How Tech Can Bring Your Group Workouts Home

20 Minute Fitness Episode #63

Charlie is back with an exciting and relevant topic on the ‘How Technology Can Help’ mini series of the 20 Minute Fitness podcast, which is streaming group workouts. The most common excuse for skipping a workout is ‘I don’t have time for it’. Well, good news is that after listening to this episode, you won’t be able to pull this one again because we introduce you to the most convenient ways of doing a fitness class: at home.

Press play to hear how technology can bring your group workouts home, start moving and stop making up excuses!

Three Things You Will Learn

1) HIIT Live Or On-Demand From Your Own Living Room

You guys have probably all heard of ClassPass before. But have you also heard of ClassPass Live? It’s a relatively new service of ClassPass that offers interactive live and on-demand workout classes making it easy to tune in wherever you are. The on-demand really excels on the convenience dimension, whereas the live classes will truly make you feel like working out with a group.

Very similar to ClassPass Live, but leaning more towards the on-demand side is Booya Fitness. Their workout library is absolutely extensive, covering everything from bootcamp to HIIT and dance classes. Listen to today’s episode to find out if ClassPass Live or Booya Fitness is the one for you!

Here’s All The Equipment You Need To Build A Killer Home Gym

2) Do You Have a Virtual Trainer?

Gixo is a fitness app that provides very similar services to ClassPass Live & Booya Fitness, but they really level up on the live virtual classes aspect. Besides you being able to see the trainer on the other end of the app, you can enable the camera feature so the trainer will be able to see you as well. This way you’ll get real-time feedback on your form from a real professional at an affordable price.

Listen on to learn more about Gixo‘s virtual trainings and a lot more!

3) Race Against Thousands Around The World

Last but not least the ultimate revolutionizer of at-home spinning, Peloton. Besides providing you with the most high-tech equipment for indoor cycling, Peloton also makes sure that you get the all-around experience of a real spinning class. Live classes, performance tracking and racing against spinners worldwide. Tune in to hear what else Peloton has to offer!

Peloton Tread: The Big Test Run

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Full Transcript

Full Transcript

00:05 Speaker 1: Hello and welcome back to another episode of 20 Minute Fitness. I hope you’re all doing well. A massive welcome to any new listeners and thank you once again for stopping by to our regular listeners. Today, we have another episode of the How Technology Can Help series. We’re going to be looking at how technology can help bring your group workouts home. So, in other words, how can tech help you to do a group workout that would normally be done in a gym or a studio in the comfort of your own home or, in fact, anywhere you might want to do it.

00:33 S1: So, some exciting stuff coming up, but before we get to that, please do make sure, if you are enjoying the show, to subscribe, tell a friend or a family member about us, and also get in touch. We’d love to know what you think of the How Technology Can Help series, and we also would like to just engage with you. How is your fitness journey going? Where are you at? Have you incorporated any technology into your fitness journey? 

00:53 S1: 20 Minute Fitness is, of course, powered by ShapeScale. ShapeScale is a 3D body scanning scale. You simply step on and the robotic arm will spin around your body capturing all sorts of incredible body insights. The data will then transfer to the app on your phone and you’ll be able to see metrics such as your body fat percentage, your lean muscle mass, your muscle girth measurements and much, much more, making ShapeScale a truly comprehensive fitness tracker. It is now available for pre-order at shapescale.com.

01:24 S1: So, our schedules are, of course, very busy. They don’t always allow us to be able to attend group workouts in a gym or a studio. But quite often we want the benefits associated with group workouts, and that includes things like wanting that friendly competition, wanting the opportunity to almost workout against someone, having someone push us, someone to keep us motivated and we can try and keep up with their intensity, almost like an accountability partner. We want to get the most out of our workouts.

01:52 S1: And so this tech will enable you to bring group workouts, that normally are done in a studio or gym, to the comfort of your own home, so you can still get those benefits. And you’ll be able to accommodate your own schedule because we all know that getting out to the gym or a fitness class can be so difficult. And, obviously, booking a fitness class in advance, our schedules change so often so we can’t always commit. With this tech, it can now be more on your own terms. So, no excuses at all.

02:17 S1: So, let’s jump into it and start at the low end of the tech that we’re going to look at. I’m sure a lot of you have heard of ClassPass previously. ClassPass is the company that allows you to book classes near you at any gym that’s a partner of the company with one monthly fee, and the company has now introduced a new aspect called, ClassPass Live. They describe it as interactive workout classes and on-demand videos all from wherever you are.

