5 Benefits of In-Person Workouts That You Won’t Get Virtually
Name one thing that has had a bigger impact on the fitness industry than Covid. Go ahead, we’ll wait. Can’t think of one? That’s because the 2020 closures of gyms and boutique studios, coupled with the subsequent restrictions on those businesses completely redefined the way that people got their sweat on for nearly two years. Virtual workouts, which had only begun to emerge on the scene, were suddenly at the forefront, filling an urgent need. People began buying pricey exercise equipment and turning areas of their homes into designated workout spaces in what seemed like a perfect solution during imperfect circumstances. But was it?
Fast forward two years to this recent article in the New York Times describing how Peloton, the leader of the pandemic pack, is struggling as gym memberships are slowly but surely increasing. The company reportedly lost $439 million and laid off 20% of its workforce over the past few months, as people began returning to their favorite fitness centers. Why? Because at the end of the day, some things simply cannot be duplicated in the virtual world. Here are five benefits of in-person workouts that you won’t find online. We call them the five “C’s” and no workout is complete without them.
- Community: After nearly two years of various forms of isolation, people are craving community. If the pandemic taught us anything it is that people need each other. Regardless of how much you “high-five” or group chat with your virtual workout buddies, the energy hits different when you are in a room filled with other live, sweaty bodies pushing and encouraging each other to succeed.
- Coaching: Sure your virtual coach can give general cues like, “drop your shoulders,” or “engage your core,” but when was the last time your specific form was addressed? In-person workouts allow the instructor to correct your form, or tailor modifications to your personal needs, which can help you avoid injury.
- Communication: In the virtual world, communication with your instructors is often a one-way street. You can comment on their social media posts, or even send a message to their inboxes, but there’s no guarantee you will get a response. In-person workouts allow for verbal exchanges with your instructors before or after class. You can communicate about any injuries or limitations, ask questions, or alert them to the fact that it is your first class. All of this information can help your instructor give you the best possible workout for your specific needs.
- Consistency Checks: Hitting “streaks,” and posting stats are a couple of online methods to help you stay on track. But what happens on the days when you just aren’t feeling it? Consistency demands motivation and accountability, and some days it’s going to take more than simply closing the rings on your watch to get you moving. It might be the knowledge that your workout buddy is saving you a spot in class. Maybe it’s that high-five or “nice job,” from your favorite instructor as you leave. Those are the things that keep you coming back for more and establishing good habits.
- Connection: Community is the class you attend or the gym you belong to. Connection refers to the relationships you form within that community. That person you always sit next to in spin class. The group that you go to brunch with after barre. These connections may only exist during studio hours, or they may extend to activities outside the gym. Either way, they are important for both your physical and mental health and almost impossible to replicate in the virtual world.
Thanks to the ease and convenience of virtual workouts they will still have a place in the future of fitness because let’s face it, life can sometimes prevent you from getting to your favorite live class. However, they are slowly becoming an alternative rather than a primary option. People are realizing that working out together in a live setting strengthens not just the body, but also the mind and spirit. After the past two years, those are benefits we could all use.