TSS 44 | Tonal Home Gym

Tonal Partners with Paralympian Brenna Huckaby plus our interview with Shelley Black

TSS 44 | Tonal Home Gym


  • Tonal partners with Paralympian Brenna Huckaby.
  • The Tonal blog has tips for maximizing muscle growth.
  • Men’s Health Muscle reviews the Tonal.
  • We have inspirational posts from Liz Letchford and Allison Tibbs.
  • You can now stream On The Go content without WiFi.
  • We have a recap of the latest new content.
  • This month’s book club selection is Roar by Stacy Sims.
  • Stacy Sims will also be featured in two Tonal Talks.
  • The March Community Challenge is upon us.
  • The latest Community Calendar is live.
  • The Tonal Mom’s group talks about “mom pooch.”
All this plus our interview with Shelley Black!

Watch  episode here:

Listen to the podcast here:

Tonal Partners with Paralympian Brenna Huckaby plus our interview with Shelley Black

How are you feeling?

I’m okay. I’m tired.

Do you want to talk about it?

I don’t really care.

Everybody, congratulate Crystal. She’s just had her first colonoscopy.

I’m too young for those of you that are thinking, “She looks way too young to have her first colonoscopy.” That is because it was a few years before the required date but I had a family history.

I’ve got mine because I had a coupon.

2 for 1. I have a family history. They thought it best that we go ahead and do it, so I did. Now I’m here.

You weren’t near as fun waking up from the anesthesia as I was.

That was just an excuse. You were like, “I can say anything I want now.”

That’s how I live my life, though.

Just so you guys know, the first thing Tom said was another woman’s name.

That’s taking things a little out of context. I reacted to another woman’s name because the nurse introduced herself. I was still loopy and the nurse said, “Hi, I’m Britney,” and I said, “I am so glad you’re free.” You didn’t understand.

I was like, “What the f*** you are talking about?”

I was like, “She’s Britney, b****.”

The nurse got it before I did. Clearly, she had heard her shared Britney jokes.

Not quite like that. I normally don’t make jokes about people’s names because I feel like there’s no joke I’m going to come up with that they haven’t heard, and now, I’m above it. I like to try to have a new take on things. I’m like, “If your name is Wienermobile, you have heard a million Oscar Mayer jokes. What am I going to bring to the table?” It seems unlikely, so I don’t even try it.

I did it one time, though. A girl whose last name was the Light, and she’s commented that I’d never made fun of her name. I was like, “What am I going to say? Kathy Light, half the calories of a regular Kathy.” She was like, “No one has ever said that one before. It has always been about light bulbs.” I was like, “Maybe I’m better at this than I thought.” What pre-tell do you have in store for people?

Can I just say that I am excited to finish up the first program that I have done in a very long time? I have one more workout left in four weeks to fat loss, too. I felt like people needed to know that it’s not all about my colonoscopy.

You are more than just your colonoscopy.

Anyway, we have articles about Tonal. Tonal has appeared in articles.

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They are popping up more and more.

Which I love seeing. It’s very cool. We have some fun posts to talk about from some of the instructors. We also have a new feature to discuss. We have new content to discuss. There are a lot of things happening in the month of March that we need to talk about as well.

Before we get to all that shameless plugs, don’t forget we are available on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, iHeart, tune in wherever you find a podcast, you can find us. While you are there, be sure to subscribe or follow so you never miss an episode. If you could be kind, maybe leave us a review so people that come along after you, know we are worth checking out.

You can also find us on Facebook, Facebook.com/supersetpodcast. While you are there, like the page, join the group. Of course, don’t forget, you can watch these episodes if you would like at our YouTube channel, which is, YouTube.com/theclipout, which is the name of our other show but these live there as well. There’s all of that. Let’s dig in. Shall we?

We will kick the show off by taking a peek at the Tonal blog. Interesting post about Brenna Huckaby.

Brenna Huckaby is a Paralympian and a world champion. Obviously, she’s using the Tonal. It’s really cool for a couple of reasons. One, we have yet another amazing athlete using the Tonal, and I’m hearing more and more people telling me that these ads are the game-changers for them. They are working. Tonal, if you are reading, “It’s working.” Also, how cool that they are showcasing the adaptability features that Tonal has? Brenna doesn’t have a leg or right leg. She has to modify with a prosthetic. It’s great to see all the different ways that you can use it. That’s what being a Paralympian is all about.

If you are ever at a trivia night and somebody asks you what city the Paralympics took place in, then it’s always the same city as the regular Olympics. They had always used all the same places and arenas that have been built and all that. They move in a week later and do it all there, which is pretty cool. I didn’t know that until I’ve got the question wrong at a Trivia Night. That’s my little life lesson for you.

Thanks for making sure we all know the answer the next time we are at a Trivia Night.

If we are ever at a Trivia Night with you as a reader, please get that one wrong out of respect. You only know it because we told you, so you should get the question wrong. We will move one question ahead of you in the contest.

That seems fair. What sort of circumstances would that ever occur? You never know.

You are going to find yourself that, “Failure to plan is planning to fail,” or something like that. While we are looking at the Tonal blog, they have another post. The Training Phase is the Key to Maximizing Muscle Gains.

