Are you struggling to find the motivation to exercise on your own? Or perhaps you need inspiration for a new workout idea? Well, luckily for you, there are many companies offering workout subscription services. In this article, we will look at five of the best.
What should you look for in a subscription service?
The first thing you should consider is pricing. Most fitness subscription services are reasonably cheap and charge monthly. Try to avoid any subscription service that tries to tie you down for a year or more.
Luckily, this is becoming much rarer, and you can cancel most subscription services at any time. A rough price estimate for online subscription services is around £12-£20 per month, though some of these subscriptions require equipment.
Peloton, for example, works with exercise bikes and treadmills, so you will need one of those. The same goes for Zwift and Rouvy. But you have others, such as Beachbody and Les Mills, that offer exercises you can do with or without equipment.
#1: Beachbody On Demand
Beachbody On Demand was one of the most famous fitness companies in the early 2000s. With their signature program “Insanity” being one of the biggest fitness DVDs of all time. You can find Insanity and many other (less intense) workouts on the Beachbody subscription service.
It offers individual workouts, entire workout programs, nutrition classes, and videos on rest and recovery. There is, in short, everything you need to get in shape, all packaged in one service.
The subscription service is billed annually, so there is a relatively hefty upfront fee. Still, you get a lot of value for that price.
Avoid the “Shakeology” option, as this is just an overpriced meal replacement shake, like Herbalife or SlimFast. A waste of money.
Still, the actual fitness classes and programs are excellent. It is also easy to find ones that will suit your specific needs and capabilities, thanks to their massive library of workouts.
Peloton has become a big name in home fitness thanks to their high-quality exercise bikes and treadmills, but also due to their subscription service.
The initial idea was to recreate high-quality spin bike studios for people who want to exercise at home. The first Peloton bike came out in 2014; it had an in-built touchscreen where you could join live spin lessons from the comfort of your home.
They have since brought out a treadmill. Both the treadmill and exercise bike are high quality but expensive, which could put some people off. Luckily, Peloton now offers a subscription service, where for £12.99 per month, you can join in online classes.
These classes can be on any bike or treadmill (they don’t have to be Peloton brand), or you can do bodyweight classes or even just walking with the app. Peloton doesn’t have as many programs or workouts as Beachbody On Demand, but it has a slicker design and feels more modern.
Treadmills and exercise bikes can be incredibly dull, particularly at home, where you only have your bare walls or messy bedroom to look at. Wouldn't it be better to be cycling up the side of a mountain? Or to run along the Champs-Élysées?
Zwift is a virtual reality exercise subscription service that will work with any Bluetooth-capable exercise bike or treadmill. Most exercise equipment made in the last ten years will have Bluetooth connectivity.
You place your phone or tablet on your bike or treadmill (they usually have a little shelf for just this) and connect it to the machine via Bluetooth. Then you can pick a destination like Paris, London, New York, or somewhere else entirely.
As you pedal your bike, the virtual reality bike on your screen will move forward. It's a bit like being in a computer game. The funny thing is, five minutes in, and you forget that this is just virtual reality, you feel like you actually are cycling up a steep incline in London or flying past a fellow cyclist in Paris.
The app is about the same price per month as the Peloton app. If you plan on either cycling or running on a treadmill, then the Zwift app may well be for you.
#4: Les Mills On Demand
Les Mills is a New Zealand company that became the face of exercise to music classes in the 80s. They are still going strong, and unsurprisingly they now offer a subscription service called Les Mills On Demand.
The service is like Peloton’s, with live classes specifically for people training at home and workouts ranging from 15 minutes to 60 minutes. They have cardio workouts, yoga, HIIT, meditation, strength training (called Body Pump), and several other options to choose from.
You can stream the videos from your phone, tablet, computer, TV, or several other devices. It costs £12 per month.
Rouvy is almost identical to Zwift, except that it has no treadmill option and, in my opinion, the courses and virtual reality experience are slightly better. It offers 4,000 video routes, 7,000 workouts, and gives out $20,000 in prizes every month!
The big difference between Rouvy and Swift is that Rouvy requires you to have a real bike and attach it to a piece of equipment called a smart trainer. The smart trainer holds your bike upright so that you can cycle in place. The app can then adjust the difficulty for you as it simulates you going uphill or downhill.
This doesn't sound very easy, but it's straightforward to set up. Smart trainers can be pretty expensive, though, albeit no more costly than a regular exercise bike. The Rouvy app costs $12 per month – around £10 once you account for fees and currency conversion. Check out this YouTube video if you would like to learn more about how Smart trainers work and the different types available.