Once upon a time, going to the gym and fitness studios was as much a social activity as it was a physical one. Remember the small talk, high-fives and fitness tips you’d exchange with fellow gym goers before, during and after a workout sesh?
With variants of the Covid-19 virus looming with no end in sight, in-person contact has undoubtedly become a lot more calibrated. After all, every form of human contact poses a risk of virus transmission (especially the asymptomatic cases), and we know by now the chain effect of infection that can occur.
That’s why, over the past year, an increasing number of people have taken to working out at home. No doubt, home workouts don’t provide the social benefits of in-person, group workouts. But in times of uncertainty, home workouts are probably the safest and most reliable way to get your sweat game on.
Plus, there are now plenty of great options to keep your home workouts feeling like motivating gym workouts.
Enter workout videos
Beyond following your favourite fitness trainer/influencer on YouTube, you can level up by joining on-demand virtual workout classes offered by some gyms and fitness studios in Singapore. These are pre-recorded workout videos that feature an instructor (or two) guiding you in real time, just like they would at the gym.
Similar to following YouTube videos, you get to decide what time to start your workout – especially useful for when your work meetings overrun or something unexpected/urgent crops up, eating into your planned workout timeslot. Another big benefit of doing a virtual workout: you have the liberty of hitting pause anytime you need (without the curious stares you’d get in a physical class), though of course, this isn’t recommended unless you’re taking a designated workout break.
So, time to address the elephant in the room: What makes on-demand virtual workouts worth paying for, when there are plenty of fitness videos on YouTube at your disposal – annoying ads aside?
The benefits of on-demand virtual workouts (VS YouTube videos)
1. Structured and well-programmed classes by qualified instructors
Let’s face it: It’s hard to tell how legit the instructors in YouTube fitness videos are, with the exception of some well-known names such as Cassey Ho and Kayla Itsines. After all, anyone who wants to create and upload a workout video can do so on YouTube without much barriers or discrimination. Look decently fit in activewear, pump out some exercises with confidence, and you could pass off as a fitness Youtuber, right?
On-demand workout classes, on the other hand, are often modelled after tried-and-tested classes in the gyms and fitness studios, and involve the demonstration and instruction of the relevant qualified trainers – sometimes the brand’s founders themselves. This is a big pull factor if you have specific preferences for workout types and trainers.
Also, YouTube workouts are often not as intense or in-depth, as they are designed to appeal to a mass audience with a basic level of fitness.
2. A library of related and complementary workouts right up your alley
Another beauty of on-demand virtual workouts: Once you have signed up, a treasure trove of workouts created and curated by your trusted gym or fitness studio will be at your fingertips. The workouts are usually sorted by duration, fitness levels, fitness goals, and more.
Think of this as a virtual gym class membership. You get to train with your favourite brand or instructors, in the comfort of your home anytime you wish. No need to contend with annoying ads like those on YouTube, as these on-demand workouts are hosted on ad-free platforms.
Besides your activewear, mat and props (if required), what you’ll need would be a trusty laptop/TV, and stable WiFi.
What to note before subscribing to on-demand virtual workouts
While on-demand virtual workouts give you more control over your workout schedule and access to high-quality videos of workouts you are interested in, they are not for everyone.
If you’ve recently started your fitness journey or are new to the particular type of workout you’re trying, it is risky to attempt the moves you see onscreen, without the supervision of a qualified fitness trainer. Exercise newbies are better off with personal coaching or joining physical workout classes in the presence of an instructor who is able to monitor your exercise form as well as offer tips and modifications based on your fitness level.
Another sign that on-demand workouts may not be for you: If you’re the sort who relies on a workout buddy or a class cancellation penalty to stay accountable. Much as we love the flexibility of on-demand workout classes, you will need a great deal of discipline to stick to your workout plan.
Ready to give on-demand virtual workouts a shot? These gyms and fitness studios in Singapore offer a good variety of workouts worth signing up for.