31 Days of Digital Fitness!


Happy New Year and New Body… or Get Back The Old Body! If you’re like most of us December jingles left some January jiggles, but luckily there have never been so many workout choices to burn off those lingering lbs.

Every January we offer a month’s worth of options in what we call the 31 Days of Fitness. With the boom in at-home fitness offerings from luxe high-end equipment like the Peloton bike and Mirror interactive home gym, to streaming fitness classes from Classpass Live and Obe, to workout apps like Aaptiv and Asics studio, we’ve decided to make our 2019 theme the 31 Days of Digital Fitness. As usual, your fearless editor will be sampling a different workout every day and highlighting all the fun and effective ways to get all our 2018 bodies into 2019 shape. With classes you can stream any place and any time, there are no excuses!

So here we go! Most all of these classes are offering free trials right now so why not join us and give one a try! For easy reference we’ve marked each workout with a 👍 or 👎. If you’ve got Roku, Apple TV, or Google Chromecast, the workouts can be synced with your TV too.

January 1: CLASSPASS LIVE. After a New Year’s Day run this morning, I decided some strength training would be the perfect compliment to my cardio. I signed up for the Classpass Live trial offering unlimited classes free for 1 month. Classpass revolutionized the fitness industry with a subscription service that allows members to book and take thousands of different classes at the most popular fitness studios. Now those options are available at home streamed live or on demand from wide selection of Classpass’s own workouts, as well as classes from other studios. I opted for Full Body with Alex Redelico, a compact 35 minute workout with light weights that flew by and hit all the major muscle groups. Alex was the right mix of pep and push, and I’d take this class again – definitely if pressed for time!👍👍  Classpass Live is $19/month with free 1 month trial. 

January 2: PELOTON DIGITAL. Peloton brought the concept of studio cycling into the home with its sleek bike and integrated tablet on which live and on demand classes can be streamed. For those who don’t have the room or the dollars for the Peloton bike, Peloton Digital offers those same classes online and on an app which can be used on any indoor cycle. Running, strength, bootcamp, yoga, and other workouts are also available. I kept it basic with a cycling class this morning, setting up my phone on a spin bike at the gym. I took Cody Rigsby 45 min 90’s Pop Ride, a solid spin workout with a great playlist that kept me going for 45 minutes – something I would never do on a bike on my own at the gym. Personally, I wouldn’t trade the group cycling experience of a Soul Cycle – I’d love to take a live class with Cody! –  but next time I’m traveling I’ll be looking forward to the indoor bike at the hotel gym with the Peloton Digital app.👍👍 Peloton Digital is $19.49/month. Sign up now and get 2 months free.

January 3: GLO. What is better than a 30-minute yoga class? A 15-minute class! Although the shorter the better a yoga class for me, Glo lets you customize the style, level, duration, mind and body goal to suit your personal preferences – all in the comfort of your home! Presented on a clean and simple set, the moves and flows are easy to follow, with different amounts of instruction given depending on the level chosen. I opted for a compact 30-minute Vinyasa Flow with MC Yogi that moved quickly through a series of core-energizing sequences and got the yoga job done in no time! For you true yogis fret not, there are 90-minute classes too.👍👍 Glo is $18/month with 15-day free trial.

January 4: P90X3. P90X and Tony Horton first came to fame in 2005 on infomercials that dominated the late night and Saturday morning airwaves. These bootcamp style workout dvds have gone on to multi-million dollar sales, delivering results his devotees swear by. Produced by Beachbody, the company that is also behind many of the other top-grossing home workouts like “Insanity” and “Piyo” among many others, P90X and the entire library of Beachbody workouts are now available on Beachbody on Demand. I checked out Tony’s CVX this morning from his P90X3 series of 30-minute workouts that promise “extreme results”. Left sweating in my living room after a non-stop series of fast-paced, full-body, multi-lateral moves, I get why these workouts are so popular and effective. If you don’t have a lot time to spare, the P90X3 series delivers a workout of concentrated intensity that will have you feeling like you did double the work in the half the time.👍👍 Beachbody on Demand is $39/3 months with 14-day free trial.

