TSS 16 | Tonal

Tonal Launches Real-Time Workout Data plus our interview with Mariana Flynn

TSS 16 | Tonal


Tonal launches real-time workout data.

The Tonal app now features Mobile Workouts.

The Tonal blog has New Year’s Anti-Resolutions.

Coach Nicolette has a new entry in her Raising The Barbell series.

We have an update on the Tonal Gives Back challenge.

Tonal Founder & CEO Aly Orady was featured on Fox News Business and/or Yahoo Finance (we get confused).

Datingnews.com spotlights Tonal.

New Meditation with Keep Calm In The Clouds and Reclaim Your Calm.

Tonal Talk on Strength Perseverance with Brian Kanner.

This month’s Tonal Book Club features The Miracle Morning.

All this plus our interview with Mariana Flynn!

Watch the episode here:

Listen to the podcast here:

Tonal Launches Real-Time Workout Data plus our interview with Mariana Flynn

How was your holidays?

They were great. I have a major case of the Sundays. It is sadness at the holidays being over. I have to go back to work and I had ten days off. I know no one out there feels sorry for me. It’s still painful. It’s all relative. Our stress is relative, I don’t like it, I don’t want to go. That’s my version.

It feels like it’s been forever.

Because of the holiday, our production company have to have a certain amount of time, and then because we do every two weeks, it was hard to make it all happen.

Our New Year’s resolution is to get back on schedule. What do you have in store for people this week?

There’s new fun stuff coming up in the month of January for Tonal. We’re going to talk about some of the new programs that have dropped, new workouts and new features, what went on with the #TonalGivesBack challenge, how that all turned out and then a couple of news things.

Before we get to all that, shameless plugs, don’t forget we’re available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, wherever you find your podcasts, you can find us. While you’re there, be sure and subscribe so you never miss an episode, and maybe leave a review if you like what you’re hearing so that people that come along behind you know that we’re worth a shot.

It’s super helpful. Thank you to those of you that have.

You can check out our Facebook page, Facebook.com/supersetpodcast. While you’re there, like the page and join the group.

About 45 minutes after we recorded last time, Tonal is funny that way, sneaky.

They’re constantly rolling out new products and new features. It’s not their fault.

I bet you, 45 minutes after we get done recording this, they’re going to announce that the Tonal now makes coffee. It had a built-in juice bar the whole time. You pull down a little handle and on the other side, you get juice.

That sounds gross.

It’s a work in progress. The sound will get better over time, I’m sure.

I’m thinking of fruit products sitting in there for the last year I’ve had in my machine.

They’ve got a way around it. It’s the magic of Tonal. Before they get to that, let’s talk about the thing that they actually have.

It actually was a little bit after our last episode, this came out on December 16th 2020. It’s all new data that you can see right on your screen. Before you were doing a free lift, you could see how your metrics compared each rep, how much range of motion you had. That was cool, but you couldn’t see it real time on the machine. Now, you can see it real-time on the machine and you can see not only your range of motion, you can see your power for each rep. This is a game-changer because you have to hit 80% of the goal. The goal is to hit 80% of your power each time you do a rep. If you have a set of ten and you start off with X amount of power, you want to stay steady with that the whole time. You don’t want to fall too far below that because if you do fall too far below that, you will not be able to advance to the next increase in pounds.

On the first rep, do as little as possible.

No, don’t do that. You’re only cheating yourself.

There’s really no purpose in gaming. You’re either going to make it easier than it should be or harder than it should be, and neither will benefit you.

Even if you did that, Tom, that wouldn’t help you because if you did it as easy as possible, then you still wouldn’t go up because it would be like you’re too weak to do it.

That’s what I’m saying. You’ll either make it too easy for yourself or too hard for yourself.

The point being is it’s a game-changer because as you see the reps, you can be like, “I have this line. I need to get above every time I do a rep,” and that can be very helpful. Doing that, I got immediate PRs on my power and my strength score went up, not my strength score but I went to the next strength on each of my moves, almost all of them. However, I did find another spot where this is not as easy to do, and that is when you’re doing Sweat and Shred with Pablo. I’m assuming any endurance workout, it’s muscle endurance, so the whole idea is to work longer and you’re going to tire your arm out more. Therefore, it is a lot harder. Let’s say you’re doing 20 reps, make it the same for 20 reps as you could do for 10 reps. It’s a very different thing. My muscles don’t like it. I know it’s good for you. I love this whole feature so much. It is probably my favorite change that they have made. Seeing those numbers on there is such a motivating thing for me.

