TSS 9 | Tonal Programs

New Booty Builder Programs plus our interview with Joina Liao

TSS 9 | Tonal Programs


Lots of new things to do on your Tonal from Coach Natalie.

New Booty Builder programs from Coach Frances and Coach Allison.

New stuff in the Gear Shop but…it SOLD OUT in record time!

Crystal talks about her Dexa Scan.

And Crystal talks about her new Tonal program after not being happy about her Dexa Scan.

All this plus our interview with Joina Liao!

Watch the episode here:

Listen to the podcast here:

New Booty Builder Programs plus our interview with Joina Liao

Our guest this week is Joina. In the interview, you guys talked about getting a DEXA scan. We should say in between the time we recorded that interview and the time we’re recording this right now, you went out and got yourself a DEXA scan.

I got DEXA scanned. In the Midwest, they’re practically impossible to get one, because of COVID and two, because no one knows what the hell they are.

The place was selling you the wrong thing.

They kept trying to do a bone density scan, which I realize uses the same machine, but costs more. I had to get an order from my doctor and everybody was all upset and mad at me because I’m not a 60-year-old woman. It was a whole thing.

We also got to wonder like if it’s the same machine but just a different button, why does that cost more?

The bone density scan costs more probably because you have to have a doctor actually interpret the results. Whereas in DEXA scan, you don’t.

That’s a scan that you’re paying more for. It’s the interpolation.

Maybe it’s a little bit different use of the machine, honestly I don’t know. It was a whole thing. I don’t really get the same results as a real DEXA scan. Even though I ended up getting the one I wanted, the BMI, it still doesn’t break it down the way other companies do. I had to do some calculations on my own. One thing that became very clear is that I’m a lot further from my goal than I thought. Now, I will be working very hard on actually building my muscle because I found that unfortunately, my bathroom scale is correct.

That was fascinating to learn and I’m sure it depends on your scale. It probably also varies from person to person. I thought it was fascinating that the bathroom scale is close as it did to the big fancy DEXA scanner.

$75 out of my pocket. It was very close. It turns out that even though I’ve been using the Tonal and I’ve definitely toned, up my bathroom scale nor the DEXA scan believe that I’ve actually increased my muscle, but I have increased my fat. It’s definitely a good way to be accountable. I plan to have this process where I’m going to check in on a monthly basis and see how I’m doing. Maybe I’ll wait six months, I don’t know, we’ll see. I’m going to focus on muscle growth.

Maybe you shouldn’t do it right after the holidays. That’s fascinating. It also sucks that it’s so hard to find in the Midwest. Although, it will take some solace in the fact that we can still find acid wash jeans whenever we want.

We can, that is true. Hopefully when COVID is over. That’s why I keep telling myself anyway, that the local universities do have them. Hopefully I’ll be able to go back to that, which is cheaper, and they actually know what I’m talking about.

When we talked about that during the interview, now you know what we’re talking about and what your results were, obviously I didn’t have one because we all know that I’m just 90% Ho Hos. Is that a national snack treat?

Honestly, I don’t know, but I think it’s funny. I didn’t see a percentage for that on the actual.

That’s because you’re 0% Ho Hos. That’s for the best. What do you have in store for people this week?

We’re going to talk about all of the awesome new programs and content that are hitting Tonal. We’re going to talk about some upcoming Tonal Talks and some new fun stuff on the app that I’ve been using. It’s not brand new, but it’s new to me.

Before we get to all that, shameless plugs, don’t forget we’re available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, wherever you find a podcast, your podcast platform of preference, you can find us. While you’re there, be sure and subscribe so you never miss an episode. Join our Facebook group. You can do that at Facebook.com/supersetpodcast. While you’re there, like the page and join the group. The group is a little bit easier for you to communicate with us and with other audience of the podcast. That’s the difference people ask sometimes or they don’t fully understand, that’s what’s going on there. We would love to have you and be able to talk to you. One of the easiest things you can do to help the show, if you have a friend that has a Tonal, or maybe if you have a friend that is unsure about Tonal, share an episode with them so they can check it out and hear what actual users or instructors, depending on the week, think about the product. There’s all that. Let’s dig in, shall we?

