Demand for hybrid workouts merge at-home digital devices with in-person training – Sporting News

Rewind to March 2020, talk of people dropping dead on the streets from Covid, others donning protective clothing and masks, a mad dash for toilet paper and other essentials, and non-essential services closing their doors. Being stuck indoors seemed like a real fear at the time; people worldwide shared creative and fun ways to kill time at home, while everyone from makers of board games to sanitisation companies capitalised on the collective fear and boredom of the world.

People turned to run laps in their balconies and living rooms, others quickly sought out exercise equipment that would help them to stay active. For some, a yoga mat and a few weights did the trick. But many scrambled to get their hands on exercise equipment that would provide them with some semblance of their usual fitness routine. 

During the first months of Covid, the sales of Peloton, an interactive bike that allows users to engage in live, online group rides with users from around the world, skyrocketed. With production halted and shipments delayed, the manufacturer couldn’t get these bikes in the hands of eager riders fast enough. 

But equipment like the Peloton, YouTube fitness tutorials, online coaching and training subscriptions seem to have lost their lustre now that most countries have put the virus behind them.

If market prices and production numbers are any indications, the novelty of at-home workout systems seems to be wearing off. Peloton’s share prices have dropped significantly as it fails to scale up and move more units into homes.

Understandably, sales of its bikes will inevitably plateau at some point. The lonely experience of cycling at home, despite together with an instructor and a community online and with a specialised playlist, lost its appeal. The average number of workouts per user dropped to 16.6 in Q1 of 2022 from a peak of 26 sessions per month in Q3 2021, according to the company’s 2022 Q1 earnings report. 
And it’s not just the cycling workout that’s shed its charm; smart home gym Mirror, acquired by sports apparel brand Lululemon for US$500 at the height of the pandemic in 2020.

During a call with investors in December 2021, Mirror’s CEO Calvin McDonald said while the project aimed to appeal to the 10 million Lululemon customers embracing “the Sweatlife”, the year was challenging for digital fitness. 

The Mirror is an interactive device that allows users to join guided fitness classes at home. Priced at USD$1,495, the device works with with a monthly US$39-subscription available in the United States and Canada only.