I wanted to share a little about my journey to an affordable and sustainable home workout routine, courtesy of the VHS queen herself, Jane Fonda – just in case it helps anyone else.
I live in an NYC suburb, and work in the city – or at least, I did before quarantine. Now I work on my couch.
In late December I had finally gotten in a good routine of going to the gym before work and sticking to my workout plan, which I adore (Lucy Mountain’s Nobs Guide). The reason I liked it was that it was hard, but there wasn’t a ton of pressure (and also no burpees or jumping of any kind). I worked hard, but I didn’t work myself to exhaustion or burn out, and there was no encouragement to do so. It was a happy, supportive exercise routine.
Then, quarantine. I was locked down in my apartment and I couldn’t bring myself to work out. The Nobs Home Guide is great, but it involves a lot of lunges and I have some hardcore balance issues so I had a major mental block around it. I tried all sorts of youtube workouts, and they were all…intense. There was a lot of motivational yelling, or regular yelling, and telling me to push harder. They tended to trigger that “I should be able to do this, this is hard for me therefore I am bad” mental cascade that I’m sure most of us are familiar with.
March through June, I was going for my daily walk but wasn’t really working out and it was taking a toll on my mental health. I was already dealing with depression and anxiety before lockdown, and exercise was helping (thanks endorphins) but obviously this has been sort of hard.
Then, my coworker made a joke about 80’s Jane Fonda workout tapes and having Call On Me stuck in his head and I googled them to laugh at the leg warmers, and I found this article. I decided then, “You know what, I’m going to do this. They’re all on Prime and YouTube. It would be so funny! How hard could it be?
The joke was very much on me, reader, because it was hard. It was also so fun! The Jane Fonda workout, while full of insanely thin insanely flexible people, is a real challenge. And, it’s happy and encouraging! Nobody is telling you to push harder or lift heavier or push yourself too hard, and you still feel it the next day.
It sort of makes me think that while HIIT workouts are undoubtably effective, they’re also sort of bullshit. Kind of like how, if you’re willing to walk a little longer, you don’t really ever have to go running to get the same calorie burn and even get your heart rate up if you hate running. I’d rather do the aerobic step workout and burn a ton of calories than run a mile any day. They tell you to rest if you need to, not to work so hard if you’re out of breath, and are just generally…nice.
So, redditors, if you’re looking for a home workout that is gentle, effective and doesn’t make you feel bad for not keeping up, Jane Fonda is the woman for you. Nobs guides are also amazing.