There are all sorts of new content dropping on your Tonal device.

There’s a new program with Coach Natalie. That one is stronger every day. It’s an intermediate program four days a week, but it goes through what it takes to get even 1% stronger every day. It’s all about consistency. She promotes discipline and therefore is able to elevate your performance. Different moves in the second-half for variety, which a lot of people have asked for. That is important to hear that Tonal is listening. I really appreciate that in them. Then there is a new class, not a program, but just a one-off that came out from Coach Allison. Do you remember when we had Coach Allison on and she told us how she was a booty builder?

I do. Things about booty tend to stick in my head.

Then you should remember that this is a new booty class. It is a combination of compound and dynamic/plyometric movements to improve movement patterns for running, which means powerful.

How did you just make booty boring? You added all the science to it.

The important thing is that it makes your booty better. That’s all you need to remember.

You’re like, “You do this and the booty won’t be boring.”

That is exactly what I’m saying.

There is math and science to improve the booty and then when it’s all done, the booty will be better.

It’s all about the booty. It’s going to help that. That means it’s going to help your running, cycling and swimming. Check out the new booty workout. We’re not done. There is a brand-new stretch workout with Coach Francis. It’s 23 minutes, totally focused on the upper body. It’s relief from all of the things that gets sore, your biceps, your triceps, your back, all of that. It’s perfect for your rest day or right after lifting to release the tension. Then there’s another workout from Coach Allison, Strength and Stillness. It is an active recovery, twenty-minute meditation. Being still is as important as moving, which you’re supposed to have a balance. This is a guided meditation, so it helps you find calm, reduce stress and alleviate tension. I can’t wait to hear what everybody tries. I am all in on that booty workout.

We have a good news, bad news situation at play here. Even the bad news is still ultimately good news. People had been asking for new stuff in the gear shop. The variety was a little slim, so they added some new things. That’s good news. Bad news?

It’s all sold out and it sold out really fast.

That’s also good news because that means lots of people love their Tonal and want to show people that they love it.

TSS 9 | Tonal Programs


Here’s the thing, people had been asking for more variety of color and more variety of shapes. There were a lot of t-shirts before, and this time there were tank tops available. Good news for you, Tom, it sold out before I got to it. I couldn’t decide on a color, then by the time I decided on a color, it was gone. That’s the good news for you, but don’t you worry when it’s back, I will be playing catch up. I want to have my Tonal gear too.

That’s also a great indication of the passion that people are developing for Tonal.

I can’t wait until I see my first Tonal t-shirt in the wild.

It’s funny. I remember when you got your Peloton, and the first time you would see something in the wild, you’d be like, “Oh my God.” You’d be so excited whenever you would have run across and you guys would go up and you’re Facebook friends with those strangers now.

I met somebody while voting a few years ago. I met a Peloton person and I’m still friends with them on Facebook.

Luckily, you were voting for the same people, so that made it easier. I have no doubt that whenever that day comes, and it will, that you will be beside yourself.

I’ll probably jump into their arms. They’ll be strong enough to lift me and I’m small enough.

There were some Tonal Talks. People love the Tonal Talks.

They love the Ask the Coach too like they name them different things. We had Ask Coach Natalie on the 3rd, and then there was a Tonal Talk with Coach Allison, which was all about radical self-care. I was able to join that one. It was all about the different things you can do. Many people said, and it’s true, that Coach Allison has this way of breaking things down to its simplest form and that we tend to overcomplicate things and make everything hard. She has this way of breaking it down very simple. Before that, there was a weekly pause, which every Monday they have a time to pause and reflect. Coach Natalie did that one and it was all about modifications for the body and the mind. Different ways to think about things, interpret things and different ways to work out because not everybody has the same ability. If you’re not watching the Tonal Treats with Coach Nicolette, you really need to. It’s a blast. This last one was with Coach Nicolette and Coach Pablo. There were no cheetah facts. I don’t know what’s up with that. Maybe someday there will be, but it was so much fun. They made treats and they made drinks and there were lots of jokes. It was a blast. You should join those if you ever have a chance.

It’s nice to see the instructors hanging out and being doofy, not always about, “Be focused, do this, lift that and move this.” Math your booty.

They need to trademark that.

