Technology amazes me. I take for granted the fact that I have one of the most influential inventions of the 21st century in my back pocket. I have instant access to my personal fitness progress strapped to my wrist. I can avoid 90% of shopping (groceries or otherwise) and save myself the torture of hauling four kiddos to the store.
It seems like smartphones and fitness trackers have all but redefined fitness. There are well over 8,000 health and fitness apps on the market today, and wearable technology has been among the top trends in fitness for a few years now. Workouts themselves have taken a new form with the myriad of apps, streaming services, and full-length videos on YouTube.
Online training has exploded in popularity in recent years to become one of the fastest-growing fitness segments. Let’s take a closer look at what’s appealing and where working out online could let you down.
Why Online Workouts Are Popular
I think it’s safe to say we’re all a little addicted to speed and ease. Online training seems like the perfect answer to all the objections you have about gyms and working out in general.
Workout From Anywhere
Break free from the confines of a big box gym and bulky equipment. Most online workouts are minimal equipment for maximum flexibility. If you’ve got access to a screen and an internet connection, you can get a workout in. It can’t get any more convenient than that.
Exercise On Your Schedule
Most online programs are on-demand, meaning you can workout whenever you’re ready. Not a morning person? Don’t worry about missing that 5am class. As long as you can carve out enough time to put on your gym clothes and commit 20-50 minutes of your day, you can work toward your fitness goals.
Easy On The Wallet
Many of the online programs are guided by a fitness professional. Access to that level of instruction would cost a lot more if you were paying in-person. The mass distribution keeps the cost low, so it fits in the tightest budgets.
If you’ve heard of a style of workout or specific routine, it’s available online in some form. If your local options are limited, this is the exact opposite. With so many options, it can quickly become overwhelming to decide what works best for you.
The Pitfalls That Will Derail You
With access to fitness easier than ever, why does the latest research show 30% of Americans are inactive, and half of the people starting an exercise program will drop out in the first six months?
Where’s The Motivation?
Unless you are self-motivated, it can be challenging to stay motivated when you’re working out alone. Whatever you can do to stay committed to your workout plan, do it! It could be photos of progress, alarms, reminders, and the list goes on.
Who’s Keeping You Accountable?
Who’s making sure you are waking up and not hitting snooze three more times? Who’s making sure you don’t sneak an extra cookie? If you don’t have a workout partner or anyone else on their own fitness journey that can share in your winds and struggles, it can be easy to slack.
Are You On The Right Track?
If you aren’t confident in what type of workouts are best for your goals, the sheer number of options online can be confusing. If you manage to decide among the 270 million results (yes, that’s a real number), who’s to say you’re on track? Bouncing around from workout to workout in an aimless fashion may get you some results, but it lacks the confidence to know you’re working toward something with a plan.
The Ultimate Recipe For Success With Online Fitness
As you can see, there are pros and cons to online fitness. There is a way to make this approach work for you and give you confidence in reaching your goals. Most of it comes down to proper planning and being intentional about what you’re doing. Here are the things you can do to amplify the pros and squash the cons of online workouts.
Get Direction From Professionals
More fitness professionals are offering online workouts and programs that can give you a boost of confidence when it comes to the exercises you’ll be doing. When you weigh out your options, favor those that are backed by professionals. They know how to put together the most effective workouts, so you’re not overworking one part of your body and ignoring another on any given day.
Choose The Right Workouts For Your Goals
Not all workouts are created equal. Decide what your immediate goal is – weight loss, toning, strength, etc. – and find programs that match those goals. Nothing is worse than staying super consistent on the wrong types of workouts, only to be left frustrated that you aren’t getting closer to your goal. And if your goals change (they usually do), adjust your workout routine accordingly.
Track Your Progress
This ties in with the previous point. Once you’ve set a goal, keep yourself in check to see if you are making progress. Don’t overthink it; too many people are weighing daily and getting frustrated if the scale isn’t moving. Nothing is going to give instant results, so don’t have unrealistic expectations. Stay committed to your path long enough to gauge how well it’s working for you.
Don’t Ignore Healthy Eating Habits
Remember, what you choose to put in your body the other 23 hours in a day can make or break your success. Don’t sabotage your efforts with poor food choices. I’m not saying go on a diet by the traditional definition. My go-to for food accountability is counting macros. It doesn’t dictate exactly what I eat, but guides me in the direction of better food choices to hit a daily balance of nutrient intake.
Find A Tribe To Keep You Going
This is true in fitness and in life. Get people around you that you can rely on to celebrate your wins and encourage you in times of struggle. For your workout goals, it’s even better to find one or more people on their own fitness journey so you can hold each other accountable! These human relationships can literally hold the key to your success.
How To Get Started
If you’re convinced online workouts are the ticket, there are just a few more things to keep in mind before you dive in.
Decide How Much Help You Need
If you’re looking for a more strict done-for-you path, there are programs led by trainers that last a fixed number of weeks or months. This takes the guesswork out of every workout over a longer period. Once you knock out a program, see how much progress you made and decide if you want to go through it again or try a different one.
If you know what you want and just need variety, there are many streaming options available with libraries of high-quality content. Just make sure your choices match your goals, and you can stay on track. This relies more on you to make the overall plan.
Set A Budget
The options available online fit any budget, from free YouTube searches to fully custom small group and one-on-one personal training. Many of the options land somewhere around the $20/mo. mark, which is pretty fair considering what you get. Of course, some options can go 10x that and beyond depending on the level of done-for-you training.
Take The Free Trial
Always look for free trials to see if the service is a good fit for you. Most trainers know the best way to earn your business is by letting you test their style of workouts. Take advantage of that and find a program that inspires you to go for it.
McClure Fitness has spent the past decade changing lives and rewriting fitness journeys in central Arkansas. Now with McClure Fitness Online, we’ve taken a decade worth of secret sauce and refined it to the best online programs that are proven to get results.
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