TSS 15 | Figure Competition

Virtual Group Workouts Expands plus our interview with Stacy Kurucz

TSS 15 | Figure Competition


Episode Description: All workouts can now be done as virtual group workouts.

There are lots of new filters to help your search for the best class for you.

Tonal has added new coaches’ page where you can learn more about your favorite coach.

Don’t miss the Tonal Gives Back Challenge.

Tonal has mined the data to tell you the best way to improve your bench press.

Tonal opens a store in Chicago.

Coach Liz got her PhD! She’s now Dr. Coach Liz.

Recent Tonal Talk with the 305 Fitness coaches.

New Tonal Talk with Michelle Tee talking about “mom bods.”

Tons of new programs including Shred And Sweat, Sports Savvy, Mobility Workouts, and Slow And Strong.

There’s a new live beta program with Coach Paul.

Coach Nicolette has a December Walking Challenge.

Coach Jackson is getting married and Coach Pablo helped teach him to dance.

All this plus our interview with Stacy Kurucz!

Watch the episode here:

Listen to the podcast here:

Virtual Group Workouts Expands plus our interview with Stacy Kurucz

We were talking before we started about how much you’ve been digging Smart Flex.

I’m doing the program that Coach Nicolette put out. It’s all Smart Flex all the time, but not every single move is Smart Flex. I am loving it. What I love about it is the fact that I feel like I’m actually getting stronger in my biceps. I struggle with my upper body in particular. I feel like the overhead presses, the bicep curls, there’s one that’s the middle of fly or something like that. There’s like a chest fly that you do. The point being, I feel like all of those things have helped my muscles in my upper body. I can tell that I’m actually getting stronger.

When you feel like that, are you opening a jar?

I feel like I can carry things easier. I notice the definition in my biceps more. My triceps have been sore after I do the triceps extensions. In other words, I don’t feel like a workout is working unless I’m sore. I don’t mean like if I’m sore, I can’t move. If I can’t feel it at all, then I didn’t do it enough. Also this is probably the first program that I’ve done that I have consistently had to move weights up. The very first week I did it, everything felt pretty easy. I think it was a little too easy, so I bumped everything up and I’ve been continuing to bump it up to the point that it’s a challenge. Now that I have this base level of doing the moves correctly, I feel like it’s a more genuine increase than when I first started. When I first started, I could cheat the moves. I wasn’t trying to cheat the moves. I just wasn’t doing the form properly. I could increase the weight, but I wasn’t getting stronger. Now, I set everything back. We talked about the fact that you have to settle your weight back if that’s what’s happening. After having those conversations, I did. My Strength Score took a hit, but in the long run, I think it was the right thing to do. Now, I can actually feel myself getting stronger.

I know that we went to cut down the Christmas tree. I didn’t even strap it to the roof of the car. You just held it while we drove home. You popped out the window holding the Christmas tree.

That never happened.

What pray tell do you have in store for people this week?

We are going to talk about new challenges that are going on in the month of December. We are going to talk about virtual group workouts, some changes that have occurred on the Tonal and some new store information as well.

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Before we get to all that, shameless plugs, don’t forget we’re available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, wherever you find your podcasts, you can find us. While you’re there, be sure and subscribe so you never miss an episode. If you’d be so kind as to leave a review while you’re there, that’s always helpful for the people that come along after you would know that it’s worth a listen. You can also stay up to date with us throughout the week if you go to our Facebook page, Facebook.com/supersetpodcast. While you’re there, like the page, join the group. There’s all that, let’s dig in.

There were lots of little adjustments this week. Not tons and tons, but lots of little things that will make everything a little cooler and make your life easier.

One of the things that they’ve changed up is now all of the workouts can be taken as a virtual group workout. Whenever they first released the virtual group workout, there were limitations to it compared to what there are now. For example, you could only have up to ten people in a group. Whenever we did our big group workout on Thanksgiving Day, there were 85 people in the group. They have expanded that. Also, there were only certain classes that you could do as a virtual group workout, and now that has been expanded to all workouts. Now, they have all these new filters that they’ve added. You can look in there and see, “Is this a partner workout or not a partner workout? Have I taken it? Have I not taken it?” They made a whole bunch of new filters. That’s amazing. Also, there’s a coach’s page that they added where you can find out all about the coaches. You can understand who they are, what kind of workouts. The system will actually say, “Here are workouts and programs that are trending.” You’ll know what’s popular, and based on what you’ve already taken, they will give you examples like, “You really like this one? Here are some more things you might like.”

It’s like Netflix, “If you like The Crown, here’s another show with accents.” There’s a new challenge from Tonal?

There is, it is called Tonal Gives Back. Also, whenever you do this challenge, the proceeds are going to go to an organization called Eat, Learn, Play. What’s going to happen is that you get to take part in daily workouts. There’s going to be weekly virtual group workouts, which I am super excited about, and you can win great prizes from the Gear Shop. I am all about great prizes from the Gear Shop.

