October 08, 2019 at 03:01PM by CWC
At-home personal training has long been the ultimate fitness luxury, reserved for A-listers (imagine running on a treadmill next to J.Lo) and the rest of the 1 percent who can afford not only to have a gym in their house, but also to have someone come over and show them how to use it. For the rest of us, the idea of having a trainer at our disposal—in our homes, nonetheless—seems akin to owning a yacht or having a summer chalet next door to George Clooney in Lake Como: nothing more than a pipe dream.
Well, all of that is about to change thanks to latest technology from Mirror, which is bringing personal training (yup, you read that right) into the living rooms of those of us who don’t have a million dollars in the bank. If you’re unfamiliar, Mirror launched last year as a (literal) mirror that you hang on the wall to stream live and on-demand fitness classes. At the time, it was revolutionary because it allowed you to see trainers and yourself in the same interface as you worked out (hello, proper squat form), but the latest update takes things to an entirely new level.
The new tech uses Mirror’s two-way audio and video interface, which means that not only are you able to see yourself and the trainer in the mirror (the way they’ve always been able to), but the trainer can see you, too. (Before you get creeped out at the thought of an active camera in your bedroom, the device is equipped with a plastic cover that you can easily slide over the lens when it’s not in use). The result is a totally personalized, one-on-one experience that until now has only been available with an IRL trainer.
“We designed the Mirror hardware knowing that we wanted to eventually dive into immersive one-to-one experiences using two-way audio and video technology,” says founder and CEO of Mirror Brynn Putnam. “Personal Training was the most natural progression, considering that Mirror is a business built by a fitness professional with over a decade of experience in the field. Eventually we plan to expand our offering and add new, non-fitness related experience to the platform.” In addition to being game-changing for users, Mirror’s update is quite incredible for trainers, too. It will allow trainers from all over the U.S. to reach new clients without having to deal with the limitations of geography, making it easier than ever for them to scale their businesses.
So how does it work? Mirror matches users with fitness pros based on things like their workout preferences, trainer motivational style, session length, and schedule, and once you find a trainer you love you can stick with them for the long-haul. Each session is customized to fit users’ goals, preferences, and skill levels, and pros will be able to help with things like form and move modification, essentially eliminating the most obvious limitations of digital fitness. You’re also linked up to a heart rate monitor the whole time, so your trainer is seeing the metrics of your workout in real time–which actually goes above and beyond what you’d experience during an IRL training sesh. After each session, trainers will help users put together a workout plan so they know exactly which Mirror classes to take to supplement the work they’ve done in between appointments. It’s a 360-degree approach to fitness that happens right in your living room, and having watched a demo firsthand I can personally confirm: It is cool.
Priced at $1,495, the Mirror device itself isn’t exactly cheap, but at $40 a pop the personal training sessions are surprisingly affordable as compared to what you’ll find in most gyms across the country. Plus, as many “additional household participants” as you want are welcome to join in on your workout for no additional cost. Luxury, indeed.
As digital fitness rises, gyms need to be built differently. And if you aren’t investing in Mirror personal training just yet, here’s how to ensure you still have good form when working out at-home alone.