If they do a coach line, “Math your booty.” It’s my gift to you, Coach Allison.

I’m sure she’s going to be all over that. This week coming up, there’s more. We record on Monday, some of these people won’t be able to do, but if you haven’t gotten a chance to do them, go back and do them. They keep them.

They don’t disappear. They’re still out there

They’re on YouTube, so it would be easy to find. Today is going to be the weekly pause and it’s going to be a Hip Release Flow with Coach Paul. I don’t know about everybody in the audience, I know you though, you sit as much as I do. This is helpful to keep things flexible. It helps with everything. It helps with running. It helps with biking. If you can keep everything moving, you can be more powerful in those exercises.

I thought this was designed to make you less cool like you’re just going to release your hipness like, “I’m pretty cool.”

September 8th is Coach Natalie’s Reverse Training birthday workout. It will be Coach Natalie’s birthday. Happy birthday to Coach Natalie. You will get to do a training workout with her because she’s reversing her age. It’s pretty cool. That’s a new thing that they’re doing with all of the coaches on their birthdays, which I think is great. Also coming up this week, Ask Coach Nicolette. That is Thursday, September 10th, 4:00 PM, Pacific Time. Next Monday, the Weekly Pause, Mastering Mobility with Coach Jared. This is super important, especially if you sit a lot, which I do. I have a very sedentary job. This is great because you need to keep moving, especially as you get older. Tom, you should at least master some mobility.

I’ve been mobile more than ever with what they got me doing at work. I stand for eight hours a day, checking people’s temperature as they enter government facilities.

The crazy times we’re in.

If you don't prioritize your fitness, you're not going to make the time for it and you're always going to find some excuse. Click To Tweet

Remember when I was a concert promoter? Remember when there were concerts? Now whenever I think of concerts, they’re automatically in sepia tone. For some reasons, I think of the Lizzo concert and it looks like old time newsreel footage.

That was such an amazing concert. That feels so long ago.

You’ve got a voiceover from some guy with a weird mid Atlantic accent.

That was a great concert though and it feels like forever ago. We’re coming up on the year anniversary of that.

It’s weird, the year anniversary will actually be the five-year anniversary of having seen it.

It feels like it. It has been a weird year. One other thing that I wanted to mention, is that they have added to the Tonal. I know I’ve told people about this, but I actually got to see it in action. When you get a new PR on the machine, it shows up in this really cool medallion, like a circle. It will tell you what your new power is, your strength. When you go to you use your app afterwards, you can see specifically where you had a PR and if it went up in strength, if it went up in volume, you can see that. The only thing is you can’t share those specific PRs yet, so I need to include that as a Friday Feature because I want to be able to share them. I love to share things. If you haven’t looked into that, look into that. It’s super motivating to see all the different ways you go up and all their new badges. If you work out on your birthday, for example, you get one. If you do yoga for the first time, you get one. They’re hidden, so you’ll never know when you’re going to get one. Those you can share. That’s pretty cool.

Could you get a screen grab and share that at least?

It happens so fast. It just flashes on the screen. That’s why I want them to incorporate it in the app because they have these nice graphics on the Tonal, and it always makes me happy when they happen but I can’t share that graphic on social media yet. I hope that is coming.

They’re pretty responsive.

I was laughing at the thought of me being like, “Please include this,” on the podcast and they’re like, “Here you go.”

Joining us in this episode is Joina Liao. How’s it going?

It is great. How are you?

We are good. You’re another patient audience.

Joina, since I last talked to you, I told you that we had downloaded drivers and so it was going to be fine. It turns out that it was not the drivers. It’s a whole new word. We are buying all new equipment and we did at least get it working enough to be able to do this interview, which was the important thing because we left you hanging. Thank you for being patient.

I’m glad you got it figured out.

In a way, I feel better about the fact that the whole thing completely craps the bed, but it wasn’t like we did something wrong. Everything stopped working. We’re like, “I guess we’re buying all-new stuff.” We know how Crystal loves new stuff.

I know you are a long-time Peloton rider, but you are also a Tonal user, which is why we are here. I saw that you made this amazing post in the Official Tonal Community about you did a DEXA Scan. Tell us all about that.