You are all about Gear Shops. If you were to win something and it didn’t cost anything, I would be all about that. This challenge has merged our two interests in perfect synergy.

That’s a good point. This year 2020, tonal is raising money for Eat, Learn, Play. The organization is committed to unlocking the potential of every child. They do this by fighting to end childhood hunger, ensuring that students have access to nutrition, quality education, and providing safe places for all children to play and be alive.

That’s even harder right now with all the COVID stuff going on. You keep reading all this about many kids were getting at least one, in some cases, two meals a day at school. They’d get breakfast and lunch.

On top of that, many households have a food shortage. It’s compounding the problem. It’s a scary time.

That’s a great charity to partner up with.

This challenge is going to run from December 11th through December 31st. What you do is you complete the workout of the day, then you post it in the Official Tonal Community and you use the hashtag, #TonalGivesBack. Every time you do that, you earn one entry toward the grand prize and then Tonal takes $1 and they donate it over to Eat, Learn, Play. There’s also a bonus round, and that means every Saturday, there’s going to be a virtual group workout at 9:00 AM Pacific, for us it’s 11:00. Tonal will donate $5 for every participant that takes part. That’s like you’re giving money away if you don’t join because that’s money that could literally be going to this organization to feed children. $5 is a lot. They’re also going to have some special challenges. They’re going to double and maybe even triple donations for your participation. Every Friday during the challenge, one participant will be randomly selected to win a prize from the Tonal Gear Shop. One grand prize winner is going to be selected randomly to win a Tonal accessory shelf. It’s very exciting.

Tonal had an interesting article about Tonal data.

They started this article off by bringing up the point that they have super in-depth data about what works and what doesn’t. This article was specific to talk about what happens with bench press strength, lots of details. One of the things that they found was that the optimum number of chest exercises to perform is 8 to 12 sets weekly. They said it was important to train your accessory muscle, that’s the muscle that helps the main muscle. If your main muscle is your chest, one of the accessories muscles is your triceps. That you should do at least three sets a week. Then they go into a ton of details, they talked about how they got here. They said everything level set it. They talked about the bench press strength improvements for users over twelve weeks. If you look at the graph that they provide in the article, you can see that it’s a curve. They see a lot of progress the first 6 to 8 weeks, then it starts to taper off. Not that they’re not still getting a lot of bang for their buck, but it goes really fast that first 6 to 8 weeks. It’s still happening but it’s not happening as fast over the next twelve. That’s interesting.

They said that they’re making steady progress over the first twelve weeks and that it will slow down, but it’s always going to go up. Interestingly, at least half of the users that they looked at made more progress than what the average is on this graph. I thought that was interesting. How do you get more strength gains? One of the ways you do that is finding that sweet spot for set. They looked at all the different ways that people work out. They found that if you’re working out too much, you actually decrease. That’s where they come up with that sweet spot of 8 to 12. If you’re doing 15, 20 sets, that might be too much, you’re doing damage. They said that they saw less improvement if you did less than four sets. The frequent actually have diminishing negative return over twelve sets per week. It makes sense that if you do fewer than four, you’re not going to be having that much improvement. I find it super fascinating that when you do a whole bunch, you’re actually getting negative returns.

When the whole idea of Strength Training is it tears a muscle, then it heals stronger. If you’re doing too many, it never gets a chance to go stronger. You just keep agitating it. You quit picking it up.

They were looking at the accessory muscle of triceps, how often should people do that? They said that it’s small, but there’s going to be a noticeable difference after about six weeks. They found that at least three sets of triceps isolation exercises, you can increase your bench press strength by over 8%, just doing three sets on your triceps. That’s crazy. Then they go on to explain that using the chains mode will help you build explosive power. When you’re using it, it will actually make your ability to push up. With that bench press, you’ll be able to do it faster because you’re using the chain, so it builds your strength the whole way through. As an example, if you were making a cartoon of it, you would have a person going really slow on chains. They’re building, then whenever they do a one max set for a bench press, it would be a really fast one compared to how slow they were doing it before. That’s your power is how fast you’re doing it.

It’s like when you swing two bats on a deck circle. In baseball, there are two bats, then when they get up there, it feels lighter. I don’t know much about sports, but I’m pretty sure they only let you use one bat at a time. I know it’s a fairly new thing, they probably don’t have much data yet. If chains make that much difference, I wonder what Smart Flex will do?

I agree with that question, but I also want to know, are they going to be doing this for the other body parts?

I bet they are.

I’m excited to see it. Out of all the information that Tonal has released, this is probably my favorite because they are giving you very specific, “Do this, then this happens.” I love that.

For people in the Chicago area, there’s now a Tonal store they can go to.

It had opened up. It’s in Oak Brook. My understanding is it opened mid-November. That’s pretty cool.

TSS 15 | Figure Competition

Just in time for the holidays. I’m sure that’s no coincidence. We should also say congratulations to Dr. Liz.

It’s no longer Coach Liz. She has elevated to Dr. Coach Liz. That’s super exciting. November 20th, she officially passed her PhD defense, so it is done. That was the very last step that she had for her dissertation, and so now she is officially a doctor.

