Virtual Fitness Goes Viral


The way we work out is changing. From treadmills at the gym playing music videos to virtual fitness classes you can do in the comfort of your own home, fitness is getting technical…in a new way. Virtual class experiences are on the rise, and the following experiences are just a few you’ll find around the city.

Training for a triathlon? No doubt with this year’s unpredictable weather, you’ve logged miles on an indoor bike. But riding without a spin instructor barking commands or having the lake view path open can make for a boring bike ride. East Bank Club has several Expresso bikes, which offer a virtual experience of riding against another rider on various landscapes, simulating an outdoor ride. 500 North Kingsbury Street,

Known for sexy workouts like Booty Beat and Code Pink, Flirty Girl Fitness in Lincoln Park is a popular spot. But when you can’t make it out the door because kids are home sick or you’re running late, Flirty Girl Fitness offers live streamed classes so you can feel like you’re there any time, even when classes are in session. Monthly, weekly and 24-hour passes are available online so you can ‘flirtify’ your workouts at home. 2215 North Halsted Street,

New to Chicago is Third Degree Fitness, a revolutionary broadcast studio featuring Peloton Racing (indoor cycling), heated power yoga and interval training. The Peloton Bike connects to a 21.5-inch multitouch console with WiFi to give you instant access to incredible workouts 24/7. Retailing for $1,995, you must also commit to the program by purchasing a $39/month subscription. But when you think of the time you’ll save by working out at home, you’ll see it’s really the future of fitness classes. 648 North Clark Street,

A 2009 study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine says music improves the outcome of any cardio workout. Simply bumping up the music tempo helps you shave minutes off your race time, as it paces your cadence. That said, the newest line of Precor treadmills are now outfitted with Preva technologies, which allow personalized workout tracking alongside your favorite on-demand music videos. They’re tailored to your style of workout format, so if you want to increase speed just hit the speed building playlist and fast tempo music videos are in cue.


Going Mobile? App-solutely!
Technology is changing our world with mobile payment, video on-demand and apps that help us meet our goals. Check out more technology ideas to improve your workouts in the palm of your hand…

FitnessBuilder helps you plan, track and share your workouts like no other. With over 7,000 exercises, pictures and videos, you or your trainer can plan a workout by choosing from playlists or creating your own. First month is free. Available for Apple, Android or web.

FitnessClass has almost 500 workout videos from the top 70 instructors worldwide, that you can rent, buy or download them. There’s even material from me, celebrity fitness trainer Andrea Metcalf. Free. Available for Apple, Android or web.

Gym Pact helps you stay on track by putting your money where your mouth is. You pledge money to keep your exercise and diet habits, which are verified through GPS, photo submissions and other services. At the end of each week, when you’ve met your goals you earn money (between 30 cents and $5) from other app users who didn’t stay on track. Available for Apple and Google Play.


About Andrea Metcalf

Andrea Metcalf is a celebrity fitness trainer, author of Naked Fitness, social media maven and nationally recognized speaker. She is a contributor to NBC Chicago, Better TV, GMA Health and NBC Today Show as well as, and her own Naked Fitness blog. She participates in many charity events, from Bright Pink to ovarian cancer to American Diabetes Association. She hopes to inspire people to feel good in their own skin.