TSS 23 | Improved Balance

Digital Weights vs. Dumbbells plus our interview with Tracy Dingman


TSS 23 | Improved Balance


The Tonal blog spotlights 7 Tonal features we can’t live without.

More from the blog – tips for working out when you travel.

Wired reviews the Tonal.

Medium.com writes about why women shouldn’t be afraid to lift weights.

Coach Pablo’s male burlesque crew is getting a documentary.

Coach Nicolette spotlighted her fiancee’s craftsmanship on her Facebook.

Coach Jackson and his fiancee have rescheduled their wedding date due to Covid.

Neil Patrick Harris posted on Instagram while in front of his Tonal.

Lots of new programming including Advanced 5×5, Full Body Finisher, and No Floor Barre.

The May community challenge focuses on the Advanced 5×5 workout.

A new mobile update allows you to do a deep dive on your strength score.

The latest Tonal Transformation features Jennifer Winter.

The Tonal blog talks to Coach Jared about how he learned to discover a new passion.

All this plus our interview with Tracy Dingman!

Watch the episode here:

Listen to the podcast here:

Digital Weights vs. Dumbbells plus our interview with Tracy Dingman

Why did you wiggle your eyebrows at me?

I don’t know. Can’t I wiggle my eyebrows at my husband?

Sure. You just caught me off guard. Sorry if I’m out of breath, I just did a Tonal.

Not only did he do a Tonal, but Tom also went from Go Bigger, Go Home right directly into 4 Weeks to Fat Loss.

I think Kate hacked my profile. Those are my two options. It was 4 Weeks to Fat Loss or Prenatal Yoga. Those are the two options Kate gave me.

I think that’s one of the data scientists back behind the scenes. It’s understandable that you’re out of breath is my point.

You then wiggled your eyebrows at me. That always gets my heart rate up. My whoop is going crazy.

You don’t have that.

We should probably tell people about the Tonal contest because it’s getting close to wrapping up. We’re giving away a Tonal. By we, I mean Tonal was kind enough to supply the Tonal and then use us as a mechanism to give it away. Technically if you’re doing the algebra on that, Tonal is giving it away. Thank you, Tonal. You get the Tonal, you get the smart accessories and you get a membership for a whole year. Maybe you’re like, “I’ve got a Tonal.” You could give it to a friend and then you’d look good. You would shame them with the gift. They would be like, “My gift is so inadequate,” then you would get crazy gifts from them for the next five years.

They would just return you a sports car the next year.

It’s something like that. This is the end game here. The way it works is you go to theclipout.com/winatonal. You purchase entries as little as $5 and 100% of the proceeds, since Tonal was kind enough to donate, all of the money, every single nickel goes directly to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Bay Area. All your money goes to a good cause. We can’t even touch it. The beauty of the website that we use is it picks the winner. We don’t have any controls on who wins. We just say, “Pick a winner,” and it pulls one out of a hat and Make-A-Wish already has access to the money, but we don’t even have access to the money. It was completely above board. It’s super trustworthy. There’s nothing we can do to be weird to screw it up. Swing on by there and support a good cause. Maybe you could have two Tonals and you don’t have to worry about your loved one. You don’t have to share anymore.

You can do a partner workout, but now you can do them on separate Tonals.

You can take the new one and give them the used one. What pray tell do you have in store for people?

I know this is going to surprise you, but tons of Tonal news. We’re going to talk about the coaches and the news. We’re going to talk about Tonal in the news. We’ve got some new programs and workouts to cover. We also have a celebrity sighting and we also have new features to discuss.

Before we get to all those, shameless plugs. Don’t forget, we’re available on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotifyiHeartTune-In. Wherever you’re getting your podcast from, you can find us. While you’re there, be sure and follow us so you never miss an episode. If you’d be so kind while you’re there, you can also leave us a review so people will come along after you if they’re trying to figure out if we’re worth their time. They will think we are until they get here and find other ways. You can also find us on Facebook.com/supersetpodcast. While you’re there, like the page and join the group. It’s just a great way to stay up to date on things throughout the week. I think that’s everything. Let’s dig in. Shall we?

Let’s do it.

The Tonal blog, which is always a great place to go, have all sorts of tips and tricks and good ways to use your Tonal, inspirational stories. They have 7 Tonal Features Members Can’t Live Without.

The digital weight, for sure, that’s the best part of Tonal.

It’s so obvious that I wouldn’t even think to put it on a list. It almost like it has arms.

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That was reason number one. There’s also resistance at the touch of a button. It’s so simplified because you can do it, and then you stop, you take the weight off, and you put the weight back on.

I don’t know what you touch, but I think I liked it.

Number three is virtual group workouts, which are tons of fun. There was one for Make-A-Wish and then there’s Tonal’s game-changing spotter for real. That’s amazing to be able to lift heavy and not have to worry that it’s going to come crashing down in your neck and kill you because it will be like, “No, I got you.”

You don’t have to ask some weirdo at the gym to help you out.

Movement replacements, so if you can’t do a move, they give you other opportunities.

I did just that the other day.

What did you switch?

Is it the ISO split-squat where you’re pulling on something?

ISO split-squat pallof?

That’s it. First off, that name is too long. That’s not a name. That’s a Russian novel. Workout moves shouldn’t have a subplot. That goes on too long. I got halfway through and I just lost interest. I tried it and I can’t even do it. I’m like, “This is a waste of everyone’s time. Give me a different move.”

What did you switch it out for?

I don’t know. All of them were variations on that theme. This was the first one I’ve ever done it. I was like, “I’m supposed to be able to hit something and get out of this.” I’m like, “What do I hit?” They gave me four options and this was my assumption, knowing nothing about working out. Each option looked progressively easier.

I don’t know what they had there but it’s possible.

On the surface, each one looked to me like they’d be less demanding because the last one was just an 85-year-old woman showing you how to do it. No, that’s not true. By the end, I was like, “That doesn’t even look like that’s worth doing?”