This one came out at the beginning of February but I didn’t read it right away. It’s really cool because it has a lot of different ways. Maybe we have talked about this before. It talks about how you need time to recover. First, you work out hard, and then you recover. It goes through different phases like your alarm phase. That’s, whenever your homeostasis is disrupted during a workout. You have your reaction phase, and that’s when your muscle tissue is repairing, and that’s when you need to recover. You have the exhaustion phase, and if you reach that phase, you are over-training.

It shows the different load and recovery reactions in a graph, in the article, so you can understand what your body goes through. You want it to work hard. You want it to react and have enough of a reaction that you are growing your muscle if hypertrophy, especially, is your goal or strength, in general, is your goal. If you go too far, now you are in over-training, and you actually lose some of the benefits that you are getting from exercise. Not to mention you, of course, can put yourself at risk of injury. If you injured yourself, now you might be out for weeks, and then what happens then? Now your strength goes down.

There is too much of a good thing.

This is a really good article. I love that they are starting to include findings from the Tonal Strength Institute in these blogs. They also give you some tips on how you know when you need recovery. It’s like, “Maybe not just jump straight into another program, maybe take a week of active recovery. Do nothing but maybe not do strength training.” If you always are pushing yourself hard and you are having a day where you get up, and you are not feeling it. You didn’t get to sleep very well, maybe you’ve got a lot of stress, whatever. If your body says, “Eh,” then this is a good time to listen. I really like the message that’s coming across here.

My body said that in my 40s, 30s, and 20s.

Your body has said that your whole life. You got to be careful about listening to your body. There are times you listen, there’s times you ignore it, Tom.

Especially, when we are talking about me, your body may vary, and for your sake, I hope it does.

You are doing good these days.

Men’s health muscle, which I’m not familiar with that.

TSS 44 | Tonal Home Gym


I’m not either. The only reason I included this is because somebody posted it in the OTC, the Official Tonal Community on Facebook. I thought it was cool because it’s basically just men’s health. I only say that because of the logo looks like the Men’s Health logo from the magazine.

I have no idea what the Men’s Health Magazine logo looks like.

I don’t know why I know.

I know why.

It’s the articles, honey.

This is the first time in history a woman has ever been able to say that to a man. Thank you for the articles.

They do a review on Tonal. It’s very thorough, so they go through the installation, the unboxing, their very first workout, everything. It’s a really good breakdown of why Tonal is so awesome. I love seeing these things. I like how they talk through the different advanced fitness modes. It’s difficult to do things like chains in a traditional gym setting, whereas Tonal makes it so easy, and you don’t need additional equipment. It’s amazing.

We had a couple of nice posts from instructors that you wanted to spotlight.

This first one is from Liz Letchford, also known as Dr. Liz. She says, “We are a messy bunch.” She’s interested in hearing your experience with your relationship to unpredictability, and then she goes through, “Why?” She talks about how being a doctor, learning about the human body and its functions. She learned that there are a lot of things in our body and that our body does is unpredictable. When she was learning, and she was a medical student, it stressed her out whenever things didn’t fit inside the box of like, “Here’s clearly what it should be.” I felt that very much.

I wonder why this resonated with you.

It’s because it causes anxiety to not know the answer. It’s very brave to be able to push through that and to still become a doctor, despite the fact that that’s caused anxiety with her.

Part of how she did get her Doctorate is that she structured her life in a way where there’s predictability and routine. That helped her be able to focus on her studies in a way that maybe other people can’t, said the guy who graduated from college when he was 45.

Only because you had one class left to do. I thought it was a really cool post. She asks for people’s feedback on things that they have experienced that have been unpredictable and messy, and that they have learned from. That’s a really beautiful thought that everything doesn’t have to be neat and tidy because life isn’t tidy. I don’t know if you have ever noticed that, Tom.

I have not but thank you for making me aware. It’s like the great philosopher once said, “Whatever happened to predictability.”

Allison Tibbs also had a post you wanted to talk about.

Allison talks about her journey, and she talks about how it has been a journey that she has had anxiety and depression. She says, “It felt like a thousand-mile journey,” because it has been a major part of her life.

I had anxiety looking at this picture. Is she walking down these wooden stairs barefoot? She’s going to get splinters.

Maybe she’s doing a photo shoot, and it’s just a pretty picture. Maybe she has flat sandals on. I’m going to assume she has flat sandals.

I hope so. I’m worried for her.

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I feel like you are really taking away from the point of this, distracting everyone with her shoes. Regardless, she says that she suffered in silence and solitude for years. She then decided to make a change to fight for her mental health. The very first step for her was finding a therapist. At the time, that was taboo, especially in the Black community. No one in her family or our close circle spoke about therapy. She talks about while her story is not unique, she’s grateful that she had the courage and resources to invest in her healing. She says, “Many women and girls, especially in the Black community, don’t have access to care or the resources,” and that breaks her heart.

The whole point of this whole post was leading back to her, Give Back Live Class that she did on February 25th. It was to raise money and awareness to the company or the foundation called The Loveland Foundation. They are creating spaces, access to resources, and even providing funding to Black women and girls who are in need of healing and therapy. That’s wonderful. It’s really brave again of her to share. I love that these Tonal instructors are so real and put stuff out there. They are not trying to be superhuman. They’re not trying to be these people that are above everyone else. They are trying to say, “I deal with the same struggles that you deal with,” and that means a lot to me.

