Graham and I were among the first several thousand Tonal buyers. It was a pandemic purchase after we canceled our gym membership. Allison Tibbs and Paul Wright were among my first coaches on Tonal, and ever since then, I sought them out on the Tonal workout machine. This week I found out Tonal had layoffs of 35% of its workforce, including its best trainers, and I’m extremely disappointed.
It’s not just Allison and Paul; I looked forward to seeing Frances Flores, who always began with “Hola, mi gente!” There was Pablo Escobar, who referred to Tonal users as “familia.” Coach Nicolette is one of my husband’s favorite coaches. I loved Gabby Sansosti’s theatrical, almost melodic speaking style. Coach Liz Letchford always had such informative sessions.
On June 15, Tonal announced it expanded to add a New York studio so it could offer earlier workout classes. This brought on a new set of coaches and earliler live workout classes. Tonal did away with the 8 p.m. Live session, which my husband and I liked as busy parents.
I recently took a class by one of the new coaches, and found that it was one of the most boring sessions. The coach, who I am not naming, lacked energy. It was not as motivating as any of the LA coaches were.
Since my husband and I joined the Tonal community, it has grown from just a few thousand to more than 59,000. The core, founding coaches that got us through the early stages of the pandemic are gone, and Tonal won’t be the same. I am deeply disappointed about the closing of the LA studio.
It seems as though Tonal knows it has its members locked it as they have already spent more than $3,000 on the equipment. They think we won’t do anything about it.
This latest move has me wondering if we should cancel our monthly subscription, because the motivational coaches we love are no longer on it.
While I realize we are heading into a recession, it seems absurd to ignore that your users log on BECAUSE we like the coaches. Yes, the equipment is awesome, but it was the coaches who made the workouts more fun.
According to SF Gate, Tonal made this awful decision because it is heading toward an IPO. “While sales have continued to grow at an unprecedented rate, so have the costs of our business, particularly in light of the macroeconomic climate and global supply chain challenges,” according to a statement quoted in the article.
Whatever the case may be, Tonal has a ton of money.