It seems like it would be a cool thing because instead of waiting for form feedback, which it only talks to you when you’ve done something wrong. Now it’s got a message for you the whole time. It’s telling you when you did something right.

It’s interesting that you mentioned that because at the end of each set, it will tell you any form feedback you had now too. At the end of your set, it will be like, “Here are the reps where you had form feedback and here is your form feedback,” and that’s new as well. They rolled that out at the same time they rolled out these graphs. If anybody out there does not know how to do that and you’re curious because you missed out, all you have to do is there’s a little button that comes up in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen, you click that and your graphs will be on every time you do a workout from then on, as long as the workout includes that graph, which I think some of them don’t is the only reason I say that. I can’t remember, you have to go back and read the article.

A vaccine, I was going to say is just around the corner, but it’s here, but it’s only here if you’re a nurse or a doctor or something. Hopefully, it’s just around the corner for everybody. They’re going to start pumping them out there, which means that people can travel again hopefully, which means that you’ll need to maybe do some workouts on the go.

That’s brand new as of December 21st, Tonal slid this out there, “Surprise, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays.” All workouts are available on the go on their mobile program. When I say all workouts, if it requires the weights, you can’t do the workouts.

That’s going to be problematic from an on-the-go aspect.

You can do the meditation, yoga, dance cardio, the stretches and things like that. There are a lot of workouts. Any of the body weight stuff you can do. That’s great because like you said, whenever you’re traveling and a lot of people were over the holiday, even if they went to go see their parents and kept it a small gathering, they still were able to keep up their streak, which is very important to people who work out on the Tonal every day. They want to see every bubble, and now they can.

Soon we’ll all be able to move out the country freely.

That’s what we’re hoping. On that note, I know a lot of people who read our blogs live out in California, so just know that we are thinking of you guys. I know it’s rough out there now with COVID. It has not gone unnoticed. We’re hoping you all stay safe and healthy please.

Since it’s a New Year, Tonal has their Anti-Resolution Guide to Getting Stronger in 2021.

I really like this article. It was published on December 18th 2020 on Tonal’s Blog. It walks you through how to get stronger in 2021 and not make resolutions. Meaning a lot of times people make resolutions and then they don’t necessarily stick to them. What they wanted to do was make some changes that are lifestyle changes, and if you do that, then you’re going to be more successful. If you’re like, “I want to lose weight in 2021.” How much weight? Are you talking muscle mass? Are you talking fat or are you talking both? You don’t care as long as the number goes down? There are all kinds of different ways to look at goals. This article walks you through how to make some tweaks to your lifestyle to have a healthy 2021 according to what your goals are and make them specific, so that you can knock them out of the park.

Many times, I think people subconsciously perceive resolutions as a short-term change, “I like to lose weight.” If your goal is lose weight, then when you’ve lost weight, you’re like, “I’m done now,” then you put the weight back on.

What you want to do are the things like, “I want to eat healthier,” then define what healthier is for you, and that in addition to exercise will probably help you lose weight.

You’re eating healthier, which has all sorts of meal prep, things everywhere now. I’m eating healthier, which is I switched to baked Cheetos, but it’s healthier, baby steps. I think I should be rewarded.

You should. Congrats, Tom. I’m really happy for you. Just so our readers get the full impact of that, you know how frustrating it is when all he does is change to baked Cheetos and yet loses twice the amount of weight I do in one day? That’s baloney and BS all mixed into one. It’s not right.

I also had a hell of a head start on you from a weight standpoint.

I don’t care. I can be jealous.

Speaking of changing the topic, there’s a Raising the Barbell Challenge that will be underway by the time you’re reading this.

TSS 16 | Tonal


It’s a new kind of challenge in that one, it’s brand-new program. Raise the Barbell is one of the most popular programs that Tonal has had, and they just released Raising the Barbell 2, which is one of Coach Nicolette’s programs. I’ve never taken Raising the Barbell, but apparently it is known for its “insane leg day,” which terrifies me by the way. I love Coach Nicolette’s workouts. I love all the coaches’ workouts, but she has a way, there’s something about her workouts that it’s like the right intensity for me. I keep going back to them. What this particular challenge is going to do, she not only worked in four days a week to work out, she made a whole calendar for the entire month of January 2020 it adds in all the other instructors, “Whenever you’re taking a rest day, here’s a meditation you can do or here’s a yoga you can do.” The entire calendar is filled with suggestions. Not to mention, once a week there will be a virtual group workout. The first week, it’s Monday, that will have occurred before this post, then the next week will be on Tuesday. The next week will be on Thursday and the final week will be on Friday.

