The gym....sometimes it's just...so far. Or busy. Or smelly. Or there's no parking. It's too expensive. There's no childcare. It's boring. Whatever the excuse, there's no reason you can't get a gym-worthy 'I look like I jumped in the pool with my clothes on" sweat from an at-home workout. An added bonus being you can quite literally roll out of bed and put your sneakers on. You don't even have to brush your teeth. (But just because you don't have to doesn't mean you shouldn't...) Regardless of your preparation routine, if you're looking to trade in your monthly membership for a more flexible work out plan these at-home fitness plans may just be the change you didn't know you needed.
For the tech savvy iPhone lovers out there, Skyfit is one of the newer fitness apps to the party. Advertising on other apps such as Instagram this workout tech boasts to be the "SoulCycle for runners" but is actually much more. Skyfit focuses on coach guided workouts, much like a class you would attend at a studio or gym, choreographed to new, fresh music with workouts updated monthly. If you've attended a SoulCycle class, you will understand the comparison immediately. Personal coaching to keep you motivated and pushing 100% to guided workout selections including options for the treadmill, elliptical and stationary bikes, as well as, yoga and strength training. Sign up for a road race but need the motivation to pound the pavement? The app also includes training programs for 5 and 10Ks, half and full marathons, in addition to regular outdoor running workouts. For the moms out there trying to get the hang of the jogging stroller, rejoice! There are jogging stroller specific workouts that include jogging and sprints but also squats, push-ups and stroller assisted lunges.
Try this if you like: personal coaching, instructor-led fitness classes such as cycling, Pilates, bootcamp; ClassPass users
Cost: Free 7-day trial followed by $9.99/month subscription or lower price package subscriptions available.
Cons: App only available for iPhone, music selection fixed. There are some technical bugs to be worked out, such as you cannot pause the workout from the lock screen or with earbuds, but nothing overly annoying.
You've seen the late night, early morning infomercials. But can an at-home DVD program work as well as Cindy Crawford's wrinkle cream? If it's a variety of options in types of workouts you're looking for, beach body will certainly provide it. With workouts ranging from 25-minute beginner interval training to hour long sessions to brazil butt lifts to country or hip hop dancing, there is literally something for everyone. So long as 'everyone' has access to a TV, DVD player and doesn't mind Shakeology ads before and after each work out, though some programs are available 'on-demand' through the website. Most workouts provide beginner, intermediate and advanced modifications so you can evolve as your body gets stronger. Every workout regime comes with a sample nutrition plan and a calendar of scheduled workouts to maximize the effectiveness of each workout while switching up the muscle group focus. Enrollment through the beachbody website includes the option to work with a beachbody coach for one on one motivation and counseling.
Try this if you like: a regimented program or are just getting back into an exercise program (21 Day Fix is great for beginners); meal planning and workouts together; workouts that are 30 minutes or less; one on one coaching from another Beachbody user.
Cost: Prices range from $20-$300+ depending on program selection and equipment purchases; Nutrition program 'Shakeology' additional recurring cost (optional).
Cons: Not all programs available 'on-demand' requiring a TV/DVD player; Many of the meal plans include the use of Shakeology; Some programs require additional purchases (i.e. free weights, mats, bands, etc.)
Bikini Bootcamp: Two Weeks to the Ultimate Beach Body
Not a fan of technology? Or perhaps the idea of someone talking to you throughout your workout just puts you off entirely. Or maybe your looking at adjust both mind, body and food. An oldy, but a goody, from the HTP bookshelf is Bikini Bootcamp by Melissa Perlmann and Erica Gragg. Though Bikini Bootcamp is technically a resort retreat coupled with daily fitness workouts, yoga, meditation and nutrition reboot. Founder, Melissa Perlman, released a book for the at home reader to experience the Bikini Bootcamp overhaul without the airfare (not to mention tropical destination and luxury accommodations, sigh....)
The book includes a two-week meal plan with recipes and shopping lists, daily circuit training style workouts, yoga, and journaling exercises to get you feeling 'OM' with your mind and 'OMG' with your fit. A typical day includes morning meditation, journaling, 15-minutes of sun salutations, walking, circuit training and core strength training - done in whichever order of preference. Don't have all day to spend working out, walking, and journaling? Starting with just the circuit training and core exercises is a great way to switch up your normal routine. Though the program in it's entirety isn't the easiest, if followed to plan you can definitely see some great results, physically and mentally, at the end of the two weeks.
Try this if you like: yoga and meditation, but want to incorporate more cardio into your workouts; fitness programs that encourage a mental reboot; tropically inspired food; have a lot of time on your hands.
Cost: The paperback edition is available on Amazon for $17.95. Plus the cost of food.
Cons: To truly complete all daily activities, meal prep and work a 10-hour day you'll need some serious motivation (and time) to wake up early and to get in those 30 to 45 minutes afternoon walks; some exercises require the purchase of free-weights.
In the past three years or so indoor cycling has made a huge splash and is practically taking over the fitness world. While most gyms offer group cycling classes, cycling specific studios seem to be opening on every street in the city. Most studios embrace the stereotypical elements of indoor spin with upbeat, loud, club-like music, instructor led classes, clip-in shoe rentals, an average calorie burn ranging between 500-800 calories in a 45-minute class (depending on your body weight, exertion, etc.), and a community of specific studio supporters. What's not to love? Well, if traveling to and from a studio gets in your way, not to mention the average cost of $20-$30 per class gets in your way then Peloton may be the answer. Peloton touts a top of the line indoor cycling bike with a touchscreen TV, weights and clip in pedals for the at-home user. Along with this you'll enroll in their at-home cycling program that features live rides over 10 times a day (with a live DJ to boot), 3000+ 'on demand' rides for when the live classes don't sync with your schedule, as well as options to compete against fellow riders. Already have an indoor cycling bike? Subscriptions to the live and on-demand classes are available via the iOS app.
Try this if you like: Soul-Cycle, Flywheel, cycling studios on Class Pass; have an indoor cycling bike but would
Cost: The bike will run you just over $1,995 (does not include shipping) and includes a 1-year subscription to live and on-demand classes. Subscription to live and on-demand classes start at $5.99/one week trial or $12.99
Cons: The bike will run you just over $1,995...
So whether you're looking to shed a few pounds, just tone up, or cut the recurring membership payments, consider giving one of these four programs a try. And like I say every year at Thanksgiving to Sister Rita, "No, I'm not the Doctor. That's my sister." So please consult your doctor if you have any questions regarding a new fitness routine! Happy sweating!