his week, I am focusing on Instructor Live, a website that features 10,000 workouts in Pilates, yoga, strength, cardio, post-natal exercise and meditation, all led by experts.
I think of this beginner-friendly members’ website as the Netflix of fitness. It costs £5.99 a month.
Anyone nervous about workout programmes can sign up for curated workout suggestions based on their age, gender, goals and injury history, or follow programmes such as Pilates for Conditions, Total Beginner and Bouncing Back From Injury.
Instructor Live is accessible, varied and motivational. I received a congratulatory email after every workout and could interact with instructors on social media in between.
You can also focus on the top half of your body, the bottom of it or all of it together. But what about the workouts? I tried the 12-week programme Ultimate Shred. This comprises 30-45-minute high-intensity sessions aimed at women – although there’s a similar one for men called Ripped, which is just as tough.
They require nothing more than an exercise mat, a towel and some water. Each week the user combines yoga, challenging intervals, lower intensity cardiovascular training and resistance work to sculpt their body. I found the workouts challenging and tiring, and enjoyed my trial week of “shredding” (some calories at least).
Yet I do worry that without someone watching and responding to you in real time, it’s easy to overdo it and injure yourself.
Ultimate Shred and Ripped are similar to the American online fitness phenomenon, Insanity – except that with Instructor Live, if you get tired, bored or your goals change, you can switch to a new programme.
Mum on a Mission with Pussycat Doll, Kimberly Wyatt, is particularly popular, and is designed to strengthen the legs, bottom and abdominals.
This six-week schedule is especially convenient for parents who can start and pause sessions whenever they want.
I also tried the first of eight 45-minute Posture Clinic classes. It wasn’t the most exciting workout, but body awareness, strong abdominals to support the lower back, and knowing how to release the spine are key for getting fitter.
Most of these classes take place on the floor and are aimed at all fitness levels and ages. However, they are particularly beneficial for anyone with lower back problems who wants to focus on specific areas.
I found the instructor’s explanation about how bad posture develops really interesting and liked the fact that Instructor Live doesn’t expect users to know too much about anatomy.
Overall, I was impressed and inspired by these workouts. I still don’t think anything on screen can substitute the group energy of a class, but maybe that makes me old-fashioned rather than right.