“I don’t have time for a workout” and “I’m busy overwhelmed trying to get us back into a routine now that the kids are back in school” are two things I’ve been telling myself lately.
And even though I’ve been going to the gym regularly for years, I’ve struggled to get myself back into it. So, I did something completely unexpected: I partnered with LES MILLS On Demand on their #BackToYou 21-day challenge. And here is what happened:
I started taking LES MILLS classes at my gym back in 2006, after being cleared by my doctor for physical exercise 6 weeks after my c-section.
And you know what? After a few weeks, I was HOOKED.
I loved the variety of workouts, with BODYPUMP and BODYCOMBAT being my favorites.
Soon, I was able to lose the pregnancy weight and get back to feeling physically and mentally re-energized. And so, for the last 13 years, I’ve been taking LES MILLS classes at my gym a few times per week.
Until two months ago. When life got crazy and I couldn’t go to my favorite classes because I didn’t have an hour and a half to spare in my day.
So, I tried a different way to get to my favorite workouts: LES MILLS On Demand.
With LES MILLS On Demand, I get unlimited access to 15 to 55-minute workouts that fit into my schedule without leaving the house.
Best Home Workout Program
The best home workout program is one that you can access from a laptop, iPad, smartphone, connected TV (ROKU, Amazon Firestick, Apple TV and Chromecast). You’ll want a program that offers a variety of scientifically-backed workouts you can change up, so your body (and mind) is constantly wondering “what’s next?”
If you’re a beginner, you’ll want a program that different length workouts. I’ve found that by having the option to select a 15-minute workout I eliminate the “I don’t have enough time” excuse.
I also think that the best home workout programs are those that have a no equipment option, as you can get a great workout by using your body weight – like the Level 1.0 schedule you see below. You’ll receive this once you sign-up to the 21-day Back to You Challenge.
The flexibility of the workout schedule is another reason I loved this challenge. I did the 21-day challenge with equipment and my best friend did it without the equipment. Similar workouts, great results, from a plan made to fit our needs.
Full Body Workout Routines
One of the reasons I have attended BODYPUMP for the last 13 years at my gym is that in just one class I got a full-body workout. Whether it’s BODYCOMBAT (the martial arts full-body cardio workout) or BODYFLOW (a stretch and flexibility workout that mixes yoga, pilates, and tai-chi); I’ve always felt that they were the most efficient way of getting a full-body workout in a short amount of time
Beginner Workout at Home Without Equipment
My friend Christy did the beginner workouts at home without equipment from the Back To You 21-day program and she felt better in 21 days than she had from years of inconsistent gym workouts.
If you’re anything like Christy and I, you’re probably thinking “I don’t even know where to start!” And that’s ok. We all need expert guidance from time to time which is why I appreciated that Les Mills’ expert team did all the planning for me.
All I had to do was turn on my laptop, select the workout listed on my workout schedule, and press play.
Zero thinking, zero overwhelm.
21 Day Workout Challenge
The best part of the 21-day workout challenge by LES MILLS On Demand is that it as a done-for-me plan.
There were two levels. Level 1.0 was a beginner workout schedule and Level 2.0 is for those that are on top of their workout game. Each level has two options: with equipment and without equipment.
Both 21-day schedules are the ideal mix of cardio, strength, flexibility, and mindfulness training to improve heart health, enhance lean muscle development, and maintain both physical as well as mental wellness.
BACK TO YOU Level 1.0 – If you’re new to regular exercise or want to ease yourself back in, this is the plan for you. Complete the schedule of flexible and time-efficient workouts in your own time.
BACK TO YOU Level 2.0 – If you’re feeling on top of your game and want to challenge yourself, this program will push your limits with a series of flexible and time-efficient workouts to complete in your owntime.
The workouts you saw me do in the video were from the BACK TO YOU Level 1.0 with equipment.
Are Short Workouts Really Effective?
While the short 15-minute workouts are unlikely to create a significant
training effect, they are the ideal length for new exercisers to safely try the workouts, or if you are short of time. Pairing the workout tutorials with a 15-minute workout is a great option. When you feel ready, try two 15-minute workouts back-to-back, or a single 30-minute session.
How Fit Do You Need To Be
Don’t let my decade-long fascination with LES MILLS workouts at the gym fool you. I took off more than 8 weeks so getting back to work out felt like I was starting over.
I remember thinking that I wasn’t “fit enough” the day I walked into the gym to my first LES MILLS class more than 13 years ago. And yet, I chose to commit my mindset that day and my body followed.
After 3 kids and being nearly 40, I don’t expect my body to look like that of a twenty-year-old. For me, working out is giving my body what it needs: movement and my mind what it craves: a break.
Whether you’re just starting out after a long (long) break from movement or you’re a seasoned exercise fanatic, there’s a LES MILLS workout for you in the On Demand platform –
there are more than 800 workout videos in there!
The plans cater to all abilities – there are short training options for those that are new to fitness and longer more intense workouts for anyone seeking a greater challenge.
What I love about LES MILLS workouts is that they all feature plenty of modifications, so it’s really easy to reduce or increase the intensity. Plus, if you don’t know what you’re doing – like me during BODYSTEP (pictured above) – it’s ok to pause and listen to directions! I do that all the time.
How To Stay Motivated To Work Out At Home
I found it helpful to plan my 21 days one week at a time. On the weekends, I make time to plan our meals and our family calendar, and my workouts are no different.
Finding the Best Time to Work Out
Try to exercise at a consistent time each day. Research indicates that scheduling your workouts for a consistent time each day will help you maximize results – and it doesn’t matter whether it’s the morning, noon, or night!
Finding the best time for a workout is really up to you and your family’s schedule. Some days, I worked out while the kids were doing their homework after school while others early in the morning.
What to Eat After a Workout
The most important thing to remember is to drink lots of water during and after a workout. Hydration is key to feeling your best, so I always kept a big stainless cup nearby.
While I didn’t find myself experiencing a lot of hunger immediately after a workout, I did eat a balanced snack that included both carbohydrates, fat, and protein within an hour.
How to Make the Most out of Your LES MILLS On Demand 21-Day Trial:
My biggest tip is to find a friend that will sign up to do the 21-Day Back to You Challenge with you. I know that having someone else to hold me accountable was a big contributor to finishing my workouts each week. Christy finished hers too!
Here are other tips to keep in mind:
- Plan your exercise in one-week blocks. Evaluate your schedule and incorporate your fitness sessions as a time to treat yourself to a positive experience.
- Don’t worry if your schedule changes and you cannot complete the planned session. At the same time, if your schedule changes and you have more time, add a 15-30 min workout. This is when you can try something new, different or fun.
- On some days there are two workout options in your Level 1 Plans. You can complete these workouts back-to-back if you would like to intensify your training on that day.
- Some days have an AM and a PM workout, which means they should be done at least six hours apart – this helps ensure adequate recovery so that you can do your workouts safely and effectively.
- Work at your own speed, particularly during the cardio workouts. There are always options to modify the intensity with less impact. Pace yourself throughout the weeks.
I also joined the LES MILLS On Demand Facebook group where thousands of members provide around-the-clock motivation, inspiration, and advice.
After you sign up, you’ll receive your 21-day workout plan with everything you need to feel fitter, stronger, and a healthier you.