Tuesday, November 26, 2019 Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Tonal – A Revolutionary Home Fitness System. Podcast with Aly Orady

Why is it so difficult for most of us to be physically active? 

The benefits of exercise are well established – and so is the cost of failing to adhere to regular physical activity.

According to estimates from the WHO, physical inactivity is the world’s fourth leading risk factor for death. Yet the overall prevalence of inactivity and sedentary behavior, at least in industrialized countries like the US, appears to only be increasing.

It is decidedly not due to a lack of social recognition of the merits of physical activity. Every single one of you who is reading this right now already knows that exercise is good for you, right? It is also not due to a failure to educate and promote it on the part of government and public health agencies. 

There is a complex web of intangible barriers that stand in the way for most people to meet recommended levels of physical activity. But the fundamental problem is that physical activity is not embedded into our lives. Americans spend an average of 13 hours of their waking day sitting – not because they are lazy or even prefer to do so, but because most of us make our living from knowledge-based work in front of a desk. Time for movement has to be squeezed in somehow, and busy schedules do not always make that an easy endeavor. 

Furthermore, many of us exercise in gyms away from our home and where we work. We have to take the time to drive to these places, compete with other people for specific machines, and make countless decisions about which exercises to perform, how long, how intensely, etc. Even gym rats, like me, would have to admit it can be a big hassle.

Finally, like any lifestyle factor, the mental and physical benefits of exercise are fleeting, and must be maintained regularly over time. For example, reduced activity (1,000 steps per day) was shown to induce poorer glycemic control and lowered protein synthesis after just two weeks. So whatever pattern of physical activity that you adopt must be sustainable in order to continue to reap the benefits. 

So how do we fix this?

Some would argue that technology is the origin of our collective problem. And they wouldn’t be entirely wrong. 

But ironically, some enticing new developments suggest that technology may also be the solution.

And that brings me to our guest.

 

GUEST

On this episode of humanOS Radio, we welcome Aly Orady – founder and CEO of Tonal – to the show. 

Aly’s story is an all too common example of the insidious price of success in the modern world. Aly was excelling professionally, but in the process his health was falling apart. He was overweight, and had developed type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea. And he was only in his mid-thirties. 

He was moving on a dangerous path, and he knew it.

Realizing the peril that he faced, he quit his job and pivoted to an all-encompassing focus on health and fitness. He embraced strength training and lost 70 pounds in the process.

So, that’s pretty awesome. But as he sat on the bench at the gym at 5:00 in the morning, he experienced a harsh moment of clarity. This routine that had restored his health, effective though it had been, was not sustainable. Eventually, he was going to have to return to work, and he would not be able to continue to commit the same amount of time and effort to exercise. But if he went back to his previous lifestyle, he would inevitably return to the physical state he had been in before. How could he maintain the improved health and performance he had gained from training, but still keep a fulfilling professional and personal life? Was it possible?

As he surveyed the equipment around him, he came up with an idea to remove all of the sources of friction associated with the gym, by consolidating all of the exercises he performed into a single machine. And that inspired him to found Tonal.

Tonal is an elegant, wall-mounted device that employs electromagnetism to simulate and control weight, which enables it to replicate the resistance provided by many machines and lifts.

Tonal can deliver 200 pounds of resistance in a device smaller than a flatscreen TV, without having to drive to a gym, rack weights, or even change into workout gear. Better still, it can remove all of the usual guesswork involved with choosing exercises and planning programs. Tonal offers hundreds of guided workouts, presented via a 24” interactive display, and tracks your progress over time.

To learn more about Tonal, and about the future of home exercise training, check out the interview below!

