My relationship with at-home workouts is fraught, at best. While I certainly can't deny the appeal of breaking a sweat from the comfort of my living room, in the end, a lack of motivation always eclipses the flexibility and thriftiness of doing so. It may be the absence of an IRL instructor to keep me in gear or simply one of the hazards of living in a studio apartment: Collapsing onto my bed is just too easy when the going gets tough. (Who am I kidding? Even gentle yoga flows typically end with a too-early, 10-minute Savasana on top of the pile of clean laundry I'm too lazy to put away.)
This reality came to a head last year, when in an unknowable fit of enthusiasm, I volunteered to work out only using streaming fitness channels for a month. The experience proved to be highly educational in more ways than one. I learned that the market for at-home workouts is expansive and packed with innovation, and I also learned that it isn't for me. So I stopped trying. Because my motivation seems to thrive in group settings, I invested in a membership at my local yoga studio and never looked back.
Then, earlier this fall, I tried LEKFit—a high-energy, dance-inspired workout that founder Lauren Kleban hosts in her converted-garage studio in L.A. It was yet another example of trying something way beyond my comfort zone, but this time, it paid off. In spite of my lifelong aversion to choreography and organized dance, I had a blast and left hungry for more. The caveat, of course, is that my bank account could not handle additional fitness classes on top of my existing yoga membership, which I was unwilling to give up anyway. The only alternative? Try LEKFit's streaming classes at home.
It's worth mentioning at this point that LEKFit's signature Bounce class utilizes rebounder trampolines, the benefits of which abound: In addition to boosting circulation and lymph flow, bouncing works your muscles in a highly efficient yet low-impact way. But while using a rebounder obviously allows for the most effective and authentic at-home experience, it's also not a requirement for Kleban's workouts—just a sturdy pair of sneakers, dumbbells, ankle weights, and forgiving neighbors. (As luck would have it, I live above my building's laundry room.)
What I loved most about LEKFit when I tried it in Kleban's studio is that it was so fun—I only realized after the fact that I was drenched in sweat (and so sore the following day). Worried that this element wouldn't quite translate at home, I admittedly felt a little awkward as I began to jump up and down in front of my TV without a rebounder to cushion the fall. But then I cranked up my music and soon realized that it wasn't so different than dancing around my apartment on a weekend afternoon—interspersed with some sculpting exercises, of course. I breezed through the workout until suddenly it was over, and I realized that motivation (or lack thereof) had never even crossed my mind. The stats on my Apple Watch told another story: I had actually worked really hard during those 50 minutes.
Of course, one great class does not a success story make—consistency would be the ultimate test, and for me, that means variety. Fortunately, Kleban offers a variety of different classes: trampoline-based Bounce; Sculpt, which focuses more specifically on muscle-building moves like dumbbell rows and kicks with ankle weights; and Cardio, which is the most dance-oriented of the three. Moreover, there are new workouts on the LEKFit channel every week, and every single one is different than the last.
I've fallen into a routine with these videos, and no one is more shocked than I am. I love blitzing through a Sculpt workout before heading to the office during the week, since it doesn't leave me quite as sweaty as the others but has a habit of leaving my abs so sore it hurts to cough or laugh. I have yet to try Cardio, but Bounce continues to convince me that I might have a dancer hiding within me after all—and that while I don't technically need a trampoline, maybe I want one. (When I move into a bigger space, of course. Someday!)
All said, maybe categorically banning myself from all streaming workouts wasn't the answer—it was just a matter of finding the right one. I'll be holding onto my yoga membership, but I have a new favorite workout that I can also throw into the rotation, guilt-free.
Most tellingly, I have yet to throw myself onto my bed in the middle of class.