TSS 11 | Muscle Definition

Tonal Introduces New Ways to Manage Goals and we interview Michelle Kenyon

TSS 11 | Muscle Definition


Tonal has streamlined the number of goals from 6 to 3.

Virtual Group Workouts are here!

Tonal changes their commenting policy on select Facebook posts.

Apple Music vs. Spotify on Tonal.

Tonal introduces Kickboxing and Barre.

Tonal celebrates Latinx Heritage Month.

All this plus our interview with Michelle Kenyon!

Watch the episode here:

Listen to the podcast here:

Tonal Introduces New Ways to Manage Goals and we interview Michelle Kenyon

What do you have in store for people?

There are about a billion new features on Tonal.

We are adding things like crazy.

We’re going to talk about all of that, then some other stuff. There are not only new features, but there are new class types. There are some topics that came up during the recent Tonal Talk that I thought would be fun to talk about now. All of that.

Before we get to all that, shameless plugs, don’t forget we’re available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcast, wherever you find a podcast, you can find us. While you’re there, be sure and subscribe so you never miss an episode. Wherever you getting your podcasts from, maybe leave us a review so people that come along behind you will know that it’s worth to listen.

I know some people have left us a feedback. Just so you guys know when we say leave a review, if you could leave it on the podcast platform that you’re listening to, so if you get your podcasts through Apple, for example, please leave it on Apple Music. Having reviews is one way that they figure out that people are actually listening, and that’s a good way for them to push us closer to more people. That’s how we grow. That is why we’re asking for that.

Also, if you want to stay up to date on Tonal and the podcast in between episodes, the best way to do that is to check us out on Facebook, Facebook.com/supersetpodcast. There’s a page and a group. Like the page and join the group, and you’ll be all up to date. You won’t have to wait. There’s all that, let’s dig in. Shall we?

I really like this new tweak. There used to be six goals on your Tonal, now there are three goals.

Why do you like that?

I’m a big fan of them having fewer goals to deal with on any level. Anytime there’s like, “Shoot for these six. Make it three things.” Sold, I like that.

I’m pretty sure there’s a secret fourth goal called make tom exercise in any way, shape or form.

That’s a hyper specific goal. That’s nobody’s thinking.

You’ll never know, Tom. I think that this is very helpful to people who are brand new to weight training in general and also new to Tonal. For anybody who’s reading this and you’re not sure what we’re talking about, before, there were six different goals. When you turn on your Tonal for the first time, you’re asked to choose a goal. You can change them any time but you were asked actually to choose two goals. Now, you only need to choose one. For example, mine was Get Lean, but also Get Stronger. Now, my choices are going to be Get Lean, Build Muscle or Improve Fitness. They talk through a little bit of what each of those are. I think this simplifies things is my point. Before, it was like get lean and then there was fat loss. It was two very similar sounding things, at least for building the muscles. This will help simplify it for people who are brand new to weight training or to Tonal. The first one is Get Lean. What that’s going to do is focus on calorie burning, so you might see more cardio or not even necessarily more cardio, but the moves that you’re going to be doing might be intense enough to get your heart rate up. You’re not going to be doing necessarily jumping jacks. You might be getting your heart rate up by doing a move that’s difficult on the Tonal.

You’re going to get sweaty.

For example, the reverse goblet lunges.

I know that the reverse goblet lunges are bad. Here’s how I know, when I do something that upsets her, she calls me that. She’s like, “You no good reverse goblet.” I was like, “I’m really in trouble.” That’s like when your mom used to say your middle name. If she calls me a reverse goblet lunge, I get back in line.

My heart gets a pumping with the reverse goblet lunge, but it’s still a strength exercise. That’s my point. Then you have Build Muscle, which is going to be all about increasing muscle mass. That’s getting your muscles to be bigger or another word for it is hypertrophy. Then you have another one that is called Improve Fitness. This is going to be a balanced approach to improving your strength, your balance, flexibility, everyday functionality, things like lifting the groceries out of the car. If you wanted to improve on a variety of sports, just in general improve your ability, that would be where you’d want to go.

