The concept of fitness – living an active, healthy lifestyle in which you take care of your physical wellbeing through regular exercise – and the idea of the gym – a palace devoted to exercise and training – are not necessarily related. There is, of course, overlap, but they are different entities entirely.
You can be a fitness junkie and never step into a gym. You can live an active lifestyle without having to concern yourself with monthly leisure centre memberships and class attendance.
There are many ways of doing this. There are, of course, classes and teams that exist outside of a gym environment. You can go to martial arts classes, dance classes, running clubs, yoga centres… the list goes on. You can also make use of local outdoor spaces to practice multiple forms of fitness.
You can also get a perfectly good fitness regime going from the comfort of your own living room. This is the idea behind FF on Air – Fitness First on Air, Fitness Firsts’ new online virtual platform, which allow you to work out in your own time and at your own convenience.
Online workout classes
The fitness industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world, as people everywhere look to shake off the negative effects of our increasingly sedentary lifestyles.
In turn, online training amongst the fastest growing segments of the fitness industry. Spurred on by increased demand for fitness, more available technology that makes it increasingly effective, and, of course, the global coronavirus pandemic of 2020-21, which saw gyms the world over shutting down.
It predates the pandemic by quite some way, however. According to Flurry Insights, health and fitness app usage rose 330% between 2014 and 2017, and the app category grew 9% between 2016 and 2017. More than half of all smartphone users (and who doesn’t use a smartphone these days?) have downloaded a fitness or health app at some point.
There has also been no shortage of YouTube instructors racking up hundreds of thousands of views with online, follow along fitness classes. Plenty of companies, such as Les Mills and Fitness First (see below) have begun to churn out incredibly professional, good quality content with their own online fitness platforms. Streaming programs, such as Grokker and Crunch Live, are growing in popularity month by month.
There are some great benefits to online fitness classes. There are also some drawbacks, however, as there are with most fitness initiatives. These will need weighing carefully before you decide where to take your fitness journey.
The benefits of online fitness classes
First off, there is easy access to online fitness classes. The only limiting factor is your device’s connectivity. You don’t have to find a gym, drive to it, arranging childcare in the process go through the hassle of changing and so on. Just switch on your TV, laptop or tablet and get going.
This means you also get a wider array of classes. Your local gym should be well serviced with plenty of options, but they will be limited, still, by things like what talent is locally available, what their venues are kitted out for, and so on. Online classes will offer pretty much everything you could want, freed from these constraints.
They are also cheaper. There are plenty of free workout classes available through various social media platforms. However, even paid classes are far cheaper than in-person classes. They can make use of economies of scale, meaning that more people can train in them so everyone gets to pay less.
They are also often less intimidating and more comfortable. Rather than having to train with a bunch of strangers, which can be an overwhelming prospect, you can train from the comfort of your living room, with no one else around. This can be particularly important for newcomers to the fitness world.
The drawbacks of online fitness classes
One of the main draws – the privacy and seclusion – of online fitness classes can also be one of its main drawbacks. There will be no group motivation, no pressure to perform (which, when healthily recognised, can be a great boon to your training) and no social aspect.
Seclusion is, after all, quite isolating.
There will also be a lack of professional guidance, especially tailored guidance. The class will be one-way, with the instructor delivering without watching the participants. This means that they can’t adapt exercises to meet your needs, as would happen in an in-person class, they can’t better explain things if needed, and they can’t comment on your form.
I would argue that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. Online fitness classes are a great resource for many, many people, and can bring added access to invaluable health and fitness advice and expertise to millions.
This is the idea behind FF on Air – Fitness First on Air, Fitness Firsts’ new online virtual platform, which allow you to work out in your own time and at your own convenience.
FF on Air
Fitness First on Air, powered by Amplify Pro, offers you an unlimited access to a wide range of on demand, virtual workouts. This includes past favourites like strength training, cardio, HIIT, Tabata, Zumba, yoga and much more. Essentially, FF on Air allows you the convenience and flexibility to train in an array of disciplines on your own terms, from wherever you happen to find yourself.
You can also train when you want. Rather than being tied to a class timetable or an instructor’s diary, you can come in and out as you need. This is perfect for shift workers, or people with antisocial work hours more generally. It also makes FF on Air perfect for those travelling, as they can simply log in from their hotel room, whenever they can, and get their workout in.
Simply login and press play to join one of their signature classes with one of their ‘Rockstar’ instructors.