The Rise of Digital Fitness

Updated: Sep 29, 2020


Most people shifted to online workouts during the pandemic with consumer investment increasing 30-35% relative to pre Covid levels. With gyms slow to reopen, facing an uncertain future with the ever changing rules on gatherings, we have seen a huge rise in home workouts and virtual races through innovative platforms, all made possible by technology, fitness apps and social media fitness influencers taking centre stage, positioning the sector for faster growth in the future.


Many gyms have already started to make the move online as adapting to this new world to survive is now more crucial than ever. The inclusion of augmented reality in fitness apps has also seen a big increase. This new shift in the model has also allowed businesses a wider reach in consumer engagement through flexible schedules.


Can the new wave of high-intensity home workouts replace the gym? We explore the in’s and out’s of the fastest growing fitness apps, tech devices and accessories in 2020. Keep reading to find out more...

FITT


You’ll need nothing more than yourself, a soft surface such as a yoga matt and a set of dumbbells to make this work for you at home! FITT launched in April 2018 and with its interactive leaderboard resemble the experience of working out in a fitness class the app has been downloaded by 150,000 users. You can join their Facebook group and the monthly cost for the subscription is £20.00.


Trainers include the likes of Adrienne Hebert, Chessie King and Gabby Allen and there are three different ‘studios’ on offer: strength, cardio and rebalance. For the data and tracking lovers, Fiit also offers a progress-tracking element which you can connect to your Apple Watch or one of Fitt’s own devices.

SWEAT


Kayla Itsines Fitness promotes itself as “the world’s largest digital gym”, with 35m workouts completed since 2015. The programmes include BBG (including brand new beginner weeks, BBG stronger, Kayla’s post pregnancy, BBG Zero Equipement.


The monthly subscription is £15.00 and Sweat fans can assemble on Instagram with the app’s huge following drawing close to 1m. The perfect place to connect with women who are focused on their health and fitness, encouraging and motivating each other. You’ll also have the option of tailored weekly meal plans and shopping lists.

HYDROW


Branded as the Peloton of rowing machines, providing a total body workout and engaging 86% of your muscles with the offer of live broadcasts from the water it’s a fully interactive experience from the comfort of your own home. With integrated heart rate monitoring, four types of rowing videos, you can choose between Live Rowing, Rows on Demand, Serene River Rowing, Whole Body Fitness led by world class athletes.


The machine is surprisingly quiet and it can be stored vertically to free up space. It doesn’t come cheap but it’s definitely a remarkable piece of technology. The cost is $2,245 plus a $38 membership fee. The service is currently only available in the US but will expand to the UK this year.

ZWIFT


This multiplayer online cycling and running physical training program enables users to interact, train and compete in a virtual world. Blending the fun from the video games world with serious competition and training it’s a fantastic option when it comes to getting fitter and stronger.


If you are looking to get into cycling you’ll need your own bike and a turbo trainer (ranging from £600-£1000) for resistance. For running you’ll need a run pod and a treadmill. The membership cost is £12 a month.

PELOTON


With Peloton Bike+ and Peloton Tread newly introduced this year, as well as an app and accessories, the brand is reinventing the fitness game. You can expect full body training opportunities and an entire library of cycling, strength, yoga, and stretching, providing unlimited access to your whole household through the All Access Membership.


It doesn’t come cheap but it’s to be expected from ‘the best cardio machine on the planet’. The starting price for the bike is £1990 with the treadmill starting at £2295 plus a £39 membership fee. Financing and plans are available as well as showroom trials if you are thinking of treating yourself to one!

MIRROR


Futuristic device and US startup recently acquired by active wear brand Lululemon for USD 500 million is meant to serve as an at home gym alternative with access to weekly live classes, on demand workouts and one on one personal training.


Taking little to no space is perfect for smaller city apartments and remarkably stylish turning less than two fit of wall space into a fitness studio. The great thing about it is the variety of workouts available from bare, to boxing to mediation. Very similar to the Peloton concept the Mirror works with a set fee ($1,495) and a monthly membership ($39).

AAPTIV


The app put personal trainers in your headphones with unlimited access to audio based fitness classes with over 2,500 workouts available with the app adding around 40 new classes every week. It also offers curated playlists to keep you motivated!


Great for anyone looking to build on their workouts consistency and fitness levels. A more inexpensive, stress free approach to get into better shape offering a 7 day free trial and monthly membership fee at £12.

FITNESS PLUS (coming late 2020)

Apple has announced a new fitness experience for everyone. With world class workouts by the world’s top class trainers, this will be a subscription service which you’ll be able to access via your iPhone, iPad or Apple TV. It will also only work with the Apple Watch, where subscribers will see their key workout metrics on whichever screen they're using. the service was introduced alongside watchOS 7, the Apple Watch 6, and Apple Watch SE. It will cost £9.99 a month and if you are are thinking of buying the Apple Watch you’ll get a three month free trial. Those who already own one will get one month.

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