Each week, you have a chance to work out with everybody who’s doing this challenge. She’s going to go live as a matter of fact to talk through all the questions, but each week she’s going to go live and walk through any questions, give you encouragement along the way. What a great way to kick off to 2021. You’re getting personal training on top of personal training. This is amazing. It’s super exciting. I’m excited about it, and of course I will be joining. I was a little mixed emotions about it because I was in the middle of doing another program, and so I have to leave that program, which I didn’t want to do. My thought process is, and there might be other people struggling with this decision, that’s why I’m out here telling them this. My thought process is that if we continue as a group to do future challenges, that we’re going to then be on the same cadence.

To be in sync then because when this is over, they’ll roll into the next one and you can do that one.

It may not be the same type of thing, but I think everyone enjoys working out together. I think we’ll be on the same cadence as each other. Even if Tonal isn’t participating in some challenge, the rest of us can participate together. That was worth it for me.

It’s a short-term pain for long-term gain. Speaking of challenges all throughout the holidays, there was the #TonalGivesBack challenge, and just an update on how that went.

It’s super exciting. The community helped Tonal raise $7,138 for the Eat Learn Play Foundation. If you missed it, you should go check it out. There was a Tonal Talk with the Eat Learn Play Foundation members, some of the people who founded it. You could get to listen to them and hear about why this is important, how it all got started, etc. That’s really cool. I love that Tonal did that for the holidays.

Tonal CEO and Founder, Aly Orady, was on Yahoo Finance. I take that back, he was on Fox Business Live.

It’s Finance.Yahoo.com, but this is on Fox Business Live. You’re right, it’s very confusing.

I don’t watch the business news stuff.

I don’t either. The point being is that Aly was on here and he is walking through what exactly Tonal is and why it’s beneficial to people. It’s pretty cool that he got to be on whichever this thing is. Regardless of what you call it, Yahoo Finance covered it and that is exciting.

If that wasn’t enough, they were also featured on DatingNews.com. I just want to say, I found this article because I was searching Google Bews for articles about Tonal. I don’t normally pay attention to dating news.

You sure found it quickly. I have a Google Alert set up and I didn’t get this one, but you sure found it really fast.

I don’t know. I just Google News and there it was. That’s all I did.

We’ll let it slide this time. I’m not really worried about it for anybody reading. I thought it was an interesting take on it because they say Tonal is a smart at-home gym that motivates singles and couples to look and feel their best. Isn’t that all workout equipment? The reason I thought it was funny is because they’re Dating News, they’re hooked to make it work, which good for them for finding a way to make it work. After writing lots of articles for our website, I can say that it is not as easy to do it as it sounds. They talk all about tonal. They talk about all of the benefits of it. It’s a really good article and definitely good to point out to people who are thinking about it and they aren’t sure. This is another good one that goes into a lot of detail about all of the benefits of it in the not return on investment, but basically what the value of it is. It’s an awesome article.

New, new, new Yoga Flow familia. There are three news. That’s a lot of news.

I cut and pasted Coach Frances’ announcement of her new program. I guess I should clean those up.

It’s three times as new as everything else.

This is cool because the Art of Flow, a yoga class, it’s 30 minutes of flow so that you take the time to connect your breath to your movement. This is a good thing to think about when you’re getting back into life after the holidays, whether you’ve already done it or you’re still struggling to do it. When you are able to make a little space in your brain, I have found that all of the things that come at you don’t seem as overwhelming because you can get your brain to shut up for a second. That silence gives you peace. Taking the time to do yoga or meditation is so helpful. I highly recommend that to people this time of year.

There are all sorts of new programs that are coming out. There always are, but we’d already talked about Raising the Barbell 2. Will I be able to follow Raising the Barbell 2 if I haven’t seen Raising the Barbell 1?

You will. As a matter of fact, Coach Nicolette said that even if you do 2 first, 1 can be done right after it. You don’t have to do them in order. You don’t have to do 1 then 2, or it doesn’t count or it doesn’t work. You can do 2 and then 1, and you’re still getting all the great benefits out of it.

There are also some new meditations.

It’s Calm in the Clouds with Coach Allison. This is a kids program, so it’s great for doing a meditation with the family, with the kids being home due to COVID or maybe they were home for the holidays, this is another great option to try. Then there is Reclaim Your Calm with Coach Allison. This one is a recovery for beginners, not necessarily directed toward the whole family, but it’s directed toward beginners. If you haven’t tried meditation in the past, this would be a good one to start with.