January 5: OBE | OUR BODY ELECTRIC. Dance cardio fans, obé is the workout to stream for you. Offering 14 live classes daily and a library of 500 on-demand, obé workouts are 28 minutes long and structured on three pillars: Define, Sweat, and Flow. Classes include Sculpt, Strength, Power, Dance, Circuit, HIIT, Yoga, Yoga Sculpt, and Restorative Stretch, and are filmed in a kind of Tokyo-style neon cube of undulating colored light. My buddy Glynis and I doubled up this morning and streamed two different classes: Sweat/Dance with Megan and Flow/Yoga with Saya. I haven’t done “chasse” or “grapevine” in years and am happy to see what we called “aerobics” are still alive and well. The Flow class that followed was a nice combo of yoga stretches with weights – a perfect compliment to the dance workout – and the two classes together left ready to replenish with some Avocado Toast and Bloody Marys on a rainy Saturday morning.👍👍 Obé classes are $27 with 7-day free trial.

January 6: MIRROR. Mirror is one of the hottest new entries into the booming high-end home fitness equipment market. What is actually a mirror when turned off, becomes an interactive home gym when turned on — essentially a life-size fitness tablet. Streaming live classes on the hour and offering thousands on-demand, Mirror features a full range of workouts such as Barre, Boxing, Cardio, Pilates, Strength, and Yoga that are available in 4 levels and in 15, 30, 45 or 60-minute lengths. Almost like holograms, classes are taught by well-known instructors from the most popular gyms and fitness studios around the country.

Gerren Liles is an Equinox instructor I’ve wanted to train with, and I was able to demo his 15-minute ab workout on the Mirror at their pop-up store in lower Manhattan. Via a heart rate monitor that comes included, or your own Apple iWatch, your workout stats are tracked and displayed in real time with a summary at the end of class. Mirror really is incredibly cool and beautifully designed. My only criticism is that Mirror is full-size but the instructor only fills about a quarter of the space. I’d love for the instructor to be life size too… especially as personal training is coming soon.👍👍👍 Mirror is $1495 with a $39/month subscription fee. No interest financing available.

January 7: NIKE RUN CLUB. On a sunny 25 degree morning here in NYC, I decided to check out the Nike Run Club app which offers audio coaching with notable trainers, athletes, and other popular figures. While I was immediately drawn to “Run with Shalane” — Shalane Flanagan that it is, Olympic silver medalist and 2017 NYC Marathon Champion — it was the New Morning Run with Headspace that I found more intriguing, and the opportunity to combine a morning run with a morning meditation guided by Headspace founder Andy Puddicombe. Headspace is the widely popular app that has turned meditation into a $250 million dollar business.

In theory it’s a good idea, but I wish the meditation itself had been more inspiring and less of a lecture. Thankfully a Nike playlist or one of your own accompanies the voice guidance and there isn’t talking the entire run. The one takeaway I did get is that while we may run the same course over and over, no run is ever the same. Today’s double loop around the reservoir was not like any double loop I’ve done before or will do again… a way, I guess, to make the mundane profound. I think I might have found running with Shalane Flanagan more inspiring.👎
(see Day 18 👍👍👍)

January 8: JUMP ROPE WORKOUT APP. Jumping rope is a calorie and fat burning furnace — while also strengthening your legs, butt, shoulders, and arms. 10 minutes is the equivalent of running for 20 minutes, and for those pressed for time, an efficient way to squeeze in a quick heart-pumping workout. There are lots of jump rope apps out there that are essentially timers and turn your jump rope session into an interval training workout. Poking around this morning for one to demo, I found the free Jump The Rope Challenge which I liked because it put together six different jump rope styles like high-knee, skipping, and side to side in 30-second intervals. The interval time of each can be customized along with the number of sets. I’m not very advanced and it was easy to follow and easy to read with clear illustrations and a big countdown clock. 3 sets and 9 minutes later I was done, done, and done!👍👍