I have been doing DEXA Scan for years. I like to track the progress, especially years ago, I started using a personal trainer and then I added the Peloton. I did Stronger U for a little bit and then I added the Tonal. It’s good to see that progress.

For somebody that might not know, what’s a DEXA Scan?

I’m going to give you my definition. It’s not technical or professional, but it’s like an MRI machine. You lay on it and there’s a scanner that goes through your entire body. You have to stay still for about six minutes as it scans your body. It breaks down between bone, muscle, and fat composition. It’s the most accurate way you can measure body fat. Most people use those scales at home. A lot of the newer ones have a way to measure it. It’s not as accurate, but it gives you a good indication if you’re going in the right direction, at least.

Before we dig in, I’m curious, when you talked about scales that have the BMI, I always looked at that and that’s probably tantamount to your horoscope. Since you’ve done both, you presumably have a scale that does that and you’ve done the super fancy DEXA Scan, how close was your scale? I am not looking for numbers, I’m not trying to embarrass you, but how close you are on the results on the scale to the results in the big fancy machine?

It was not accurate, but it does give you a good indication. I am okay talking about my numbers. I posted it on Facebook anyway. The last time I did a scan was the beginning of 2020. I was at 28% body fat. I went down to 22% body fat last time, which is a 6% difference. The scale that same morning showed 24%. It’s a 2% difference, which is in terms of body fat is a big difference. If you look at those body fat charts online and the categories that you are in, 24% is in the average category and 22% as well into the fitness category. I like that number better.

That’s good information. I would’ve thought, “It is 2%.” My first thought was like, “That doesn’t seem bad.” A 2% off for a $60 or $100 scale get whatever they are. I’m always skeptical of that number anyway. It’s a lot closer than I would have thought.

It’s not bad and the DEXA Scan, you know that is accurate.

Your home scale is the equivalent of Indiana Jones trying to put that idol spot for the bag of sand. That feels enough.

I was looking at my app because I have one of those Withings scales. I know for a fact that I have gained muscle. My muscle mass hasn’t gone out and hasn’t changed for the entire year. I know that is BS.

You know because you’re using Tonal for sure, you’re gaining muscles. It breaks down the entire body, your right arm versus your left arm. It gives you that breakdown in detail.

Do you have a place that you do these? You said you’ve been doing this for years. Is there a local place that allows you to come in? I’ve only heard of that locally where I have one of those colleges that do fitness studies. I don’t know how common they are. It’s why I’m asking that question.

This is a chain so they are located across the nation called DexaFit. They have a location that’s close by. I live close to the Tonal headquarters too and to the Oconee Gym where all the personal trainers came from.

You are in the Tonal Mecca.

I had one of these scans. I did a weight loss study a long time ago. They did want at the beginning and then at the end to see how I was doing. You lay down on a table. It’s an open-air. It’s not like an MRI where you’re like in a cage. It’s a flatbed scanner going over you. It said I was fat, but I had less fat than I was at the beginning of the weight loss.

If you’ve been doing this for a few years, what have the jumps been? Six percent seems incredible for six months. You are losing 1% of body fat a month. Have you been seeing that the entire four years? What’s that been looking like?

I yo-yo a lot. When I started with my personal trainer, I was around 32%. That’s also when I started with the Peloton. I lost a lot of weight also when I did Stronger U. I was at my lowest at the end of 2018, then 2019 was bad for me. One pound a month, it creeps up on you. By the end of 2019, I was right back to where I was before. That’s what triggered me to, “Let’s zero down again and do Stronger U, Peloton, Tonal and focus again.” That’s when I lost it all in the last seven months.

I feel like that’s good that you gained it over a year and lost in seven months. Normally, it’s the other way around. That’s a success story, no matter what, but that seems pretty more successful.

Thank you. It is a lot of hardwork.

You’ve been doing Stronger U and you’ve been doing this too. For readers who don’t know, talk a little bit about that.

It’s a nutrition coaching, a service that helps you with macro counting. You have a coach that you check in weekly, you work with them around your macro budgets, how many grams of fat, protein, and carbs you can have each day. You manage all your meals around that. You can eat whatever you want, as long as you fit the macros around what you want to eat for the day. I find that with that liberty, it’s much easier for me to stick to it as opposed to trying to restrict everything.

