Case Study: Tonal
Getting in shape is a lot of work.
Losing weight, getting stronger, and kicking type 2 diabetes is harder—so hard that it could be a full-time job.
For Aly Orady, it was his job.
A successful entrepreneur and engineer, Aly was 35, obese, and suffering from sleep apnea and type 2 diabetes. “Professionally, I was having a blast, but my health was terrible. I quit my job and spent nine months losing 70 pounds and getting healthier.”
Aly soon realized why it had previously been so hard to lose weight. “Light cardio wasn’t a great way to do anything with my body. Strength training is hard, but it made all the difference in my body.”
Aly became a subject matter expert in exercise physiology, where he learned foundational things about strength training—how it helps with all kinds of goals, from preventing or rehabbing injuries to conditioning for high-performance athletics.
“Strength training can help manage back pain. It can help with weight loss. It can help you run faster. But you have to know what you’re doing, and that’s a huge undertaking,” says Aly. Using what he was learning about strength training was integral to Aly’s transformation.
Near the end of Aly’s hiatus from work, he realized he couldn’t go back to work and still spend his now-usual amount of time at the gym.
It’s not just him—only 10% of Americans go to the gym regularly, despite spending $18 billion on gym memberships every year.
Shrink It and Make It Smart
Aly started brainstorming ways to recreate the gym’s strength training setup at home.
“We’ve been using digitized, push-button cardio for years, but strength training equipment still takes up a huge footprint because each machine has big metal plates for weight.”
Aly ordered parts and turned his kitchen counter into a workshop. Three months later he had a prototype that used electricity—not metal plates—to generate forces that were controlled by a computer. Tonal was born, replacing every machine in a weight room.
Since an algorithm controls the resistance, the AI creates a truly personalized and reactive experience. After a one-time strength assessment, Tonal recommends weights for you, measures your performance, and adjusts as you get stronger.
With a production studio and coaches, Tonal cranks out new coaching content daily. Pick a program (weight loss, sport-specific performance athletics, high intensity interval training, etc.) and Tonal adapts the coach-led videos to you—adjusting weight, pace, and instruction to match your needs.
Working With EGFS
Aly says, “After we got substantial investment, I knew we needed financial help so that we could stay on top of things and keep us proactively accountable to our investors. I got recommendations for Early Growth because I get to interface with people—not software.”
“I have a million things to do. Chasing someone down for an invoice isn’t a good use of my time. Having EGFS as a partner not only alleviates that pressure, but also allows me to drive our business because they take ownership and stay on top of me. They send me lists of the things that I need to do to keep our business on track,” Aly adds.
Perry Panchmatia and Patti Trombino are Tonal’s EGFS team.
“Patti and I are so heartened by Aly’s comments. He’s running a big team, and his product is a game-changer!” says Perry. “Aly is so passionate about this product, and you just want go the extra mile to help them succeed. Patti and I work as a team, and we have the same mindset. We focus on getting the job done. Aly does the same thing—there’s a lot of heavy lifting all around. We’re able to resolve issues quickly and efficiently. It’s an enjoyable process as we deal with all the complexities.”
Patti agrees. “Aly and his whole team are so responsive to us. Aly’s bandwidth is narrow because he has so much on his plate, but he takes the time to reach out to me.”
What’s Next for Tonal
“We’re really working on content and personalization. We’ll be going deeper into education, better and specific AI feedback. We’ve also rolled out a payment plan to make the investment comparable to a gym membership.”
Can’t wait to try it? Tonal has a showroom in San Francisco where you can book a full workout.
“We’re looking into putting showrooms in other cities—we want more people to touch it in real life. There’s an aura of science fiction. It’s a quantum leap from what they’ve done before.”
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