TONIC Workouts: Dance Yourself Strong!

Studio 5 Health and Fitness Contributor, Melanie Douglass, R.D., NASM, AFAA has the scoop on how to combine dance, cardio, strength and bootcamp into one, amazing calorie-blasting workout.

This whole “TONIC” thing started because of problem I had with step aerobics. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE step! I’ve been a step junkie instructor for over 17 years. I was there when step was the coolest thing in a health club, and I watched – and even contributed to – it’s decline. You see, step aerobics got crazy. It started with a “basic” and turned into something only an elite advanced crowd could follow. But this isn’t just about step; this phenomenon occurs with many workout formats in the fitness industry. We evolve and get stronger… making it hard for beginners to jump in and catch up with the “regular” crowd. One day, I was just over it… and I vowed to find a better solution for teaching choreography to diverse fitness and ability levels. I set out on a mission to create a new workout format that empowered both beginners and advanced participants to feel successful – all in the same class.

And that’s TONIC: a doable, efficient workout for anyone – from my 65-year old mother, to my 18-year old niece, to the 35-year old stay-at-home mom down the street. Tonic is a blend of all the things we need for a mentally and physically balanced workout: dance, strength, cardio and bootcamp!

I call it TONIC because it’s the perfect way to describe what it does for your body. The definition of the word is:

Main Entry: ton•ic
1 : producing or adapted to produce healthy muscular
condition and      reaction of organs (as muscles)
2 : increasing or restoring physical or mental tone
3 : one that invigorates, restores, refreshes, or stimulates

Here’s the scoop on what TONIC is and why it may just change the way you workout. TONIC workouts have 4 main attributes:

1) Dance. Why? People love to dance. That’s probably the most common praise I hear from Tonic junkies… they love Tonic because they get to dance… regardless of their experience or ability level. It’s fun, sweat-inducing and leaves you smiling.

2) Bootcamp/Power. Many workouts have either too much choreography/dance or too much power/bootcamp. TONIC blends these two very popular trends into one amazing workout that balances mental and physical challenge. The dancing lets you have fun and the bootcamp makes you sweat, sweat, sweat!

3) A Finale! That’s right. Every TONIC workout ends with a performance… everything you learn comes together in the last 5 minutes of the workout. A finale is a dance that matches a song… and it all ends on the perfect last beat. It’s a chance to end every workout on a successful, empowered, and happy note.

4) A New Teaching Method. This is the unique part. TONIC workouts look like regular “aerobics”, but trust me, they are not. The reason people of all types and fitness levels can do this is because we threw the traditional rules of teaching aerobics out the window and started over. The TONIC Teaching method is the reason this whole recipe works. You simply have to experience it.

TONIC training can be done several ways: (available via DVD workouts)

DanceTonic: requires no equipment
StepTonic: on a step platform
SculptTonic: with 3 – 5# handweights

If you want more info on TONIC, please email me. I love connecting with people! If there is anything I can do to help you get more out of your workouts or to help you look and feel your best, please drop me a line!

Email Melanie Douglass at:

You can check out the Tonic Home workout DVDs at:

or on Amazon:

StepTonic on

DanceTonic on

SculptTonic on

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