How did you find this great combination? What led you to Tonal in particular? What were you like, “This is going to be the strength moment?”

You did. I’ve been a Peloton rider since 2015. I had been an audience to you since you started your show, The Clip Out. It was towards mid-2018 was when these strength training Peloton started coming out or there’s a lot of news buzzing around it. There was an article that was posted on the Clip Out Group about Tonal. I immediately looked at it because I have a personal trainer. I spend a lot of money on personal training. I’ve been using a personal trainer for many years. I know how much they cost. Anything that could help with that triggered my interest. When I looked at it, I Googled it. I found out they opened their first SF store a month before I started looking. I scheduled a demo, I went to the store and I bought it. They hadn’t even come out yet. It came out in October of 2018. I bought it in September and I had to wait two months before I could get it.

You are an OG Peloton and an OG Tonal.

It was exciting. I couldn’t wait. It was for two months and because they knew I was excited about it and they knew why I was close to the Tonal headquarter, I did use it a couple of times as a beta user. A lot of the welcome videos that you saw when you first got your Tonal, I did that in the actual offices and I gave my feedback on it.

Is that how you got chosen to be in that New York Times article too? I want to hear about that.

I’ve been such an avid participant on the Facebook group Tonal. Marketing people asked me to be in the article. I don’t know why. Another interesting thing is that my personal trainer did work at DIAKADI. I worked out at DIAKADI and I’ve seen Nicolette, Natalie, Pablo. They have been working out around me. I have seen them. When I went demo and I saw the coaches, I’m like, “I know most of these people. I have seen them around.” I knew that they were quality personal trainers because that gym is a packed gym in San Francisco.

It sounds like it’s the fitness equivalent of Greenwich Village in the ‘60s. It has Bob Dylan and Stephen Stills and all hanging out there. All go on there and no big deal. You got a Peloton and Tonal. We’ve all got Coronavirus, not necessarily infected, but it’s out there. Are you still using a personal trainer or have these replaced that? Do they work together? Is the personal trainer scared of it? What’s going on?

He doesn’t like it. He feels like it’s taking his job, which is true. It is automation. It’s taking over the whole world. I stopped using him in mid-2019 when I started focusing on the Tonal. I did use and still go to him for the first six months while I still had to Tonal because there are some things that you can’t do with the Tonal of like powerlifting, that stuff, which I thought you could feel supplement at the gym.

How awkward was that or do you ghost on him like dating?

We still chat quite a bit. He’s friends with the other Tonal coaches. It is much cheaper and people need to save money.

Is he at that same gym? Is that where he works out of?

Yes, but the gym is closed and in fact, they’re going to be filing for bankruptcy. They’re trying to survive, but with COVID, it’s hard.

I feel bad for them. It’s one thing to have a competitor cost you business. That’s the nature of the business, but for something like this to take a business down, I hate to hear that.

It’s tough.

TSS 9 | Tonal Programs


Especially since there’s so much Tonal history into DIAKADI it hits on two levels. It would be sad no matter what, don’t get me wrong, but it also had other levels of sadness knowing that there’s the Tonal history with that. If they’re trying to file for bankruptcy, is that the kind where they would do a reorganization? Is it where it would be like, “We’re done here?”

It is the latter. A lot of the coaches are doing remote sessions with clients and things like that. That’s all you can do these days.

I hope your guy will get scooped up by Tonal. It seems to be their go-to place. Maybe he’s already on their radar.

I keep telling him because Coach Jackson is one of the most popular ones and he looks like him.

There’s always room for two. How is the nutrition piece then? Do you feel like that fits into your success this time around in a different way? Do you feel like using Stronger U is super important? How is that working?

It’s more important because I reached my maintenance week. When I was at my lowest, I was at 24% body fat. I’m leaner now, even though I weigh more. I’m about five pounds over that and that’s all because of muscle. The right nutrition is important in maintenance as well because you want to continue to build muscle and not lose it, especially if you’re still doing a lot of cardio. A lot of carbs is insane. The number of carbs on that, I can barely fit it in. I never thought I could. I would say one day that I’m taking carb supplements that I add to my water to get carbs.

Are you saying carbs?

