We asked. She answered. Get to know Tonal Coach Liz Letchford in her own words.
Where did you grow up and how did you get into fitness?
I grew up in Richmond, Virginia where I was constantly 1. questioning everything 2. making myself of service to others and 3. playing outside. Those traits continued long after childhood and certainly helped to shape my career in health and fitness. My career evolved from Lifeguard and EMT to Athletic Trainer, Strength Coach and PhD Student. Now, I am using my doctoral research findings and unique medical experience to help so many incredible people move better and feel stronger through Tonal.
What is your coaching style?
My coaching style is supportive, relatable, intelligent, and witty. My workouts are designed to make you feel proud and powerful while remaining in tune with that incredible body of yours. I want you to leave your workout feeling absolutely unstoppable.
What are your favorite movements on Tonal?
My favorite movement on Tonal? Deadlifts, for sure.
The movements I’m most grateful for? Any of the stability lifts or anything requiring a single-leg stance. Those keep me humble and help refine my athleticism.
What do you do to stay motivated?
Movement has become my meditation, my favorite way to get out of my head and into the present moment. Whenever I need some extra motivation, I remember the feeling that I always get after a good sweat and then chase after that.
What is your favorite music to sweat to?
Oh yes- you mean that dirty, hip-hop, hot lava that makes me want to drop it low right in the middle of my workout? That’s my jam.
Tell us a client success story that inspires you.
Oh, wow, how much time do you have? I have so many inspirational stories that I’d love to share, but one story in particular has stayed close to my heart through the years.
I had the incredible opportunity to train a remarkable woman that completely changed my attitude toward hard work. She was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis and had just undergone a double lung transplant and wanted to work with me to regain her strength shortly after surgery. Even though we had to meticulously sterilize every piece of exercise equipment and the simplest of movements left her weak and gasping for air, she was determined to reach her strength goals and make the most of her second chance at life. She continued to train through the progressive, excruciating stages of rejection in order to qualify as a candidate for a second lung transplant (which she received! BAD. ASS.) She was, quite literally, training because her life depended on it.
Through her unmatched determination, resilience, and positivity, she taught me so much about being comfortable with the uncomfortable. She faced her fears in a way that I can only describe as gracefully brave. To this very day, I remind myself how lucky I am to have the privilege of moving this body and breathing air into these lungs. She is my daily reminder to put everything into perspective and to keep fighting for who and what you believe in.