Should you join an online fitness community?

by Jay Hiller, July 29, 2022

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

One of the best parts of practicing regularly at an in-person yoga studio is the community. People tend to be on their best behavior at yoga studios and you get to know people in a special way, practicing yoga together. Even at the big box gym I attended before the pandemic, I would recognize people and have friendly conversations with people I didn’t really know. There was a lot of value in that. I still remember somebody who had noticed my race number in a locker room after I had completed a long endurance run congratulating me in a sincere way. Is it possible to replicate that experience online?

It’s not exactly the same, of course, and a lot depends on the type of person you are. My experience with online fitness communities has been that people are genuinely friendly and helpful. Here’s one to consider:

Syatt Fitness Inner Circle

Coaches: Jordan Syatt and Susan Niebergal

I’ve been a member of the Syatt Fitness Inner Circle for 3 years. It is a subscription community, currently $25 a month and a tremendous bargain in terms of the quality and the quantity of the content. Jordan is in his early thirties and a former powerlifting champion. Susan is in her early 60’s, a retired educator and a strength training coach. I’ve met both of them in person and they have a genuine friendship. The community offers a new monthly edition that includes 3x/week and 4x/week workouts with professionally videoed exercise demonstrations, recipes, in-depth virtual manuals on specific areas of fitness, for example increasing shoulder strength or mastering a chin up. There are a cajillion things to do on the site. There’s also an annual in-person retreat. (The first one was in 2019. There was an interruption due to the pandemic and the second one was held this month.)

What about the community? I joined so that I could attend the retreat and the thing that struck me was the friendships that people had struck through the community Facebook page. I’ve found that when I have a question or just want some support, the response from others is thoughtful and positive. Members are people at all fitness levels. This online strength training club has increased my knowledge base and improved my fitness.

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