Virtual Fitness Classes

Explore virtual fitness solutions including 6 group fitness workouts, Immersive Fitness™, and Workouts on Demand™ designed by LES MILLS for gyms, fitness facilities, and health clubs.

LES MILLS® Virtual workouts are licensed group fitness classes that are filmed live and projected or played on a big screen in tune with audio through a sound system. The virtual fitness classes range from strength training to flexibility, and cardiovascular exercise classes.

Virtual Workouts | Instructors

How Do I Add Virtual Classes Into My Facility?

What are Virtual Fitness Solutions?

Virtual fitness solutions are services and products that deliver exercise experiences via the internet. These online exercise solutions are designed for commercial, and private or in-home customers. Commercial fitness facilities and private customers looking for virtual exercise solutions both subscribe to these fitness services.

Virtual fitness is a title that describes online fitness and exercise programming. Online fitness classes offer exercisers an opportunity to exercise in their homes and warm up to the idea of exercising regularly. These services or solutions are available from LES MILLS® under the title of Workout on Demand™. Group fitness, small group training, indoor cycling, strength training, cardio exercise, and many other exercise programs are offered online to meet the needs of people of all ages – from physical activity for toddler’s to exercise programming for seniors – who are looking for structured online exercise content and programming. These programs are offered to health clubs, fitness facilities, and gyms under the title of LES MILLS® Virtual Fitness™. Please mouse over the images below to get a description of each of the virtual fitness workouts.

I Like The On Demand Aspect, I’m Ready To Learn More

Virtual Fitness Solutions › Delivering Exercise Content Online

BODYPUMP
This is the original barbell class – a weights class for absolutely everyone. The 30 or 55-minute class gives you a total body workout and will make you toned, lean and fit.

BODYCOMBAT
A high energy martial arts-inspired non-contact workout. In the 30 or 55-minute class, you’ll learn how to punch, kick and strike your way to superior fitness and strength.

BODYBALANCE
A 30 or 55-minute new yoga class for anyone and everyone. Combining yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates-based movements set to music, it will improve your mind, your body, and your life.

CXWORX
In this 30-minute workout, you’ll learn how to activate the muscles that create optimal core control, the vital ingredient for a stronger body, while chiseling your waistline.

SH’BAM
An insanely addictive dance workout. SH’BAM™ is an ego-free zone, where a fun-loving instructor guides you through simple (yet sassy) dance moves, all set to a party playlist.

RPM
These 30 or 45-minute indoor cycling classes are set to the rhythm of motivating music. It burns a lot of calories, gets you fit and leaves you feeling euphoric.

Awesome Classes — Let’s Do This!

Why Should You Offer Virtual Fitness Classes?

The idea of delivering exercise and fitness content on a media platform isn’t new. Jack LaLanne used television to deliver messages about health, fitness, and exercise beginning in 1953. Although the episodes were brief, he was able to get millions of people to tune into his fitness messaging for more than thirty years.

In a huge step forward, health clubs, fitness facilities, and gyms offer virtual fitness classes for a couple of different reasons. One, as a way of extending their brand, and fitness services to people who may not yet members. People who are not yet members may not be ready to commit to working with a personal trainer, attend live fitness classes, or joining a gym — yet. It is essential to meet people where they are and provide fitness solutions that can help them begin their personal journey maintaining ideal health and fitness.

The second reason health clubs and gyms offer virtual group fitness classes is that gym, and health club operators can increase the number of group exercise participants within their facility by offering virtual fitness classes during non-peak times, or for people who simply want to exercise as a part of a group but cannot yet make scheduling commitments.

In order to create virtual exercise experiences club, and gyms use their equipped group exercise areas to deliver both the licensed music, and group fitness workouts by way of a LED big screen television or projected from a projector onto a large viewing screen, and a commercial sound system.

Each virtual fitness workout is the product of extreme scrutiny. Each class is developed to deliver an extraordinary exercise experience by matching licensed music, choreography, practical exercise modalities, well-trained exercise instructors, and video presenters filmed with a live audience from many perspectives and camera angles to capture all of the energy and atmosphere of each virtual fitness workout.

I Want To Increase My Group Fitness Participation

Into the Future › Immersive Fitness, and Workouts on Demand

Exercise trends shape the way people enter the exercise and fitness space. The trend toward virtual fitness classes, immersive training, and workouts on-demand, offers millions of people viable, and spectacular exercise solutions, especially if they are not yet members of a gym or health club. There are several virtual fitness content providers, few have the full spectrum value proposition offered by Les Mills.

LES MILLS is a fitness industry giant. They offer exercise education, 130,000 certified group fitness instructors, licensed music, and 20 quarterly updated workouts that are licensed by 16,500 partners in 80 countries. LES MILLS, as a company, is very clear about its mission. They don’t envision creating Virtual Fitness, Workout on Demand™, Immersive Fitness™, and an entire exercise and fitness ecosystem to coerce people into exercise — their mission is much bigger. They create amazing fitness, and exercise solutions so that people will fall in love with fitness, and want to work out.

The future is now — LES MILLS now offers technology-driven exercise experiences fueled by a truly immersive experience by way of digitally projected 3D graphics, and design elements that transport a class participant from spacial limitations of their physical exercise environment within a gym or health club to virtual reality scenes including projected glacier, volcano, or a space-age city. Immersive Fitness™ is the group fitness class designed for indoor cycling, the workout is called The Trip™, because the experience isn’t stationary — it is a trip!

Would you like to learn more about virtual fitness solutions?