Yes. I have so many carbs that I have to put in my body.

I can eat those carbs. I don’t care what number they give me, I can hit it. Can you eat some ice cream and you’ll be good?

You’re going into the fats too, which is bad. That’s the hard part, the balance. I have no problem with protein. I have a problem trying to stay within the protein range that I need, but carbs, it’s hard for me. My plate is huge. Every dinner time, even my boyfriend looks at it like, “I can’t believe how much you eat.” I’m like, “I can’t either.” I’m still losing. I lost a pound and I’m like, “Why? I am in maintenance.”

Tell us a plate of carbs looks like, I’m curious. How many grams of carbs you’re supposed to eat a day?

I’m at 210 grams of carbs, 64 fats, and 140 for protein. I eat a lot of white rice because that’s how I get my carbs. That’s about 200 grams of white rice. I’ll make a ton of veggies, whatever veggies I have in my fridge, roasted. That will be a huge pile. I then have a steak, a pork chop, or chicken, whatever protein. That’s about eight ounces. I eat a lot. It is crazy how much I have on my plate.

I’m in low carbs now so I normally do between 20 and 50 a day. That’s where I’m at.

I don’t know how I could do that.

He goes in the other direction, but when I was doing Stronger U, I had 120 carbs, 110 proteins, and then it was 47-ish on the fat. I can pull through those carbs. I can look at the food and the carbs were gone.

I was around the same numbers when I was cutting. Those numbers are hard. You have to be dedicated.

It’s super important than nutrition. You feel like that’s been a game-changer as far as working with the Tonal, doing the strength. How are you integrating your Peloton workouts, your cardio, and your strength?

I don’t do Peloton as much anymore. In fact, I haven’t been on it for several months, not at all. I got a treadmill. This is what happened when I first got the Tonal. It was all the same time that the Tread came out. I struggled between having to choose between the Tread and the Tonal. Eventually, I ended up getting the Tonal because I felt like you can get cardio on a bike or running outside. Instead, I bought a cheap treadmill from Costco for $500, but it’s good enough for me. I do run quite a bit still. The reason is that I watch TV shows a lot on the treadmill and I forget about it. Instead of watching a spin instructor, I prefer catching up on my TV shows on the treadmill. That’s what I do with the Tonal so I don’t do Peloton as much anymore.

I do think that’s probably one of the biggest hurdles that Peloton has with their Tread is that people are not used to classes around a treadmill in the same way that they’re used to classes around a bike. It has been around for so long and that has baked in that concept. For a treadmill, many people do what you do. That’s their chance to listen to a podcast, watch a TV show, or zone out an audiobook or whatnot. They’re checking two boxes, even though maybe they’re not as intense. It sounds like you’re doing a lot, not questioning what you do. For a lot of people, it’s their downtime mentally. They don’t want all that.

That is true. I enjoy it because I didn’t have a good running form. I’m trying to be a better runner. Running never came naturally to me. I enjoy having an instructor for that, but I see what Tom is saying. There’s validity to that. A lot of people, that’s how they’ve always used the treadmill, exactly the way you’re using it. If that makes sense to me, I’m a little sad.

She’s like, “Why 210 carbs?” She was stuck with sadness.

How are you balancing your time on your treadmill and your time on the Tonal? Tell us about that.

I work out a lot. I used to work out on the Tonal and then follow that up with a run, but I read some articles that say that you’re losing the muscle that you gained if you follow the cardio right after missing weight. I switched it where I do cardios in the morning and then I lift weights in the evening. I do about 45 minutes on the treadmill in the morning. Right before dinner, I get on Total and do maybe 45 minutes on it. I do some power AB exercises, but that’s another fifteen minutes. That is about an hour of strength training and I do that 4 to 5 times a week. I run almost every day and maybe I’ll take a day off, but I rarely take days off.

How do you find time for this?

You’ll find it. It’s a prioritization process. You prioritize your health and you work your schedule around it.

Is your job full-time?

Yes, but I am not in a job now. I’m unemployed.

If you're just starting on your fitness journey, it’s important to be patient with yourself. Click To Tweet

What’s your career field?

I was in financial services. I left at the end of 2019. I have a lot of time to focus on my health.

