Working out with a partner is fun, motivating, and easy to do with Tonal.
One of the best ways to stay motivated, remain consistent, and have fun with fitness is to sweat it out with a buddy or loved one. Along with keeping you accountable, working out with a partner can actually help you enjoy exercise more, according to one study published in the British Journal of Health Psychology. As for couples who work out at home together, a 2021 study found that people who exercised with their romantic partners felt more satisfied with their workouts and their relationships.
Partner workouts on Tonal make it easy to work out side-by-side with a friend or family member and get stronger together. Since one membership gives you unlimited accounts, you’ll each be able to get personalized weight recommendations and track your progress.
How to Start a Partner Workout
Training partners and accountability buddies can be key to pushing past plateaus or achieving your next goal. From strength training and HIIT to recovery and mobility, almost any Tonal workout can be done as a partner workout (with the exception of your initial strength assessment and workouts streaming live). Once you pick the session you want to do together, it’s easy to get set up.
1. Select a workout on Tonal. On the bottom left of your screen, you’ll see an option to select Partner if that workout is available as a partner workout.
2. Sign in your workout buddy. If they don’t have a Tonal account, they’ll be prompted to create one.
3. You’ll start with a warmup. After the first person completes the first lifting set, we’ll prompt the next person. While you wait for your turn, cheer each other on, rest, or do some active recovery. You’ll perform off-Tonal moves at the same time.
Note: Because partner workouts include time for both of you to do all the sets, they will take longer than the stated completion time on Tonal. This will vary based on the number of on- and off-Tonal moves, but members say to expect a workout to last 1.5 times longer than the allotted time. Once you start the session, the time remaining will reflect an estimate of the length of the workout with both partners.
Benefits of Partner Workouts on Tonal
When you’re working out at the gym with a friend or family member of a different ability level, you’ll spend a lot of time re-racking a barbell or grabbing multiple dumbbells to accommodate both of your needs. During Tonal’s partner workouts, you’ll each get personalized weight recommendations for every exercise, all on one piece of equipment. Digital weight automatically adjusts from person to person, so there’s no need to waste time changing weights.
John Wikman, a Tonal member from Indianapolis, says adaptive digital weight is a “great equalizer” for doing partner workouts with his wife Kelly. “We can both do the exact same workout, even at the same time, and know that we’re getting the same [level of] intensity,” he says.
Amanda Gee, of Omaha, Nebraska, agrees that not struggling to swap weights between sets makes Tonal partner workouts a “game changer” for her and her husband John. “It takes so much less time, effort and frustration,” she says, compared to a similar workout with traditional equipment.
Tonal offers workouts beyond strength training—including high-intensity interval training, cardio, mobility, and recovery workouts—and many of these can also be performed as partner workouts. If you’re stuck in a rut of doing the same type of exercise, having a partner who usually does a different modality can encourage you to try something new or push you harder than you do on your own.
For example, Faith West, a Tonal member from Saratoga Springs, Utah, convinced her husband Wesley to try a mobility workout with her. He was hesitant at first, but now he’s hooked, and the couple does a session together every night.
“He will say ‘not everyone does [mobility] because it doesn’t seem important, but it’s the most important part of fitness,’” says West. “Every time he says it, I chuckle and say ‘you were that person.’”
Individual Progress Tracking
Even though you’re doing the workout together, you’ll still get all your individual metrics so you can track your progress and your Strength Score. Your stats, including total volume lifted and any new PRs, will be saved to your own Tonal profile.
A bit of healthy competition with your partner can even motivate you to work harder. Cindy Redman of Yucca Valley, California, loves doing partner strength workouts with her husband Mike and jokes, “I like when I get more PRs than him and my Strength Score goes up more points than his.”
Houston-based pals Jhon Cuthbertson and Josh Gill use metrics in their partner workouts to spark a light-hearted battle over who can lift more. In one workout, Cuthbertson saw Gill going for additional reps in each set, so she decided to add a few of his own. “This created this competition dynamic, and I think we ended up both lifting over 40,000 pounds that day,” he says. “At the end, we couldn’t get off the ground laughing.”
Try These Partner Workouts
If you’re looking for some fun partner workouts and programs to try, check out below that Tonal members love doing together.
20-in-20: Ignite – Coach Tony Horton
Jonathan Borders and his wife Jami, Tonal members from Springboro, Ohio, are currently working through this four-week program, the latest of several they’ve completed together. Jonathan likes how the workouts are still relatively quick even with the additional time for two partners.
Go Big or Go Home 3- Coach Jackson Bloore
Since the workouts in this muscle-building program emphasize heavy lifting with long rest periods in between, Wikman says they’re a great option for partner workouts. “It’s easier to take the rest time while the other [partner] is doing the lift,” he adds.
Quick Fit: Back and Biceps – Coach Tim Landicho
Working through high-volume sets of upper-body pulling exercises is more fun when you have a partner cheering you along. This short workout is popular among members looking to build strength and improve their posture with a pal.
Push-Pull: Max Variety – Coach Joe Rodonis
With a mix of rep ranges and a variety of different exercises, this program offers something for partners who love building strength and those who want to work on their endurance at the same time.
How to See Your Results After Partner Workouts
You’ll see a workout summary after you and your partner finish the session, just like in an individual workout. Tap your name at the top of the screen to toggle back and forth between your results. You can also access the workout summary from your partner workout in the activity tab of your Tonal mobile app profile.
Partner workouts aren’t the only way to make fitness social on Tonal. Try a live workout to get shout-outs from your coach and cheer on fellow members in real-time, or organize a virtual group workout to exercise with your friends from the comfort of home.