Do you operate a gym, small group training facility, group fitness studio or health club? If you would like to learn more about virtual fitness solutions, online exercise classes, Workout on Demand™, or Immersive Training™ please use the form provided to express your interest or any questions.

After you contact us – don’t forget, we can support your facility, personal training, and group exercise programs. Yes, it’s free – always. Simply contact us to register the exercise professionals responsible for working with your members and guests.

Contact

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virtual fitness solutions was last modified: January 31st, 2020 by Derek Curtice

1. Crunch Live

Crunch Gym’s official online counterpart. The site offers many of their most popular classes, like Yoga Body Sculpt, Barre Assets, Fat Burning Pilates, and Gospel House Aerobics (UM, need to try that ASAP!).

$10/month, crunchlive.com

2. Physique 57

You — a regular person — can workout like a star in the privacy of your own room with these loved by celebs muscle sculpting exercises. Rent a video or buy a monthly subscription.

$5-$7/rent or $57/month, physique57.com

3. Daily Burn

Work up a serious sweat with one of the many sessions Daily Burn offers. Classes are led by pro-athletes like snowboarder Cody Storey and in-line skater Eitan Kramer.

Free 30-day trial, $10/month subscription, dailyburn.com

4. GaiamTV

Get your Om on with your favorite Yogi like Rodney Yee and Shiva Rea.

$10/month, gaiamtv.com

5. Lionsgate BeFit

Sculpt your body with this 90-day free workout system that’s exclusively on YouTube.

Free, Lionsgate BeFit

6. Wello

Take a class or werk it out with a personal trainer.

Group workouts $10/session, personal training $19/session, wello.com

7. iTrain

Download fitness classes that range from rowing to ballet workouts. No internet connection needed, so you can view them on your tablet or smartphone.

$6–$11/video, itrain.com

8. MyBOD Wellness

If you feel like talking to someone during your workouts, this system offers live one-on-one coaching over webcam.

$35/intro session, $55/regular session, mybodwellness.com

9. SparkPeople

Don’t have time to spare? These workout videos will get you in shape without wasting your time.

Free, sparkpeople.com

10. Scott Herman Fitness

Get your booty whipped into shape by a hot man. You’ll get a meal plan, exercise tips, and a community to share your experience with.

$13/month, scotthermanfitness.com

Want more from Dara? Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @dadeeyo.

Photo: Luca Zordan/Gallerystock

Last year, we shone a spotlight on how established brands and innovative startups within the wellness space were rushing to embrace high-tech concepts to transform consumer experiences.

Read More: Is Virtual Reality The Future Of Wellness?

With virtual still the word on everybody’s lips, here fitness expert and Global B2B Content Manager For Les Mills International, Jak Phillips, digs a little deeper to explore how leading fitness club owners from around the world are already getting to grips with the phenomenon……

What’s the next big thing in fitness? It’s the perennial question for every club operator. If presentations and panels at the recent IHRSA and FIBO trade shows are anything to go by, 2018 looks set to become the year of Virtual.

Having enjoyed significant growth in recent years, virtual fitness solutions are now estimated to be present in 12,000 health clubs worldwide as operators embrace the potential of digital solutions. And the trend is gaining traction with gym-goers too. According to industry research, 60 percent of members state the number of group exercise classes offered by a gym influences their decision to join, while 75 percent of gym members who haven’t tried virtual fitness are considering it.

Early club adopters have been quick to pinpoint the benefits of virtual, and several are tipping the solution to soon become a mainstay for many more facilities.

“We have virtual in all of our Brick Bodies clubs – it’s the next frontier,” says Victor Brick, one of Planet Fitness’ biggest franchisees (60 clubs) and Chairman of the Board of Brick Bodies (6 clubs). “People want to work out on their time, not on yours, and virtual allows clubs to provide that without breaking the bank.”

What was once seen as a niche product, hampered by poor content and pallid projectors, is quickly becoming a major attendance driver for clubs which invest in their studio and virtual solution. At Les Mills Newmarket in New Zealand, for example, virtual classes now account for 23 percent of club visits, while 70 percent of all club visits are generated through group exercise.

So how are clubs shifting virtual from a vanity investment to a significant source of attendances? And is this really the great white hope for fitness studios? Or are operators being blinded by the light? We spoke to major operators from around the world – responsible for almost 1,500 health clubs between them – to ask whether they’re voting virtual and what tactics they’re deploying.

A fixture of the future

Often spoken of as a relatively new phenomenon, many operators consider virtual to be the natural evolution of a fitness tradition that dates right back to the 1950s.

“If you really think about virtual, it all started with Jane Fonda workout tapes or Jack LaLanne even in the early days of TV,” says Steve Schwartz, President and CEO of Midtown Athletics Clubs – a chain of eight luxury sports resorts in the US and Canada.

“What’s changing now is the quality and acceptance of virtual – it’s really taking off. I think this year is the tipping point. It started with budget clubs, now it’s moving into luxury clubs and pretty soon it will be in all clubs as members accept it more.”

But while adoption of virtual is clearly growing among clubs, operators should still think hard over whether it’s the right fit for them, cautions Lynne Brick, co-owner of Brick Bodies Fitness Services.

“It’s a great concept but the market has to be ready for it, so clubs must consider whether programs are suited for the needs of their members. Some of the virtual classes we’ve offered in our clubs have seen minimal participation, so you have to make sure it’s right.”

Maximize ROI on studio space

While fully-functioning studios can be among the most profitable areas of a club (per square metre), group exercise spaces remain a missed opportunity for many clubs. Mintel research from 2017 found the average health club cycle studio stays idle for 83 percent of the day, which can mean up to US$160,000 per year of lost revenue. So how are club leaders using virtual to counter this?