What did you choose?

I was doing the same thing, but I think I was standing up.

The split squat is going to be harder because you’re holding your own weight.

I just kept falling over and I’m like, “This is done.”TSS 23 | Improved Balance

The standing takes the balance out of it so that makes it easier. By easier, it’s how you move in your space or your balance. You’re still doing the move but you’re not holding yourself steady while you do it. That is the difference.

That was the next one. I wasn’t trying to make it too easy.

There’s one that’s like kneeling and I don’t know what the other one would be. That’s why I was curious. There’s a kneeling pallof press, then I don’t know what the other one. Maybe it was half-kneeling.

I did the next one. I was just assuming that this is the hardest one. This is the next hardest. I don’t know if that’s true or not.

I don’t know if they were easier or they’re easier to do.

Here’s something that I don’t think they said about the move replacement. I don’t know if people know this, but you know how when you hit the thing and when you get to the end, it makes this sound. When you replace a move, it’s a sad trombone. I think I’m feeling a little judged.

The idea of it is not to not feel good. The idea of it is so that if for whatever reason you have an injury or you don’t have good balance like yourself, then you can do another one. Item number six up for bid was next-level progress tracking. They do have some amazing tracking abilities. I love it. The extensive library of content is number seven, and they do have an extensive library. It just keeps growing every week.

It’s interesting some of the things on the list, especially at the beginning like how we were talking seems so obvious. I was reminded I was telling you about another podcast I was listening to. The history of the Candid Camera and how when they first started, they had trouble because the Candid Camera was the first prank show from the ‘50s. They would trick people and it was 5 or 6 years before they figured out to let people in on the trick like, “You were on TV the whole time. This was all a big joke.” That’s when the show became a hit. Nowadays, it’s so obvious. You’re like, “Wait, it took somebody six years to think of that. Nobody did that before.” That’s what Tonal is like. Nobody had done it before and now that it’s there and you’re using it, you’re like, “Of course, it would be like this,” but there wasn’t no, “Of course, they had to think of it.”

That’s a great reason that Tonal produces all this wonderful content on their blog. It’s to help people come across it and dig a little deeper. At first glance, people see a device that hangs on your wall and they assume it’s just like the Mirror. That’s their first impression. They don’t understand how it’s different.

While we’re talking about the blog, they had little tips on how to use Tonal when you’re workingout on the road.

They specifically list a whole bunch of brand new places that you can go to get your Tonal on while you’re traveling, Santa Monica, Austin, San Francisco, LA, Beverly Hills, Malibu, East Palo Alto, Kapalua, Scottsdale, Maui, Virginia and Chicago.

Here’s another tip. If you’re on the road and you can’t find a hotel that has a Tonal, go into a Nordstrom and just hide in the bathroom until they close.

They’ll let you use it. You don’t have to hide.

We’re starting to see Tonal pop-up in more and more news outlets. It seems like every week, it’s just a little bit more. Medium.com is writing about it or they pop up there. Wired.com is a big site and it had a review of the Tonal home gym.

They go in-depth about it’s connected fitness. They wanted to get an idea of what it was like. They walked through how it’s the same as Mirror in some ways in that it’s a wall-mounted device and that’s pretty much where it ends, and then where it differs. They talk about how it’s different. They weren’t sure about the whole cable thing. This was a person who needed to get a little bit more information, but they were very excited about it once they tried it, and they got all of the good benefits of using the Tonal. They’ve loved that it had a whole bunch of different options that you could do. Also, they loved that they could work out at home, which a lot of people do because you get to work out more often typically. Another thing that stood out to me about the article was that this person expected an easy workout because they were a person who works out at CrossFit and they’re all the time workingout. They were like, “This will be easy-peasy.”

I feel like one of the most consistent things you hear about Tonal from people that work out all the time that considered themselves gym rats is that when they use it, they’re like, “That’s a real workout. They’re stunned that they walk away feeling like they’ve actually workout.

I wish that there were a way to get people that I know personally to try out. I don’t necessarily live near them, so it’s not something I can go do and make them try it out. Once people try it out, they’re like, “I was surprised.”

It doesn’t mention Tonal specifically, but Tonal adjacent. Medium had an interesting article about the number one myth women have about workingout.

It’s all about that women are very afraid of bulking up. They tend to not lift heavy because of that. The thing is the way that women are designed how we are from a biological standpoint, we don’t have the ability to bulk up easily. Women can work hard at bulking up if that’s what they want to do, but it takes a lot of work.

It’s not just like one day you wake up and you look like She-Hulk. You’ll see that progression and you can choose different workouts if that concerns you. The other thing when people have that female fear of bulking up is if it was that easy to bulk up, more guys would look like that, if it was four workouts and suddenly you’re jacked.

I do understand this though because as a person who even if I weigh my goal weight on a perfect day, I still look stocky. I am from a stocky background of people. I am never going to have long lean muscles because it’s not the way I’m built. The reason that I feel like I’ll say is that women think they are going to bulk up because they’re already boxy like myself.

They’re going to convert the stockiness into muscle.

Women like me don’t necessarily lean down to the point the way you think that you want to look. In my head, the way a typical woman is I would like long lean muscles. That’s never going to be a thing for me. I can be fit and I could be strong. I won’t bulk up to a point that I’m uncomfortable with, but I also am never going to be like long and sinewy. That’s not a thing. People get a little confused by those things.

Also, those changes aren’t permanent. Even if you feel like you over-corrected, sit on the couch for a couple of weeks, be right back to where you started, and have a couple of bags of Doritos,

It’s not easy to lose fat and gain muscle to the point like it’s super noticeable. Hypertrophy, I believe they call it.

That’s a fancy word.

People who love Coach Pablo, he’s in a new documentary that’s looking for some money on Indiegogo.

