If you want to know what it’s like to work out two million pounds of stress by lifting volume, Sharon Tate Bennett is the person to ask. She has a story many of us can relate to — when you’re a busy professional, making the time to work out isn’t always easy, especially after a long and stressful day.
Finding Tonal really turned things around and helped Sharon take control of her health, fitness, and peace of mind. These days, she’s crushing pull-ups, feeling physically and mentally strong, and ready to take on pretty much anything.
Tell us about how you came across Tonal and why you decided to buy one?
In 2007, we purchased our home, but the property needed a ton of work, and let’s just say we’ve been renovating for more than 13 years! In 2019, my trainer, who’s been with me for a long time, retired, so I decided to create a home gym in our pool house.
It’s a relatively small space, and I was having a hard time finding exercise equipment that would fit. My husband came upon a Tonal ad while surfing the web. I loved how sleek and compact it was. I did my research and felt that it would be perfect for our space. The cost was also pretty comparable to the big oversized equipment that I had been looking at. I ordered it sight unseen!
What was the first day like with Tonal?
It was so beautifully installed on the wall of my brand new gym, and I was very excited to test what I had only read about! I had not worked out for about six months and was anxious to get into a routine.
The weight felt heavy to me, but I attributed that to being out of shape. I quickly discovered as I gained strength that Tonal does feel heavier than traditional gym equipment and free weights. I jumped right into an advanced program, TonalFit Challenge, with the very awesome Coach Pablo, which was definitely a challenge!
Tell us about where you were at the start of your journey and where are you now?
I had been lifting weights on and off for about 20 years, but more often than not, work and life would get in the way of my fitness goals. I am a family law attorney with a hectic and often stressful practice. My schedule is unpredictable, so it was difficult to get to the gym and even harder to coordinate my schedule with a trainer. When my trainer retired, I basically stopped working out for six months.
My starting Strength Score was 253. I finished the TonalFit Challenge in February 2020, and around that same time, my life got turned a little upside down, and I stopped working out again for about six weeks. At the end of April 2020, I started training again, which has now turned into a 46-week streak. This is the longest I have ever worked out consistently in my entire life. I have now lost over 20 pounds, and my current strength score is 800.
How has being stronger impacted different areas of your life?
My physical strength and stamina have allowed me to be as active as I want to be. My husband and I recently went skiing, and I was able to ski five whole days straight. In the past, I could only manage two or three days in a row before becoming too tired and sore to keep going.
Taking control of my own health and fitness gives me great peace of mind. I have a genetic defect that strongly predisposes me to breast and ovarian cancer. Physical fitness is critical to my body’s ability to overcome the genetic cards I was dealt.
Committing to working out consistently — even when it’s tedious and hard, and I don’t want to because there are other things I would rather do — has benefited me in so many ways. I am more committed, determined, confident, patient, and less stressed than ever before.
Having a community of like-minded people to support, motivate and inspire me has been a special bonus. I wish my schedule allowed me to interact more in the Official Tonal Community. Still, I definitely get a lot out of reading everyone’s journeys and of their challenges and triumphs. We are all so different yet so much the same! Once it’s safe to do so, I hope that we can all get together in person. Party at my house! That would be so awesome!
What obstacles did you face on your journey, and how did Tonal help you overcome them?
My obstacles have always been time and stress. Before Tonal, my ever-changing schedule got in the way of working out consistently. Or after a long and stressful day, the last thing I wanted was to drive to the gym, hoping that my trainer was available to meet me there. It was much easier just to go home and pour myself a glass (or two) of wine.
What is the biggest unexpected benefit you’ve received from having Tonal in your home?
I can do pull-ups for the very first time in my life! I have actually done six in a row! The Official Tonal Community has also been an unexpected benefit. It’s such an uplifting and positive place. I also really love the book club — Read Between the Reps.
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?
I have more than one, but they all go hand-in-hand. I loved myself at every stage of this journey and celebrated every milestone, even the small ones, that’s important. Also, be patient. Many small changes are happening every day, but it takes time to see everything come together. Stop overthinking and just do it.
What does it mean for you to be your strongest?
Like everyone, my life has a purpose, but to fulfill that purpose, I must have the physical and mental fortitude to face any challenge thrown my way and the patience and grace to weather any storm.