Live Streaming Fitness Review

Live Fitness Classes From the Comfort of Home

Live Streaming Fitness
Live Streaming Fitness

There's a lot to be said for the new online fitness company, Live Streaming Fitness. First, they do exactly what they say: live-stream fitness content to any device, anywhere in the world, all day long. Second, they offer cutting-edge classes from certified fitness instructors spanning everything from yoga and dance to strength training and cycling. These classes are available live, according to the weekly schedule, or on-demand.

All-in-all, it's a novel approach to the rapidly growing world of online fitness, and one I fully support. That said, the newness of the service means that there are still kinks to be worked out and ease-of-use features to be addressed.

The Benefits of Streaming Fitness

As someone who has hosted a number of live fitness classes through YouTube Live and Periscope, I love the concept of streaming fitness content online, particularly if the comment functions are enabled, allowing trainer and participant to interact - to ask and answer questions before or after class.

The benefit to this design is clear: A rapport develops between student and instructor, trust is built and the student is able to freely ask questions about form, purpose and modifications. While fitness DVDs and online videos have been around for years, this interaction is new, breaking down barriers and making expert tips and advice more accessible to the everyday consumer.

What Live Streaming Fitness Does Well

Live Streaming Fitness is a highly affordable way ($9.90 per month) to access a wide variety of workouts, both on demand and live streaming. The company has done an excellent job of providing:

  • Cutting-Edge Class Formats. If you have access to a group cycling bike, you can try cycling classes. If you enjoy yoga, you can try your hand at Hip Hop Yoga, Warrior Yoga, Postpartum Flow or Rock the Mat. If you want to gain strength, you can give any number of boot camps or strength classes a try. There really is something for everyone.
  • Live Classes on a Reliable Schedule. Live Streaming Fitness' new, live classes are offered Monday through Friday, 7:00am to 6:00pm central time. This means every 30 to 60 minutes, a new class is starting, so there's almost always a new class for you to try out when your schedule opens up.
  • On-Demand Classes. Even if you have a weird workout schedule - for instance, you have to workout Mondays at 5:30am, Tuesdays at 9:00pm and Saturdays at noon, you can always access Live Streaming Fitness' library of on demand workouts.
  • Quality Audio and Video. The video and audio quality are good, which sets the service apart from many people offering live streaming video content. That said, the audio and video quality aren't as high as you might find on a fitness DVD or through some other online fitness services, such as Grokker or Crunch Live.
  • Additional Resources. In addition to fitness videos, Live Streaming Fitness also offers articles on fitness and nutrition, quick tip videos for bettering overall health and community features where you can connect and interact with other members.

    Where Improvements Could Be Made

    While I've enjoyed testing Live Streaming Fitness, it wouldn't be my first choice as an online fitness portal. At least not yet. Here's why:

    • Instruction Quality. I'm not questioning the knowledge or ability of the Live Streaming Fitness instructors to instruct. However, instructing in this format - where the instructor is by his or herself in a room, talking to a camera - is entirely different from instructing a class full of live participants. It's really hard to find the right balance of confidence and motivation, and its tough to figure out how much to talk and when to stay silent. Overall, I feel the Live Streaming Fitness instructors haven't quite hit this balance. Some of them seemed uncomfortable, like they weren't quite sure what to say. Some of them talked too quietly. And some of them were great. When I compare the instruction to other online fitness services, it's currently lacking.
    • Searchability. Since I have a tendency to workout at odd times, I wasn't always able to tune into live classes. This meant I needed to use the library of videos to find on-demand options. While Live Streaming Fitness has started to add more search functions to its database, I still found searching for videos to be clunky. For instance, when I clicked "equipment," I assumed I'd be able to select workouts based on the small equipment I have, such as dumbbells, kettlebells, bands and jump ropes, but instead, that's where the workouts using large equipment, like treadmills and group cycling bikes were housed. There wasn't a way to easily sort videos by small equipment used.
    • Workout Details. Before starting an on-demand video, I wanted to be able to read a preview or summary of what the workout would entail, but there wasn't anything available. I know other similar on-demand services have summaries and reviews of their videos.
    • Clearer Rating System. There are currently two rating systems in place. There's the user rating, based on a five-star system, and there's the "sweat magnitude" rating based on five sweat droplets. When searching for videos on demand, only the five-star system shows up, and all videos have been given five stars. This seems disingenuous, as it appears whoever uploads the video automatically gives it the five star rating, and few other people are adding their own. Also, the sweat magnitude rating only shows up occasionally - it seems like it should show up with every video along with the workout's details so a person can assess whether it's one worth trying.
    • Live Feedback. One of the reasons I love the concept of streaming fitness classes live is the potential for live feedback between instructor and client. While it's possible to leave comments below on-demand videos, I couldn't find a way to ask questions during live classes. I wouldn't expect instructors to respond while teaching - that would be overly difficult - but it would be nice if there were a way to engage with them live, pre- or post-workout.

    The Takeaway

    While I appreciate the concept of Live Streaming Fitness, and the price is certainly affordable, I think there are still improvements that need to be made to the company's internal system and instruction. If those improvements are gradually rolled out, there's absolutely no reason not to sign up and test it out.

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