“A big part of our entire program is group fitness and the percentage of participants is dramatic,” says Mark Harrington, CEO of Healthworks Fitness – a chain of four female-focused US clubs, plus two not-for-profit community fitness centers.

“That said, even in a club that might have a hundred and fifty classes a week, the studio is empty for several hundred hours a week even with the classes we give. Virtual gives people a chance to come in any time they want and know there is going to be a class.”

For a growing number of operators, empty slots in a studio are something they can ill-afford. And virtual presents a compelling solution for boosting return on investment.

“You have to take a really strong look at group fitness studios, as they occupy a big percentage of the total space of the club, but are only occupied thirty-five hours a week,” adds Geoff Dyer, President Crunch Fitness West Florida/Orlando/Atlanta.

“If you can take that occupancy up to every hour you are open with virtual fitness, that gives you a distinct advantage over your competition and Les Mills is the premier option here without a doubt.”

Image: Les Mills

High-quality studio fit-out

One growing area of agreement among operators seems to be the importance of investing in cinematic A/V equipment for a virtual fitness studio. As technology has improved and costs have reduced, LED video walls and mosaic screens are now increasingly affordable options for clubs.

“For virtual, it’s vital to have good quality hardware, whether it’s a nine-screen mosaic or one big LED screen,” says Rene Moos, CEO of Basic-Fit (521 clubs across Europe with 1.5m+ membership), which is using the mosaic option to good effect.

“The most important ingredients of a virtual class are combining music with really inspiring instructors because you are watching a movie so it needs to feel like you’re really there dancing with the group.”

Steve Schwartz believes faded old projectors and sterile monologues will no longer cut it with club members when it comes to virtual.

“I think the key to successful virtual is delivering an immersive quality experience,” he adds. “So as a club owner, I’m going to invest in a better sound system and screen. Plus, I’m going to invest in the ambience of the studio so members in a class feel they’re part of a production, rather than alone on a bike in a room.”

Quality content

But while top-rate A/V is half of the battle, operators are clear that world-class content remains the key difference between members loving or leaving a virtual fitness studio.

“Content is always going to be king, the best content always wins,” says Frank Napolitano, President of 24-hour Fitness, which operates 440 clubs in the US, boasting almost four million members.

“It does not have to be a single genre of content, but it has to all be brilliant because poor content, like a poor instructor, can kill a program.”

Victor Brick agrees, adding that virtual content must be as close to a live class as possible to really resonate with members and inspire them to exercise.

“Content is key and it’s still all about the experience – people could work-out at their house on a computer if it was only about the movements,” he adds.

“You want to feel motivated, you want to feel excited and you want to look forward to doing the activity. Great virtual achieves this by recreating the thrill of a live class experience.”

Image: Les Mills

Gateway to live classes

One of the most interesting aspects of virtual’s future will be its impact on live classes. Some critics have warned that cannibalisation is inevitable however, initial indications have shown quite the opposite. Industry research shows attendance in live classes increases by 12 percent on average when clubs also run virtual workouts, which appear to act as a gateway to live classes for less confident members.

“Virtual is an excellent product for reaching new audiences that perhaps feel too intimidated to take a class with a live instructor,” says Brick. “It can also create an opportunity for beginners to welcome themselves into a non-intimidating kind of environment.”

Another criticism of virtual has been the perceived risk it poses to instructors. However, David Patchell-Evans, founder and CEO of GoodLife Fitness Clubs (which operates almost 400 clubs across Canada), sees clear communication as key to allaying these fears.

“When we originally put virtual in our clubs, people thought ‘they want to replace me as an instructor,’” he adds.

“But what we actually want to do is get more people into our live classes, so opening the door to a bigger audience means there are then more live class attendees for our instructors to engage, which is great for everyone.”

The end of off-peak

One of the clearest benefits of virtual is its ability to cover quiet periods with relatively inexpensive class options and put less pressure on the studio during peak periods.

For Schwartz, the key is being able to provide members with more class offerings, while maintaining a high level of quality.

“We’ve been running Les Mills RPM classes virtually alongside other live classes,” he says. “They’re not quite at the same level, but there’s a following for both and a real appreciation for the ability to have a class of that quality in an hour where you really couldn’t afford to have an instructor.”

For clubs, this also means they can enhance the member experience and bring group fitness to new demographics they couldn’t previously reach.

“A lot of my clubs are 24 hours, so I can come in off a shift at 2am and do a Virtual class when otherwise I could never get to it,” says Patchell-Evans.

“Virtual has helped us drive more people into live classes. It brings accessibility to people that they did not have before, while also solving the problem of overcrowding at peak times too.”

Want to learn more? Discover how LES MILLS Virtual can drive new memberships for your club with a free Secrets of Success Implementation Guide, available HERE

Not long ago, I stepped onto a treadmill at a gym in lower Manhattan and decided that a workout called “Beast Mode”—a prerecorded, 30-minute endurance session on the iOS app Studio—was the class for me. Never mind that I was supposed to be tapering for the NYC Half, or that I hadn’t set foot on a treadmill in years, let alone run with headphones. This was an app. For treadmill running. How challenging could it be?

The electric dance music crescendoed, and instructor Justin Koodish counted down—5, 4, 3, 2, 1!—and I was moving. Hard: 6:30 pace. My threshold. For two miles straight. The treadmill shook. Self-consciousness gripped me. Where do my feet go? Why does the air taste weird? Look out the window. Halal cart. Taxis. Runners! Runners running in the sunlit streets, untethered and free. Why am I not out there? Or, as Shinedown—one of the energetic bands on coach Justin’s playlist—sang in my ears, “Why you always running in place?”

