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Tonal Fights The Patriarchy plus our interview with Michelle Tee
Tonal donates 10 smart gyms to improve workout conditions for female NCAA athletes.
You no longer have to look at the weight dial during bodyweight moves.
What does a 200 lb. benchpress look like on Tonal?
If we’re not “pumping iron” then what do we call it?
Kate’s strength score hits 1,000!
MacRumors shows Tonal some love.
Tonal wants to hear how Tonal has helped you transform.
New Programs: Four Weeks To Fat Loss, Get Your Kicks, Knee Relief, and more!
April Challenge: Great Glutes with Coach Allison
April Book Club: Atomic Habits by James Clear
Happy Birthday to Coach Gabby and Coach Liz.
All this plus our interview with Michelle Tee
Watch the episode here:
Listen to the podcast here:
Tonal Fights The Patriarchy plus our interview with Michelle Tee
About that Tonal, how are you doing with Go Big or Go Home two?
That was a mistake.
You now understand the leg day.
It’s not like I’ve never done one, but I can now bitch about it on here. That was pretty rough. The coaches are big and strong. It serves two roles. One, you want the people teaching you to be big and strong. It also makes it harder when you want to punch him in the face. They have to stay bigger and stronger than the people that are training for when we get mad.
Were you having a fight with Coach Jackson?
I was not doing well. I was not happy.
I was upstairs and I heard some loud sounds coming from the basement while you were doing deadlifts.
That was the barbell squats. It looks like 8 pounds now. It’s not easy.
You’re moving right along. Let’s just say there was like the cartoons. That’s what I heard upstairs, only it was a lot more explicit. I am excited that in my MetPro journey, I am on an up adjust, and during my up adjust, I get to do a lot more of the strength training. I decided to start a new program that I can do. I think I can do this even when I’m on my down adjust. It is Coach Natalie’s Balance. It’s something balance and it’s all about doing single–sided moves. There are two days of arms and one day of legs. I think I can make that work.
I hate single-sided moves. They’re the worst.
You need those.
I don’t care. I hate them.
You’re always like, “I don’t have the balance that I need to do it.”
I hate single-sided moves because it’s always like, “That’s twice as many. I’m going to be down here twice as long.” If you could do them both at the same time.
It’s the same amount.
Not the same amount of time.
I will say that the class that I did take because I did work out one was not super time-intensive. That was one of the reasons I liked it. I feel like it’s good for me to ease back into it because I made the mistake a few weeks ago of not having done the Tonal in weeks, then I did glute gains and “Ow,” that is what I have to say. It was for three days.
It was like when we just started dating, you wouldn’t let me touch your butt.
We then got the second COVID shot and I was miserable because you already hurt from the COVID shot. It was bad. I thought, “Let’s ease into this.” That’s something to think about if you need a little easier program.
You’re not satisfied with my glutes. You want them to be great. I understand. I see how it is. Speaking of easing out things, what do you have in store for people?
We are going to talk about Tonal’s big moves. I love it. We’re going to talk about all of that and then there’s an update to the trainer, a whole bunch of new workouts. There are some fun little updates within the community as well.
Before we get to all those, shameless plugs, don’t forget we’re available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, iHeart, Tune-In. Wherever you find your podcasts, you can find us. While you’re there, be sure to follow us so you never miss an episode. You can also find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/supersetpodcast. While you’re there, like the page and join the group. It’s a great way to stay up to date on things regarding Tonal throughout the week in between episodes. It’s also a great way for you to start conversations, especially with the group. That’s the better way in terms of how Facebook allows things to function. Swing on by there and check that out. Also, we should say, just a little sneak peek on what’s coming up in the weeks ahead, we will have more information on the next episode, but we will have an opportunity for you to win a Tonal courtesy of Tonal and Make-A-Wish. It’s going to be sweepstakes where you buy entries and 100% of the proceeds go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
I am so excited. We were wish granters
In a previous life, we were certified wish granters. That was a lot of fun. The show takes a lot of time so it fell out to the back burner. Now we found a way to still help Make-A-Wish, still do the show, and check both boxes. I know that if you’re reading this, you probably own a Tonal already. You can always give it to a friend.
Donate it to a facility that needs one. Maybe a college dorm.
A college female sports program.
We could do that.
You could still take part and also, it’s going to a good cause. Throw $5, $10 at it. We will have more information on that in the next episode. It’s something to put in the old hopper to think about. There’s all of that. Let’s dig in. Shall we?
There was an interesting story that went on. I titled this episode, Tonal Fights the Patriarchy. There was a situation at the NCAA where the men had all sorts of great workout equipment.
It went on for miles.
The women were given two cans of paint and a broomstick.