That’s great that you can do that. For people out there that are trying to figure it out, I was trying to help them compare apples to apples.

When I did have a full-time job, I still prioritize health. It’s like planning your macros on MyFitnessPal. You look at the schedule, you look at how many times do you want to work out on the Tonal. What time? You put that in and then anything else, when somebody wants to hang out, I look at my schedule. If there’s something already there, then we have to move it. It’s a prioritization. You have to fit it in and takes time.

Some of my issues are I might take on too much at times.

I can’t do that. A full-time job, a family, and all your workout.

When you are working out, are you doing the programs on Tonal or do you do your custom workouts?

I do have most of the programs because I’m used to having a personal trainer. I like having people do the thinking for me, as opposed to me trying to figure out what I’m supposed to work this day versus the next day, what’s the most efficient way of working for a muscle group. I don’t want to spend time on that. I would rather have somebody tell me what to do. I love the program. I understand why they are the way are. I get that they’re supposed to repeat every week because that’s how you progress with strength training. It is different than cardio. I prefer the programs over custom work.

Personally, I do too. I feel like all of the things you said are me to a T. “I don’t want to think about any of that stuff. Tell me what to do and I’ll show up and do it.” It’s easier than figure it out myself. It gives me an out if I have to figure it out myself.

They know what they are doing, so might as well leave it up in their hands.

That’s why you hired them. That’s what they’re there for. How are you finding that since you’re accustomed to a personal trainer? You did it for a long time. How does it feel to have it on the screen and not have someone there in real life?

There’s not as much personal connection. It’s not like somebody talking to you and you can’t have a conversation. The focus is on working out and getting a workout done and doing it right, then Tonal has it balanced. It’s great. It’s missing that personal one-on-one connection, but otherwise, it’s great. I can’t believe the coaches are amazing. Every single one has their own specialization and I know if I want to do more recovery type of workout, then I can look at loses workout, it’s Jared versus if I want to go hard, it’s Nicolette or Jackson. You can learn. I like Peloton instructors too.

That’s accurate.

I’m curious to hear that you are using a personal trainer for years. Were you with the same person all that time? How many did you rotate through?

I used to live in New York for many years. I had about three personal trainers there and then when I moved to San Francisco, this last one.

When you’re talking about that one-on-one relationship, did he ever get anywhere where you’re like, “No, this one is not right.”

For sure, it’s important to have a connection with your personal trainer. They coach you and you want to be able to believe in what they are saying that this is going to work for you and know that they know what they’re talking about. I have gone through maybe twice were one session, you know right away that I’m going to connect with the person. They don’t do the same philosophies that you have with working out. I can’t then doing too much cardio during a session because to me the focus should be strength training. If a personal trainer tells me to get on a treadmill and run for fifteen minutes, you cost me $25 to run on a treadmill for fifteen minutes. I was like, “This is not going to work for me.”

At that point, we were like, “You’re phoning it in.” Personal trainer, you got me for an hour, spend 40 of it on a treadmill. “I’ll be over here, reconnect.”

I’m still friends with all of my trainers from the past. We all keep in touch.

Have you ever had an experience with a personal trainer where you felt like maybe they were a little mean?

Other people may consider them mean but I take it. They tell me what to do and I do it. No questions were asked.

There are many different teaching styles, I’m sure there’s some that come in with the tough guide, drill instructor mentality. There are others that are more inspirational and supportive.

I remember one time when I had an assessment at a gym. They were trying to do it in ways that like a trial period with a personal trainer. In theory, you would love it and have a personal trainer for a while. The first day, she looked at me. I was out of shape and I felt judged. I felt like I couldn’t do, for example, burpees. It was my first experience with burpees and she didn’t like my style of doing a burpee. It wasn’t corrective like, “Do this and try this.” It’s like, “You can’t do those.” I would be like, “My knees hurt. This is not feeling good.” It wasn’t a helpful or supportive environment. It turned me off of the gym in general. I was like, “I already felt uncomfortable being there.” It made the whole situation worse. I remember after I had lost a bunch of weight, I started going to spin classes there instead. I saw her in the locker room and it was like, “See, I lost weight without your stupid personal training.”

I get it. Those are the worst personal trainers.

