Douglas Goforth only has one regret about buying a Tonal: that he didn’t do it sooner. While he’s happy to attest how great his physical strength and appearance in the mirror look and feel, the change he’s most excited about is happening in his mind and spirit.
Thanks to digital weight, resources and support from the Official Tonal Community, and a desire for a higher quality of life, Douglas found focus in his health and fitness, purpose — both professionally and personally — and a better connection within.
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
My wife and I live in beautiful Austin, Texas. These days, we spend most of our free time at home, where we have stayed very busy with renovations, and of course, our Tonal workouts.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, if not continuously busy, I felt like I was missing out. This past year, I’ve learned how to be comfortable without constant distractions and how to connect more to myself, my wife, and home life.
Tell us about how you came across Tonal and why you decided to buy one?
I had purchased the Bowflex XTL in 2009 and was still using it on occasion. However, I was at a loss for how to build a program for achieving specific goals.
Out of curiosity, I decided to see if anyone had developed an app to help Bowflex users select exercises for their goals, and that introduced me to Mirror and Tempo. Although intrigued by their programming, both fell short. With Mirror, it seemed I could replicate that experience with a fitness app on a tablet and a traditional mirror. When it came to Tempo, Bowflex had spoiled me, and I had no interest in storing or adjusting dumbbells.
I came across Tonal on Facebook, and it instantly caught my attention because it seemed to check my boxes for form and function. It introduced me to features I hadn’t even considered: digital weight adjustments and progress metrics.
I spent the next couple of weeks watching YouTube reviews and interacting with owners in Facebook groups, but what tipped me over the edge was finding the blog buried at the bottom of Tonal’s website. I bought one in July of 2020, and Tonal has not disappointed.
What was the first day like with Tonal?
The words that immediately jump into my head are excitement, relief, quality, and humbled.
After researching and waiting for delivery, I was excited that installation day had finally arrived and was relieved because everything went smoothly with the delivery. Many people have shared this before, and I say the same — it feels like Christmas morning.
I couldn’t believe the quality, and how smooth and consistent the resistance is. Coming from 11 years of Bowflex, while it provides a good workout, the amount of resistance fluctuates throughout a range of motion because of the rods. With the Tonal, that fluctuation was gone — providing a much more stable and controlled experience. I was also surprised at how quiet and solid the hardware is.
Feeling humbled was the biggest one for me. I had to take several breaks during the initial strength assessment and the short workout after. My fitness level of frequent treadmill jogging had not prepared me for how out of shape I was when it came to resistance training. While this realization scared me a little, it only confirmed I needed this experience and the upcoming journey to help me get a healthier and higher quality of life.
Tell us about where you were at the start of your journey and where are you now?
When I received Tonal in September 2020, I wanted to be in better shape in general. I knew that I could count on the built-in analytics, reporting, and resistance management to motivate me to use Tonal regularly, and it did.
Until January, I worked out an average of four days a week and just jumped around from programs to workouts with no clear path forward. I saw a moderate bump in my Strength Score right off the bat but only a very small increase for the next two months.
Then the new year arrived, and everything changed.
In addition to outstanding hardware and software, the Official Tonal Community on Facebook offers many activities that should not be overlooked. They host month-long workout challenges, book clubs, live coach talks, guest speakers, and more. While they aren’t mandatory for seeing benefits from using Tonal, they help provide direction and tips for getting the most out of your workouts. Two community initiatives — the month-long challenges and book club — played a significant role in my mental transformation towards fitness.
I knew immediately from the very first day of January’s challenge that the structure was right for me. Every day of the month was planned, and I didn’t have to figure out what to do.
The live Zoom sessions helped me realize that the goal isn’t only to get through a workout, [the better goal] is to push myself to perfect form, use all my energy and strength, and most importantly, understand that I am capable of a lot more than I give myself credit. Although hosted by a different coach, the February challenge offered similar benefits through new tips and experiences.
From January to February, my strength score jumped from 572 to 689. Even more importantly, I started feeling a good soreness in the muscles being targeted, and any aches and pain in the wrong place went away. I took that to mean that I was doing something right.
In late December, I started participating in Tonal’s monthly book club, Read Between the Reps. As a result, I read The Miracle Morning and began a 30-day challenge starting on January 1, 2021. It’s a little over three months, and I haven’t missed a day or element of that practice yet. It has helped me with my professional and personal life and health and fitness. Just taking a little time at the beginning of the day to set intentions, reflect, and be mindful of what I’m grateful for is so simple but also powerful.
I’ve enjoyed all of the practices within The Miracle Morning. However, I struggled with the meditation and visualization component. I have a hard time staying in the moment. To help my practice, I started doing Coach Allison’s Your Best Self class on Tonal. It’s a little less than 20 minutes long and contains both meditation and visualization elements. There are a few other Tonal classes that I jump to from time to time for meditation, but I probably take this class around four times a week.
I struggled at first with the visualization drill. My mind kept going for tasks, but I was finally able to think about a goal [for my fitness]. I now have more purpose while working out. After one month of goal-focused training, my Strength Score is 752.
How has being stronger impacted different areas of your life?
It’s now easier to open the jar of coconut oil. Seriously, when it comes to physical strength, it’s the little things. I don’t have to mentally prepare myself to carry a large bag of dog food up a flight of stairs. I’m experiencing less soreness in my back or injuries from remodeling projects for the house because of my stronger core.
What is the biggest unexpected benefit you’ve received from having Tonal in your home?
While my physical strength and appearance in the mirror are great, I was most surprised by the mental and emotional strength gained from the community. Other members continuously inspire me with their shared accomplishments and breakthroughs.
Thanks to the monthly challenges, I have a better awareness of how far to push myself and learned the importance of paying attention to form and energy during a workout.
Read Between the Reps has given me exposure to many tools that have helped me better understand how to identify and accomplish meaningful goals for my life. The Tonal Talks have helped me unlock my drive and motivation.
What’s the one piece of advice or the biggest lesson you’ve learned during your transformation that you want to share with the rest of the community?
Please take advantage of the Official Tonal Community — they have many resources and experiences to help conquer the obstacles standing between you and your goals. [Don’t miss out on] the Tonal Meditation practices — they can be just as transformative as the physical workouts.
What does it mean for you to be your strongest?
It means constantly working to improve or maintain your physical, mental, and emotional strength. That you are careful not to overdevelop one area at the expense of another, and you understand and respect there’s a balance that’s right for where you are in life.