It’s good that they’re making these tweaks, and I get it. I see that whenever somebody logs in, it’s going to ask them again. That’s probably a bad idea like every six months to a year, because I bet you, a lot of people forgot what they even did it, especially when you do it when you’re brand new. It’s throwing so much stuff at you. I bet you there’s a good chunk of people that don’t even remember selecting a thing.

I think that’s possible especially when there are six of them because it’s a lot to remember when you’re first logging in. If somebody is out there wondering what they set up, you don’t necessarily even have to go to your trainer. You can look on your Tonal app. It tells you your goals that you have chosen right there.

That’s good to know.

They’ve added virtual group workouts.

It’s freaking cool. You get to join with up to ten people at the same time. What happens is there’s like a waiting room. You have a code that everybody logs into and you have this waiting room area, so everybody starts to workout at the same time. As you’re progressing through the workout, you can see if somebody gets a Strength PR on your team, if somebody’s got some other kind of PR. You can see that. If you get done with the move before they do, then just chill out for a second and wait for them. They can’t see you, it’s not like it’s a camera.

You can see their reps in real time and you can share virtual high-fives. Right now, the cameras are not enabled on Tonal. Who knows when that will be occurring and when it does occur? Who knows if you’ll be able to use this feature in tandem? For those people who want to have an even more social experience while doing this, people have suggested setting up Zoom meetings. They have suggested even doing a FaceTime kind of thing, depending on how many people you have, or even just all sharing the same playlist, because a lot of people use Apple Music with the Tonal.

Could like one person control the playlist for all ten people?

I don’t think so, but everybody could choose the same playlist. I assume you can share playlists on Apple the way you can on Spotify. Since I’m not an Apple girl, I don’t know that. If I just told you something and it’s not true, I’m sorry.

That makes sense because I know Apple Music is supposed to work pretty similar to Spotify, so that stands to reason.

This is pretty cool. If you’re not sure like, “How do I get people involved?” Out in the Official Tonal Community, they have a tag that they’re using for group virtual workouts. Also several people have made posts to say, “I want to try this. Anybody want to try it with me?” There are all kinds of different people setting up different times. Feel free to jump right in to the Official Tonal Community to be able to get that. If I don’t experience it before then, I’ll be doing my first one on the 20th of October.

You’re going to get together a little group?

If you put your thought and intention into something, you can make it happen. Click To Tweet

I didn’t get together a group. Lisa Silverstein got together a group and she was kind enough to include me. It will be really late at night for me. It’s at 7:00 PM, which is late for me to be doing a workout. It’s not late in the day for most people, but it is late in the day for me to be doing a workout.

Normally, you’re in bed by 7:15.

It is a cool feature though. I can’t wait to use it. I’ve heard a lot of good things about how fun it is and how it’s neat to see all the different people pop in and out. Even if you arrive late, you can still join. You’ll just skip past the intro and hop right into the workout.

Tonal has made a tweak to some of the Facebook commenting.

What they’ve done is they’ve had a support forum. It’s a completely separate platform. It’s open to anybody who has Tonal, so you can go over there and you can ask questions and you can search things and you can read people’s comments. What they’ve done is out on the Official Tonal Community Facebook page, they’ve shut down any comment. They’re going to disable comments. If I were to go on there and be like, “My Tonal exploded today,” that would never happen but let’s just say that it did, they would be like, “We’re disabling comments,” then they would send me the link to this Tonal Support page that they’re showing on the screen and they would say, “Go over here.” I wanted to point this out because there are people that are feeling like Tonal is not being forthcoming. Therefore, they’re shutting things down. That’s the goal of this to be shady.

It’s like, “Don’t say bad things.”

Kate has mentioned several times that throughout the time that she’s been on the Official Tonal Community, there have been lots of people that have said over the years like, “Please keep this a really positive experience. If you’re going to have this Facebook group, don’t let it turn into nothing but complaints.” I don’t mean that to say people have many complaints about Tonal, but it turns into that. I’ve been around the Facebook community enough to know that it doesn’t matter. One person says something and it turns into, even if it’s a completely valid complaint, you have one of two things happening. Everybody jumps on them and says, “Why do you complain?” Or two, people start giving answers to things that they really don’t know anything about.

Also if you’re going to the Facebook community, you’re going there to find out things about Tonal, not to hear somebody talk about like, “My machine was supposed to get here two hours ago. Where’s the delivery guy?” That’s also boring content for users.

