Skip the Gym This Season, Seriously

Let me tell you what an old broad hates about the holidays. People and their cars. Yeah mugs are generally all ’tis the season to be jolly” and such, there’s just too many of them. During this time of year I generally avoid retail establishments other than the grocery store like the plague and even that can be dicey. Now I do happen to be fortunate to a) have a gym that’s not close to popular retail establishments and b)an old broad body that wakes up early sans clock most days to get to the gym, allowing me to avoid said people and cars. However some of you may not be as fortunate. Your gym may be next to the mall or worse, Wal-Mart and you just don’t want to fool with all the hoopla. Well guess what? You can skip the gym and get those reps in…

AT HOME. Surely you didn’t think you were going to get a pass did you?

Believe it or not gym rats there are tons of fitness channels on YouTube. (Now if you already know this, this post is not for you, but feel free gift this to someone else). I’ve been working out with YouTube folks for maybe 5 years now and enjoy the convenience of rolling out of bed jumping in clothes and getting it in right at home. Any type of workout you want can be found there, strength training, cardio, HIIT, kickboxing you name, as well as the more centering practices of Yoga and Two Chi. So to help some of you nOObs along, here’s the YouTube trainers I currently workout with now as well as some of my tried and true faves.

HASFit – Coach Kozak and Claudia are the dynamic duo behind HASFit. They have over 1000 FREE videos on YouTube and a variety of them, HIIT, Cardio, Strength you name it.  Kozak usually does the high intensity moves, Claudia the lower intensity.  These two are not the “HEY C’MON LET’S GET IT” types, they are quiet assassins.  They calmly whoop your tail and you’ll love it.  I do most of my strength training with these two, most recently this.

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BodyFit by Amy – I came upon her by accident, looking for a Kettlebell workout.  I had done most of the ones that I like with my old standbys and was looking for somebody, anybody else and Amy fit the bill.  She has a wide variety of workouts by type Cardio, Strength etc, but also specialty workouts like her prenatal series. I did one of her prenatal cardio kickboxing workouts on a day when I was really sore and it was great to for getting in some light cardio. I generally do Kettlebell and strength training with her, most recently this.

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Lumowell – My standing workout schedule includes 3 days of walking per week.  Some days, due to work, fatigue and downright laziness I can’t make it out of the bed at 0 dark thirty to go to the gym.  Instead of wearing out my carpet with household laps,  I looked for walking workouts on YouTube, found a few that were good but a few years old, then Lumowell popped up. I was like whaaattt is this???? Well the trainer is an animated lady or gent (haven’t done one of his yet), with voiceover ques.  The exercises are great and include modifications. For the workouts I suggest turning the sound down and using your own music if you like exercising to music.  I most recently bumped some House doing this one.

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Now for my faves, my tried and trues, the ones I ALWAYS go back to week after week after week

Yoga – Yoga by Candace, Fightmaster Yoga, YogaTX, Yoga with Adriene – I’ve been ALL over YouTube trying various Yogis, subscribed and unsubscribed to many, but these 4 I go back to every single time.  I can’t tell you why but these are the ones that are best for me and the way I wish to practice right now.

Favorite HIITMAN – Millionaire Hoy.  This dude is non-stop work, energy and talking!  I have never seen anyone do what he does and talk like that at the same time.  What I like, is that he doesn’t hide the fact that he’s working as hard as the viewer.  Every now and again he’ll let out a little scream which is HEEEEELARIOUS to let you he’s feeling it.  I dig him so much and believe in what he’s doing that I joined the BOOM Fist Bump family on his Patreon.  MillHoy has incredible HIIT workouts, cardio, targeted body area workouts, themed workouts and as of late a lot more strength training which, if you can tell I’m starting to ALMOST enjoy.  Check him out, his energy is contagious even at 5:00 am in the morning.

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Do you have enough tools now to skip the gym but NOT skip your workout?  I hope these resources help and that you find the right trainers for you and your lifestyle.  If you have tried any of these folks or would like to make some recommendations, I would love to hear from you in the comments and in all the usual spots.

Until next time, enjoy time with your family during the holidays, but don’t forget about yourself, put in that WORK!



Photos: YouTube screenshots of trainer pages and MsThorns

Skip the Gym with Ya Boy

I think it was the beginning of the year. Knee deep in work (already) and feeling a truckload of guilt and actual sluggishness in general I decided to get back on track, again. Though I was ready physically my mind was playing tricks on me when it came to going to the gym. I was NOT ready to do that, because it required me to get up too early. I checked out my favorites on YouTube but wasn’t really feeling them either when I stumbled on this young fireball Millionaire Hoy @yaboymillhoy.

He came up in search all the time but I ignored it because so many of the titles included HIIT which given my back and joint situations I figured they would be out of reach. I was wrong. Just so happens that at the time I finally took the leap he was running a monthly challenge was for beginners so I dove in and loved it!

What I dig about ya boy:
Intensity – the workouts are challenging for all fitness levels. There are mods and previews of the next exercise in the mini box. Your heart will be pumping and you will sweat.
Variety – Millhoy is prolific he has close to 800 videos on his channel with new videos published every Sunday thru Friday. With a new challenge every month. So if you only wanted to workout with him you will not run out of things to do. He is also contributor to Sweat Stream Collab on YouTube.
Personality – y’all know how it goes. You pull up a YouTube workout that looks promising only to find the instructor to be gross i.e. voice irritating, too loud, obnoxious or just appear to be STANK in general. Well, he’s none of those. Now he talks non-stop, but never induces any side eye. He’s quite upbeat, lively and bearable even in the early morning, which is essential for grumpy old broads.
What he is not – a hulk smashing, weight dropping, cussing dude. If that’s your thing, cool, but he ain’t that dude.

