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The Blog

Approachable inspiration for a stylish life. 


How (& Why) I Ditched the Gym to Workout at Home

Kristen Berry

I’ve had a membership to one gym or another consistently for the past seven years. I love mixing up my routine with the different classes that gyms provide. I also find that I often push myself a bit harder if I’m in competition with someone -- even if it’s just my neighbor on the adjacent elliptical machine.

However, a few months ago I realized that the gym wasn’t really cutting it for me anymore. I started a new job recently, and the commute made my pre-work workouts a lot less appealing. Also, most of the classes that interested me were held while I was still at the office, so when I did make it to the gym, I’d mostly just run on a treadmill, do a few crunches, push-ups and some squats. I was paying $50+ a month for an unsatisfying fitness experience that I could easily get at home.

So I quit my gym and focused on creating my ideal, no-excuses, at-home workout scenario. I purchased two sets of weights (five pound and twelve pound dumbbells) and created a workout playlist on YouTube, cherry-picking from the classes on the POPSUGAR Fitness, XHIT and Blogilates channels. Working out with YouTube allows me to easily customize each session. I usually pick one of the 20 or 30-minute cardio classes on POPSUGAR Fitness to start, then choose a 5-10 minute video or two that focus on abs, arms, legs or glutes, depending on the day.

My current goal is to workout twice during the week and once during the weekend. Because there’s such a wide variety of class durations, and because I’m not tied to anyone else’s schedule, I don’t have any excuse not to get at least a little workout in. And because I don’t have to leave my apartment, I can squeeze in a little fitness while dinner is in the oven, or between surfing instagram and jumping in the shower in the morning.

Of course, working out at home does require more self-discipline than working out with an instructor -- it’s a lot easier to sit out those last reps when there isn’t an actual human in the room to push you. But I also feel even more proud of myself for making it through a tough workout when the only person pushing me was me.

No longer paying for the gym also frees up a little extra cash to take a fun specialty class when my schedule allows during the weekend, such as more intensive and advanced yoga classes than the gym would ever provide. I also mix things up by going for a three-mile run or a hike when the weather cooperates.

Fitness is such a personal thing -- I’m not suggesting that this approach will work for everyone. It’s important to evaluate what works best for you. And of course, I am not a fitness or health professional, or an expert on the topic. But right now, I’m happy to report that this at-home thing is helping me stay fit while working within my schedule.

If you are a fellow YouTube fitness fan, what are some of your favorite channels?

- Kristen