I don’t know if this officially counts as a new feature but it’s a new aspect perk. You can now stream on the go content without Wi-Fi?

The reason it was another new feature that Tonal had added to the app a while back where you had on the go workouts, you could do but you had to have Wi-Fi to get them started. The new feature, the new aspect of this feature, is that you no longer need Wi-Fi to be able to do it. You can be disconnected from the Wi-Fi. As long as you have the newest mobile app, you can now take a workout. That’s a huge thing. For instance, you know how we have the cell phone packages that we have to get when we go on a cruise?


Before, I wouldn’t have been able to do the Tonal workouts without using Wi-Fi, now I can do the Tonal workout. It’s a big deal.

If you are in port, this is falls under first world problems but if you’re in port, you can get a signal and you don’t have to do their Wi-Fi.

A lot of people might live out in the middle of a place that has spotty Wi-Fi or things like that.

I had this when I was in LA for work because the Wi-Fi at the hotel wasn’t working. Apparently, I was the only one at the hotel who wanted to use it because when I called the front desk, they acted like I was insane. They gave me the number of their Wi-Fi company. They were like, “You deal with it.”

You’ve then got the super-secret Wi-Fi.

My first thought was like, “I can’t do a Tonal workout in my hotel room because I won’t have Wi-Fi to get on.

Now you can. When you travel, you would have been able to, regardless of the Wi-Fi at the hotel.

As always, there are tons of new content for people.

We are so lucky to have all this content. There are a bunch of new quick fits. We’ve got a total chest pump with Coach Paul, eleven minutes, totally focused on building up your chest. We’ve got chest and bis with Coach Liz, such your upper body, fifteen minutes, new yoga. Melo yoga with Coach Francis, which is a full body, 26 minutes. New warmups pre-show pump with Coach Woody.

This is going to get you ready for the live workouts, ten minutes, full-body, new recovery limber, lower body with Coach Woody. This is fifteen minutes of focusing on your lower body, which is perfect. If you have been sitting in a chair all day or if you are recovering from a really hard leg day on Tonal, either one works. New cardio, sweaty shape up with Coach Woody, eighteen minutes, full body cardio. This is perfect for if you have limited time, all kinds of good stuff.

This month’s read between the rep selection is a Roar.

You might remember again when we talked to Troy from the Tonal Strength Institute, one of the individuals he talked about that was heavily involved is Stacy Sims. She’s a PhD. She is one of the foremost people who has been focused on how women specifically respond to exercise and how different parts of their life are going to respond to exercise differently.

Before you start having a cycle or after you have had a cycle while you are pregnant, there are all these different versions of ourselves that women go through. It’s because of that, physically, we might respond to exercise in a different way. Her whole thesis is that we are not small men. This book is what we are talking about. Stacy Sims is the author of it. That’s going to be very exciting. I am super excited to read this one. I’ve already got it downloaded to the Kindle, ready to go.

This month’s Tonal Talk or they are not monthly.

There are two of them each month, and both of them revolve around Stacy Sims. The first one is going to be on March 8th. It’s going to be a Tonal Talk. She’s going to explain fitness in your nutrition specific for female athlete health and performance. She’s going to talk about that. That’s not going to be a live Q&A on 3-8 but then on March 23rd, that’s when they are going to have a Q&A.

TSS 44 | Tonal Home Gym


That’s going to be with Stacy Sims, where any of the guests have a chance to submit a question ahead of time. Dr. Sims will be answering those questions. Since it’s toward the end of the month, what that means is that you will have a chance to read the book, have some questions prepared, send them into the Tonal Talk, listen in on the 23rd, and be educated.

You could watch the first Tonal Talk, instead of at the end of it, when they are like, “We’ve got ten minutes for questions,” and you are like, “Mmm,” and then it’s over. You are like, “You know what I should have asked.” Now you get a little more time to plot your course.

I’m super excited about this one. Can I just say at this point that I also read February’s book? It was Failing Up. I went into it a little confused. I’m not going to lie. It was about the guy from Hamilton that plays Aaron Burr and I was like, “What does acting have to do with working out? Why are we reading this book?” We are reading this book because it can apply to any situation. It talks about basically, if you never try anything, then you don’t fail but you don’t go outside your comfort zone.

When you go outside your comfort zone, even if you fail, you have learned something, so fail often. That’s going to lead you on an upward trajectory. It was a fabulous book. I really enjoyed it. It’s a short read. You are in and out because sometimes, biographies can lead you astray. You never know where you are going, and sometimes it’s two weeks later, you are like, “Why am I reading this?” This one is good.

Especially because sometimes biographies, I found this is in general, start with the early years and you are like, “I don’t care. Get to the part where you are doing things I know about.”

Since I didn’t go in with any kind of expectation, we did start with his early years but he moved through quickly. All of it moves very quickly. It was good.

The March community challenge is upon us.

We have another one that’s pairing two instructors. This one is going to start with Coach Amy’s beginner heat program for the first two weeks and then finish with Coach Woody’s intermediate 30-minute muscle program. Earlier, they had an entire question and answer session that you could do. It was very into February. If you didn’t get to check that out and you still want to join, you still have time. That was on February 28th. It’s out there on the Official Facebook Community.

