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Beauty & Wellness

Finally: An Online Workout I Actually Enjoy

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My workout routine pre-quarantine consisted of running outside (weather permitting), pretending I knew how to use the weight machines at the gym, and group Pilates classes. Since the latter two became unavailable once social distancing protocols were established—and since I’m not a huge fan of running with a mask on—I had to pivot. I tried going on really long walks, which was nice, but I missed the feeling of–warning, NSFW!–quivering muscles. I tried various routines hosted by fitness instructors on YouTube or Instagram Live, which were also nice, but my already tenuous interest in exercise waned with the complicating factor of digging around for a new one every time, and the frustration of not knowing whether I would actually like them until I was halfway in.

I had resigned myself to doing “stadiums” on our stoop when my friend Virginia texted me: “I just got the Sculpt Society app and I’s really liking it. It’s fun and goes by quickly.” “Fun” and “goes by quickly” happen to be two of my favorite workout qualities, so my fingers perked right up. The app is a subscription service that costs $19.99 per month, or $119.99 for a year. I was reluctant to pay for virtual exercise content given how much free stuff is out there, but the app offers a two-week free trial, so I figured it was worth a shot. I could always cancel if I didn’t like it….

Cut to two weeks later–I’ve never ignored a calendar reminder (to “cancel subscription”) more enthusiastically. Below, my official review.

One-sentence recap: Virtual dance cardio and sculpting workouts that mostly rely on your own body weight, led by trainer Megan Roup.

Break a sweat level: Is it as strenuous as you hoped it would be? 4/5. It’s the perfect amount of strenuous for me, which is to say: strenuous, but not too strenuous. I definitely sweat, but not to the point that I’m ready to give up halfway in.

Enjoyability level: Do you look forward to doing it? 5/5. I am not the type of person who looooooves working out (I have yet to experience a “runner’s high,” though I do get high off the joy of being done with a run), so when I actually found myself not entirely dreading the Sculpt Society workouts, and at a certain point actually even looking forward to them, it felt akin to sighting a rare, exotic bird that I assumed was mythological.

Serotonin spike: Does it give you a boost afterward? 5/5. I feel like a superhero in the comic that is my life after finishing one of these workouts, so yes, absolutely.

Ease for doing inside level: Is it easy enough for you to do at-home? Does it require any equipment that you do or don’t have? 5/5. The equipment recommendations are listed in the descriptions for each video, which is super helpful. A lot of them suggest light weights (2-3 pounds) and a resistance band, but all of them can be done without. The space required is minimal, so it’s great for cramped quarters.

Overall takeaway: Letting my free trial expire without cancelling was undoubtedly the best $20 I’ve spent on something non-essential thus far in quarantine. I really feel like I’m getting so much bang for my buck in this case–super high-quality workouts that are enjoyable and make me sweat. The app is also incredibly straightforward to use, and I appreciate that the videos range in time from 5 minutes to 50 minutes so I can slot them into my schedule accordingly. I encourage anyone hungry for exercise inspiration to give the free trial a shot. Or check out this 30-minute Sculpt Society workout I found on YouTube–an amuse bouche, if you will:

Are there any particular online workouts you’d like Team Man Repeller to review? Let us know in the comments.

Graphic by Lorenza Centi.

Harling Ross

Harling is a writer and was most recently the Brand Director at Man Repeller.

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