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Product News Answers to The 10 Most Common Questions About Tonal

a person with a phone in their hand looking at an exercise program

We get it: There are a lot of questions that pop up when you’re considering bringing a Tonal into your home. That’s why we took the 10 most common ones we get—covering everything from installation and membership to working out with friends and family—and laid out all the answers for you right here. Read on to get the info you need to make a confident decision.

1) Can multiple people use the Tonal membership?

Yep! Tonal’s monthly membership costs $49/month and offers you unlimited accounts for the whole family. Every person in your household has a personalized account with individual progress tracking and digital weight recommendations. With Tonal’s membership, you can level up your training with exclusive features such as Strength Score, Form Feedback, and Dynamic Weight modes. 

Tonal’s unlimited membership also gives you access to a constantly-growing library of workouts and multi-week programs. This also includes On-The-Go workouts in the mobile app that you can do while away from your Tonal. We consistently add fresh new content every week so you’ll never feel bored, and you can avoid plateaus.

Choose from strength training, cardio, high-intensity workouts, yoga, dance, barre, pre- and post-natal routines, and even guided meditation and breathwork. You can also train alongside friends with Partner Workouts and Virtual Group Workouts or build your own training routine with Free Lift and Custom Workouts. Plus, Tonal offers Family Fitness, fun-sized workouts that bring you all together and get the whole family moving.

Find out why our community loves their membership 

2) How will I know where to start? 

Don’t worry: it’s nowhere near as intimidating as stepping into the weight room at the gym. When you start your journey with Tonal, you’ll be asked to choose from one of three goals: Get Lean, Build Muscle, and Improve Fitness. Then you’ll complete a strength training assessment and calibrate your digital weight. This is part of how Tonal’s artificial intelligence can offer you personalized weight suggestions for every move.

If you’re new to strength training or a beginner, you can kick things off with an easy Guided Workout or try a program like Starting Out With Tonal. This program is a great way to begin your journey, get comfortable with the trainer, and get used to regular movement. Once you feel ready, Tonal has hundreds of programs you can choose from that last up to four weeks consisting of three to four workouts per week. While that can seem overwhelming, Tonal will also make smart recommendations for you based on your previous workouts if you need guidance.

All of our workouts and programs are led by expert, certified coaches who support, guide, and motivate you every step of the way. You can also join the Official Tonal Community. There, you’ll find people to cheer you on and a wealth of tips and advice to help you throughout your journey. 

Learn more about Tonal programs that can help you Build Muscle, Get Lean or Improve Fitness

3)  Can I do cardio on Tonal? I thought I needed cardio to lose weight. 

Yes! With Tonal, you have the option of doing cardio, high-intensity training, bootcamp, boxing, kickboxing, and dance cardio. However, if you’re looking to get lean, a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that strength training or strength training paired with cardio increased lean body mass more than cardio exercise alone. That’s because weight loss is closely tied to shifting your overall body composition to increase muscle and decrease fat. “Without muscular tension, that can’t happen,” says Nicolette Amarillas, a NASM-certified trainer and Tonal coach. 

Ultimately, weight loss comes down to burning more energy than you take in. That’s an oversimplified way of putting it, but you can burn energy in a number of different ways. On Tonal, the programs designed to get you lean are geared toward muscular tension that burns and fatigues. “Body conditioning or training under load—for example, Tonal High Intensity—is your best bet to improve body composition. When cardio is weighted, you are under muscular tension the entire time, so it’s great for improved body composition,” says Amarillas. 

Learn more about cardio versus strength training for weight loss

4) Will 200-pounds of digital weight be enough for me? I can bench 150 pounds. 

Digital weight feels heavier than traditional weight. This is because free weights and dumbbells rely on heavy metal plates to provide resistance. As such, their mass means that once they begin to accelerate, inertia makes it easier to keep them in motion. 

Digital weight, on the other hand, doesn’t require metal plates. Instead, Tonal’s digital weight uses a premium electric motor to create smooth and powerful resistance. That means there is little momentum to help you coast through the more challenging portions of each rep. Because of this, digital weight feels heavier as you get consistent resistance throughout the entire movement. The added benefit of digital weight feeling heavier is that it actually helps you get stronger, faster. 

For that reason, our members find that 200 pounds of digital weight is plenty to feel challenged. Professional trainer and former athlete Paul Sklar recently tested Tonal to see if 200 pounds of resistance would be enough. Sklar can consistently lift over 150 pounds, and he discovered that while training on Tonal, he was lifting lighter than what he’s used to with regular weights and dumbbells. His squat max was 75 pounds, and his pull-up was 69 pounds, but he was consistently challenged and improving his strength with each workout. 

