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Two-Time Paralympic Gold Medalist Travis Gaertner on Being a Champion No Matter What

Meet our first Tonal Partner Athlete

Tonal is about unleashing everyone’s strength with an all-in-one smart gym that powers our ability to get there. We started up Tonal Partner Athletes because we’re committed to connecting with athletes whose grit and resilience inspire us all to be our strongest. We’re so excited to introduce our first Tonal Partner Athlete—Paralympian Travis Gaertner. 

From an early age, his parents encouraged him to participate in anything and everything, never once thinking that without legs and no local adaptive sports programs that he shouldn’t be active in whatever capacity he dreamed. With a prosthetic leg strapped on, Travis sweated alongside able-bodied gymnastics and swim teams. Later on, he transitioned to adaptive sports, quickly leading his Canadian provincial team to Nationals in basketball.

After high school, Travis qualified for the Sydney and Athens Paralympic Games. That taste of the Olympics is what hooked him for professional sports, and led him to his current passion for handcycling. He recently became the USA national handcycling champion, won gold at the final UCI 2019 Para-Cycling World Cup, and finished the 2019 season with a bronze medal at the 2019 World Para-cycling championships.

How Travis Trains

In 2017, Travis fired up his competitive spirit and came up with a 4-year plan to compete in handcycling at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Being in a wheelchair, he’s often limited in how he can strength train; however, since getting a Tonal in November, Travis says his training has changed dramatically.

“Before, I couldn’t get into position with weight. With Tonal, it’s not a problem. I’m doing more exercises than ever. I can lift heavier. I can work my core now. I can’t do plyometric training with med balls, but I can accomplish the same with chains for every muscle group.”

We created Tonal with a vision to make strength accessible to all and Travis Gaertner proves just that. With Tonal, Travis is now able to actively work toward increasing his overall explosive power output, build core strength, and reduce injury thanks to increased balance work that wasn’t accessible before.

“Tonal has transformed my life by making me stronger, giving me more freedom, and making me a better competitor.”

Of course, training goes beyond the physical—half the challenge is mental drive. As Travis puts it, it’s all about perspective. We’re all given different circumstances, gifts, and obstacles in life. How we choose to frame it is what matters. Getting stronger doesn’t need to follow a perfect gym plan—you can reap the rewards by simply starting and setting small, attainable goals.

“Take it one set at a time…it’s all mental, and there’s always a way to do it.”

A Peek Inside His Current Training Log

Weekdays: train 2x per day
1x bike:
HIIT in training peaks 
60-90% endurance rides 

1x on Tonal:
90% plyometric work with chains
Staying strong and lean is the goal

Weekends: 2.5-3 hour bike rides 
Get up at 4/4:30am (aka before it’s time for kid duty)

A Few Fun Facts

  • His 5-minute all-out power test has gone over 10% since working out on Tonal starting in November (that’s huge in the cycling world).
  • All but one of his 6 power tests have increased along the way.
  • His favorite moves on Tonal: push/pull moves, oblique twists, rope crunches. Learn more about Tonal moves.

Follow Travis

  • Stay in the know with the Official Tonal Facebook Community—we’ll post updates the day before his race so we can all cheer him on together.
  • We or Travis will post a recap of his race the day of or right after to let everyone know how he did. 
  • Want the latest and greatest? Click the #LETSGOTRAVIS tag in the upper right-hand corner of the group.
  • Follow Travis on IG at @travis.gaertner

The information provided in this article is for educational and informational purposes only. Individuals with pre-existing health conditions, injuries, or concerns should consult with their healthcare provider before trying a new exercise or nutrition regimen.

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