One of the smartest things you can do to stay consistent with your workouts is to get a workout partner. Today I will clarify if you can do partner workouts on Tonal, and if so, how to use them, and what are the benefits.
As a whole, Tonal does have a partner workouts option where you can do the same custom workout, as well as the whole program, together with another person. The Tonal partner workouts allow you to train at your own pace, adjust the exercises based on your personal preferences, and save the metrics for each individual user.
I will also touch on which programs you can do with your partner on Tonal (and which ones you should avoid).
Tonal Partner Workout
One of the reasons why I got my Tonal is their partner workout option that I can use not only with my wife but also with my friends and clients. Tonal introduced a new feature where you can choose to either train solo, with a partner, or in a group.
What is a Tonal partner workout? As a whole, Tonal partner workout is a feature that allows you to do the same workout, at the same time with multiple users. Tonal has an option for either single custom partner workout, as well as partner programs where you can complete the full multi-week training plan together.
However, there is a small caveat to the partner workout programs (which I will explain in a moment).
Plus, Tonal allows you to do on-the-go classes with others like yoga or pilates that do not require the use of the hardware.
It’s like going to the gym with a training partner that helps you stay motivated and accountable.
One thing you need to keep in mind is that before you start the class, Tonal asks you to sign up every user prior to the session.
The machines use AI algorithms to learn more about everyone’s fitness level, how much power output they generate, and what resistance everyone uses.
For example, I can do the same workout with my wife (meaning we use the same exercises like squats, deadlifts, bench press, and rows) but we both use completely different weights, which Tonal adjusts for us accordingly.
NOTE: You can learn more about how to create a “tonal leg workout” in my article here.
This means that for every new user you need to go through the sign-up process and take up the assessment. However, once that’s done, the new profile will save automatically, and then just choose which profile you want for the next workout.
Plus, Tonal also saves these metrics and will use them for future training intensity and volume recommendations.
How Does Tonal Partner Workout Works?
In general, the Tonal partner workouts work by splitting each exercise into two segments. The machine indicates which user is next by displaying the user avatar in the top left corner. Every user gets to do the movement at their own pace, as well as has the option of the alternative exercise.
For example, if you train with your partner and if one of you cannot do the barbell squat, you can select the alternative exercise that suits you better. Of course, once you select the alternative, Tonal saves that option and uses it for your next set.
Here’s what is even more interesting.
You can do the same exercise but with a completely different rep range that targets different muscle fibers.
For example, if you decide to train for strength (1-5 rep range), but if your partner wants to build muscle (8-12 rep range), you can set up two completely different rep targets. Tonal will adjust and change the numbers every time when switching between users.
TIP: You can do some sort of extra core work while your partner is on Tonal. Of course, if the set is tough and you need full recovery, just walk around to catch your breath.
Are Tonal Partner Workouts Effective?
Using a Tonal partner workout is a great way to stay active and motivate each other but are they really effective?
In general, the Tonal partner workouts are effective because they incorporate all the smart features that Tonal uses for solo workouts like spotter or eccentric mode. Plus, doing the same workout with a partner is fun and can help with improving motivation, which leads to better adherence.
Dr. Kerri Winters-Stone from the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland documented that “Couple retention rates were 100% for people who exercise together and 84% for the control group. Men in the exercising together group became stronger in the upper body and more physically active, while women increased muscle mass, improved upper, and lower body strength” (Winters-Stone et al. 2016).
Of course, exercise alone also comes with a number of health benefits. However, training together almost always leads to an increased frequency of exercise.
There is more!
A fascinating 12-month study published in The Journal Of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness by JP Wallace has revealed that “Married couples had significantly higher attendance (54.2% vs 40.3%) and significantly lower dropout rate (6.3% vs 43.0%) than singles which appeared to be primarily influenced by spousal support rather than self-motivation” (Wallace et al. 1995).
Another benefit of using the Tonal partner workouts is improved intimacy between the couple. Studies have shown that “Couples who increase their engagement in non-sexual activities together (e.g., exercising together) may experience greater levels of intimacy and satisfaction with the relationship” (Lyons et al. 2016).
In other words, couples that train together stay together.
And here is the best part.
Using a Tonal partner workout with someone who is stronger than you can lead to better results.
Studies have shown that “exercising with an always superior partner leads to greater work efforts during the hardest interval training compared to exercising alone” (Feltz et al. 2020).
This means if one of you is stronger than another, the person who is weak is likely to put more effort into the workout routine versus if they would do it on their own.
Tonal Partner Workout List
Overall, there are over 90 strength workouts that support the Tonal partner workout feature. They include over 30 workouts for beginners, over 30 workouts for intermediate, and over 20 sessions for advanced.
In the workouts where you do more than one exercise, one after another (e.g. circuit training), you cannot use the partner training, only the solo.
Here is the list of all Tonal partner workouts for beginners focused on strength.
|Difficulty Level||Tonal partner workouts|
Upper Body Brain and Brawn
Beginner Booty Builder
Beginner Back and Biceps
Strong Core, Glutes Galore
How Paul Tons His Tummy
Resistance Is Futile
Back On The Wagon
Upper Body Basics
Lift To Learn
Starting With Legs
Ultimate Cycling Legs
Get Your Chin Up
Swim To Success
Begin To Move
Slow and Steady
In The Running
Fun And Fit
Efficient Lower Body
Please remember that there are hundreds of other partner workouts for beginners on Tonal like Bootcamp, Recovery, Cardio, Mobility, and Yoga.
