“My life has become so much bigger and more connected with people in ways that it never would have if it weren’t for Tonal,” said Arlene Kraushaar.
Arlene Kraushaar does two things every single day: She works out on Tonal and posts about her workout in Tonal’s online community.
The 66-year-old member from Healdsburg, California, knew Tonal would help her get stronger, but she never expected that she’d find a supportive community of fellow members who would inspire her to achieve more than she ever thought possible.
“People are incredibly encouraging,” she said. “Everybody wants to succeed, and everybody wants to see other people succeed. We’re all here trying to get stronger and be our strongest.”
For Kraushaar, that endeavor means recently reaching a huge milestone: 3 million pounds lifted on Tonal. But it wasn’t always easy for her to commit to daily workouts and heavy lifting. In fact, she faced a few stumbles before getting to where she is today.
From False Starts to Daily Commitment
When she turned 30, Kraushaar decided to get her fitness on track. She stuck with it for a while, only to inevitably fall off and have to start all over again. The pattern continued for decades.
“Every 10 years, it was train, get injured, recover,” she said. “I’d get started and invariably, I’d hurt myself. I’d get better, I’d try again, and then I’d hurt myself again.” Kraushaar’s neck, shoulder, and back pain led her to spend more time at the chiropractor than at the gym.
Kraushaar eventually started working with a personal trainer. With her trainer’s help picking up dumbbells and getting her into position for heavy lifts, she didn’t get injured as often. But when her gym shut its doors at the start of the pandemic, Kraushaar was on her own.
She first heard about Tonal through an ad and the ability to turn the weight on and off with the touch of a button intrigued her. She’d be able to get into position without the help of a trainer or the risk of hurting herself. “I ordered it within days of first seeing the advertisement,” she said.
Kraushaar joined a three-day-per-week program to get started. She was immediately impressed by the scientific design of the program and how each day’s workout got her closer to her goals.
Compared to sessions with her personal trainer, “Tonal’s programs and workouts feel so much more tailored and specific to me and my goals and way less haphazard or random,” she said.
She’s currently enrolled in her 29th Tonal program and fills in her off days with yoga, mobility, and recovery sessions so she can maintain her streak. Kraushaar can barely remember the last time she missed a workout.
“I went from working out two days a week at a gym to working out every day on Tonal,” she said. “It just became a part of my routine—like brushing my teeth.”
Strength in Numbers
It wasn’t just Tonal’s programs and safety features that kept Kraushaar coming back—it was also the community she found online.
Before Kraushaar’s Tonal even arrived, she started chatting with members of the Official Tonal Community on Facebook which, she said, “added to the excitement.” By the time her Tonal was installed, she knew she could rely on the community during her fitness journey.
Seeing other members’ accomplishments sparked Kraushaar to work harder and take on bigger challenges.
“One of the biggest inspirations for me was seeing other women in the Tonal community pushing big weights, lifting a lot of volume, and not being afraid to do things that I never really considered trying,” she said. “I thought, if they can get there, I can probably get there, too.”
It was a big change from the gym setting which, for Kraushaar, didn’t feel as supportive.
“Now, I frequently interact with people in the community online—sharing information about programs, supporting each other, rooting people on, answering questions,” she said. “What motivates me is being able to interact and hear people’s stories and their struggles. The camaraderie of having a community to interact with around using Tonal is really what I think has made such a huge difference.”
Besides posting her daily workouts and sharing tips and tricks with other members, Kraushaar has even traveled to group meet-ups in San Francisco and Los Angeles to see her online friends and training partners in person.
And these truly are genuine friendships. “It feels really good to see the same people online day after day after day sharing their victories,” she said. “It feels like there’s really someone there who shows up with you.”
Better with Age
Thanks to the support of the Tonal community, Kraushaar is now feeling stronger than ever. “For physical health, it’s been wonderful,” she said. “When you’re younger, your health is supposed to be better, but I’m having the opposite experience,” Her doctor has even “marveled” at her blood test results.
In the past, Kraushaar wouldn’t always work as hard as she could due to fear of injury. On Tonal, though, she knows that the resistance will only increase as much as she’s capable of lifting, so she’s confident about rising to the challenge. Not having to maneuver heavy weights to get in place for lifts also helps her feel safe when lifting. “I can’t even imagine how I would get into position with a 75-pound barbell of iron,” she said. All she needs to do on Tonal is press a button.
Increasing the weight by one pound at a time allows her to safely push her limits. “One pound doesn’t seem like very much, but it makes a really big difference, and you can keep progressing that way,” she said.
The small steps have added up big for Kraushaar. Her strength score has increased by more than 325 percent since she started out on Tonal.
On her 65th birthday, she hit the one-million-pound milestone and turned to the community to celebrate. “I remember how excited I was posting that,” she said. A little over a year later, she hit three million pounds and her fellow members once again showered her with congratulations. Kraushaar credits her accomplishments to her dedication, racking up the small wins day after day. “When you show up every day and are consistent, it just happens,” she said.
Her results go far beyond the numbers. “I feel better in my own skin. I feel strong. I feel like I carry myself differently,” said Kraushaar. “Things that I used to shy away from in the past—maybe it was lifting something heavy or getting something down from a high shelf— don’t bother me anymore. I know I can do it. I’m confident in my abilities.”
Kraushaar credits Tonal’s technology, expert coaches, and scientifically-based programs for her transformation, but she knows she wouldn’t have achieved so much without the support of the community.
“I never would have thought to just keep pushing a little more and see how much stronger I can get if I didn’t watch other people doing that same thing,” she said. “It opened up these new horizons of what it could mean to get stronger, to lift weights, and to get physically healthy.”
The information provided in this article is for educational and informational purposes only. Individuals with pre-existing health conditions, injuries, or concerns should consult with their healthcare provider before trying a new exercise or nutrition regimen.