They were given one weight rack and when I say one weight rack, I don’t mean a rack where you can do squats. I mean one little tiny shelf of barbells. They said it was because of space.
The girl that’s shows it, Sedona Prince, sorry, the woman. I’m trying to help fight the patriarchy and look what I’m doing. I’m also 30 years older than her. I feel like I get a little wiggle room there. She pans the area where there’s no space.
There are tons of space.
The space in there is similar to the gap in our ages. Tonal stepped up. They saw an opportunity and a need.
They sent ten Tonals to the NCAA Championship. The last update we got was that they had shipped and they were waiting to be installed. Also for those of you that are waiting for your Tonals, this comes from a different stock so don’t freak out.
Quit complaining or become a female NCAA athlete.
I am so proud to be a Tonal owner and to be part of this amazing community. Several people reached out to Tonal before they announced they were going to do it. I’m sure that Tonal had jumped through some hoops to make sure everything was cool and clear, but several people were like, “Can we do something about this? Can Tonal send one of these?” They didn’t just send one. They sent ten.
Sedona Prince got 189,000 retweets so good for her.
It’s amazing that she had the cajones to put that out there because people think that that’s an easy thing to do, but it’s not an easy thing to do because everybody has an opinion. They’re not always nice about those opinions. There are a lot of people that are supportive of her, the majority.
I’m sure there were also, I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but sometimes on the internet, a douchebag sneaks through.
When you have that many retweets, that means you had a whole lot of douchebags slipped through, just proportionally that’s what’s going to happen. I’ve been on the receiving end of the douchebaggery a time or two.
I’m sure not to the degree that she was, but still you’ve experienced that.
I just mean that to put yourself out there is not as easy as it seems. It’s awesome that she had the bravery to do that and something amazing came out of it. It’s cool.
Real quick while we’re talking about Tonal coming to the rescue, this was a fun little story.
Chuck Conlin posted within the Tonal community that he was stuck in OC without his Tonal for a work trip. He was very sad. He had a frowny face in his hotel room. Kate reached out to Coach Jackson and said, “What do you think about maybe helping this guy out?” Coach Jackson lives near there. Coach Jackson got on The Facebook. I called it The Facebook. The Facebook.com, it does work. He said, “Do you want to come over? No, this is not a joke.” Chuck Conlin did go and they worked out together. I think that is amazing. I’ve loved that so much. Also, Coach Jackson, I hope you have room because Tom and I might be coming out there and we would love to hang out in your garage with you.
Who knew that Go Big or Go Home meant to go to his home.
It’s a whole new spin.
That’s not how I interpreted that at all. Crystal is pointing out to me that we had a picture. I didn’t realize we had a picture. Here’s a picture to go along with it of the two of them working out and they are out there being safe. They both have their masks on. If you’re like, “They went to Coach Jackson’s house. They’re both going to get Corona.” No, they did the things.
I can see that they are smiling and Coach Jackson had in his posts, you were smiling, but you can tell.
Squint is the new smile. Sometimes when I’m lazy, if I’m at work, I just squint. I’m not even actually smiling, I just squint.
I think that’s awesome. Tonal community is the best.
This is not technically a new feature. It’s more like a lack of a new feature.
That’s true, but it’s still pretty cool.
It’s a nice little tweak, nothing major.
People had complained before that it was distracting that when they were doing bodyweight exercises, that the weight dial was still there right in the middle of the screen. I know you even mentioned it. You didn’t say something to me until I brought this up that they had changed it, but you were like, “I did wonder why that was there.” The awesome thing about Tonal is that they listen to the community and this was one of the community suggestions. They have now taken the weight dial off of bodyweight exercises. It’s no longer there, but if you miss it, you can just tap the screen and it comes back.
I know because I was wondering, will it now look weird? I’m used to that being baked in, it’s almost like how you know you’re on a news channel because there’s all the stuff going along at the bottom. Would it be weird to not have it there?
I don’t know if you tap on the screen. I think you pull on the cable and the weight dial will appear. The point is that you can make it reappear. If you get uncomfortable, if it’s a little scary, change can be scary, you can put it back. That’s awesome.
If you’ve ever wondered what bench pressing 200 pounds on the Tonal looks like, putting the Tonal at full capacity. If you’re reading you can’t see it.
If you watched it on YouTube, then you can see this. He is a cross-trainer champion.
It’s hard. He’s not just a champion. He is a CrossFit world record holder, Hunter MacIntyre. This little movie is exactly what people talk about when they say that the weights on Tonal are so much harder than in the gym. I bet this guy has no problem pressing 200 with regular weights, but it feels different because gravity is not able to come off. It’s on the entire time. It’s awesome to watch it though, isn’t it?
You can see he’s struggling, but if you want to impress me, do one eccentric.