The list that you see above is just the strength workouts that use the Tonal machine and support the partner training feature.
Below you can see the list with Tonal partner workouts for intermediate.
|Difficulty Level||Tonal partner workouts|
|Intermediate||Upper Body Build|
Find Your Balance
Loose Hips, Better Back
Full Body Blast
Back To Basics
Maintain The Gain
Upper Body Evolution
HIIT it Hard
Upper Body HIIT
Lower Body Lab
Quick Fit: Core Challenge
How Paul Trains His Triceps
Wake Up With Paul: Legs
Wake Up With Paul: Upper Body
Strength For Hiking
Core Strength For Cycling
Turbo Cardio Core
Beach Body Boost
Smart Flex Blast
Strong To The Core
Quads And Cupcakes
Shoulder The Weight
What’s the difference between Tonal beginner and intermediate workouts? As a whole, the difference between Tonal beginner and intermediate partner workouts is in the number of reps and training volume. Harder classes typically include the same exercises but suggest doing more sets and reps, which increases the overall volume load.
Below is the list of Tonal partner workouts for advanced.
|Difficulty Level||Tonal partner workouts|
|Advanced||Short And Sweet|
Balance And Burn
Total Body Build
Better Body, Better Life
Backside, Best Side
Upper Body Edge
Earn The Burn
Full Body Fitness
Back to Booty
Lower Body Build
Core And Cupcakes
Sweat It Out
Arm Yourself With Strength
Elite Upper Body
More Gains With Chains
Dynamic Weight Challange
Twice A Day (parts 1 and 2)
Tonal advanced partner workouts usually include sessions where you utilize Dynamic Modes like Eccentrics, Smart Flex, Burnout Mode, and Chains.
You can learn more about the “tonal burnout mode” in my article here.
Tonal Custom Partner Workout
Apart from partner workouts that you can choose from the list, Tonal also allows you to do custom workouts together with your partner (this is my favorite workout because I can select all the exercises for us).
What is a Tonal custom partner workout? Overall, the Tonal custom partner workout is an exercise session that allows you to create your own strength training routine and do it simultaneously with multiple people. This is a one-time-only workout where you pre-select the exercises you want to do based on your goals.
I don’t usually follow any of the programs on Tonal because my fitness goals change every 12 to 16 weeks. Plus, I have a decade of experience and background in exercise physiology so I feel comfortable with designing my own workout plans.
On the other hand, my wife likes to follow Tonal workout programs, so when we train together, I often jump in and keep her company using the partner workout option.
Can you share custom workouts on Tonal? As a whole, you cannot share your custom workouts on Tonal with others. Once you created your customized workout plan you can only do it from your Tonal machine and it won’t be available for download or sharing.
Tonal Partner Workout Programs
As a whole, Tonal has almost 30 partner workout programs where you can do several sessions that are part of the multiple-week workout plan. The programs range between beginner, intermediate and advanced.
I think I like the partner programs more than single workouts because they give you a plan of action of what workout should you do next, which is great for people who just getting started.
However, what I don’t like is that most of the partner sessions cover only the first couple of classes, not the full 2 or 4-week program.
For example, if the program includes 16 workouts spread across 4 weeks, only the first 4 classes can be done with a partner.
Here is the list of all Tonal partner workout programs:
|Tonal partner workout programs|
|Shaped and Shredded|
Mental Strength For Beginners Workout
Divide and Conquer
Fresh Ride Workout
Mastering Major Lifts Workout
Mind-Body Core Workout
Unleash The Beast Workout
Everyday Fit Workout
Hyped Up Hypertrophy Workout
Lean Muscle Mastery Workout
Fit And Focused
Advanced 5×5 Workout
Basic Body Split Workout
Balancing Act Workout
Four Weeks To Fat Loss Workout
Four Weeks To Fat Loss 2 Workout
Knees With Ease Challenge Workout
Smart Build Workout
Go Big Or Go Home 2
More Gains With Chains 2
Starting Out With Tonal Workout
Raising The Barbell 2 Workout
Push + Pull Power Workout
Great Glutes Workout
Shred And Sweat Workout
Slow And Strong Workout
Off The Floor Workout
Starting Strength Workout
How Much Space Do You Need For A Partner Workout?
Overall, you need approximately a 10′ x 10′ floor space for Tonal partner workouts to have enough room for most of the exercises for both of you. If your space is smaller, you may need to modify some exercises.
Officially, Tonal recommends designating 7′ x 7′ floor space. However, from my experience, I know that 7′ x 7′ is not enough for some types of moves like wood chops, side lunges, or chest flyes.
As you can see, apart from doing solo workouts, Tonal also has the option for partner workouts where you can train head to head with your spouse, friends, or family members.
Unfortunately, some workouts are not supported by the partner training feature. The good news is that you can use the custom workout option to create your own training plan.