There’s a whole group that you can go to specifically for this challenge session. There are going to be all kinds of different workouts throughout the month, not just these two programs. They sprinkle in lots of other workouts throughout the month. You make sure you get your recovery and your cardio time. It’s a really good program.

While we are talking about community stuff, we should address the March community calendar.

We have 4 or 5 different groups. This calendar that Tonal puts together, it’s a way for you to be able to see everything at the exact same time. This has events for Tonal Moms, Tonal Dads, Tonal LGBTQ, and Allies, and then the Tonal XXL Community. It has the different instructors that are speaking in these groups the days, the times, and it’s called the Partner Community Events Calendar. Definitely, check that out if you haven’t already. Apparently, there are going to be more partner communities added in the future.

I’m interested to figure out what other communities they are going to pull in. While we were talking about community stuff, there was one of the mom crew had a thing that you thought was interesting about mom pooch.

That was one of these instructor talks. Coach Amy did an Instructor Talk for the partner community tonal moms. She talked about mom pooches. That’s something that she gets questioned about a lot like, “How do we get rid of it?” I joke about that but in all seriousness, how to correct that is different for men versus women.

Especially if you have C-section.

It’s another good example of a great conversation that Tonal instructors are having. If you miss that one and you have interest, that happened also on February 21st, and it was in the Tonal Moms group. You can check it out there.

Joining us via the magic of Zoom Tube is Shelley Black. How is it going?

I’m good. How are you all?

We are so excited to get a chance to chat with you. What I like to always start with on these interviews is how did you originally find out about Tonal? When was that in the timeline of things?

My husband, a lifetime ago, was a personal trainer. He has his degree in Exercise Science from Texas A&M. We have always been in the gym. When we got married, he said, “We will have a gym membership until the day we die.” I thought to myself, “God, help us.” We go into the gym probably 5 or 6 days a week. COVID happened, and the gyms closed. We have an elliptical and spin bike at the house. We could rent equipment, honestly. We’ve got a little bit for everybody.

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He has always been a big proponent of weightlifting. The pandemic happens, and we are looking at each other going, “The gym is closed.” I hadn’t been on the scale. I don’t even know when the last time I was on the scale was. He comes to me and says, “I know what we are doing.” I went, “What are we doing?” He said, “I have done the research. We are getting a Tonal.” I went, “Okay.”

Have you heard of it at that point? Was this new?

I had heard of it in the passing. As I’m eating my ice cream and watching TV, he is talking to me about the Tonal and I’m like, “Great, whatever. Pass the chocolate chips.” Working out has always been a part of our life. He came to me and was like, “The Tonal, we need to look at it.” I was like, “Okay, sure.” We are located in a suburb of Houston in The Woodlands. We are on the Northside of Houston. The only Tonal store at that time was in The Galleria, which is about an hour away from where we were at.

In the pandemic, everything is closed. He was like, “Come and sit down.” I was like, “How long is this going to take? My show is coming on. I’ve got stuff to do.” He was like, “It’s legit. You need to sit down and pay attention.” I went, “Okay.” I sat down, and he started showing me the Tonal. He used to do cardiac rehab on heart patients. He is engrossed in medical. For him to be like, “This is something we need to seriously consider,” I went, “I’m listening.”

I sat up and went, “What is it going to take? How big is it? Where can we put it? We need some more of the information before we go buy this and try it out.” My husband was like, “The stores are all closed. We can’t try it out but I have done a bunch of research.” I was like, “We are taking a jump off this ledge.” I went, “Sure, if it will get you to be quiet.”

You guys were all in sight unseen. You went for it.

Sight unseen, we went for it. He measured out walls in the house and was like, “What can we do?” Even in the room I’m in, he did put sound panels in because of my bold voice. He built a Murphy bed because we were in a four-bedroom house. We go from both having offices to him working from home, some to me coming home going, “I’ve got two monitors and a laptop. Where is all this going to go?” He was like, “I could build a Murphy bed. The Tonal can go on this wall, and the Murphy bed can go on this wall. It will all work out.” I thought, “We don’t have a lot of people come to visit often.”

It’s even fewer during the pandemic.

Shockingly, I had two people come to visit me that I’m like, “Sure. We will get COVID together. It’s okay if you want to come.” He built a Murphy bed. That allowed some extra room and then freed up a couple of walls. It’s in the room that I’m in, which is my guest room/office/workout room/craft. Whatever you name it, that’s what we will call it.

It’s like the junk drawer of rooms.

At least it’s not that junkie.

It’s because there’s a Tonal in there. It can’t be junkie if there’s a Tonal.

I walk in and I’m like, “Don’t touch the Tonal.” Everybody is like, “What?” I’m like, “This is my baby. I hug it daily. I try to talk nice to it. It still beats me up every day but it’s okay. It’s all good. We have a love-hate relationship.”

I’m curious about all this and the love for the Tonal. I find it fascinating that he is a self-avowed gym rat. Those are typically the people that come around a Tonal last. Do you still have a gym membership?

No. I can get a gym membership again. We both 100% hands down agree that everything we need, we can get from the Tonal as far as weights are concerned, and we will never go back to a gym membership.

In a way, it’s like he broke a wedding vow.

