New year, same you? Us too. But that doesn't mean we're not a little be fascinated by the super popular exercise programs that like to rear their sweaty heads at this time of year. The humble home workout is setting itself up to be one of the predominant fitness trends of 2018 and, of course, YouTube has managed to deliver.
In just ten days, the Les Mills GRIT cardio workout has racked up three and a half million views. It's a collaboration between *Vampire Diaries *actress Nina Dobev, Les Mills and Reebok. Truth be told, we spotted lots of people talking about it so we thought we'd give it a go to see what all the fuss is about. Because, if we're honest, home workouts are never quite as effective as the real deal... right?
This sounds hard. There's nothing pleasant about cardio and the word 'Grit' does not imply a gentle ease into peak physical health.
'I've just eaten a giant jacket potato with beans and cheese and extra cheese. I do not want to work out. Maybe I can just sit quietly and pretend I'm exercising vicariously while I watch Nina do a few burpees', I thought as I reluctantly connected my mum's snazzy TV to YouTube. I pressed play and then pause a lot. But then I got up and went through the trouble of actually putting real exercise clothes on so I thought I better pull my best Troy Bolton and get my head in the game.
How difficult is it?
Yeah, it's not easy kids. But I suppose if you willingly press play on a workout video shoutily entitled 'WORK OUT #LIKENINA .. LES MILLS GRIT', then what do you expect?
What caught me by surprise though, was the really positive upbeat vibe of the class. Like, in a non-cheesy way. The trio of instructors who lead the class actually made me want to try and do those scary squat jumps without terrifying me.
The most challenging bit of the class is the pace, though. You have about 15-30 second rest breaks between rounds which, for my uninitiated jacket potato filled body, was not enough. It was somewhat reassuring to see the people on the telly having to take breaks and making strain/pain faces too though. Oh, and half way through you'll be doing sprints. This requires space. Space which I did not have in my living room so I just jogged on the spot for a bit...
Do I need a working knowledge of exercise before hand?
I wouldn't say so. The instructors are pretty good and reminding you which parts of your body you need to engage for each exercise. I think more than anything you just need to be mentally prepared for an actual 30 minutes of cardio. The first round of sets was intense that I made a mental note to tell you all that you might want to do your own warm up. But then I found out that *was *the warm up and made a vague promise to myself to improve my stamina. One day.
Can I fit it into a lunch break?
Yeah totally. But obviously that would require being able to get home and back to the office before your boss starts asking questions. And then of course, there's the slight problem of...
Do I need to shower after?
YES. I'm sorry kids but there's no fudging this one. I did the workout in the evening and was hoping to slyly (grossly) crawl straight into bed straight afterwards but the sweaty footprints (are feet even meant to sweat?!) I left through the corridor were a bit of a give away. You will want to bathe.
Could I do it with a mate?
Abso-fucking-lutely. In the video it looks like everyone is split into two halves and they do the exercises facing each other. It sounds intimidating as hell to me but some people might find it motivational, I suppose. The only thing to be weary of is space because this workout requires all the limbs and I scratched my elbow quite dramatically on the coffee table.
Was it fun though?
I was strangely into the music, if that counts? And I enjoyed the cameradery on camera. They all high fived whenever they made it through another excruciating set of crazy exercises. It made me wish I had someone to have sweatty high fives with.
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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.