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The Largest Fitness Class Today: Working Alone at Home

Casano goes to a gym in Monroe, N.Y., four days a week for body-sculpting classes. But after having a baby in January, she's having trouble adjusting childcare for gym time.

Instead, he bought a Peloton high-tech stationary bike to try out at home exercise. When she came together for a live stream of the virtual group ride, she was surprised at how much it would be like a real class. The bike display showed other riders and the teacher sometimes called people named. Si Ms. Casano, 32, has joined a group of Peloton new mothers on Facebook.

"People always post questions like, & # 39; Who rides tomorrow? Who wants to do this kind of music ride or that kind of ride? & # 39; you start riding them, ”he said. In June, he dropped his membership at the gym. human class. Gyms have noticed the launch of their own home programs: Last week, Equinox-owned SoulCycle announced that it would be debuting in the fall. The company did not mention competitors, but said the move reflects members' willingness "to choose where, how and when they will work."

Peloton attempts to simulate the buzz and energy of an in-person spin class with its interactive touch screen.

Peloton Interactive

Spin studio Flywheel unveils virtual offerings following the launch of its own connected stationary bike, Fly Anywhere, in late 2017. Gold's Gym is expanding its Amp virtual programming , such as Crunch's Crunch Live.

U.S. gym membership hit an all-time high in 2018, but the growth rate cooled to 2% after rising 6% last year, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association. Much of the decade's growth has been fueled by boutique studios such as CrossFit, Orangetheory and SoulCycle, whose ability to be fitness in a communal experience has brought great loyalty to their brands. The IHRSA said it was too early to say whether streaming classes would reduce club visits. CrossFit, SoulCycle and Orangetheory say they don't see in-home streaming fitness programs as a threat.

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Home fans said they like the convenience of exercising when and where it suits them. And unlike previous home fitness fads that forced people to come up with their own motivation, these new technologies provide virtual competitions, online communities and electronic alerts that let you exercise. .

Virtual exercises can be a great option for people who want some level of team connection but feel self-conscious in a real class, says

Walter Thompson,

a professor of exercise psychology at Georgia State University in Atlanta. But his research shows that home programs are most effective when they beat the user to action. "If this is an app that exists on your phone, it is up to you to choose an option to enter and open it," he said. "But if my Apple watch went off with an instant telling me it was time to get up, I would do it." Many of the new programs have notification options or add a user calendar class.

Peloton, whose touch The screen provides access to live and on-demand rotation classes, lets people compete virtually against other riders. Launched in 2012, Peloton counts more than 500,000 subscribers by early 2019, double the number from a year ago, and has recently been filed to go public. The bike costs about $ 2,000, plus a $ 40 monthly subscription.

Mirror Home Gym began selling vertical LCD screens this year. When done nothing, it looks like a full glass, but when turned on, it becomes a virtual fitness center with live and on-demand classes led by educators appearing on the screen. Photos on other pages show other users taking classes, and members interact with educators and each other on Facebook and Instagram. The Mirror costs about $ 1,500, plus a $ 40 monthly subscription fee. The company did not release subscriber numbers, but said in February it was selling $ 1 million worth of mirrors a month.

The Fitness app DailyBurn offers hundreds of workouts from yoga to strength training, through live and on-demand classes; subscriptions range from $ 10 to $ 20 a month. Current number of subscribers to hundreds of thousands, according to the CEO

Tricia Han.

The Aaptiv app, launched in 2016, offers trainer-led audio exercises to more than 230,000 subscribers, an increase of 45% over the last year. The app offers team challenges, a virtual coach to set your workout schedule and electronic reminders.

Anne Napolitano,

a 55-year-old accountant, who practices kickboxing classes three times a week at a gym in Bethpage, N.Y. But he couldn't stick to the schedule when he started his own business. She signed up for the free trial on DailyBurn and promised herself that she would work at 5:30 every morning.

At first, he didn't take his new promise seriously. "There are many days when I find it difficult to motivate myself when that alarm goes off," he said.

But then he joined the app's Facebook group. When one member challenged others to work every day for two straight months, Ms. Lee jumped in. Napolitano – and it has become a habit, he says. She tacks her $ 150 a month on gym membership and pays less than $ 75 annually for app subscriptions.

His current favorite class, in which he runs his living room on TV, is Daily Burn 365, a morning workout run by television personality JD Roberto. Users posted comments on the show's Facebook group about exercising that day. "You're glad to go home and do the class because you don't want to miss anything," she said.

Being part of a team helps boost performance, says Dr. Eric Bean, a sports psychologist in San Diego. "Back then, working out at home meant just being alone. But I get the effect of that team on being a class where others see me and I see how I can compare to them," he said.

A runner guides a tournament guide that runs with the fitness app iFit, from the makers of NordicTrack, that links treadmills, elliptical, rowing machines and bicycles to streaming fitness fitness.


Brynn Putnam,

The founder and CEO of Mirror, is playing on both sides. A former ballerina with the New York City Ballet, she opened her first boutique fitness studio in New York in 2010 blending ballet, Pilates and yoga with strength and interval training. He called his program Refine Method and now has three studios.

Many of his Refine Methods were purchased only by Mirror devices to terminate their studio membership, he said. "I'm not walking to get my studios out of business, but I'll be glad if I do because I believe people's fitness goals are better served by working from home," he said.

Michelle Lechner,

48, of Stamford, Conn., Bought a Mirror in October, after years of taking four fitness classes a week at a local gym. He said the sessions at home did not offer the same level of urgency as a gym class. "You have to motivate yourself to go," he said.

But he loved the flexibility and comfort of home exercises. He lowered his $ 180-a-month membership to the gym and said he is actually exercising now. "Sitting in a class and having someone sneeze and cough all over me, waiting for the shower, forgetting to pack things for work, driving – I can't miss anything," she said. "It's nice not to plan my life around a class."

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