I still haven’t returned to the gym, even though it’s now open allowing larger capacity. I just don’t like exercising in a mask. When my heart rate reaches its peak, I’m pretty much heaving and feel suffocated in the mask. Even though I’m fully vaccinated, I refuse to pull off or even expose my nose when other people are in the room.
So my playlist of workouts on YouTube grows. Thank God for YouTube! Below are two videos I found early on. I wanted a low-impact high-intensity session…still rehabbing from a bad ankle injury from almost 2 years ago so lots of jumps are out, and also preferred a quieter workout (a must for apartment/condo living or living with a remotely working household).
Heather Robertson is a miracle, my fitness lifesaver during the pandemic. Her channel grew from several thousand followers to surpass a million in less than a year. Why do I love her workouts?
- She doesn’t talk during the workout. I don’t mind this in a gym class setting, but for some reason can’t stand it in a video. Especially when the instructor is screeching excitement or yelling unhelpful cheesy things or huffing-puffing on how hard the workout is (when it’s really not, or even if it is I don’t prefer to be reminded!). Heather’s workouts consist of steady-beat EDM tracks and a countdown timer display using dings to signal when the movement starts and ends.
- Most of her workouts are HIIT format. High intensity interval training is ideal for home workouts because they incorporate a total body vigorous workout in half the time of a traditional session. HIIT includes several exercise rounds that alternate between several minutes of high intensity movements to increase the heart rate to at least 80% of maximum heart rate, followed by short periods of lower intensity movements. Many people assume that HIIT means high-impact jumping or running to shoot up the heart rate, but you can do low-impact high-intensity movements. This concept is SO popular and the reason why Heather’s following has grown and birthed dozens of new copycat fitness YouTubers mimicking her exact movements and format.
- You can modify any movements and speed up or slow the pace. When instructors talk and guide you, you’re compelled to follow their exact movements and pace. Because Heather doesn’t talk, you simply preview the movement and then do it for the allotted time. You can look away from the screen so that you feel more freedom in going faster or slower or make modifications as needed.
I recommend this 30-minute workout as a good starting place. All you need is a mat (the ProsourceFit thick mat is great). Most of the moves are familiar if you were exercising prior to the pandemic, and I believe all exercise levels can safely complete it. Planks and pushups can be modified by performing them on your knees. If it’s too easy, you can speed the pace or even hold 2-3 pound dumbbells. If at any time you need to end a movement early, please listen to your body and do it.
FORMAT: 45 seconds of a movement, followed by 15 seconds rest. There are 5 different movements per set, and the whole session repeats once. Then it moves on to 5 new movements with one repeat. There are 3 sessions in total following this pattern. A cooldown/stretch isn’t included so I added that below.
This stretch video is less than 10 minutes but perfect to complement Heather’s workout. Don’t let the 80s vibe with her neon outfit scare you off. The stretches are classic but effective, and again I love how she doesn’t talk!
In less than 45 minutes you can feel great that you accomplished a complete body workout!