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Tonal Banks on Personalized Strength Training to Stand Out in Home Fitness

Home fitness startup Tonal has raised an additional $110 million in funding with the backing of all-star athletes Stephen Curry, Michelle Wie, Bobby Wagner, and Paul George.
The coronavirus shutdown has been a boon for connected fitness products, but Tonal is banking on its strength training offerings to help it stand apart from competitors. 
While Peloton and Mirror have focused on replicating workouts that would usually take place in a studio setting, Tonal wants to recreate the experience of one-on-one instruction. 
"We try to deliver an experience a lot like having a personal trainer, where everything is personalized to you," CEO and founder Aly Orady told Cheddar. "That's a really, really important part of strength training properly."
Tonal's main product is a home gym with a personal training platform built into it. The gym uses electro-magnetic weights to generate pressure, rather than large, clunky weight sets, which allows the system to be more compact and responsive to users' physical needs and goals.  
"We're also the only intelligent fitness company on the market where our product experience is actually based on a lot of AI and personalization," Orady said. 
Will gyms reopening cut into the home fitness market? Orady anticipates that many customers have already developed new habits that aren't likely to fade overnight. 
"What we hear consistently throughout our communities and from our members is they're never going back," he said. "Once you've discovered the convenience of exercising at home, there's no point in spending the time driving to and from the gym." 
Tonal is also testing its product in a health care setting. The company is partnering with the Mayo Clinic to use Tonal's strength training device to help patients with lower back pain. 
"Strength training is foundational to physical therapy and rehab," he said. "Most [physical therapy] clinics have strength training equipment that they use in order to rehab patients. The Mayo Clinic study is to prove out the efficacy of Tonal in those clinical environments."
This latest funding round brings Tonal's total funds raised to date up to $200 million.
Updated Sept. 23 to clarify that the latest funding round brings Tonal's total raised to $200 million. A previous version of this story erroneously indicated the company's market value was $200 million. 
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