Put that on chains, mister. We’re joking. We don’t want you to hurt us.
If you’re wondering where you can see YouTube video, if you go to Youtube.com/theclipout, which is the name of our other show, but everything lives on that YouTube channel. You can see all of these episodes in HD glory on that YouTube channel.
There’s a whole playlist just for the Superset. You don’t have to go searching through Clip Out episodes. You get right to it.
It’s nice and easy for you. A conversation started over in the Tonal Fitness Nation group.
A very important conversation.
It was from Joe.
He brought it over to the official Tonal community. I’m not sure who started it.
He brought it to the official Tonal community, which is that historically lifting weights has been referred to as pumping iron. The question then became, since there’s no iron involved on the Tonal, what are you pumping?
Somebody looked up, I don’t know who, the unit of measurement for a magnetic field is a flux. This person brought up, “Are we getting fluxed, fluxing up, all fluxed up.” There are probably better terms and this is what they said. It became a little comment game. Tom, I’m curious. Do you have any thoughts on what this term should be? This seems up your alley.Always seek different perspectives in fitness. Every person focuses on a different area. Click To Tweet
When I hear flux, I get stuck on the flux capacitor.
For those of you who’ve never been to our home, we have a flux capacitor.
It’s a prop replica of a real flux capacitor.
Before the light bulbs burned out, it lit up and did everything.
I had it hard wired when you flipped under the light switch in the room. All the whites would come on on the flux capacitor because I’m a big, giant nerd.
I’m a nerd too. It’s why he got it for Christmas or whatever he got it for that year.
It’s made out of all the same parts. It looks identical, but I don’t know about getting flux. It’s funny when I think that anybody’s going to say that.
Do you have any thoughts on what people could say, getting magnetize?
My first thought when you were like pumping iron, I went to Iron Man.
There’s already Ironman thing.
Also the character Iron Man. The pumping Iron Man, I had visions of Pepper Potts in my head.
You just wanted to think about Pepper Potts.
Gwyneth Paltrow will do it for me.
I’m just saying. That’s the first thing you thought of.
I just thought Iron Man because I’m a nerd. We just established that. When you say Ironman, I don’t think fitness.
You said Iron Man and I immediately went to the triathlon.
No, the real Iron Man, comic books, Tony Stark.
It’s a made-up character. It’s not real.
The Ironman fitness is made up. It’s not like it was Adam and Eve, apple and snakes Ironman competitions.
The people are actually competing at an Ironman competition. Iron Man’s not going to save the universe.
Is the universe still here? Thank you, Iron Man. I will say it even though Crystal will not.
Tom, I am now officially concerned for you.
I’m surprised it took this long. If anybody has any thoughts, feel free to go over to the official Tonal community or the Tonal Fitness.
Also, on our page and chime in, Facebook.com/supersetpodcast, hit the group up and let us know if you have any thoughts on what that should be.
We talk about Kate from Tonal. You see her all the time within the community and big news for her. She hit 1,000 on her strength score.
I am so impressed with that because her string score started at 396 in July of 2019. A year and a half later, she’s more than doubled it. That’s incredible. I don’t even have a word for how amazing that is. I know there are other people with huge scores out there, but just to see that jump like that. We wanted to say congrats to you, Kate.
This was news to me. I didn’t know that your strength score could change because I don’t think mine has. It has been at 420 forever. I’m not even paying attention to it because I’m not that invested in it, but every time I’m logging out, I’m like, “What is that?” That’s still at 421.
No matter what he said, it has gone up, I promise.
It’s been at 421 for a long time.
I have some tips on how to increase it if you’re interested.
I was just going to reach out to that data scientist, Taylor Stein, and see if he could get in there and change it like Matthew Broderick in War Games. He needs to Joshua that thing
If he changes it. That means your weights get heavier.
Maybe I want it to go down.
Anyway, Kate, congratulations. That is quite a milestone. I’m very impressed. I don’t think I’ll ever make it there, but I am super impressed with you.
The website MacRumors, which has a very popular YouTube channel did a feature about connected fitness.
Elias put this on the official Tonal community. Thank you for posting this, but the main editor of MacRumors is the one that posted this. He went through a bunch of different connected fitness products. The important thing is that Tonal was covered. Here’s a guy talking about Tonal right now. How awesome is that?
He’s got it right next to his Peloton just like you do. You are a trendsetter. You got your Tonal, your Peloton and my flux capacitor.
I did pile all those things and the tread. I could go on and on about all the things I’ve bought, but that could take a while.
Tonal announced that they’re starting a new feature spotlight program. A feature sounds like a feature on the machine so that’s where I was struggling. It’s called Transformations Powered by Tonal.
