You’ve never had more options for working out at home than now. For a while, gear packaged with access to online classes, like fit-tech brands Peloton and The Mirror, have been carving out a digital space for fitness, but the pandemic lockdowns have pushed just about everyone to work out online.
Photo courtesy of Peloton
Finding a cheap workout just may be the one of the most effective ways to get motivated to be fit. Once you’ve signed up, however, the motivation to get moving is a whole other story. In my other life as a health journalist, fitness experts would always say, “the best workout is the one you do.” And you will only waste money signing up for workouts you don’t do. So my list of the best workout deals is a mixed bag, in the hopes that you will find a fitness program that not only fits your budget, but is valuable to you (and your time), from great deals to premium programs on sale and even free workouts.
Fitness on sale: Great deals on digital gym memberships, virtual classes and workouts
The perceived value, structured classes and programs and a schedule to stick to make any of these fitness plans worth paying for. Here are some good deals for at-home workouts:
3 months free when you buy an Apple Watch; first month free with subscription. $12.99/month or $99/year
A variety of workouts for all fitness levels, ranging from no-equipment to full gym, including cycling, treadmill, rowing, HIIT, strength, yoga, dance, core and mindful cool-downs. You can share the membership with up to five family members, and it pairs with Apple products and apps, like Apple TV and the Health app.
A schedule of live classes to join as you wish, and a growing library of over 10,000 on-demand classes, including running, cycling, strength and yoga workouts, with little to no equipment required. Workouts are also grouped into programs or challenges.
50% off when you buy annual membership (US$120/year)
Once you pick one of 15 programs, depending on your goals, you are fed workouts from a specific trainer, like Kayla Itsines’s Stronger (she’s the founder). You can also choose à la carte from its library of 3,500 workouts. There is a food feature, for meal planning The app can also be used on the Apple Watch.
$10/month (gives you 50% off your first three months)
Weight Watchers isn’t exactly a “fitness” company, so this membership includes coaching sessions for workouts and meditations, as well as cooking demos and more. You also have access to WalkTalks with audio from celebrity guests like Oprah Winfrey, Matthew McConaughey, Dr. Sanjay Gupta to join you on your walk.
Premium at-home workout savings
This category of digital fitness isn’t for everyone, true. But if you’re missing your exclusive club since the pandemic (or are the type who only works out if it costs you), there are deals to be had with premium fitness programs, too.
Finance purchase at 0% APR (Sign up for emails for Canadian launch info)
The interactive screen to watch exercise demonstrations while you watch yourself at the same time. It includes personal training as well as more than 50 types of workouts—including strength, dance and cardio–as well as live and on-demand options with real-time feedback. Music is customized, too.
Finance purchase at 0% APR (packages starting at $3,295)
Live class schedule of 10 to 16 classes daily, as well as a growing library of on-demand classes. Workouts are also grouped into programs or challenges. Also includes the bike, delivery and assembly. Other packages include shoes, weights and more.
$0 down, 0% APR financing (US$16/month for 36 months)
Live classes and on-demand workout library with real-time feedback, including rep counts and weight recommendations, as well as personal training. Also includes a full set of weights, such as dumbbells, barbell and plates, heart rate monitor, storage cabinet and more.
It’s also worthwhile to note that premium workout brands also offer apps that are accessible without the expensive equipment. That’s why Peloton is listed in both of the above categories. You can do the workouts with the apps while using your own equipment. The only difference is that you may not have access to live classes or the performance metrics. I have friends who do the cycling classes on their ol’ reliable stationary bike or treadmill and use the Peloton app for cadence instructions.
Shopping local for fitness
Boutique fitness studios were a booming industry before the pandemic. Knowing the owner, having the staff call you by name when you arrived, and your fellow class members respecting that your spot was your spot were a few of the perks. But COVID-19 had other plans, pushing these gyms online. Many offer #freeworkouts on Instagram, as well as paid Zoom workouts too. From what I’ve seen, the memberships are a fraction of what the classes used to cost. To find a deal and support a local studio, just use your MindBody app to check out the “intro offers” and “Flexible Pricing” for fitness gym deals near you.
Free, the cheapest workouts around
Free is cheap, right? Going for walks, hikes, jogs or runs are popular and don’t cost a cent. Just lace up and go! Need some accountability? Pretty much any and every fitness app offers walking and running programs for free.
As for strength fitness, YouTube is an endless source of free workouts. But, if you’ve ever searched for a quick HIIT, quality can be all over the place. Here some tried and tested online freebies that you can stream on your monitor.
The fitness industry is all about forming habits, right? So, could working out online be our latest transformation? Maybe, maybe not.
Now that #COVID19 vaccines are getting into arms, do you feel any differently about returning to the gym once it’s deemed safe to do so? Vote below! (And if you’d rather keep working out at home, check this out: : https://t.co/3Pn4VJstTc#fitness (by @lisahannam)