This review was written by real Tonal customer Forest Bronzan, the founder and CEO of Email Amplitude (acquired).
A few months ago I canceled my gym memberships and purchased a new AI-powered home workout system called Tonal. It’s a breathtaking product that every busy professional should consider for increased productivity, improved health, and better time management.
What is Tonal and What Can it Do?
Tonal can pretty much replace any weight machine at the gym. You name it, it can do it. It can handle up to 200 pounds, and there isn’t any actual weight—it’s all digital. Pretty wild. Better yet, it tracks your strength, incrementally increases weight, has trainers on video in front of you to motivate and ensure proper form, and the list goes on. It takes up no more space than a vertical flat-screen TV, and looks very slick.
Check out the magic in this video:
5 Reasons Tonal is Key for Busy Professionals
This may feel like a product review, but my core argument here is that Tonal can help busy professionals feel healthier and also free up a ton of valuable time, thus helping your career in many ways.
In addition to being some really cool tech, there are many reasons that Tonal is is great for busy folks. For me, it boils down into a few key themes:
1. Good Health = Better Business: I’ll keep it simple, but dozens of studies and common sense will show that if you focus on your health you will live longer and also perform your best at work. If you’re a founder or CEO or top exec in particular, your ship demands your pristine output, and professionals at every level need to put personal health as a top priority.
2. Time Saved: This is massive. If you go to a gym, unless it’s in your building or at your office, you are probably driving at least 15 minutes each way, plus time waiting for your machine (or waiting for a class to start). Let’s call it at minimum 30 minutes of lost time. If you work out 3x/week, that’s 6 hours/month of time that could have been spent on really important business/professional growth activity. That’s 72 hours a year (9 full standard work days).
If you’re starting a company, that could be the difference between greatness and failure. If you’re growing your career, that’s a lot of time to fuel big wins. If you’re retired or don’t work that much, then that’s a lot of time to focus on other hobbies. With Tonal, my commute time is about 30 seconds, the time it takes me to walk downstairs.
I would take this argument a step further: since Tonal can replace every machine in the gym, you save time by not waiting for a machine to open up, setting up weights, and the list goes on. A 60-minute workout at the gym probably can be accomplished in 45 minutes with Tonal.
3. You Actually Use It: Playing off #2, one of the biggest reasons people drop their workout consistency is “things come up” — you’re home, it’s 6:30pm, do you really want to go out in the rain to the gym? Too many excuses/distractions/delays can keep you from sticking to your workout plan. With Tonal, you remove a vast majority of excuses and it’s really cool and fun so you actually use it.
4. More Time With Kids: This is a personal one, but I now spend more time with my 4y/o and 2y/o. They hang out with me during workouts, do stretches before and after, and while sometimes they can be a tad distracting, it’s a welcomed extra 3 or so hours a week hanging in a different way. If you currently treat your workouts as a breather from kids, then disregard this one and lock the door.
5. It’s a Better Workout: There are many reasons for this, but here are some highlights:
- Built-In Spotter: Tonal will detect if you are struggling with a rep and will instantly decrease the weight so you can finish. Unless you are going to the gym with a buddy to spot you, this is a game-changer for pushing yourself further.
- Technique and Workout Coaching: Tonal has tons of videos that coach you through every movement to ensure proper form. A key component here is actually having someone on video right in front of you pushing you through sequencing, form, and added motivation. The only downside, (See #4) is my son commenting how Coach Jackson’s muscles are waaaay waaaay stronger than daddy’s. #motivation.
- Incremental Weight Increase: Have you ever been frustrated at the gym with adding weight and only having options to increase by 10 or 20 lbs? With Tonal, you can increase by 1 lb increments (and the system can do it all for you, see below). So you can get stronger, much faster and in a more natural way.
- AI Meets Exercise: Tonal tracks movement and progress and a ton of other data to adjust your workouts, weight recommendations, and more.
- Tonal isn’t Just About Weights: there are many core exercises and goal setting. In fact, when you do your first assessment during setup, you can select goals like strength, muscle gain, getting lean, maintenance etc. At home you can have different users, so my wife has her settings and goals, and I have mine.
The Elephant in the Room: Tonal’s Price Tag
By this point you’ve probably checked out the Tonal website. Let’s chat about the elephant in the room, and that is the price tag. It’s not exactly inexpensive, however, I feel there are several paths to justify the investment. Hear me out…
- If you belong to a fancy health club and go a few times a week. Just cancel it and Tonal will pay for itself quickly.
- If you belong to any gym and haven’t been in the last 4 weeks, you’re probably throwing away a lot of money throughout the year. I’m happy to pay a premium for something I’ll actually use.
- If you actually go to your gym but don’t go with a buddy and want to get serious about strength, you’ll likely never get the same experience solo at the gym.
- If you have a personal trainer, that’s an easy cost justification. Cancel your gym and personal trainer and Tonal is a great value.
- How much is 72 hours worth to you over the next year? If you are in a profession that pays hourly, that’s easy math. For any profession though, think about what you could accomplish with that time…
- Finally, we spend so much money on trivial things that we don’t really need. If you’re serious about health and wellness, I’m of the opinion that’s a very sound investment for the short/mid/long term.
Now if you’re a professional bodybuilder, Tonal probably isn’t for you (though you’ll likely be impressed by the tech). But for everyone else, regardless of your health goals or profession, I’d check out a Tonal showroom to experience it first-hand. It could be a life-changer for you!
Disclosures: I have no financial interest in Tonal and was not offered any compensation or perks for this post. I paid full price for Tonal and am just a big fan. I’m also not a fitness or health expert, merely a novice who sees value in Tonal.