Gone are the days where you simply joined a gym, paid a monthly fee and went to one location day after day. Today, with the explosion of new fitness concepts combined with our oh-so busy lives, we want flexibility, variety and mobility. We want to try everything, anywhere, any time. And for those of us with FOMO, we want to keep up with and sample all the latest fitness trends.
Enter the latest crop of fitness subscriptions, tools and apps that are making it easier than ever to mix up your routine and work out whenever and wherever you want.
Here are some of my favorites:
For just $18/month (incredible value, considering that finding a single drop-in class at this price can be tough), you get unlimited access to a continually updated, huge library of online yoga classes led by talented and well-known instructors like Kathryn Budig, Taylor Harkness, Dice Iida-Klein, Giselle Mari and more.
The site has a powerful search and filtering capability, so when you’re looking for a 60-minute, level 2-3, Vinyasa Flow class with Jason Crandell that focuses on your lower back with twists, you can find it in a snap. While I love a good studio class, YogaGlo is a fantastic when you’re traveling, looking for a spur of the moment yoga fix at home or for when you don’t feel like ponying up another $22 for a drop in.
FitStar Personal Trainer / FitStar Yoga
Recently acquired by FitBit (another one of my favorites) in March, FitStar offers two apps that provide on-demand personal training and yoga sessions. I haven’t tried FitStar Yoga yet (see my obsession with YogaGlo above), but FitStar Personal Trainer is a great tool to complement, ramp up or mix up your regular gym sessions. I don’t know about you, but even though I constantly read about different training sequences and new exercises, I can never remember them when I’m at the gym. FitStar offers sessions of varying lengths and intensities based on your fitness profile and goals, and a quick virtual Fit Test.
The resulting sessions are easy to follow videos on the app, and you can either use the Basic version for free (two sessions per week), or upgrade to the Premium version to access unlimited content. At only $7.99/month or $39.99/year, I”m pretty sure this is the most affordable personal trainer you’ll ever find.
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While I haven’t used FitMob or ClassPass personally, since I deploy the majority of my fitness $$ to a tennis club membership, I’m fascinated by these new(ish) fitness subscriptions. And I have a bunch of friends who are absolutely hooked. The concept is simple: for about $100/month, you get access to classes at a long and varied list of studios and gyms in your area. So instead of buying a package at one studio, you purchase a FitMob or ClassPass membership and get access to many studios at once.
The concept is brilliant in terms of variety and flexibility, although there are some limitations: the membership only allows a certain # of classes at a single studio/gym per month, only so many classes at each location are made available to FitMob/ClassPass members, some cult favorites like SoulCycle aren’t available, and both services have different lists of studios/gyms. So unless you join both (ahem, serious hole in your wallet), you’ll need to make some choices/tradeoffs. FitMob runs a special introductory $1/month intro rate, which is a great way to trial the service. My prediction is that these fitness subscription models will continue to evolve and improve (and perhaps even consolidate, as they compete for studio/gym partnerships) — but even now, they offer tremendous value and flexibility for folks who value variety.
Want more recos? Head over to Greatist.com, where they recently tested and published a list of the top 49 (!) health and fitness apps of 2015.