What it’s going to be is talking about the success of different community members and the very first one, Sharon Tate Bennett volunteered to share her story first. She talks about taking control of her own health and how it gave her peace of mind. You can read her story at the Tonal blog, but also there was an IG live interview on Tonal’s Instagram. You can also check it out there. I giggled because when Kate said that Sharon was going to be first, she was like, “She bravely decided to go first.” It’s always scary to be the first one to do anything. What an amazing story that this is. That’s her transformation, which if you’re looking at our YouTube channel that has a picture of the Tonal blog, the transformation is stunning.
Not to disparage her, but to put up a picture like that.
You don’t have the confidence yourself. That’s what Kate means about being brave, but she looks amazing. Congrats, Sharon. That’s awesome.
As always, tons of new programs are coming out.
There’s so much cool stuff. I am excited to announce the new program. It has been an eagerly awaited one. Coach Jackson’s Four Weeks to Fat Loss, Part 2. Part 1 was brutal. Everything that Coach Jackson does is brutal. I don’t mean that in a bad way. He just kicks your ass. Four Weeks to Fat Loss, I can’t say it was the hardest program I’ve done, but it was the one that I saw the most physical changes. The very first one is the one that I had the most physical changes like I saw performance-based changes. I love that about Tonal that you can do different things to get different results, but I digress.
There are also new workouts. We have new kickboxing. There’s a Get Your Kicks with Coach Gabby. It’s a full-body, 32 minutes. There’s also a new recovery for the knees. Any knee issue you have, this is perfect for you. It’s 28 minutes with Coach Liz. It’s all about helping you recognize and correct many causes of knee discomfort. That is a must-do. There is another new yoga class, Mid-day Energizer with Coach Nikki. There’s a beginner that is a full-body, 16 minutes. It’s a great way to break up your day. Also, another new program that I mentioned earlier in the program because it’s the one that I am doing. It is the Balancing Act with Coach Natalie.
You are using it to chastise me.
It’s a beginner, full-body, three days a week. You’re building while you’re working on balance. I love this and it does work the different parts of your body. It promotes core stability because of it. I am super excited to get a nice, strong core. You have the Dynamic Barre with Coach Frances. We’ve got a full-body, 32-minute flow where you’re working one pose to the next. That’ll be awesome. Another yoga class, Morning Ritual with Coach Nikki. This one is a beginner, eleven minutes. It’s perfect to start off your day. There’s so much new content to choose from. I love how Tonal just knocks it out of the park with all this stuff. I should put you on the spot. Which one are you going to do first?
I don’t know. The four weeks to far glutes.
The April challenge has been announced
It’s going to be Coach Allison. It’s going to be her Great Glutes Program.
I let you say the name of that because you wrote Allison’s Great Glutes.
She does have great glutes.
Maybe I’m happily married. I’ll take your word for it. I wouldn’t even notice
That’s safe, but she does. Now you too can have great glutes. If you don’t already, you can take this program. There are all kinds of great other classes that are woven in. Ass usual, there’s going to be the virtual group workouts. There’s going to be all kinds of good stuff as there is every month. I love that Tonal is doing these. It’s a great way to have because people don’t know like, “Which program should I do next?” I love that this keeps you going. You don’t have to think. It’s something else that Tonal takes off your plate to think about. Just do this.
That’s the thing I liked the most is that I don’t have to think about it.
April’s Book Club is Atomic Habits by James Clear.
They’re going to be discussing it all during the month of April. At the end of the month, there will be a big discussion. There’s a discussion every week. It’s a discussion post, then at the end, there’s a Zoom call when we talk about it.
The subtitle is An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones.
I haven’t read this, but I have heard amazing things about this book. It helps you get to your goals because it helps you think about goal-setting in a different way and how to build up slowly to those specific goals.
We had two birthdays that we missed, but if you want to reach back out and wish them a belated birthday, Coach Gabby had a birthday on March 24th and Coach Liz was on March 26th.
Happy birthday to both of you, ladies.
Joining us is Michelle Tee. Michelle, how is it going?
Thank you for taking the time to do this.
The way you type your name on the screen, I want to call you like Michelletee.
If you reduce it to my initials, you’re getting that. I’ll take your way.
I don’t know if I’ve told this story in the show before, I have a friend that I used to work with a million years ago whose last name is Hipperson. They named their son Avery. “A very hip person” is what that spelt. You were a horrible human being to do that to a child. I see pictures on Instagram. He’s doing okay. Don’t worry about that kid. He’s grown up now. One day he’ll google his name and it will come up in this show, he’ll be like, “Who the hell are these people? Why are they talking about me?”
I doubt he will google this. Can we talk about Michelle?
I’ve always been told that you have a unique record/status in the Tonal community.
I have been told that you hold the record for the most pounds lifted by any female, cumulative, ever.
