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 the Covid-19 pandemic looming and variants of the virus emerging 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.
To reduce physical contact and ensure safety, your gym and fitness studio would be taking precautions such as these:
- Everyone is required to wear a mask at all times when the class is not in session
- Limited class size as per safe-distancing rules from the government
- Members are limited to one class per day
- Trial classes are on pause
- Earlier cancellation policy
- Fewer classes per day to allow them to clean the gym/studio
- Members have to be early for class to do a SafeEntry check-in and temperature taking
- No towels or extra equipment provided
- Limited use of facilities such as the shower area, lockers and water cooler
- Members are required to bring their own yoga mat to lay over the studio mats
If you’re one of those who are religiously going to the gym or fitness studio while abiding by the safety measures, good for you. Booking a slot and actually making it down takes a whole lot of motivation, discipline, and sometimes, luck.
For the rest of us who prefer to work out from home and at our own time (procrastinating and skipping of sessions included), there are now plenty of engaging options to keep you from slacking off.
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 workout videos on YouTube)
1. You’ll get access to 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. You’ll get access to a library of related workouts that you love
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.