Checking in on Tonal Talks, there was a new one.

This one occurred at the second half of December. It’s such a great story with Brian Kanner and it’s all about strength and perseverance. Brian found out when he was 17 that he had scoliosis, so he had to have a bunch of surgeries. If you’ve ever heard of anybody with this, it’s damaging to your spine. When it’s fused and you have those surgeries, your back is never the same, so it’s difficult to get the mobility and difficult to do workouts and stuff. Brian continues to be active and he has found ways to work around this because of his perseverance. It’s a great story. I definitely think everyone ought to check that out.

Finally, before we segue into our interview of the week, Tonal has their January Book Club selection.

This is brand new, Tom.

I was about to say, “Is this brand new?” Then I was afraid that the answer was going to be, “No, Tom. We’ve talked about this on every episode.” Then I would look like a complete jackass.

I’m glad you’re paying enough attention to know this is new. This is brand new and they’re kicking off in January 2020. I believe the first meeting is January 6, 2020. This is the first book and it’s called The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life Before 8:00 AM. It’s by Hal Elrod, I have not read it yet, but this looks like a great thing. I love that Tonal is finding ways to continue to get stronger within the community. If you go through the blog post, it’s Tonal Book Club January: Miracle Morning, they walk through what’s going to happen in the book club. They walk through how to join the book club and how to participate in the book clubs. That will be out on our Facebook, Facebook.com/supersetpodcast. That’s where you can go to find out all about that.

Joining us is Mariana Flynn. Mariana, how is it going?

I’m doing well. Thank you for having me.

We’re excited. Thank you for joining us. I always like to reach back in the archives. When did you first find out about Tonal and how?

Not that long ago, my husband is the driving force behind our Tonal. It was around this time in December 2019, there’s a Tonal store near us. He was walking in the mall. He’s a big tech guy. He loves everything tech. I worked in the software industry for a while. He was like, “This is a cool thing for us.” I said, “Why? We have a rack in the gym that you don’t use. It’s another thing that you’re going to get that we’re not going to use.” For us, it came very quickly. I believe that we got it in early January 2020.

That also wasn’t COVID.

Maybe because we’re in LA, it was a little different. It was interesting because I’d never seen it. I’ve never gone to the store. In January 2020, this thing shows up on my wall in the garage.

You didn’t even know what to expect before it got there?

I’ve never heard of it, I never researched. I said to him, “It’s going to be another thing that sits there.” I was a self-proclaimed Pilates addict, and had been going to a Pilates studio 3 to 4 times a week. Why was I going to need this exercise equipment? I went to classes with other people. He said, “You should do the assessment with me. Let’s do the assessment.” I’m like, “Why?” He was excited that I would use it too. That’s how I found out about it. When it showed up at my house, after it was installed, I’d never ride anything.

Did you say it’s in your garage?

We converted our garage. It’s like a gym/storage facility. It was perfect. It had the right wall for it. We’re in California. It’s not that bad weatherwise.

When you said that, I was like, “LA.” We’re in the Midwest. You couldn’t get away with that here. You would freeze or sweat your butt off.

The machine might be at risk. It’s a different world here. You did the assessment. Were you like, “I like this,” or you had to take some time?

I was impressed. I was like, “This is heavy. It’s different than what I thought it would be.” I started a class because it said, “Do your preferences and what your goal was.” Mine was to get lean and build muscle at that time. You could still do multiple goals. I was like, “I’ll start with this program. Let’s hit play.” I did one workout and didn’t see it until March 2020. I would not go to the garage that much at that time either. Now, the garage is my sanctuary because it’s where Tonal is. It wasn’t before. It wasn’t my emotional support pets. There’s a thing back there but we don’t use it. I had some supplies. I have a rack that sits there with lots of weights and such. I didn’t use that until March 16th, 2020. It’s my first day of my streak.

Does your husband rub it in about being right?

He does. He’ll always say I am a late adopter to everything. I am the last person to get the iPhone. I’m the last person to know how to import contacts. My first instinct is, “No, this is not for me.”

You have to ease into things.

He does rub it in. He rubs it in a lot. He’s baffled by it. He didn’t realize that this would become my new thing. I never thought it would become my thing. Tonal is more mine than it is his.

Is he using it on a regular basis?

