Now, I know what you’re thinking… the girl perhaps not-so-affectionately dubbed ‘The Queen of Takeaways’ at university is making a post about exercising? The very same girl who was notorious for Ubering to lectures? In defence of the latter, Bristol has a lot of steep hills. See: Park Street and St Michael’s Hill for evidence, but also key to note the use of ‘was’ in that. While I’m a long, long way away from being a fitness guru just yet, I can assure you that I’m not entirely unqualified to be writing about working out – I try my best to squeeze in an hour every day – and you’ll be thankful to know I’ll at least do so without the false ‘it’s not that hard!’ peppiness of an American Pilates instructor.
Maintaining your mental and physical health is crucial during this difficult time, so having a good workout routine place is essential, but full disclosure: I am not a seasoned gym-bunny so if the female equivalents to the Brads and Chads of the gym are reading this (or if the Brads and Chads themselves are – we’re an inclusive blog, boys!) and are looking for something that’ll mimic their undoubtedly rigorous gym sesh then this probably isn’t it. However, if you’re someone looking to get acquainted with and navigate the over-saturated world online workouts, allow me to be your guide and share my favourites.
1. CHLOE TING (YouTube)
The 33-year-old Australian fitness YouTuber is my go-to for online workouts. Ting has currently been running live workout sessions streaming on Twitch, but her channel has an extensive backlog ranging from targeted workouts to healthy eating tips. For those desperate to stay on top of their fitness goals whether it be losing weight or toning your thighs, Ting has a website full of workout calendar schedules tailored to the specific area you want to work on. The best part about it? It’s all free, baby!
I used to struggle a lot with workout videos specifically created by the influencer/YouTube fitness community as I found the sugary, over-excited peppiness of the person on camera irritating. While encouragement is much appreciated in a video, no-one wants a ‘no pain, no gain’, ‘come on girl, you have to suffer to get those thighs’ pep talk every two seconds. I found Chloe Ting’s videos to be perfect in offering a workout that feels personable and like you’ve got a gym buddy right alongside with you without being in your face and shouting about how ‘you have to train like a beast to look like a beauty’ all the time.
There’s also a sense of community with Ting’s workouts. Her viewers are very interactive and often post before and after progress videos when doing one of her challenges which is encouraging for those who need motivation.
2. EMI WONG (YouTube)
Whereas Ting is my go-to gal for day-to-day programs, if I want a full body HIIT workout or something more time sensitive, I turn to Emi Wong.
Her workouts are perfect for those stuck in quarantine or self-isolating in their apartments and other small spaces. Wong’s workout videos mostly involve no equipment and are incredibly friendly for all different levels of fitness as she offers variations of videos including only standing exercise or exercise videos with no jumping.
Also a super shoutout to her BLACKPINK workout videos that make for the perfect warm-up!
3. FITNESS BLENDER (YouTube)
We’re straying away from the fitness influencer bubble a little bit and heading into something that feels more prim and proper or at least the closest to an authentic gym experience.
Husband and wife duo Daniel & Kelli are where I turn to for intense cardio. I’m a big fan of their ‘For People Who Get Bored Easily’ series which ensure the workout has enough variety to keep you engaged as well as really loving their longer more full-on videos. Their YouTube videos are completely free and trust me, you’ll probably relish that pesky ad break in the more lengthier workouts. Their website contains recipes for healthier eating, but like with their site’s specific workout plans and schedules, they’ll cost you a couple of coins.
4. KOBOKO FITNESS (YouTube)
If you want a nice quick workout to slot into your busy day, Koboko’s got you covered. Not everything she puts out is free and accessible, but what is available on her YouTube channel should suffice for those looking to squeeze in a simple yet effective workout in between actual work.
I normally turn to Koboko’s content if I’m looking to target a specific area and do a quick 5-10 min sesh on that alone. Her glute bridges video has been a godsend, but as you can see, she also does HIIT workouts as well as videos on mistakes you may be making while working out which are beneficial to making sure you’re staying on form and getting the most out of your exercise. Bonus points for having an infectious positivity that doesn’t feel forced or overbearing!
5. YOGA WITH ADRIENE (YouTube)
I won’t lie, I’m not a devout fan of yoga and that’s mainly because I’m the worst at relaxing. However, I have many pals that sing the gospels of Yoga with Adriene and I have indeed found myself attempting several of her videos during a crisis to help me chill the eff out.
Whether you’re looking to work on that flexibility or just want to have a good cry face down on a yoga mat while doing ‘Yoga for a Broken Heart’ (Yes, that’s a thing!) as I have done many times in the past two years, Adriene Mishler and her dog Benji are there for you with their overwhelming positivity.
6. MOVE WITH COLOUR (YouTube)
I discovered Move with Colour by coincidence when one of his dance workout videos soundtracked to Britney – as seen below – popped up in my recommended. I’ve been testing the waters with several dance workouts which led to two discoveries. One: that I’m an awful dancer. Rhythm? We don’t know her. But I also realised that some of the dance workouts that I was stumbling upon in the search just weren’t all that fun. Maybe it was because I didn’t gel with the hosting instructor of the videos or maybe they just felt like a less intense, regular cardio workout but with more body rolls?
However, all that changed when I watched one of Nathan’s videos. He’s infectiously upbeat, but it’s never annoying and also the workouts are surprisingly really, really fun and creative. It never feels overly complex or tedious to keep up with. The first time I completed his Britney workout, I immediately went on to spend the next half an hour just doing different dance workouts on his channel ranging from disco to 90s club. They’re stupidly enjoyable!
I’m such a huge fan of this channel that I’ll undoubtedly find a way to incorporate one of these workouts into every session I do just for the sheer fun of it… even if I do risk looking like a dying fish while doing it.
After confessing that I’d lost quite a bit of weight recently someone did ask in the DMs for a diet plan or food recommendations which will not be happening because I didn’t lose the weight in the healthiest of ways. I’m not advocating post-break up starvation and honestly, I don’t eat healthy enough to be dishing out (ha! see what I did there!) advice on what others should eat. Some of the above YouTubers do have meal plans and you’re 100% probably better off basing your ideas from them than me!
Thank you to everyone who sent birthday wishes and kind messages after recent events. I may do another post of just general things I’ve been loving lately that have been getting me through these chaotic Coronavirus times. I hope you’re all managing to stay safe and that you and your loved ones are well!