Livestream Workouts Are Changing the Way You Exercise at Home
Livestream Your Routine
Right now, you could summon just about any workout on demand, but why stop there? Go front row at fully booked classes thanks to the growing number of livestreamed workouts—many with Skype-like two-way interactivity—and become part of the action. "Being able to tune in to a class as it's happening lets you tap into an energy that you aren't able to do when you're watching a pre-recorded video," says Karena Dawn, the cofounder of Tone It Up, who hosts live classes with partner Katrina Scott on social media each week. "It was a one-way conversation before, but now we can all interact together." Got a question about the workout? Dawn and Scott respond to comments after the class.
You can't beat the convenience, either. Nixing the trek to the gym makes you less likely to bail, especially when the instructor can see when you tune in. "Livestreaming connects you to a real instructor who wants you to achieve your goals just as much as you want to reach them," says Cody Rigsby, an instructor at Peloton, a fitness technology company that livestreams indoor cycling classes to a video platform on its signature Peloton bikes or app. If you've ever been tempted to go live, these features will make you want to take the virtual leap.
Showing up to class for direct instruction from a trainer is a solid way to improve your form or bump up the weight you lift. But you can cue up that motivation at home too. If you use a Peloton bike, for instance, the instructors are able to see your rider stats, whether you're at home or in the studio. (Some livestreaming services offer two-way video, while others are a one-way feed.) "I can see where your resistance is and what your energy output is, and in the middle of class, I'll give a shout-out encouraging you to increase your speed or push through a tough hill," Rigsby says. "You can be working out in your basement and still get that personal feedback." (Use these tricks to power through a spin class no matter where you are.)
Forget doing the same workout day in and day out. "Classes are live, so they're totally new," Rigsby says. "When you know what's on deck, you might not be as focused or push as hard." Whether you train with a new instructor each week or take a different-themed class, it keeps your body guessing. Plus, by switching things up, you'll not only get to sample the vibe at a variety of studios, but you'll also never be bored.
It's easy to pull up livestream workouts on your computer or phone, says Coss Marte, the founder of ConBody, a prison-style boot camp in New York City that hosts workouts on Facebook Live and Instagram Stories. And with livestream offerings from NYC to L.A., chances are there's a workout happening in pretty much any time slot. "You don't even need an actual TV, so it's not as limiting," Marte says. Work trip? Get after it in your hotel room. Vacation? Take your routine to the beach!
Class Commitment Makes It Stick
On-demand workouts are great for those with ever-changing schedules, but signing up for a live class at a specific time helps you create structure in your fitness routine. "When people plan ahead and make working out part of their schedule, 90 percent of the time they're more likely to do it," says Nicole Winhoffer, the creator of #NWChurch, a streamed studio workout of hip-hop dance and toning moves based on her celebrity-approved NW Method. (Kate Hudson is a fan.)
More Money (In Your Pocket)
A boutique studio class costs $35 on average, depending on your city, but a livestream workout can be free (thanks, social media) or deeply discounted. Winhoffer, for example, charges $80 per month for her #NWChurch subscription (nicolewinhoffer.com), which includes two live videos per week from the sessions she leads—breaking down to $13 a class. "You get the structure you want from a class at a fraction of the cost," she says.