That’s okay. I married him, gym or not. It was a little bit of a relief. When we were in the gym all the time, you walked around. There are certain types of people that are in the gym. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with who is in the gym but it’s extremely intimidating. At 38, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. At 39, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. At 40, I had a total hysterectomy. Physically, my body pre-Tonal, even when I was in the gym five days a week, was not a normal body. My body doesn’t react to anything anymore.

I struggle with whether I ate, didn’t eat or did some binge diet. I would lose and gain it back whether I did weights seven days a week. When I realized that Tonal was working, I was down 90 pounds. I realized, “There’s something here. This is not a pop-in, pop-out type of thing that’s going to go away tomorrow. Tonal will always be a part of my life. I will probably be the oldest person to work out on Tonal.” I’m sure the coaches will finally be like, “Shelley, you need to retire from the Tonal.”

For real, it’s great as you age to continue to work out and lift weights. It helps with mobility and bone density. I could go on.

You are right. I doubt they would ever say that. I’m sold, and I have told I don’t even know how many people because people were like, “What do you do?”

We have to back up because you naturally said, “I lost 90 pounds.” That is not a small amount of weight.

TSS 44 | Tonal Home Gym


She said it so naturally. I didn’t realize that she had said that she had lost 90 pounds. It went by me. As someone who has lost a lot of weight, it’s not 90 pounds but I have lost a lot of weight. Also, in marketing, you’ve got to juice that story up.

Where were you when you’ve got the Tonal? I need to know your whole timeline. You were diagnosed with these medical conditions at 38, 39, and 40. At some point, you went through awful treatments. It’s great because it makes you better but it makes you feel like crap while you are doing it. Did that make you gain weight? Was it not being able to exercise? How did that happen?

The weight gain happened because, at 38, my breast cancer was estrogen-based. I had to go on an estrogen blocker for five years. For people that don’t realize the inside and out of it, long story short, I wanted to put on running shoes and run away. It’s nasty and horrible. There’s a lot when it comes to cancer treatment that people don’t talk about, “You will be on this medication. You will be fine.” The long-term effects are getting better as far as that particular medication because I stopped taking it at my five-year marker but it was ugly.

I did 30 rounds of radiation, and I didn’t realize how tired I would be. I thought, “It’s with chemo when you get extremely tired.” It would be all I could do. I worked through all of my treatments in all of my cancers. I never missed a day of work. I did for my surgery, and then I missed two weeks because I couldn’t drive. I was like, “I need to get back and find some sense of normal.”

It was February 2015 when I had my breast cancer. I went through treatment and rang the bell in June 2015. They were like, “You are good. We’ll monitor you. Everything will be good.” Fast forward to January 2016, I had known that when I was pregnant with my daughter, I found out that I had some thyroid issues. My endocrinologist was like, “At some point in time, we will get a baseline ultrasound on your thyroid.” I was taking thyroid medication after I had my daughter. They were like, “You will be fine.”

I went to the endocrinologist after my breast cancer. My endocrinologist said, “Have you ever had a baseline thyroid ultrasound? Most thyroid people that have thyroid issues will do that.” I was like, “No.” He was like, “When you can get around to it, get that done for me.” There was no sense of urgency. I said, “Life happens. I’ve got a kid and a husband, which is like a second kid.”

I was like, “He is building stuff for you. Our kids don’t do that.”

Our kids don’t know. I’m like, “Did somebody have a manual or something to tell me what to do?” My doctor finally was like, “We need to get a baseline ultrasound.” Another doctor says, “Fine, I will go.” It couldn’t be the year of my breast cancer because I had my deductible real quick with that. It was the next year. I went in and did this ultrasound. 3 or 4 days later, the doctor called me, and I was driving down the road. He said, “I got your results back from your thyroid ultrasound.” I was like, “What is it? It’s no big deal.” He was like, “I’m shocked to tell you that you have thyroid cancer.” I thought, “What? I’m sorry. I’m driving home.”

I thought this was something they called you into the office for.

They didn’t call me into the office from the breast cancer either. That was a funny story. I will tell you about that. It’s amazing to me. They don’t call you into the office. They tell you over the phone.

He can at least say, “Pull over.”

Luckily, I was at the front of my subdivision. I turned in and went home. He called my husband from the garage because I didn’t want my daughter to hear. I was like, “You need to come out to the garage.” He was like, “Why are we talking in the garage? What is the deal? What is that?” I was like, “I got a phone call. I have thyroid cancer.” That’s how it came out and he went, “What we’ll do is figure it out.”

Having gone through breast cancer the calendar year before, you become resilient and say, “It’s a fight-or-flight type of situation. My breast cancer was stage one. It’s very easy to catch and cure. I’m very blessed.” It was a punch in the gut when the thyroid cancer came because I was like, “Didn’t I do breast cancer last calendar year? What is the deal?” Luckily with my thyroid cancer, it was a simple thyroidectomy. They removed my thyroid.

However, with that coming out, they had to do radioactive iodine, which is a little bit crazy when they pull out this big tube and then they have another tube. You’ve got a little pill bottle, and they were like, “I’m going to double-glove.” You put on these gloves, and they give you a big Dixie Cup. They put a pill in your hand and they were like, “You are going to take this. Once you take this, you will be radioactive. You need to leave the hospital immediately. What kind of vehicle do you have?”

