Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Home Workouts

Before we moved, I was a hardcore gym rat. I was obsessed with my spinning/cycling classes, running on the treadmill and the Total Body Conditioning classes offered at NYSC. I miss my favorite classes, gym buddies and my instructors, but I certainly do not miss the gross locker rooms.

We cancelled our membership when we moved, we're no longer members of a gym and I'm happy to say that we're still relatively in shape despite the lack of gym action. So it goes to show with a little bit of discipline and a variety of DVDs you can save the ~$200/month gym membership fee (for the both of us) and still stay in shape.

I think the key to working out at home is...
1) Having the motivation and will power to do so. If you know that you're the type of person that requires a group setting or an instructor yelling in your ear embarrassing you in front of an entire class to get your butt going - DVDs aren't for you. For me, the $$ savings is enough to motivate me to do it. I'd also love to sit here and tell you that I workout for health reasons, but if I'm being completely honest - the fear of tight jeans and the thought of me in a bathing suit is what keeps me going! Oh and I LOVE to cook and most of all EAT so I have no choice. I'm not one to deprive myself of anything - that's probably the key motivating factor for me. If I want to eat deep-fried pork skin or a bag of Cheetos - I will :)
2) A good mix of workouts. A variety of workouts will keep you from getting bored. Mix it up and set a monthly schedule, just like going to the gym. Some days you'll dread some days you'll look forward to.
3) Having a buddy (is a nice to have). Persuade your partner or a friend to do a couple of workouts a week. As with anything, a buddy system can be a motivating factor which can take care of #1.
4) Consistency. Although one of the perks of working out at home is the flexibility, I think it helps to allocate a specific time/space for your home workout. It's so easy to convince yourself that you'll do it later and later turns into tomorrow and before you know it - the DVDs become dust magnets. Set a time, set your workout schedule every Sunday night for the following week...

My friend Karen asked me for my list of DVDs and so I thought I'd share it with everyone else.

Jillian Michaels 30 Minute Shred & No More Trouble Zones are our favorite (thanks Jessica!) It's only a 20 minute workout but she freakin' kicks your ass. It's a really good one. A mixture of strength and cardio. There are 3 levels - one is hard, two is really hard (took us forever to move on to 3) and three... we're still exhausted and defeated after the workout. You really have to have discipline to do this one, if not, you'll easily give up because it's pretty hard and the fact that it's only 20 minutes makes no difference. But it works, it'll definitely make you sweat and you'll see a difference. Equipment: You'll need hand weights for this (I bought 3lb, 5lb and 8lb ones from Target). Also a yoga mat would be nice.

Billy Blanks Ultimate Tae Bo. I just recently bought this knowing that it's a sure thing, I used to do it back in the day and I consider it a home workout classic. I find him and his entourage slightly cult-like, but it's a good workout so I do it. I try to do the 80+ minutes workout at least once a week. Warning - there's a really corny dance part. We're talking tootsie roll and Biance type of stuff! Equipment: They use a some sort of fancy stick for one of the workouts - I don't think it's necessary.

Power Yoga. Nice to switch it up sometimes, so I like to alternate with this DVD. It helps with flexibility and sometimes you just don't fee like jumping around. BUT don't be fooled, it's not an easy workout - I still get soar afterwards. Also important to point out that I often got dizzy doing this workout - which they warn you about. Must be related to equilibrium or something... as I got used to it the dizziness went away. Equipment: yoga mat

Workout One on One. My latest purchase. Overall a great total body workout - it's broken up into 20 minute workouts. Upper, lower body and core. Really love the core/ab segment. It's really hard and I have to modify some of the moves but this DVD is definitely growing on me. Her and Michaels share some moves but I'd still recommend it. Jackie isn't too annoying, although some of the backup girls are questionable! Oh just a warning, all of them have rock hard 6-pack abs - I guess it's good motivation right? Equipment: You'll need hand weights for this (I bought 3lb, 5lb and 8lb ones from Target). Also a yoga mat would be nice.

Let me know if you have any faves that I should try! Good luck!!


Karen said...

i can also vouche for the Jillian Michael's dvd..she kicks my a$$!!! i've also found that working out at home is beneficial to us procrastinators who use every excuse in the book NOT to go to the gym. another plus is that i can wear my not-so- flattering "gym" clothes without feeling self-consciious :-)

Sarah said...

I also canceled my nysc membership and am addicted to the 30 minute shred! I was actually going to ask you to suggest your home workout are ahead of me! I have been going on a run a couple of times a week and doing the shred.

Marichelle said...

karen, so true about the not-so-flattering gym clothes. Working out in a sports bra can get you really motivated to keep doing those damn sit-ups :)

sarah, wow, that's admirable, it's too frickin' cold out there!!!

Mj Reed said...

you forgot about my Shaun T's Hip Hop Abs. it's less than 30 min and it targets the midsection.

P said...

You are putting us all to shame, girl!