What Exactly Is the Mirror Workout—and Can It Help You Lose Weight?
Here's everything you need to know before investing in the trendy—and pricey—new piece of fitness equipment.
It’s clear that many fitness buffs are trending toward fancy, boutique workouts that tout health and weight loss benefits: Soul Cycle, Bar Method, Peloton—bike and treadmill—and now the Mirror Workout.
From the comfort of your home, you can tap into six different types of workouts—cardio, yoga, strength, pilates, bo, and barre—with live classes and an instructor. Your window into the classes? A four-foot-tall mirror. You can see both an instructor performing workouts live and yourself, to tweak form accordingly.
The cost? $1,495 for the Mirror, plus $39 a month (one-year commitment) for unlimited access to classes.
What personal trainer Pete McCall, author of Smarter Workouts: The Science of Exercise Made Simple and spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise, likes about the Mirror Workout is the convenient access to instructors and the functionality of the equipment when not in use. But he doesn’t see it replacing gyms or in-studio workouts, he tells Health. “It’s fun to see friends and make it a social outing.”
Still, for those who have jam-packed schedules (and who doesn’t?), having equipment at home with access to challenging workouts is, plain and simple, a way to get your workout in. And just like any workout, you get as much as you put into the Mirror Workout. “If done consistently, like any other lifestyle modification, you can absolutely lose weight,” McCall says.
Using the Mirror, you can choose classes—50 live classes a week and a library of on-demand workouts—that are in line with your fitness goals, no matter what they are.
There is no one underlying principle of the Mirror Workout because every workout and type of class is geared toward something specific, whether it be building strength or getting in better cardio shape.
That said, the Mirror delivers real-time feedback for you to gauge how you’re stacking up against your goals, including calorie burn stats, heart rate, and your target “score” versus your real time “score.” That score goes up the harder you work; the faster you sprint in place, the closer you get to reaching your target score, for example. “That live feedback seems to be a trend,” McCall says.
Like going to a gym or studio class, scheduling even a virtual class can help hold you accountable to get your workout in.
Plus, McCall says, the combination of the instructor and your own reflection gives you a good visual for what you should be doing.
McCall recommends the Mirror Workout to people who love taking instructor-led classes but have a hard time making it to the gym or a studio due to their demanding schedule. If you’re new to exercise, he says this expensive commitment is probably not the best starting point.
A workaround? “You could hack it,” McCall says: Load up a workout on YouTube and stand in front of your own, tech-free mirror.
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