Whenever I hear somebody talk about their PhD defense, in my head it’s the last scene of Flashdance.

I don’t remember the last scene of the Flashdance.

It’s where she walks into the room and it’s a big empty classroom, then the professors are all at the table. They’re like, “Dance, woman.”

Do you think she danced her way through her defense?

Since she got a PhD, I’m going to say probably not. I bet you, she could if she wanted to. That’s how I picture it, and there were lots of wood grain in there. That’s what I picture it like Flashdance.

Either way, congrats to Dr. Liz.

Even though I know she didn’t dance, I am going to just assume she was wearing legwarmers.

I didn’t see any in the picture, but I’ll tell you, those gowns that they give for the PhD, they’re fancy.

You should get a fancy gown when you walk.

You get the one with all the colors on it.

With tassels and stuff on the gown instead of just on the little hat.

It’s way better than just a boring black gown.

Lisa Silverstein, who is a reader, a Peloton user, she’s a reader of The Superset. She’s a reader of The Clip Out and a friend. She is very nice. She had an interesting blog post about Tonal.

Lisa explained that she had been asked several times, “What is up with the Tonal? Tell me all the things.” They wanted to know. She decided, “I’m going to write an article about it.” I am not going to go into all the details here, you guys need to read it for yourself. I will tell you this. She is a trained dancer. She was also a performer. She’s a certified yoga instructor. She runs a health and wellness company, and workout time is one of the things that she does every day. She talks about what her life has been like from doing cardio all the time and going into strength training and doing it seriously on a regular basis. The results are stunning and the way she talks about it is great. Also, she breaks down the cost benefit analysis of it. That’s always helpful for people who are looking into it.

Spoiler alert, it’s beneficial.

One, read this for yourself and tell Lisa what an awesome job she did. Also if you have friends or family that are like, “It’s expensive,” you need to point them to this article.

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It will walk them through why it makes sense that it’s not as expensive as you might think at first.

I might have overstated cost benefit analysis. It’s not literally a cost benefit analysis broken down in financial accountant terms.

She run some numbers for you. For those of you who can’t get enough Tonal, there was a recent Tonal Talk.

A recent one where Kate sat down with the rockstar coaches from 305 Fitness. Those are the coaches who brought dance cardio to Tonal. They’re the guest coaches for that. You definitely want to check that out if you have not already.

There’s also a Tonal Talk, which will be out by the time you read this, but there’s a brand new one.

On December 9th it will already be up. This is going to be a Tonal Talk with Michelle T. She is a mom of three who says that she lost herself while she was raising her children, then she started her fitness journey and she is now redefining the term ‘mom bod’ and I saw pictures and yes she is. She’s also challenging what a mother should look like. She’s challenging that whole conversation. Kate is going to sit down and talk to her as well. I am very excited about that one. As a mom, that really speaks to me.

There’s a whole bunch of new content since the last time we met, and I didn’t add it to the list because it came out after I made the list. I have to call attention to Coach Allison’s new Booty Program. When she sat down and talked to us, she talked about how she was the Booty Whisperer, Booty Builder. There is an entire program around building your booty.

She said she was going to do that and it is here.

I am super excited about it and that is my next program, I have decided. I also need to hit some of these other ones. What are the other ones I’m super excited about is Coach Pablo has one out called Shred and Sweat. He scared me with the intro of it because there were lots of sweating. He created this challenge that you’re going to be doing cardio and all of the strength moves. I’m picturing 4 Weeks to Fat Loss with Action Jackson, but Coach Pablo’s style. I have done one of Coach Pablo’s Saturday Bootcamps, and I know how brutal he can be with the cardio off the trainer. I’m a little scared, but also I know it’s going to be amazing. I think it’s going to be very effective when it comes to getting stronger, but also burning fat. I’m very much looking forward to that. There’s more, it’s cool because they have all this new family fitness content they have added to that. There are PE classes that are being released, Sports Savvy with Coach Paul, Athletic Action with Coach Paul. I think that is really cool. In case you were dying to know about even more, there’s also a new mobility workout that Coach Nicolette did, and it focuses on your hips, your backs, your core, all of this, making it more mobile. That is really great, especially I hear paired with the Booty program. This is a good one to pair with it because it helps you stretch out all the areas that you just worked.

Your booty will be boosted and mobile. I’m looking forward to this.

There was also a new program. This one is interesting. I want to call attention to this because it is a new beta program that Coach Paul is putting out. It’s only two weeks because this is a program that is focused on the live beta programming they’ve been working out. I told you that they have a new beta where you’re working out with a coach, and they’re calling that live. They’re saying that it is their first step in making programs truly live. This is the first live beta program. It’s called Sweaty and Lean with Coach Paul, four times a week but only two weeks. You will be working out with Coach Paul at the same time, instead of him just talking you through the moves. This one is one to watch because this will determine how they’re going to move forward with other ones.

