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Product News Tonal Quick Start Guide

Every new fitness journey has a learning curve before it becomes second nature. We’ll break down Tonal step-by-step so you can kickstart your fitness in no time. This guide will cover everything from the easy stuff — like setting up your Tonal — to the fun stuff, like optimizing your training.


Prep for the arrival of your Tonal.

  • Prep your space: Make sure your space is clear and tidy before your Tonal arrives. Read through our installation tips. 
  • Tonal at home: Trying to picture how Tonal will look in your space? Check out some of our members’ installations
  • Getting crafty with Tonal: Check out these DIY home gym projects and get inspired while you’re waiting.
  • Storing your Smart Accessories: Our floating Tonal Accessories Shelf — available in three finishes — is the perfect way to store Smart Accessories and complete your home gym. Shop now.


Tonal is an entire weight training system that you can access from the comfort of home. Tonal’s touch screen makes navigation easy. You can browse our library of workouts, our team of coaches, and your workout stats, just like you would an app on your smartphone. By adjusting the arms you can set up any movement from bench press to deadlift — lifting them, lowering them, and rotating them in and out as needed — for a complete full-body workout. 

Let’s get you set up!

First, turn it on. Make sure the power switch on the bottom of the trainer is on. You can find this switch just right off where the power cord plugs in. Once the trainer is powered on, tap the screen. If you stop using your Tonal for 10 minutes it’ll automatically go into sleep mode (just like a smartphone). Simply tap the screen to wake it back up.

Connect your Smart Handles. The reason our handles are smart is because they’re powered by Bluetooth that enables you to turn the weight on and off at the click of a button. The handles also track your movements to provide Form Feedback while adapting to your movements. Our team of professionals often pairs them for you during installation, but it’s always good to know how to do it yourself. Learn more about connecting Smart Handles. 

Get your membership and account rolling. Tap the Activate button on the screen to get started. This will guide you through creating your primary user account, inputting your payment information for your membership, and finally going through the rest of the onboarding process. If you purchased Tonal with Affirm, you’ll be prompted to enter the same email address you used with Affirm.

Have multiple people in your house who want to work out? No problem — everyone can create a personalized account. There’s no limit to how many accounts you can have on Tonal. Log out of your account to allow others to create an account or log in. They can tap + then enter their email and password to log in. 

Once you’ve signed in, Tonal will create an icon for your account (and anyone else who signs up) to make logging in and out a breeze. Want to use your Facebook photo? Log in to the mobile app, select your Profile > Setting > Connected Apps > Facebook Photo. Done and done.

A Tonal turns on. The screen shows the device's landing page as the arms move up and down.

Adjusting the arms. Moving Tonal arms will become second nature in no time. Each arm’s height, angle, and rotation can be adjusted to achieve more than 170 moves for a full-body workout on Tonal. To adjust height, pull and hold the lever where the arm connects to the trainer. Now you can move the whole arm higher or lower. 

  • To pivot the arm angle up and down once the height is set, pull and hold the lever in the middle of the arm, lifting or lowering the arm to the appropriate angle for any move. 
  • To rotate the arm in or out, press and hold the circular button near the middle of the arm and push or pull on the arm until it rotates.
  • Each time you adjust the arm height, angle, or rotation, it will click once securely in place.
  • Important: Always double-check your arm is securely locked in place by pulling on the arm twice before beginning any exercise.

Pro Tip: There are arm position indicators on screen during every workout to ensure that you’re set up for each move correctly.


Tonal optimizes your fitness routine and knows your strength inside and out.

Set your goals. Tonal acts as a personal trainer that learns about you and your goals — whether it’s building muscle, getting lean or improving fitness. Answer a few questions after your first sign-in, so Tonal can map out a direct path to achieve those goals.

Join a program. Tonal uses your goals to curate the best programs to get you there. After you choose a program you’re comfortable with, Tonal will curate a variety of scheduled workouts to follow. Learn more about our programs with this ultimate Tonal workout guide.  