That was my feeling.

They won’t last is my guess. They run out a lot. You also have a Peloton, but you don’t use it tons at the moment, but what is your leaderboard name, if you care to share it?

I am original, Joina.

I get where you came up with that. Do you miss the leaderboard piece of it on Tonal at all?

No, it’s different. The whole live concept on Tonal, I don’t know how that would work. It’s a different piece altogether so I don’t miss it.

I tend to agree with you. My biggest reason for not feeling like I’m missing out on a live experience is that I don’t think I could necessarily keep up with other people. I don’t think I would be doing proper form if I had to worry about keeping up. That would constantly be in my head. I’m good.

How would a leaderboard work on Tonal? The strength score is great and I would love to see more details around where we are like a chart or a pie chart with women where the age groups and broken down like that. That would be awesome. Other than that, I don’t know how that would work in a live class. It’s interesting if they come up with something, great, but I don’t miss it.

Do you have any advice or suggestions for people starting their fitness journey?

Prioritize, that’s important because if you don’t prioritize it, you’re not going to make the time for it. You’re always going to find an excuse like, “I don’t feel great. I’m going to take a rest and I’ll tackle it the next day.” If you are prioritizing, you put in your calendar, you have to do it. Be patient with yourself. Don’t go all-in. You take a little bit at a time, many times, I have decided to do it all at once and dive right in. I did too much and I ended up quitting. I don’t know how I didn’t quit this time around because I did pile it all at once. Somehow it worked in the last months, especially if you’re starting on this journey, it is important to be patient with yourself.

That is good advice. I have one more question though. Have you noticed whenever you’re gaining strength or you’re working on strength, do you feel like there are certain muscle groups that you can tell your gaining strength faster than other muscle groups? Does that make sense?

For sure, my lower body is way stronger than my upper body and that’s how it’s built. It has to do also with muscle size. With your legs, you’re going to have a lot more muscle, and your strength going to reflect that. It’s hard for me to increase that upper body strength, no matter how much I try.

I’m glad I’m not alone. Thank you. It doesn’t matter how many bench presses I did in a program. I barely move. My strength score goes up and the little ding happens on my lower-body moves, but the ding does not happen as quickly on the upper body.

My lower body strength score is over 1,000 and my body is 600-something. It’s half of that.

She’s obsessed with the upper body straight. We were watching Raiders of the Lost Ark with the kids and every time there was a stunt, she’s like, “Look at that upper body.” He’s going under the truck as it is moving and she’s like, “That’s so much upper body.” I’m like, “Honey, it still takes work, but they dug a trench, so there is a room for his body to hang out. It is an optical illusion.”

It’s the same way. If I see a woman with cut arms and they look good. I’m like, “Goals. That’s what I want.”

They’re looking at your legs and your lower body strength and thinking the same thing.

Thank you. Since you got your Tonal, have you stopped yourself in the mirror sometimes and start admiring and flexing? I’ve done that quite a few times.

TSS 9 | Tonal Programs


I will tell you a secret. I told Tom one time, I was wearing a sleeveless top and we were doing one of these. I kept moving because the shadows were making bits of my shoulders. I was like, “Look at that shoulders.”

I’ve done that too. I get it. I do have a six-pack at the right angle. Sometimes I would try to get the right angle so I can see it.

At least there is an angle where it’s visible.

Joina, thank you for doing this. If people would like to find you on social media, where’s the best place to do that?

Facebook mostly, I do have Instagram, but I don’t go on much. That’s @JoinaLiao.

Thank you for taking the time out of your day to join us.

Thank you for having me. This was such an honor. I enjoyed it.

That brings this one to a close. What pray tell do you have in store for people next time?

Next time we are going to talk to Bernie Rizzo, a super fascinating guy. He posted a picture on the Official Tonal Community talking about his work with Coach Liz in addition to the Tonal. I was fascinated, so we had to get him on the show and have a talk.

Until then, where can people find you?

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

You can find me on Twitter, @RogerQBert or on Facebook at Facebook.com/TomOKeefe. You can find the show online, Facebook.com/supersetpodcast. While you’re there, like the page and join the group. Wherever you’re getting your podcast from, be sure and subscribe 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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