Opinion: Why You Can’t Get Fit at Home

There seems to be a resurgence of sorts happening right now within the fitness industry. More and more fitness brands are starting to offer at-home versions of their training routines and programs. And there are always new fitness products coming out designed for home-use and allow you to workout anytime, anywhere.

FlyWheel Sports just recently started selling a home-use version of their spin bike that is designed to provide an experience akin to their signature classes, and that integrates with their own fitness-tracking platform used by all their customers. More and more companies both big and small are offering their training programs online and on-demand, with some specifically designed with none or minimal gym equipment in mind.

There will always be a market for “fitness at home.” At some point or another, you’ve probably seen an infomercial for the latest and greatest new thing that will help you burn 5x as many calories and will get you ripped and shredded in just 20 minutes a day. I remember the days when P90x, Insanity, and BowFlex dominated those timeslots, and if these trends are any indication, nothing much has changed.

When it comes down to it, you can’t get fit just working out at home. If you want to lose weight, lose fat, or gain muscle, you have to do way more than what these at-home products can offer you.

The reason why these products and modalities appeal to us is because they are quick, super-convenient, and look like great workouts. That’s because they are primarily designed to drastically increase caloric expenditure in a mostly sedentary population. These workouts feel hard because they make your heart race and burn more calories than you’re used to.

There is only so much that you can do at home with no equipment. Nothing can replace the experience of working out in a gym, especially when it comes to strength training and free weights. At home, you’re mostly limited to cardio-based modalities, whether it’s spin, P90x, or other. This is hardly the only training you should be doing, but practically, it’s the one that works best at home.

So just keep that in mind when you consider taking your fitness home with you. I’m all for staying active wherever you go, but it’s important to understand the limitations of the products you’re using and not get married to that one modality. To be truly fit, you have to do more than just one thing.

by Jeremy Lau