It’s interesting because they’re inventing a whole new thing here. Referring back to Peloton, spin classes have been around forever. I know they’re not allowed to say the word spin, I get it, but that’s essentially what they’re doing. That’s an accepted paradigm that people are used to, and it’s established and how it performs. You can’t really have classes of weight training for 15 or 20 people because gyms aren’t going to have that many weights, that everybody could be doing the same move at once. No one’s ever really laid anything like that out before.

Not on this level. I know we’re going to have people come back and say that’s not necessarily true. They had not really bodybuilding programs, but they had something that I can’t remember the name of it. You would go in and do sculpting classes where you would focus on the music and do the weights at the same time. They used bars. It was an actual bar bell. I used to do that a million years ago at a local gym. They use that particular program, that’s like nationwide. I can’t remember the name of it, but whatever it’s called, it’s known in local gyms everywhere. However, what’s different here is bringing it to the screen because when you’re adding in that production element of it, that makes things a lot more complicated. You have many different levels and abilities of doing things. Whereas when you’re in a class, you can talk to people and you’re standing there with them, “Do you have any injuries? Do you need to go slower? Here’s how you modify.” It’s harder to do that with weights than it is on a bike. That’s what I think that Tonal has been trying to perfect as they bring this forward. I’m very interested to see how this one turns out.

Finally, there’s something new for people who want to build strength.

We were talking about Dr. Coach Liz. She has a new program specific for beginners. It’s called Slow and Strong. It focuses on slow tempos, proper form and mastery of the big lifts. That’s important for people who are just starting out because of all the things I was talking about at the beginning of the show. I had not mastered proper form, so I was going harder than I should have and not doing it well. This will keep you from doing that. You definitely want to take this if you are newer to Tonal. I’m sure it’s beneficial for anybody, so don’t feel like you can’t take it if you’ve already been Tonal-ing for a while.

Coach Nicolette has a walking challenge.

I thought this was fun. I like seeing what our coaches do. In the entire month of December, she has a challenge that she put together and she announced it on her Instagram. What’s going to happen is every day in December, you walk 2 miles a day, walk or run. She would prefer you to do it outdoors, which is hard to do sometimes, especially depending on where you might live. The idea is you walk 2 miles a day or run 2 miles a day, and then add her on Instagram. Then she can help you become accountable. If you have questions, if you’re not sure how to fill it out, like fill out a calendar to make yourself accountable, she’ll help you with that. She made a calendar that you can use. The best part is that if you add her on Spotify, then she is going to be adding a song each day. By the end of the challenge, you will have 31 new songs on your playlist. It’s a playlist made for you by Coach Nicolette. I think that’s a cool, fun challenge. I’m sure she wouldn’t mind if you started late. I’m sure she would still love to have you. It’s a great thing to do, especially if you have somebody who’s not doing other things like Peloton or whatever. This is a great way to add in some extra work, but it’s low impact. This is really good for people.

Finally, there was a fun post about Coach Pablo teaching Coach Jackson how to dance.

I thought that this would be fun to share, but Coach Jackson is getting married. His fiancé Anya posted this in the Official Tonal Community. Coach Pablo came over to teach Coach Jackson how to dance for their wedding.

You can see who it comes naturally to.

It’s not like it comes well to everybody, that doesn’t work for me. In case anybody happened to miss it, I just wanted to share.

TSS 15 | Figure Competition


If you’re reading to this episode, you can see the video on their Facebook, or you can watch it in the video that we post. All of these are video episodes and you can see them at YouTube.com/theclipout, which is we have everything under that umbrella on our YouTube channel, which is our Peloton podcast, but you can find these videos there as well.

There’s a whole separate playlist just for The Superset.

Joining us on this episode is Stacy Kurucz. Stacy, how’s it going?

I’m great. How are you doing?

We’re good. We’re here to talk all about tonal and you posted an intriguing post about your NPC Figure Competition. You talked about how Tonal helped you prepare for that. My first question for you is, what is a figure competition?

Figure competition is an event where there are very different classes of people, men and women, that are judged based upon their physique. They are looked at for their balance and muscularity by a panel of judges. In the end, you are ranked, placed and awarded based on your overall physique. I compete in the level figure. There was a bikini class then above that is figure class. The differences are based upon muscularity, muscle striation, and a different overall look. Above figure is physique class and above that is women’s bodybuilding. The biggest and strongest-looking are the bodybuilders, physique class, figure class and bikini class.

Is that like stair-stepping as you aspire to the next class or do some people like, “I want to be in this class and I want to be the best I can in this class?”

That’s a good point and the question in that is how do you discern evolution or not. It goes with what your own physique goals are and where you’d like to live. Most people that compete stay in that area that they choose off the bat. In bikini class, they have a certain look and that’s what they aspire to and the same with all the other ones. It takes years of training to have the musculature of bodybuilding or physique class. That’s a lot of muscle work that goes into that. The reason I choose figure is because it goes along with my own goals as to what I like my physique to look like. Everyone is different. You can cross over between different events if you want to in the different classes.