 

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TRANSCRIPT

Aly Orady: 00:01 There’s a lot of different ways in which strength training is powerful, and the fact that we can make it convenient, accessible and effective is huge.
Dan Pardi: Welcome back everybody. I’m here today with Aly Orady, the CEO and Founder of Tonal. When I set off embarking on my podcast, I had three guest types in mind. One, professors who are doing original research, second, CEOs and people that are creating innovative health products, and third, investors in the health space that are looking at a variety of different sectors and trends and then trying to forecast and predict where are things going based off of the state of technology today? So, the original research, the innovators and the forecasters.
00:10 Aly, I’m excited to be here with you today. You have an incredibly innovative product. What started it all?
Aly Orady: I started out in technology and, when you first looked at me, you probably wouldn’t have ever guessed that this person would end up in the fitness industry, let alone trying to build the world’s most intelligent strength training machine.
My first job out of college was working for Hewlett-Packard in their super computing lab. I was designing the computer chips that go into super computers. Over the course of several years and several companies and startups, I started building bigger and bigger equipment, telecom, computing equipment, this stuff that’ll bolt into a Goldman Sachs data center or a Verizon cell tower.
00:51 I eventually started a company called Pano Logic, built that up to about $10 million in revenue, sold it to Samsung. After a year at Samsung, flying back and forth to Korea, I was getting burnt out. Professionally I’d been having a blast and my health was a complete disaster. I’m 35-years-old at this point, I have been struggling with my weight my entire life, I was literally the chubby seven-year-old kid with glasses who could code. I had Type 2 diabetes, I had sleep apnea and it felt like my health was heading towards a point of no return. If I didn’t do something, I was never going to be able to get it back.
So, I did something pretty drastic. I quit my job and I focused entirely on my health. I spent about nine months losing 70 pounds, and that was a fascinating journey for me. When I first started I did what most people do, I started watching what I’d eat, and I’d go to the gym every day and hop on a piece of cardio equipment and it worked for the first few weeks. You know, you get that rapid weight loss in the beginning?
Dan Pardi: Yeah.
Aly Orady: I totally got that and then I plateaued. I’m starting to get frustrated, and I’m looking over and I noticed that all the personal trainers, all the experts, the people who supposedly know what they’re doing, they’re all over in the weight room and I’m over here in the cardio section and I’m like, “Well, there’s an answer over there.” But, of course, it’s intimidating to walk over there for the first time. It’s hard to figure out what to do, what exercises to do, whether or not you’re doing them right, how much weight to lift.
The number of decisions you have to make to strength train effectively is really hard for someone who’s never done it before. I’ve come to learn, in my journey, that even people who’ve been strength training for years have really been following the same routine for years, usually something that they learned back in college or high school and they just don’t have expertise. Only a small percentage of the population really does. I had to figure that all out.
02:08 I lose all this weight and, one morning, I’m sitting on a bench at the gym at 5:00 or 6:00 AM in the morning, I was trying to get there and beat the crowds. When people are there, you get a worst workout. Leave a piece of equipment, someone snags it, and totally your heart rate drops and-
Dan Pardi: Some of your workout is not predicated on what you would plan to do, but rather what’s available?
Aly Orady: 02:09 Exactly. Yeah. So, I’m sitting on a bench at the gym and I’m thinking to myself, “I’ve lost all this weight. I figured out how to strength train at least something that works for me, but I can’t keep coming to the gym every day at 5:00 or 6:00 AM for the rest of my life. At some point I’m going to have a demanding career, and a family and kids,” and I wanted to figure out something that I knew was sustainable. I was terrified I was going to go back into the workforce, probably get sucked into another startup working crazy hours, and my health would go back to where it was a year earlier. A yo-yo story that everyone’s afraid of.
I’m staring at this giant piece of fitness equipment and I’m thinking to myself, “How can I squeeze this into what my one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco?” The realization was that the reason this thing is so big is because it relies on big metal plates and gravity. If I could replace the force of gravity, if I can replace that with electricity, I could probably take this giant machine and shrink it down to something that fits in the home. When you run it off electricity, it means that you can control it with a computer, which means you start building in algorithms, AI, data, and you can build an intelligence strength training machine which actually responds, so has many cool features.
