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Train Like a Pro: Build Explosive Power With April Ross and Alix Klineman

april ross and alix klineman stand next to tonal smiling

For pro beach volleyball athletes like April Ross and Alix Klineman, the more data they can get about their strength, volume, and power while training, the better it is for their game on the court. The duo, currently ranked in the top five globally, recently started working out with Tonal’s digital weight and smart technology and have found the personalized training data a game-changer for their training. 

In an earlier interview with Tonal, Ross explained that strength endurance is essential for beach volleyball athletes, and Tonal’s ability to provide insights on range of motion, power output, and strength during a workout is particularly impactful. Klineman, who moved away from traditional lifting over this past year, found that Tonal’s ability to customize workouts fits better with how she now trains. 

Both Ross and Klineman use Tonal’s Custom Workouts to create training routines that will improve their performance and help them build the strength they need to generate high levels of force throughout an hour-long volleyball match. 

“Athletes who perform at an international level have a deep understanding of their bodies,” explained Liz Letchford, Ph.D., certified athletic trainer and Tonal coach who previously served on the sports medicine team for the men’s and women’s U.S. beach volleyball teams in 2013. “[They have] a disciplined approach to their training and rehabilitation. Their workouts reflect the unique demands of their sport while considering the individual needs of their bodies.” 

To give you a taste of what their pro training looks like on Tonal, both Klineman and Ross are sharing their Custom Workouts. “If you want to improve the power in your legs and create a foundation to move more athletically, Ross and Klineman’s individual Custom Workouts have the nuts and bolts that are required,” said Letchford. 

April Ross’ Lower-Body Strength Supersets Workout

All athletes — especially those of us who spend most of the day sitting at a desk or hunching over our phones and computers — can benefit from focusing on strengthening the core. This is especially true for dynamic sport athletes like beach volleyball players. Serving quickly and powerfully and being reactive with your blocks during a game of beach volleyball requires serious core and hip strength, explained Letchford. 

Ross’ workout begins with a core-focused warm-up followed by two blocks of lower-body focused supersets and a final block of challenging movements to strengthen the relationship between the lower and upper body. 

The secret is in the supersets. The first block activates the core to establish a solid foundation for optimal form, explained Letchford. Then, the second block builds strength before the burnout that follows. This method of training helps you gain more training benefits in less time, and when paired with Tonal’s Smart Flex dynamic weight mode, Letchford added, you get resistance with precision down to every millimeter of every rep to maximize the impact of your workout. 

Just remember, active recovery is important as you’ll see that you can give your legs a break while you still work the core. “Training for power requires adequate rest,” said Letchford.

Alix Klineman’s Full-Body Power-Up Workout 

Even for total-body workouts like this one, the core is the foundation of all movement, and unilateral exercises like some of the ones you’ll do here provide an extra challenge to your core to stabilize. “For her sport, Klineman needs to be able to achieve incredible stability from her core to generate power from her shoulders,” explained Letchford, so expect to activate and engage your core through moves like Single-Arm Lat Pull-Downs and Push-Pulls.   

Each block contains an upper-, lower-, and core-focused exercise and a balance between pushing and pulling, Letchford added. “The goal of this workout is not to over-tax any one muscle group, but instead to improve athletic performance and muscular coordination.” 

How to Build Ross and Klineman’s Custom Workouts on Tonal 

It’s easy to build Custom Workouts for the Tonal trainer in our mobile app. Just follow along with the steps below. 

  1. Open the Tonal mobile app.
  2. Click the Custom button in the lower right corner of the navigation bar.
  3. On the Custom screen, click the Plus button to create a new custom workout. 
  4. Name the workout and hit Create.
  5. You can now start building the workout. Add a description, edit the number of sets in a block, search for the moves outlined in the workout you are building, and add them to create the workout. 
  6. Once you add all the moves, hit save. This workout will now be available in your Tonal account on the trainer. 
  7. To access this workout on your home screen, choose Custom in the right corner of the navigation bar. You’ll find your new workout at the top of the screen. Select it, then get to work.