Feelin’ the Burn

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The best part about working out in the comfort of your own home: you can do it in your underwear. Hell, you can even do it naked. Just don’t be like me and forget to close the blinds.

I never do yoga on the screen, and I’m sure it’s always best to have a personal trainer or an instructor with you while you’re working out, but online workouts sure are easier to fit in and are much less expensive. These days, I take a three-pronged approach to working out: I go to the gym (cue affordable yoga and other fun classes), I run with my dog, and I do Daily Burn, an online fitness program that costs $12.95 a month.

I’ll admit, I’ve gotten pretty good at working out over the past couple of years, but I’m no pro. In fact, I’m still very much a noob — going to the gym and navigating the equipment landscape is terrifying. Let’s call that a work in progress. As I continue the journey of getting to know my workout self, what the best tools are and what works best, Daily Burn has been a huge help.

A minor heart arrhythmia, plus an ever-worrying mother, meant the childhood me skipped out on a lot of gym class and never really learned how to build exercise into my life. Waitressing filled the void for a long while, until I started phasing in my more desk-centric work and realized more movement was required.

That was two years ago, and so far I’ve discovered that I’m a much healthier, happier person when I work out most days, and having as many options as possible at my disposal helps make that an actuality. And the price tag for these so-called options can add up quickly — I’d love to take any number of yoga, dance, and self-defense classes out there but, like many people, my funds are limited.

Daily Burn is relatively cheap and I can do it as it fits. I’m a night worker outer and I’ve been known to do my workouts as late as midnight — sorry, friend who lives downstairs. And unlike many programs, they’re always changing it up and adding new options. They recently launched their 365 program — their beta version is still glitchy so the couple of times I tried it took too long to buffer — but it looks like it’ll be cool once they work out the kinks.

Starting out with Daily Burn, they give you a 30 day free trial and ask you a bunch of questions about your goals and workout style. Then, they’ll recommend one of their 19 programs for you to start with. Black Fire, Inferno, and Live to Fail are the three classic workout programs that require weights. They also say that you need to buy a $99 Daily Burn fitness box — a literal box you can use to step on and over as you workout — but you don’t. If you have the money and don’t mind, why not, but I’ve never found it necessary and am still able to do all of the moves. Inferno is a three-week program with Anja Garcia — love her and all her guns. Inferno’s workouts average at about 45 minutes and are very challenging, plyometric workouts. Black Fire is my go-to — the workouts are about 30 to 35 minutes, which allows me to fit in my dog runs and yoga in addition. Bob Harper is the instructor, and his style is to pick fewer moves — heavy on the squats — repeat them and perfect them. Ben Booker, the Live to Fail instructor, I find to be condescending and annoying.

If you need a softer start, there’s a Pilates program, a yoga program, a cardio sculpt, a dance fitness program, and a “best of” plan that samples from all 19 programs.

Still, you can tailor your workout program to your needs, which can change day to day. Some days I’ll ditch my program — I know I can always hop back into it — because I feel like trying out something else. The bottom line goal is to work out everyday, so whatever you gotta do make that happen as frequently as possible is what you should do.

For me, programs that incorporate score-keeping — Inferno and Black Fire — are the way to go. It helps me easily track my progress, which motivates me to push harder.

If I’m coming out of a dry spell, the online route is a great way to get back into it. You can always hit pause on a video to catch your breath of, replay a demonstration that you didn’t quite get because you were still recovering from that last move. Plus you don’t have to worry about feeling overweight or slow when it’s just you in a room.

Parting words: remember to protect your knees and lower back, because doing it this way means there’s no one watching your form but you. In squats and lunges, make sure your knees don’t track beyond your toes. And in plyometric sequences, remember to land with bent knees and a strong core.•

Contact Amanda Drane at adrane@valleyadvocate.com

Amanda Drane

Author: Amanda Drane

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