Episode 24: Streaming Fitness: Choosing a Home Workout Option Can Be … Well, A Workout

Woman lying on a balance ball
Uggghhhhh. Whyyyyy do I have to do so much work just to workout?

Streaming fitness, where you can participate in a workout from the comfort of your home, certainly isn’t new. But the plethora of sites proliferating workouts and classes all over the interwebs … well, there are new options. Lots of options. So. Many. Options. 

So, with all the workout goodness to choose from, how do you pick?

If you’re AJ, you undertake an exhaustive study of every class out there, perform a thorough cost-benefit analysis, and use a database to streamline reporting. Or at the very least, you bust open an Excel spreadsheet.

Wait! Come back! You don’t have to be like AJ! We promise!

If you don’t wanna commit that much time, effort, or nerd power to this exercise (Tee, hee, hee! See what we did there?), we created some criteria for you to consider and listed out some of AJ’s favorite options in the Further Info and Deets section below.

First up, why bother with streaming? Maybe you prefer to workout from the privacy of your home. Maybe you’re not ready to rejoin the sweaty masses. Maybe during lockdown, you put on a little weight. Maybe a lot of weight. Maybe, for instance, maybe you outgrew your size XXL sweatpants. It could happen. We’ve heard … from friends. … OK, OK, samesies. But there’s certainly no judgement in the privacy of your own home. 

In addition to privacy, there’s convenience, variety, and savings.

As far as costs go, there’s quite a range, from free options to services that can cost you nearly a hundred bucks a month or more.

When it comes to picking the right service for you and your goals, here are some tips:

  1. Set an intention for your membership. What are you after? Is it to lose fat, build muscle or endurance, prep for a race or competition, get some stress relief, become more flexible? Knowing your end goal can help you narrow your options. 
  2. Figure out what will motivate you. Live classes may give you a feeling of community and accountability, something to look forward to and the transience of FOMO if you miss the class. Do you need variety because you have the attention span of fruit fly? Do you want to try something you’ve never tried before like Bollywood-style workouts, Barre, or boxing? Or maybe the idea of training with one of the hottest, most sought-after trainers appeals to you?
  3. Set a price point. What can you afford to spend? Will this replace the gym or other fitness classes, or are you planning to add streaming to your regular workout routine?
  4. Choose a streaming method that fits your lifestyle. Ask yourself if you prefer:
    1. Mobile device only, like a cell phone or tablet.
    2. Television streaming, including Roku, Amazon, AppleTV.
    3. Audio oriented, i.e. guided workouts with verbal cues
    4. Special interactive devices like a mirror or bike (not reviewed in this round)
    5. Or ALL or most of the above.

So, after all that careful consideration, which sites did AJ prefer, or which won the knock down, drag-out, nerd-off?

  • Best for Variety of Workouts and Platform Options: NEOU — This is AJ’s go-to.
  • Best for anyone with ADD: Les Mills — Actually AJ really liked the workouts, so she kept this one too (don’t judge).
  • Best for Yoga: Alo Moves — Per one of the listeners, Chandra, oh she of the supreme bendyness.
  • Best Free Option: YouTube — It has as many, if not more, types of workouts as NEOU.
  • Best Audio Guided Option: Aaptiv

What are your experiences with streaming fitness? Do you have a go-to class or service that you love? Or tried and hated? Dish in the comments, or let us know our Facebook page in the related post comments.

DISCLAIMER: This post and others on this site contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, Hillary and AJ may receive a small commission. This helps support the show and site and allows us to continue our sassy shenanigans. Thank you for the support! Everything on this site is based on information we learned from our own experience and/or research. Please do your own research before making any important decisions, and always consult a medical professional before adopting or changing exercise, eating or fitness plans. You and only you are responsible for your health and wellbeing.

Further Info and Deets

AJ and Hillary talk about how to pick an accountability partner

Yoga with Adriene

Obe Fitness

Peloton

The Five Stages of Peloton

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