TSS 11 | Muscle Definition


I completely agree and I think it’s my least favorite Peloton thing. Over on the Official Peloton page, it has turned into a complete cesspool.

It’s the same complaint over and over again, variations on 1 of 4 or 5 things, then there are 100 comments and half of them are like, “Why are you posting this as if that’s better than the post? Just let it go.” Is that even worth going there anymore?

Personally, I prefer that Tonal does this and I understand their motivation why. Also, I want to be very clear that Tonal is not shutting down the conversation. They are moving the conversation and anybody can go to it. If you know somebody who’s new or looking at a Tonal and they want to know what potential problems there are, that’s what they’re trying to look at when they go to the Facebook page, send them to the support page. There’s no reason they can’t go over there and look. Go do the same search, but do it over there. You’re still going to see the same issues, but you’re going to have it without six million comments that aren’t helpful. I am, for one, glad that they’re doing that.

I’m not going to lie, I get why somebody might give that side-eye.

I get that too. That’s why I wanted to be clear about what their motivation is and that they’re not shutting it down and removing it. They’re moving the conversation to another location. Although it’s more convenient to have it all in one place on Facebook, also when you have everything in one place it’s icky. We’ve seen it.

The larger they get, the ickier it would get if they didn’t address stuff like this.

True that.

We were talking about Apple Music a little bit ago and their playlist that you can now sync up with your Tonal activity. The next logical question for the non-Apple types out there is, “What about Spotify?”

I would be one of them for now.

Now, people can choose sides.

Here’s the thing. Spotify has actually put a kibosh on all fitness integrations for the time being, like a pause. They’re not saying they’re never going to do it again, but there is a pause and it’s indefinite. Nobody knows when it’s going to start up again. Tonal can’t integrate Spotify right now. It’s not an option. I don’t know if there are other options out there. I don’t know if people even want other options out there. I do know that if you’re a Verizon customer, you can get Apple Music for up to six months for free. If you’ve never used Apple Music, you can get Apple Music for three months for free. There are options out there, so at least try it out.

Apple Music now works on non-Apple devices. They have an app now that works.

I am not an Apple person, so I haven’t tried it. I think that’s correct, but I’m not confident of it. There are people that are super excited about using the Apple Music, but also as a Spotify user, I can’t even imagine creating all those playlist again over there in Apple.

It’s interesting that Spotify has completely shut down all fitness integration. I do wonder if they’re hyper-focused on podcasts right now. I wonder if that’s driving it, or they just don’t have the internal bandwidth to tackle.

I see it from a completely different standpoint. I see it as there’s about a million new machines hitting the market asking them. They’re just like, “You guys do some mergers and then we’ll go from there.”

“Let’s see who lasts more than six months.”

Especially in the current environment with so many things in play, I can totally see that. I don’t know. I have no idea what the actual answer is, but I think both of our ideas are valid.

They have added Kickboxing and Barre, which we know is very popular.

The Kickboxing is amazing because it’s like shadow boxing, but it’s using your arms and your legs to shadow box. That’s fantastic.

All I know about kickboxing is that it’s the sport of the future.

Say anything if you’re wondering out there, especially if you’re younger and you have no idea what we’re talking about. They’re also adding kids’ programs. It’s got family fitness programs.

Sorry, we just received a notice from our attorneys and they just wanted us to say, please don’t kick cartoon giraffes.

Don’t kick any giraffes.

We don’t endorse or recommend kicking animated giraffes. I just wanted to get that out there before we got letters.

Not only did they add to Kickboxing, they added Family Fitness and they have Meditation classes. Then of course there is the new Barre classes added as well. I’m really excited about the Barre classes personally. I like seeing that Tonal is adding all these different kinds of content because there are different ways to get strong. If you’re a person who likes the little dots on your calendar to show you how many days you’ve been active, it’s hard to work out on a program every day. This gives you so many options to be able to do that. You’ve got Pilates, you’ve got Barre, you’ve got meditation. There is something for every day, regardless of how you’re feeling. If it’s important to you to fill out your calendar, you have many ways to do that now.

That’s without overwhelming your body by pushing it too hard.

The Kickboxing and the Barre both dropped in this week. I think I’m going to try the Barre first.