One of them is like there’s a spotter, so if you’re struggling last few reps of your set, it will actually drop the weight and help you get those last few sets out. There’s a burnout mode, there’s eccentric overload, there’s chains, which feels kind of like a rubber band. We can do all sorts of interesting stuff, and we have AI decide how much weight you should lift. We’re automatically selecting the weights for you, deciding how much weight you should lift when.
Then we went to the next step and I go, “Let’s build videos into this,” and so we actually run a studio here in San Francisco where we film every day, and we have coaches on the platform who create multi-week programs that guide people through their workouts. All of it was really enabled by that moment of if I could turn in the strength training machine into something that ran on electricity, I could shrink it down and make it intelligent at the same time.
03:04 If you look at a gym today, you’ll notice that all the cardio machines have had digital readouts on them for decades, but then you walk over to the strength training or weightlifting area and it’s all just hunks of metal. There’s no data. It’s completely dark.
Dan Pardi: You had the symptom of a modern lifestyle. You’d gained weight, you quit your job, you went to the gym, you lost 70 pounds. Congratulations about that-
Aly Orady: 03:08 Thank you.
Dan Pardi: … I know that’s hard to do. It’s a lot of hard work. But then you were worried about its sustainability. Can I continue this for the rest of my life? And you wanted to maintain that effect, but you were thinking about how to make doing the work that you needed to do more efficient, and you were in the weight room at 5:00 AM and you had that epiphany.
Aly Orady: It was the epiphany of efficiency and convenience. Today we have thousands of people who use Tonal and we get photos of them working out in their pajamas. I can’t think of anything more convenient.
Dan Pardi: That’s amazing. We’ve broached the subject about what Tonal is, but let’s give people who haven’t heard of it yet a high level understanding of the Total system. What is Tonal?
Aly Orady: Tonal, it’s a home gym with personal training built in. Men’s Health called it the smartest home gym you’ll ever meet. It’s really compact. It’s about the size of a flat screen TV that mounts to your wall vertically. It has a 24 inch display, with videos that guide you through your workouts, and arms that fold up when you’re not using it. Then, when you’re ready, you can deploy the arms and then you have cables, so it’s like a cable trainer.
You’ve probably seen these at the gym, cable crossovers, things like the FreeMotion or Keiser. There’s a bunch of similar products that people have seen at the gym, but the difference is those are all analog and this is digital. It can generate up to 200 pounds of force. It’s funny because we introduce Tonal to people every day. We have showrooms where people can come check out the product, and we also have people who dial in over Zoom video calls and demo it virtually with a live human being too, which apparently is really effective.
05:01 But when people touch it for the very first time, and these are people who have read our website, read articles, watched videos, the first thing they do is they’ll do two or three reps and they’ll look at me, or whoever the person is, say, “Wow, this feels just like a real weight machine, except it’s a little smoother.” And there’s this moment where when people touch it for the first time, it doesn’t compute because they look at it and it’s really small and compact.
We designed it to fit in people’s homes because we didn’t want people to stick it in the garage or basement. It’s going to bedrooms and family rooms because it has to be in your living space, otherwise it’s gonna be out of sight, out of mind. We designed it to be sleek. It’s small. People look at and they tend to underestimate it until you dial up the weight and they pull on it, and then it’s like a light bulb goes off in their heads like, “Whoa, this is serious.”
Dan Pardi: 05:01 To your point about the importance of it being beautiful, anybody can judge for themselves, but I think that it is, is part of its value because then you’re more likely to put it in a place where you see it. The more likely you see it, the more likely it’ll trigger you to engage with it and stay consistent with your practice.
You’ve got this device that adheres to a wall. It has mechanical resistance that replicates picking up a weight. Then you have these articulating arms. You’re looking at a coach. There are programs that are built in. How does a user interact with those programs? Do they put in goals?
Aly Orady: 05:10 You touched on a bunch of points, which I think are great to explain. There’s two arms. They articulate in three degrees of motion that allows people to do about 200 different exercises on the system, so you can get the arms all the way overhead and do pull downs. You can get them down to the ground and do based exercises like squats and dead lifts. Because the weight is electronic, digital, you can actually turn the weight on and off with a click of a button, and that’s really useful because it allows people to do exercises that they normally don’t do on cable machines.