TSS 23 | Improved BalanceIt’s a cool thing. They’re fundraising to do this documentary. It’s called Baloney: A Queer Male Burlesque Documentary. I’m not sure if some of you have seen it or if you’re a friends with Coach Pablo or maybe you’ve seen other posts about it, but he’s part of this queer male burlesque group. They’re having a documentary made about it and it looks amazing. The subject matter that they do is super fun because they have a new twist on things. If this is something that you might want to throw a couple of bucks into, we just want to make sure that you get the opportunity. Go and find the link and support our coach.

It’s Indiegogo.com and it’s pretty Indy. They’re only looking to raise $10,000. It’s not like they’re trying to get $6 million. It’s not like the Mystery Science Theater 3000 reboot. It’s just some guys trying to make a little movie, so go help him out. Coach Nicolette had an interesting post the other day on her social media channels.

I don’t know if you know this about Coach Nicolette’s fiance. He makes cool unique furniture. If you’re looking at our YouTube channel, you will see a large egg in hand in the middle of her living room.

It’s a coffee table but it looks like a hand.

It’s like a tray that goes on the couch and it’s an egg. Isn’t that fun. It’s an end table. It doesn’t go on the couch. It’s an end table. I’m sorry.

I couldn’t think of the word end table. I’m like, “What is the name of the table that sits at the end of the couch?” He also made the cabinet. He’s very handy.

I guess he is transitioning to go from a full-time job to now full-time making this. I just wanted to point this out so that if anybody out there is interested in this amazing art, that you go support him because it’s super cool and it’s useful. I love art that’s useful for real. It’s amazing and that’s just cool looking.

Coach Jackson was supposed to be getting married.

They were supposed to get married on 4/23/21 and because of COVID, they had to delay things. They posted on socials that they still went to their wedding venue with friends. They got dressed up and they had a nice day there. Now their new wedding date is January 20th of 2022. Congrats to them. It’s cool that they celebrated like that and still make it a special day.

Try to make the best of it. Except now, poor Coach Jackson. He’s got two anniversaries to remember now. In seven years on April 23rd at about 9:00 at night, she’s going to be like, “Did you forget anything important today?” He’s like, “Is now your birthday?” She’ll be like, “It’s our anniversary.” He’s like, “No, it’s not. That one too?”

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They’ll work through it. That’s what people do.

I can’t remember if we talked about this before but personally, I never pass up an opportunity to talk about Neil Patrick Harris.

I know that you don’t and Tim Shaughnessy, one of our fellow Tonalites and fellow Pelotonians also loves Neil Patrick Harris.

How do you not love Neil Patrick Harris? That’s like, “I also love ice cream.”

I’m sure there’s somebody out there who doesn’t probably just based on odds. Regardless, he was practicing magic or whatever he was doing.

He was promoting an Oscars pre-party thing. He’s getting ready to do the thing and then magic happens. It’s funny if you watch it with the sound on, but his Tonal is in the background the whole time.

I love him. He’s so adorable.

I think we already knew that he had a Tonal.

We knew he had a Peloton. I don’t remember knowing for sure he had the Tonal but maybe.

He was mentioned randomly in an article a while back, but he was photographed with it. We know that we have photographic evidence that he has a Tonal. If you’re watching on YouTube, top hat and a cane. It was probably already a given that Neil Patrick Harris had a top hat and a cane.

He’s Neil Patrick Harris.

As usual, there are tons of new content.

My favorite and I am super excited about this new program by Coach Natalie called Advanced 5×5. I’m not going to bother explaining it to you because it’s too much.

She tried to explain it to me and I did not get it at all.

For the rest of you out there, it’s new for Tonal to be able to give you advanced weightlifting. This is something that’s been done forever though in the weightlifting world. It’s cool to see it on Tonal. That’s the important takeaway.

Knowing what they’re doing. We’ll be excited to see this.

The great thing about Tonal is it doesn’t matter if I explained to you and you understand or not because you’re still going to be able to do it.

The machine says, “Now do this,” and it doesn’t matter if you understand it.

You don’t need me to explain it. That’s the beauty of Tonal, just go do what it tells you to do. I just want to point out that the May community challenge is going to be revolving around this new program that just dropped, Coach Natalie’s Advanced 5×5. If you love the classic method, you’re going to love this challenge because you’re going to be able to do an entire month of it. There’s going to be virtual group workouts. There’s going to be Facebook live Q&A’s with Coach Natalie. You’re going to get access to 31 days of workouts that are going to complement the program and a group filled with comradery and Tonal support. If you want to join, go to Coach Natalie’s Advanced 5×5 challenge on Facebook. It’s just a lot of fun if you’re able to keep up with the challenge. If it’s something that works with your schedule, go do that.

There’s that restaurant that we love here. It’s a little diner called Uncle Bill’s.

I don’t know what that has to do with this, but I love Uncle Bill’s

The breakfast I always get when we go there is 4×4, so the whole time we’re talking about 5×5, I’m like, “I’m hungry.” I want scrambled eggs and bacon and hash browns. I remember food like that.

Do you remember pancakes?

They were great pancakes. I miss you, pancakes. Let’s never fight again.

There are also other cool new workouts coming. The new quick-fit Full Body Finisher with Coach Pablo. It’s an advanced full body, fourteen-minute workout that’s going to get your entire body worked out. There’s also a new barre, No Floor Barre, which is perfect for people who don’t like to do floor workouts like sitting on the floor workouts. That’s awesome. I love that they are including that. The most exciting that just dropped, that’s why it’s most exciting. I’m not going away from any of the other content. I don’t have favorites here, but it just dropped before we started recording. I’m so glad that Kate posted this two seconds before we hit record, but new Tony Horton workouts, six new ones just dropped. You can do them separately or you could do them all together and create your own little mini-program. There’s dynamic chest and back, shoulders and arms, leg pumper, upper body blast, total body knockout and cardio core crusher. Isn’t that awesome? I know people have been enjoying those Tony Horton workouts that dropped a few months ago.