Kate told me. I was figuring that other people would try to catch up by now.
They have not. Your record still stands.
I’m not shooting for a record but that’s good to know.
Should you be lifting while we do this since it’s right behind you so you don’t lose ground?
I already did my workout. I’m good.
How long have you been doing Tonal? When did you first get yours?
I got my Tonal in 2019. The way I got my Tonal is funny because I wasn’t expecting a Tonal. I didn’t even know what Tonal was. It just showed up. We moved to New Jersey from Pennsylvania. My husband was trying to fix the basement portion for me to have as a home gym. I didn’t realize at the time that it was to have this beautiful Tonal installed because you needed to have a wall, have the structure and everything in place. In my head, I’m like, “Why are we rushing to get this done? There are so many other things in the house that needs to be done first.” Lo and behold, it was a couple of days before my birthday so I’m assuming this was the whole surprise aspect of it.Tonal is like a cable machine on steroids. Click To Tweet
The doorbell rings and this guy is like, “We have your Tonal.” I’m like, “Sorry, what do you want? Hold on one second. You must be here for my husband because clearly, I don’t know what the heck is going on.” I get him and then he started acting all funny and whatnot, he and the installers go downstairs and they were being all suspicious. I’m trying to listen. In my head, I’m hoping that it’s a squat rack because this is what I asked for my birthday. I don’t even know how long they were down here, but then they finally all called me to come downstairs. I’m walking down the stairs and I get to the bottom and they go, “Surprise.” I might get a lot of hate or like, “You don’t even know.” I’m like, “No, I did not. It showed up.”
How long did it take for you to figure out what it was and that he didn’t mess the bed by not getting you a squat rack?
He didn’t. It took a couple of months later for me to appreciate what he did. The Tonal came in April 2020, I used it in May 2020. I used it a couple of times. By couple, I mean less than ten times. The next few months, I sat there and prayed. On the days that I wasn’t able to go to the gym, I would come and use it here but not to its full extensibility because I didn’t know what it could do. I assumed it was a cable machine. It came with whole tight exercises on it but it wasn’t until when COVID hit and I’m like, “What are we going to do?” I couldn’t go to the gym. Everything was shut down. I needed to figure out how to make this work. I’m going to lose my mind because the gym, for me, was my me-time. It was where I re-centered myself and I lost that so I had to figure out how to make Tonal work for me in that sense.
Tell us what process you went through to gain that appreciation. What was the a-ha moment that you fell in love with Tonal?
I never followed a program initially. I’m pretty much a free lifter. I’m always in the free lift mode. In my training, I do a split system. I train different body parts on different days. I had to go back to the workouts that I would do at the gym and then figure out how do I recreate this. What position do the arms need to be in? In the beginning, remember that the arms didn’t have those indicators. Sometimes one arm would be higher than the other. It’s taking the time and positioning the arms to see how I can recreate a seated shoulder press or how to recreate something like a Zercher squat.
What’s a Zercher squat?
You have the bar inside of the crevice of your elbow. It’s so much different and, in my opinion, is harder than a barbell because you have this bar attached to you to two cables that are holding you down as opposed to a freeway bar when you’re like, “I’m going to drop it.” You can’t do that with Tonal. That minute you want to quit, you’re like, “I’ve got to get my way back down to get the next set out to the next rep.” It’s taking the time and figuring out how I can recreate these machines that I used to use with Tonal.
It sounds like you are into fitness and lifting. Do you come from a background? Have you always worked out? How did you get comfortable in a gym in the first place?
I ran track in high school. I played volleyball in college and that was the end of it. I didn’t do anything in my twenties. I had three kids from 27, 29 to 31. After I had my second child, my mom, God bless her heart, I love my mom, she made a comment. That is what propelled me to change. Within the first 2 to 3 years of my journey, it was pure cardio to prove my mom wrong. There was no strength training and weightlifting. It was pure drench, sweat, bodyweight, cardio. I did every beach body you can think of, not once but twice, sometimes three times. People were looking at me like I’m crazy but I wanted to prove her wrong and I did, and then I got pregnant again. I had to start it all over again. I lost the weight but then I got smaller ironically and I didn’t like it. It was a friend of mine who convinced me to join a gym with her. That is where the whole strength training and the introduction to weights started. It was because of my friend. She encouraged me because it was only $10 a month to go. They had childcare. That was the introduction to strength training. I only had two hours because they can only watch my kid for two hours, otherwise, they are calling you on the loudspeaker.
Are you talking to your mother again?
I talk to my mother every day, if not every other day. That was, for me, the catalyst that I needed. I don’t care what anyone else has to say except for my mother and my husband. Those are the only two people who can crawl underneath my skin, get me motivated and fire up to do something.