On a cable trainer you typically wouldn’t do a squat because it’s really hard to get into position. Here you can pull the cable up with no load, hold it at chest level, or hold a bar for a front squat, then click the button, it loads you up, you do your squats. When you’re done, you hit the button, it cuts the weight. It’s far more versatile. And our goal really was make it beautiful enough and often versatile enough that we could truly get this into people’s homes and replace the entire gym. We hear people say this, “Finally canceled my gym membership after I got Tonal.”
05:28 When you create your account for the very first time, we are acting a lot like a personal trainer. We want to get to know you, so we ask you a whole bunch of questions, the basics, and then we ask you what your goals are, and then we take you through a strength test. In the strength test we’re actually going into a mode where the dumbed-down way of saying it, is it feels kind of like tug-of-war, where we figure out how strong you are for a few foundational movements. Then we use AI to extrapolate starting weights for all the movements in our system. And so from that point forward, any time you do any movement, we’re deciding how much weight you should lift and we’re deciding when your weight should go up or down.
Literally, I could walk up to a Tonal right now and whether it’s a coach-led video and the coach says, “Do bench press,” or I go into the self-guided mode and say, “I want to do a bench press,” it’ll just dial up the weight for me. And in making that decision, it’s literally looking at my entire workout history on the system, and my initial strength has to decide how much weight I should lift today.
Dan Pardi: 05:38 That’s cool.
Aly Orady: And working on making it even smarter. The videos themselves, they’re guided videos where we have 10 different coaches on the platform today that guide people through their workouts, and the videos are multi-week programs. A lot of times when you’re engaging with a lot of these online or streaming video platforms, from day-to-day the things don’t really connect, you’re kind of doing random things. And then, with strength training in particular, probably fitness as a whole, but with strength training in particular, if you just do random things, you’ll get pretty random results. If you want to achieve a specific goal, you need to follow a structured program created by an expert.
05:48 These are multi-week programs or weight loss building, also. We actually have a 12-week program for building muscle. We have some stuff around performance for specific sports, so we have a winter sports one for people who want to get ready for ski season. We have some running programs for people who are getting ready to run 5Ks and 10Ks. There’s some people who love to do a lot of cardio, so we have some programs that are designed to be complemented with a lot of cardio as opposed to a little bit of cardio, so a lot of it is about the programming.
When you hit play on a video, what you’re actually receiving is a highly personalized experience. Two people on two different Tonals hitting play on the same video don’t experience the same thing. The videos are personalized, so the pacing of the video will adjust to you. Strength training. It might take one person two minutes to do something that it takes someone else a minute to do, and so our videos actually have this way of being able to ebb, and flow, and compress and stretch out in order to adjust to your pace.
The amount of instruction you receive is personalized use. As you learn to do exercises, we shift the amount of instruction. The instructions you hear are based on the data that we’re measuring, and so we might say things to you like, “Try going a little deeper into your squat,” or, “Try to be a little bit more consistent with your pace.” Even things when we say, “Three reps to go, two, one,” that’s timed to what you’re actually doing. It’s not pre-baked into the video.
It’s a highly personalized experience. The prescriptions, the combination of weight and reps that you receive, of course, is personalized. It’s really about trying to give people the most effective workout that they can get in the shortest amount of time. Whether their goals are to build muscle, or get lean, or improve performance, there are about six different goals on the platform.
Dan Pardi: How many people go to a gym with great intention, and even with great effort, but without necessarily the benefit of being able to afford a personal trainer who can guide you in the most efficient and effective way that is current with modern science? We know that if you want to make progress, adding in progressive overload where you do a little bit more according to certain schedules, we know that that gets you progress faster. When you get progress faster, you’re more current, you feel good, you stick with it. Compare that to somebody who’s perhaps spinning their wheels at a gym, trying hard but not really getting anywhere.