Check out Paul Skalr’s experience of Tonal 

5) What does my Strength Score mean, and how valuable is it? 

Strength Score is an exclusive Tonal metric. This comprehensive system measures total body strength for over 100 different exercises. On average, Tonal members increase their strength by more than 25 percent in the first 90 days. 

The value of Tonal’s Strength Score is that you get detailed progress tracking and muscle group breakdowns. Armed with these insights, you’ll have the opportunity to create more personalized goals. You can also see your Strength Score for different parts of your body. By learning which muscle groups are stronger than others, you can map out fitness goals to build overall strength and balance for your entire body. 

Learn more about our Strength Score and how you can use it to take your training to the next level.

6) Should I be worried about hurting myself while working out alone?

Good question. Tonal’s coach-led content offers you the opportunity to build strength, endurance, and balance comfortably and safely from home.  

A study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine found that 82 percent of males and 47 percent of youth aged 13 to 24 sustain the most weight training-related injuries. A whopping 90 percent of those injuries happened while using free weights, and 65 percent of those occurred because people dropped the weight.

The beauty of Tonal is that our digital weight detects if you’re struggling in a rep and reduces the weight with a feature called Spotter mode. When working out alone and at home, this is even more important. Free weights and dumbbells won’t let up if you’re having trouble, but Tonal will. 

With Tonal’s Smart Handles, you can turn the weight on and off with the touch of a button. Just get into position and then click the button to turn the weight on when you feel ready to lift — no need to strain yourself or make awkward movements getting into position ever again. Tonal will always recommend a safe and challenging amount of weight for every move.

With all exercise, it’s essential to listen to your body and move safely. If there’s ever a move that you don’t feel comfortable doing because of injury or personal preference, you can always swap a different one in its place with Tonal’s Movement Replacement feature. If you have any concerns, consult with your doctor or medical professional before starting a new exercise routine. 

Learn why Tonal’s Spotter is a game-changer.

7) Can I work out with other people on Tonal? 

You know it. Tonal offers two different ways to work out with other people on Tonal, and for good reason: Research published in the British Journal of Health Psychology shows that having a workout buddy can help you feel motivated, supported and even encouraged to work out more

The first option is Partner Workouts, which allows members of your household and friends to work out on Tonal side-by-side. Members will do the same routine, one move after the other, and be prompted for their turn. Tonal tracks your progress separately, and the weight automatically changes based on the user, so you and your partner or friend can spend more time exercising together.

The second option is Virtual Group Workouts. This feature allows members to work out together from their own homes. You can pick any Tonal workout and receive a code to share with other Tonal members. Your friends will enter the code in the Tonal menu under “Join Group Workout.” You’ll get to see everyone’s reps in real-time and cheer each other on throughout the workout. In the end, you’ll get a workout summary that shows you how much you all lifted together. 

8) I want to lose weight, but my partner wants to gain muscle. Can Tonal help us both? 

Absolutely. Tonal has hundreds of workouts that can help both of you to reach your individual goals: from full-body strength training and cardio workouts to custom, made-by-you workouts with our revolutionary digital weight. 

With Tonal’s unlimited membership, both you and your partner can create separate profiles and set personal goals. Tonal will tailor everything from the digital weight selection to workout and program recommendations based on your individual needs. You’ll also get personalized reports on your progress, and Tonal will track everything for you seamlessly. You can opt to work out together or separately and support each other along the way. 

9) What is the maintenance like on Tonal? Will it easily break? 

Tonal is designed and tested to be durable and long-lasting. It goes through thousands of hours of rigorous testing to ensure it can withstand years of heavy use. We stand by our product with a three-year limited warranty, but with proper care, your Tonal will last many years beyond that. We provide regular software updates with continuous improvements to ensure members have the best experience possible.

If you have any issues with Tonal, you can contact our Customer Care Team. They can help you troubleshoot if needed. If any parts need to be replaced or repaired, our Care Team will coordinate with you to have a technician sent to your home. If ever you run into issues outside the warranty window, we offer service and repairs from our professional repair team. The fee depends on the extent of the repair, but no matter what, we’ve got you covered. 

Learn more about our warranty coverage

10) How do I know my space will work? 

Putting a Tonal into your home is very straightforward. It requires minimal space (a 7-foot x 7-foot area), and minimal needs: a reliable WiFi connection, a power outlet, and two wall studs. If you need help finding the perfect spot, our Customer Care Team and pre-installation survey can help you decide on the ideal place for your Tonal. 

On installation day, our professionals come to your home and do all the heavy lifting. Installing your Tonal is a quick and seamless 30-minute process, and our team will set everything up for you, including all the Smart Accessories.

Learn more about installation