But between Shinedown, Sum 41, and Lit Lords, there was also coach Justin’s voice:

“Keep your footfall right underneath the hip.”

“Shorter strides, higher cadence.”

“Chin up, chin up! Where’s that breathing? Gotta use that diaphragm.”

“Three minutes to go—keep pushing!”

Weirdly, it worked. Hearing his advice (taped and impersonal though it was), seeing other runners on the app’s leaderboard, and knowing that the speed and incline were all ultimately under my control kept me going. And not just through those two miles, but also the pounding intervals that followed.

Perhaps it wasn’t so weird. This is, after all, what Studio and a new crop of apps and interfaces aim to do: make treadmills exciting, engaging, and fun. If you run outdoors year-round, it’s tempting to think of this as a niche, but it’s a huge niche. The treadmill market is worth at least $3.74 billion and growing. And because up until now, the machine experience has consisted mostly of watching a red dot blip slowly around a track, there’s room for improvement.

Over the course of a week, I tested Studio and Zwift, both app-based treadmill training programs, as well as Peloton Tread and NordicTrack X22i, where the software is integrated into the machine. While none was perfect, together they convinced me—a 35-mile-a-week outdoor runner—that treadmills are not 100 percent evil.

Studio was a model for how these systems generally work. You choose a workout—say, a twice-daily live class (at 6:05 a.m./p.m.) or one of dozens of prerecorded classes, from Hip Hop Intervals to Walk It Out. You sync a device (in Studio’s case, only the Apple Watch, although certain Life Fitness treadmills let you log in directly to Studio). And then you run, manually adjusting speed and incline according to the instructor’s cues and comparing your performance with other runners on the dynamic leaderboard.

Studio was also the system I’m most likely to keep. Affordable and portable, I could even imagine using it outside, perhaps taking Beast Mode to the local track. To monitor my performance, though, I’d still need to invest in an Apple Watch as well.

Zwift, however, syncs with both Bluetooth-connected treadmills and any Bluetooth, performance-tracking foot pod that clips to your shoe (such as Stryd or Milestone). The program animates a little avatar through a computer-generated landscape on your phone, tablet, or computer screen to keep pace with you. Zwift, a favorite of cyclists, may be the most creative running app I’ve seen: My test run took my avatar 2.7 miles around a volcanic island, complete with lava flows and dark tunnels, in the fictional realm of Watopia. This, truly, is what I want when I’m on a treadmill—to pretend I’m somewhere else entirely.

“An integrated touchscreen lets you run anywhere, on every continent.”

Unfortunately, as a mobile app, Zwift is a hot mess. The display is cluttered. The fonts are tiny. I could barely make anything out, particularly with the phone resting below eye level on the treadmill’s console. Should I run faster? Slower? Alter the incline? I just couldn’t see, and there were no audio cues, either. (Zwift recommends using an iPad.) Worse, I needed to download a separate app, Zwift Companion, to control my settings and goals, register for events, and even view my previous runs. The Companion app isn’t essential, but it all felt overly complicated for the inherently simple act of running. For the moment, at least, Zwift is free.

Peloton Tread is decidedly not free. The treadmill, the successor to Peloton’s hugely popular indoor bike, costs $3,995 (shipping this fall), not including the $39-a-month subscription you’ll need for live classes. But this is one beautifully engineered machine. The 59-slat tread is stable and supportive. You control speed and incline by flicking dials at hand level; the acceleration and deceleration are almost instantaneous. The huge screen is positioned so that as you run along with, say, master instructor Rebecca Kennedy, you actually make eye contact with her. And she with you. You’re logged in and leaderboarded, so there’s a decent chance she’ll call out your name for encouragement right as she’s staring at one of six cameras capturing her every movement. And if not your name, then that of one of the hundreds, or even thousands, taking the class virtually alongside you.

If you love group classes (particularly those that mix running and strength-training) and if you crave the control a treadmill offers, you won’t find a slicker, more sophisticated system than Peloton Tread. It’s like going to a gorgeous, hip New York City gym in the comfort of your own home.

Me, I want running to take me away from New York. For that, there’s the $2,999 NordicTrack X22i. Like the Peloton, it’s got a big integrated touchscreen that lets you run anywhere, whether by drawing your own route on Google Maps (hello, Kabul) or choosing real-world iFit GlobeTrek video routes shot in 4KHD on every continent (hello, Antarctica). I’d never been to Utah, so I followed coach Jonnie Gale three miles through the stunning Red Rock Canyon. With every hill, the treadmill automatically inclined or declined to match the terrain, and with every 90-second sprint, it sped up without my having to do anything but push my pace and admire the scenery. This was bliss…

Well, almost. The hardware, I noticed, wasn’t quite up to the level of the software. Changes in speed and incline weren’t as snappy as on the Peloton, and the 22-inch screen was not only positioned too low (remember “Chin up, chin up!”?), it was also frustratingly grainy, despite being HD.

NordicTrack X22i

Buy Now

Peloton Tread

Buy Now

Studio

Buy Now

Zwift

Buy Now

By the time I got off the treadmill, I’d come to a sweaty conclusion: Yes, treadmills are a hell of a lot better than they used to be, and if you need one—because your winters are long, your streets are crowded, or you have to cram in a few intervals before packing lunch for the kids—Studio, Peloton, and NordicTrack can keep you happy indeed. (Sorry, Zwift.) Me, I’m not ready to fully come in from the cold (and heat, and rain). But when I’m forced to, now I know I have options.

