Last updated on July 21st, 2021 at 06:54 PM
Fitting exercise into your day can often be a struggle. We’re all guilty of making fitness plans that fall by the wayside.
And never more so than during coronavirus, when many are now working from home, with a large percentage of those people working parents, who are now also homeschooling their children.
But one solution that’s sweeping the globe is an online ‘PE lesson’ with fitness guru Joe Wicks aka The Body Coach
Wicks is now filming a daily workout for children, and it’s proved popular, with day one currently on 6+ million views on YouTube.
While it’s been great to get little ones moving, there is one group of people who have been a little shocked by the workout – adults. As they join in with their kids, some are realising that the ‘basic’ workout is actually quite challenging!
Half the nation’s parents wake up to aches all over and the fear that they may be coming down with the coronavirus, only for it to slowly dawn on them that they should never have been so
enthusiastic to join in with their kids doing ‘Joe Wicks’ pe lesson’ yesterday.@thebodycoach
— Sarah Lozinski (@SarahLozinski2) March 24, 2020
So, how challenging is it? I decided to find out by joining in. As someone who goes to gym classes and for the occasional run, I consider myself ‘medium fit’ – but hearing parents saying this was tough had me worried. Here’s what I learned…
Timing is everything
You can log on to Joe’s You Tube channel and do the workouts at any time, but as children all log on at 9am, I did the same.
As someone who isn’t a morning person, I wondered if I’d enjoy exercising at 9am, which is quite early for me. But as the March sun shone through the blinds, I found it a fantastic way to start the day.
Today I am ACHING from PE with Joe Wicks. The shame.
— Bryony Gordon (@bryony_gordon) March 24, 2020
In a time where we are all being told to stay at home and routine can be hard to maintain, having to be ready for a 9am class is a good way to get you out of bed and moving for the day.
Kit is fairly important
So far, I’ve seen children doing the workout are all doing it in their socks – should I have on my gym kit, particularly trainers? I decide yes, but opt for a lighter pair that I usually wear for lower-impact gym classes.
I’d recommend that you wear some kind of gym kit (and sports bra!) if you do this, as there’s a lot of movement. This is not an armchair workout, and you can expect to sweat!
The right kit will help you stay focused, even if it’s old. Doesn’t need to be fancy, just workout-ready, I’d say.
You’ll worry about the neighbours
Living in a top-floor apartment, I know I’m making a bit of noise which will be heard downstairs… I try not to let it put me off as I begin my star jumps, and I decide to do variations on some (for example, I squat instead of doing jump squats) to save their ceiling from falling in.
However, you could take your laptop or iPad into the garden and do this, and if you have a house, then there’s no excuse, as there’s nobody below you!
It starts off ‘easy’
There’s a nice warm up and you’ll begin to think this is going to be a softly-does-it 20 minutes as you circle your arms over your head. But be warned, the planks and squats are coming…
Joe’s workout is HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training, which means lots of different moves, so you need to be prepared for a lot of variation. I’d forgotten how hard this works your body, and the sweat soon begins.
You’ll be grateful for the shout-out breaks
Every so often Joe stops to shout out to people around the world who are joining in. You’ll be super grateful to them all, as this is a chance to catch your breath.
But there isn’t respite for long – and you do a different exercise every minute, which means you are working just about every muscle you have.
There are squats, lunges, sit-ups, mountain climbers (a push-up position where you move the knees to the elbow and back again) and star jumps.
There’s a halfway break – hydrate!
Especially in the warmer weather, it’s important to keep hydrating. Joe has his water with him, so follow his lead.
The break halfway is great. By now, you might find you’re sweating more than you expected. At this point, if you are exhausted, you have to remember not to swear in front of the kids.
It’s a mega-endorphin boost
And there’s a great sense of community. Joe shouts out to people around the world and you feel like you’re really part of something – which is a bonus in such difficult times.
The mention of school kids will most likely shame you into keeping going. After all, there’s nothing like a trainer saying ‘well done to a primary school’ to make a grown adult realise
they should try and keep going with some star jumps…
But it’s also OK to stop
If you do find it way more challenging that you expected, then you can stop or have a rest and a stretch rather than ploughing through. There’s always tomorrow, and the next day, and the next..
I struggled halfway with the plank (I ended up putting my knees on the ground) and realised that there is nothing quite as hard as a HIIT workout – even if it’s one designed for kids!
But if you do keep going, then you need a reward! A high five (or elbow bump) with whoever you’re working out with, and a whoop won’t go a miss. Joe applauds at the end and I
found myself joining in!
You don’t have to do this workout
If you are left feeling red faced (or you don’t have kids so aren’t so keen on the PE lesson element) fear not. Joe has plenty of other workouts to try on his channel, including a chair workout for seniors.