There was a recent Tonal Talk that came out.

I wanted to point this out because the Tonal talks are always amazing, just bar none. They just are. This one seems special to me. It was Debbie. She is 67 years old and she just picked up Strength Training in her 60s. Wow. I think we need to get Debbie on the phone. Her strength score has gone from the 70s when she started to the 200s. How inspirational is that? It gives me hope for like I want to stay fit and active as I grow older. I would like to have these stories in my head. I find it very inspirational. As Dr. Phil would say, “I’m closer to that age than I am the other end of my life.”

Moving right along, it’s Latinx Heritage Month.

Tonal has a lot of special features that they have done to celebrate, which is very cool. I wanted to point out this blog though. It features a conversation with our own Coach Pablo and Instituto Familiar de la Raza. I want you guys to make sure that you get a chance to check this out because it’s a nice conversation. It talks about ways that people can amplify voices. If anybody that might be in a minority, but specifically because it’s Latinx Heritage Month, then it would be for Latin folks. It’s all the things that this group does to help with that. It’s a great conversation. It’s worth checking out.

Joining us on this episode is Michelle Kenyon. Michelle, how’s it going?

I’m good. How are you?

We’re good. We’ve been doing the show for a while and we have our other show, the Peloton podcast, The Clip Out, and I’ve noticed that with the total interviews, there is a greater likelihood that they set up where you can see the Tonal as opposed to the Peloton where people don’t do that. I’m like, “I don’t know what that means, but I find it fascinating.”

People are proud of their Tonals.

The only way to look toned is to get a bigger muscle. Click To Tweet

There’s a little homage to Peloton.

I always like to find out where people started their journey. How did you originally come across Tonal and what made you decide this was the machine for you?

I think I found Tonal through one of those targeted Facebook ads because at the time, I think I knew I needed strength training in my life. I said it out loud and Facebook heard, then I saw the ad. I did a little research and I saw they were local to San Francisco, which is where I live. One day, I was having lunch with my husband, we were next door to the Tonal showroom. I said, “We should step in.” I did the demo workout and I fell in love with it on the spot, but it was pricey and I was like, “I’m not going to make this decision right now.” The way I work is once I see something I like, it eats at me. I went home that night and I’m sure if it wasn’t that night, I ordered it online the next day.

You two have a lot in common.

That’s how I shop too, Michelle.

I was going to point out of great purchases, she found online.

That’s how you know that we’re good shoppers. When did you bring your Tonal baby home?

In March of 2019.

How has your personal fitness journey been? Have you always been into weights? Were weights new to you with the Tonal? How did that work?

When I was growing up, I was not athletic at all. I didn’t play sports. I wasn’t athletically inclined. When I was in my late teens, early twenties, I developed an eating disorder. I was focused on losing as much weight as possible and keeping to a minimal calorie count. Part of that ended up being fitness. I joined gyms and I would do cardio. I would go around to the weight machines to get my workout in and my calorie burning, but I didn’t have any purpose or goal other than to be small. That went on for probably a decade.

When I was in my early 30s, I think fitness more about heart health, and my dad died when he was 40 of heart disease. I was approaching my 40th at the time, and even though there was still that component, an eating disorder never leaves. You always have that mindset. You look at your body differently. For me, if I don’t work out, I go, “Did I gain 10 pounds?” It’s always that battle. It started to get a little healthier when I focus more on keeping my heart healthy. I did a lot of spin classes at the gym. I was still doing a little bit of weights, but weights weren’t my focus.

In my late 30s, early 40s, I was working out with a personal trainer, but it’s expensive. I’m in San Francisco. The rate for a personal trainer is $5 an hour. I was doing it twice a week which is not enough because I certainly wasn’t motivated to go into the gym on another day and do a strength training session. It was hard for me to fit in. At the time I had a stressful career and I had a long commute. I was commuting anywhere from 2 to 4 hours a day round trip. I didn’t have time to work out. All I had time for was cardio because I had it at home. I was doing all cardio, but I saw my body starting to get old.

I understand what you mean about getting older.

Things look different and I think someone posted this in the Tonal Facebook group about arm exercises for triceps. I think what made me start looking at strength training was I think I went to wave my arm and I felt it going “boom-boom” and I’m like, “What is that?”