07:15 What’s so cool about this is that not only does it add efficiency by having it in your home, it is highly personalized to you versus just built in pre-baked programs, and you’re getting theoretically the best coaching that you can possibly get embedded into the system. That’s going to make you better and more knowledgeable over time as well. You have specific programming, if you could also step up and do an ad hoc workout. If I didn’t want to necessarily do a program today, or part of it, I could step up to my Tonal and self-direct.
Aly Orady: Yeah, so we have what we call free lift, which is just do your own workout, freestyle it if you’re not going to follow one of ours. Then, on your mobile app, you can pre-build custom workouts on the Tonal mobile app so that when you walk up to the Tonal, whatever workout you’re planning on doing today has already preloaded into the system. That’s for people who really want to self-guide. Even in that world, you’re still getting the AI, the weight selections, the spotter, all that sort of stuff. And it’s interesting because when you talk about progressive loading, even if you’re working out at a gym and you fully know what you’re doing, it’s hard to decide when it’s time to up the weight because you’re moving sometimes in 10 pound increments. You got to graduate from the 30 pounds or the 40 pound dumbbell.
We can do one pound increments, and so we’re actually continually bumping the weight up. Often, every session, you’ll see a weight increase of a pound or two and that’s this constant pushing you a little bit harder, which gets results faster. We like to say our coaches are superhuman because they’re kind of in the machine, they can feel you. With the amount of data, we can actually make much more accurate predictions than someone standing six feet away from you watching you. It’s a little bit harder to do that because we just have more science and more data to choose from.
Dan Pardi: 07:51 Yeah, that’s really cool. Tell me about the scenario. Let’s say I’m really adhering to a program in Tonal, but I get sick for two weeks. You can tell that I haven’t worked out in a few weeks. How does the system respond that I’ve missed several workouts and now I’m coming back to the system? How does it respond to that?
Aly Orady: That’s some of the additional intelligence that we’re working on. The way it would respond, if you just look at the software that’s shipping today, you would do that first set and we would realize something’s off, and then the spotter would kick in, right?
Dan Pardi: Yeah.
Aly Orady: Even your first set in. And then the second set when you came back, we’d drop the weight. Cool thing with over the air updates is we literally just make it smarter. You wake up one morning and you have a software update. That makes it smarter. We’re crunching data across our entire user community to learn, so we’re asking ourselves like, “What percentage of our user community are hitting the red targets? If they’re missing, how much are they missing by?” All to tune our algorithms.
Now, one of the things we’re working on is we’re working on, through our mobile app, health [inaudible 00:14:17] integration with Apple. The idea is that, as we can begin to pull more and more data of the rest of your life, we can feed that into our weight recommendation engine. Whether it’s someone who didn’t sleep, or is on their menstrual cycle, or just has been pretty inactive for the last couple of weeks due to travel, or illness or what have you, we can feed that in and make smarter decisions about how much weight people should lift. Even guide some of the exercise substitutions, which is something we’re also working on.
09:29 Intelligence is really where we’re putting most of our investment, and the cool thing about Tonal is it’s a very versatile piece of equipment. Strength training, it’s used by Olympic coaches, it’s used by physical therapists for rehab, it’s used by personal trainers to help people lose weight, or gain muscle or, an Olympic coach, it makes someone run faster. It’s a very versatile machine and so as we build more and more content and more and more intelligence, we’re going to get better and better at addressing every single one of these use cases.
Dan Pardi: I learned of this through Tesla. They’re selling the idea that a typical investment in a big piece of equipment like that, you buy it and it gets worse over time. It only builds up wear and tear. With Tesla, you do a software update and your car is getting smarter and cooler even though you bought it two years ago. It’s not the same car that you had two years ago. Similar to Tonal.
Aly Orady: 09:30 That’s exactly it what we’re doing, and so whether it’s better software, enhanced intelligence with the AI, or even new video content, as we layer on larger and larger varieties of video content, we’ll be able to address more and more use cases for people.
Dan Pardi: Cool. Thinking about this alarming statistic that less than 25% of people are actually meeting the weekly guidelines for how much physical activity we should get, I know you did some consumer investigation recently. How many people do you think would find this potentially appealing in the United States? How many households care about this sort of thing and know about its value?
