Professional trainer and former athlete Paul Sklar tested out Tonal to see if it’s worth the hype and whether 200 pounds of digital weight offers enough resistance.
In his YouTube review, Paul shares why Tonal is the “coolest and most challenging system.” He also gives you his thoughts on installation, what distinguishes Tonal, membership value, and even demonstrates some of his favorite moves with digital weight.
Will 200 pounds of resistance be enough?
As a professional trainer and former athlete, Paul is in a great position to understand if Tonal offers enough resistance. If you watch the video from the 7:30-16:00 minute mark, you’ll see Paul do a walk-through of several exercises on Tonal, including bench presses, pull-ups, and squats. You’ll also see how easy it is to turn on resistance and how digital weight targets your primary muscles and stabilizer muscles.
So is 200 pounds of digital weight enough to challenge you? Here are Paul’s thoughts on the following exercises:
Bench press: “This was probably the most asked about exercise on Tonal. [In the video] you’ll see the bar starting to shake. The shaking is okay. The shaking is your stabilizing muscles that don’t always fire when you do traditional free weights. As I push harder, the machine intuitively gives me more weight, causing me to shake, which is fine because my chest and arms are firing.”
Squat: “If any of you have seen my videos, you know my legs are strong. [For squats on Tonal] I’m only using 75 pounds of digital weight. Not even close to 200 pounds, and I’m out of breath. Anybody who thinks they’re too strong for this, you might, but you probably are not.”
Pull-up: “Pull-ups are one of my favorite exercises! It was one of the things that wowed me about this machine and how much tension it could provide. At 69 pounds, when I grab my handle and sit down, you’ll see I can barely sit down. So I’ve really got to pull myself down and keep my core tight to stay in position and lats fully engaged. [From the first rep] you’ll see ridiculous back engagement and that it’s very tough.”
With one membership, you’ll also get unlimited accounts for the whole family and access to thousands of expert coach-led workouts and programs, including strength training, cardio, yoga, Pilates, Family Fitness, and much more.
Here’s what Paul has to say about Tonal’s membership:
“Being a trainer for almost 30 years, I’ve seen people purchase treadmills, bikes, and other weights, and they end up sitting in the corner collecting dust. Not all of you may like the fact that there’s a subscription, [but] if you are not inclined to use a piece of equipment all the time or have the motivation, [the membership] is a good thing. You’ve got a ton of workouts: kickboxing, boxing, warm-ups, mobility, recovery — I mean, the list goes on and on, so there really is a benefit to it.”
Paul found his Tonal installation easy and straightforward. “The Tonal unit itself weighs 165 pounds. We all know that I can lift that. However, I can’t lift it on my own, so two delivery guys picked it up and stuck it on my wall. I didn’t have to do anything, and they were in and out of my house within 20 minutes.”
When you purchase a Tonal and Smart Accessories, you will receive Smart Handles, Smart Bar, a rope, a bench, a foam roller, and a workout mat. Tonal’s Smart Handles and Smart Bar enable you to turn weight on and off at the touch of a button.
Here’s Paul’s take on Tonal’s rope and Smart Accessories:
Rope: “I was very surprised at how sturdy the rope was. It’s sturdier than the ropes we have at our studio. What makes this rope unique and what makes the entire system unique is the T-hook that goes into the cable arms, making it extremely efficient and fast to change out any of the Smart Accessories.”
Smart Handles: “This is probably one of the reasons why it’s the coolest cable system I’ve ever used. There are batteries inside the two [Smart Handles], so you can activate and deactivate the weight with a click of a button.”
Smart Bar: “[This also has] a T-hook on either end and here’s what makes this unique. [The Smart Bar comes with] a safety clip that acts in the same way as the buttons on the side of the Smart Handles. So [again] we can activate and deactivate weight at any time. It’s a great feature, especially when we get set up for the bench press.”
Pro Tip: Watch the video from 3:45-4:45 min. to see a demonstration of how easy it is to use Tonal’s arms and get set up for a workout with our Smart Handles.
Paul’s overall impression of Tonal
“Not only did Tonal meet my expectations, it far exceeded them. I’m not a big tech guy or a gadget guy. I’m pretty straightforward with all my exercises. However, I was absolutely stunned at the amount of resistance you can actually get with digital weight. I think Tonal is worth the money. If you have the money to spend and are looking for a solid all-inclusive piece of home equipment, this is it! I give Tonal a double thumbs up and five stars. I think it’s a phenomenal product, you have to experience it to understand.”
Want to know what it feels like to lift with digital weight? Find a Tonal near you and experience the strength training revolution in person with a workout and demo.