which is wealth. We all don’t have all the time in the world so being able to shift things around, even for a temporary amount of time to put energy and attention into these other aspects of life are all part of the idea.

I feel like the biggest mindset shift you should probably have, and I feel like I finally have gotten there, which is that you want to get to a certain point or look a certain way but when you get there, you don’t get to stop. You also don’t necessarily have to race there either. What underlies that, at least for me, is when I get there, I’m done but you’re not done so it’s okay to take a beat.

You can’t be on all the time either. You can’t shoot a cannon off a flat tire so pump the tires so that you can get right back into it. You’re not going to lose anything.

You can’t shoot a cannon off a flat tire? I know nothing about the French Revolution so I don’t know. Is that real? What happens? I’ve never heard the saying before.

I haven’t heard the saying either.

All I know is I saw Napoleon.

Go ahead and give it a go. You can debunk that saying if maybe you can shoot a cannon. I then have to come up with something else.

I’ll Google it, Kristina. We’ll get to the bottom.

We need to bring back head busters. I’m fascinated. What’s going to happen? Will it not fire? Will it fire in the wrong direction?

It’s not going to be a good trajectory, Tom. That’s what I think. Before we wrap up here, I want to give you an opportunity to tell people about your custom running program that you have. Let me say that this is selfish for me. Tell me all about it.

I’ll preface it with this. I’ve been executing the program with my team. It’s still a little bit under construction because our custom side of Tonal is still fairly new but it’s wonderful and valuable so I wanted to jump on it and create something that I’m passionate about, which is a strength program for runners. It’s nine weeks. Anything that falls under production is only four. When you’re training for a race, you want to go through different training phases. You want to strength build and then power build.

The last three-week block before the race, you want that to be somewhat scaled back and focused on a lot of details. Maintaining strength but maybe we’re focused a little bit more on agility and building stiffness in our joints to be able to handle volume on the road. The 9-week program is split into three 3-week blocks. The first three weeks are all focused on strength so we’ll be lifting heavier. The second three-week block is focused on power so we’re lifting still heavy but medium heavy and fast.

The third three-week block is focused on a lot of mobility and agility stuff while maintaining that good foundation. Ideally, at the end of the nine weeks, you have your race, whatever that may be, a half or a full. I tried to program it so that whatever the race distance is, the user will still get a benefit from these nine weeks.

Let’s say you were training for something that’s like marathon training, which a lot of time is twenty weeks. Could you take that and multiply it out? Instead of doing 3 weeks, it is going to become 6 weeks or something like that to match whatever your training plan is.

You could do that. I had this thought that instead of building out a 20-week program, which would be a lot, you could recycle the 9 weeks. You could almost make it eighteen. You could go for the nine. At the end of that, you come back to the start of it and that would be a good way to expand it over your run training or however long that is.

You do 9 weeks and then a deload, and then you do the other 9 weeks.

We’re on it. That’s it. I didn’t even think of that but there you go.

It’s what I’m here for. I’m an idea guy. I don’t do anything except go, “You know what would be cool?” If Crystal says yes, then I say, “You should do that.”

He does. It’s annoying. That sounds lovely. I’m very excited about that.

Hopefully, there’s a way. The links are in the OTC. Hopefully, within the near future, I’ll figure out a way to have them bundled for people to access them a little easier.

Thank you for putting that together for people. I’m very excited about it. I saw you on socials doing all your agility as you were leading up to the New York City marathon. I was super intrigued by that, especially when you were talking about the forefront of your foot and the different ways that you land and do the bouncing. I was like, “Kristina, I have so many questions. We could do a whole episode on that.”

Am I just running? Absolutely. Coming off this knee injury and training for that race that quickly, I had to dial in on my mechanics of running and how to do it most efficiently. I learned a lot. It was great.

Congrats on finishing. I never had a doubt that you would. That’s awesome. I appreciate that on socials, Tonal, the OTC you share, and all of that. Thank you for doing that.

Thank you so much for hanging out and telling us all about your 2 new programs, or 3.

Technically three.

Before we let you go, let everybody know where they can find you on all the socials and things like that.

I’m mostly on Instagram. I don’t have the capacity for TikTok but my Instagram is @Kristina_Centenari. I’m on Facebook and I’m active in the OTC. I’m on Tonal.

Thank you again. We appreciate all of this great information.

Thank you, guys. I appreciate you.

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

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

You can find me on Twitter @RogerQBert or Facebook at You can find the show online at 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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