I would like for him to be more consistent than he is. He’s a guy who has had a lot of injuries over the years. It’s very tough for him to stick with programs because things get aggravated. We got in touch with Dr. Liz Letchford, now Dr. Liz and she helped him with some stuff. We’re hoping that as this continues, he can continue doing it, but he loves it. He’s a big fan. My level of commitment at this time is a little more intense than his.

That helps him so he’s not going to be mad that he brings home the Tonal and you end up on the show.

TSS 16 | Tonal


I hope not.

She’s like, “No comment.”

The vaccines are on the horizon.

I still will be using my Tonal. I still won’t be going to a traditional gym.

Do you feel like that will be because you now love your Tonal so much, you’re still skeptical of going to a gym, or a little bit of both?

I never got the benefits from fitness that I did from doing those Pilates classes. I didn’t understand what it was to be in good shape. I thought I was in fantastic shape and I wasn’t. I wasn’t including cardio or weight training. I have a strong core and I got rid of lower back pain which was a huge issue for me a few years ago. I didn’t have the holistic approach to fitness that Tonal has brought to my life, to be honest.

It’s a real game-changer because I did Peloton before I did Tonal. I rode or ran every single day. When I try Tonal, I feel stronger. The core of my workout where I sprinkle in now the cardio. It’s completely changed how I approach it. It sounds like it’s the same for you.

I didn’t even do the cardio that you were doing. You’re already miles ahead of me. My version of cardio is walking on the treadmill while reading my Kindle.

At least you’re walking, that’s great.

Adding the boot camps and cardio classes and all of that, I would never. There was a thing called ClassPass. I never would have bought into that. I’m like, “Why would I go to all these different gyms and have to get to know people?” Again, I’m not an early adopter to anything and a routine creature of habits. I wasn’t ever going to do that. Now, it’s a button and I figure out my whole day. The night before I’m browsing, I’m trying something new without anyone seeing what I’m doing and feeling judged. Ultimately, if I don’t like it, stop.

It sounds like you’re doing more than the programs. It sounds like you’re sampling all of the Tonal content. What have you found as you’ve been exploring? What do you love? What’s not your favorite?

I’ve tried everything. If you look at my favorite workouts, there’s a filter. It will show programs for weightlifting, yoga and recovery. I do a lot of yoga now and I’ve never done yoga before Tonal. I find that it helps me with my weightlifting and mobility. I do a lot of Jared’s mobility. I love it. It’s a love letter to our bodies. It’s a must.

It changes how things open. Your shoulders opening or that movement. I didn’t realize that over time, everything starts to close in. It’s like you have to work. I was doing one of the Smart Flex workouts. They have you lay on the bench to stretch out your chest and you put your arms down to the side. That in and of itself feels amazing.

I do Pilates. I still love Pilates. I do Jeni’s Pilates. They only have four right now, but I know there are more coming. The one that I haven’t been able to connect with is kickboxing. I love Gabby so I do a lot of hits. I don’t have the coordination for it.

I can understand that. Kickboxing, in particular, I have FightCamps so I’ve tried some of the kickboxing. It’s hard. I like the aspect of it’s very challenging but back to that whole, if you don’t have the mobility, continuing to kick your leg in the air is more exhausting than one might think.

Kids do it all day. They’re constantly kicking and nothing affects them. I try to kick one thing, I’m going to go down.

You are now incorporating all kinds of different things. What changes have you seen as you’ve gone through this process? You said you felt like you were in great shape before. Is it aesthetic changes or is it how you feel or both?

It’s both. I have a lot more energy. I find that I need to release more energy these days and it is. I am at the gym and that is my sacred time. It’s the only alone time I get and I will use it. I’m on Tonal for about an hour and a half every day. I’ll do a program. Sometimes, they’re close to an hour and 45 minutes, depending on what I’m doing. I’ll do a stretch, yoga, or meditation. I always find something that I like. One day will be core. I’ll try the core classes. I attend a lot of those Tonal talks with Kate and the coaches.

I try to listen because I feel like I’m going to fitness university when I walk in. I didn’t know any of this. I assume if I walked every day and if I did one thing of exercise, I was in good shape. I want to use everything I can. I have noticed also physically, I’m a lot more toned than I used to be. I had no arm strength, my legs, everything looks how it should have looked twenty years ago. I’m catching up. It made a huge transformation in my body but also, I feel mentally and energy-wise, and Zen. I have seen incredible progress.

I love when I can pick up something easily that I didn’t expect to be able to pick up easily. You get the groceries. You used to be able to carry one bag at a time. Now, it’s six bags. I got this.