We also have some interesting mobile updates to talk about.

If you like to get granular with your strength score and you want to know how much you’ve gained throughout time, this is perfect for you because now you can do it by body region. Do you know how they have lower body and upper body strength scores so you can see where you’re at? Now you can look at it over time. You can see like, “Overall my strength score is this, but how much has my upper body increased?” I have more of an increase in my upper body than my lower body because my lower body was already stronger than my upper body. It’s interesting to see how those different parts come together.

It would probably show you too if you’re favoring your upper body over your lower body or vice versa. If you’re fixated on your streak score and you’re like, “Where it’s at?” You’re like, “I’ll see more gains if I work in this other area.”

The other cool thing that dropped for people who love their Apple Watches and you have an Apple Watch, now, Tonal workouts will only be counted once in Apple Health. As soon as you get your mobile app all connected to Apple Health and make sure it’s all updated, you’re going to have it only hit once. It was adding twice for people and some people were getting double calories and some people weren’t, but now it only goes once to Apple Health. Thank you to the awesome software superheroes, as Kate would say. Thank you for doing that. I know a lot of people are going to be super stoked for that.

Checking in with the latest Tonal transformations. This time, it spotlights Jennifer Winter.

Jennifer talks all about her transformation because that’s what this is all about. She was diagnosed with pre-diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. She realized she had to do something to live longer and healthier for her family. In 2019, she started eating better, started working out. While all that helped, it was actually when her Tonal arrived that the magic happened.

How about that? Look at that. You can’t see it, but if you check out our YouTube channel.

It’s the difference. The transformation is truly stunning. Congratulations to Jennifer Winter.

I also am pre-diabetic so it’s important to do that stuff. Finally, Coach Jared was featured on the Tonal blog talking about how he discovered the strength to find a new passion.

TSS 23 | Improved BalanceHe was into baseball and then as he got older, it just started to feel like it wasn’t his passion anymore. He felt like it wasn’t his place given that it’s so white-dominated. He didn’t feel like he belonged, that the fellow players made a point to always make him feel like, “We know you’re different.” When he left, he had to find out and he was on the top of his game. I don’t know that much about baseball. He goes through his story, but he was at a school and he was at the top of that division and it was the top division.

He was at the top of his game. It was a very difficult choice for him to leave, but then it was like, “Now what do I do if I’m not going to do this other thing?” This whole article or this blog post is about how did he figure out how to move forward. He started with fitness because playing baseball is what helped him realize that he was good at fitness. He also realized that as he had been playing baseball, he was always the fittest guy on the team. He loved helping his teammates. He realized that since he liked the movement and working with people that maybe being a trainer would be a good thing for him and look where he is now.

It looks like he chose wisely.

It does look like that. I thought that was a cool story. I love hearing where coaches come from and how they get there.

Many of them seem to have fallen into it. It doesn’t seem like very many of them set out to be like, “I want to be a fitness coach.” It’s like they were doing these other things, then they drifted into it.

Life happens.

Joining us is Tracy Dingman. Tracy, how is it going?

How are you?


You’re an attorney, but that’s not the fascinating part. There are lots of attorneys.

You have a special story.

You finished law school at 50.

I was always a late bloomer. I blamed my father. I graduated undergrad at 40. I went to law school and then I quit. I decided I couldn’t do it. It was too much with raising three kids. I went back after being out of law school for six years, which is not the way to do it. I’m back in law school on day one. You’re getting called on. I’m in evidence. I’m thinking, “What have I done? Why have I done this?” I had three boys. I kept giving my children lectures about how once we signed up, we commit and we don’t quit. There was no way I could quit law school again, go home and face my children. I stuck it out and graduated from law school at the ripe old age of 50.

How far into law school were you when you stopped going?

I had to end my first year. When you’re in your second year, you don’t remember your first year. If you had done the math and all of a sudden you left and you went back, it was rough. It wasn’t a fun time, but I did graduate with honors. I studied lots of times at soccer practices and football practices with books. I still had three kids and you still have all that stuff.

How long is the law part of getting a law degree?

It takes three years.

You still had two to go. Were you working, too?

No. I went and took my bars. My theory was if I failed the bar exam because it’s a three-day exam in Texas, I was going to lie to my children because I was not going home and telling my children I failed the bar exam. I was going to be like, “I didn’t want to be an attorney. Never mind.” Luckily, I passed the bar exam.

I promise you. We’ve done 200 in the other one and 25 of these. They’re not going to listen to any of it.

This is episode 21, 22, or 3.

They don’t listen when you’re talking to him. They’re not going to go out of their way to listen to you.

They’re not going to search you out.

Here’s what will happen. One day, when we’re long gone, our children will miss us and they’ll be like, “They did that podcast.” They’ll pull it out and they’ll be like, “Can you believe her? How are we just not finding this out?” The ghosts from the past will tell you it’s because you didn’t listen. They’re going to hear this in the year 2082 and they’re going to be like, “He’s right.” We have something in common because I graduated from college at 45. I didn’t get a law degree. I got a Mass Comm degree. Who are we kidding? I’m now qualified to be a waiter in 38 states. I went back and had one class left to take.

He finished that class.

What interrupted your collegiate journey that you didn’t complete your undergrad?

I was burnt out in reality. I started my undergrad after high school back in the ’70s. My dad was adamant that I went to school. I didn’t want to go to school so I would start, drop out, start, and drop out until I finally quit. I was honest with my father. He was like, “No.” Years later, I decided I wanted to get my undergrad because I started doing victim service work. I decided I wanted to be a prosecutor. I went back in and got my undergrad.