So, if you feel like skipping the gym but still want to get it in, I highly recommend Millionaire Hoy. Check him out and subscribe if you dig him.



Yogi? Who Me?

Not quite but I do make an attempt to practice daily.  Injury wasn’t what initially brought me to yoga though it was a contributing factor, my head was giving me more problems than anything when I started practicing two years ago.

If 2010 was bad, 2011 was worse and 2012 was the tipping point.  I was white knuckling through depression and failing. I thought that yoga might be helpful since everything else I was doing wasn’t working.  I signed up for a yoga class at Kaiser and it was TERRIBLE.  I go to the first class and it’s packed to the gills so I had to set up in the front. The teacher, lawdamercy was muscular, tan, pretty and blonde and was going through the poses so fast (I thought) I couldn’t keep up. Feeling like a total failure, I vowed to NEVER return again but didn’t keep that vow thank GOD. Barring any ridiculousness in my work schedule or being out of town, these days I don’t miss a week. As for my instructor, Michele Jackson  I’m thankful to have taken my first instruction with her as she is the BOMB. She is so bomb that she has left the program for bigger and better things. Congrats Michele.

In terms of at-home practice I turn to the fabulous instructors of YouTube, one of which is Ekhart Yoga whom I’d written about previously.  My current favorite, who got me through the “summer of back pain”, is Yoga With Adriene  I really dig her because she isn’t all yogified.  What I mean by that is that she doesn’t say a lot of stuff that a beginner wouldn’t understand.  She has a practical, yet joyful style of teaching and is often quite comical.  She also has a really good series of videos called Foundations of Yoga in which she breaks down single poses in a way that makes it easier for the student to approach and practice.  I also really like Ali Kamenova whose greeting “namaste beautiful yogis” is a great way to start the day and Lesley Fightmaster who has a very calming style of instruction, even on poses that I find difficult.

As far as the depression, I’m good now. Yoga played a part in getting me here and I’m thankful for that.  It’s been a great way to reconnect with my body and bring some clarity to my mind.  My hope is to continue the practice into my old age.

If I ever turn into this chick, please snatch me by my yoga pants and tell me to snap out of it 🙂

Until next time, see you on the mat. Namaste.
Photo: MsThorns

Skip the Gym – Fitness Blender


I blame and thank my dearest Wonder Woman for her lead.  I had been following her posts on her morning workout with kettlebells. They looked dangerous and intriguing, which means I had to try it.   She suggested I search Youtube to get an idea of how they’re used and to find a workout.

Turns out that there were tons of videos out there.  I ended up choosing a beginner’s kettlebell routine from Fitness Blender.   I got through my first KB session unscathed, my floor not so much but I really enjoyed the routine and have completed many others since. I return to Fitness Blender time and again for the following reasons:

  • The workout routines are filmed against a white background so that the viewer can see all the moves in plain view.  Also there are no distracting boob shots or butt shots, just the instructor(s) puttin in work.
  • The start of each routine provides a text outline of what it entails, so you can get your mind right from the beginning on what you’re about to do.
  • The routines are free of music, you get only the instructor(s) doing the workout with narration.  I don’t even miss the music.
  • There is a plethora of workouts to choose from. HIIT, cardio, kettlebell, weights etc all at different lengths and for different fitness levels. The 1-5 intensity scale,  caloric burn estimate and other descriptors clearly identify the level of difficulty.
  • No rah rah.  I’m not really here for all the “come on give me 5 more you can do ittttt” cheerleading.  A simple count down of reps or a timer suit me just fine, which is what Fitness Blender does.
  • It costs nothing, just the cost of whatever you’re paying for the internet.

and… last but not least… the instructors.

Fitness Blender consists of the husband and wife team of Daniel and Kelli.  Daniel performs the narration on the videos, Kelli, Daniel or both do the workouts. They’re both trained professionals who are experienced in the health and fitness industry. You can learn more about them and additional programs that are offered on their website.

Fitness Blender for me is THE best bang for the buck (or no bucks).  The variety of workouts available ensures that you won’t ever get bored, and the simplicity of their production allows you to focus on form instead of being distracted by everything else.  Next time you skip the gym give Fitness Blender a whirl.  You’ll be glad you did.

Until next time, see you at the virtual gym.

Skip The Gym – Ekhart Yoga

Even if you’ve been going to the gym for years (25 in my case) there are days when you want to get a workout in but don’t want to leave the house.  Back in the day you had to rely on your own ingenuity by making up a workout routine, or later on you could workout with VHS tapes, and later DVDs.  The 21st century has made it even easier for us not to leave the house but still maintain fitness thanks to the internet and this glorious invention called YouTube where you can find any type of workout you desire for the cost of your internet connection. I started using YouTube for home workouts earlier this year and have found some great and some not so great channels and videos.  One great channel that I go to again and again is Ekhart Yoga.

 Ekhart Yoga
Esther Ekhart’s appeal for me is demeanor. She instructs in the way that my mind says a Yoga instructor should, with clarity, calm and instruction for modifications.  Her style is not to make the student push as far as possible but to move as far as comfortable with proper form and continued emphasis on breathing (which one can forget when trying to get a pose right). Her channel features long and short classes, with the shorter ones being specialized for such things as the time of day, injuries, sports related needs and so on. I’ve done several different classes and have yet to repeat any which is good to keep things fresh.

Esther Ekhart/Ekhart Yoga is the best yoga instruction on YouTube I’ve tried thus far.  I will continue to check out more yoga videos and channels to see what else is offered, however if you want variety and excellent instruction Ekhart Yoga is great for all levels of practice.

Until next time, Namaste.