When you have to carry those boxes of water or whatever, it’s like, “Pile it on. I got this.”

That is a great feeling especially when the teenagers are running around, they’re carrying one thing.

Do you have any favorite features about Tonal?

For the longest time, it was Form Feedback because I am a big form person having hurt myself too many times in the past. That used to be a big thing. There was one that I was admiring when I can look at my power and range. I wasn’t working hard enough. There’s always room for improvement here.

That power meter, hitting that 80%, what a game-changer.

This is on top of the list. It’s the ability to replace movements when you’re working out in programs. I’ve learned two things from Coach Nicolette, “Only replace to make it harder on yourself.” If you’re having an off day, listening to your body, you don’t have to sit that out, you can just replace it. Where else can you do that? Unless you have a personal trainer telling you what to do.

You don’t always know. As you said about feeling like you’re going to fitness university because you’re getting that education on the spot. I didn’t know that a split squat is very similar to doing a step up until I was playing around with that feature one day. I was like, “I’m getting similar benefits from those two. I wouldn’t have known that.” That’s a good point.

Tonal makes you smarter.

How do you feel about the community? Since Tonal is new, being around for a year at this point, you’re ingrained in the community. You’ve been around to see a lot of changes. What are your thoughts on it?

I’ve been impressed because I’ve never belonged to a community like this. I’ve been in awe of the positivity, engagement, encouragement, and motivation. Kate and Rochelle do a fantastic job setting a tone, but the people that Tonal attracts. It seems like the people you want to have a coffee with or a beer with at the end of the day. People are encouraging and supportive. There’s no negativity. I feel like the events that they provide for us and the opportunities to learn and grow, where else would I get that? I can’t imagine. I’m not going to become a physical trainer. I’m not going to learn this stuff unless I attend these snack-size versions of education for me. I love it.

That’s a good point because they offer many things. Every week, there are three different events and they’re all beneficial in some way. The Tonal talks have more of the learning content, but all of the things that they do enrich the experience. If they were a different company, they wouldn’t try to pull the instructors in and build those relationships. It’s an important thing that they do. It brings the community to them and it allows the community to feel close to the instructors, which is great.

That has helped me a lot because I came from a small studio fitness regimen where you know everybody. You go in. You have this feeling that you’re going to see so-and-so tomorrow. You’re going to ask them about their day. Your teacher is going to say a few words to you. I feel that warmth and the true sense of community. I’m working out at 5:00, 5:15, 5:30 in the morning alone in my garage but I don’t want to feel alone. It’s bizarre.

All those years in the gym, nobody ever asked you to be on their podcast.

I would have never met Crystal or Tom, but that encouragement and support from one another. These coaches are people I never would have had access to. They’re real, incredible trainers with pedigree. I would have never had that.

I’m always torn about that aspect of connected fitness. It’s cool that people have access to these top-tier people, but then you also feel bad for the people that are in your community.

It’s harder to find those people.

You never know the quality of a person that you’re going to get. That’s what makes it difficult.

Not even just on a personal trainer level. Here in our local community, we have a great cycling community, but I have such a crazy schedule that I have so much trouble meeting their timeframes. I can’t integrate with them in the same way I can with online because I can do it whenever I can fit it in. They’re always there. I feel like that’s another aspect of it. The trainers and your community itself. That’s a benefit but I hear what you’re saying. I’m not downplaying the people who are in our local communities. We have lots of amazing people.

I’ve noticed some Tonal people who have continued to work with trainers where they have custom programs made for them on their Tonals. There may be a way for you to still support the folks that you want. I certainly wouldn’t even know where to start to look for someone. Maybe I’m in a different category.

Do you have a favorite program that you’ve done so far?

You give me hot water because I love all these coaches.

They’re all at a ten, but was there one that you enjoyed more?

I finished Radical Muscle Rock for the first time with Pablo, but also it’s my first time as a group. We got a group together, people who decided that we were all going to do it. We weren’t going to do it at the same time of the day. That’s very hard to coordinate, but we were going to try to stay on the same base together. That additional layer of community experience was like I met even more great people in this process. It motivated me and it pushed me in a different way alone in my garage. I felt there was a little bit of healthy competition, but also the excitement about all encouraging one another. Pablo was very much part of that process, which was fun. I loved the program he created, Radical Muscle Rock, which was a great compilation. You finished it.

I finished it a week and a half before you guys started the group. I was like, “Dang it.” The timing didn’t work out. I’m not going back to the beginning. This one is too hard.