How did you get involved with that? What inspired you?

Every woman dreads the big four-oh. I’d been a bit of a gym rat on and off throughout my life. After I’d had the third kid, finished anesthesia residency and things, I have been into the gym. I did some research in what is the most effective way to lose body fat and to have an efficient fitness program. What I discovered was resistance training, weight training and a combination of a little cardio. I had gotten down that path. In doing that, I was using some resources like Bodybuilding.com and some different fitness apps. I would spend some time in the gym. I was motivated by these strong women that I was seeing in advertisements and doing these competitions. I’m like, “I want to look that. That’s so sick.”

I was like, “I’m about to hit 40. I want picture proof that mom was on it at that age. What the hell? I’ll do it.” For me in my professional life, because I work full-time, I’m confident in my day-to-day job. I have to be on top of things. In my personal life, I had little body image issues. I had some self-confidence problems with certain aspects of my physique. I am a little nervous in front of people, especially on a stage. I’m terrified. If you put me in a swimsuit, screw that. It was terrifying. To face down those fears, get out there and do something that’s totally out of my comfort zone was going to be a tell-all moment like, “Here’s my come to Jesus. I’m going to do this thing.” Hopefully, I don’t wreak and it’s cool. That’s what I did. I tell you what, after doing my first show, I was riding a wave of high for a long time. It’s like, “That was an ass-kicker.”

How did you do in your first show?

I didn’t wreak. My husband was like, “You should put your suit on.” I’m like, “I don’t have to put my suit on.” He’s like, “I’d like to see you in your suit.” The shoes that you wear are some four-inch plastic shoes. They’re optional but everybody does this and to walk in that can be a catastrophe.

Is there a logic as to why they want people to wear those heels?

It puts things up. They look the best.

I didn’t know if the creator of the contest had a fetish.

It shows off your leg muscles and it shows up your butt. It lifts everything up on your posture of chain.

It pushed things up where they look the best.

You were talking about dreading the big four-oh. I would think that if there’s anything you dread more than aging, it’s inviting a panel of people to judge your physical appearance.

I do these things and as I said, I’m very confident in my normal life. I work out and strong. Why I shouldn’t feel like I’m not worthy or I’m not great, I should be able to face down things like no big deal. Those are two of my weaknesses. People judging me in a swimsuit and being on a stage. That’s not cool but you get out there and you do it. I have friends that do these shows and it’s the opposite. They’re very in control. They love the spotlight. They feel their best and most glamorous. I’m not there yet like, “Here I go.”

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When you decided to start doing this and you wanted to face this down, you said that you were riding a high after your first competition. Do you think it helped with your overall self-esteem in general?

Yes, because it’s not that deep. I’ll tell you why. When you’re backstage with these women, it’s impersonal. You’re back there especially with the spray tanning where there is no hiding anything. You’re getting painted. You’re with all these gorgeous women that are absolutely perfect. I’ve never been around stronger, more physical specimens of humanity ever. Everybody has a story. Everybody has things they hate about themselves or wish they could be better. It’s like, “Why are we so hard on ourselves?” If I feel this way and this one feels that way, flush it. We’re all great. What’s the big deal? That’s good to see too. It’s to be around in that environment and realize that it’s not that deep. We’re all people.

How did you find Tonal? How did Tonal end up in your workout regimen?

TSS 15 | Figure Competition

Figure Competition: Tonal is an additive beyond just lifting weights.


My husband and I work out together a lot and it’s a great stress release for both of us. We have stressful jobs. Our gym was going to be closing in March 2020 and we were going to be in between gyms. I had a show on the calendar for the end of May 2020. It’s like, “What are we going to do?” COVID was lurking too. My husband got online and he was like, “Let’s do a home gym.” He found Tonal and was like, “We’re getting this.” I’m like, “Let’s do it.” We knew nothing about it. We’ve been Peloton people.

You ride with Cody, don’t you?


That’s her superpower. She’ll guess who your favorite instructor is.

She said it’s not that deep.

I like Christine D’Ercole too. I do a lot of power zone and an endurance ride. I don’t do a lot of cardio. My husband rides every day. He always says he’s crazy mileage. I’m a Peloton person. It’s like, “What’s the most efficient gym system we can get bang for the buck?” It’s Tonal, hands down. I was skeptical. I thought, “I don’t know. I’m a bit of free weight. I like to be in the gym atmosphere.” It’s motivating to have to get up and go somewhere. There are mirrors around you and people that keep you on track. I teach a TRX class and so I’m at the gym once in a while but nowhere near like I used to be. This prep that I’ve done for this show was nearly exclusively Tonal.

Has it changed your workout routine by having the Tonal versus going to the gym?

I still do the same body split that I used to do. I’ve found that the programs that Tonal has are inclusive of everything that I was doing already. I would do the same workout. I would try to pick programs that coincided with the body split that I was working on. If there were little things that I was missing is obviously us ladies do a lot of glutes. I would work that in. The nice thing with Tonal is that we do the partner workouts. Marcus and I can do the partner workouts and do the programs. Instead of doing a four-day split, we would change it into a 5 or 6-day split.