I was like, “SUV.” They were like, “Does it have a third row?” I said, “Yes.” They said, “Did you come with somebody?” I said, “My husband.” They went, “Is he driving?” I said, “Yes.” They were like, “You need to sit in the passenger seat, third row.” I was like, “What?” They were like, “Go straight home.” It was like it was out of a sci-fi movie.

How long do you have to stay away from him?

It was that evening. By the time we went to bed, it was fine. My daughter came home from school, and I was waving from the doorway. Dinner was served on a tray to my door.

They are bringing you dinner in bed.

I was like, “At least it’s a warm bed. It’s more comfortable than I would assume other places that serve you a meal outside your door.”

Talk about trendsetter, though. You were social distancing before it was cool.

You were way ahead of the curve.

It’s healthy to give your body a break. Share on X

I never imagined that fast forward to 2020, that’s what we would be doing. I didn’t think about that. I didn’t remember that. After I did the radioactive iodine, I did a scan and they were like, “All is good. You are cancer-free.” I went, “I don’t get to ring a bell or anything?” With my breast cancer, they make a big deal. You ring the bell. Everybody that you don’t know is clapping. With thyroid cancer, they are like, “See you later. If you have any issues, let us know.”

It’s back to marketing. There’s no Komen Race for the thyroid cancer cure. If they don’t get bells, they are nothing.

You get a pill and stay away from your family for a day.

You can binge-watch whatever you want to watch. They were like, “You have to use your bathroom. You have to wipe everything down.” It was all a little crazy. It’s very sci-fi. It made me realize that I probably wouldn’t do well in a science-fiction life.

Where in relation to all the medical stuff did the weight loss come in? Was that during while this was all going on?

No. During all of it, whether I ate right and exercised or I sat on the couch and did nothing, I gained weight. All the doctors were like, “Your thyroid is gone. This is what we’ve got to give you. Your thyroid controls and regulates your weight.” I’ll jump forward to 2020 and everything happening. I hadn’t been on the scale in a year and a half because I was like, “This is my life and what I am. I’m cancer-free but I’m heavy. That’s what it is.” I never imagined that I would get to that point. I’m a very outgoing person but I was frustrated and upset. I’m living with an ex-personal trainer that can go, “I feel like I have gained a little bit.” He skips a meal, and then he is down 3 pounds.

He is like, “Let me do two sit-ups. I’m good and back to normal.”

I’m like, “Really?” He is like, “As I have aged, it has been different.” We had talked about the Tonal and had ordered the Tonal. I finally was like, “The Tonal comes in. I’m all excited. I’m going to do my first workout.” It pops up and it’s like, “Enter your height and your weight.” I was like, “You would like to know that, wouldn’t you? I don’t even know.”

At that point, I knew I had gained some weight but I didn’t know exactly where I was at. I stepped on the scale. The scale cried. I stepped back on the scale because I wanted to make sure the scale was crying, and it wasn’t. I didn’t need to throw it out the window. I was like, “Hold on. Maybe I need to use the restroom. Maybe it’s the shirt. The shirt has to weigh at least about 50 pounds. My bones weigh more.”

You are probably still radioactive and throwing off.

Radioactivity must weigh more than a normal person. That is my superhero.

Throwing off the scale sensitivity is what is going on.

I got on the scale and it said I was 244.5 pounds. They always say, “You will have that a-ha moment.” That was my a-ha moment. That was my, “What in the world am I doing? How did I get here? How do I get back to where I need to be?” That’s when my moment came into perspective in the sense of, “If I can beat cancer twice, then weight loss is not going to be my killer. I’m not going to allow it to be.”

I have a question, and this is somewhat medical. If you don’t have an answer, tell me you don’t have an answer. If the thyroid regulates weight loss or the body’s weight, then what strength training in general powers through and overrides that? Do you know?

With my husband’s background, the only thing we can figure out is what has been working and making a difference in almost my breakthrough. I was doing weight training, and they say that muscle mass. You’ve got all these calculations to figure out what weighs more muscle or all that stuff. I was like, “I want to figure out how to use the Tonal to be able to truly lose this weight.” My husband, with a medical background, started doing some research. He started looking into, “What can help? What can you do with somebody that has had a hysterectomy and menopause?” He put in me as a medical anomaly.

He stopped and said, “One thing we haven’t considered or tried is the Tonal has high-intensity workouts.” I was like, “Do you want to kill me?” He was like, “No, I don’t want to kill you. I’m wondering if maybe doing a HIIT workout and then on some level after that workout figuring out so many meals, going keto and no carbs.”

I thought, “I have tried everything else, and I want to love the Tonal. I want to make this work.” I was like, “I will try it. I didn’t want it to be another diet.” My concern with all of this was I didn’t want it to be something where I got frustrated and upset, walked away, and never wanted to come back. I said, “At this point, what do I have to lose?” That’s exactly what we both said. He was like, “What do you have to lose?”

It’s 90 pounds, apparently.

I’ve got a few more to lose but so far, it’s 90 pounds. Medically, he was like, “I can tell you from an exercise perspective it can’t hurt you to try it.” I was like, “I’m in.” I was looking up on Tonal and was like, “There’s a high-intensity program. Let’s pop into that. That shouldn’t be too hard.” After about five minutes, I was like, “I thought I was doing good on the Tonal but it was hard enough.”