January 9: PIYO. PIYO is another one of the workout series from the Beachbody collection, along with workouts like Insanity, P90X, and Core De Force that are all now available to stream on demand. Piyo and its instructor Chalene Johnson are some of the most popular Beachbody workouts and I gave the 25-minute Strength Intervals class a try this morning. No doubt it was a compact and effective total body workout that combined toning with cardio intervals, but it didn’t feel like anything I haven’t done before. When Beachbody started, VHS and DVD were the norm, and this workout has the feeling it was transferred to digital from another medium and another fitness era. Perhaps if you don’t live in LA, New York, or another fitness mecca, you’ll enjoy this workout and get sweaty regardless, but there is too much competition in the home fitness market, and better workouts with a more modern appeal to makwe this one a go-to.👍 Beachbody on Demand is $39/3 months with 14-day free trial.

January 10: COREPOWER YOGACorePower Yoga has over 200 studios across the country, but with their classes on demand you don’t even need to walk out your front door to practice. With CorePower Yoga on Demand, choose the class length, instructor, and focus from a wide selection of pre-filmed classes — and press play. I chose the 30-minute 360 Core with Nicole P. which appealed in the description, “If you’re feeling tight from sitting, sports or just need to work on your flexibility, this class will give you a gentle boost for your front, side and back body.” I would say it accomplished that, and was a nice afternoon break. Practicing alongside members of the CorePower community, I might have wished the shirtless guy and his pale flabby stomach were not front and center, but we don’t judge in yoga – or try not to anyway. Namaste.👍 CorePower on Demand is $19.99/month with 1-week free trial.

January 11: TA ONLINE STUDIO. Tracy Anderson Method is one of the most popular workouts, with a cult like following that has made its namesake as much of a celebrity as her famous NYC and Hollywood devotees. With multiple studios in NYC, LA and the Hamptons, trainers don’t become stars unless they get results and the Tracy Anderson Method is recognized for the long, lean, and sculpted physique it creates. TA Online Studio delivers those same classes at home, in an ever-evolving workout subscription program. Every week Tracy offers brand new classes for beginner, intermediate, and advanced fitness levels.

A novice to the program, I checked out a beginner class this morning which was a jam-packed half hour of upper and lower body sculpting moves and a little ab work at the end. I’m sure I’ll be sore tomorrow from the sheer non-stop repetitiveness, but I can’t say it felt that revolutionary. We all know those fire hydrants and weighted leg lifts work if you have the motivation to stick with them. Tracy offered none of that — in fact she didn’t say a word, not one, or even crack a smile the entire 29:42 duration of the class. Not that I need cheerleading, but counting a few reps and cuing some moves would have been helpful so I knew at least when to switch sides – especially in a beginner class. Though it was a good workout, I think my right side felt most of the burn. 😉👍 TA Online Studio is $90/month with a 14-day free trial.

January 12: THE PELOTON TREAD. Bringing the concept of studio cycling to running, Peloton has done for the treadmill what they did for the home exercise bike. The Peloton Tread is a beautifully designed treadmill featuring a massive 32” touch screen monitor that streams live and on-demand Peloton running classes. Combined with a shock-absorbing rubber slat belt and ball bearing system, the treadmill itself offers a high-intensity/low-impact running experience at home. I demoed a 20-minute Fun Run with Rebecca Kennedy class this morning at the Madison Avenue showroom. Featuring a mix of speed intervals, I would never have pushed that hard on a treadmill on my own, and this quick 20-minute run flew by with the intensity of much longer workout. Bootcamp classes that integrate weight training intervals, like a Barry’s Bootcamp, are also offered.

The Peloton Tread is $4295 which may seem pricey, but is actually quite reasonable compared to other treadmills – and those don’t offer the deluxe monitor and studio class experience. The good news is for those who don’t have the space or dollars for a treadmill the class experience can still be yours on Peloton Digital which I demoed on Day 2. All the running classes for the Peloton Tread are available on Peloton Digital. As I did with a Peloton cycling class, I could have streamed this morning’s Fun Run on my phone on a treadmill at the gym, but it was pretty cool to check it out on the actual Peloton treadmill – quite a nice luxury I might say!👍👍👍 The Peloton Tread is $4295 ($300 delivery included) with $39/class subscription fee. No interest financing available.

