How to Decide if You Should Sign up for an Exercise on Demand Service for Home Workouts

March 31, 2023

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I'm Mickie. Co-founder and CEO of One Strong Southern Girl. Our team is here for you. We want you to remember us because we helped changed your life. 


Should you pay for an exercise on demand service (aka-streaming workout service)? Or can you get the same benefits  and home exercise experience using free resources? I get asked this question all the time so today I’m going to help you figure out if it’s time to take things to the next level and invest in a membership to an exercise on demand service.

It’s a very important topic because most new home exercisers start off by only using free services to find workouts to do, which will eventually lead to frustration because there’s a lot of homework involved in finding free workouts that are right for you and what you’re trying to do that day. And the last thing you need is for exercise to feel like a chore.

But I want you to know that if you’ve been using free resources to find your workouts up until now, I’m actually really glad you’re here because you are the girl who will really appreciate the differences between free and paid.

I think you’ll feel better about investing in a paid service after I point out a few things about these membership services that make exercising at home really convenient, really simple and something that you’re going to look forward to.

So the way I’m going to do this is go over a few questions with you about what you’re doing now with home exercise and your answers will actually help you know if it’s time to invest in a paid service or not. So here we go.

Do you buy workout videos and or programs regularly now as part of your home workout routine?

And by buying programs, I mean, do you go online and purchase a series of videos that you can use to workout at home with?

I used to do this all the time. Years ago when I first started working out at home it was the only way to do it.

So, if you’re doing that now and you’ve continued to do that because that’s the way you’ve always done things, then I want you to know that by signing up for an exercise on demand service, you’re actually going to be able to replace that cost.

And how is it going to be able to replace that cost?

Because these libraries have hundreds of routines that you get access to when you sign up so you won’t need to buy anymore physical videos to store or own. You’ll immediately have tons to choose from (and new ones added regularly).

Do you like trying new workout styles and getting lots of variety in your workout program?

I hope the answer to this is yes. (And by variety and styles, I mean, do you regularly do different kinds of routines that work your body in different ways?) 

For example, do you do high intensity, low intensity (low impact and high impact workouts)? Do you do different styles like kickboxing? Barre? Dance? Do you like to use your aerobic step for some workouts and dumbbells sometimes?

Like I said, I hope that this is something you’re doing already, but if it’s something you’ve been meaning to do and haven’t, then signing up for one of these streaming workout services or exercise on demand memberships is the perfect way to add tons of variety to your workout plan.

Because almost all of these workout libraries offer workouts using different equipment and styles of exercise.

Do you have access to the internet?

So this might seem like a silly question, but there’s actually a lot of people whose main objection with signing up for exercise on demand is that they don’t have the ability to stream video at their home.

And I get it. This is a real concern.

But there is a work-around in most of the exercise on demand membership libraries for people who can’t stream video because of a poor internet signal.  Most of the most popular streaming workout memberships allow you to download their workouts.

So, when you’re at work or wherever you are out in the community where you actually have a wifi signal, you use that opportunity to open up your membership dashboard and find a workout you want to do next and download it to your device.

When you get home it’ll be waiting for you to hit play without needing the internet. 

The download feature is a really smart way to allow everyone to be able to use these services. 

Do you use apps?

Apps are those convenient shortcuts that we all download to our phone and other devices that help make everything in life easier.

All of the streaming workout services I’ve tried (there are a LOT of them) have an app so you can access your workout library with one click anywhere you’re at.

Do you like a free trial period?

Who doesn’t?

Most exercise on demand services have anywhere from a 7-30 day free trial period so you can test drive all the features and view all the workouts.

This makes sign-up a no-brainer, in my opinion.

During the free trial period you can test your internet connection, look at the workout styles inside the library and check out the membership Dashboard. 

Pro tip-If you’re new to paid streaming workouts make sure you test a few out using the free trial period before you commit to one. They’re all vastly different but there’s something for everyone.

Do you like knowing you’re going to get a good workout?

If you’ve been using free You Tube workouts then you’ve definitely spent some time sifting through all your options, selected a workout and then hit play, only to discover the routine wasn’t what you expected.

There’s a priceless value on what I call the ‘trust factor’ that comes with a paid workout library.

You might not even realize how valuable it is until you lose it. But when you’re paying for a workout library, there’s a comfort in knowing when you hit play that you’re going to get the workout you expected.

Do you like exercising with a group?

I do!

I know it’s a concern people who love gym classes have about transitioning over to exercising at home.

But the good news is that most of the paid exercise on demand services have workouts that are recorded with an entire team of exercisers. And you’ll feel like you’re part of the class.

My favorite part of exercising with a group (from my house) is that I get to enjoy the extra fun and motivation that comes from exercising with a group and get rid of the negative aspects of group exercise (working out with strangers–awkward!).

Do you like an ad-free workout?

If you’ve never used a free app or You Tube to play a workout then you’ve never experienced the irritation of an ad popping up right in the middle of your workout! It’s the worst.

When you pay for a workout library you can forget about ads disrupting your exercise routine ever again.

So, I hope these questions have helped you distinguish the major differences between a paid exercise on demand service and the free workout services in the world today.

Ultimately, you can get a great home exercise experience using free services, it’s just a little more work to accomplish that.

My recommendation is that you sign up for a free trial of a few of the top exercise on demand services on the market today and see what you think.

Other articles for you…

A Comparison of Features in 30+ On-Demand Workout Libraries

The best on-demand workout libraries for women who exercise at home

A Review of Beachbody on Demand

A Review of Cathe on Demand 

A Review of Les Mills on Demand

A Review of Aaptiv

A Review of Daily Burn

A Review of Body Groove

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