That’s when he found out he is not trying to kill you but he is willing to risk it.

I was like, “What exactly?” He was like, “Let the insurance policy pay it up. Immediately, whatever the meal is.” This first time, I did it after lunch before dinner. That’s when I did my workout that day, mid-afternoon. I did this high-intensity workout after I caught my breath. In a 30-minute time frame, I thought, “I was not in shape. Am I?” He was like, “It’s six meals with no carbs.” I went, “Okay.” I wanted to eat my right arm off and then my left arm off. I wanted to eat his arms off. I was like, “I don’t know how I’m going to do this but I’m willing to try it.”

TSS 44 | Tonal Home Gym


I did it and made it through that night and the next day with no carbs. I worked out even that next day. By the time on the third day, it was right after lunch when I was like, “I need to have carbs. I can’t wait for what is my first meal going to be like.” He was like, “Are you that excited?” I was like, “Yes, I miss my carbs. I will try to get on the scale first thing in the morning.” I got on the scale that next morning and I had lost. I went, “That’s got to be a fluke.”

I went along with my business. I was counting calories and had been counting calories the whole time as well and tracking my food in a food app diary on my phone. Anything I put in my mouth, I put on my app and say, “It is what it is.” I went back to eating normal, and I lost probably a half-pound more. After I had even started eating normal again, I thought, “That’s cool and great. Maybe that jump-started it.” I said, “I will do another HIIT.” My husband was like, “You don’t want to do them one after another. You need to give your body some time to re-adjust and then spring it on.”

You want to shock the system.

At that point, I was like, “I haven’t seen weight loss. I could do it every day.” He was like, “It’s not healthy for you to do it every day. Don’t do it every day.”

The weight loss would stop. It wouldn’t have kept working.

The logical side of me knew that. The exciting side had seen my number go to hell.

It’s hard not to be like, “More is more. If 1 is good, 2 is better.”

That’s what I thought. He was like, “Give your body a break.” Even on a rest day, he was like, “It’s healthy to do it. You need to do it.” I was like, “Okay.” That was last February 2020 when I started on Tonal and my first workout. I celebrated my year anniversary on Tonal. It was shortly after that. Once I got familiar with Tonal and knew what was going on, it might have been March 2020 when I did the first HIIT program. I saw the weight loss and thought, “Maybe there’s something to this.” I had been weighing every day. It fluctuates. I’m a woman, water weight, you name it. I can come up with any excuse for why my weight fluctuates.

My weight fluctuates. I’m not a woman. I have watched every episode of Desperate Housewives. I have had many WTF moments, What The Fluctuation.

I do like that. I might have to make a little sign that says that. A week and a half passed, I was like, “I have recovered from the first initial HIIT workout. I’m going to do it again.” It was almost like a science project because that’s all I have been. It was a science project for the past years. I was like, “We will see how this goes. It was probably a fluke.” I did another HIIT workout and six meals with no carbs. I lost weight again and thought, “I’m starting to think that there’s something to this.” My husband was like, “Do you think that I didn’t tell you about that? Are you catching on?” I was like, “I wanted to eat my arm off the first time. I wasn’t sure what you were trying to do.”

You could have because your arm is no carbs.

I know but that would be a little cannibalism. I’m not sure. I have to pick the right arm. I’m left-handed. It would be bad otherwise. What would I do?

Plus, how would you cut it up?

I have to think about that for a second. You are right.

I know we are going to get a letter from a one-arm reading this like, “I could cut my food.”

It’s because that’s what everyone is going to be focusing on in this conversation.

That’s what they are going to say, “I could work out on Tonal.” They are my hero at that point. That’s what started the high-intensity for me. I would try to hop into different high-intensities because every coach is different.

Are you still doing that same formula?


We should say from a diet and nutrition standpoint that works for you. Every single specific person is different. We are not recommending that anyone else try that. If you are going to try that, talk to your doctor first.

My husband does have a medical background. I had talked to my physician. I’m still under physician care. They track me because having had cancer, and they always will. Luckily, because I had already been through all cancer medically, I was healthy. It was just I was overweight. I didn’t have any other underlying health issues. If that’s something that somebody is interested in, talk to their doctor or nutritionist and see what they think but so far, that’s what has worked with me.

If you don't know how something works, there’s nothing wrong with asking about it. Share on X

Ninety pounds in less than a year is incredible. Congratulations.

Thank you. I joined the Tonal Community and initially posted this post. I put my picture up and thought, “Let’s see if anybody notices it.” I have been weighing in and have been for myself. I gave somebody the suggestion of this. They were like, “That’s amazing. What did you do? What is your secret?” I have gotten people messaging me and I was like, “This is what I have done. If you are healthy, talk to somebody before jumping in and doing it.” Somebody was like, “I don’t see the difference. This is what I have lost.” I said, “What I did was I found the only picture that I could find, which I cannot stay in the picture. However, it’s my first picture so that I can take progress pictures against that picture.”

