The Tonal Workouts Women Love Most
From strength training to yoga, these sessions are the most popular among female members.
For women of all ages, exercise—and strength training in particular—is a proven method for reducing stress, improving heart health, and boosting bone density, which lowers your risk of osteoporosis. In terms of body composition, lifting weights increases lean muscle mass, which research shows can decline by 10 percent every decade past 30.
Strength training also has practical benefits for women. Plenty of foundational lifting exercises mirror movements you do in real life, including lifting a suitcase into the overhead bin on an airplane or carrying your kids.
Gaining full-body strength makes it easier to move and avoid injuries. “Even if it’s just being able to enjoy our day-to-day without any pain, having strong muscles means healthy ligaments and tendons, which means healthy joints,” says Tonal coach and certified personal trainer Ash Wilking.
Don’t let the myth that strength training can make you “bulky” stop you from getting in on the action. Women produce far less muscle-building testosterone than men, and more progesterone, which actually breaks down muscle tissue. It becomes even harder for women to build muscle as they approach menopause.
“What I always tell my female clients, in particular, is be afraid of losing muscle mass, don’t be afraid of gaining muscle mass,” says Jenna Moore, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and Fitness Programming Specialist at Tonal. Because losing muscle mass after menopause can slow metabolism and negatively impact body composition, it’s never too early—or too late—to start strength training.
As for where to get started, the programs and workouts below are some of the highest-rated and most popular on Tonal among female-identifying members.
Shaped and Shredded: Maximum Burn – Coach Ash Wilking
The program is incredibly popular among female members looking to build lean muscle and burn fat. Heavy lifting with supersets and drop sets using Tonal’s Burnout mode drives muscle development while cardio conditioning keeps your heart rate high. These workouts are designed to drive a metabolic response so your muscles will keep torching calories all day long.
Four-Week Fast Track: Fresh Sets Level II – Multiple Coaches
Originally launched as part of Tonal’s January challenge, this four-week program is led by six different coaches and includes both hypertrophy and endurance workouts. You’ll alternate between muscle-building supersets in weeks one and three, and heart-pumping conditioning circuits in weeks two and four for well-rounded fitness gains.
Cycle Sync Strength – Multiple Coaches
Created in collaboration with leading female physiology expert Stacy Sims, PhD, this four-week program is designed for people with periods looking to optimize their training by taking advantage of hormonal fluctuations. By learning how to work with your cycle, not against it, you’ll train smarter, pushing for strength and power PRs when you’re most resilient and focusing on endurance and mobility when your hormones shift. Led by four female Tonal coaches, these workouts are all about making the most of your unique physiology.
Heavy Lifts, Hard Core – Coach Kendall “Woody” Wood
This beginner-friendly program will help you gain proficiency in big compound movements to develop strength and muscular endurance. You’ll also get a dose of core work in each session to build a strong and stable midsection. Isolation exercises and isometric holds will have you feeling the burn by the end of each workout.
Build on the Basics – Coach Tanysha Renee
With an emphasis on foundational movement patterns, including pushing, pressing, hinging, and squatting, this program is popular among members looking to level up from beginner to intermediate workouts. You’ll focus on movement quality so you can get the most out of every rep, gradually building volume and boosting work capacity.
One-Off Strength Workouts
Upper-Body Quick Fit – Coach Kristina Centenari
Tonal members love Quick Fits for getting an efficient workout done in 15 minutes or less and this upper-body session is no exception. In this short but effective workout, you’ll target the rear delts, traps, triceps, biceps, and chest muscles with a mix of pushing and pulling exercises.
Quick Fit: Sit and HIIT – Coach Kendall “Woody” Wood
As this workout proves, you can get your heart pumping and work at high intensity without any high-impact plyometrics. You’ll go easy on your joints while boosting your metabolism and burning calories.
Quick Fit: Down to Deadlift – Coach Kendall “Woody” Wood
Deadlifts are essential for building a strong posterior chain and strengthening your glutes. In this quick session, you’ll perform unilateral and bilateral deadlift variations and work on activating your backside and hamstrings through glute bridges.
This new Custom by Tonal HIIT workout is already gaining popularity among female members looking to train at their own pace. This pre-programmed custom workout includes a brief warmup, compound exercises to build lean muscle, plyometrics to elevate your heart rate, and some core work to add stability. Note: To find this workout, search by name on your trainer or the Tonal mobile app.
Tonal isn’t just about building muscle. With additional types of workouts for women such as barre, Pilates, and cardio, you can create a well-rounded fitness routine including activities you already love. These are the highest-ranking workouts among female Tonal members across the different disciplines.
10-Minute Metabolic Burn – Coach Kristina Centenari
Using only your body weight, this workout will raise your heart rate and get the sweat flowing as you improve your endurance. The moves are all low-impact so it’s a great option if you have achy hips or knees.
Sweat and Recover – Coach Kendall “Woody” Wood
When you’re feeling sore from heavy lifting, an active recovery workout may be just what your muscles need to loosen up. Performed at a reduced resistance, the exercises in this session restore blood flow to tired muscles so you’ll be ready to go hard again tomorrow.
Barre Fix – Coach Frances Flores
By emphasizing isometric contractions in which you hold a movement for several seconds, barre workouts are excellent for learning how to activate small muscle groups. This workout includes moves to improve mobility and flexibility, which will help you in your lifting and daily life.
Stretch and Flow – Coach Jake Ferree
As relaxing as an hour-long yoga class may be, struggling to find time for one might leave you feeling more stressed out than before. As Moore says, “When you’re hustling, you’re working, and you’re a mom, making yourself a priority is the first thing that goes out the window.” This 11-minute flow makes it easy to briefly slow down during a busy day.
Core + Back Pilates – Coach Frances Flores
Through slow, controlled movements, you’ll build strength and stability in your core and back muscles in this bodyweight Pilates session.
Hip Mobility Clinic – Coach Liz Letchford
If you’re feeling hip tightness from your workouts, or from sitting in a chair all day, this mobility session is perfect for loosening up the muscles around the hip joint. With a PhD in kinesiology and rehabilitation science, Letchford expertly explains why we get tight in this area and what we can do about it. “If you’re really trying to understand the why behind each movement, she is so educational and insightful in that way,” says Moore.