Online fitness: 5 alternatives to the gym

As we all know, something will always happen: the weather is too bad, the gym is currently closed, the courses are canceled: there are countless excuses for skipping sports or training.

But the days of apologies are over. Because online, a professionally guided training is now available to you at home at any time. Yes, online gyms are still mostly run by women – but there are more and more offers that are also suitable for men and can easily replace the beloved gym without any problems. We present you with the best.

If you prefer to train without a monthly fee, you can get started immediately with our training plan: Train yourself in shape and slim in 8 weeks – without any equipment:

How do online gyms work?

With most online gyms, the process is simple: all you have to do is sign up, answer a few questions about your body, fitness goals and fitness level, and you get workouts. Some of these providers are only available as an app, others can also be accessed via the browser on the laptop or computer.

What should I use for training at home?

Whether you need equipment depends entirely on the program selected. Experience has shown that you only need:

  • a training mat
  • a water bottle

Fitness bands can also be used to intensify arm bends, squats, etc., without the equipment taking up much space at home. You can also use the objects in your apartment to spice up your workout in the truest sense of the word: Deep on the chair, swollen push-ups with your feet on the edge of the bed, curls with a full water bottle – there are no limits to your imagination.

Comparison of online gyms

The market for online fitness has been booming lately since Corona. But which providers have something to offer – and do they really help you build muscle or in time for a beach figure? We introduce you to the best alternatives to the gym.

1. Freeletics

How much does it cost: from 6.16 euros per month (with annual subscription)

That’s the way it is: This app promises the most effective bodyweight training. But not only that, the training also adapts individually to your schedule, fitness level and your goals. Depending on your wishes, the training lasts between 5 and 60 minutes and works according to the basic principles of functional training. The body is trained holistically through fitness and strength exercises – and with extremely high intensity. The training units are based on classics such as push-ups, squats and burpees. It is also possible to train clean with body weight or alternatively install training equipment such as pull-up bar or running sequences.

Probably the biggest benefit of Freeletics is the community: More than 51 million members use the app and compare and empower each other. An absolute motivation boost.

Additional offers: Within a “Mindset Coach”, Freeletics offers sound courses in the form of mediation and mindfulness exercises that will help to develop the right attitude to a long-term healthy lifestyle. There is also a fee-based “nutrition coach” who gives you personalized nutrition plans and appropriate recipes.

Suitable for: Top athletes as well as beginners because the training units are individually tailored to you. However, training requires a certain level of fitness. You will notice from the very first session – the training requires a lot of discipline and perseverance. The courses are also perfect for men.

Try Freeletics with a 14-day money-back guarantee

2. Gymondo

How much does it cost: From EUR 6.99 per month (with an annual subscription) the first 7 days are free

That’s the way it is: The test winner at Stiftung Warentest offers a wide range of courses and training sessions. Over 80 fitness programs and more than 1000 workouts between 11 and 70 minutes are available. From fat burning to muscle building to yoga, all desires are covered. The courses are led by professional and qualified coaches, including influencers like Daniel Aminati. The clear and modern design as well as the comprehensive range of services must also be highlighted positively. A weak point: Few of the workouts last longer than 30 minutes.

Additional offers: Gymondo scores with over 2000 recipes and suitable nutrition programs for muscle building and other goals. The training can be performed on a laptop and television, as well as using the associated app.

Suitable for: All. Any age group, whether it is beginners or experienced. Although Gymondo is more geared towards women, men are also getting their money’s worth here. One of the most popular Gymondo training programs for men is “Make Yourself Crazy” by Daniel Aminati. But there are also many other courses specifically designed for muscle building or weight loss that are waiting for you.

Test Gymondo for 7 days for free

3. Pure life

How much does it cost: From 9.99 EUR per. month for premium access (with an annual subscription)

That’s the way it is: Pur-Life is a “real” fitness studio that also has an online presence. It offers a total of more than 50 programs, and you can participate in over 9000 recorded individual workouts and several live broadcasts (from the gym) depending on the goal chosen (weight loss, muscle building, pain relief, fitness). Muscle building, cardio or ball training – there is something for every taste and every level.

Additional offers: The program is not only limited to fitness, but also gives you valuable knowledge about health. While you can find advice on medicine, nutrition, orthopedics and exercise in the Geist section, you can talk to other users and ask questions to local teachers. This is a big plus compared to other online gyms – and makes you feel part of a group. With a Gold membership (from € 13.99) you also get access to more detailed training and nutrition plans including recipes.

Suitable for: Anyone who wants to deal holistically with the topic of health in addition to workouts. If you want to experience your gym next door online, you will feel at home on pur-life.

Test Pur Life now for 7 days for free

4. Asana Rebel

How much does it cost: From 4.92 euros per month (with annual subscription)

That’s the way it is: The app contains “Yoga Inspired Fitness”. But if you only expect relaxing flows when using Asana Rebel, you are mistaken. Here, more than 100 sweaty workouts with sharp position changes and demanding coordination exercises between 10 and 30 minutes await you. These are tailored to your user profile and should not only make you fit, but also stronger, more flexible and more focused.

Additional offers: Those looking for more rest and relaxation will also find relaxing meditation exercises, soothing music and sleep aids at Asana Rebel. You have access to a number of different recipes. However, the field of nutrition is not nearly as extensive as, for example, at Gymondo.

Suitable for: Everyone who, in addition to fitness, also wants to work with mobility and balance using yoga. Here you can find out why yoga is so important for men.

Try Asana Rebel now

5. Fitness videos on YouTube

How much does it cost: For free

That’s the way it is: YouTube probably has the largest online fitness offering and should not be missing from this list. YouTube has thousands of free workout programs from amazing channels dedicated to making you sweat and grow your muscles. Professional fitness trainers, influencers and trainers guide home training to participate. You are spoiled for choice as to which videos will bridge the Corona break in your gym. However, be aware: Unlike the other portals, you do not get any structured training plans or individual training.

Suitable for: Anyone who does not want to spend money but still wants to stay in shape with home training.

Our recommendations: Not all videos are taught by professional educators, so the quality can vary greatly. We recommend the training of Sascha Huber, Coach Stef and THENX.

Conclusion: online gyms are a great, flexible addition

Although the offers may not permanently replace the gym for many, they are a good alternative to the “right” gym and are also suitable for men. You save yourself the trip to the gym and are totally flexible when it comes to time and place for training. Compared to membership fees in gyms, the prices for the online fitness platforms are also relatively cheap and absolutely justified.

So make room in your apartment and test your very personal home training. As of today, there are no more excuses. Each of the portals offers a wide range of training programs – something appropriate is guaranteed.

This article may contain links to providers from whom MEN’S HEALTH receives commission. These links are marked with the following icon:


Simon Weber

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