Matt Gross Matt Gross is the digital director of Runner’s World.

A Guide to iFit for Treadmills

It’s time to upgrade your treadmill experience for the 21st century. iFit Coach lets you bypass the boring routines of fitness and this guide will help you understand why. Read on to learn about iFit Coach workout creation, stats tracking, and the iFit online community.

Note: iFit Coach is the latest version of iFit or iFit Live. If you purchased an old iFit treadmill before iFit Coach was released, your machine is already an iFit Coach treadmill! Older units might not support all iFit Coach features, but the update is worth it..

Table of Contents

Read the iFit guide straight through or skip around:

Part 1: iFit Coach Workout Programs and Challenges

  • Google Maps workouts
  • Video workouts
  • Time and distance workouts
  • Challenges

Part 2: Stats Tracking

  • Your Fit Score
  • Log workouts
  • Log nutrition
  • Log weight and sleep

Part 3: Building Community

  • Add your biography
  • Add other users to your iFit Coach account

Besides reading our iFit Coach guide, curious readers might want to try a 30-day free iFit membership. Even without access to an iFit-friendly fitness machine, you can use a trial membership to explore the app on your computer, mobile device, or television. You can create workouts, use message boards, and log health activity such as calories-consumed, distance walked, and bike rides taken.

Your free iFit Coach trial can be for standard or Premium membership. A standard membership includes unlimited Google Maps workouts, activity tracking, virtual coaching and more.

Introduction

iFit Coach is an all-in-one fitness app. Its vibrant Google Street View workouts stand out in treadmill ads, but the app also provides workout programs in traditional formats and is an easy-to-use health tracker. A true virtual coach, iFit Coach uses data about your sleep time, diet, and exercise to make fitness suggestions.

Key attributes of the iFit Coach app:

  • The app syncs with iFit treadmills and other iFit cardio machines to log workout data automatically.
  • iFit Coach logs fitness activity that takes place away from your cardio machine (at home, outdoors or with other gym equipment).
  • You can access iFit coaching many ways. iFit Coach apps work with fitness machines, Bluetooth mobile devices, desktop computers, and TVs.

Which fitness machines work with iFit Coach? Four fitness equipment brands build iFit-friendly machines: ProForm, NordicTrack, FreeMotion, and Reebok (These brands share the same parent company: Icon Health and Fitness). iFit Coach works with many of their treadmills, elliptical trainers, and exercise bikes.

Part 1: iFit Workout Programs and Challenges

With iFit Coach there’s always a path less traveled. Whenever you train, you can choose from a near infinite variety of workouts. These include programs that you create yourself and programs posted by others (iFit staff and members).

The main categories of iFit Coach workouts are Google Maps workouts, video workouts, and time/distance workouts. User-designed workouts can also be turned into competitions or challenges.

Bonus: iFit Coach Plus is a premium service that helps save time. With iFit Coach Plus, the app automatically downloads a custom-tailored menu of top-notch workouts every day. These workouts use scenic HD video from Google Maps routes. They reflect your preferences for elevation change, distance, time and calorie burn.

Google Maps Workouts with Google Street View

Hike the Himalayas, run the Boston Marathon, or enjoy the Pacific coastline without leaving your treadmill with iFit Google Maps workouts. With an iFit incline treadmill, you can virtually experience the rise and fall of any mappable Google route. With any iFit treadmill, it’s easy to choose routes via Street View for a sense of escape.

Two basics of Google Maps workouts:

  1. Incline: iFit Coach treadmills with incline can automatically adjust to mimic topography. Entry-level treadmills tilt up to 10 percent. Top-of-the-line treadmills with iFit Coach have generous incline ranges of -6 to 20 percent.
  2. Video: Enjoy the view! As you walk or run, an interactive Google Street View will appear on your screen. Roads with Street View available are highlighted during iFit workout setup.

Some treadmills with iFit Coach, such as the Boston Marathon 3.0 Treadmill, have race routes preloaded into their consoles. On most iFit treadmills, you’ll download a program before workout time. (This is one way iFit Coach Plus saves time.) When downloading you can draw your own route or choose from premium content.

Draw a Google Maps Route

Train virtually with real-life views of scenic coastlines, busy cities, national parks and more! Choose “Create” and then “Map Based Workout” to get started…

Set up an interactive training route by using the “Search Location” box to zoom in on a region. Then click on map points. In the screenshot below, we’ve created a run through scenic Barcelona. We can choose “Close Loop” to let iFit finish drawing a route.

As you draw, helpful data is displayed such as the route’s total distance, elevation changes, and a calorie burn estimate . Note that your weight must be logged for the calorie function to work best.

Choose a Premium iFit Coach Workout

Setting up Google Map workouts is fun, but you can save time by choosing an iFit Premium workout. Access to these workouts costs a bit more per month than the usual iFit Coach membership. To find them, choose “Library” from the main menu. Some program titles are “Backpack Europe,” “Famous 5Ks” and “Calorie Burn 4 Week Training Program.”

Here’s a sample view of the ever-growing selection:

You can filter iFit Coach Premium workouts by difficulty levels 1 – 5.

iFit Video Workouts

iFit Coach members can use an ever-growing library of workout videos for training away from the treadmill. These HD videos feature celebrity personal trainers such as Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Jillian Michaels. Some examples of iFit video series are “Kickboxing” and “Fit Mommies.” Here are some program graphics:

Each iFit video series has many workouts to help make exercise a regular activity.