Strength assessment. Just like a personal trainer, Tonal gauges your strength before you train. To assess your strength, complete Your First Tonal Workout where Tonal will ask you to complete a series of moves at a variety of weights. When you’re finished, Tonal sets the best starting weight for you, and increases the weight as you get stronger over time.

Digital weight may feel different than what you’re used to in the gym, that’s totally normal. We’ve created Tonal to be conservative with starting resistance to help you get acclimated. Learn more about why digital weight may feel heavier than dumbbells and plates.   

Pro Tip: If you ever want to recalibrate your weight, go to your Profile, select “About You,” and hit “Recalibrate” to have Tonal reset your starting weights all over again.


Motivation comes easy when everything is at your fingertips.

Ease yourself in. For beginners, we recommend starting with our program Starting Out With Tonal. This consists of four workouts designed to get you moving, while teaching you the ins and outs of using the trainer. You’ll learn how to adjust the arms, assess your strength, use dynamic weight modes, and much more. Once you wrap up that series, check out Tonal Beginner Boost with Coach Natalie or Easy on The Joints with Coach Liz.

Ready to explore? Look at the symbols next to each workout or program name to see the level (beginner, intermediate, or advanced), and focus (upper body, lower body, or core). Our browser makes it so easy for you to navigate all of our workouts and find what you’re looking for. Remember to always prioritize mastering your form with the basics before tackling anything more advanced.

Multi-week programs are the best way to target goals. Tonal will suggest the best programs based on your goals. Choose from our suggested programs or select your own from Tonal’s extensive library. 

Endless one-off workouts. Prefer one-off workouts over programs? Dive straight in by choosing from hundreds of workouts, all of which are easily filtered by coach, focus, length of time, and level of experience.   

Find a coach you love. Try different coaches to see who you connect with and who motivates you. Tonal’s coaches are diverse in their personalities and training styles so there’s someone for everyone. You can also workout with celebrity and athlete coaches like Tony Horton, Mark Allen and Liv Lo Golding.

More than one way to train. Tonal offers numerous ways to get your sweat on. Along with our programs and Guided Workouts, you also have the option to try Custom Workouts, Free Lift Workouts, Partner Workouts, Live (Beta) Workouts, Virtual Group Workouts, and Family Fitness Workouts. 

Discover different ways to move. Along with strength training, Tonal offers all kinds of workout content. Try Tonal High Intensity (a combination of strength and interval training), Dance Cardio, Kickboxing, Barre, Bootcamp, Pilates. On recovery days, relax and recharge with breathwork and meditation in a yoga or mobility class. If you’re pregnant, Tonal can support you through your journey with pre and post-natal workouts.


Listen to music and pair your headphones or speaker. Nothing gets you in the zone like music. To pair bluetooth headphones or speakers, swipe down from the top of the display to access the Settings menu. Hit “Bluetooth” to pair your device. That’s it! Now you’re all set to listen to your Tonal coach, Apple Music or favorite Tonal Radio Station. Learn more.

Pair your Apple Watch. Track your heart rate, add and subtract weight, turn weight on and off, control music, or pause and play workouts. Your watch will even notify you with vibrations when you reach the last few reps or seconds of a set. Read our step-by-step instructions to get set up in minutes.  

Pair your Bluetooth heart rate monitor. Use Tonal’s Heart Rate Zones feature to track your heart rate and see real-time data during a workout. Learn more about the importance of training with heart rate zones.


You can use Tonal all by itself, but our app will take your training to the next level. Use it to browse through all our workouts, programs and coaches, review workout stats, and even workout when you’re away from your Tonal. 

Get stronger on the go. Our Mobile Workouts (Beta) will give you access to all off-Tonal Guided Workouts such as Yoga, Bootcamp, Pilates, Barre, Kickboxing, and more. So, if you’re ever traveling or away from home, you can find plenty of ways to move your body with the Tonal mobile app for iOS or Android

See your progress. With the Tonal app you can track your daily and weekly progress. Just go to your profile in the app to view your performance across four areas: Volume, Workouts, Movement, and Programs. Each one will give you a different snapshot of your strength journey, day-by-day and month-by-month.

