Tone It Up Comes to Washington….D.C. That Is!

I’m unsure of who knows about Tone It Up.

Tone It Up is an online fitness phenomena that was started by Karena Dawn and Katrina Scott in/around 2009/2010. They really took off and found success in starting an online community focused around their workout videos and nutrition plan. I would say that they are most known for their 8-week Bikini Series and their Beach Babe DVDs.

I’ve been a fan of the Tone It Up for about 3-4 years. I never really got into the nutrition plan, although I am a member, but loved the infectious nature of their workout videos. They have really easy to follow schedules, which meant I had to do zero thinking, and you could always work up a sweat.

For the past 2 or 3 years they have hosted Tone It Up retreats in California and Florida and I had been dying to partake in an experience like that but didn’t have the time or the money to do so. So when the ladies announced they were going on tour this year and that D.C. was the first stop, I was ecstatic!


It seemed like the heavens had opened up and were basically giving me sign that I had to and needed to go. What were those signs? Well nothing super major but enough to convince me:

  1. I was no longer pregnant and very unhappy with my postpartum body and lack of fitness level and saw this as the perfect opportunity to jump-start my motivation, and
  2.  They were coming during my BIRTHDAY MONTH! It took little to no time to convince myself to gift this as a present to myself.

 The day the tickets went on sale, I was ready. I grabbed my ticket the moment the pre-sale started. I had to buy a VIP ticket that would allow me to meet them…so I did. For the weeks leading up to the event, I arranged all the necessary logistics: Put leave on the calendar at work? Check. Find someone to watch my little baby? Check. Pick out an outfit? Check. Stay super excited? Easy check!

I walked into the D.C. Convention Center a bundle of nerves and left in sheer disappointment. Literal disappointment. Why you may ask? Because I never got to meet Karena and Katrina although I had paid to do so.

My overall impression was that you could tell that this was their “tester” stop. The event was meant to last from 4-9pm. throughout that time you could go to the booths they had set up: beauty, craft, and massage, shop at their pop up shop, write on their encouraging messages board and partake in the 3 workouts happening that evening.


I got a massage, shopped, and did the workout with Jillian Michaels and Karena and Katrina. I would’ve partook in the other activities but in between workout the lines were just WAY TOO LONG! It didn’t make sense to me to have only one booth of each activity set-up with limited spots when you knew how many people had purchased a ticket already. However, I didn’t care too much. My main objective was to meet them.

 The workouts ended and they finally opened Rose Garden. I headed over with the new friend that I had made. As much I wanted to partake in a glass of wine or two, I didn’t. I had a little one to get home to and that was way more important to me than unlimited free wine.

Those who had purchased tickets to meet Jillian Michaels go to go first. By the time this had started it was almost 9. I decided to line up near the tent so I could be one of the first to meet my fitness idols and head home. Unbeknownst to those who had decided to line up with me, our meeting order had already been pre-determined by the stamp on our hands walking into the Garden. This threw a curveball in my plans. I had a 1 out of how many different stamps there were to be one of the first to meet them. I needed to get home to my baby but I patiently decided to wait.

 Group one goes, then group 2, and I think a third. The girls take a break. Time is quickly ticking by. It’s now past 9:30 and almost the time I needed to be home to relieve my sitter. Now I’m not the type to approach people when I have an issue but I had paid $260 to meet to people and I wanted the opportunity to meet them. After a little bit of encouraging from the group around me, I quietly approached one of the TIU team and explained my situation. She told me that there was no set order but asked my stamp name and told me she would see what she could do. By then, a fourth group was already up and it was teetering towards 9:45. I hoped that my group could be called next…and they weren’t. So unfortunately, I had to leave in order to make it back home by 10:30. I had spent all this money, bottled up all this excitement to meet them, and was let down.

 The next day, I told my sister what happened and cried. She told me to write an email and I did. Like I said, I’m not normally one to complain but I feel slighted. The event was supposed to run for a certain time, I had planned accordingly, and was left with unfulfilled expectations. I did eventually find out that they stayed late and met with all the ladies there but what if others, like myself, left? I mean, this was D.C. on a Thursday night and, trust me, there were plenty of non-college aged ladies there who were talking about having to get home and get prepared for work the next day.

 So I sent an email. Here it is:


And this was the reply I got (a generic one mind you):


Was there any ever follow-up? No. Even more disappointing.

 I understand that they had never done a tour before but they had held, from what I had heard/seen, successful retreats. This should’ve been the same on a smaller scale.

 Case and point: Will I ever go to another TIU event? Probably not. Will I continue to do their videos and be a member? Yes. Mainly because when you sign up and join you’re a member for life and I do enjoy their workouts.

 I just hope that they realize that with some, they missed the mark. I’m sure the rest of the tour got better as it progressed and the pictures online looked amazing but for me, it wasn’t. And that sucks.

Now I’m left wondering if this event didn’t live up to others people’s expectations either. I mean the other city stops looked amazing…on Instagram. This is reality.

If anyone had a similar or different experience, let me know. It could’ve been because it was the first stop but I honestly don’t know.

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