02:42 S1: So, it’s a live streaming fitness experience that can be yours for $10 a month to existing ClassPass subscribers and $15 a month for standalone users. If you want to pay annually, it will cost you $99 a year. You’ll be able to join live cases that are happening in the studio in real time. And these are offered on a regular schedule Monday to Friday so you can opt for a time that works for you.

03:05 S1: Alternatively, you can choose to work out on demand and this can be anywhere or at any time. Live classes will rotate between HIIT, which is high intensity interval training, strength training, kickboxing, boxing and more. The classes will be heart rate enabled, and we’ll touch on this in a little bit, and they’ll have a leaderboard. With the on demand classes, you can choose to take on a cardio based class such as boxing or HIIT or a strength based class or mind and body, which includes yoga. Or you can go for an express class, which takes 20 minutes or less if you’re pressed for time but still want to get that workout in.

03:37 S1: So, what’s so great about ClassPass Live? Well, we mentioned how quite often people thrive in environments where they’re spurred on by competition. Well, if you opt in for ClassPass’s starter kit, you’ll be sent a Wahoo TICKR Heart Rate Monitor and a Google Chromecast and you’ll pay $79 up front for this. These two bits of tech do really give you full experience that ClassPass intends you to have.

04:00 S1: So, you’d attach the heart rate monitor and get ready for the class to start. You’ll then be able to see your real time metrics on screen. This includes your calorie burn, your heart rate and the points you earn, which are earned by staying in the target heart rate zone. So, whether they want you to push hard or do active recovery, you’ll earn points for sticking within that heart rate zone.

04:18 S1: You’ll then be able to see your points on screen as well as your position on the leaderboard against the other people partaking in the class. So, whether it’s your friends or total strangers, you can be sure that seeing your position in comparison to others is bound to get that intrinsic motivation up of you wanting to push yourself, wanting to put your all into the workout.

04:36 S1: Other participants in the class will see your name, your tagline and your position on the leaderboard, and so obviously they’ll also be competing as hard as possible to try and beat you in the class. If you’re in the top 10 point earners for the week, so that’s another thing for you to aim for, you’ll be featured in the top 10 leaderboard, as all the ClassPass members can see. So, obviously, if you’re really wanting that bit of that accolade, then push really hard and do a lot of classes.

05:01 S1: ClassPass Live really uses that feeling of actually being there during the live workout because you can get shout-outs from the coaches during the sessions. CNET, the media company, have tried out ClassPass Live and they said they loved the affordability. You get way more than your money when paying for different classes that would cost you a lot more in person. And there’s such a wide database to choose from. But they did say there is some work to be done on the user experience of the app and they sometimes had trouble with the heart rate monitor. But overall, this is great for someone on a busy agenda and they want that group experience brought into their home.

05:32 S1: Our next bit of tech in the low-end category is Booya Fitness. Prita Kumar founded Booya Fitness as she loved boutique fitness classes, but she was fed up of having to book and commit to classes when in advance when, of course, as we’ve mentioned, people’s schedules change, things come up. She also wanted a more cost effective option than paying for each individual class she wanted to attend. So, therefore, Booya Fitness was founded. Unlike ClassPass Live, Booya Fitness does not offer live classes. However, it does have an extensive on demand library. Booya charges $9.99 a month for unlimited access, or $26.99 for three months, or again, $99.99 for a year’s worth of access, and for these prices you’ll get unlimited access to all of their studio classes.

06:17 S1: And so Booya partners with boutique gyms and instructors to bring you really fun and challenging workouts in a wide variety of different workout classes. So, if you’re someone that gets bored of the same sort of class very easily, then there’s so many different options that Booya offers, that you could try almost a different one every few days and never get bored and never get a sort of stagnant or plateau of your routine. These options include boot camp, HIIT again, sports conditioning, dance, even prenatal, strength conditioning and even more than that. There’s so many for you to choose from. You can set a couple of preferences and Booya will recommend a video for you, or just browse the video library or the type of workout you want to choose and then select that.

06:57 S1: And then after completing a workout, you can rate how hard or easy you found it, and then Booya will adjust its recommendations for you based on your experiences, so it’ll try and find you a workout that’s right for you, right for your proficiency level of fitness, and also for what you enjoy. And by acquiring a Booya fitness membership you also get a discount on one of their workout plans, and these can be anything from, they call them Fit Foods or Eat Clean Get Lean. And there’s even more specific plans again like, Four Weeks ‘Til the Aisle. So quite a versatile company. And again, something you can look for if you’re not too bothered about having a live class, if you just want the feeling of having a class brought to your home, but you don’t mind if it’s live or not, then Booya could be for you. And again, it’s very flexible because they’re all on demand and you can choose to do them anywhere at any time.