I liked the combination of strength and cardio.

I did too. It was a very kick-ass program. It was challenging but I loved the level of challenging that it was. It was good.

I did a lot of stuff with Liz. In the beginning, Liz was my go-to person. It felt gentle enough for me to ease into. I have never done weightlifting before. That was key for me to dip my toes and go easy. I love the consciousness of form and body alignment and all that. That stuck with me in the beginning. I did a lot of her programs. I did lean in, daily build, side-by-side. I did 4 Weeks To Fat Loss.

That’s a different direction to go from gentle to 4 Weeks To Fat Loss. That program is tough.

I jumped into the cold, deep end of the pool.

I love that one too. You feel accomplished whenever you do a hard one like that. It’s such a great feeling.

It gave me a lot of confidence. One of the things I noticed, which gave me confidence, I ended up doing Power to the Max with Nicolette, which I was nervous about. Nicolette is a person that I love and admire, but I’m also a little bit scared of her programs. I have to feel a certain way before I jump in. I felt confident after four weeks. I was like, “If I survived that, I could do Power to the Max.” Nicolette is another person where I learned so much about physical training because I never understood this idea of active recovery between sets, and how you can still keep mobility so that you can lift better the next time, and her tap methods. I was in awe and then I would get to block three. I’m like, “She’s trying to kill me.”

If you survive, you’re going to stick around.

I’ve loved all of them. Radical Muscle Rock for the group experience. Kate has hinted that there will be more group type. Natalie had one. I’m in the middle of a Natalie very challenging program. I’m doing Tap In Your Stuff right now.

I’ve heard a lot of people say that it’s so challenging. Natalie is one that I always hear people talk about how gentle she is too. I’m scared of that one because people are like, “That one is challenging.”

I loved it because I had finished Radical Muscle Rock, this group decided to stick together, and do one more program together. It was great. We’re almost done. It’s very challenging but in the best ways. It’s one of the oldest ones. It’s in the old set. There are talks about engaging your smart handles. It’s lovely because the glitz and glamor of a set aren’t the thing that’s going to hold you back. It’s a killer program. At the end of it, I can’t do all these other things that I used to be able to do. I’m like, “Let me finish this and do yoga. No, I can’t lift my arm. It’s done. The day is over.”

Do you have any advice for people who are entering the Tonal community or they’re getting started? What do you wish that they knew?

I have to say I was late to the community. I was late to the Facebook group. I didn’t know about it until there was a challenge. The first thing is to get immersed to that and get to know because everything you need to know about getting started is with them. It’s on that page. It’s a motivation, not feeling alone. If you are the type of person who requires a little bit more of a sense of community or a social aspect to working out and not feeling alone, it’s incredibly helpful. In terms of starting out, I say take it easy because it gets hard fast.

You’re excited for the weight to increase and then you’re not excited for the weight to increase.

I’m like, “I’ve got to do fifteen reps of it?”

I was feeling good about that on set one, now set three, not so good.

I was like, “This is easy, everybody,” and then it’s not.

We haven’t asked people this. I want to ask, what is your leaderboard name? We have a leaderboard now.

It’s @TonedbyTonal which is my Instagram name. Tone has got a bad reputation now. You’re supposed to be ripped. The leaderboard is an interesting one too. A lot of controversy with that as well.

That’s one of those things. You can’t please everybody on that topic. I’m a pro leaderboard the way they’re doing it because I like that I can feel that I’m not going to be Action Jackson. I’m not going to be able to lift that level of poundage. It’s not going to happen. I liked that it’s a number of hours because then I can see how my commitment stacks up to other people, especially when I add in all of the other workouts that I do outside of Tonal. That makes me feel good. I get other people’s thoughts on it too. They want to see how they stack up and that’s a valid thought. I don’t want to take away from that, but personally, I like how they do it.

To build on that, a lot of fitness and motivation is about showing up. Whatever it is that you showed up for, whether you could only do ten minutes or you could do an hour that day, but you showed up. It feels good to know that you have that streak going and you are putting in whatever time you could that day. It works for me if that’s by day and time to my advantage.

If it was by how much you’re lifting, now they run the risk of encouraging people to do more than they’re ready for and getting injured. That’s not good.

That’s the danger. Unless you’re going to break it down by weight class, height, and female versus male, it’s not fair to do it that way.

