Core77 Design Awards
- Other Years
Tonal is the world's first machine learning-powered at-home strength training system that uses digitized weights. Powered by an electromagnetic resistance engine, rather than dumbells or large metal plates and gravity, Tonal's first-of-a-kind digital weights provide the smoothest lifting experience possible with single pound increments, allowing the system to replace an entire gym full of equipment.
Tonal isn't bulky like the majority of incumbent strength training equipment - it's a compact, wall-mounted home strength system with a 24 inch integrated digital touchscreen, with built-in personal training programs that show you exactly how to perform each lift. Simply pull out the flexible metal arms to begin your workout; at the ends are cables that provide up to 200 lbs of resistance, allowing you to get a complete full-body workout at home. When done, simply fold the arms up next to the machine, no reracking required. Tonal isn't meant for a garage or basement gym; it's a fitness system that looks beautiful in your home.
Tonal also features hundreds of hours of expert coaching, offering step-by-step adaptive video workouts from a variety of leading personal coaches who guide and motivate you, while the AI technology platform provides personalized workouts based on your strength and pace to help you reach your fitness goals. The key to the Tonal experience is the interplay between the software, dynamic video content, and hardware. What you do on the device influences the video content which adapts as you workout. New content is created daily to keep things fresh.
Tonal was created by Aly Orady, a supercomputer engineer who struggled with obesity throughout his life. Aly began weight training and lost over 70 pounds, but found that most of his time was spent just getting to the gym. He set out to create a solution: a home weight lifting system that could replace the entire gym. Thus, Tonal was born.
Aly's first rendition of Tonal was built in his kitchen. His first revelation was that the metal plates of traditional gym equipment would have to go. Metal plates are bulky and inflexible; most gym machines continue to weigh hundreds - if not thousands - of pounds and are only able to provide 10-20 pound weight increments. They are also jerky and inconsistent; because of their reliance on gravity, it becomes easy to "cheat" on lifts by taking advantage of momentum. Aly instead turned to electromagnets, pulleys, and motors, building the sensation of weight resistance from scratch. He began building a prototype on his kitchen counter, carefully learning to adjust the motor to simulate more or less weight.
After inventing this new form of exercise resistance, Aly teamed up with Dan Harden, principal designer at Whipsaw, to build a compact workout machine. Led by Aly, the team took the motor and began testing it in a variety of different product designs. This led to the first prototypes, which the team then tested with a group of individuals. Adjustments were constantly made due to user feedback, eventually leading to the current iteration of the product.
When Aly set out to design Tonal, he chose not to follow the current industry standard for home gyms: bulky and clunky machines that more often than not wind up collecting dust in a garage. Tonal is a home gym designed for the Apple/Tesla generation. It's delivered to your house via a professional, white glove installation service, attaching to any wall of your house. To begin working out, simply pull down the adjustable cable arms and look for instruction on the large, HD screen. Once you finish your full body workout, Tonal folds back into itself, taking up no more space than a flat screen TV.
No current fitness system delivers the combination of functionality and beauty that Tonal does. Stationary bikes and treadmills take up entire rooms of the house, making them unwieldy for anyone who lives in an apartment or small house. Other at-home fitness machines are little more than oversized screens, providing the same workout you would get with a phone and access to Youtube. Tonal's revolutionary all-in-one equipment combines digital weight with adjustable arms to pack 200 lbs. of resistance into a compact strength-training machine. Its adjustable arms can be configured to replicate every leg, arm, shoulder, back, core, and chest machine in the weight room.
Tonal also provides personalized programming driven by AI intelligence. When you first try Tonal, it will give you a quick strength assessment and recommend weights and movements based on where you are today and where you want to be. The AI monitors the quality of every rep you do and measures it against every rep you've ever done. Training programs automatically adjust over time as you get stronger and progress toward your selected goals.
Strength training is one of the most important activities for living a healthy, balanced, and long life. Research shows that it not only provides a higher metabolic boost than cardio but also is linked with longevity. At its core, strength building is foundational to everything you do - whether you are carrying groceries, working to lose weight, or increasing your athletic performance.
While the benefits of strength training are well understood, for the majority of people it's hard to do -- the space required for traditional equipment is more than most homes can accommodate, and the knowledge required to effectively strength train is held primarily by experts such as trainers and coaches.
Tonal provides expert-led strength training whenever you want. Simply tell the system your goals, and Tonal gets you on a program that's right for you, incorporating strength, flexibility, and intervals – with different exercises each day to maximize results. Each program is crafted by an expert coach in the field, so you can build muscle, lose fat, or sweat with HIIT on your own terms.
Thus far, connected fitness has been focused on only cardio; think of the digital readouts and screens that are on every treadmill and elliptical in the gym. There have been no innovations in digital and connected strength training until Tonal. It's your coach and your gym, in your home.