As I hit my milestones and have been going along, I have my husband take a progress picture in the same pose and shirt. The progress pictures have been in the same background. The initial picture was at my office, so I couldn’t be in the same background. People kept telling me, “You look amazing.” I was large for so long, so it was hard to start to see it. You look at yourself in the mirror every day. Could I tell my face looked a little different? I guess so but it was until I put the side-by-side pictures that I went, “I see it now.”

That’s something that I would suggest to people. Don’t be afraid to take those pictures. I did it in clothes. I know some people take pictures. I’m not one of those that want to be in a bathing suit. That’s not me. If that’s you, it’s wonderful. Go for it but continue to take your picture. For me, it was a shirt because I knew I could always wear the shirt. Even if I had to pull the excess of the shirt to the side to be able to see the difference, I knew that I could always have that shirt. The bathing suit, at some point in time, is going to get too big. That has been the secret to my success.

You became your thyroid.

Your husband built your thyroid too. He is quite a builder.

He is going to read this, and then it’s going to be a whole big thing. For me, I knew I was losing, and I could tell I was feeling better. The people that I hadn’t seen in a while we were like, “What happened? You have been through all these cancers. You are not sick, are you?” I was like, “No, I’m healthy.” They were like, “What did you do?” I was like, “It’s the Tonal. It’s the secret.” Tonal wants to get out. It’s one of those things. It has changed my life forever. I will never look at weight training the same. If I never set foot in another gym, I’m 100% fine with that.

Do you do any other kind of content on Tonal or do you stick to the HIIT classes?

I have been in and out of probably every program there is, at least out of curiosity. I might go in one and be like, “I’m not there yet.” I have been through probably 2 or 3 of Coach Paul’s strength and conditioning. I have done yoga and a couple of dance-cardio classes. With the stretch and mobility, I have realized that as I’m getting older, there is something to be said about saying, “I’m going to take 5, 10 or 15 minutes and stretch.” I did one because I’ve got a little hitch in my hip. I was like, “I have been walking too much. I feel like I’ve got a pain in my hip. I’m going to hop on and allow myself the time to recover.” That is also key.

It’s great to do the high-intensity classes and all the programs but there are also so many good recovery programs. Yoga is great as well. It’s actual recovery for different body parts. As I’m getting older, I realize it’s such a benefit if you take the time to do them. To me, that has been key, as well as giving my body grace when I need it in knocking myself up. While the leaderboards are fantastic, I love them. I’m an extremely competitive person. I do not like to lose and be told I can’t do something because then I’m going to come back and do it better, stronger, harder and faster. I’m going to whip your butt.

That’s how I am. There’s this inner animal that comes out, and my husband is like, “You go over there whatever this is and bring back my wife, please.” I love the leaderboard. I love seeing that and watching my Strength Scores. Tonal is the whole package. It’s got everything to allow you to succeed. It’s a matter of figuring it out. If you don’t know how something works, ask about it. Being a little bit competitive, there’s nothing wrong with it.

Healthy competition is a good thing. Whatever the drive is, that’s what works.

Do you have any advice for people who are getting a Tonal?

Go through the initial class. It’s Getting to Know your Tonal, even though you are like, “It’s only 20 pounds.” Doing this type of resistance training is so different than normal free weights and being in the gym. Check out a class or do a live class. I was so excited because that was one thing that was a concern of mine before the live classes came out. I’m like, “Am I going to get bored or get to the point where I walk in and go, ‘Tonal, I will do it and not be excited about it?'”

I have found, over time, hopping into classes where they are adding content constantly. It’s researching your Tonal or app and checking things out. If you are interested in a high-intensity class or what something is, look it up and try it. Even if you can’t finish the whole class the first time, a goal for you to set for yourself is to work towards finishing that class and give yourself grace.

TSS 44 | Tonal Home Gym


Thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it. Before we let you go, let everybody know where they can find you if you would like to be found.

I am on Tonal. It is IAmShelley1976. That is the year of my birth. I didn’t realize what I was doing when I put it in. I am on Instagram @ShelleyNBlack. Look me up. If you have questions or you even want to work out with somebody to hold you accountable, I’m happy to do that and cheer you on. I will be your biggest cheerleader, and I will push you when you need to be pushed. Set your goals and stick to them.

Thank you so much for sharing your story, Shelley. This has been great to hear. It’s so inspiring. I know a lot of other people are going to be excited to read it too.

Thank you very much for having me. I appreciate it. I’m so excited for you all. This is such an exciting thing to hear all the testimonials. It’s fun to get to know people better.

It’s neat to hear where everybody is from and how they use the Tonal. There are so many different ways that you can get a good workout from it and to have different goals and everything different. It’s great to hear how everybody goes about it. You have such an inspiring way of speaking to people. People will get a kick out of reading your story. I hope that from here on out, you have nothing but good health in front of you because you deserve it after all of that.

Thank you. If you have any more questions or if you ever want to do this again, you know where to find me. If you want to work out together, let me know.

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

People can find me on Facebook at Facebook.com/CrystalDOKeefe, and they can find me on Instagram, Twitter, and the Tonal Leaderboard, @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. While you are there, be sure to like the page and join the group. That’s it for this one. Thanks for tuning in. Until next time, keep lifting.

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About Shelley Black

TSS 44 | Tonal Home Gym20 plus years experience with Accounts Payable, Tax and Administrative Assistant experience. Hard-working, dedicated and focused with getting the job done.






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