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Boutique Fitness Studios Invade Your Living Room

Fitness App Forte Fit

The world of online fitness is wild, tough to navigate, and constantly changing.

Sure, there are millions of free workout videos on YouTube, but how do you even possibly begin to choose one that’s actually high-quality, delivers the kind of workout you want, and is the right length? And many big deal platforms—like CosmoBody and NBC’s Radius—have come and gone faster than rest periods during HIIT. And who’s really motivated to squat and burpee next to their couch, anyway?

A new site, Forte Fitness, aims to solve for these issues, by making at-home workouts as curated and compelling as visiting a boutique fitness studio—because you basically are doing just that.

Forte sets up discreet camera systems inside popular workout studios in cities like New York and Miami and then livestreams classes to viewers all over the world, so you can attend in real time (or pull from a library of recorded classes whenever you want). The concept delivers the fun factor and group energy of boutique fitness without the high prices or time needed to get to and from your workout studio.

I gave Forte a try to see if it would make me want to lunge around my living room on a more consistent basis. Here are three things you need to know.

There’s a LOT of Variety

Many popular studios like Tracy Anderson, DanceBody, and Peloton (if you’ve got the bike!), already do the livestream thing on their own, so if you’re devoted to one sweat style, those may be a better option. But if you like to mix things up, Forte’s got nearly every option covered, with around 1500 classes from nine studios at the moment, which cover boxing, strength-training, dance, cycling, yoga, and more. There aren’t a ton of big-name brands aside from a few like Aerospace and Exhale, but they’re adding new studios and classes every day. Workouts are also organized in a way that’s really user-friendly. You can search by style, length, equipment needed, or a specific coach or studio.

Streaming Has Both Pros and Cons

The quality of the videos is very good, but you’re dropping into a studio class (even if you choose a pre-recorded version) so remember that you’ll also be looking at others exercising in the class, not just the instructor, which can be a little strange at first if you’re used to more traditional at-home workouts. I did a yoga class and felt a little distracted by some people in front of the camera who were struggling with poses and would have preferred to just see the instructor demo-ing in that scenario. However, you get the energy of the class via this style, which is often the more important factor when it comes to actually showing up to sweat.

It’s a Great Value

At $39 for the month or $188 for the year, a monthly membership is just slightly more than what a single class would cost you in person at many studios in New York and Los Angeles. Not to mention the cost of your Metrocard/Uber/Gas to get you to class and back. Overall, that seems like a really good deal to me.

Have you tried Forte or other streaming workout platforms? Which do you use and why do you like them? Share, in the comments below!


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