You’re using the programs so you’re not necessarily creating your own, then.

I did create my own. I’ve used them a few times but I like the coaching. I like that it forces that mind-muscle connection when they’re talking to you as you’re working out. That is beneficial. We tend to work out in the mornings because the kids are sleeping and you can get your lift in. There’s a lot of sciences to be able to work in the afternoon. With our lives, it would work out to the best to get it in the morning. We would work out together and do that thing in the morning. My husband and I liked the programs. They’re all about it. You get the mobility and coaching. As I said, they keep that mind-muscle connection firing when you’re not so awake at 5:00 AM and focused. That is an additive beyond going and lifting weights.

I agree with that. A lot of people, especially those who are so used to doing their own programs and doing free weights, sometimes come into it with the mindset of, “I don’t need to do that piece of it.” The in-between rest that they do that is still a movement but it’s like a little bit of a rest, many people skip that. That’s a real shame because the way that the programs are made is to help people counterbalance and to make sure that it’s fully rounded for the entire body. That’s a good point that you make.

That inner set stretching is very beneficial. That’s statistically proven and they throw that in there. Sometimes, when he is doing a set and there’s a double bilateral-sided type of thing. I have a time where I’ve had not only rested that I can do some other movement on either body weight, with bands, some glute bridges, walking lunges with bands or something that I can work in and still get an additive that’s in my program that’s not programmed by Tonal. It doesn’t take away our time. It’s so efficient. We love it plus we get our music going. We’re big proponents.

Do you find it difficult to do the moves while wearing the heels?

We do the partner workout so think of my husband has trouble. Those heels come out once a year.

Does he compete or anything like that or is it something you do?

It was something I do. It’s not in his interest group but he likes to work out with me so that’s fun.

I have a question about your string score. I’m always fascinated. Since you’ve been lifting before you moved to Tonal, did you start with a crazy high string score?

I researched that because I’m curious. You see your growth and I love the stats. You’ll find that bodybuilders are the original biohackers. We track our water, steps, waste, weight, sleep, food and every macro. Everything is tracked and kept a log. Tonal is awesome because it tracks all that too. I started with a strength score of around 370 and now I hit 720. It’s where I’m running right now. I bet I have an easy Tonal.

I don’t think it works like that. You’ve been doing this since April 2020?

Yes. As I say, we track our weight. I have a smart scale, which is not the most accurate biometrics and stuff but I’ve added a good two and a half pounds of muscle from when I started with Tonal. It’s been great.

It wasn’t like you came in as a schlub.

I was a total schlub.

You hit the ground running. Some people start like, “I’ll try this thing. I bought a machine and I’m going to give it a shot.” You’re already super fit.

How do I do side lateral lunges?

Whenever you start and you’ve never done anything like that before. I certainly would consider myself that. I’ve worked out but I was always cardio like you were saying about Peloton. I’ve had Peloton forever but getting the Tonal was a whole new world. I’d never done strengths before on a regular basis. I was a schlub.

I’m the anti-cardio queen. It’s not me. I’ll aspire to that someday.

What works is working. I’m curious about your macros because you said you track your macros. I was doing Stronger U for awhile. What is your macro split for a day? I feel like you can eat a billion calories.

I can. I’m a good eater. I love to eat. That’s why this is perfect for me. You got to feed your muscles. I was with Coach Jackson. He named his biceps and I thought it was funny because I’ve done the same thing a few years ago.

What are your biceps’ name?

Willie and Nelson, of course. I’m still cutting a little bit because I didn’t hit quite where I wanted to for my last show. My body finally caught on so I’m still cutting. I’m running around 1,400 calories. On my off-season, I’m around 1,800 to 2,200 easily. I don’t do any fancy diets. It’s not like any label diet. It’s a clean food like lean meats, vegetables, fruits and some simple starches. Everybody’s body is different as to how it best relates to certain foods. I’m not real tolerant of a lot of beans. I won’t tell you what happens with that and I’m not tolerant to a lot of grains. I get it simple. It’s oats, rice, fruits and vegetables and lean meat.

If people are wanting to know how to get going and something like this, it’s beneficial to get a coach. I didn’t know a lot about sport at all and I didn’t know the science behind eating and the diet. To find somebody that is versed in that like nutrition certified and stuff, that helped me a lot. I’ve learned a lot about my own body, how I evolve and how best during the prep. I can slowly lose that body fat and still try to maintain some muscle mass. You’re going to lose a little bit of both as you’re cutting but you want to try to hold onto that muscle mass and get rid of the fat the best you can throughout your prep.

Cutting is trying to get leaner, correct?

Yes. It gets the body tighter. You’re getting the muscles to push up against the skin and reveal the muscle mass that you have there. You want to have the muscle to start and putting that muscle on in your off-season is important. I always tend to do a twelve-week prep. A nice, gentle, easy cut into a show.

Crystal, are you trying to figure out what you’re going to name your biceps? Have you come up with names?

