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Tonal Raises $500 for Trainer, Sets Date for Membership Cost Hike While Highlighting ‘Incredible Value’

Tonal Raises $500 for Trainer, Sets Date for Membership Cost Hike While Highlighting ‘Incredible Value’

Man using Tonal Trainer device
The smart home gym company recently conducted a second round of layoffs, too

Tonal has announced a price hike for its signature trainer device and membership cost.

While the cost increase of its trainer went into effect January 31 with the price of the fitness hardware rising to $3,995 (a $500 increase), the Tonal membership price hike doesn’t start until February 21. 

Tonal members will see their membership price rise from $49 to $59.95, plus applicable sales tax. Those who are in an initial 12-month commitment period will remain at $49 until the period is over. After that, members can expect to see the new price of $59.95.

Tonal says the hardware price increase is due to a number of macroeconomic factors and increased costs along the supply chain, and comes on the heels of the smart home gym conducting a round of layoffs

“Rather than compromising the quality of our hardware, we continue to build an exceptionally engineered system that helps our members achieve their ultimate health and fitness goals,” Tonal wrote on its site. “Over the past four years since we launched, we’ve added numerous new software features, content, and programming that have enhanced the overall user experience, all while radically reducing our shipping timelines down to 1-3 weeks—despite ongoing supply chain challenges.”

Tonal justifies its hardware price increase by comparing its fitness offerings to the cost of a monthly gym membership and weekly personal training session, and points out that it offers an ‘incredible value’ as it allows every household member to have independent accounts to track individual progress. 

The smart home gym reached the coveted unicorn status in 2021, but like many others in the fitness and tech industry, has experienced challenges as of late. Aside from layoffs, Tonal said it would reduce its advertising spending and take its LA studio offline

Tonal members reacted as expected to the price increases of both the trainer and member, but, like Peloton, appears to have devoted followers in its fitness community. 

Fans of the smart home gym brand routinely take to social media and groups for Tonal members to showcase not just their awesome fitness results, but their customized fitness spaces. Posters share images of painted walls with inspirational quotes, mirrors, and other decor surrounding Tonal’s fitness hardware. 

“I will keep paying the monthly, I can afford $10 a month. But I think there is a bigger issue. Everything you’ve done in the past 9 months seems geared to drive members away and is in direct conflict with the core values of the community that you had built,” one Tonal member wrote regarding the price hike, listing the recent layoffs, the exits of coaches that were the face of the smart home gym brand, the closure of the LA studio and gear shop as reasons for their displeasure. “What’s next? When does this all turn around and become positive again?” the poster asked.

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Another Tonal member used the format of a “Best I Can Do” meme,  à la Rick Harrison of “Pawn Stars,” to share her thoughts. 

Tonal Customers: “We want tiered subscriptions, updated quality content, and keep our favorite coaches.”

Tonal Leadership: “The best I can offer you is a price increase and Smart View.”

“It’s not just $10 that people are up in arms about. It’s the fact Tonal consistently ignores what their customer base actually wants. We don’t want to pay premiums for things that aren’t providing the anticipated value,” she explained.

Like Tonal, Peloton experimented with price hikes for its signature Bike+ and Tread. More recently, connected fitness rower company Hydrow also conducted a second round of layoffs and announced a membership price hike of $38 to $44 for new members.

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