Love working out at home? Check out these new programs by Cult.fit and Alpha Coach
These two fitness apps are offering some unique and interesting programs for those who like to workout from home
Working out at home was usually considered for new mommies or homemakers who didn't have the privilege of taking time out to sign up for a fitness program at a gym. But the pandemic changed things for everyone including hardcore fitness enthusiasts and gym rats. Home workout regimens were the only solution and way forward. With this new practice here to stay at least till the pandemic ends completely all over the globe, many fitness companies are bringing their programs to your tablets, smartphones and laptops. We call it the era of home gyms, when your living rooms, terrace and gardens are turning into workout spaces. You don't have to be a celeb to set up the entire paraphrenalia of a gym, all you need is some space, a few basic things like a yoga mat, dumbbells and maybe a skipping rope.
Fitness apps such as Cult.fit and the newly launched Alpha Coach are going all out to provide some unique workout schedules, while keeping in mind the requirments of beginners and seasoned fitness addicts. We speak with fitness experts Shwetambari Shetty from Cult.fit and Ketan Mavinkurve who has founded Alpha Coach about the advantages of working out at home and how safe it is to exercise without being monitored by a fitness expert or trainer.
Gyms have opened now, but what prompted you to launch online fitness programmes?
Ketan: Traditional fitness spaces have seen a 25-30% reduction of footfalls in the last 18 months. But it has also seen a good number of people who have decided to take fitness seriously. Overall, gyms will continue to do well if we do not have more variants and lockdowns. However, we decided to launch Alpha Coach in 2020 because an online program is completely free of barriers such as lockdowns and the need for equipment. As a result of which, this is perfect for busy individuals who want to start getting more active, but aren’t able to find the right guidance, structure and systems to begin with. As part of the program, users will have access to tailored diets and meal plans, a customized exercise regimen and access to their respective coach.
Shwetambari: We have a large number of customers who continue to work out from home. Many prefer this format now owing to its convenience and cost-saving attributes while some may still not wish to go to gyms. Moreover, online programs like these allow us to reach out to people who want to work out with us but may not have a gym in their vicinity. For others who are looking for fat loss programs and programs that can help them commit and build consistency, we have plans like the 4-week Choose to Lose program.
What kind of research is done prior to designing these programs?
Shwetambari: We take a 360-degree approach to thoughtfully develop a program that is totally do-able regardless of your fitness level and will certainly have positive takeaways for anyone who signs up. The program has a holistic approach. Fat loss is not something one can achieve by exercising only. There are various factors which are taken into consideration to ensure that people get a well-rounded guide to loosing fat the healthy and sustainable way. For example, in Choose to Lose program we look at nutrition, sleep, movement and exercise as the parameters. Our exercise program is designed to offer multiple workout options like dance or regular cardio workouts, and yoga.
Ketan: We conducted a research involving 250+ respondents to understand their fitness needs and desires and issues they have faced with most other online fitness solutions. This was done to understand the requirements of people and challenges they have faced. We look at habits of people with a holistic approach to ensure better fitness health, rather than simply focusing on before/after transformations.
Are these programs suitable for beginners as well? Or are these for those who are already physically active?
Shwetambari: Our programs are designed separately for beginners and intermediate participants, and we have made sure to include variations.
Ketan: Our programs are for busy people in the age bracket of 25 to 50. We are focusing on this age group because these are consumers who have been actively hitting the gym, are paying for personal training, and are looking to get healthier, especially now after the recent Covid pandemic. These are generally individuals with busy lifestyles and minimal downtime, but still want to find ways to getting more active and eating better – we can help them!
At a gym, a fitness trainer monitors form, so how will this be monitored during home workouts?
Ketan: Gym trainers only watch the form and are usually not able to help clients with anything else, including their nutrition, progress tracking, help while traveling, or helping clients navigate around events such as vacations or weddings. Gym trainers therefore, end up playing a myopic role in that sense. In contrast, online fitness helps people find the optimum route to their fitness goals. Imagine going on a trip to a place you have never been before – would you have a guide from Mumbai? Or rely on Google Maps? That’s what we do – we provide the roadmap and help them steer towards their goals. For exercise form, we start clients with a basic movement – every exercise is demonstrated right in the app itself (these are videos we have shot ourselves). Additionally, our coaches ask clients to send them form videos on the in-app chat messenger, so that they provide objective critique and insights on their exercise form.
Shwetambari: All exercises are scaled up and down and explained in detail with proper breakdown of movements. Injuries typically happen when the form is incorrect and trainer instructions are not followed 100%. If the scaled options are used and instructions are adhered to, chances of injury are very less. Other reasons for injury may be pre-existing joint pain, low levels of vitamin D, calcium etc. Such people get injured even in the offline gyms with a trainer. Hence, their focus should be more on paying attention to the trainer’s advice and taking it slow – something we reiterate throughout each session. We are also doing Interactive Live sessions twice a week to be able to connect with the member and coach them more.
In recent times, we've seen how even healthy and fit people haven't been able to avoid certain health conditions and even death in a few cases... So what's your take on this?
Ketan: Yes, this is very unfortunate, and sad to see such young people suffering from lifestyle diseases and ailments. Having a certain response to this question would require more information and context of each case, but it is true that lifestyle plays a large part. However, it’s is also a well-known fact that healthier people have a far better chance of longevity of life than those who suffer from being obese, underweight, are largely inactive, or those who make poor lifestyle choices when it comes to nutrition and training.
Shwetambari: Being proactive about your health is the main way to get ahead of certain conditions that may be avoidable. Health markers and parameters need to be kept in check on a regular basis. It is not just about exercise. Food, sleep, stress - they all play a role in defining one's health condition. To maintain great health one has to keep a check on the inside of the body as much as the outside. Hence, through programs like this one and the recent ones we launched, we are motivating people to take control and be proactive about their own well-being.