Working Out the Problems
Updated: May 11
By Stephanie Kim, Opinions Editor
With dumbbells in hand and mat unrolled, your workout begins after a quick stretch. The exercise stays at a comfortable pace but starts to push you harder. Sweat begins trickling down your forehead, telling you that it’s almost finished. To end the session you turn on an online workout video. The video is from a live one that a fitness trainer had done earlier. The trainer guides you through movements that will help to cool down and stretch the muscles. Incorporating online workouts into normal exercise routines has become a normal part of people’s lives. It saves time and effort, as well as allows people to work out whenever they want or can.
One health coach/fitness model and personal trainer I spoke with, Trudie German, posts prerecorded workout videos online and does live fitness classes. She says that her favorite thing about doing workouts online is “the fact that I can help people internationally, and also because it is usually prerecorded, clients can work out at a time conducive to them.” Known as @bodyenvy1 on Instagram, German has over twenty-five thousand followers that rely on her for fitness. Though she enjoys doing online workouts, German says that she feels a difference between online and in-person saying, “with in-person I do have that personal connection to interact with and get to know my clients, whereas with online I do not.” Her least favorite part about doing online exercises being “not having that human connection” during the workouts. However, German says that she began doing online workouts “when the first lockdown started because people needed an outlet.” German inspires people, mainly women over age forty, with her fitness videos, pictures, and tips on Instagram.
Something I noticed after speaking with German was that the pandemic really seemed to create a spark in online workouts. Because people couldn’t or wouldn’t go out due to COVID-19, they needed another way of staying healthy. It can be very difficult to find the motivation to exercise at home by yourself. There are a million other things that need to be done instead of working out. This is something I have struggled with myself, but have realized that it is important to take the necessary time out of your day to exercise in order to keep yourself healthy. Not only to keep yourself physically healthy, but mentally as well. That’s where online and live fitness videos have really helped people.
A fitness and personal trainer I spoke with, Kehinde Anjorin, was motivated to do online exercise videos because of the pandemic. She says, “the pandemic inspired me to start providing live workouts so people can stay healthy.” Being a trainer for Respin and doing live workouts for Women’s Health Magazine, Anjorin, or better known as @powerinmovement, has over eleven thousand followers on Instagram that go to her for their fitness needs. She posts daily fitness videos, pictures, and motivational quotes to inspire others. When it comes to the difference in conducting online versus physical workouts Anjorin says, “in-person training and live classes are completely different and both require different approaches. However, nothing is paramount to in-person training.”
In order to further connect with her followers, Anjorin founded an app that shows various exercises, how to do them, and ways to improve if you are struggling. The app, ThePowerMethod, is not free but for a small subscription fee, you can access the app. It has been featured in many fitness magazines, such as PopSugar and Women’s Health. Not only does she advocate for fitness during the pandemic, but Anjorin uses her online platform to fight judgmental beauty standards and racism. Based in New York City, Anjorin also uses her social media to better connect with her followers around the world.
Though there is a divide when it comes to online versus in-person workouts, it seems that social media allows people to better connect for fitness. There are some pros and cons, but live workouts give people the opportunity to ask questions, get further explanations, and check that they are doing an exercise correctly. Being someone who participates in live videos regularly, I have found that I am able to fully connect with trainers.
I spoke with another fitness trainer who has over fifteen thousand Instagram followers. Taylor Rae Almonte, also @taylorraealmonte on Instagram, uses her platform to inspire people to stay active and fight for equality. Almonte instructs live Instagram workouts through Women’s Health Magazine, as well as works with Reebok. She began doing online workouts to inspire other people to keep pushing during tough times. Founding an anti-racism wellness program called ACTIV-ISM, Almonte also posts inspirational quotes and pictures, as well as places to acquire fitness gear. She uses her large number of clients and followers to create a higher awareness for the causes she wants to address.
The past year has been chaotic for a number of reasons, but online workouts are allowing people a way to relax from it. People need to disconnect from the crazy world while also staying connected to the healthy one. Fitness trainers are realizing this too, and are moving with the change. Trainers today have created a large platform on social media, giving fitness tips and exercises to those of us who really need it. It’s harder now more than ever to stay healthy, so it only makes sense that trainers want to make workouts more accessible. Though a challenge, online workouts have improved people’s exercise routines overall.
Now you can put your dumbbells down and let that long exhale out. Extending your arm outward, you turn off the exercise video that once played in front of you. The trainer took you through cooling exercises and stretches, but your heart still beats rapidly. You wipe the sweat from your forehead and neck. Giving your arms one final stretch and letting another sigh of air out, you’ve completed the day’s workout. You’re done, and just like many others around the world, you owe a little thanks to an online trainer’s guidance.
Go ahead and roll up your mat.