Customized Time and Distance Workouts

iFit Coach also lets you easily build workouts with specific speeds, inclines, and distances. iFit provides a template and then you move the speed and incline lines to change settings.

In the image below, the pink line shows speed being set for different segments of a workout. The default is one mph.

To adjust incline, click the square “Incline” button. A yellow line for incline will appear. You can overlap speed and incline settings to see a program’s overall demand:

In addition to pushing yourself, you can also challenge other iFit Coach members to beat your workout time. Read on for an overview of iFit challenges.

Challenges

Bring out your competitive side with iFit challenges! Challenges are workouts designed and shared by iFit Coach members to help push each other toward goals. Create your own competition or accept another’s challenge.

How to Create a Challenge

Creating a challenge is much like creating a personal workout based on a map, time or distance. You can post a previously created workout as a challenge or design something new. Either way, here are the steps.

Choose “Create” from your toolbar. Then select “Challenge”:

iFit Coach will prompt you to set up the activity. In this screenshot we’re choosing dates for the competition:

We draw a map-based challenge, and here is our finished route through a redwood forest:

Next, during setup iFit Coach asks for your invitation list. Then it shows a summary of the challenge. Your final step is launching the challenge by pressing the blue “Create” button.

How to Join a Challenge

You can join challenges that were posted by iFit staff or your friends and followers. Find challenges through the main menu “Challenge” button.

Check the tabs to see challenges categorized as Public, Created (by you) and Invited (by friends/followers). Accept a challenge and you can schedule it on your iFit workout calendar.

After a competition you can see your overall ranking on the “Completed” tab. You can click the badge icon to see your ranking based on age, gender, treadmill type and other data.

Part 2: Stats Tracking

Keeping track of treadmill exercise and other health activities is easier with an app like iFit Coach. The more you pay attention to your health stats, the more likely you are to make smart health decisions. iFit Coach can help track your calories, track your activity, chart your sleep and chart your weight. See how everything fits together!

To access the tracking section of iFit Coach, click “Stats”:

First you’ll see your Fit Score. This number is from 0 to 100. It reflects your fitness activity (exercise and nutrition) in relation to your goals over the past seven days. You’ll start at zero…

… and get motivated as your Fit Score climbs!

Track your stats by clicking “Log.” You can add information about workouts, weight, nutrition, and sleep:

Logging Workouts

The exercise logging features are easy to use. Simply fill in the blanks! iFit Coach will calculate the distance and elevation for your outdoor running or cycling routes (plus the app will automatically calculate your calorie burn). Your recently logged workouts are displayed beneath your Fit Score as follows:

You can repeat workouts on your history list anytime.

Logging Nutrition

The iFit Coach nutrition log can simplify calorie tracking with its database of thousands of foods and beverages. Easily find a nutritional description of your intake, then click to add the info to your log.

Here’s a search for an afternoon snack of almonds:

iFit Coach lets you review items before adding them to your journal. Here we have approved the almonds and a cup of raspberries:

Logging Weight & Sleep

Tracking your weight and sleep is easy with iFit Coach. By logging these items you’ll help build a helpful overview of your health. See how sleep, diet, and exercise work together as you pursue your fitness goals. You can see charts of your data by choosing “Menu” and then “Stats.”

Note: Logging your weight is especially important. Otherwise your iFit treadmill will estimate calorie burn data for its default of a 185-pound user.

Part 3: Building Community

Socializing within iFit Coach can help motivate your training. One benefit mentioned above is the option to experience challenges with friends and followers. You can follow posts from the whole iFit Coach community or just inner your circle. iFit members can follow one another just like members in other social media platforms.

This image was taken from a message board post. It suggests a training route, and viewers have the option to share the post or schedule the workout.

Set Up Your Profile

An iFit Coach profile includes room for a brief bio that all members can see. Attract like-minded community members by posting info about your fitness interests. You can control who views your content.

To set up your bio, choose “Profile” from the drop-down menu in the upper right corner of the iFit screen. Then choose “Edit.”

Members can click “Follow” to send a request:

Add Users to Your Membership

Share the wealth! With a premium iFit Coach membership you can add up to three users to your iFit account. Add friends and family to your fitness community and exchange workouts, challenges and motivational messages.

To add users, click on “Settings” or “Profile” beneath your username in the upper right corner. Then click “Secondary Users.” Enter email addresses or existing iFit Coach usernames.

More iFit Coach Info

This free iFit guide from TreadmillReviews.net covers workout setup, stats tracking, and a few other key features of iFit Coach. We only covered the basics. There’s so much more in iFit to explore, so for more detailed information visit iFit.com. With a free iFit Coach account, you can access the manufacturer’s online database with guides for iFit installation and answers for frequently asked questions.

Which app is right for me?

iFit—Smart Cardio Equipment:

The iFit Cardio app gives you access to the full iFit experience, right on your tablet or smartphone. Enjoy hundreds of interactive video workouts from a variety of categories, including HIIT, Weight Loss, Destination, and more—all led by elite personal trainers. Plus, you can browse beautiful Google Maps™ workouts in unique locations all over the world. With iFit Cardio, you can do more with your iFit-compatible machine than ever before!

CONNECT YOUR IFIT-COMPATIBLE MACHINE TO:

  • Enjoy the full iFit experience from your personal tablet.
  • Access hundreds of video workouts from different categories, like HIIT and weight loss.
  • Work out with world-class personal trainers, and let them guide you through every workout.
  • Exercise in destination locations all over the globe, like New Zealand, Greece, Switzerland, South Africa, and more.
  • Control the speed, incline, and resistance of your machine.
  • Track real-time stats during your workouts and get detailed summaries when you’re finished.