Build Custom Workouts. Create your own Tonal workout in minutes. The Custom Workouts section in the Tonal mobile app makes it easy to build in sets and blocks from a list of every move on Tonal. Name your workouts, save them, and they’ll automatically appear on your trainer for when you’re ready to workout — complete with real-time stats and video demos for every move. Read more. 

Download the mobile app for iOS

Download the mobile app for Android


Tonal’s state-of-the-art features will take your workout from zero to one hundred in no time. Here are a few to start with. 

Automatic weight adjustments. Tonal takes the guesswork out of strength training by increasing and adjusting your weight in one-pounds increments as you get stronger. 

Train with our dynamic weight modes. With Tonal, you also get dynamic weight modes like Chains, Eccentric, Burnout and Smart Flex — variable resistance training techniques — at the touch of a button. Dynamic weight modes help you get stronger and improve body composition. 

Spotter. Tonal’s built-in Spotter is just like having a real-life spotter with you at the gym. It reduces weight if you struggle, and then automatically increases the weight back to what it was after you complete a rep so that you can maximize your strength gains.

Use Smart Flex. When training with dumbbells and traditional static weights, the amount of resistance you can lift for each move is limited to the points where your muscles are weakest, but Tonal knows when your body is naturally stronger in a rep. Smart Flex intelligently matches your strength by continuously adding or subtracting weight at your strongest and weakest points. As a result, you’re lifting more weight, pushing your muscles harder, and getting stronger, faster. Read more.

Workout wrap-ups. After every workout, Tonal shows you a summary of what you accomplished, including workout duration, time under tension, total pounds lifted, and moves completed. It’s the quickest way to see how you measure up to your personal goals every week. 

Strength Score gains. A feature exclusive to Tonal, Strength Score is a comprehensive system that gives you a complete picture of your progress as you get stronger. The latest edition offers detailed progress tracking, muscle group breakdowns, and benchmarking information, enabling you to see where your strength falls in comparison to other Tonal members. Learn more about how to use this feature and improve your Strength Score. 

Pro Tip: Watch the Tonal Talk on Strength Score.

Form Feedback. Our Form Feedback feature helps you understand how to get better at lifting. What’s even more exciting is that we’re going to expand on the kind of guidance we can offer soon. Read more.

Heart Rate Zones. You can target different heart rate zones to get the most out of your physical activity and measure how hard you’re going during a workout. Our Heart Rate Zone feature lets you see heart rate zones in real-time and see how long you spent in each heart rate zone at the end of each workout. To use this feature, pair your Apple Watch or bluetooth heart rate monitor. Read our step-by-step instructions to get set up in minutes.  

Muscle View. Tonal’s muscle diagrams can be found in the lower right corner throughout your workout and help you easily understand which muscles are being targeted for every movement. 

Virtual Group Workouts. Join your friends in the same workout, at the same time, and see each other’s progress, all from the comfort of home. Cheer each other as you go with virtual high fives, and discover how strong you are together with a recap of total pounds lifted at the end of each workout. Read more.

Partner Workouts. Partner workouts are easy to do, just follow along with our guided workouts and enjoy chatting and hanging out with your workout buddy the whole time. We’ll prompt each member when they’re up. Tonal’s digital weight will automatically adjust based on the user so there’s no need to guess how much weight each person should lift. Read more.

Leaderboard. There’s nothing like a little friendly competition to give you that extra boost or motivation. Tonal’s Leaderboard is a way to celebrate your success and push yourself in 2021. Read more.

Achievements. Mark key moments in your fitness journey by celebrating Tonal Milestones — like hitting the 50,000lbs or 50th workout. Collect Badges for sweating it out on special occasions like your birthday and the first time you try a new workout. Read more.

Gear Shop. From Tonal-themed threads to must-haves like water bottles, coffee cups and T-locks, you’ll find all of the above and more. Shop now.

You’re now ready to begin your Tonal journey and #BeYour Strongest. If you have any questions, give our team a call at (855) MY-TONAL or contact us here.