No. When they show up, then I’ll think about naming them. They’re kind of there. They’re like babies. When they get to be toddlers, we’ll talk about it.

My daughter already named hers Tom and Jerry.

Is it for the cartoon?

TSS 15 | Figure Competition

Figure Competition: When you’re under so much stress, the high cortisol levels make it really hard to lose fat.


She might have said Ben and Jerry.

I was like, “That kid likes the classics.” Tom and Jerry is old school.

I don’t think our kids ever went through a Tom and Jerry phase.

Brian went through the old-school black and white Mickey Mouse phase though. He’s like, “It’s so cute.” He likes the old school black and white Mickey Mouse again. You’re like, “That’s racist.”

Let get you caught up to the new ones. It’s funny how TV has evolved over the years. You said that you didn’t do quite as well as you wanted to on your show, not where you want to be but you did well on your show, right?

Yes. I didn’t fall and I did my posing so I did well. I came in, as I said, with more muscle mass I’ve had before. I felt like my physique was more balanced than I’ve had before but I wish I did it a little leaner and taken more body fat off. It’s hard for a lot of people in everyday life during these times. There’s so much stress, especially in women. Our cortisol is such a big component of fat loss. It’s hard to lose fat if you’re combating high levels of cortisol.

That’s my problem. The world is so stressed right now. That is a big factor.

If our bodies are under this constant, “You’re about to get eaten by a tiger,” level of stress. You’re going to keep those reserves. You’re not going to be able to gracefully shed that. It’s going to hang on. That was an issue with me. It was a hard thing to deal with, eLearning, work and all the noise that’s around. You think it’s cool that people will say, “I’ve got five hours of sleep but I’m good. I can go on that.” You need your sleep, rest and recovery. When you’re under constant stress, it’s hard to do. That was something I fought this season. I’m a Norwegian who grew up in Minnesota. My body this time of year is like, “Winter is coming. What are you doing?”

There’s Halloween candy to be had. That was a new thing for me too. I usually show in the spring to get some already. I like to do a lot of water sports with my kids. If you look at my Facebook or Instagram, there’s a ton of pictures of us surfing. My teenage daughter puts some great pictures of me crashing numerous times. This is a good way to get ready for summer. I call it my spring cleaning. I do one show a year. I got canceled, delayed throughout the summer that I did finally made a show. That was a new thing. Trying to do a show for my body in the fall when I’m gearing up for winter.

If they kept delaying it, it’s also hard to stay in that mode that long.

I wasn’t really successful at that.

I saw your pictures. I think you’re very successful. You’re being hard on yourself but that’s me.

I’m not pro level. I’ll throw that disclaimer out there. I’m a very amateur hobby thing. I’m aspiring to get better every year so you’ll never know.

I have a lot of respect for you taking that on especially I had that same thought process as I turned 40 and started doing things. They were big and outside of my comfort zone. It was running and a half marathon. This 2020, when I turned 42, I did an entire marathon on my tread. I have that same thought process of I want to do things that will make me feel like I’m not old and this is the end of my life. I respect that. I feel that same thought. I feel like we have a bond there.

I can shape my own way when I turned 40 then because that’s when I got divorced.

You had your own diet.

It kept getting delayed. We have a full year. How did you come across this network of competitions? I’ve never seen anything advertise for that, at least around where we live. I’m wondering how that came up on your radar as even an option for a road to go down.

I hadn’t ever seen one. I had never been to one. I haven’t ever heard one advertised. Back in the day, when you could go to the gym, I was going to the gym regularly every morning with the early birds and the meatheads. The big dudes that you would get that gymtimidation from because you’re like, “They’re going to yell at me for moving something and doing something wrong.” In fact, they were very accepting. They got used to me. I was in there all the time with them and they became like, “She’s going to stick it out. We can’t scare her off.”

One of them said to me one day, “Are you training for a competition?” I was like, “No, I’m here to try to get fit.” He was like, “You should do one.” I’m hopped off. I wonder what that’s all about. I started doing some research and as I said, I’d looked on at different advertisements you come across on Bodybuilding.com or different apps or MyFitnessPal. You’re like, “That’s so cool. I’ll do that. I’ll look into that.” I come to find out they’re everywhere. Every state has them. The ones I’ve been doing are up in Indianapolis which is two and a half hours away from where I live. You can find them in every state. They’re there so go for it.

I was thinking, “I never saw them because they’re very good at their target marketing.” They know I’m not the target.

They knew, Tom, you weren’t going to do.

There’s a secret invitation.

It’s called they don’t hang up their flyers at Baskin Robbins. When you said you saw an ad in your MyFitnessPal app, I never thought about it. The marketing guy in me is going crazy now. I bet you, they have like, “Show this ad but only to people that have a certain percentage of body fat.” They only show it to people at a certain level.

I just came across it.

What sells are the before and after pictures. You look at these comparison pictures of people, and you’re like, 'How did they do that?' Share on X

When I advertise concerts, I can be like, “Only show this to people who have expressed interest in Styx, Boston and Van Halen or whatever.”