SIMPLE SETUP

  • Go to iFit.com to sign up for an iFit account.
  • iFit Cardio is available on both Android and Apple devices. To download the app on your iPad or iPhone click here. To download the app on your Android tablet or phone from the Google® Play store click here.
  • Once app is downloaded, sign in to your iFit account on your tablet.
  • Browse the workout library, select a workout, and enjoy!

Learn more about iFit on cardio equipment here.

iFit Coach—All-day Fitness Coaching:

Get direct and personalized fitness coaching through your iFit Coach app. iFit Coach is designed to work with iFit wearables, providing you with actionable guidance each day in exercise, activity, nutrition, and sleep. Your fitness plan will continually adapt, based on your unique goals, body, metrics, and activity.

You can download the iFit Coach app on your mobile device via the Apple App store or Google Play store. Use Bluetooth to connect to your iFit Wearable or manually input your data.

Use iFit Coach on-the-go to:

  • Track your activity, exercise, nutrition, sleep, and weight.
  • Gain insights into your day with comprehensive stats for activity, exercise, nutrition, and sleep.
  • Receive recommended goals, or set your own goals.
  • Enjoy new workout recommendations every day, based on your daily activity, exercise goals, and workout preferences.
  • Get a personalized nutrition plan each day, complete with calorie targets for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.
  • Receive activity and sleep tips to help you live a healthier lifestyle.
  • Explore a variety of video workout programs including Kickboxing, Vinyasa Yoga, Ultimate Abs, and more.
  • Follow and share your journey with friends in the iFit community.

SIMPLE SETUP

  • Simply download iFit Coach on your mobile device, then answer some questions about yourself.
  • Subscribe to an iFit Coach membership for $15 per month to receive daily guidance and personalized coaching (optional).
  • Our experts will craft your personalized fitness plan and provide you with customized, daily coaching to help you accomplish your goals.
  • Start tracking your activity, exercise, nutrition, and sleep to improve your health every day.

NOTE: THIS APP CONNECTS TO IFIT WEARABLES ONLY AND DOES NOT DIRECTLY CONNECT TO CARDIO FITNESS MACHINES.

iFit—FUSION CST APP

The NordicTrack Fusion CST combines strength and cardio in one, providing you with dynamic workouts designed to drive your heart rate up and build your strength at the same time. Powered by iFit, you’ll receive a new workout a day, or you can select one from an ever-growing library of programs. One of our expert trainers will coach you through every workout at your personal level, setting the pace and automatically adjusting the resistance for you.

CONNECT YOUR NORDICTRACK FUSION CST TO

  • Enjoy the combination of strength and cardio movements in each workout.
  • Challenge yourself with a variety of different styles of workouts, ranging from weight loss to HIIT.
  • Choose a coach from an all-star lineup of the world’s best personal trainers.
  • Join fast, high-energy classes and work toward your goals with other class members.
  • Select your desired level of difficulty and enjoy automatic resistance adjustment throughout your workout.
  • Track your workout stats, including calories burned, time, reps, watts, and heart rate.

SIMPLE SETUP

  • Go to iFit.com/fusion to sign up for an iFit account.
  • , then sign in to your iFit account.
  • Browse the workout library and select a workout.
  • Connect your Portal 10i™ tablet to your Fusion CST machine.
  • Enjoy your workout!

Learn more about the NordicTrack Fusion CST here.

Note: The iFit FUSION CST app requires a NordicTrack Fusion CST and an iFIt Membership. This app is also only available for download on Android devices.

iFit Sleep— Sleep Sensor Disk

Start sleeping smarter with the iFit Sleep app. Simply connect your iFit Sleep HR or NordicTrack Sleep Coach to start tracking your heart and respiratory rate, body movements, and time spent in each sleep cycle. Then, our experts will give you insights and tips on how to improve your slumber every single night.

You can download the iFit Sleep app on your mobile device via the Apple App store or Google Play store.

You’ll get detailed bedtime analytics, including:

  • heart rate details
  • respiratory patterns
  • number of awakenings
  • number of bed exits
  • time spent in each sleep cycle
  • time it took to fall asleep
  • overall sleep score

Also, with the built-in smart alarm, FreshWake™, simply set a time frame, and the sensor will look for the lightest part of your sleep cycle to wake you. That way, you’ll always feel refreshed and ready to take on the day.

NOTE: This app requires an iFit Sleep HR Sensor or NordicTrack Sleep Coach.

It didn’t take long for the waters of fitness specialty retail to sweep back into Southern California where the final demise of bankrupt FHI’s Busy Body in 2009 had left huge gaps. Within weeks of the court auction in August of the remaining assets of the FHI retail business, the industry began to see expansions, location shuffling and new businesses.

And it hasn’t stopped yet. New kids on the block this month are California Home Fitness, owned by Ray Chodorowski and Brandon Sugimoto; and Workout World, the Australian specialty fitness retail chain that is opening its first door beyond its own shores.

Darren Piggins, co-founder of Australia’s Workout World with 35 stores Down Under, told SNEWS what other retailers and retailers-to-be likely were thinking:

“We saw a bit of a hole in the market when Busy Body fell over,” Piggins said. “We think we can offer something a little different.”

California Home Fitness
Although Workout World, a.k.a., WOW, has been working on its U.S. store and operations — both this store and future plans — for months, the first one to get the doors open this calendar year on much shorter notice was the new California Home Fitness.