I was trying to finish my undergrad because I started going to school and my kids would go to Mother’s Day out. I was juggling things where I would do it on Saturdays when my husband would watch the kids like lots of women do. I finished it and a week after I finished my undergrad, I started law school. Law school is rough, let alone law school and three kids. I couldn’t do it. It was like, “Why do I have to read all these books? Why do I have to learn all these words?” I was used to making Straight A’s. You think you’re fairly bright and you go into a top law school. Everybody’s in Phi Beta Kappa and they have their PhDs, there was a surgeon, and there are people with their Masters. I was like, “Okay.” You get into a competitive program and you have to be 110%. I needed a break.

TSS 23 | Improved BalanceAre you happy as an attorney now? Are you glad you went through the process?

I’m retired. I did. I went back to law school. When I quit in between, I work for the Texas Legislative Council. I got involved. Sitting through tons and tons of committee hearings, I found that I liked the story, not necessarily about the law, but what was the reason behind the law because there’s always a cool backstory. I did that for several years and that made me want to go back to law school. I got into criminal law and I liked it. I didn’t want to be a defense attorney and decided I didn’t want to be a prosecutor. Instead, I worked for the prison system, which is a different thing. I did that in Texas for ten years and worked for the legislative part of it. It was around and I decided I was done. I was going to go travel and did that for a couple of years.

That’s a cool circuitous route to get where you wanted to go. You decided to do things and then went and did them.

There’s a great lesson in all of that. Many times, people are like, “I’m too old to change or to do something different.” It’s funny, I remember doing that. At the age of 25, I always wanted to work in radio and I got offered an internship. I was 25 and the other interns were nineteen. I’m like, “I’m too old to do that.” I was like, “That’s dumb. It’s what I want to do. Why would I say no to that?” Somebody I worked with who was older than me was like, “I would have thought I was too old, but if you’re doing it, can you get me an internship?”

That was Mary.

She still works in radio. There are only three people left that work in radio, but she’s one of them. How about that?

It’s funny because my kids now are like, “I have to have my life planned out because I’m 30.” I’m like, “What? No.” What we’ve tried to tell my kids, especially when they’re trying to figure out what they want to do, is when you’re not supposed to know what you want to do when you’re eighteen. That’s life and the school will always be there. When you’re ready, go to school, but if you’re not ready, don’t go to school. For one, it’s expensive and you have to live with those grades and make that commitment.

It’s good to have goals, but you don’t want to be so locked in that you can’t discover new things.

It’s a fine balance because some kids if they don’t go to school right away, they’re never going to go to school. You have to look at it for each person and see what their motivations are because some people can get stuck in life and not do anything. You were a determined and ambitious person. You were like, “I’m going to go do this,” and you went and did it. A lot of people, they’ll be like, “I want to go do that.” They get scared and they won’t take the next steps to go do it. It’s an interesting thing. It’s brave that you did that and awesome that you didn’t let any of those fears get in your way.

I like Christina on Peloton. I went and did Kilimanjaro when I was 62. I kept thinking, “Why did I tell anybody that I was going to go do this?” I kept hearing her talking about, “What if you can?” That’s what I kept telling myself. When people are trying and struggling, they’re afraid to go out. You’re afraid to embarrass yourself or you’re afraid you’re going to fail or whatever that is that’s holding you back. What if you can?

Kilimanjaro. It’s got ‘kill’ in the name. They’re not burying the lead. That’s right there on French Street. That’s the real deal.

You became my new hero.

I’m like, “We wasted time with a stupid college story. We can be talking about Kilimanjaro.” Those are impressive feats, both of them.

We’re going to come back to Kilimanjaro because I want to hear how you first found out about Tonal and made the jump to decide to buy it.

I heard it on your show. It was on The Clip Out. You talked about the Tonal. I started to feel I needed to keep up with the Joneses because it was like, “She’s got one.” I had heard it and started looking into it. We still live in Austin. We live in a small town that doesn’t have a gym. One of the things when you go through menopause, you want to lift heavy. There’s a gym here, but it is a small town gym and COVID hit.

I knew I still wanted to lift heavy and I’m fairly small. For me to jump for 15 to 20 pounds is a huge jump, especially with my upper body. I tried to find seventeen-pound weights and I couldn’t find them forever. That was one of the things that I had thought and Tonal made me do that because I can control my weight. That was one of the things I found I liked about it because I can go up by one pound. When you’re playing, especially in my size, going up two pounds when I’m doing arms on one side is a lot of weight. It was great for that.

What has your fitness journey been? Have you always lifted weights? You’ve used Peloton, so I know Peloton appeared in your journey. I was not an active person when I was younger and I didn’t start getting active until I was in my 30s. What did it look like for you going through life? Have you always been an active person? Have you always been using weights?

When I grew up, I swam. I grew up in the Air Force and so we moved every year when I grew up. Back in the early ‘70s, I don’t remember women’s sports being what they are now.

They weren’t because Title IX was under the Nixon administration, if memory serves. It still took a while for it to come to fruition in terms of impacting things.

I started going back to the gym probably when I was in my 30s and it was to the point where it was okay to go to the gym and not feel guilty about leaving your kids because you’d already been to work all day. I started working out that way. I got into running. At 53, I decided to run my first half. I started getting into halves and was running. I was getting ready to do a marathon. I kept getting beat up from running and I wasn’t lifting weights. I went back in to lift weights to try to balance and not beat up from getting running all the time. That was when I started. That was probably several years ago when I started lifting weights and I started working with a trainer.

In Austin, they had small groups so instead of a private trainer, it was you and four other people. I went to the gym every morning at 5:00. In Austin, you have to be on the road at 7:00 or you’re in traffic. I would go lift weights for an hour before I go to work. I’ve done two a day a lot. I would go back to the gym after work, especially when the kids were all gone. I’d go back and do Pilates or do whatever. I would also lift individually with a trainer because I could do heavy on certain days. I did that through there.

