Image from Sydney Cummings (Royal Change)
At the beginning of the pandemic, many Americans lost access to public fitness centers and gyms. While I had settled into a more laid-back lifestyle involving “Tiger King” and “Love is Blind” for several weeks, I quickly realized that I was going to need some sort of activity to combat the unprecedented amount of banana bread I found myself baking.
Mostly out of boredom and lack of workout inspiration, I turned to Youtube for a workout to keep myself busy for just a little bit of time. After some mindless scrolling, I decided on Sydney Cummings’ channel and her “30 Day At-Home Workout Challenge.”
As a whole, the workout challenge was a positive one. Cummings uploads new videos every day at 5:00 a.m EST so she had a new workout to follow along with for the full 30 days. The workouts had a different focus everyday and ranged from cardio kickboxing to stretch flows. The change of pace between each day kept the workouts interesting throughout the challenge. All videos were kept under an hour so they were time efficient and did not take up too much of my day.
Cummings also has a great personality to lead virtual workouts. While still being encouraging and talkative while instructing, it was still obvious that she was pushing herself as well. Her labored breathing was audible and she was clearly sweating in some videos. As strange as that sounds, I felt it was nice to know that I was struggling alongside someone else as I completed the workout, rather than alone in my basement in the dark. Cummings definitely found the perfect middle-ground between being inspirational and also pushing herself.
As much as I enjoyed the challenge and looked forward to the structure in my day, I also made note of the drawbacks to the workouts. Because she changed up the routine often, Cummings frequently introduced new exercise moves in the videos that were sometimes hard to master, and consequently made the workout less effective. She also regularly used dumbbells in the videos, which could raise a problem for those who did not have access to any sort of weights.
The variety and consistency in Cummings’ program are what pushed it to be an overall success. Her personality kept the workouts lighthearted and interesting. I would recommend this workout challenge to anyone looking to get or stay in shape, with the one caveat being that they may want to have dumbbells before beginning. The challenge was a good motivator during quarantine and is still effective now.