Aly Orady: We’ve been doing years of consumer research, and from the light level quantitative stuff to the deep level of qualitative where you follow someone’s journey for a week or two and you’re interviewing them along the way. Sometimes when are running on treadmills, we’re listening to recordings of customers talking about their fitness lives. We care deeply about getting into the heads of people because you really can’t change people’s lives unless you really understand them. Right?
One of the things that shocked us is I think when we, especially when I started Tonal and we started building out the team, we all looked at each other and said, “We’re going to really need to teach people that it’s important to strength train.” As we did the research, we actually found out that the vast majority of people already know that they need to strength train.
We focus on a target market of 45 million households, which is the 42% of Americans who want to exercise two or more times a week, and are open to building a home gym. That’s the target market. And amongst those people, 76% of them would rate strength training as important. When we actually went a step deeper and we asked them, “Well, okay. You say it’s important. Why do you say it’s important?” And you start quizzing them on the reasons. I’m not going to list out all the questions we asked, like does it improve longevity? Does it improve strength? Does it help you get lean? The average person in that group would get an A or an A minus. People are pretty knowledgeable about the need to strength train and even the reasons behind it. The question is why don’t they do it? Why don’t they do enough of it? Why don’t they do it well?
It really comes down to access to equipment. Gyms are inconvenient and your alternative to Tonal is to fill up your whole garage with a bunch of equipment that you probably don’t really know how to use, so there’s this knowledge gap. “I’m not really sure how to do it effectively and I can’t get the equipment.” It turns out we don’t have to tell people that they need the strength training. I think their doctors have been telling them they should resistance train, muscle mass, bone density.
11:24 I read a study recently which said that lean muscle mass was a better predictor of overall health and longevity than body mass index, which is the gold standard that we use today.
Dan Pardi: We’ve recently launched a course called, How Much Exercise Do You Need, and it is pretty fascinating. We look at how many people aren’t meeting the guidelines, what are a 100 gather patterns like, and then we look at things like how much activity are you doing in your week and how does that correlate with the amount of reduction in premature mortality? But you can also look separately at fitness levels. You can look at fitness as cardiorespiratory fitness measured by VO2 max, but also muscular strength.
Muscular strength is an independent marker that correlates very strongly with mortality decrease and longevity. In fact, if you are in the upper third of strength in your 50s of that group of people, you’re two-and-a-half times more likely to make it to a 100.
Aly Orady: 12:27 Wow. Wow.
Dan Pardi: That’s pretty impressive.
Aly Orady: Yeah, it is.
Dan Pardi: 13:28 And we’re also appreciating now that muscle itself is more than just something that helps us traverse the world and be strong. It is, in itself, an endocrine organ that is releasing substances into our body that keep us healthy, keep the brain functioning well. It’s something that we actually really do need to attend to. On a minute-by-minute basis, your investment in strength training is a really wise one.
Aly Orady: Yeah. I mean, when you look at metabolic disorders, it’s one of the most powerful ways to treat those drug-free. When you look at risk of osteoporosis, when you look at protecting your joints as you age, all of those things, it’s super, super important. We just need to be able to do more of it, and it’s great because Tonal’s the first time that I think it’s easy. It’s always been easy to put on a pair of running shoes and go running outside. We’ve been doing that since we were kids. This is different.
Dan Pardi: 13:44 Well, let’s think about that gym scenario. It is intimidating to go in the weight room. That’s not attractive for a lot of people that might already believe that strength training is important. Secondarily, it’s also easy to get it wrong. You might take a health promoting activity and make it health impairing if you’re not doing it correctly. If you have that embedded top quality coaching with a system that’s easy to engage with, you’re now eliminating a lot of the factors that would prevent somebody from benefiting from this thing that we all should be doing.
How much does it cost? Talk about the value of that cost and where people go if they want to learn more.
