I am always in awe of people who regularly workout. I was never that sporty at school and it’s not something that comes naturally or easily to me.
Over the years I have gone through phases of working out and when I do, I really enjoy it, but I’ve still never been able to create a consistent exercise lifestyle.
I will say I was in the best shape of my life, before my wedding. I was working out, doing Pilates, going to classes and making an effort (with pretty good motivation.)
I felt good and strong.
When I got pregnant, I was told to take it easy, with my Fibroid causing issues (if you want to read more about that you can here.) I quickly got out of an exercise routine and struggled to return. Again, since it’s not something that comes easily or naturally to me, it always takes me longer to get back to making exercise a part of my lifestyle.
I exercised on and off and then fell pregnant with Alexi and managed a few pilates classes here and there, which I loved. Alexi was 4 months old when we went into the pandemic and all gyms closed.
The last 2 years have been a complete blur, filled with stress, emotional comfort eating and on top of that, I am incredibly unfit. I hit a real low when I was completely out of breath running around a park chasing my sons. I just thought, if this is how I am at 38 years old, how am I going to be in the next decade?
I’m going to be 40 years old in 2023 and I’ve set it as a bench mark to work towards being a fitter and healthier me. I don’t have a number goal on a scale or a dress size I’m aiming for. This is more about how I feel as an individual, becoming fitter and stronger to keep up with my busy boys and ultimately longevity. I want to be a healthy Mom, so I can be a better Mom. I want to be around to see my boys accomplish everything their hearts desire and changing my mind set away from looking a certain way or it even being about weight loss is helping my motivation.
We moved to Greece and the gyms were still closed and even if they opened, I don’t speak Greek and just felt like I’d be intimidated with the classes if I couldn’t follow the instructions – never mind feeling like I wouldn’t physically keep up.
I was introduced to The Movement Empire and decided to try it. It’s an online exercise platform that provides you with a unique bodyweight workout class and it’s tailored to your fitness level and goals – you can choose between Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. As I am so unfit and haven’t exercised properly in nearly 3 years, I am going right back to the very beginning – and this felt less intimidating than jumping right into classes where I’d never keep up.
What I love about it:
I’m going to start with the price point. People always try to sell everything up front and then get to the price, but I want to get to it straight away so that you can see the value. You get a 7 day free trial, to see if it’s for you. You can choose R 160.00 p/month for the Annual Subscription or R199.00 p/month for a Monthly Subscription. You can chose weekly workouts for Beginner (3 sessions), Intermediate (3 sessions) & Advanced (4 sessions) fitness levels, including alternative movements and/or variations for each exercise. I’ve personally paid far more for personal trainers for one session in the past, so this really feels valuable and affordable to me.
No hidden costs.
I’ve signed up before for a class that promised “no equipment needed” only to find out that actually you do need equipment in form of blocks, steps, kettle bells, the works. The equipment you’ll need with The Movement Empire is a mat (optional, but I like setting one out because it psychologically sets me up for the workout), a chair (which almost everyone has at home already) and dumbbells (or water bottles), which I haven’t needed any yet, but I believe later on they’re added. The way I look at it is, as a beginner I’m gaining strength and only hope to improve. As I become fitter and want to get to new goals I will most likely buy some 2kg weights later on.
I am probably the poster girl for using the excuse “I don’t have time.” Terrible excuse, because if it’s important to you, you’ll prioritise it. I just need to side-eye the time I spend watching Netflix, so really… about that time I “don’t have.”
The reality is, I struggled to make classes at the particular times set out, and I wouldn’t be able to dedicate time to workout AND factor in driving to and from the venue, traffic, finding parking etc. This has helped me time wise because the app has pre-recorded video’s that are between 30 minutes – 1 hour long, which is fantastic for days when I only have 30 minutes, and days when I feel strong enough to go for a 45 minute or longer session. They’re available whenever & wherever you want to train (no live classes) and the workouts never expire, so if you miss one it’s waiting for you. You also have full access to workout archive to redo any of your favourite’s.
It feels personal.
I never thought I’d enjoy following a video, and thought it might not be personal enough but The Movement Empire have nailed it. You get an on-screen Coach and a Training Partner at your fitness level to help motivate, provide guidance on technique, form & posture. What I love about the training partner is it’s someone who is the same fitness level as you, doing the workout alongside. You’re training with someone who is your equal – it’s not a fitness model who has exercised their whole lives making you feel inadequate.
With the coach, I often feel like they’re in the room with me… Ryan Botha is a phenomenal coach and has a real passion for motivating people and getting people fit. He’ll say things like: “Don’t forget to breathe” and I literally was holding my breath… or “Come on, this is your journey, not mine. Slow down if you need to, but do it properly” as I was starting to speed up and not get the form correct. It sometimes feel like he’s right in the room with me, knowing exactly what’s happening – which brings it full circle to having that training partner (equal fitness level), who is experiencing it like you are, so he’s training you as such. It’s so clever.
I really enjoy the workouts
The workouts are like ‘Goldilocks porridge – just right!’ I feel like I’ve worked hard, but not overworked. I feel a good kind of sore the next day and not a “I-can’t-walk-and-will-need-more-days-to-recover” sore. I feel motivated and actually look forward to what the next workout has in store and each time, I feel a little stronger and a little more capable.
Each workout shows you what to expect, how long it is and has a warm up and cool down session, which is as important as the workout itself.
You get breaks so you can sip water, wipe the sweat away and catch your breath.
I also appreciate the motivational quote under the workout. Today’s one was: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.” And it sets my intention for the workout. I notice these small details.
Mental Health is linked strongly to exercise and besides the endorphins I feel after a session, the sense of accomplishment in actually completing a workout, in my busy schedule is amazing! It really isn’t easy to get workouts in sometimes, with the Breakfast show, show prep, housework, cooking, the boys (sometimes I have one or both of the boys interrupting my sessions.)
Thankfully I can pause and then resume, so completing a session feels like a victory. I’ve actually found that waking earlier (which is already pretty early for the Smile 90.4 FM Breakfast Show) to get an uninterrupted 30 min session in, is the best. I have my most productive days on the days I do this and it can’t be a coincidence that it happens without fail on these days. My mental health feels better, which includes the reasons for working out and wanting to make this a lifestyle rather than a weight loss goal.
It’s also really fun when my hubby and I can do sessions together too…
What I really like about their social media is that it has never been about “Before” and “Afters.” Don’t get me wrong – I love seeing peoples progress and they’re important – especially for yourself to track your progress, but we often tend to compare ourselves with others and forget the hard work it took mentally, physically and emotionally. Each body and journey is different, so what might have taken one person 6 weeks to achieve, could take another 6 months and longer.
I have fallen in love with exercise again and really enjoying, even looking forward to working out. Who am I?
I like it!
I know the market has a number of fitness apps and programs, gosh, I even tried 2 very popular international apps, which didn’t work for me and ended up being wasted money. You have to find what works for you, so I’d encourage you to give this a try – use the 7 day trial to see if it is for you and please do use my discount code to get 20% off either the annual or monthly subscription. It’s available now – use BAILEY20 at checkout, when you sign up at www.movementempire.com and I hope this inspires you to get moving!