Tonal’s partnership with League One Volleyball addresses a growing need for strength-training programs for young athletes
Smart home gym maker Tonal has inked its first-ever sports league partnership, with League One Volleyball (LOVB), a top youth volleyball brand.
Tonal will provide volleyball-specific training programs with individualized, adaptive strength training regimens and outfit clubs with its “gym-on-a-wall” devices. The move could be indicative of a larger push into sport-specific training by the fitness and hospitality industries.
Tonal and LOVB say the partnership addresses a need in the smart gym space, particularly as volleyball is the fastest-growing high school sport for females in the U.S. The initiative will begin at three LOVB clubs in Irvine and Gardena, California, and Salt Lake City, Utah, with Tonal trainers available for club members.
“At LOVB, we are committed to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible when it comes to the well-being of our players,” said Stacey Vollman Warwick, LOVB head of commercial. “While conditioning is a crucial component to every volleyball player’s journey, not every athlete has access to elite programs, and our partnership with Tonal changes this dynamic.”
The volleyball training program was devised with volleyball-targeted moves that support players in building strength for games, with LOVB’s director of professional development and head of health and wellness analyzing the workouts and providing feedback. The workouts include foundational movement patterns such as hinges, squats, pushes and pulls, balance, prehab and shoulder training and rotational power programming combined with strength and plyometric exercises.
Tonal x LOVB will also host family workout nights, allowing club players’ families to sample Tonal’s smart home gym technology. The smart home gym company will donate to the LOVB Foundation for each Tonal sold to a family member, supporting the foundation in providing club volleyball access to youth in need.
“At Tonal, our mission is to strengthen every body every day,” said Ian Yung, Tonal senior vice president of revenue and partnerships. “Partnering with LOVB allows us to support these volleyball players with AI and personalized strength training, informed by the world’s largest strength training data set, to set them up for success on the court today, and evolve with them to meet their longer-term goals as they progress as athletes.”
Ahead of the Game
Tonal’s decision to lean into sports-specific training could prove lucrative, especially with its AI-powered, data-driven training capabilities and the rising need to support elite-level athletes and those who wish to train as one.
The Global Wellness Summit (GWS) predicts that in 2024, the hospitality sector will continue adding pro trainers, pro-level facilities and diagnostics to support the needs of those in training — especially as the young athletes of today will likely continue to invest in their sport of choice as they age.
Consider, too, the spending power of young athletes and their families — with GWS noting that in the post-pandemic year of 2021, 180 million people traveled for junior, collegiate and recreational sports events. A demand is brewing for high-level training programs for student-athletes as well as accommodations that provide upscale experiences (restaurants, spas, activities) for the rest of the family traveling in tow for a sporting tournament.
D1 Training, a Tennessee-based athletic training fitness franchise, also sees promise in the area of sports training, regarding it as a white space to address the demands of young athletes and adult consumers looking for athletic-level and personal training programs. D1 recently opened its hundredth site, in Indiana, with plans to open an additional 50 locations this year.
Courtney Rehfeldt has worked in the broadcasting media industry since 2007 and has freelanced since 2012. Her work has been featured in Age of Awareness, Times Beacon Record, The New York Times, and she has an upcoming piece in Slate. She studied yoga & meditation under Beryl Bender Birch at The Hard & The Soft Yoga Institute. She enjoys hiking, being outdoors, and is an avid reader. Courtney has a BA in Media & Communications studies.