Aly Orady: 13:44 The total hardware itself, the base price is $2995. Then there’s an accessory kit for $495 that, I think, 100% of people get, definitely get it. So, think of it as just $3500 for the base equipment. Then there’s a monthly charge of $49 a month for the membership, and that’s where all the video content and the AI comes in. That’s for the whole household, it’s not just for one person. There’s really no limit to the number of accounts that you can create. We ask people to not create accounts and rent it out to their neighbors or anything like that, but it’s really intended for the household.
There’s also a $199 a month package, which just bundles everything together. It’s a financing program that goes for 24 months, which bundles in the monthly subscription and the hardware, the accessory kit, all in one payment and that’s just a really easy way to do it. For a lot of people who are looking at that, they’re really comparing that to the cost of a gym membership or just a couple of personal training sessions. It varies around the country, but personal training is anywhere from $75 to $200 an hour depending on whether you’re in San Francisco or somewhere else.
13:54 There’s just a lot of value of hey, you can pay for the gym membership and then go there and then not really get a great strength training workout. A lot of people who strength train, they’re in there, I think, checking the box like, “I know I should strength train and I’ll just do what I can,” but they know they could be doing a lot better. Then there’s people who are more serious who get personal trainers, but the truth with personal trainers is they’re experts and they’re wonderful, but there aren’t very many of them, and so as a result of that, they’re difficult to book and they’re expensive. Best personal trainers here in San Francisco, they charge you $200-$250 an hour and they’re offering you 3:00 PM appointments. Then it’s like, “I have a job.” So, it’s the convenience of being able to do it in your home, the expertise of a personal trainer. You could value that way more than $200 a month.
Dan Pardi: That’s important to factor that in because if you just look at the equipment, it’s undermining the total value that it’s delivering. Where do people go if they want to learn more? How many different storefronts do you have around the country?
Aly Orady: People can go to Tonal.com and learn about the equipment. Definitely sign up for the mailing list. If you’re interested, definitely sign up for a live virtual demo. It’s like a live video demo with a human being on the other end that you can interact with, and ask questions, and demo on the product to you. We also have showrooms. We have one in San Francisco right now. We have one in LA. We also have locations in New Jersey, and Manhattan and Dallas about to open up. Really, the best way to answer the question of where can I go and when, is to check out our website for things around the country that you can go to.
Dan Pardi: Will you be putting these in hotels or places that where, if you don’t have necessarily a Tonal membership or a Tonal at home, you’ll still be able to find them, and access them and use them?
Aly Orady: 15:01 It’s something we’re definitely going to do over time. We’ve done some tests and so there’s some hotels and some physical therapy clinics who have Tonals and they love them.
Dan Pardi: Yeah, that’d be great.
Aly Orady: 15:20 It’s funny, they’re showing up in their TripAdvisor reviews like, “Oh, there’s this phenomenal piece of fitness equipment.” It’s about the fitness equipment, not the hotel, which we find really amusing. Over time we’re going to see more and more of that. Right now we’re focused on residential because that’s where we have the greatest ability to really change people’s lives. That’s really our mission. That’s what we’re after is really changing the way people live. This is the power of strength training.
We have people who have said things to us like, “I’ve had Tonal for just a few weeks now and it’s the first time since I had back surgery 20 years ago that I’ve been pain-free.” There’s a lot of different ways in which strength training is powerful, and the fact that we can make it convenient, accessible and effective is huge.
Dan Pardi: 15:32 The hardware is remarkable and it’s impressive, but when somebody’s is in the ecosystem, let’s say they are away from the hardware, let’s say they’re on a trip, does the app provide some workouts that you can do to keep you in that ecosystem that are away from the device?
Aly Orady: We get asked that everyday by our [crosstalk 00:23:03].
Dan Pardi: 15:51 Really?
Aly Orady: The official answer is, “Coming soon,” with air quotes. It’s something I complain about. Every time I have to travel I’m like, “Aw, I’m going to be away from my Tonal.” Yeah, it’s something that we know is important and something we’re eventually going to do, for sure.
Dan Pardi: That’s great. Aly, thank you for conceptualizing this brilliant piece of equipment, for bringing it to market and for these contributions. Anything that is promoting a healthy level of physical activity in our lives, particularly focusing on strength training, is really a valuable contribution and I appreciate it.
Aly Orady: Thank you so much for having me on the podcast. Always love chatting with you.
Dan Pardi: Likewise.

 

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