Ms Deniece Lee has made it a point since 2016 to keep up with her exercise routine by attending classes three to four times a week at Bbounce and Beatx studios, but now, the 31-year-old has to take the classes through virtual means.
Though she has adapted to the transition, she feels that it cannot be compared with being in the studio with the trainers and her friends.
“It’s a good concept, but the sense of accomplishment cannot be compared with that of a physical class. I feel they (online classes) are less intense,” she said.
Ms Lee, an administrative assistant who recently bought a pair of dumbbells to supplement her workouts, is among those ensuring they stay fit despite being holed up at home because of the coronavirus outbreak in Singapore. Their gym classes are now at home.
Bbounce and Beatx studios, which have had to close, have been conducting at least two online classes every day since the end of last month.
Bbounce Studio offers strength and cardio workouts on rebounders, while Beatx Studio has classes such as boxing and circuit interval training.
Most of the online classes are designed and modelled after the classes conducted at the studios, said their founder Joel Tan.
The instructors conduct them on Instagram Live and video-conferencing platform Zoom as well as via their online TV platform, called Bbounce x Beatx.
Ms Lee feels the online classes work well on days that she is busy.
“I save on travelling time, so the extra time can be used as a warm-up before the class begins. Online classes are short and sweet, at least in my case, on busy days,” she said, adding that she works out more in a week now, thanks to the convenience of working out at home.
Mr Tan said the turnout for its online classes has been good, with 350 to 450 people tuning in to its Instagram Live sessions, which are free for all. Its Zoom classes, which are payable, are capped at 40 people a session and classes are 60 per cent full in the afternoon and 90 per cent full in the evening.
There were some hiccups with connections initially, he said.
“We managed to sort things out and classes are running smoothly. We have also received feedback from customers that the workouts are effective and interactive,” he added.
The timings of the classes mean you have a lot of flexibility and can literally roll out of bed into a class.
MR DAVID FLETCHER, a member at Ministry Of Fitness
COULD BE MORE INTENSE
It’s a good concept, but the sense of accomplishment cannot be compared with that of a physical class.
MS DENIECE LEE, who works out at Bbounce and Beatx studios
Ms Jomain Lim, 27, a banking executive who does high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts with Bbounce Studio, said: “Though there is the convenience of not having to travel to the studio and being able to exercise in the comfort of your home, it requires a lot of discipline and motivation to push through without instructors physically with you. There’s a higher tendency to slack when tired in a home-workout session.”
True Group’s True Fitness and TFX have been sharing exercise videos on Facebook and Instagram TV for members and the public to follow since April 6. These include dance, HIIT and yoga.
Group chief executive officer Ken Mok said: “Our videos are posted online for anyone to enjoy working out at his own pace and schedule. To date, the videos have racked up hundreds of views.”
The group conducts at least one class daily, ranging from a 10-minute session to a 60-minute one.
True Fitness member Ho Lai Lai said: “It is important to be adaptable and disciplined with a schedule so you can still get your workout in, regardless of any disruption to your daily routine during this time. This is different compared with the classes we physically attend as we are motivated by not just the instructor, but also by other members working out together.”
As far as possible, fitness instructors at True Fitness and TFX try to conduct workouts that do not require equipment.
Mr Mok said: “If we do require equipment for a particular exercise, we will suggest alternative items that can easily be found at home.”
Ministry of Fitness adapts classes by creating workouts that use items around the house, such as a bag filled with water bottles, for those who do not have equipment at home, said its director Jessica Hinton.
It started offering online workout classes in the middle of last month after one of its instructors had to be quarantined and the gym closed for seven days.
Ministry of Fitness offers online yoga, pilates and boot-camp classes, which consist of HIIT, endurance and strength-based exercises, on Zoom.
Ms Hinton said she has received good feedback from members, with some saying it feels “just like you are in the gym, but at home”.
Mr David Fletcher, a member at Ministry of Fitness, said: “The timings of the classes mean you have a lot of flexibility and can literally roll out of bed into a class. I still feel like I’m getting a good workout and I’m exercising more regularly as a result of being at home.”
The 29-year-old, who works in human resources, focuses mainly on the military boot-camp class, but due to the convenience, has signed up for yoga and pilates.
“Regardless of the circuit breaker, online classes are so accessible. I would look to continue them as well as attend the gym in person,” he added.
Independent fitness coach Brian Ho, who has been running an online fitness training service since 2018, said there has been a 30 per cent increase in sign-ups for his programme from last month.
The 21-year-old, who posts workout videos and tips on his Instagram page, said the number of views for his videos and stories has also gone up by about 50 per cent.
Mr Ho said: “More people are asking for advice on how to work out at home. I usually send them links to workout videos and e-books on various exercises I have created.”
Singapore Sports Hub also launched an online series of daily fitness programmes on April 17.
These workout sessions are posted every day, allowing anyone to take part in the exercises at any time of the day at home.
Participants can access these videos here.
The exercises range from cardio and strength training to endurance and conditioning and can be personalised to suit an individual’s fitness level.
Ms Wendy Tan, assistant general manager, marketing and commercial at Singapore Sports Hub, said the programmes consist of simple and easy-to-follow exercises.
“The community can easily incorporate the programmes into their daily schedules and it will also be a great bonding activity for families,” she said.
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