07:41 S1: So, which of these would I rather go for? Which will I recommend or which one is suited to which sort of user? Personally, I think, I would probably go for ClassPass Live, mainly because of the live aspect. It makes you feel a lot more present in the studio, and despite Booya’s massive workout library, and obviously accommodating a lot more different types of people, and including a lot of different workouts. If I was someone that wanted to really bring that group workout feel home, then obviously, ClassPass is right for you. I think, if you are someone that is specifically interested in this, then you will probably want the live aspect because you’ll feel that you are turning up for the class in a sense, rather than, again, trying to find or accommodate it in your own time, which, you may have the same problem. Do I have time to fit it in my schedule? Whilst if it’s live, it’s almost like having an extra sense of accountability because you have to show up at that time, be there, but you can do it at home without having to go to the hassle of leaving the house. And again, if you’re already a ClassPass user, then you do get a subsidised price, so that might be another incentive to go for ClassPass Live.

08:45 S1: So next up in the mid-end, category, we have Gixo, and it’s mainly been placed in a mid-end category due to its price point. It’s slightly more expensive than ClassPass Live and Booya as it costs $19.99 a month. So again, Gixo is a fitness app that allows you to take live on demand classes wherever you want, and you can join live classes of group running, walking, HIIT, strength to batter. So again, a wide range of options for you choose from. So a quick walk through of what the app might look like. You might choose to sign into one of the running lessons, and you’ll then be greeted by your coach who will announce who’s joining the class, and then the coach’s voice might be overlaid over the top of a video of the warm up exercises you have to do. So, for example, she might say, “Do some leg swings” for you to prepare for the run. And you’ll see a video of how to do these with correct form. So that’s really important because we all know how really important warming up is and stretching your muscles out before undertaking any exercises to prevent injuries.

09:40 S1: Gixo does a really good job of building up a sense of community. It’s really quite a social app. And so, for those of you who are looking to build friendships like you might if you actually were going to the studios and gym classes in person, then Gixo’s a great substitute. On a group run you’ll be able to see the other racers who are partaking in the class, and then your coach might call out for to take a photo of where you are in the race or they might call out that two of the racers need to have a race against each other internally, so they might push you to try and beat one of your competitors. And so, that really does build up a sense of community around the app. You can even chat to individual racers or participants of the classes on an individual party line, again, so you can get those virtual buddies who are so good for accountability and getting you to push yourself.

10:22 S1: After a group run, for example, you’ll be able to see the leaderboard afterwards and see, in the allotted time, who ran the furthest, again, giving you that competitive drive you need to push yourself harder, and you can then congratulate your virtual racers, and again, really cementing that sense of community around Gixo. The coaches really try to get to know you and they personalise your experiences in real time. And you can choose to activate your camera, so your trainer can actually see you. This isn’t a requirement necessarily, but if you do want feedback on how you’re doing, whether your form’s correct, if you’re doing a strength training class, for example, and you want to know whether you’re performing a rep right, then it might be quite useful to have your trainer tell you what your rep’s like if they can actually see you, so that’s really, really handy. And it’s also just for the trainer. Other people can’t see you, so don’t worry about that. But you can talk to them through sending messages if you so wish.

11:09 S1: It will feel like a really engaging and motivating atmosphere, because the coaches can give you real time shout-outs or tell you to push yourself harder if you’re participating in one of the live classes, and you can even receive a personalised goal from the coach during your workout, and what’s also great is that is the fact that the classes are offered throughout the day and the night. So they can really cater to your busy schedule. And they range in length, their intensity, the workout style. So there’s really no excuses because the timetable is really accommodating everyone, in a sense that they’re all the way through the night. So really no excuses there. The app as well will count you pace, your speed and your distance or reps, depending on the type of exercise you’re doing, and your trainer will be able to see these stats. So they’ll be able to see how fast you’re running, even if you don’t activate your camera. So there’s no slacking going on here. So if you’re someone that does need someone who will give you that careful of watchful over you as to whether you’re gonna push yourself hard enough, then Gixo could definitely be the app for you. Final great features about Gixo, include the fact that you can participate in monthly fundraisers which give back to the community, and that can be for something like a charitable 5K or 10K run. So a really great feature of the app as well.

12:17 S1: And finally, we’ll get into the high-end category and we’ll be looking at Peloton. You may have already heard of Peloton, there’s been quite a lot of buzz about it and you might know that it has something to do with a stationary bike that you have in your house. But Peloton really is much more than that. Today, we’ll just be looking at the Peloton bike, but there’s also the Peloton treadmill as well. So bear that in mind. So Peloton is in the high-end, well and truly because of the price. It will set you back quite significantly. In order to purchase the Peloton bike with the most basic package or the first tear-package, it will set you back $2,245 up front, or $58 a month for 39 months. And then on top of this, that’s just to buy the actual bike, the membership then has two tiers. And getting a membership is necessary in order to access the live and on demand classes.

