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Train Like a Champ with WNBA’s Jewell Loyd

Training like a champ isn’t just for athletes. Learn how to get strong physically and mentally so you can always bring your A-game.

Think training like a champ is just for athletes? Being strong mentally and physically is for everyone, so that you can bring your A-game to almost anything in life. In this Tonal Talk, Kate Telge, Community Manager, sits down with WNBA 2020 Champion “Gold Mamba,” Jewell Loyd, to learn first-hand what being a champ really means. Spoiler alert: it’s everything from staying in shape with her Tonal and philanthropic initiatives to manifesting the lessons learned from her late mentor Kobe Bryant.   

Jewell discovered Tonal while she was looking for a way to lift at home, and like most athletes, strength training forms an essential part of her daily routine. “I’m constantly looking for ways to try and get stronger. I think it’s important to lift to maintain athleticism and prevent injury. I sat down with my brother and said, I need a way to lift at home. I need to invest in myself.” Scrolling through Google, they came across Tonal, and it was exactly what Jewell needed.

“We spent maybe 20 minutes going back and forth on should we get it now? Should we wait? We don’t really know what’s going on with the seasons. Should we get one first and test it out? Then it was like, just order it! It’s honestly one of the best investments I’ve made in a very long time. I haven’t been able to get into lifting the way I used to in high school. So I definitely think that Tonal made it easy and comfortable to do that.” 

“The first day I got my Tonal, I went on it and thought, what can I do right now? How’s my body feeling? Right away, I got on it, and there’s an assessment, which is great. While doing that assessment, I knew I was going to love this thing. Tonal’s amazing, and I could see myself constantly using it.” 

Pro Tip: If you have a Tonal, check out Coach Nicolette’s Raising the Barbell program, that’s the first one Jewell did, and she loved it. Another element Jewell loves about her Tonal is the radio stations; she says they help get in the zone, and her fave is House Beats. 

For Jewell, training like a champ isn’t just about lifting or crushing it on the basketball court. A lot of it is about mindset and applying strength to all aspects of her life to show up for her teammates, community, her numerous philanthropic causes, and the girls and coaches she mentors via social media. After all, Jewell may be an athlete, but as she says, she’s also a human being, and it’s not just for the basketball court that she has to be strong. 

“Being a woman in sports, it’s super hard. Just the general mindset [towards female athletes], not that you can’t produce or can’t do things like male athletes, but the [different] respect level, that’s the hardest thing. That no matter how far you go, regardless of playing at a professional level, after a game, you see people trolling, and they don’t know the work and effort you put in.” 

“My friend made a great point, we put in the same amount of time and hours as the men do and get paid less, so if anything, respect should be higher. We’re doing something that we love and doing the exact same time and playing year-round with no breaks, something that no other professional athlete does.” 

Jewell goes on to say that there has been a shift in the industry. “I think in general people and women are using their voices, which is something that we were told not to do. We were told to go with the flow. That’s kind of how it’s always been. A lot more women are now speaking about it, more people are learning about what’s going on, so we’re seeing a shift.”

“That’s something that Kobe was big on too, trying to bridge the gap because he has a daughter. He wanted a better world and a better life for her, and the only way to do that is to bring knowledge to a lot of people that don’t know.” 

Kobe Bryant was a mentor and important person in Jewell’s life, she explains that he was one of the first people to invest their time in her. Many of their conversations weren’t always explicitly about basketball — a lot of the time; it was about stuff off the court. 

“I always remember Kobe saying just keep it simple. You know life is simple, and what makes it complicated is when you start to compare and think you’re not good enough and try to be something that you’re not. When you keep it simple and realize what you have and feel that, that’s the most important thing.” 

Jewell’s Cheat Sheet For Champ Mindset 

  • Strength train according to what you need: “As a player, I’m very explosive. So I like to lift in a way for explosive power. I like Bruce Lee and studied him a lot to get an understanding of how he trained and what strength meant to him.”
  • Activate your core and breathe while training: “I love how Tonal always recommends that and reminds me to breathe.” 
  • Recovery: “Getting good rest and sleep is super important. As much as we have an active life, you’ve got to be able to rest, sleep, and recover. You’ve got to stretch, put some yoga into the mix.” 
  • Prioritize investing in yourself: “I’ve been in this whole phase of really investing in myself, and my talent, and growth potential.” 
  • Use your gifts and talents to give back: “Growing up, I always had people who came into my life that taught me something or gave me a vision to see and believe in. That shaped my dream and my future. I have to do that for the next generation and be someone who will look at a kid and believe and give them a vision to believe in too. It’s super important, and that’s something that I’ve been passionate about. The moment I got drafted, I was like, how can I give back.” 

Pro Tip: Tonal has lots of dynamic weight modes you can choose from to strength train like a pro. Choose from Chains to build explosive power or Spotter, which is just like having someone spot you in the gym; and more. Tonal also has workout content like yoga, mobility, and meditation, all perfect for recovery days. 

This year has been challenging, but when you can’t go to work, when you can’t go to the gym, or live your normal life, there are things that you can do to keep motivated. Jewell’s advice for people that are at home and struggling is this: “The biggest motivation for me right now is knowing that I can’t take life for granted, life’s a gift, and a lot of times we don’t always realize that until something happens. Knowing that I can wake up in the morning open, my eyes and drink water and blink and walk and talk — some people can’t do those things.”

“So if I can get up and work out, I’m going to go a hundred percent because I may not be able to do that tomorrow or the next day, so I think that’s what’s giving me motivation. Knowing that I can’t take anything for granted because, in an instant, it can all be taken away.”

Since this interview, Jewell and her team went on to win the 2020 WNBA Championship. 

If you want to train like a WNBA champ, check out the screenshots Jewell sent of this Custom Workout she and her coach created on Tonal. 

screenshots of a various movements in a workout

Editor’s Note: This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Tonal Talk is a weekly Facebook Live interview series highlighting stories of real strength from within the Tonal community.

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