Tonal’s 2023 State of Strength Report Reveals Top Training Trends
See insights from the world’s largest data set on strength training.
The secret of resistance training is out: No matter your age, gender, or goal, lifting weights has huge benefits, including reduced all-cause mortality and improvements in mental health. Tonal’s first-ever State of Strength report, drawing on a year’s worth of anonymized data* (collected from a set of 175,000 unique users from October 1, 2022, to October 1, 2023), provides unprecedented insight into how and why people are picking up weights. As Tonal’s membership comprises the world’s largest data set on strength training, this analysis of fitness habits reveals an all-encompassing view of the state of resistance training in 2023 and a look into the future of fitness.
Along with responses from members in a survey on their exercise choices, this large-scale observational study sheds light on some of the biggest trends in strength training today. The biggest takeaway? Strength is for everyone, with more and more people enjoying the benefits of lifting heavy.
The Democratization of Strength
In decades past, strength training was considered the exclusive purview of muscle-bound, typically male, iron-pumpers. The language of the weight room was indecipherable to outsiders, and many felt intimidated to enter these temples to the chiseled human form.
Fortunately, those days are gone. With more information on the benefits of resistance training available now—from healthier joints to improved mental health—and a new willingness to debunk old myths—no, strength training won’t make you “bulky”—people from different backgrounds are picking up weights.
This democratization of strength training is clearly evident among Tonal members. From small towns to big cities, coast to coast, and everywhere in between, Tonal members are discovering resistance training is truly for everyone, regardless of gender, age, or prior experience.
The increased adoption of strength training has improved the quality of life for many, but the fitness industry still has problems to solve and questions to answer. There are new opportunities and challenges ahead, including the rise of artificial intelligence, GLP-1 agonist weight loss drugs, and widespread misinformation from uncredentialed social media influencers. In the State of Strength report, Tonal’s world-class experts reveal their predictions for the future of strength training and illustrate a path forward for an industry that’s constantly evolving.
This report analyzes the activity of Tonal members across the country over the course of one year. During that time period, they lifted more than 66 billion pounds in 10 million-plus workouts. This isn’t, however, a lab study that focuses on a small group of participants under strictly controlled conditions. Rather, it is an observational, sweeping panorama of how thousands of people choose to include fitness in their daily lives.
Here are some of the insights from the State of Strength report:
- Women are breaking barriers and lifting heavier. On Tonal, female members lifted an average of 3,431 pounds per workout.
- Older adults are fighting age-related muscle loss. Tonal members over 55 increased their strength by an average of 73 percent in their first year on Tonal.
- Consistency peaks in the morning, with the most dedicated exercisers working out in the same time window each day.
- Artificial intelligence will make science-backed training plans more accessible than ever before—without replacing the human element of expert coaches.
Trends and Predictions
*The Tonal State of Strength report relies on the workout data of more than 175,000 anonymized Tonal members who worked out at least 12 times for a minimum of three minutes with resistance on Tonal in the 12-month period between October 1, 2022, and October 1, 2023. All of the data in this report was passively collected during the same time period. Unlike a randomized controlled trial, State of Strength summarizes observations of the workout data and survey responses from members on their exercise choices in real-world conditions over the course of one year.
*The primary data set is supplemented with a second data set of more than 120,000 Tonal members who were active as of October 1, 2023. This data looks at workouts completed from October 1, 2022, to October 1, 2023, and information drawn from this data set is noted in the appendix. Active members are defined here as those who completed at least one workout in the past 30 days (as of October 1, 2023), worked out a minimum of three workouts on Tonal, and had a weekly consistency above 5 percent.
Survey responses were collected from an online survey completed by 223 members of the Official Tonal Community on Facebook between October 31 and November 7, 2023.