13:06 S1: You can opt for the Peloton membership. This gives you access to the live classes that you can play by the bicycle or treadmill and with the app and this will cost you an extra $39 a month or there’s the digital membership, which allows you to access the classes via the app without the bike or treadmill and that will cost $19.49 a month. So if you don’t want the upfront cost of buying the bike, that is the true immersive experience if you want the full experience, I do recommend buying the bike, but obviously, if you’re not in a situation to be able to afford that then you can still get the app and the classes and do them on your own stationary bike or at a gym or something like that. So it is a hefty fare but it could get you on track to achieving your fitness goals. I guarantee you’ll love every single second. Without the ongoing membership, the $39 a month, or the digital membership, the $19 a month, you’ll only be able to access three classes and a free ride mode. So, you do need to really pay the ongoing fee if you want to get the full experience out of Peloton.

14:03 S1: But now, moving on to what Peloton truly offers for that hefty price. So you’ll get 24-hour access to classes streamed from the Peloton studio in New York City. And if you happen to be in New York City, you could actually go to the studio and partake in one of these classes. There are around 14 live classes for you to join in a day and you can also select from on demand classes and there’s thousands of options there as well.

14:26 S1: For the cycling fanatics, there are real-time metrics, and these include your output, your resistance, your cadence and your heart rate, so you can really get a picture of how hard you’re pushing yourself, and these metrics will then be recorded for a particular workout and you can see how your performance improves over time, and you can push harder to improve your scores with each new workout. There are a number of different trainers to choose from and each one has their own style. So again, you can select the class by trainer type, so find someone that fits best with you, depending on how energetic they are, how hard they push, everything like that, you can tailor it to yourself.

15:00 S1: The classes don’t get boring or mundane because they’re all independent; they all differ in length and music and difficulty, so you can find a pace you’re comfortable at and start working your way up. If you opt for an on demand class, you can see the leaderboard for everyone that’s done that particular class, and then you can even set yourself a personal challenge. So you could say, “On this class, I want to be in the top 300 out of a total of 500 people that have taken it”. Alternately, you can filter the results and only see your score for that on demand class, and again, you can compete against yourself. So it really will… Peloton really will bring out your competitive edge and it will make you push yourself harder than if you were training solo. So, that’s what’s so great about group workouts, really. That, and the fact that you can learn off other people. These coaches are professionals. They do do this for a living, so they know how hard to push, when to rest and they’ll make sure that you get the best workout possible in the allotted time slot.

15:53 S1: Finally, Peloton offers you the opportunity to take your workouts off the bike and improve your strength training as well, and you can also take a guided stretching session to improve your recovery and rest time as well. You can even sync your workouts to Facebook or Strava or Fitbit. So if you have communities on these platforms that you want to share your accolades with, you want to share your experiences with, then definitely post them across to these platforms, and you can even set up virtual competitions with friends via these platforms as well. So if you can justify the cost, the Peloton bike might be for you. If you really enjoy spinning classes, for example, or just cycling in general or just generally want to get fit, Peloton works up a sweat incredibly. You will be drippy after the session, you’ll feel like you’ve worked hard, you’ll feel like you deserve a little rest afterwards. So, it could justify the price if you’re willing to put in the effort.

16:45 S1: And that’s all we have time for now, that’s 20 minutes. I really hope you enjoyed listening to this episode of 20-Minute Fitness. Do get in touch if you are currently doing any classes at studios or in gyms and whether you’d consider doing them virtually now. Do you struggle with your own timetable to get to classes in the studios? And would something like this, would this tech help you? Do you think it’s something you could get into? If you do do group workouts, then tell us what you like about them. Do they motivate you more? Do they keep you accountable? If you’re someone who’s thinking about getting or getting into one of these bits of tech we’ve talked about, What are your apprehensions? What do you find exciting about them? We’d be really interested in hearing your stories, but overall, group workouts brought to your home are a fantastic idea. They can accommodate your schedule, build an online community that are gonna push you to achieve your very best, get some of the very best coaching from professional teachers, and you’ll enjoy the whole experience because it’s very tailored and personalised and the energy is just kept so high from all of these different workouts we’ve discussed. So make sure you check one of them out at least. I know some of them have free trials, so definitely make the most of that. Once again, hope you enjoyed and we will see you next time.

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Lilla Laczo

Lilla is a content writer and community manager at Shape.
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