The New Era of On-Demand, Home Workouts

Emily Abbate
by Emily Abbate
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The New Era of On-Demand, Home Workouts

There’s something so great about working out in the comfort of your own home. First, you don’t have to be concerned if your workout bottoms don’t match your top (or, whether your socks match). The hassle of getting to the gym becomes irrelevant, and you no longer have to worry about other people hogging the equipment you want to use.

Lucky for us all, it’s easier than ever to stay home for a solid sweat as more and more companies are jumping on the at-home fitness bandwagon. With access to everything from streaming and audio workouts to physical equipment, consumers everywhere are elevating the way we work out.

VARIOUS ONLINE WORKOUTS

“At-home workouts are extremely trendy right now because of the flexibility they provide for those who have a tight schedule,” says Kara Liotta, creative director at Flywheel Sports. The company, which has more than U.S. 40 locations, launched its at-home Fly Anywhere Bike late last year and recently introduced a new collection of on-demand workouts called Fly Fit.

“On-demand workouts are especially popular when traveling because it allows the consumer to participate in a reliable workout in an unconventional space,” she says. “Although they will never be able to replicate the community aspect of participating in a live class, at-home workouts have their own advantage in just how easy it is to open an app and start sweating.”

With the amount of options out there, she’s got a point. If you’re a runner, Flywheel competitor Peloton — who made a huge splash on the market years ago with its signature bike — has got a tread toting on-demand class with your name on it. Planning to ship its next-level treadmill early this winter, the brand’s been busy creating a library of content in its New York City studio.

But wait … there’s more. Newcomer Tonal is the first personalized digital weight system, complete with interactive workout videos powered by machine learning. Easily wall-mounted, it’s powered by an electromagnetic resistance engine, rather than large metal plates and gravity.

“Nearly every industry is aiming to meet customer preferences for on-demand experiences and it’s only natural for fitness to move toward that model as well,” says Aly Orady, CEO and founder of Tonal. “We replace the need for a weight room full of equipment with a compact, wall-mounted home gym that is personalized just for you.”

For the avid fitness connoisseur, who doesn’t want what looks like fitness equipment in their space, there’s always Mirror. The device looks just like one when it’s turned off — measuring 22 inches wide and 52 inches high and is a little over an inch deep. But when its on, it becomes a gateway to endless, on-demand fitness content (and potentially, even one-on-one training) with an LCD screen, microphone and camera that allows the users to jump into the fitness class of their choosing with a single touch.

“We wanted to bring the essentials of a good studio workout — variety, personalization and community — to the most convenient place: your home,” says CEO and founder Brynn Putnam. “It’s designed for people who prioritize their health but don’t want to sacrifice quality for convenience.”

DIFFERENT APPS

Of course, you can always kick it old-school. For the consumer on a budget, the app route is a great option, easily streaming fitness content on your iPhone, Android or other connected device. While Aaptiv allows users to choose from 2,500+ audio-guided classes, others like Daily Burn and Beachbody offer a plethora of filmed workout content for everyone from the yogi to the HIIT-fan.

While it can be a good thing no one is distracting you from your workout at home, it can also be an easy out for when you don’t want to sweat in the first place. Here, industry experts offer their essential tips for sticking with your at-home workout routine:

1. IDENTIFY YOUR WHY
Ask yourself: What’s my intention? Once you’re capable of articulating that, you’ll be more motivated to stick to a steady schedule. “To be successful in any fitness journey you need understand why you’re doing it so you can align your actions with your goals,” says Orady.

2. DON’T RUSH THE PROCESS
“You can’t cheat physiology,” says Orandy. “Your body needs time to adapt the way that you want it to, so allow yourself a breath and, as hard as it is, be patient.”

3. SHORT AND SWEET WORKS
Part of the benefit of working out at home is you can squeeze in bite-sized workouts, without the hassle of having to set aside time to travel to a gym. Even if you can only set aside 10–20 minutes to sweat in a jam-packed day, that’s totally OK.

4. CREATE A DEDICATED WORKOUT AREA
This way, when you go to your workout space, you know it’s time to actually get down to business. “Plus, carving out a specific space to sweat enables you to get in a workout without the hassle of having to convert your living room into a gym, which can reduce motivation,” says Putnam.

About the Author

Emily Abbate
Emily Abbate

Emily has written for GQ, Self, Shape and Runner’s World (among others). As a certified personal trainer, run and spin coach, she’s often tackling long runs or lifting heavy things. In addition to that, she’s working on Hurdle, a podcast that talks to badass humans and entrepreneurs who got through a tough time —a hurdle of sorts— by leaning into wellness.

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