When we moved into the smaller town, they had personal trainers, but they were all college kids. I had grown up athletically and knew their stuff, but they quit every three months as college kids do. I started lifting on my own at that point. I would do some of the Peloton stripe things. I like Andy’s classes and liked them a lot. As you get older, your balance isn’t what it used to be. I would move at a pace and Andy would move at a faster pace sometimes. I like Jess’ boot camps, but I felt I was slinging weights. With Tonal, I could move the weights at my speed. It’s a better workout for me.

It’s more deliberate.

We want to talk about digital weights versus traditional dumbbells. For me, one of the pros of Tonal is that not only is it deliberate whenever you’re moving the weight, but I struggled to know the right weights I should be using with free weights. Especially if it’s a timed move and I’m doing it anywhere else like Peloton, “This eight-pound feels good when I start,” but then it’s like, “This feels too light, I could probably move up.” I’m like, “This feels too light. Should I move to a ten? Should I go to a twelve?” By the time I’ve thought of all that, the minute is up and we’ve moved on to the next exercise. I missed my opportunity. I don’t remember what I used last time on this particular move. Was it the 8 or the 10? I can’t remember.

I spend so much of my time doing that. I don’t feel I’m focused and enjoying the workout. I like the workouts but I love the Tonal workouts because when I work out with them, I don’t have to think about what the machine is set on. It does its thing. If it feels too light, I can move it up and it remembers that. I don’t have to do it. It remembers it. That’s amazing to me and that’s part of what allows me to get a better workout because I spend more of my time lifting instead of worrying about what I’m going to lift if that makes sense.

TSS 23 | Improved Balance


Especially when you do a lot of the single-leg stuff, we’re doing the single RDL or the Romanian deadlift. I’d still be trying to get my balance and, all of a sudden, we’re done and we’re moving. With the Tonal, I can move more systematically and get through it and do all 8 or 10 of them or whatever you’re supposed to be doing. I get a whole lot better workout instead of feeling, “I’m going to hit myself in the head because I’m trying to get through and keep up with the Peloton person.”

What about when you were working out with a trainer? Compare the Tonal working out on a program versus working out with a personal trainer. How do the two compare if you were using free weights?

There are a lot of the same. For the most part, I worked out with a trainer because I would have to show up and somebody would tell me what to do. I didn’t want to have to work out with my program. I knew how to do it. It was like, “Here, Tracy, go do X.” Part of it was expensive being lazy. Tonal does the same thing, especially the programs. It’s all laid out for you. It’s there and it’s almost the same thing. When you work out with a trainer, he’s trying to talk to you, but you’re hot, tired, and it’s not clicking. With Tonal, it seems I can go back and I’m like, “I didn’t hear what they said.” You can hit the button and go back to hear it and repeat it or have them repeat it and pick it up a little bit better.

I was doing a squat and all I could hear in my head was Liz saying, “You’re supposed to have 80% of your weight on your front leg.” I kept thinking, “I need to shift because I need to have 80% of my weight up.” It worked out well. I’m impressed with how good it was and I was hesitant about buying it because all of a sudden I was like, “I’m 64. Why am I buying this?” Now I’m like, “Everybody in their 60s needs one of these because you need heavyweights. It’s great for your balance. You can go at your pace.” Liz has so many classes on people with knee problems. I love Jared’s mobility. The weights are great, but there’s so much else that’s also great.

I’m coaching Natalie’s balancing act and I’m loving it because it’s all single-sided moves. It’s all focused on creating that balance. Even the warm-ups and everything is all about how to fall correctly and how to make sure that your body is ready for any plane of motion that it’s going to be in. I love that because I’m starting to find that it’s not as easy to catch myself if I start to fall. I might not have my balance. I might be paying attention to something else and not be able to respond as quickly as I used to in my twenties whenever something’s happening. It’s great to be able to have those things.

Balance is a lot more important as people age than we realize. When I was doing my personal training certificate, that was a huge thing that they said for anyone older to be doing balance. Anybody of any age can do all of the same exercises that we all do when we’re working out. They might need to start with balance. They need to get grounded and comfortable before they start lifting weights and putting them above their head if they don’t have a lot of balance. Even somebody who’s in their 80s wanting to work out with weights, you can start with one of these balance programs and build up to be able to do all of those other things. That’s key to a lot of it.

The other thing I found out that I liked about Tonal was the spotter because I was doing one of the weights. It was on the third round through it and my arms were not going to go up. All of a sudden, it kicked in. At first, you’re like, “I failed.” You’re like, “This is great because it means I pushed to the point that my arms are not going to go anymore.” The system did what it was supposed to and I didn’t hit myself in the head. If I had lifted a free weight and you go up and all of a sudden your arms stop, you have the chance of smacking yourself with it. I thought that was great.

If you’re like me, you probably wouldn’t have done that. You probably wouldn’t have gotten to the point where it was exhausting because as soon as it started to hurt, you’re on to the next machine. It makes you push because you can see how many you have to go and you’re like, “I’ve got one more round and that’s what they told me to do, so I’m going to do it.” Some people have the discipline to go and do all those things, good for them. If you don’t have the self-discipline, having that counter in front of you makes all the difference in the world for me. I know that it’s this much that I’ve got to do. It’s prescribed. Therefore, I will do it.

That’s what I like about the programs. You don’t have to think about it. It’s like, “That’s what I’m doing now and that’s the end of it.” I was also thinking about when you talk about older people in balance. If you think about it, what do you always hear taking out an older person?

Falling and breaking a hip.

It’s what took out my grandma. She broke her hip and came back the first time. She was 90 and we were like, “Holy cow.” We didn’t think that was going to be a thing and it happened again at 95.

She didn’t bounce back quite as fast in 95. That’s a big thing in rehab. I remember one time when I was listening to a Tonal program or it was the Tonal Talk even. They said, “All rehabilitation, everything you do when you hurt yourself comes from strength. If you hurt a muscle if you break a leg and you’re coming back for and learning how to use it, it’s all about strength.” Thinking about all the different things that Tonal can do, it became a no-brainer to me that I needed one in my life. As I get older, I want to have that strength program going on.