That was a good motivating factor for you then. That goes to show that everybody has different psychological factors that will motivate them. Some people, that would have crushed them and made them double down and crawl into themselves. I’m glad that that did not happen for you. When you went to the gym, how did you know what weights to lift? Was your friend knowledgeable about that?
She had no clue. I used one of the trainers. I stayed with the trainer for a year. I learned everything I needed from the trainer. He’s such a great guy but then the more I learned, the more I wanted to venture in a different direction than what he wanted me to go into. I quit training with him and I started doing my own thing. I used to watch videos religiously. I would look up different exercises, read different articles, see what’s best to promote what type of growth that I’m looking for. It was educating myself because at that time that was an interest for me just like if someone is into crochet and they’re going to look at videos and read to figure out how to make the perfect knot. I don’t know. I don’t crochet. If it’s something that’s interesting to you, you’re going to learn, you’re going to figure it out. That is where I started developing and learning new techniques to change my body into the way that I saw it, not as how he saw it.
I feel that you are a self-motivated person. Not a lot of people would do that. They would be overwhelmed. It takes a certain kind of person to do that education and put it into use. There’s so much fitness information out there that conflicts. It’s hard to know what is useful and what isn’t and to cut through all the BS. Props to you for being able to do that.
Thank you, but you do still pick people in the industry’s brains. I still had access to different trainers. If I didn’t feel comfortable or if I didn’t know something, they would be the first people I would ask and then I would go into my research to make sure what they’re telling me makes sense. I like to seek different perspectives, not just one individual because fitness is wholesome. One person may focus just on one area while another person may focus on another area. It’s good to get different perspectives.
I have a question for you about your record-holding status. Were you already in communication with people at Tonal or you hadn’t talked to anybody and they reached out and were like, “Surprise?”
They reached out. I just train. I don’t do it for acclimation. For me, training centers me. I don’t feel like me if I don’t have a workout, if I didn’t do a workout. I don’t know how to explain it. I’ve given so much of myself to others that when I reclaimed that me-time, it’s so hard to give up. I get into my little zone when I’m working out.
It’s good me-time too because it helps you do the other things in your life better.
It makes you a better person to all those people that you’re taking care of. You have to fill up all of those buckets to be able to give more. It makes perfect sense if that helps you with that. Exercise, in general, is often overlooked as being so therapeutic and rewarding. It puts so much back into us.
Don’t get me wrong. Mentally, I feel as though I can take on the day, I can take on whatever adversaries that’s coming my way. I use that to help me channel my inner peace to deal with my children. For me, it helps me see clearer.
I feel like when I was lifting 4 and 5 days a week, and I don’t know how often you work out, maybe it’s more than that, it’s not like I suddenly was breaking records. It’s not just lifting. You’re clearly lifting heavy. You can’t get those numbers. I’m curious when you’re doing your different workouts since you’re customizing them, if you’re focused on your major muscle groups. I’m trying to figure out how you get your volumes so high. How are you doing that?
I lift heavy for lots of reps. For the upper body, Tonal’s 200-pound capacity is more than enough for me. For the lower body, for deadlifts, I can exceed that but that’s okay. I do 20, 25 reps out there, max. If I want to switch it out, I go slow and burn my muscle out to get that same feeling. It depends on the day. It depends on the method that I’m using. If it’s hypertrophy or if it’s endurance, that will determine the type of lift that I’m going to do but I’m going to max the amount when I’m using it. That’s why my volume tends to be higher, it’s because I’m using all 200 pounds, whereas in some others, you use 50 or half of that and not for 25 reps but for 8 reps. It adds up.
Hat tip to the installers. They did it right, we know that because it’s still on the wall.
It’s still hanging. It is going strong.
It’s a device that you pull on so you’re wondering, “Is there going to come a day?” I think it’s safe to say we’re not in any danger of overloading the machine.
In our house, we’re fine.
If hers is still on the wall, ours is going to be fine.
It is still hanging. It is still strong. It’s not going anywhere, at least not without a fight.
I’m curious if you were able to find every exercise you were doing at the gym, have you been able to successfully replicate those on the Tonal?
I’ve been able to replicate a good 95% of it. Essentially, if you do think about it, it’s just a cable machine on steroids where you can control with the eccentric mode, with the burnout mode. You can change the intensity of your work, but you can’t do that using a basic cable machine. I’m not necessarily worried about lugging around weights now because all I do is spin the dial on my watch. It’s easier to do it here. I flip, pop, I’m onto my next exercise. I’m not walking all the way over there with these heavy, old dumbbells.
Given that it’s a weightlifting machine, maybe on steroids isn’t the best.
How about we say it’s an intellectual lifting device?
