For people who aren’t interested in taking a class full of other sweaty people and who don’t necessarily want to go to the gym if they aren’t 100% sure how to use all of the machines, using workout videos at your own pace, in your own home, with no one to judge your abilities actually sounds pretty fantastic to even those of us that do go to the gym and sometimes take classes.
My interest in workout videos was piqued when I found some RushFit videos that George St Pierre had put together with his trainer. As a martial artist, the fact that it was George St Pierre doing the videos meant a lot to me. Will I admit to taking a week to build up the courage to try them because I knew the workouts were going to kick my ass? Absolutely. After all, George is a fighter. He’s in fantastic shape. How was I supposed to keep up to him?
Fun fact: I did. The first workout I tried was fun, I was able to keep up with it (even though it killed me a little bit), and it allowed me to work at my own pace. George’s trainer, Erick Owings, demonstrated different variations of activities, both easier and harder, to allow those of us at home to cater to our strengths and weaknesses. It was a different kind of activity than I usually did, which meant it worked different muscles and left me pretty solidly sore the next day, but I had a grin on my face when I finished, and I felt like I had accomplished something wonderful. Now, I try and schedule in one of the workout videos a week. That way, I have some recovery time for my muscles between workouts (including Taekwon-Do, running, and swimming), but I’m also adding something different into my regular routine
Now, I get that not all workout videos are going to work for everyone. I talked one of my friends into doing a RushFit workout with me and she said it hurt to move for a week afterward. Different fitness levels have to start at different paces, with different exercises, and in different places. There are hundreds of different kinds of workout videos out there, and if you’re looking for somewhere to start your fitness career but are a little nervous about how to or where to, a workout video could be the right fit for you. If you’re more comfortable working out on your own, in the comfort of your own home, without worrying about keeping up to the pace of the person next to you, these videos could be the answer to your problems. If you’re more comfortable working out with other people, in a group, or with a physically present trainer, they may not work as well.
If you decide to go the workout video route, there are a few important things you should look for. First of all, make sure the videos you’re using have some form of a warm-up and a cool-down. Two of the most important parts of a workout, these are absolutely necessary to get your body ready to work out, because if you start working hard from cold, your chances of injuring yourself go up exponentially. Cool-downs allow time to stretch, to relax your muscles, and to prepare you to go back to your regular-day activities. Also, do your research. If you aren’t sure about the videos, go to the internet and see what it has to say about them. There’s always places to look to see what kind of benefits people who tried the videos saw, and whether or not they would recommend them to others. Also, know what the videos entail. If you have bad knees, maybe plyometrics isn’t the best idea for you. Find a video that caters to your strengths, but will also challenge your weaknesses; after all, you’re in it to get stronger, better, and fitter.