Virtual gym instructors transforming exercise classes

Members can now try out digital classes at Gymophobics

Members can now try out digital classes at Gymophobics - Credit: Archant

Women signing up for exercise classes at gyms in Suffolk are being treated to a futuristic workout led by a virtual instructor.

Personal Trainer Sue Haslam from Gymophobics Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Personal Trainer Sue Haslam from Gymophobics Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Digital exercise classes are being introduced at Gymophobics, a women-only gym with branches in Felixstowe, Ipswich, Newmarket, Stowmarket, Sudbury and Woodbridge, amongst other locations.

The classes are essentially a pre-recorded work out video featuring the founder of the Gymophobics chain, Donna Hubbard.

Her mantra has always been that she will help women "shape up" with her trade marked work outs - and now she is doing just that by appearing in the videos.

Lorraine and Andy Phillips, owners of the Woodbridge franchise, based in St Johns Street, said: "The digital classes are all down to the founder.

Bev Lunn and Laura Wedderburn trying out the new digital classes with personal trainer Sue Haslam P

Bev Lunn and Laura Wedderburn trying out the new digital classes with personal trainer Sue Haslam Picture: SARAH LUCY - Credit: Archant

"She decided that she wanted to have real continuity across all of the gyms and that it was varying depending on which location it was.

"So now the 50 franchises are exactly the same and there's no difference."

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Jo McLaren is an instructor at the Ipswich gym, in Princes Street, and stressed that the classes take just as much effort as those with a physical instructor.

"When we used to teach them in person the ladies really loved it, but they are getting used to the new digital class," she said.

Bev Lunn and Laura Wedderburn trying out the new digital classes with personal trainer Sue Haslam P

Bev Lunn and Laura Wedderburn trying out the new digital classes with personal trainer Sue Haslam Picture: SARAH LUCYPicture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

"We still teach them all of the movements and exercises in person and then they use those movements in the classes."

Some may argue it is the chain cutting costs but Jo disagrees,

She said: "I suppose it is a sign of the times but it's not trying to get away with less, it's just the way things are going at the moment."

The classes come as fitness enthusiasts continue to look for new and innovative work out options - bungee fitness classes, box-fit, trampoline workouts and hot yoga are just some of the options that are growing in popularity.

Members can now try out digital classes at Gymophobics

Members can now try out digital classes at Gymophobics - Credit: Archant

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