Tonal adds live classes to its strength training workouts

Wall-mounted fitness startup Tonal this morning announced that it’s bringing live courses to it portfolio of strength training workouts. The company did a soft launch of the live offering back in December of last year, though at the time, it wasn’t live, so much as prerecorded — “live, on tape,” to steal a line from The Larry Sanders Show.

“[Y]our coach works out with you — just like in a live class,” the company wrote. Our Live (Beta) workouts combine the energizing feeling of working out alongside a coach with Tonal’s ability to count your reps and wait for you to complete each set […] It’s all on-demand, so you can work out whenever it fits into your schedule.”

The new offering brings the company’s content selection more in-line with leaders in the home fitness space like Peloton. Certainly live isn’t for everyone, but many users do appreciate the motivation that comes with a fixed schedule, as well as the sense of community one derives from working out with others.

The new offering provides real-time feedback from coaches, coupled with a “social zone” for interacting with fellow Tonal users. The portfolio is also getting four new coaches for live workouts. After a day, live workouts will be archived in Tonal’s on-demand offerings.

“As our community has grown over the past few years, we’ve been encouraged by the organic social engagement, the craving for more interaction with our coaches, and the excitement that comes from reaching new milestones,” founder and CEO Aly Orady said in a release. “Tonal Live will allow us to connect these elements through a studio experience while retaining the foundation of what differentiates our workouts: personalization, guidance, and feedback.”

Founded in 2015, the San Francisco-based company is among those connected fitness brands that saw a major boost as the pandemic forced many to rethink their workout routines. Tonal has raised $450 million to date, including a $250 million Series E that raised its valuation to $1.6 billion, back in March.