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Pilates student doing side bend in virtual class.
photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash

After working in a high-end fitness facility for almost 20 years, I never thought I would be writing a post about the benefits of the home workout with this much enthusiasm. The Pandemic brought in-person workouts to a screeching halt in 2020. I faced a choice; I could remain frozen in fear or keep virtually teaching and exercising from home. Thankfully, I chose the latter. I started teaching Pilates clients and classes on Zoom and Instagram and ordered a Peloton for my home workouts. I thought it was going to be a short-term thing. Remember back then; it was “two weeks to flatten the curve.” As it turned out, it is now 2021 (almost 2022), and the virtual home workout is still going strong. Which one do I think is best? In this post, I will tell you the benefits of the home workout and the in-person workout.

The Home/Virtual Workout

Convenience for the Win

Home workouts are super convenient, and there are far fewer excuses and roadblocks in the way. As a trainer, I have fewer client cancellations, which is perfect for consistency and results. Think about all the steps to getting to the gym. You have to wake up, gather your things, brush your teeth, grab a snack, take the dog out. Then you have to drive or walk to the gym, check in, go to the locker room, get dressed, and THEN you can work out. Steps to the home workout: you wake up, maybe grab a snack, while you let the dog out and check on the kids. Then you turn on your device and start your workout much quicker. Travel time to the gym can be anywhere from a 15-30 minute commute driving or walking; home workouts give you some valuable time back in your day. Fewer roadblocks equal more consistency. More consistency equals more results.

Location Location Location

You can do your virtual session or workout from Hawaii or your living room. (Hawaii, please!) I take a weekly Pilates session with an instructor who lives in Chile. If you are someone that travels for work, you can consistently get your workouts in. If you are doing an on-demand class, then you could do it at any time. If you are a night-owl or very early riser, you have your pick of all the on-demand content available.

Monthly Membership is Lower

Although money spent on your health is a worthy investment, a membership to a fitness facility can range from 50-200 dollars a month; this is before any private training sessions. Typically, monthly subscriptions to virtual workouts are less expensive. Sometimes you can pay per class. If you choose to do private sessions from home, you eliminate the monthly charge on top of your sessions.

Easy to Social Distance

It is easy to socially distance at home. You don’t need to worry about being around a large group of people. Many places still have mask mandates; If the mask bothers you while working out, you don’t have to wear one at home.

Gym Anxiety or Gymtimidation

Gym anxiety or Gymtimidation is a real thing for some people, and it can be overwhelming. If you suffer from this, it can prevent you from working out. You know that movement and exercise are essential to your health; the home workout is your answer.

The In-Person Workout

photo by Nate Johnston on Unsplash

When you join a gym, all the equipment is there. The towels are clean and sometimes eucalyptus-scented, along with other fun perks. Fitness centers organize their space and atmosphere to encourage an excellent workout environment.

No Home Interruptions

You don’t have to worry about your dog barking to go out because your dog isn’t there. Other than people watching and a friend saying hello, there are far fewer interruptions at the gym than at home.

Social Interaction

We are social beings. These last two years have stripped us from being part of a community. Although we can build a community virtually, it is much easier in person. If you like group fitness classes, you do it for the social aspect. There is an energy being in a gym that you don’t get in an at-home workout.

Human Touch

Although your virtual session or class is highly effective, there is some additional accessibility in person. The instructor or trainer can see you from all angles by moving around you. Some facilities even allow instructors or trainers to use hands-on spotting or correction techniques.

Equipment Variety

Unless you have a fully equipped gym, you most likely do not have the same level and variety of equipment that a facility does. Pilates equipment is enormous, and most people don’t have it at their homes—the same for traditional gym equipment. You can’t beat the variety in a place designed for working out.

The Verdict

So which one do I like best? I am a true hybrid. I like them both. Virtual and in-person will always be a part of my business and my own workouts. The biggest thing to keep in mind when deciding which type of workout to choose is to ask yourself one question: Which one will I consistently do the most? Consistency and compliance are the two keys to success in a wellness program; once you have your answer, you know which one is for you.

If you are interested in learning more about virtual or in-person classes and private sessions, please send me a note here.

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Carrie Mayer Boston Pilates Instructor smiling

Carrie is a Massachusetts-based Pilates and Wellness professional who believes in training smart and enjoying all that life has to offer.