“What’s that thing come from? Why is it attached to my arm?”

I cannot accept this and cardio is not going to fix that. I think that’s how I ended up getting to strength training.

I’ve been doing this strength training for a while and I still got them.

They’re more filled out with muscles. They don’t move the same.

The best part is though because of the strength training, if somebody says anything about it, you can punch them right in the face.

It sounds like you’ve changed careers too in the middle of all this. How are you balancing your workouts between strength and cardio?

I had already changed careers by the time I got Tonal. I used to work in healthcare in hospital administration for twenty-some years. I couldn’t take the stress anymore. One day, I talked to my husband about it, but he kept telling me to quit and I kept saying, “I’m going to make a lateral move and go into another job at another hospital where I’m going to be as miserable and stressed out and never feel like I have any time.” One day, I had a bad day at work and I came home and said, “I’m quitting tomorrow.” He’s like, “I didn’t mean like right now.” I was like, “I have a one-on-one with my boss.” I never have those. They’re like every six months. I’m like, “The time to do it is now.” I’m a photographer now, which is a different career.

That takes some guts to do that. That is impressive. Was it terrifying?

A lot of people say that it did not feel like it at the time and I did not quit to become a photographer. I didn’t know what it was going to do. I knew I needed to stop for my health. It goes back to my dad dying at such a young age. I could be predisposed to heart disease and I was building myself up to a heart attack. I think I needed to have some sense of purpose and people had been telling me, “Why don’t you try photography? You’re a good photographer.” I don’t know why they said that back then because I’ve learned so much now that I’ve been professional for a couple of years.

TSS 11 | Muscle Definition


I don’t know what they were thinking, but I think I had an eye. I said, “Let me start thinking along that path.” I stayed home every day and I believe if you put your thought and intention into something, you can make it happen. I started building my business, not reaching out to clients. I started working on my website like getting a CRM system in place. I don’t know why. I don’t know where I thought I was going with this. I spent a lot of time doing that.

If you build it, they will come.

I thought, “I’ll give it a try and if it doesn’t work out, I can always do something else.” I love it. I do a lot of real estate photography. I get to go into beautiful homes here in San Francisco. I see beautiful decor, beautiful architecture and I have a flexible schedule. If I want to work, I work. If I want to block off my calendar so I can do my Tonal workout, that’s what I do. I managed to fit my exercise into my life now, which I didn’t have that flexibility before when I had a normal 9:00 to 9:00 career.

When you look at real estate listings, you can tell the difference between the people that hired a professional photographer and the people that are like, “I’ve got an iPhone.” It’s night and day. My stress level decreased when you said you were a real estate photographer because my first thought is a wedding photographer. I was like, “How is that better?”

I photographed a wedding once by accident. I agreed to it. I thought it was a portrait session and it turned into a small city hall wedding. I was like, “Never again.” They were super cool, super chill. I read too many stories about wedding photographers. It sounds like an absolute nightmare and at my age, I don’t need it.

The stakes are high and the emotions are high. I wanted to be a DJ and I was a radio DJ for a while. I fell into by accident like a wedding DJ. I did one and I was like, “This is not for me. This is not the path to be a radio DJ. I do not want to have people do the duck dance.” It was not my thing.

You changed careers and that’s amazing.

Don’t do the quitting before you have a planned thing though.

I’ve seen you around in the Peloton world for a long time. We’ve written together. We’ve been on leaderboards together. I’ve known your name and whenever I came over to Tonal, I was happy and surprised to see you there. It’s great seeing Peloton people over in the Tonal world. Don’t you think it’s hard to find a good rhythm of moving back and forth between strength and cardio?

I did it first. My mindset with exercise and fitness was screwed up and it was not for sculpting my body or getting in shape. It was, “I ate this so I need to burn this off.” There is also that component of like, “I’ve got to do cardio because I don’t want to die.” When I first got Tonal, it was the hardest workout ever that initial strength assessment. I wanted to barf. I’m like, “I am weak. What have I done?” It was weird coming from a cardio world. Even though I was used to working out with a personal trainer, it was different. It was on my wall and I couldn’t like make jokes with them and I couldn’t complain.

