In the modern digital era, training within the comfort of your living room has never been more easy. Who’d have thought that you could take part in a live interactive fitness class, with a qualified instructor, without leaving the house?! Well, this is very much the trend and norm now for millions of people across the UK and beyond. The flexibility of being able to train in your own time-rather than heading to the gym for a set-time class-is the obvious hook. Plus, there is so much more to these apps that you might not even be aware of.
Digital interactive software and large touchscreen consoles allow users to be entertained whilst they train but also monitor results in a live environment. Cycling has fast become the market-leader with this type of training. Peloton are an American-based company who tried to capture the market; however, an advert for their 2019 Christmas campaign was labelled as “sexist” and “out-of-touch”, costing the company around 10% of their market value. This left their reputation damaged with many quick to hit out online and via social media.
Yet, there are many interactive apps on the market alongside different brands of bikes who are also making headway in this field. Many have even developed their own ‘coaching’ subscription-based apps and in this blog we will cover some of the hot options out there at the moment!
Peloton offers over 1000 online indoor cycling courses in addition to over 95 live sessions per week, throughout the day. Now, Peloton is not exactly cheap. The most basic Peloton Bike package starts at £1,990 with the family package priced at £2,389. Then there is the subscription which is priced at £39 per month (£468 per year). So, even with the most basic package, your outlay for 1 years’ worth of cycling would be a staggering £2,458. Peloton currently claims a total of around 1.4 Million community members with over 500,000 paying subscribers.
- Price: £1,990
- Subscription: £39 per month, £468 per year
- Compatible with: Peloton Bike, Peloton Treadmill (New for 2020) with plans afoot to release the technology and apps to other indoor bikes, notably the Schwinn Speed IC8 Bike.
- Platforms: Peloton bike console, iOS, Android
The iFit app and technology works in the same way as Peloton and offers live, interactive on-demand courses and classes. Connected to your bike, treadmill, elliptical or rower, the cardio app features over 1,500 courses and works via Bluetooth connected tablets / phones or is pre-loaded on certain machine consoles. iFit offers global workouts, virtual studio classes and Google Mapsâ¢ workouts.
What really makes iFit stand out and unique from Peloton is that you can control the incline and resistance directly from the app for your machine. Whilst you are taking part in a class, the iFit app automatically adjusts this for you in line with what the instructor is doing. There is also the option to disable this and take part at your own pace.
Currently, we offer the ProForm Tour De France TDF 1.0 Indoor Cycle as one of our best-selling bikes with a free 1 Year iFit subscription. Priced at £899.00 the TDF 1.0 features a LED Display with Endurance, Tempo and Peak Zones. The bike also has 26 electronic gears, a smooth inertia-enhanced flywheel for a comfortable ride and adjustable seat. iFit is currently available on over 50 pieces of cardio equipment.
- Price: £899.00
- Subscription: 1 Year Free with TDF 1.0
- Compatible with: Currently over 50 different pieces of cardio equipment such as, ProForm Tour de France 1.0, ProForm Pro 5000 Treadmill, NordicTrack Fusion CST Multi-Gym and the NordicTrack RW850 Rowing Machine.
- Platforms: Android, iOS, all 54 pieces of equipment with the integrated console pre-loaded with iFit.
Indoor Cycling Group (ICG)
Specialists in the design, manufacturing and programming of indoor cycling equipment, the ICG technology features in the IC1, IC2, IC3, IC4, IC5, IC6 IC7 and IC8 Life Fitness indoor cycles. The sleek design of the bikes-combined with the Coach By Color® training systems-delivers real-time, colour-coded feedback that ensures users are given a cutting-edge digital experience.
The Coach By Color® intensity guide, WattRate® Power Meter and connectivity to your tablet / phone provides digital encouragement and engagement which makes the ICG a different type of experience to the others we’ve looked at so far.
The Life Fitness IC1 Bike powered by the ICG Technology is priced at £795. The IC1 is a Poly-V belt driven bike which ensures a smooth and quiet ride. The bike features and on-board wired console allowing you to track your performance and a padded adjustable sport saddle. The ICG Training App features 4 different display options which include your resistance level, training zone, heart rate, watts, performance statistics and how many calories have been burned in each training zone.
By connecting to instructors with the technology, the LED light will monitor your real-time effort during studio classes and personal or small-group cycling sessions.
The LED front display features 5 different colour training zones:
Very Light – White
Light – Blue
Moderate – Green
Very Hard – Yellow
Maximum – Red
- Price – £795
- Subscription: No subscription required. Free to download on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.
- Compatible with: IC Series Bikes from Life Fitness, IC1, IC2, IC3, IC4, IC5, IC6 IC7 and IC8
- Platforms: Pre-loaded with selected IC Series Bikes, iOS & Android
The Kinomap app turns your exercise bike, treadmill or rowing machine into a powerful and fun fitness device. The app takes control of your machine and adjusts the resistance and inclination according to the video’s elevation profile.
The route videos in the Kinomap app are made by the users themselves. There are currently over 180,000 km worth of routes for rowing, running or cycling uploaded from all over the world. The videos are encoded with location data so that not only can you view the video but, additionally, look on the map where you currently are and the landscape profile. The great variety of routes offers a diversified training program. You can enjoy jogs in Central Park, Stages from the Tour de France or even row 2km on the French-Polynesian coast.
During training, the app shows your important training data. Furthermore, you can compete in open race events throughout the day or take the more friendly approach and compete against your friends and family.
Kinomap is growing at a rapid pace and, here at Powerhouse Fitness, we are now offering more and more pieces of equipment featuring the Kinomap app built into the console. The cardiostrong BX60 (priced at £599) and cardiostrong BX70i (priced at £699) combine high-quality exercise bikes with outstanding value for money.
Another option is the Taurus Z9 Pro Indoor Bike (priced at £999). This bike uses electronically adjustable magnetic resistance which is not only quiet but also smooth and extremely durable. It also boasts adjustable handlebars and saddle so you can find your perfect seating position, toe cages and straps on the SPD pedals allowing to use your cycling shoes should you wish, and the on-board display will allow you to keep tabs on your performance.
- Price: Free to download from Google Play Store and the Apple App Store
- Subscription: £9.99 per month, £199.00 for Lifetime
- Compatible with: As it is a stand-alone app it can be used with any treadmill, cross-trainer, rowing machine or exercise bike and in time will feature in many pieces of equipment already pre-loaded into the console.
- Platforms: Android and iOS.
|Purpose||Live & on -demand workouts||On-demand workouts||Real-time colour coded levels and feedback & studio classes||
Racing simulator and on-demand real community routes for running,
cycling or rowing
Unlimited number of cardio equipment as the app works with your
|Platform(s)||Peloton bike and treadmill machines, Android & iOS||Compatible fitness machines above, Android and iOS||IC Series Bikes, iOS & Android||iOS & Android|
|Price of indoor bike||From £1,990||TDF 1.0 ProForm from £899||IC Series bikes from £795||No Kinomap brand equipment. Taurus Z9 Pro Indoor Bike £898.99|
|Subscription price||£39 p/m||Free with TDF 1.0*||No subscription required. Free to download||£9.99 p/m or £199 for lifetime|
*We currently offer free iFit subscriptions on selected other NordicTrack and ProForm equipment. Check out the respective Brand pages for full details. A full year stand-alone subscription is £99.
Thanks for reading! Hopefully this has helped breakdown some of the options available in the growing market of interactive workout technology.