When I was talking to Kate, she also mentioned that you’ve hacked Tonal’s versatility. Do you have any thoughts about that? People ask that question a lot like, “How versatile is Tonal? What can I do to get the most out of it?” I hear people say all the time, “I use a squat rack.” To your point, how are you able to get the most out of Tonal and hack into that versatility?
I do have a squat rack, but I don’t use my squat rack. Go figure. Something I asked for, I don’t even use.
I’m sure your husband never lets you live that down.
It’s fine. I’m able to get my workout in. That’s all that matters. People get caught up in the max weight and that’s the problem because you can’t equivalate the 200 pounds on Tonal to a free lift 200. It’s not the same. Squatting on Tonal is much different than free weights squatting. It’s pulling you down. If you don’t have that core stability, you are going to come crashing down hard. You’re putting more emphasis and you’re putting a lot more work into your legs than you normally would do with the free weights squat rack. It’s not only gravity but Tonal, on top of it, is giving you that additional weight that you have to counterbalance to come back up in a squat.
In terms of versatility, people focused on what it can’t do as opposed to what it can do. If you want to do legs, curls, extensions, get yourself an inclined bench and get your ankle straps and you’ve got a curl machine, an extension machine. You can do so many things with the bench. Tonal, with the ankle straps, you can add 25 different machines to it. As opposed to figuring out what I don’t have, I’m like, “How can I make what I do have work to get the same results that I would have at the gym?”
I’m curious about the inclined bench in particular because I hear a lot of talk about this. My background is not from weights at all. To me, it’s not that much of a difference. It just has an incline on it but also, I’ve read that they’re heavy. Inclined benches are heavy so they can be difficult to move around.
It depends on the individual. It depends on your goals. If the average person just wants to get a good workout, then you don’t need it, but if you’re targeting a specific muscle, you’re going to need some instances to be inclined and you’re going to be able to decline to hit the lower chest or to hit the upper chest. If you’re targeting specific areas, you’re going to need to change your angles. Everyone, they don’t care. They just want to do a simple bench press and be done with it but when you get into the bodybuilding aspect of things, you are going to need to change your planes of motion and your angles. If you don’t have an inclined or declined bench, they’re not expensive first of all, and you don’t have to get the most expensive one. It’s just a tool to replicate something that you would have done at the gym.
They’re not super heavy so you can still move around.
It’s not heavy at all. I have a cheap one that I have from Walmart and it does me fine.
This is great information. This is why you shouldn’t believe everything you hear on Facebook because that’s where I hear it. I don’t have all the information.
I hope the last two election cycles would have shown you not to believe everything you read on Facebook.
Touché. I don’t want to think about any of that.
Since you came in with a pretty solid background at lifting weights and you were saying about the comparison between 200 pounds on Tonal versus free lifting, do you have a reference point for how much you feel like you’re lifting when you’re doing 200? If that was free weights, where would you be to replicate that in your mind?
For example, if I go for a deadlift, 200 pounds on Tonal feels more like a 230, 240 in real weights. For bench pressing, I was doing 135 and now I can barely do 85 on Tonal. It’s different. It’s hard to explain until you try it because it’s this insane amount of force that you have to resist that you don’t get from a free weight bar. When I hear people are like, “I can do this and that.” I’m like, “You haven’t tried it on a Tonal.” It was humbling when at first, I try to squat 200 on Tonal. I was like, “Let’s take that back down.” I can squat 225 on free weight but when I try 200, I was like, “This is not happening. We are going to check our ego and turn this down.”
It sounds like it’s different from move to move. It’s not as simple as like, “It’s about 15% more.”
It’s different from move to move.
That’s because of large muscle groups versus small muscle groups and which muscles are you using together because you use more muscles in a squat than you’re going to use during a bicep curl. This is helpful. We’re breaking it down.
When you were talking about focusing on certain areas, do you just lift for yourself? Do you compete in any level?
I compete against myself. It took me a long time to get to this place of self-acceptance that I personally can’t see myself competing in because I used to judge myself. If you think about it, bodybuilding, it’s six judges judging you. They all have different opinions of what the perfect muscle should look like. Everybody’s body type is different if you want to shape differently. For me, that would mess my psyche up. I’ve had friends who’ve competed. I’ve seen what it’s done to them mentally and physically. I like where I am. I don’t feel as though I need to prove to anyone that I need to look the way they want me to look. I just need to look the way that I want to look. When I work out, it’s not for anyone else, it’s strictly for me. If I want to put on 5 pounds of muscle, I’m going to put on 5 pounds of muscle. If I want to lose 10 pounds, I’m going to do it not because you told me I have to do cardio six days a week for 30 minutes before I train. It’s crazy.Although fitness competitions are great, sometimes mental space is more important than a trophy. Click To Tweet
Those things might drive other people. It’s crazy how we can all be so different but we’re all the same.