I could, but no one listens and I still have to do the workout. My personal trainer always had to hear that. I was still trying to do my old Peloton schedule with it. I was introduced to 3 to 4 days a week of Tonal strength training. I was then throwing on another 4 or 5 Peloton rides. I was exhausted. I was like, “I don’t think this is the right combination for my body.” My former personal trainer used to always tell me that I did not need much cardio.

When I always complimented her body shape, she tells me that it’s strength training and a little bit of cardio. That was hard for me. I was like, “That doesn’t make sense. What’s going to happen to my heart? Am I going to gain 400 pounds? I don’t want to be a big muscle-bound woman.” That was never the vision I had for myself. I decided to start experimenting with it. I started reducing my cycle and nothing bad happened.

I still look the same and I was not exhausted anymore. I had more strength. I had more energy to do string training. I always follow the Tonal schedule. In whatever program I’m in, I like to do 4 to 5 days a week of strength training. I usually pick a four-day a week of the Tonal program because I like the lower body splits. I don’t like to work out my full body at once. It’s exhausting and then I sprinkle in Peloton around it.

If I do an upper body work out and I have time and I feel good enough, I’ll do a ride, but only for twenty minutes because I got that from when I did Nicolette’s Better Break-in Tread. She always followed it up with a maximum of twenty-minute HIIT ride and now that’s what I do. It’s rare for me to do a long cardio session at this point. I feel much better and I love what string training has done for my body. I don’t have that jiggle in my arm anymore. When I fell in love with Tonal, it was not the day I bought it and it was not the first month. I think it was three months in and I don’t know if I was driving in the car or something and I brushed up against my own arm and I’m like, “What’s that? I have biceps.” It was amazing.

I came home and I go to my husband and I go, “Feel what I’ve got.” From there, I became obsessed. I was like, “If I can do that, I could reshape myself.” I’m never going to be that skinny little girl I used to be because I have to starve myself to get there or do so much cardio. It’s ridiculous. Why don’t I take what I have which is not bad for 45 and try to change it a little bit? That’s what I’ve been focusing on. I love doing now that hypertrophy programs. I did Jackson’s Muscle-Building Burnout and I could not believe what my biceps look like after I did that. I was like, “This is great.”

For people who don’t know, hypertrophy is when you want to focus on building the muscle.

It’s growing it, which sounds scary. Who wants to grow bigger muscles? Women don’t want to grow bigger muscles, but then they want that toned look. The only way to look toned is to get a bigger muscle. It’s important to do those types of programs and lift heavy. Now, I’m obsessed with my strength score. My strength score has grown 326% or something like that since I started using Tonal. That’s my thing.

With you working out differently and you still work out a lot, do you ever feel like, “I’m not motivated to work out now?”

A lot of times.

“I am a human woman.” Not just a human being because that’s not specific to women.

How did you overcome it? What do you tell yourself or what do you do to get past it?

I think having the programs helps me. It’s structured and I get a little obsessive about like, “I like to start a program on Monday. I like to finish up by Friday.” I start thinking about timelines in my head like, “If I skip it now, why am I skipping it? Is it because my body needs rest or is it because I don’t feel like doing it?” I felt like go big or go home. I had to talk myself into it like, “Get over there and get it done.” It was always about getting it done because then I’m one workout closer to being done. That’s how I motivate myself and then the dumb things.

I have a virtual workout partner. I think I post about it in the group sometimes. Her name is Tori and she lives in Florida. We met through Tonal and one time, I must have posted about starting a program and she wanted to start it too. Since then, we message each other every day and we do programs together. She dared me to do my last two workouts on deadlifts. Whenever someone challenges me to something like that, for some reason that’s motivation. I’m like, “I’ll do it.” I did and I felt like crap but I finished my whole program, which was nice. I got to have a nice recovery day.

You did both back to back?

I’ve done that before. Sometimes I’ll accelerate the program schedule to get done in time for a trip when I used to travel so I could get done in time. I don’t like to split up my program. I don’t like to take a week vacation in the middle of it because then I personally feel like then I’m losing some of the benefit of the program structure itself. I always try to get it done.

I feel like you’re probably not, but I also get it.

I agree with both of those statements.

It sounds like you do a lot of programs. Do you have a preferred one or a favorite one that you’ve done that sticks out?

