I’ve seen ads for streaming exercise programs and mentioned them in passing to you when we bumped into each other the other day. You said there was one of these streaming services you use, but I can’t recall the name of it. Would you mind letting me know what program you use, how much it costs, and any other information you think I’d find useful?
Thanks for writing in. I’m a busy, working parent, and as much as I’d love to make it to the gym, I just can’t. We’ve all seen ads for various workout programs, and as part of my research for this article, I went on online and gave a bunch of them a quick view. I’ll get into the one I’m using in a minute, but I have to say got the best laugh I’ve had in a long time watching old videos of your (almost) namesake Richard Simmons, along with Jazzercise, Jane Fonda, Tae Bo, and the ever-lovely Shake Weight. Those were big names in fitness for a long time. They served a great purpose, got people moving, but dare I say are now a bit outdated.
I use a streaming service called Beachbody on Demand. I won’t be donning a Baywatch outfit anytime soon, nor am I looking to pump iron with Hans and Franz (of “We are here to pump you up” fame), but the service has a good thing going for the working adult. The company has put out popular programs such as P90X, Insanity, and the 21 Day Fix, so maybe you’ve seen their infomercials. Some people buy the DVD package and swap discs out on a daily basis, but as your Geek, I will focus on a more current way to use their programs: by streaming them.
For an annual rate of $99, beachbodyondemand.com allows access to all of their programs online (hundreds of workouts). Logging into their website allows access to download nutrition plans and workout calendars, in addition to streaming the workouts themselves. Apps on devices such as a Roku stick allow streaming workouts, but don’t give access to the associated documents.
I’ve done workouts in the P90X program, Insanity, 21 Day Fix, and 80 Day Obsession. Though I should start a program and stick with it until the end, I like bouncing around from one program to another, from one day to the next. Maybe I should amend that to “from one workout to the next.” Many weeks go by without a single workout completed, but it’s nice to know they are available on my schedule, without having to go to a gym. For equipment, I usually only need a yoga mat, a heavy set of dumbbells, and a lighter set. For a busy working parent, this is the only solution that works for me — minimal equipment, on my schedule, at my home. Gyms are a far better option if time permits, with their equipment, trainers, and knowledge. (Heather at B-Strong in Oak Bluffs is awesome.) That said, between making lunches, school drop-offs, pickups, practices, rehearsals, games, etc., time just doesn’t permit.
There are actually plenty of free workouts on YouTube as well, it’s just a matter of searching and finding a fit for what you want. The beachbodyondemand.com programs do provide a more comprehensive solution, with their nutritional plans, but at the $99-per-year price tag.
Hope I’ve helped explain what I use in response to your workout streaming service question. I will lastly mention the two things I continually need to tell myself: 1) Aim high with workout goals, but when busy, something, even 15 minutes, is better than nothing, and 2) I am lucky the trainers I’m watching on TV cannot hear the things I call them when they instruct me to do another set of burpees …
Thanks for writing in,
Adam Darack is the IT administrator for the town of Edgartown. He writes regularly about the technological issues facing Island business owners. Got a question? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Dear Geek.”