I have loved doing video workouts for a long time. You could argue it started way back when I was a kid and some random workout show would come on TV, usually when we were doing a road trip somewhere and I was alone in the hotel room feeling bored. I was no athlete, but I loved following along with the workouts.

I’ve talked with clients who have said they won’t do video workouts: they know themselves, they say, and this isn’t for them. They don’t have the focus. Or maybe they feel like they’ll get bored if they’re not being held accountable by a real person. Or they just miss the interaction.

All those things are valid and maybe you are that person who absolutely will never NEVER do a video workout. This post is not for you. :)

For those who love video workouts but want to figure out how to get the most out of them, or for those who aren’t sure if this format works for you but want to be open to the idea, I have some thoughts on how to really squeeze all the juice out of those videos so they work for you.

Here are some pointers for you!


  • Put your workout times on your calendar as if you had signed up for a class.
  • Watch it through first or do it kind of half-assed if you have any trouble seeing the screen or following verbal cues, or any sort of physical restrictions. That will give you an idea of where any problem areas may come up and give you a chance to think about what you’d like to do instead. Seeing the exercises clearly first can be really helpful to doing them correctly later. Plus if you’re a note taker, you have time to write things down.
  • Have fun with it and make it work for you! Skip around in the video or feel free to wander off and take a break if there’s something going on you’re not interested in. If you no longer need the verbal cues, turn the sound off and listen to a book, podcast, or music instead.
  • Take note of which videos or parts of videos work best for you so in future you can skip to that part. I like to make a list of what props are needed and what stuck out to me in particular about a workout so that, for example, if I’m traveling and don’t have any props and I want a hard core hip workout I can pick one from my notes that fits the bill. I also make note of time stamps for places in the workouts I particularly want to do again.
  • Wear whatever you want to wear that is comfortable to move in.
  • Pause and rewind if something doesn’t make sense.
  • Feel free to stop watching the videos eventually once you know what works for you and do it on your own instead. Maybe you make your own workout list from the exercises you like the best or maybe you develop a routine that you just know without needing a video or notes.



  • Worry about watching the whole video all the way through every single time. Eventually if you use a video workout often enough there will be explanations in there you don’t need after that first time. Fast forward that sucker.
  • Imagine that you’re going to want to use the video forever. You probably won’t. There may be some workouts you really like that you return to, but even with those, eventually you’ll know the workout and will be able to do it without the video.
  • Fall into the “One Coin Fallacy” by thinking that doing one tiny, short workout doesn’t really count and therefore isn’t worth doing. One coin adds to one coin adds to one coin and eventually they all add up. Your body takes value from anything you can fit in and ultimately this is about building a sustainable habit which will support you in doing more later.


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