I was initially hesitant to write this given how subjective exercise is. I think many of us realize by now, either from activism, experience, or both, that not everything works for everyone. We’ve all got different bodies, different metabolisms, and different comfort levels, and we all have to find what works best for us. But then, the only way to figure out if something works is to try it, if you’re so inclined. Now, with all of that out of the way, I can start expressing my love for the Bodyrock.tv online fitness program.
I came to Bodyrock via Pinterest, Lord of All Things You Never Knew You Needed. Though I’ve tried to stay away from the fitness-obsessed, “thinspirational” garbage, every now and then something will pique my interest, either because of morbid curiosity or actual intrigue. Fortunately, this was the latter. I can’t not be intrigued by a petite woman covered in muscles and holding a giant pink duffle bag thing over her head. I clicked on the link, watched the video, and I was sold. The next day I started “Bodyrocking” as they call it. That was at the beginning of February, and I’m still going.
Full disclosure: I used to have an exercise addiction, which I’ve mentioned here before. It was essentially the precursor to a vicious, full-blown eating disorder, and even thinking about the hours a day I wasted at the gym makes me shudder. Reasonably, I (not to mention my friends and family) am terrified that I will once again fly down the rabbit hole into gym bunny territory. Because of this, I’ve shied away from most traditional exercise. After I began to recover, I started going to the gym two or three times a week, for around an hour each time. But when I moved and the gym became a hassle to go to, I dropped off exercising almost completely, save for the few crunches I’d do every now and then. The thing is, I love to work out. It makes me feel wonderful. I enjoy feeling my muscles contract, feeling the sweat pour off of me. I love the exhaustion and the muscle soreness that come after a great workout. I had stopped working out, but I never stopped missing it.
Back to February! First, I learned the concepts behind the program. The workouts are typically 12 minutes long, though you are encouraged to do some stretching/warm-ups and some sort of cool down. There’s a video where the exercises are demonstrated and led by one of the site’s hosts, which is usually Lisa-Marie or Sean, and the page with the video also lists the exercises that will be involved. The exercises are typically 50 seconds each, with a 10 second rest. Sometimes there are 12 different exercises, other times there are only three meant to be done four times through, six meant to be done twice through, etc. These days, there are frequently bonus videos, as well, which feature a targeted body part. The first day I Bodyrocked, I started with Day 1 of a signature 30 Day Challenge. This meant beginning with a “fit test” to see how many of any one exercise I could get done in 50 seconds. Turns out that I could do more than I thought, but not enough to satisfy me. So in true perfectionist fashion, I took on the challenge by Bodyrocking the advised five out of seven days a week. Nearly three months later, I’ve blown my original scores out of the water.
The program also incorporates a diet plan, which focuses on clean eating. It advocates for lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, lean protein as well as protein powders, whole grains, and lots of water and green tea. I personally stay away from their diet plan because of my eating disordered history, though I do try to follow some of their advice. While the advice is intended to be helpful, their Facebook page in particular can be very food shaming, though they are mostly body positive from what I’ve seen. There is a large and mostly supportive community of Bodyrockers who congregate in the website comments and on the Bodyrock Facebook page, though I don’t personally interact with them. I do find some of the comments to be very triggering, though most are extremely helpful in offering exercise modifications or ways to substitute equipment. I also find the site’s main host, Lisa-Marie, to be absolutely wonderful. Seriously, I adore this lady. She’s fun, energetic, and a little silly, which makes her the perfect host. She’s recently undergone a bit of a makeover (short hair to long hair, breast implants) that have resulted in some very sexist comments, and she’s handled it perfectly. I’d be lying if I said she wasn’t at least half of the reason I like this program so much.
I’d be lying if I said that, for me, Bodyrock isn’t at least a little bit about aesthetics. I like looking fit and toned, and I enjoy seeing well-defined triceps and a little four (almost six!) pack on my abdomen. But what I really like is feeling stronger. And I do feel so much stronger, so much fitter, so much more confident in the abilities of my body. Like I said, I’m still technically in recovery from an eating disorder, so I’m always sure to watch myself and make sure that I’m doing this for the right reasons. I constantly have to be aware of my motivations and be careful not to become obsessive, because the day I do is the day I stop.
If you’re thinking about picking up a summertime workout regimen, I highly suggest Bodyrock. They’re great for the time-pressed and just as good for the cash-strapped, given that the workouts are completely free. Yes, they use some pricey equipment, and you’ll be tempted to run to Lululemon in an attempt to score some of Lisa-Marie’s covet-able workout wear, but there are always modifications that can be used. A duffle bag stuffed with water or bags of rice rather than a sandbag, a couple of chairs instead of a dip station, etc. If anyone is interested and wants a buddy, feel free to message me! I’d be glad to provide some support and motivation, and I’d love to have some other people along for my fitness ride. They’re only on Day 2 of the newest fitness challenge, so if you’re thinking about giving it a shot, go go go!