I’ve loved every program I’ve done. I think I’ve only done thirteen at this point because I used to travel a lot and I don’t like to break it up. I always refer back to the Muscle-Building Burnout because I think I saw a lot of muscle definition with much shorter workout time. The workouts were only 30 minutes or so, and I didn’t feel exhausted at the end. I felt like I could do more cardio in that program than I can in some of the other ones. I enjoyed that one. I think I might do it again.

I love the program. It is effective but you were talking about go big or go home, and I felt like muscle-buildup or whatever, every single week when I would get to day three because the first week was hard, I had to talk myself into it every week after that. Even though it got easier, it was like a mental block and I would be like, “It’s going to hurt.” It is that painful that first week because there are fifteen goblet squats and then rear deadlifts, which are fifteen on each leg. I finished the program, then you also had to do fifteen on each leg of the rear weighted lunge. You also had to do neutral deadlifts right before you did those.

It was rough. I can’t stand the barbell front squats.

I need shoulder pads for those.

I’m not built right. Something is wrong. I don’t have those little that the bar is supposedly going to.

I think they’re there. It’s trying to figure out how to hold the thing.

I think my muscles have grown over it.

They don’t warn you about that.

For anybody who’s curious, that is one of Coach Jackson’s programs which is the Muscle-Building Burnout and it is an excellent program. I did the short timeframes of it. That day three was traumatic for me.

The Tonal AI is conservative in the beginning and the incremental weight adjustment is small. I think I just accepted what Tonal gave me for the first eight months and I was like, “This is hard.” I then thought about it and I’m like, “Am I challenged? Am I dying at the end of that set?” I wasn’t, so I started manually increasing the weight until it was challenging and still keeping proper form. In any program that I do, whatever it’s rated, it’s hard because my weights challenge me at this point. The lower body days on all of them are good. That dead-on deadlift is two days of the lower body so you probably won’t want to do that one.

I have to talk myself back into it. I think my next one is going to be Coach Pablo’s Radical Muscle Rock.

I have three weeks before I am going out of town for a week. When I come back, I’m going to start that program.

Do you have any advice for people that are just getting Tonal?

Be patient. The machine itself can be overwhelming. I was terrified to move my arms around and break it, so I took extra care to move things around. I think a lot of people think that the machine itself can be cumbersome in the beginning and I know they updated the software. They now show you where the arms should go, but eventually, it becomes second nature. You walk over the machine. You know ahead of time where to put things. Also, be patient with yourself and I think for women, don’t be afraid to lift heavy. It’s good for you and it helps increase your metabolism. It helps you get that toned look. You’re not going to end up like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

It’s not like if you do two workouts, you suddenly look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. If it was that easy, everybody would. You’ll spot that and you can adjust.

TSS 11 | Muscle Definition


It takes a long time to build. I don’t think people realize that and it’s sad how much I’m realizing that.

It does happen. It’s not dramatic and overnight. It’s taken me a year and a half now to notice increased definition and I’m not a fitness model. I’m happy with where I am now and it’ll keep getting better if you keep doing it.

Where can people find you on social media if you would like to be found?

My Instagram is @MichelleKenyonPhoto. Also on Facebook, I’m Michelle Kenyon-Young.

Do you have a name on the Tonal leaderboard that people can look you up by?

It’s boring, but it’s just Michelle.

Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to join us. We appreciate it.

Thank you so much. I’m excited to have had this opportunity.

Thank you. It’s been a lot of fun. I’ll keep in contact with you and let you know all the steps as we move forward too.

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

Next time, we are going to talk to India Ashwani, who will talk to us about how she has used exercise, specifically Tonal, with her disorders of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and how she’s dealt with anxiety and how much it’s helped her. I think it’s a powerful thing to talk about. Exercise doesn’t just help you get stronger outside. It helps you get stronger inside and it helps you be able to deal with things. I think it’s going to be a very powerful conversation and I’m super excited to have it.

Until then, where can people find you?

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

You can find me on Twitter, @RogerQBert or on Facebook at Facebook.com/TomOKeefe. You can find the show online at Facebook.com/supersetpodcast. Wherever you’re getting your podcasts from, be sure and subscribe so you never miss an episode. Thanks for tuning in. Until next time, keep lifting.

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