Whether they live together or in different states, these couples, friends, and families stay connected through fitness.
Working out at home doesn’t have to mean working out alone. For many Tonal members, exercising with family and friends—whether virtually or in person—is what keeps them motivated to show up every day.
Here’s how Tonal couples, families, and friends hold each other accountable, get stronger together, and have a lot of fun in the process.
Exercising together has brought these couples closer as they inspire each other to achieve their goals and spend quality time together in their home gyms.
The Motivated Match
When Wesley West of Saratoga Springs, Utah, wanted to buy a Tonal, his wife, Faith, wasn’t convinced. “I was very hesitant to try something that we didn’t know much about, and we didn’t have a great track record of keeping our motivation going,” she says.
Faith quickly came around, though, realizing that adding resistance training to their routine would help the couple stay healthy as they aged so they’d be in shape to play with their grandchildren one day.
Soon, Faith and Wesley were both active on Tonal, participating in a mix of programs and custom workouts, and even getting their daughter involved.
“The ease of working out whenever we want and fitting it into our schedule has been the most motivating for both of us,” says Fatih. “Having such a wide variety of coach knowledge has really helped us to stay motivated and safe in our fitness journey, which has helped nurture consistency.”
And while Welsey was the one to convince Faith to try Tonal, she opened his eyes to the value of mobility and recovery workouts after using them to bounce back following a recent surgery. Now, the couple takes a mobility, yoga, or meditation 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 Faith. “Every time he says it, I chuckle and say ‘you were that person.’”
The Competitive Couple
John and Kelly Wikman have always been athletic. Before they started participating in triathlons and obstacle races together, John played collegiate volleyball and Kelly spent decades playing soccer. It’s no surprise then that, according to John, it was “game-on” for the Indianapolis-based couple since the day their Tonal was installed.
“Tonal has been the perfect outlet for us as it allows us to cheer each other on but still compete directly with each other,” says John.
Because of their work schedules, John typically works out in the morning while Kelly uses Tonal at night, but they’ll often do the same workout to compare their experiences. On the weekend, they’ll make time for a partner workout.
“With the adaptive digital weights, it’s a great equalizer,” says John. “We can both do the exact same workout, even at the same time, and know that we’re getting the same [level of] intensity. It allows us to be competitive with each other on a level playing field.”
Their competitive spirit has paid off. In the 91 weeks they’ve been using Tonal (they both have a streak), John’s Strength Score has gone up over 130 percent while Kelly’s has increased by 242 percent, putting her in the top 99 percent of all Tonal members.
The Power Pair
For his 50th birthday, Jeff Kleck of San Antonio asked for a Tonal because, in part, he wanted to keep up with his wife Wendy, a former personal trainer.
“I’ve never been good about knowing which weights to use or which movements to incorporate,” says Jeff. “The AI and expertise of the trainers were intriguing to me.”
With features that appealed to both of them—guided programs for Jeff and the ability to create custom workouts for Wendy—Tonal ended up being a gift they could share and use to get stronger together. The two often work out together in their home gym, taking turns between Tonal and their stationary bike.
Exercising alongside Wendy has motivated Jeff to step up his game. “She’s so focused and intentional. It inspires me to be better,” he says. “Hearing her working out on Tonal reminds me I need to get my workout in.”
And they’re both loving the results: “Wendy and I have both had more compliments on our appearances than we’ve had at any time prior in our lives—and I’m 52 and she’s 51,” says Jeff. “We realize the significance of maintaining muscle at our age for our overall health. The compliments are just icing on the cake.”
The Strong Sweethearts
For Cindy and Mike Redman of Yucca Valley, California, working out on Tonal is a way to spend time together and a source of healthy competition.
“I like when I get more PRs than him and my Strength Score goes up more points than his,” laughs Cindy. “All joking aside, it is good quality time with each other with the added bonus of developing better bodies and mindsets.”
While they tend to exercise on their own during the week, they’ll do partner workouts together on the weekend. Cindy and Mike both love strength- and muscle-building workouts, so it’s easy to find a session they’ll both enjoy.
“When we’re not trying to compete with each other in person, we are bragging by text on workdays who did what and comparing [our progress] on the Tonal app,” says Cindy.
Cindy even convinced her 75-year-old dad to buy a Tonal and now he’s just as committed. “It’s by far the best investment in ourselves we’ve ever made,” she says.
BFFs (Best Fitness Friends)
Whether they live across town or across state lines, these friends find ways to encourage each other and celebrate their successes.
The Digital Duo
Ashley Trzaskus, who lives outside Louisville, Kentucky, has a regular workout buddy who she’s never met in person.
When Trzaskus was waiting for her Tonal to arrive in the spring of 2022, she joined the Official Tonal Community on Facebook to connect with fellow members. There, she met Brittany Lakin, of Norfolk, Virginia. Trzaskus and Lakin realized they had a lot in common. They were both moms with similar goals who were starting out on Tonal around the same time.
The two bonded over their plans for designing their workout spaces and how they were both returning to fitness after having kids. Once they started chatting, they struck up an easy friendship and kept encouraging each other to stick with their workout routines.
“We message almost daily to check in and encourage each other to stay on track and hold each other accountable,” says Trzaskus. “If one of us hasn’t done a workout in a few days, you can bet the other one is going to message to find out what’s going on.”
Even though fitness brought them together, Lakin and Trzaskus now discuss their families and vacation plans, becoming genuine friends, not just accountability buddies.
