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Tonal Transformations Powered by Tonal: James Morgan Rebuilt His Routine, Mind, and Body

James Morgan smiles in front of his Tonal with his son on this shoulders

When James Morgan, 38 of North Carolina, first came across Tonal during the pandemic, he was struggling with his physical and mental health. As someone who used to strength train avidly, he had been doing a lot of cardio to stay in shape. While that helped some, it was less satisfying and didn’t exactly give Morgan the results he desired. 

The military veteran was looking for a way to work out regularly without commuting back and forth to the gym, which would cut into spending time with his four-year-old son. He was skeptical about Tonal at first but decided to give it a shot. A few weeks later, Morgan knew he made the right decision. Today, he’s more motivated, has more energy, and is in better shape than when he previously went to the gym, both physically and mentally. Here, Morgan shares how Tonal impacted his life.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

I was a college mascot briefly at East Carolina University before joining the military. I’m currently serving my 19th year in the Armed Forces down in Fort Walton Beach. I mostly spend my time working and seeking out fun adventures with my son, Cameron.

How did you come across Tonal, and why did you decide to buy one? 

I came across an article on Tonal a couple of years ago during a late-night Internet trip down a rabbit hole. The idea of purchasing one intrigued me because I’ve had home gyms before that took up too much space, were a pain to constantly move around due to military life, and ultimately became laundry racks. Being close to retirement and having a young son, I wanted a way to stay in shape without robbing myself of valuable time that I could spend with him.

What was the first day with Tonal like?

The first day with Tonal was quick. I did the initial assessment to get started, and that was it. I was more like a curious pet, sniffing around something new. That night, I went to bed and started researching more information about the trainer in the Official Tonal Community and Tonal’s support forums and could barely go to sleep because I was so excited to try everything out.

Tell us about where you were at the start of your journey and where you are now?

At the start of my journey, I was fighting through depression and doing a lot of cardio to lose weight gained during that time. I still wasn’t entirely happy because I still felt out of shape and began to see nagging injuries very frequently. 

I was skeptical that Tonal could get me to the next step as far as weight training was concerned. I was previously an avid gym-goer but decided to give it a shot. Within two weeks of using the trainer, it was clear that, at the very least, Tonal was an equal workout to the gym. Today, I’m convinced that I’m in better shape now than I ever would have been by going to a gym. 

How has being stronger impacted different areas of your life?

Getting stronger has impacted my health overall. The confidence you build when your body feels good can’t be understated. I have my energy back to keep up with my four-year-old, and I tend to eat healthier when I’m in workout mode. More importantly, my mental health has improved due to exerting myself consistently and releasing the stressors of each day.

a father and his son on the beach, the little boy is looking up at his father smiling

What obstacles did you face on your journey, and how did Tonal help you overcome them?

My obstacle was simply getting off my butt. I didn’t feel good, and I didn’t want to pack a bag and hunt for a gym during a pandemic so that I could get in there and realize just how far I had fallen. 

Tonal helped in these areas because I had no excuse for not walking to my garage. I didn’t have to worry about a gym atmosphere where you’re already uncomfortable due to Covid-19, as well as the added mental hurdle of feeling down on myself for the state I found myself in. I also prefer working out alone. Plus, Tonal can spot your weights for you.

What is the biggest unexpected benefit you’ve received from having Tonal in your home?

The most significant unexpected benefit I received from Tonal is how the automatic tracking of your progress, Leaderboard, and Official Tonal Community can spark the motivation to get your workout in each day. 

Tonal removes all the guesswork and leads you to your goals through instruction, progress tracking, and community inclusion. The way the trainer breaks down [information] for each of your major muscle groups helped me see how much attention had been given to certain areas of my body as opposed to others. This gave me an understanding of how to build a stronger and more balanced overall body for the first time. And while I enjoy working out alone, I realized I love being a part of a great group. Seeing fellow members’ posts makes you want to get up and move. 

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?

My biggest piece of advice is to keep going, push yourself. I’d be lying if I said I was excited to go in and work out every day, but I pushed myself. After about 15 minutes, I feel more than happy to be there. With consistency, I started seeing changes in my body visually, and if that doesn’t motivate you to keep going, nothing will. 

What does being your strongest mean to you? 

It means being the best version of yourself in all aspects of your life. Strength isn’t just the ability to lift heavy things. Strength is also the ability to persevere and push forward when it feels like the winds of the universe are blowing in the opposite direction. [It includes] the mental strength to keep fighting when things aren’t going your way. 

Exercise is a key factor in your mental health, and it’s one of the most important places you could start. Tonal makes it possible to get started without even leaving your home.


Tonal offers heroes like James Morgan a discount to be their strongest. Click here for more information.