Kudos to those who do compete but for me, my mental space is more important than a trophy.
It’s good that you know that. It’s good that you can see, “I don’t like how this would feel for me. I don’t want to put myself in that place.”
I could see how it would drive some people. I can also see, how for other people, it would suck the fun out of it. Now that there’s a purpose, it’s more like a job and less something you enjoy doing.
I got there whenever I was doing it. I still do Peloton all the time but I was doing Power Zone Training. I felt like that about Power Zone Training. Not that Power Zone Training is not good, it’s great but when you’re doing it every day and it’s the same kind of training, it sucks the fun out of it because riding my bike was for fun. It was that cardio and that high. That was all great. Working out is just for you. It’s something you do for yourself, but you’re also known for posting all these inspirational videos and they’re resonating with people. Is that something that you’re putting thought into, you’re making them inspirational?
I know what it feels like to watch other people do it. My goal is to show that you can do it too. This didn’t just happen. If anyone ever had the time and went through my Instagram, you will see the level of change. It didn’t just happen. My goal is whenever I post, I post with a purpose. Lately, my post has been about transformation, mobility and owning that. Tonal is because of Kate because she made it, I forget which one it was. It was Francis, one of the yoga flows in it, it was a wrap after that. After lifting so much, it becomes taxing on the body. You don’t move the same. You’re always hurt. I got tired of that. I wanted my body to be good. I didn’t want it to walk around hunched over or limping like a penguin after every leg day. I wanted to feel good.
Whenever I post, lately it has been about mobility and flexibility and trying to, I don’t want to say convinced but I want people to be more aware that your muscles need a break too. Don’t think, “I have to lift.” No, you can still maintain muscles. In fact, you can gain muscle by flexibility, by moving your joints in different directions. Increase your flexibility so you can lift heavier. That’s another thing with Tonal too because you’d be amazed if you can get your press straight, you can lift more weights, which increases your strength score, which increases your volume. Everything is interrelated. Also, it’s because when I started, there wasn’t a lot of motivation I saw in terms of being a regular mom. I’m not talking about a bodybuilding type of model, just a regular old mom who enjoys lifting and then go off and be with her family. I wanted to show the whole aspect of it. I train but I also have fun.
You’re putting yourself out there to inspire other people but also to show them the reality.
It’s not all about the angles, I do not have time to set up the perfect light. A lot of the times in my workouts, I’m in pajamas. I get the comments about those big PJ’s. I’m like, “I’m at home. I don’t have to change.”
It goes back to the fact that you’re doing this for you, not them.
I try to be as real as I can. I come downstairs in bedhead, pajamas, I work out, I go back upstairs, then I feed my kids and take them to school.
That’s the best kind of mom. You’re taking care of yourself and taking care of them.
Do you have any advice for people who are getting a Tonal?
Take it slow. Don’t think, “I do this in the gym, it equates to Tonal.” No, it does not. Do the assessment. Do a couple of programs or one-offs. Get used to the feel before you attempt to bump that weight up. That is one of the best pieces of advice I can give anyone. Whether you’re new to strength training or you’re a veteran, take your time, get used to the movements and the feel before you start increasing weight.
Thank you so much for joining us. Before we go, where can people find the videos that we were talking about?
You can find my videos on my Instagram, it’s @MichelleATee, nice and simple.
Thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.
Thank you for having me. I hope you have a good day.
Thank you. You too.
That’s it for this episode. What pray tell do you have in store for people next time?
We are so excited because we got to interview Coach Venus Lau. She’s so much fun. You guys are going to miss the best part that we couldn’t even include there. It was an amazing conversation.
It was a good one. That’s what you have to look forward to. Until then, where can people find you?
People can find me on Facebook at Facebook.com/crystaldokeefe. They can find me on Instagram and Twitter @ClipOutCrystal.
You can find me on Twitter @RogerQBert or on Facebook at Facebook.com/tomokeefe. You can find the show online at Facebook.com/supersetpodcast. While you’re there, like the page and join the group. If you like what you’re reading, swing in by Apple Podcasts and leave us a review so people will know that we’re worth checking out. Be sure to follow us wherever you’re getting your podcast from. That’s it for this one. Thanks for tuning in. Until next time, keep lifting.
- Michelle Tee – Instagram
- Apple Podcasts – Superset podcast
- Spotify – Superset podcast
- Google Podcasts – Superset podcast
- iHeart – Superset podcast
- Tune-In – Superset podcast
- Taylor Stein – past episode
- Sharon Tate Bennett – Tonal blog
- Instagram – Crystal O’Keefe
- @ClipOutCrystal – Twitter
- @RogerQBert – Twitter
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