Vaha review: Suzanne Baum reviews the interactive fitness mirror that is changing the face of at-home exercise equipment…
First impressions of the Vaha
When it comes to first impressions, the Vaha certainly is very eye-catching. As technology in the world of fitness continues to boom, fitness mirrors are – on the face of it – adding the wow factor to home gyms. And this German-based company – the first to launch in the UK – has ticked all the right boxes with its rollout of an at-home virtual studio gym.
Having participated in many zoom workouts during lockdown, I’d sworn that once gyms re-opened I’d never take an online exercise class again. I missed the group fun and in-person teaching – or so I thought. Now, the Vaha has since completely changed my mind.
My 1:1 Vaha personal trainer
First up, you get your own personal trainer who appears like a genie in a bottle. Thanks to the incredible technology built into the mirror, you actually feel as though they are in the room with you! Each new Vaha client gets a one-on-one personal trainer session. You can then talk them through your specific fitness and body goals. It is almost like a hologram!
After swiping through the trainers, I chose Emily. This was based solely on the decision that I’d rather be coached by a female. I personally thought it would be easier to talk to a woman about my fitness goals as I approach peri-menopause. Plus, she is also an expert in HIIT (high-intensity interval training)!
Getting a curated fitness plan from my Vaha PT
Once your initial PT session is over, the trainer curates a selection of on-demand classes especially for you. Although I started off following the programme, I was curious to try out the other classes, so I opted for my own mix and match. Unlike other interactive exercise machines I have tried, where you need a full-on manual to help guide you around the product, the Vaha is pretty easy to navigate.
Depending on what type of exercise you are after, you swipe across a number of different classes (including cardio, Pilates, barre, yoga and even meditation), select the difficulty level you require, then press start. With over 300 classes to choose from (both on-demand and live) there’s something for everyone.
If you’re looking for a particular fitness class, there is a search menu that allows you to filter the classes by category, ability level, class time, body parts to be trained, or equipment to use. There is even a set up designed specifically for kids.
Focusing on my form and technique
The cardio classes were my favourite as they took me through a whole range of movements that helped me focus on my form. This is where the Vaha mirror really comes into its own as I was able to see just how good (or in my case, bad) my form was. I could then learn to correct my balance when it came to perfecting the art of a squat and press up.
To ace my technique, I turned my yoga mat (the only piece of fitness equipment you need to provide yourself) so that my body was aligned with the instructors. This allowed me to follow their exact movements and rectify my own body form, which in effect, made for an even better full-body workout.
The Vaha is a truly unique fitness machine: with its 43″ full HD touchscreen, 64W speakers, a microphone, and a built-in 120 degree IMX Sony camera for chatting to your instructor – it is a mind-blowing piece of equipment.
Stream your favourite Spotify tunes as you workout
Unlike other machines I have used, the music is pretty much faultless on the Vaha. You can also easily play your own Spotify playlists by connecting your phone to the mirror. This came in very handy, not only when I did a Bootcamp class, but also for a meditation class, where I was able to have my favourite Coldplay songs playing in the background.
In fact, the sound quality is so powerful, it’s as effective as being in a real gym environment. Together with its top-notch screen quality and graphics, the Vaha provides the ultimate luxury at-home workout.
Is Vaha worth the price?
It goes without saying that with a 2k-plus price tag, the mirror doesn’t come cheap. Is it all that it’s cracked up to be? It’s a resounding yes from me – particularly as the monthly instalments allow you to spread the cost of it over time.
Add to this the monthly membership of £39 to access the classes and the price does increase. However, it is cost-effective if, like me, your whole family use it, as up to five people can create their own user profile. It is a great addition to any at-home gym, particularly if you want a full-body workout.
Vaha review: final thoughts
When switched off, the machine doubles up as a brilliant full-length mirror. The only drawback is it needs a regular clean as finger marks and sweat stains do show up on the touchscreen.
However, this has been fully catered for, as the Vaha starter pack contains a mirror cleaner and microfibre cloth, that ensures even the muckiest of handprints (mostly from my 11-year-old) get wiped off. The starter kit also includes a heart rate monitor and resistance bands.
When left on the stand-by option, the Vaha looks pretty funky and takes up minimal space. Beyond fitness, Vaha has also added a range of apps, including Instagram and Zoom, to its interface. Having taken a much-needed break from Zoom, it was extremely eye-opening to do a meeting through the mirror rather than my laptop. It was a very polished meeting, in more ways than one!
For more details on the Vaha fitness mirror, visit: uk.vaha.com/.