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Is audio-led fitness the best way to workout?

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Audio-led coaching is the best way to motivate users and make workouts fully inclusive in these socially distanced times, according to a fitness app entrepreneur and former Olympian.

Former Olympic sprinter Tim Benjamin has lauded the power of audio-led workouts for their accessibility, motivational drive and ability to get the best results from users.

Tim is founder of audio-led fitness and exercise app WithU, which provides tailored programmes and more than 1,000 workouts which can be completed by anyone, anywhere.

WithU features Team GB athletes such as Harry Aikines-Aryeetey and world champion long-distance runner Charlotte Purdue, as well as well-known fitness figures, as its expert trainers.

The coaches deliver audio-led personal training throughout every workout, personalised to the user’s own goal and fitness level, with music playlists (curated by the team behind SoulCycle)  that are synced to pick up tempo in line with the pace of the session.

The app also incorporates a patented 3D animated avatar to provide visual cues on form and a workout preview animation before each exercise, making it accessible for all fitness levels.

WithU is one of just a handful of audio-led exercise platforms on the market, but the space is expected to grow, with tens of thousands of users already signed up in countries across the world.

“The most important thing for us is the intimacy and portability of the product, to be able to take it anywhere in the world, whether it be in the gym, out in a field or in your own home- which you can’t do with a video-based product,” said Tim, who brings decades of experience in sport and exercise science.

“There are so many vehicles for working out right now and each one has its own unique selling point, but what I was particularly excited about, is how the audio enhances the experience.

“What we have found is an extremely high retention rate, when people are introduced to the concept of audio workouts, once they have tried it they understand the benefits of having that immersive audio experience.”

Tim continued: “The music plays a huge part in motivating each user, but so does the tone of voice and the personality of the trainer.

“Every workout and programme has been extremely well thought out and we work closely with the team of trainers to deliver clear and concise cues so it is easy to digest.”

WithU is working with the University of Oxford to commission two research projects into the effect of audio on performance, which are currently on hold due to coronavirus restrictions.

“Research shows coaching and personal training betters people’s performance also their fitness journey in general, but there’s also research behind music and audio and how that levels up performance, put the two things together and you’ve got an unstoppable force,” added Tim.

“I’m excited about the explosion of audio-led coaching, as people are changing their workout habits and I can see this space growing extremely quickly.”

WithU is available in the app store for iOS and Android devices for £7.99

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