It would be great to find a low cost gym membership. But why just lower the cost? Why not design the perfect gym membership?
Here’s my perfect gym wish list:
- Low cost membership
- Zero commute time
- Fully adjustable workouts – easy to grueling
- A personal coach who can appear or disappear on command
- Full control over the music type and volume
- No deodorant-abstaining members
- Clean private shower rooms stocked with your favorite soap and shampoo
- As many towels as you like
- Beautiful views
- A chance to learn while working out
In other words, there is a lot of room for improvement! What did I miss?
A promising start with Apple Fitness+
Working out at home can deliver on a number of the features above. But working out alone can feel a bit, well, lonely. Enter Apple Fitness+, a low cost subscription app that plays from your iOS or Android device. Set your tablet on the stand of your home spinning bike or treadmill. Or prop it up and watch from your yoga mat. Not bad. In addition, it lets you search for the workout type, duration and even your preferred instructor. And the price is right at just $9.99 monthly or $79.99/year.
There are lots of pros to Apple Fitness+. It offers an instant sense of community and best-in-class instructors in each workout type. The set design and camera work are first class. And, if you have an Apple Watch, the integration of your fitness data onscreen of your iPhone or iPad is awesome. In other words, well designed and executed.
However, there are a few cons. The gym is the same scene each time, and the endless cheerfulness and positivity of the instructors wore on me after a while. As did the constant pushing of the social cause of the month. When I work out, maybe I just want to work out. Happy to support causes at other times. And Apple Fitness+ shares another issue with other fitness apps…who wants to be indoors, watching other people working out indoors?
Wouldn’t it be great to workout outside, while inside?
A workout gets the heart going, blood pumping and dopamine flowing. But the best fitness experiences happen in the great outdoors where the beauty of nature adds its own element. And wouldn’t it be awesome to enjoy the scenery 24 hours a day, with no safety issues, in any kind of weather?
Even better, what if you could transport yourself to any corner of the globe and take in the scene while running or biking? And teleport there instantly with no airport, lost baggage or long security lines.
Well, I may have found the perfect low cost gym membership.
BitGym is a low cost gym membership but so much more…
You can download the BitGym app for free on the Apple App Store or on Google Play. Once loaded on your device, it offers a number of free tours including: Edinburgh, Paris, Northern Italy or the Alpine Lakes of Tyrol. Turn the guide off or on. The music up, down or off. Watch the action from your phone, tablet, or on your TV screen. In addition, you can pick your equipment: treadmill, bike, eliptical or rowing machine. The scenery is high def and your bike RPM shows on the screen, sensed by your movement in the front camera of your device. As you ride, on-screen speech bubbles add commentary about the history and geography of the region. Your guide tells you how hard to push, the right hand position and whether to be in, or out, of the saddle.
Things really open up with the paid subscription. Good value at $79.99/year. In one week, I explored the Parc de la Ciutadella, Tierra del Fuego and Santorini. Then I headed to Panama to see that part of the world. The scenery flew by and often suspended the laws of physics. For example, my route sometimes weaved through outdoor restaurants, went over water or came shockingly close to other tourists on the trail. Not sure how they shoot some of the footage. Lovely to sweat away in the privacy of my home, with no waiting for a shower at the end. As a bonus, I used as many towels as I wanted (subject to spousal limitations).
Bitgym is a great workout, a beautiful escape and a geography lesson all it one. It even provides an alternate use for those expensive “laundry drying racks” that many of us have in the basement!