January 13: SWEAT WITH KAYLA. Austrailian trainer Kayla Itsines is a social media phenom with over 10.8 million Instagram followers – she and her devotees posting before and after transformation pictures proving the success her workout and meal-planning app, Sweat with Kayla. With all the buzz she’s generated, I was excited to try one of the many workouts offered on the app and went with Kayla’s signature Full-Body Blast 1.0 – a fast moving circuit of 24 exercises that hit every body part, with cardio intervals in between. Each move featured audio cues and visual aids that were super easy to follow. A short stretching program followed that like most of us, I would have never done on my own. Huffing and puffing 24 minutes later, I get why Kayla and her workouts are so popular. The app is beautfully designed and fun to use. Along with workouts, it also features meal planning, activity logs, and a massive community of other followers for support and inspiration. Kayla kicks off her famous 12-Week Challenge tomorrow that were I not in the midst of my own 31 Day challenge I’d definitely give a try!
👍👍👍 Sweat is $19.99/mo. with a 7-day free trial.

January 14: MySwimPro. If you’re a swimmer looking to improve endurance, speed, or even train for a triathlon, MySwimPro is the perfect app for you. MySwimPro is the #1 training app for swimmers, and like having a swim coach on your phone to prescribe daily workouts and personalized training plans targeted to your goals – along with instructional videos, and a log to keep track of your times and distances. MySwimPro is compatible with most training watches like the Apple Watch, Garmin, and Fitbit putting those workouts right there on your wrist. I opted for a freestyle workout this morning called Descending Distance from the MySwimPro library. I swim 1000 yds. regularly a couple times a week. It’s not very far but I find swimming too boring to go further. This workout broke that same distance up into different intervals and drills, that made it fun and actually helped improve my stroke too. Think I’ll opt for the 1200 yd. workout next time!👍👍👍 MySwimPro is $9.99/mo. with a 7-Day Free Trial.

January 15: BARRE3. After a frigid 25-degree run this morning, I really wasn’t in the mood to do the Barre3 class I had scheduled for Day 15. My body was still cold and my hamstrings tight, and I was looking for a class that might alleviate that. Searching the https://barre3.com/januarychallenge classes offered on ClassPass Live I found a 12-minute Release + Rejuventate which sounded exactly like what I needed. A combination of yoga and traditional stretches, this mini-class did exactly as advertised – so much so I was ready to try another Barre3 class!

Barre3 is a full-body barre workout with studios across the country and classes available online on demand. Using only low-impact movements, their signature approach consists of sustained holds to ensure proper alignment; micro-movements to work muscles to fatigue inch by inch; and large dynamic movements for cardio bursts and functional strength. All three classes I ended up trying, Feel Good Faves Combo Work and Mind + Muscles: Leg Work followed that formula and though short in duration (about 12 minutes each) delivered a surprisingly big workout. I liked the option as well of customizing a longer workout made up of shorter ones. 👍👍👍 barre3 online is $29/mo. with no free trial, and one of the many online classes on Classpass Live for $19/month with free 1 month trial.

January 16: PILATES ANYTIME. Searching around this morning for an online Pilates workout, what instantly appealed about Pilates Anytime was the clean set with ocean views. With the option to search videos by apparatus, teacher, duration and level — along with the latest, trending, and most popular — I selected the 45-minute level 2 Stabilizing Mat with Marimba Gold-Watts. It covered all those Pilates basics designed to strengthen and lengthen, and was super challenging — focusing on the corework that is so critical for any physical activity. Unfortunately, I didn’t pay attention to the equipment needed and had to cut the class short without the Pilates ball that was the later focus of class, but even half of it was a workout! I took another short class instead, Mat Workout with Courtney Miller, which was equally killer. Promising better balance, strength, and stability for everyday life – she had me at whether that’s “surfing in Southern California or hitting the slopes in Aspen”. After her 10-minute class I could see why! 👍👍👍 Pilates Anytime is $18/mo. with a 2-week free trial