Do you feel that you would have zero need for free weights in your life anymore? Is it all Tonal for you or do you still feel that there are some times when you would still want to use a regular?

One class I still go back to on Peloton are the core classes. Mainly because if I want to do core for ten minutes, it is a whole lot easier bringing it up on my television, grab an eight-pound weight and do it. I still use them for that, but I wouldn’t do any strength classes anymore where before I’d gone through them a couple of times, though. I get such a better workout and I can go heavier than anything I own at the house.

I don’t know about you, Tracy, but it’s funny that I’ve tried doing an arm segment in the middle of a cycling class. By the end of them, I used to feel burnt out. My muscles were so burned out with my three-pound weights and now I’m like, “This is nothing. This is so light.” I’ve gotten noticeably stronger with Tonal. As much as I love Peloton, I never got noticeably stronger muscles compared to Tonal.

I was doing somebody’s class and it was to do push-ups. It used to be if I could get to seven push-ups, I was happy. All of a sudden, I was doing 12 and 13. I was like, “This is cool.” I went and got my second vaccine shot. The woman kept going, “Relax your shoulders.” I’m like, “I’ve been doing lifts.” It was like, “You should get a Peloton or a Tonal.” I don’t think I’d go back to Peloton, except I like their core stuff. I like within the program when you do it in a class and they have a core within part of that is Tonal. They’re good because I could tell, on the sides and everything, how much stronger they’re getting. To do a core class on Tonal, I can do it a whole lot faster and Peloton. That’s probably from being lazy.

I get that. I don’t tend to add them on. I tend to do more of the full-body workouts on Tonal that include them to your point. I like the Tonal moves that include core. I like those more than the off-machine moves like the ones that you do, for example, the bird-dog with row. It’s where you balance on the bench and also row at the same time. I love how strong my core fields when I do those. That’s my favorite core exercise on the Tonal. I hate pullovers.

I can’t do those for the life of me. I kept getting lighter and lighter trying to pull from back and up. I find the ones where you do the resistance. You hold your arms up. You do your legs and lower that way are the ones that work so much better.

I probably need to watch one of those five-minute moves where Tonal instructors will break down the different moves on those pullovers because those are heck for me. I don’t know where the heck came from. I was like, “I cuss all the time.” Tracy seems so sweet. Do you feel you can get the same workout from free weights and Tonal or do you think it depends on the person?

I get a better workout out of Tonal than I do at a free weight. There’s a security with doing Tonal, even when I’m doing one leg stuff that my balance is a lot better and it may be because you’re holding two handles. I get a better workout out of Tonal.

How do you find you’re working it in with your Peloton? Is that fairly even? Is one winning? Is one falling by the wayside?

I’ve retired and I have time. My husband does all the cooking, grocery shopping and dishes in case you would like to take that over in your family, too. I usually do two a day. I’ll do cardio or strength training in the morning and then I’ll do the Peloton. There are days where I’ll do strength training and do whatever for a couple of hours. I went and did the Dixie Chicks. They’re the chicks now. They had a ride and a run. I went and did 30 minutes on the bike. I walked next door, popped over to the thing, and did 30 minutes on the tread. I stack things. I hike a lot, so I’m getting ready to go on a hike. I’ve been trying to do the tread because where I live if I walk six miles outside, I can get a 500-foot elevation. It’s rolling hills, but it’s not all let’s climb mountains. I’ll do the tread and try and stay between 10 and 15.

I love those Rebecca Kennedy hikes. Those are some of my favorites.

The first time I did 45 minute hikes, I was like, “Oh my god.”

Your booty feels every bit.

They’re crazy, but they’re good. I’ll do her hikes.

Does your husband use any of this stuff?


Good for him. Man after my own heart.

Just focusing on building a plan may be a miserable experience. But add working out, and it will become much more fun. Share on X

Not any of it. He tried the bike once and decided he didn’t like it. I don’t think he’s ever been on the tread. He’s never touched the Tonal.

Does he not like exercise at all? Does he do his own thing?

He goes hiking on some of the less intense hikes that we do. We used to travel a lot. We usually would go to Europe every year and go hike. He would get in shape enough to go to Europe and hike for a week, but it’s not his thing.

I can tell by the look on your face that you’re dismissive of that definition of getting in shape.

I come in going, “I signed up for another hike.” He’s like, “Okay.” We are getting ready to do a remodel job and I was like, “I’m going to go to Georgia and hike for a week.” He’s like, “Okay.” I’m like, “You’re the greatest husband ever.” We had a brand new puppy and we were doing the remodel. I was leaving to go hike, I thought, “I’m offended because do you not like me?” He’s like, “What do you mean?” He’s great and he’s supportive. He lets me go off and go hike around the world.

If he’s like me, he’s looking at it like, “I’ll stay home and do all this stuff because I can get out of hiking. I don’t have to hike. That’s a win-win.”

When I went to Kilimanjaro, every day, I would text because I had a Garmin thing. I would say, “We’re here and I’m okay.” All of a sudden, you summited and I quit texting. Three days later, I’m talking to him and he’s like, “What happened to you?” I was like, “I summited. Who cares after that?” He’s like, “I didn’t know if you were alive.” I’m like, “I summited. Who cares?”

I’ve read about mountain climbing and I’ve read books about Everest. That’s the most dangerous point. Many times when people climb mountains, they don’t pace themselves from an energy standpoint. They get to the top and it’s like, “We’ve got to turn around and go back down.” That’s when a lot of people get hurt or, God forbid, get killed because they’re so focused on getting to the top.

They don’t conserve the energy needed to get back.

It’s like, “I’ve got to do it all again backward.”

How long does it take to walk Kilimanjaro? How long did it take for you?

It’s a week.

TSS 23 | Improved Balance


I thought it was long.

It’s five days up and you fly going down, which, to me, was the worst part of it. Usually, anytime I hike going down is always the hardest on your knees and your quads. Plus, you’ve already reached your goal.

