An exercise device is configured to enable a user to interact with a trainer in real-time communication. The exercise device includes an exercise mechanism having a movable element for movement in performance of exercise by a user. Communicating with the exercise mechanism is an interface adapted for gathering a first real-time signal from the user. The interface communicates with a communication system for receiving a packetized second real-time signal including a synchronized control signal from the trainer. The exercise device includes an output device configured to reproduce the second real-time signal. The control signals carried by the second signal are used to control the operating parameters of the exercise mechanism in real-time.