Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Welcome to Workout Wednesday: every hump-day, we'll be rounding up some of the city's hottest fitness trends and studios.
The Internet is many things to us: It's our mall, it's our grocery store, it's our library, it's our television. And now, it's your Crunch Gym. The fitness chain recently debuted Crunch Live, which features dozens 15- and 30-minute workout videos based on their popular class offerings—really, who wouldn't want to try out something called Rear Attitude?
At just $9.99 a month (that's approximately three venti Starbucks iced coffees right there) you get unlimited access to their video arsenal. But you're probably thinking, I can find free workouts anywhere online! We thought the same thing—YouTube and Pinterest are busting with free content, so why shell out any money at all?
To dispel our qualms, we chatted with Crunch's Michelle Opperman, the San Francisco regional director for group fitness, and Deborah Horton a group fitness manager here in New York—both of whom have taught Crunch classes for years and shot videos for Crunch Live—and they proved why their service is worth sacrificing a singular cocktail a month.
We thought Crunch Live videos were the same as everything else we've already seen.
But actually, you get fun.
Crunch prides itself on personable instructors that motivate students to give 100% effort while simultaneously making them forget they're working out, and that hasn't been lost in the translation from in-person to video. "It's about melding fitness and entertainment," Opperman said. "At Crunch, we are so lucky to have so many energetic, out-of-the-box instructors, and that's why it can be as inspiring doing [a workout] at home as if you were in a class as well." That definitely helps to keep you going when you are thisclose to a couch and a flatscreen.
The videos aren't one-size-fits all, either—just like Crunch students. "I try to envision the person on the other side of that camera. I know each person is coming with different needs and backgrounds," Horton said. "So, just as in my live classes, I offer modifications for the workouts, as well as advanced options for those who need something extra."
We thought they were the same as what you'd find on YouTube.
But actually, you get quality.
"It takes time to really look and find things that are quality" on the Internet, Opperman pointed out, "where Crunch is already known for group fitness."
"All of the instructors are certified to offer a safe, effective, and fun workout," Horton added. "With other Internet sites, just about anyone can post a workout—regardless of safety or efficiency. Why risk it?"
We though the videos were for Crunch members who are "in the know."
But actually, you get introduced.
Anybody can follow along with the instructors, whether or not they've heard of classes like "Diesel" or "Lyrical Hip Hop" before. "The beauty of the internet is that Crunch is now a truly global market," said Horton. "Folks from all over the world can—and do—subscribe and join us for that same amazing Crunch class experience."
We thought you'd never step foot inside a gym again once you have at-home access.
But actually, you get hungry for more.
Though there's so much you Crunch offers with equipment as minimal as a mat and light dumbbells, some activities just aren't meant for the home—like TRX or surfboard yoga. Trying Crunch Live can whet your appetite to join your nearest location for more class offerings. "People who get a taste of what the facility is and fall in love with the programming will usually want to come to the gyms," Opperman said. "Those people are curious about what it is we do within our walls."
We thought you'd be doing the same workouts for the rest of your life.
But actually, you get replenished.
Crunch Live will be churning out new videos on the regular, so subscribers will never get bored. "We're always on the search for new programming that's fun and exciting," which includes an upcoming workout with the Nets dancers. Also, expect to put your fitness on the express track: "We've had great response to the 'Quickies'—15-minute workouts that get it done fast—so I anticipate we'll have more of those as well."
Here's a bonus for you—Crunch is offering Racked readers a two-week free trial! Visit Crunchlive.com and enter the promo code RACKED.
· Crunch Live [Official website]
· All Workout Wednesday Posts [Racked NY]