Frugal Challenge: I Worked out From Home for Two Weeks

All them mocha lattes you gotta do Pilates.

A five class punch card at my local gym rings in at $110, making getting fit an expensive pursuit. In an attempt to save money, I tried working out with videos available for free on Youtube. At first I was skeptical; I questioned if I had enough self-motivation to stick to an at-home work out plan and if the workouts really, uh, worked.

At home workout videos gained popularity in the 1980s with the likes of Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons, donned in neon spandex, urging you to get moving. The workout videos available today on Youtube contain the same upbeat personalities and motivating monologues. In lieu of bright bodysuits, the hosts don Lululemon and the latest fitness fashions.

On a friend's recommendation, I decided to try Blogilates. During my first foray into home work-out videos the host says, "If you ever get mad at me, just look at the surroundings and hopefully they will calm you down." I roll my eyes slightly, why would I get angry at her? And if I did would looking at a bohemian-decorated workout studio, that looks like it was filmed in an Anthropolgie, help?

Half way through the workout I realize what the host, certified fitness instructor Cassey Ho, was talking about. It felt like I was running a mile even though I was standing in one place and my legs were burning; I actually started getting mad at Cassey. All of this is to say: the workout was working.

When I'm in a workout class my competitiveness kicks in and I vow to complete every circuit, pose, and exercise for the full amount of time or repetitions. Working out from home, not so much. I kept pausing throughout the sets to take mini-breaks, or skipping exercises all together. This speaks more to my own discipline than anything, but was the one downside I found with an at-home workout. A simple fix to this solution would be pairing up with a friend or roommate to complete the exercises.

On the plus side: I definitely "felt the burn". After each workout I felt the good kind of sore you feel after a successful workout. By the end of my two week trial of working out online, I felt more energized and motivated to work out during the day, and saved $200.