Many gyms are open for business in New York, but the high-octane in-person group classes they are known for are not. Virtual exercise groups, however, are sweating it out in big numbers. For example, Akin Akman, a Nike master trainer, is drawing thousands of online students with his popular Aarmy workouts, which combine high-intensity cardio, circuit weight lifting and stretching.

Before the pandemic, Mr. Akman, a former tennis player and SoulCycle instructor, taught packed classes at Aarmy’s headquarters near NoHo. Now he is there, with just a few other instructors, driving and inspiring students in an empty space, through a video camera. Recruits, as he calls them, undergo mental conditioning too, which can come in handy during this trying time. “‘How do I approach a challenge in my life?’ is what sparks my coaching instinct,” said Mr. Akman, a sometimes underwear model who has worked with the likes of Jake Gyllenhaal, Karlie Kloss and Maria Sharapova.

Mr. Akman, 33, lives in the East Village with his sister, Necat Akman, 35, a fashion stylist, and her 6-month-old daughter, Naya, while his own apartment undergoes renovations.

“Years & Years” by Border, “Wild Frontier” by the Prodigy and

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