There were many ways to now figure out on the app too on Tonal, to figure out where you stack up in terms of gender and your strengths. Another feature I liked is the breakdown of body part in terms of strength level. It’s good for us to realize you’re still going to be working out the same. You’re going to be working out your overall body but it’s interesting areas that you are stronger, core versus arms versus legs. It’s fast. I love the data and metrics. That is something surprising to me. I’m somebody who didn’t know what Tonal was. I never went into the store, but I’m engaged. I love that stuff.

I was thinking when you were talking about how you had never heard of it or seen it until it showed up. I’m sure that when he’s describing it, especially given all the weird fitness product fads we’ve seen in the past with ThighMaster and whatnot or the tension bands, and you’re like, “What kind of junkie Bowflex thing is this going to be?” When it shows up, it’s a real thing and it’s got intense data that it’s providing. That’s radically different than what you see from other fitness products in the past, Peloton excluded.

The fitness world is in a different place now with all of these things at home. Tonal has given them the credit for that. Peloton started that whole trend of heading that way. Tonal is, in my opinion, the only company besides Peloton, which wants to build the community. They want to build on the machine that they have and keep adding to it. They listen to people and they’re not like, “Let’s get as many people on here as possible.” They’re like, “Let’s build a good product.” You make a good point, Tom. When you see it and you have no idea what it is. That had to have been like, “What did you do?”

I see digital weights. I was like, “What does it mean?” It’s just weights that I can touch.

It turns out they’re a lot harder than those regular weights.

I was talking to someone who is away from her Tonal and is trying to do some gym. She’s trying to convert things and is having a bit of a hard time. Tonal makes it very safe and easy for people to work out in terms of setting yourself and making sure the load. To think that I used to do tricep kickbacks with 5 pounds. I’m like, “This thing is going to kill me.” It says 9 pounds on the screen. I’m like, “This can’t be 9 pounds.”

I do other programs now and I’ll try it like a boot camp outside of Tonal. I’m throwing weights around. I’m like, “This is so light. What happened?” If I could only get my eating under control so that I could see the muscle.

TSS 16 | Tonal

Tonal: If you are the type of person who requires a little bit more of a sense of community or a social aspect to working out, then Tonal is incredibly helpful.


We can’t even talk about food at this time of the year.

I think 2020 is just a pass. There’s too much stress eating.

It’s one of the upsides of not having to see people in real life.

Everything was better.

Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to join us. Where can people find you on social media? Where can they find you if you’re in other places that you dig?

The thing that I connect with the most less than Facebook, I only use it for the community but on Instagram, it’s @TonedByTonal. That is the best way to find me. I love connecting with people that way.

Did you not have an Instagram before? Did you fall in love with it so much you changed your Instagram name?

I did have an Instagram but it’s with my kids. This one I like to separate because I found that I can connect with people only on fitness. It’s not going to be my jam. I want to talk about Tonal and I will help you. I love the accountability and I love cheering people on it if you’re on Tonal. I’m the first one to say, “Killer fire.” I sent the fire emojis everywhere and the muscles. I like that it’s a controlled environment for me to focus on that.

You haven’t had it that long so I was like, “What does that mean?”

I’m glad you circled back around to that because I know you from Instagram. I kept seeing your name pop up. I would see you. Whenever you said that’s your leaderboard name, I was like, “I thought so.”

I kept everything there. It’s easier.

Thank you so much for taking time out of your day.

I’m so honored. This is awesome. I can’t wait to see where Crystal is going to be next in terms of the program. Tom, we’ve got to get you into a group.

Thanks for joining us.

Thank you. You guys are awesome. Congrats. It’s a successful show. I’m such a fan.

Thank you. I will be in touch with all of the details.

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

No idea. We have to get on that.

If you find yourself receiving a Facebook request from Crystal, she might be wanting to interview you, so you should say yes. Until then, where can people find you?

People can find me 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. Don’t forget, 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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About Mariana Flynn

TSS 16 | TonalBefore March of 2020 when LA issued Safer at Home orders, I had never weight lifted. What started as a sanity check, pre-virtual learning outlet for me at 6:00 am quickly became a lifestyle. Tonal has been a lifesaver not only for my physical but mental health. I have learned so much in these past 9 months from the machine, coaches and the community talks.

I doubt I would be able to get the benefits I do from a gym membership. At 41 being able to lift and track 10K lbs with the guide of a professional personal trainer, then push a button to start a quick Yoga practice and finally end my morning with some mobility exercises to help my form and lift better – I would have thought you’re pulling my leg if you told this would be me at this age. I am absolutely addicted to Tonal and all the great changes I’ve been creating with the help of this unique machine and its brand.

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