What sells are the before and after pictures. You look at these comparison pictures of people and it’s like, “How did they do that? I want to do that.” That’s motivating whether it’s to the stage level, pro-level or everyday life people. That is what they’re targeting. It’s night getter. I don’t have a lot of pictures. I didn’t take any. I was always the picture-taker. I’m the mom plus I didn’t want to be in the pictures almost every time so that I don’t have any good comparison pictures or I may do, I just don’t want to look at it.

This is how I feel about people that are always like, “I don’t want to get my picture taken.” You should absolutely let your picture get taken because here’s why. There are two reasons. You’re either going to gain weight or you’re going to lose weight. If you lose weight, you’ll be like, “Look how much better I look now?” If you gain weight, you won’t feel bad about those pictures anymore because now you looked good.

As I said, I use a coach and you have to check in once a week. You have to take your pictures in your swimsuit, heels and your posing. I do my shows in the spring. This is in January and February after a good season of eating. I live somewhere where there’s not a lot of sun so it’s not the skin color. It’s not real attractive to have to take those pictures. It’s a little humbling.

I’m curious, what do you think the split is between the workouts and the eating clean for preparing for these competitions? Is that a 50/50?

You have to put a lot of emphasis on the diet. It’s going to show if you don’t.

You could work out four days a week, but if you’re not eating properly, then it doesn’t matter. You can undo all of your progress. You might still be gaining the muscle but you’re not going to be able to see it.

It’s not going to reveal. The diet is very important. My body at my age with my metabolism or whatever it is, I have to be very careful especially even dining out if there are oils and additives. You have to get savvy as to reading labels. For people that are interested in getting into this or trying to get a better overall physique, I would recommend starting with the basic stuff. Look at the labels, look at palm oil and these different soils or sunflower oil. These different additives in our foods, even peanut butter. If you take a look at the stuff that’s in that, it’s revealing. It’s going back to very simple foods. You cook butter or olive oil, the fats or whatever’s in the proteins, throw in your vegetables and keep it simple. It will make a huge difference whether you’re going to track your macros or not. Things that come in wrappers, I guarantee, you look at the labels and there’s going to be some alarming additives.

Don’t you ever get like, “I don’t want to track anymore? I don’t want to focus on it anymore.” Do you ever feel like that? What do you do when you feel like that?

You can always fall back to watching your portion sizes. The scale will show you what you’ve not been tracking quickly. It was easy for me to underestimate how much a portion is. I haven’t been doing it long enough to be that skillful that I can judge looking at something exactly like, “That’s these many ounces or these many grams.” It’s easier for me to try to keep weighing everything. A food scale is helpful. I’m not that obnoxious that I take it out to eat dinner the way all my meals out.

You have that superpower now.

I’m getting there. I’m firing that out.

I can do that with ticket stock. If you hold up a stack of tickets, I can tell you how many are in it. It’s a completely useless talent but I can do it. Do you have a favorite Tonal content or program that you’ve taken over your time?

We’ve done a total of nine programs since April 2020. I run 180 some workouts. As I said, we throw in additional workouts, the standalone. Go Big or Go Home was a good one. Extreme Strength with Coach Paul was good. We went through quite a few of them. Coach Nicolette has some fantastic programs too and then sprinkle in some of Coach Francis’ yogas. You can find some great muscle building workouts. I did Raise In The Barbell, Go Big or Go Home, Extreme Strength, Body Blitz, Muscle Building Burnout, Power To The Max, Making Muscle Time and Tone and Strengthen. We’re doing Pablo’s Radical Muscle Rock.

Are you loving that one? I finished that one.

It’s good. I did my first Tony Horton workout.

TSS 15 | Figure Competition

Figure Competition: People trying to get a better overall physique should start with the basic stuff like looking at the labels.


How was that?

It was great. He talks about slowing it down, holding the isolation, eccentric modes, chain modes, and all that stuff that was in these other programs too. That is so beneficial. You can get a lot out of any of them by focusing on what you’re doing, taking time with each of the moves with good form and benefiting from concentric and eccentric modes. I recommend any of them. Anything you like that sings your song and is your jam is going to work.

That’s all we got. Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to join us. Before we go, where can you be found on the interwebs if you would like to be found?

I’m on Facebook. It’s Stacy Kurucz. I’m on Instagram @Stacy.Kurucz. If people have questions they want to send them to me, I’m not real tech-savvy but I’ll answer people’s questions and stuff. I’m totally Team Tonal. All of us ladies out there that are grinding and kicking some fanny is awesome. I’m all about these strong ladies. If people want to reach out, I’m here.

I love your attitude about turning 40 and continuing on with awesome, great things. You’re clearly kicking ass so continue.

Thanks so much. Everybody, keep kicking ass.

You have a good rest of your day.

You too. Thank you so much.

Thank you.

I guess that brings this episode to an end. Until next time, 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. While you’re there, like the page and join the group. Wherever you’re getting your podcasts 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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