(Pocket-lint) - The concept of performing workouts from home isn't exactly new, but the idea has been transformed dramatically in the last few years.
Gone are the days of celebrity-backed DVDs and get-fit-quick plans, with professionals taking to YouTube, Instagram or on-demand services in their droves.
One of these services is Fiit, a fitness platform designed to replace your gym subscription and guide you through personalised plans involving cardio, strength and rebalancing work.
However, there's plenty more to understand about how exactly these home workouts unfold, how your progress is tracked, what you'll need to get started, and - perhaps the most important factor - how much it all costs.
For those eager to learn all there is to know about Fiit and leave the crowded, germ-laden gym behind, let's jump in.
What is Fiit?
We've already alluded to the wider concept, but let's double down here.
At its core, the Fiit app allows you to access hundreds of classes (over 700, at the time of writing, from nearly 40 trainers) across three different 'studios' - Cardio, Strength and Rebalance. Classes last 10, 25, 40 or 60 minutes, with the difficulty qualified as entry-level, beginner, intermediate, advanced or all levels.
If you have a TV where you plan to work out, you can connect your iOS or Android device via HDMI cable, or you can cast workouts through Apple TV, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Sky Q or a Samsung smart TV.
If you want to keep things on the smartphone/tablet app - or on your laptop through the web app - that's also an option. This allows you to perform workouts outside, when you're away from home or even take advantage of Fiit's guidance while you're in the gym.
How do Fiit classes work?
Workouts can either be manually selected by going through the various filters and menus, or you can start one of a number of exercises that are automatically fed through when you're signed up to a plan. You then have the option to link a compatible tracker (more on the equipment requirements below) and wait for things to load up.
Every workout from the Strength and Cardio studio starts with a warmup and ends with a cool down, with various at least a few blocks of work in the middle and an ever-lethal finisher section. Of course, throughout this, you'll be matching the trainer at every stage.
The makeup of a class is case-by-case, but you're able to view each class breakdown in the app before starting - that means you know exactly what you'll be working on and for how long, as well as, everyone's favourite, how much rest time you'll have.
The real-time feedback is where Fiit really shines, though. If you have a compatible chest strap (Fiit offers its own through the Fiit Shop) or an Apple Watch, Samsung Galaxy smartwatch or any Fitbit smartwatch, your heart rate will be displayed on-screen as you exercise and, in the case of cardio classes, contribute to 'Fiit Points'. For strength classes, Fiit's chest strap (and the Wahoo Tickr X) are also able to count your reps for each exercise in a workout.
These two things are essentially measures of your effort levels during the class, and act as both a reference point to your progress and how you match up to other users who have taken the class.
Not all classes have to be taken on-demand against yourself, either. Fiit also has a daily schedule of 60 different classes that you can book onto, show up alongside other Fiit users and work your way up the live leaderboard.
What equipment do you need?
Compatible tracking devices - which are all listed here - are purely optional, but, in order to get the most out of Fiit, we'd definitely recommend investing in one and syncing it up.
By doing so, you'll be able to compete on leaderboards for the most reps or Fiit Points earned in a single class, as well as view your average heart rate within your profile. The most valuable tracker, we'd say, is a chest strap that's also able to track reps, as this will give you a great reference point when you inevitably return to old classes.
This all goes for equipment, too. Most strength classes will require dumbbells, and some rebalancing classes will be better with yoga blocks or bands, but they're not required every time.
Naturally, having some equipment does open up more classes to you, particularly, as we say, if you're focused more on strength workouts and plans. While you're at it, pick up a small exercise mat to help cushion your knees and elbows; you'll thank us when you manage to survive multiple rounds of devil's press and burpees.
Once you download the Fiit app, sign up and set up your subscription, you'll automatically receive a free 14-day trial.
If you enjoy this small test period, you then have two different Premium membership options to pick between. One of these will set you back $20 / £20 / €20 per month, or you can halve that, essentially, by paying for a yearly subscription in on whack ($120 / £120 / €120).
By having a membership, you'll gain access to over 700 classes and training plans centred around the likes of HIIT, strength training, yoga, flexibility, breathing and much more. As we mentioned in the previous sections, this also grants you access to live stats and leaderboards during workouts, giving you the ability to track your progress over time.
Treadmill and bike workouts
Fiit is no longer limited to just basic equipment, with its Assault Fitness partnership bearing new types of classes involving a smart, integrated treadmill or air bike.
The adapted AssaultBike adapts to Fiit's own brand of metrics and allows users to tap into Air Bike workouts, with effort on the bike, total output, RPM and rep tracking all factoring into a new formula that will show off performance in three new types of class - Metcon, Sprint and Endure.
The interactive AssaultRunner workouts (labelled in the app as Tread workouts) follow a similar path, with the same metrics tracked through the same three types of workouts.
However, while your basic Fiit membership and a couple of dumbells won't set you back too far, as we detail above, these are serious pieces of exercise equipment. And they cost serious money.
They're not for every user, but they offer superb ways for serious exercisers to take their conditioning to the next level. You can, of course, also perform these workouts on a regular treadmill or stationary bike, but you won't receive the connectivity.
The AssaultBike packages begin at $1,216 / £1,099, while the base AssaultRunner equipment will cost $3,872 / £3,499.
Is Fiit available internationally?
While it was once limited to the UK and Ireland, Fiit has now grown into a worldwide operation. The app is now available to download in 175 countries - including the US, Canada and Australia - and the company offers international shipping on its chest straps, too, which can be bought in GBP, USD or EUR.
If you're looking to sign up - which you can do on the Fiit website - payment will be taken in GBP and then converted into your local currency. For those who join via Apple's App Store, payment will be instead be taken in the local currency of your App Store.