“I almost think living in different states makes the friendship even better because we don’t have to get dressed or spend money on cocktails just to catch up with each other and make sure we are both keeping active,” says Lakin.
Both women agree that sharing their workout journeys has motivated them to push harder and achieve more than they would on their own. They will often do the same program simultaneously to discuss the workouts and cheer each other on.
“Sometimes, I get my workout in just so I know that she doesn’t get too far ahead of me,” says Lakin. “Whether that makes me competitive or polite—I’m not sure!”
The Pump-up Partners
When Josh Gill bought his Tonal he immediately started encouraging Jhon Cuthbertson, his best friend of 12 years, to get one, too. “He kept telling me it was a game changer,” says Cuthbertson. Two months later, Cuthbertson was sold and bought his own.
The two Houston-based pals now enroll in the same Tonal programs and make it a priority to work out together once a week. When they’re not together in person, they’ll do virtual workouts. Cuthbertson and Gill both have busy schedules and rely on each other to stay accountable.
“Having a partner on the same journey provides confidence,” says Cuthbertson. “Living a healthy lifestyle is very difficult. But knowing I can give him a call and he can relate makes me push even harder.”
Sometimes, they even motivate each other to achieve more than they originally intended. In one partner workout, Cuthbertson noticed Gill adding additional reps in each set, so he started adding a few extra reps 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.”
The Circle of Strength
Spread across Maryland and northern Virginia, Betty Lee and her group of eight friends regularly get together for camping, hiking, and skiing trips—and now bond over their Tonal workouts.
“One couple got it first, we all tried it, and then the rest followed,” says Lee.
Even though they’ve been friends for years—several went to college together—Lee says the shared experience of working out on Tonal has created a stronger sense of community for her group. They’ll often do the same program together and take time to discuss that day’s workout.
“Knowing that we have a group of people following whether you completed your workout or not has definitely been the motivation to push us on days we’d rather not be working out,” says Lee.
Lee created a private Facebook group for her friends to keep track of each other’s progress. It’s helped the group stick with their routines and get stronger together—thanks to some gentle peer pressure.
“Since I run the accountability group, the running joke is everyone is scared of being ‘called out’ by me for missing a workout,” she says. “I joke it’s my way of motivating but also a little bit of public shaming lights a fire sometimes. I have definitely named people who have missed workouts or are about to miss them, and for sure that has helped them get up and go work out.”
Families That Sweat Together
For some, working out on Tonal is a family affair. Sure, they might have to race each other to Tonal to get first dibs, but they’re also saving money with a single membership fee.
First Come, First Fit
As a radiation oncologist and mom of two teenagers, Parima Daroui Khalili, of Irvine, California, doesn’t have much time for working out. After years of inactivity, she noticed she was gaining weight and losing her fitness.
“I felt that as I was getting older, it would be much harder to get back into shape, and it was time for a big change,” she says. That’s when she bought herself a Tonal. It certainly helped her get back in shape—Khalili lost 45 pounds and increased her strength score by more than 150 percent—but it also had the unexpected benefit of getting her whole family involved.
“My family, who knew me as a regular couch potato, was surprised at how committed I was to working out even after coming home late at night after work,” she says. “My teenage* twins, Shaya and Ellya, started wanting to incorporate Tonal into their schedule, too.”
Her daughter, Ellya, is using Tonal to increase her strength for playing volleyball and tennis, while her son, Shaya, works out on Tonal to improve his basketball game at the recommendation of his coach. “When he saw how effective it had been for me, he switched his gym workouts for sessions on Tonal,” says Khalili.
Not to be left out, her husband, Reza, who also struggled to make time for fitness, found that Tonal “rekindled his interest in working out again,” according to Khalili.
“At times when I get home eager to get back on my Tonal, I find that it’s already in use by my family,” says Khalili. “It’s become very popular in our household to be the first on the machine so as not to lose out.”
When Jennifer Lehrer’s Tonal first arrived, her teenage daughter* Cameron didn’t show much interest. But after watching her mom and dad work out on Tonal nearly every day, Cameron was “intrigued,” according to Lehrer.
Lehrer and Cameron started out doing partner workouts, and now it’s a regular part of their routine. They enjoy doing core workouts together and giving each other pointers on form. Cameron even designed custom workouts for her goals of gaining strength for volleyball and snowboarding.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a mother-daughter bond without a bit of friendly nudging. “If I am being lazy, she tells me to get off my butt and get it done, and I do the same to her,” says Lehrer. “We do a lot of sassing in our house so when I am struggling or whining about a movement, she gives me a lot of grief and visa versa.”
Because they keep each other accountable, Lehrer says both she and Cameron are more motivated to work out on Tonal than they would be on their own.
For Lehrer, sharing their love of exercise and getting stronger together is also a chance to connect with her teenage daughter at a time they might otherwise be drifting apart.
“It’s hard to have things in common with a teenage daughter. It’s the time when she wants to go do stuff [on her own] and have a boyfriend,” says Lehrer. “But she spends at least an hour with me [on Tonal]. We talk about it, and we compare our Strength Scores. I can’t think of something better to share and have in common with her.”
*Note: Tonal is designed for use by adults aged 18 and older. If approved in advance by a physician, teenagers over the age of 15 may use Tonal under direct adult supervision.
The information provided in this article is for educational and informational purposes only. Individuals with pre-existing health conditions, injuries, or concerns should consult with their healthcare provider before trying a new exercise or nutrition regimen.