Boutique fitness is famously expensive.
Even though they have made wellness trendy, pay-per-class workouts like Flywheel and Barry’s Bootcamp are often criticised for their lofty price tags (and inherent elitism).
(Cycling studio SoulCycle often gets the brunt of this criticism even though its pricing is par for the course in New York).
But celebrity trainer Anna Kaiser — who has trained Sarah Jessica Parker, Kelly Ripa, and Sofia Vergara and runs boutique studio AKT inMotion — doesn’t believe that this kind of a-la-carte fitness needs to be limited to people who live near prime studios and have big budgets.
She’s launched a streaming membership program which gives members access to all of her workouts for $50 a month. That’s pricier than a Planet Fitness membership but it’s certainly a step in the direction of making luxurious classes available to all (minus the fancy shampoo and spa-like bathrooms).
Ordinarily, in New York City, those classes would cost you nearly $40 each.
Working out in the comfort of one’s own home isn’t a new concept; if you think about it, the workout videos that were famous in the 1980s (Jane Fonda anyone?) to Tae Bo made home workouts more than just a run around the block.
But streaming allows the fitness fiend to consistently change up workouts, and gives people more variety than they would have if they just purchased a DVD. Streaming, for instance, is the center point of Beach Body on Demand (which is home to famed workouts like Insanity and 21 Day Fix).
And now, increasingly, high-end brands are streaming their workout previously exclusive workouts. Ballet Body Beautiful — the workout favoured by Victoria’s Secret models — offers a streaming membership, and investors love Peloton, which live-streams cycling workouts. Peloton requires customers to purchase a $1,995 bike, first — and that’s a pricey investment. SoulCycle has additionally said that it plans to unroll a similar digitally-based program in the near future.
One other positive of streaming is that fitness business people like Kaiser can reach people everywhere — she can pick up clients all across the country while still maintaining control of the workout that they get. Additionally, people who have money but life far from a studio may drop in when they’re nearby.
Kaiser notes, though, that live-streaming means consumers have to pay attention to the quality of the workout and the trainer — in part for their own safety.
“It’s a huge trend for 2016,” she said. “But I think what’s happening in the streaming environment is what’s happening in the boutique environment. It’s that everyone is gonna try to do it, and you’re [going to have to] filter through and find the workout that’s really gonna work for you and is well programmed and with someone that’s been educated and understands what they’re bringing to the table and isn’t just a performer — because there are a lot of, you know, personalities in the fitness world.”
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