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Product News What Are Heavy Negatives and Why Should I Care?

Our goal at Tonal is to provide our athletes with everything they need to be their strongest. Tonal is the first digital weight machine with personal guidance built in. In addition to our team of coaches, we use machine learning to adapt and adjust your workouts in real-time.

The invention of digital weight allows us to measure your strength and adjust the weight for you both to increase the intensity or lower the weight to complete a set. This ensures you’re always working toward your fitness goals most effectively. Additionally, it also allows us to provide you with some pretty cool ways to adapt your training and help keep you safe while blasting through plateaus.

We call them dynamic weight modes. As with any tool, it’s all about how you’re using it you wouldn’t hammer a nail with a screwdriver and these special modes also require a little bit of explanation.


Real change occurs when you push yourself out of your comfort zone. Some would say that strength training is getting comfortable being uncomfortable. If you’re by yourself it’s pretty difficult to summon the motivation to bring yourself to failure; mostly because no one wants to drop a heavy metal plate on their face. With digital weights, not only are there no clunky metal plates to worry about, but Tonal can sense when you’re fatiguing and beginning to reach failure. As a result, we’re able to push you beyond your limits by automatically reducing the weight with our Spotter as soon as we sense you’re struggling. Test your limits or do a burnout any time of day.


Another great feature is called Eccentric Mode. There are two basic phases of any lift: Concentric and Eccentric. Think of the eccentric portion as your body’s ability to resist. Think of a bicep curl. It’s easier on the way down than it is on the way up. Physiologically your body is stronger during the eccentric phase of the lift. Why is this important? At a high level, it’s about the increases in strength, power, and the protective effects that reduce your risk of injury. Because traditional weights rely on gravity, you can’t alter the amount of resistance from the concentric to the eccentric portion of the lift – unless you have a team loading and unloading your barbell as you lift. With digital weights, we’re able to do this with the click of a button and ensure you’re getting the most efficient workout possible.


Have you ever seen a person at the gym doing barbell curls with massive chains hanging off the ends? This technique is not for the faint of heart. The idea behind loading up a barbell with extra metal is to match the resistance curve of an exercise with the strength curve of a muscle. This increases the intensity of the move to help build explosive power. Tonal is able to simulate the feeling of chains digitally – so you can get the same great benefits without any additional equipment.

All of these features can be accessed in the weight control. Be sure to check out our tutorial videos for a demonstration and additional tips. You can choose to add any combination of these features during your workouts to get the smartest, most efficient home workout possible.