January 17. THE 7-MINUTE WORKOUT. In May of 2013, The New York Times ran a piece called the The Scientific 7-Minute workout claiming that just 7 minutes of high-intensity circuit training was all the exercise we needed a day. It prescribed 12 exercises deploying body weight only, performed in 30-second intervals of maximum effort, which scientific evidence proved were the equivalent of a long run and weight lifting session. For those who hate to exercise, the 7-minute workout was the answer to their prayers and became a fitness craze.

That same workout is now available on the 7-Minute Workout app, with animated illustrations of each exercise. Complete with a countdown clock for each move, the app makes it really easy to follow and fun to do. Exercises and time intervals can be customized to your preference, as well as a male or female model selected in the illustrations. I demoed the original 7-Minute Full Body workout this morning and thought it was great. Each of the 12 exercises were multi-functional, total body moves that hit every muscle group. As an athlete, it felt like more of a warm-up to me, but if I really only had 7 minutes to exercise I’d call it a workout – although I’d likely find 14 minutes and double the intervals myself. 😉👍👍

January 18: TRANSFORM:20. Hey Step fans! Your favorite workout is back, hosted by Shaun T. of Hip Hop Abs and Insanity fame, but in that amped-up bootcamp style for which this super-motivating trainer is known. His new workout, Transform:20, debuts on Beachbody on Demand April 1st, but subscribers can preview a sample workout now, which I demoed today. This non-stop workout is just 20 minutes long, but high-intensity from start to finish with fast-paced advanced moves that I would not advise for someone new to fitness. Maybe warm-up with another Beachbody fave like Piyo (Day 9). The program is designed as a six-week challenge of just 20 minutes a day, 6 days a week, 36 different workouts total — which Shaun T. guarantees to transform your body. After just one of these 20 minutes, I can see why. 👍👍👍Beachbody on Demand is $39/3 months with 14-day free trial.

January 19: NIKE RUN CLUB. I decided to revisit the Nike Run Club app this morning as I was going for a run anyway. I blasted the app on Day 7 more for the particular audio guidance I had chosen, “New Morning Run with Headspace”, and I really did want to Run with Shalane – Shalane Flanagan that is! Not only did this Olympic medalist and NYC Marathon Champion provide great coaching tips and running advice throughout the 45-minute run, but ironically far more meditation guidance. Her message is about “staying present” and running “in the moment”, which is the essence of meditation. Along with that Shalane shared her own personal running experience as a professional athlete — the victories and defeats, ups and downs, to which any runner can relate. The best part, however, was her mile by mile narrative about winning the 2017 NYC Marathon – and what was going through her mind at that “F*ck Yes!” moment we all remember so well. The best running partners distract you with a good story, so thanks Shalane — great running with you today! 👍👍👍

January 20: ALOMOVES. AloMoves is the yoga streaming site brought to you by Alo, one of the hot yoga apparel and athleisure brands — and what a brilliant way for them to show off their product in action. I took Power Vinyasa Level 2 with Briohny Smith this morning and wanted her outfit! Her class was great too, a 30-minute combination of flow with excellent instruction on getting into different poses like Crow and even Chair, in ways I hadn’t thought about before. I’ve checked out a couple of online yoga studios so far like Glo and Core Power Yoga, and what’s been nice about them all is that the teacher actually does the class with you, so you can see the correct form demonstrated. Like any yoga class, it’s really about your personal preference of style, level, instructor and location. AloMoves offers a wide variety of all and the studio setting itself is beautiful. The combination of all today fit my criteria for a yoga class I’d want to take again. AloMoves gets written up consistently in “Best Online Yoga Classes”, so I guess I’m not the only one. 👍👍 AloMoves is $20/mo. with a 14-day free trial.