Even when you’re at the top of your game, there’s always room to grow. With a whopping 65 tournament wins under her belt, professional beach volleyball player April Ross is now in her 14th season on the beach, but her evolution as an athlete hasn’t stopped. “I’m still learning, still growing, and hopefully still getting better,” she said. As Ross and partner, Alix Klineman, look for victory in Tokyo, they’ve started training with Tonal to build the strength required to continue crushing the competition.
Since joining forces in 2018, Ross and Klineman have dominated the beach volleyball scene. Currently ranked number two in the world behind Canada’s Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes, the American duo is one of the top teams to beat in Tokyo. While this will be Ross’ third appearance in the summer competition, it will be Klineman’s first. Before setting off for Japan, they sat down to talk about how Tonal will be a game-changer for their training.
For beach volleyball athletes, it’s really important to have strength endurance, Ross explained. This is the ability to repeatedly produce high levels of force for a prolonged period of time, like during an hour-long volleyball match. “I love how Tonal measures that so closely,” she said. “The information that Tonal provides is going to be really impactful for my training. It’s a completely new way of doing a strength workout, and you can’t get that same information lifting dumbbells.”
Klineman agreed, saying she used to lift in a very traditional way, but over the past year, her training has evolved to be more customized. Tonal better fits the way she trains now. “It’s so customizable, which I really love because that’s what my body needs,” she said. “It knows my body just from feeling my resistance, which is so cool.” Klineman went on to say she likes that it picks up on her personal imbalances, for example, her right arm being stronger than her left.
Known for her monster blocks, Klineman also loves how Tonal takes care of her while training. “It’s really safe. If I don’t have the endurance to finish that last rep, it won’t leave all that weight on me,” she said. “Tonal can feel what I’m able to give; it can feel my input and just say, okay, this is how much resistance she needs.”
“It’s like having the best coach over your shoulder,” Ross added.
Ross and Klineman are only getting stronger every day. Last year, they won three tournaments without losing a single match and clinched one of the two U.S. women’s volleyball spots in Tokyo after winning in Doha, Qatar.
While this summer’s competition will be fierce, Ross, a veteran athlete with years of international experience, has been training hard to prepare. “My favorite thing to do in workouts is compete with myself and push myself as hard as I can go,” she said. “My first Tonal workout was a lot tougher than I was expecting. It really doesn’t let you get away with anything.”
With that competitive spirit, her lethal serve, and Klineman at her side, Ross’ third time may be the charm to reach the top of the podium in Tokyo. Klineman is thrilled with the run they’ve had so far and pumped for what’s coming next. “I’m so excited to be on Team Tonal, and I’m excited to see what the future holds,” she said.