Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the apogee of video reviews. Or at least, of FREE fitness video reviews.
You’ve got the gear. Or maybe your body is your equipment. Now you need it to do some stuff.
So, the next step is to rid your black mirror of its Facebook and Candy Crush addiction and put it to work as your personal trainer.
Enter the most cost-effective personal trainer on the planet: YouTube.
My sole aim is to provide you with an unbiased, honest appraisal of the very best FREE (and free-ish) fitness videos on the inter-webs. I have no ulterior motive in posting reviews. I don’t get any kick-backs, cos, well, it’s YouTube. All I ask is an occasional share on social media if you find the reviews useful and entertaining.
Here’s an explanation of a few bits and pieces you will find as you read the reviews:
At A Glance
A lovely box with key bits on information if you are too lazy to read the review. Shame on you.
A view of whether the videos are aimed at newbies, intermediate or advanced (or all three). All good trainers tend to give you easier “moderated” moves for when the going gets tough.
A flavour of the types of exercise involved. To give a few examples, HIIT (high intensity interval training), strength, yoga, pilates etc.
Gives you a bit of advance warning in case you need any equipment to get the most out of a workout video. Many channels include workout videos that are bodyweight only.
Some are “freemium”, by which I mean there are some free workouts and you may have to pay a bit extra to access the full suite of videos.
Warm ups and Cool downs
You remember that time when you didn’t warm-up, went straight into a handstand shoulder press while balancing two kettlebells on your feet, and woke up the next morning in A&E?
Sometimes a gentle nudge is required to remind you that, although you think you are awesome, you no longer have the body of an 18 year old gymnast.
I generally prefer videos that include warm-ups and cool-downs, because a) I would otherwise forget, and b) they are typically tailored to the workout. That’s not to say you should avoid workouts that do not include them – many YouTubers have separate warm-up and cool-down routines you can use.
The Str-ardio-meter* gives an indication of balance between these elements, across the breadth of videos on the channel.
Is it scientific? Nope. An over-simplification? Absolutely. Of course it doesn’t factor in other elements such as flexibility, balance, agility etc.
But what it does is give a sense of what to expect.
And yes, that means yoga gets a full-on ‘strength’ rating. But then again, if that is all you are doing 4 days a week, maybe you should think about mixing in some cardio?
Where to start
If you are a complete newbie and don’t have a clue where to begin, try the video suggested.
So you think you are tough? Try this video on for size.
Are you motivated to come back for more?
Are the workouts themselves any good?
Does the program / videos / channel seem fresh or same-y? Even for a single genre (e.g. yoga), it is possible for a set of videos to feel like there is enough variety to keep you interested and coming back for more.
As a rule of thumb I only include channels that I deem good and useful. I haven’t felt the need to review something to warn people off it. Maybe that will change as I hurtle towards jaded middle-aged grump.
For YouTube Channels, I will revisit my assessment occasionally as the direction of content may change over time. For standalone videos / programs I’ll post my thoughts and generally leave it at that.
And that’s about it.
*Copyright Stingy fit