There’s nothing to look forward to.

That’s it. Psychologically, you’re like, “I’ve done it now.” Your focus isn’t the same.

You still have to climb down 13,000 feet and you’re like, “I’m done.”

They should put in a slide.

I’m trying to tell him that I needed champagne strawberries on a helicopter.

How much did your pack weigh? I assume you had to have a pack to carry.

No, because they have porters. You’re carrying a day pack. You’re carrying on your water and your rain gear and clothes like that. On the night we submitted, we didn’t carry anything. The company that I went with had a one-on-one porter, so your porter carried his pack and your pack. You only had to climb.

I went backpacking once and there’s a reason I went once. Let’s put it that way. I decided that a 70-pound pack was not my friend and I did not like it.

I do a lot of day hiking, where you hike all day and you go back to the bar and have a shower.

I like that. That’s more my speed. You can pee in a toilet instead of in a hole.

You still have the woods. You still have red wine at night.

I can deal with that much. Congratulations on that. That’s quite an achievement. I can’t even imagine.

It’s an achievement at any age. Hat tip.

It was great because I did that and I came back. In 2019, I traveled and hiked. I did Kilimanjaro. I came back. I went to Virginia and hike for a week. I came back and I went and hiked in Nepal, which was intense. It was great. For me, what drives me to work out is, for one, I tend to be goal-driven. I know you can’t tell. If you always have a hike, a race, or you always have something, and you’ve ever done any of those not worked out, you realize how miserable it is. If you work out, then there’s so much more fun. I always tend to sign up for something and so it makes me go work out. I’ll leave to go hike for a week in Tennessee and so every time I’m like, “I don’t want to go work out.” I’m like, “No, you’re going on this hike.”

She doesn’t need to travel buddy, but you could be her porter.

Think of red wine.

Your adventure sounds amazing, Tracy.

Do you have any advice for people who are new to the Tonal?

I went in and did Andy’s program before I got it because I kept reading about people that were sore. Through time, I did weights enough that when you go jump in, you realize how sore you get. I didn’t want to do that with Tonal, so I lifted weights for a while so I could do Tonal and not be sore. The other thing I enjoyed was the Tonal Talk. They were good because they had the whole thing on how to do a squat. If you have tight ankles, this is how to do it and that was a great resource. I did one of their monthly programs, the Side by Side and it was good.

It was Liz’s, but she did four workouts with you that I didn’t necessarily do what she did. I could go watch her because she would stop and talk. She’s like, “Do this. If your arms don’t go here, you could move the bar or whatever.” It had all these hints that were great with it. She did all these Facebook talks that would answer your questions. The resources have been amazing and I’m guessing it’s because they’re smaller and they can do that. It’s been great.

It’s also that they’re focused on intentionally creating a community. Companies that aren’t doing what Tonal find themselves not having the amount of community that Tonal does because they work hard at it. I applaud them for that. Kate has a lot to do with that. She has a lot of ideas that she comes up with and a lot of things that she does. The one that you did for the Side by Side there, they do those each month. April is going to be the glute one with Allison. What they’re doing is awesome because it takes one more thing off of people’s plates, especially when you’re new. That’s a great tip. Show up and do the workouts in this order for a whole month and go from there. If you want to do something else, do something else. That gives you something without thinking. Here’s an entire month of a plan. It’s great.

They had their book club that I listened to that was the Bio Hack. As you get older, they talk about the difference of how much of an influence exercise can work on your brain and stop people from getting dementia, Alzheimer’s. That’s part of what also drives my working out, but it was interesting listening to the woman speaks. They have so many resources if you take advantage of them. If you’re confused, go and look at Tonal Talks because more than likely, they have somebody speaking on it. If you’re not sure how to do something, go to their main website. Everybody’s nice and there’s lots of good information.

I love how they police and moderate there.

All those Tonal Talks are good, but they have a great one coming and the best one ever.

It’s called Tom’s Tonal Tell-All.

Tracy, thank you so much for joining us. Before we go, where can people find you if you would like to be found?

I have a Facebook page that’s under my name, but that’s about all I do. My Instagram is mainly me following people that do interior decorating or yoga.

You didn’t post any badass Instagram pictures from the top of Kilimanjaro?

Surely, you did.

My picture on top of Kilimanjaro is with my Peloton shirt, my century shirt. I dragged it up there. I have a couple of different pictures. Every time I ride the Peloton, I’m going, “Fix my stupid bike, fix my trend or fix my whatever,” I’m like, “I dragged your shirt all the way to Kilimanjaro.”

I would think they would share that, Instagram it or whatever they say over there.

They didn’t use to do that thing as much. I don’t know if they did do that, Tracy, but if they didn’t, repost that every once in a while because they should. They’re a lot better about doing that now than they used to be re-Instagramming.

The Peloton was such a big part of my training when I did Kilimanjaro. That was part of why I took it.

Thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it. This was a lot of fun. You’ve done a lot of fascinating things.

You sure have. Like I said at the beginning, I’m going to cuss again, in case you didn’t know.

Brace yourselves.

You’re a badass. That’s pretty cool.

Such language.

I cannot even make my kids read.

To that part, you should sneak back their phones and make that the ringtone whatever you call.

You should because you are. Thank you, again, Tracy.

Thank you.

I guess that brings this episode to a close. What pray tell do you have in store for people next episode?

We will be talking to Laurie Amerson who is a huge inspiration. She lifted a million pounds and she did that in less than a year. I’m pretty impressed by that.

Until then, where can people find you?

People can find me on Facebook.com/crystaldokeefe. They can find me on Instagram and Twitter @ClipOutCrystal.

You can find me on Twitter @RogerQBert or on Facebook.com/tomokeefe. Find the show online at Facebook.com/supersetpodcast. While you’re there, like the page, join the group, be sure and follow us wherever you’re getting your podcasts from 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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