Co-owners Chodorowski, most recently at the now-defunct Busy Body and previously at LA Gym Equipment, and Sugimoto, also formerly at Busy Body in corporate headquarters, started talking earlier this year. One thing led to another and, next thing they knew, Chodorowski told SNEWS, they had a store.

“It happened pretty fast,” he said, noting that he and Sugimoto have been good friends for years. “It made sense for the two of us.”

And while still trying to put that last bit of spit and polish on the first store on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, which opened softly in mid-April, they had the opportunity to open a second store — in the former location of Busy Body Home Fitness on Bristol in Newport Beach. After Busy Body shut down, the spot became a hot commodity, but Coast Fitness snagged it and moved into the prime spot in late August 2009. (.)

“We didn’t want to be a chain with one location,” Chodorowski said. “We wanted to open a second store when the time was right.”

It so happened the time became right pretty quickly. The new California Home Fitness team began to move into the former Coast Fitness/Busy Body spot as of May 18, nary 24 hours after Coast moved out to return to focus on its two prior locations and its forte of vertical, commercial, repair and service. ( on Coast from October 2009.) The second California Home Fitness store was to open softly by May 20.

“It’s just a matter of changing the sign and bringing in our equipment. It’s clean, and it’s simple,” said Chodorowski, who has been in the fitness business since 1991. He said he started when he was in school as a delivery and repair person in Chicago with Scott Egbert.

Vendors now on board include True Fitness, Cybex, Precor, Inspire, TuffStuff, Lifecore, Power Plate, Spirit, Cap and Spri. The website (www.cahomefitness.com) should be more than just a landing page by the end of the month, he said.

Workout World
In the planning stages since late 2009, Piggins found out that California planning and city guidelines take a lot more maneuvering than in Australia. But the doors finally opened May 21 at the Ventura Boulevard location in the Sherman Oaks area, he told SNEWS. (Photo – right: See the California storefront, where the planning commission nixed the traditional red exterior of the chain.)

“We have a good model that has proven successful with our 35 stores in Australia so we hope we can replicate this in the USA,” Piggins said from Australia, where the business is 18 years old. There, the concept includes what the business calls a “Health Corner” with a basic line of Workout World-manufactured supplements called “Gains Sports Nutrition,” with proteins, “fat-burner” tabs and a multi-vitamin coming soon, and it does a strong boxing business. In addition, the stores have become the major marketing and selling avenue for the company’s CardioGym (www.cardiogym.com), as part of its own equipment line called Avanti Fitness (www.avantifitness.com.au — soon also to be at www.avantifitness.com).

Here, he said, growth has been difficult for CardioGym, which includes both a recumbent bike and strength system, and opening his own retail branch in California is another way to help the company gain a stronger footing.

“Our product led us here. It has sold well (in Australia),” but retailers in North America have been slower to pick up on it since its introduction four years ago, Piggins explained. ( about its introduction at the 2006 Health & Fitness Business Show.)

“We thought, if we can’t get the retailers to pick up on it, we’ll do it ourselves,” he added, noting the California operations will be the hub for selling and shipping in North America (www.workoutworldusa.com).

In addition to the business’ own Avanti brand with its CardioGym and a full line of equipment including treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, weight plates and accessories, other suppliers now include Precor (WOW is the Precor distributor in Australia) and Torque. Piggins said Torque and Precor will be the higher-end, higher-priced product with Avanti being a notch below those in price. The company also sells a “Skywall,” which is a motorized climbing wall, and a pet treadmill.

Not only does he say the company is “here for the long term,” but also that he and his team have big plans: They are looking at real estate and could have as many as another four or five stores by the end of 2010, with a longer-term goal of a total of anywhere from 10 to 20 in the greater Southern California area, he said. The U.S. general manager is Brian Lewelyn.

“We want to hit the ground running,” he said. “Los Angeles is the gateway to the fitness industry worldwide, so we believe if we can make it happen there, we’ll be on our way.”

And everybody else?
After The Gym Store, the investment group headed up by Hoist co-owner Jeff Partrick, bought the remaining FHI assets in early August and reopened select Busy Body stores (), the market was just beginning to heat up again.

In the greater Los Angeles area:
>> Bodyworks Exercise Equip (formerly OC Bodyworks — www.ocbodyworks.com) added a location to grow to three.
>> Busy Body (the new version) wrapped up Dave Silva’s new OC Gym Equipment into the group, and he became general manager of the eight locations. www.busybody.com
>> Coast Fitness (www.coastfitness.com) is back to its Riverside and Orange locations for two storefronts, handing over the Newport Beach retail to Chodorowski.
>> Empire Home Fitness (www.empirehomefitness.com) has one store in Corona, which was opened in October 2009 by Mark Seymour, a former Busy Body district manager.
>> One Nellie’s location (www.nellies.com) — the one in Diamond Bar owned by Moo Lim since 2002 — is still running despite David Delgadillo’s Nellie’s 2009 bankruptcy ().
>> Specialty Fitness (www.specialtyfit.com) opened one location in Northridge under ownership of Danny Valdez.

Farther south in San Diego:
>> Mark Goodman’s Exercise Direct has one store and runs a large Internet business (www.ifitnessdirect.com).
>> Fitness Warehouse, owned by Nick Vonderhaar and Gary Barraclogh, has one huge showroom (www.fitnesswarehouseusa.com).
>> Paul Jackson’s Fitness Mart also has one showroom and does some Internet business (www.ifitnessmart.com).

We lay money the Southern California market hasn’t even hit a simmer yet.
–Therese Iknoian

Virtual group fitness classes

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