A few weeks back, I quit the gym. Not because I didn’t like going, or because I didn’t use it, but because with the cost of everything going up right now, spending $112 a month on my membership just didn’t feel right, especially as I start my fall marathon training plan.
In an attempt to inject some excitement into my home workouts, I turned to blogilates — I’m a huge Pilates fan and love Cassey Ho’s energy in her videos. Opting for her 15-minute weightless arm workout, which currently has more than 500,000 views on YouTube, I unrolled my yoga mat and gave it a go. Read on to find out what happened.
It’s important to caveat here that what works for me or Cassey Ho might not be right for you and your body, so it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor or personal trainer before taking on a new workout routine. The video is fast-paced, so if you are a complete beginner, be sure to take breaks between exercises.
Looking for more workout inspiration? Here’s what happened when I did 100 dead bugs a day for a week, when I did 30 sit-ups a day for 30 days, and when I added a plank to my morning routine.
What is the blogilates weightless arm workout?
In the description to her workout video, Cassey Ho writes, “I recently tested a few new weightless arm moves and I'm not gonna lie... they burned like crazy!!! You NEED to try this!”
As the video’s name suggests, the workout doesn't require you to pick up any weights, so put your adjustable dumbbells down for this one. The workout involves a number of different movements, and there isn’t a single push-up in sight. Here’s the full list of exercises so you know what to expect, although a lot of them were new to me:
Palms Back Pulses
Prisoner Elbow to Roof Raiser
Weightless Bicep Curls
Angel Arms - Single
Angel Arms - Double
Goal Post Punchers
Overheads - Single
Overheads - Double
Leaning Shoulder Press
The entire workout can be followed in real-time. There are no breaks, but there's always the option to press pause and shake your arms out should you need.
I tried the blogilates weightless arm workout — here’s what happened
As a runner, I’m the first to admit, that I don’t spend an awful lot of time working on my upper body strength. I’ll strength train my leg muscles to ensure they’re strong and activating when I run, and I’ll work my core for trunk stability as I move, but aside from the odd push-up and plank, I’m not spending hours bench-pressing in the gym.
That said, I didn’t expect this workout to be that hard. How could a ‘weightless’ workout really work my, admittedly wiry, guns? Reader, I was wrong. Despite only being 13 minutes long, this workout burned my arms like nothing on earth, sculpting into the shoulders, biceps, triceps, and upper back. As Ho, a certified Pilates instructor, chatted about getting bangs cut, my triceps were visibly shaking, and we were only a few minutes into the workout.
The entire workout can be done seated, kneeling, or standing. I alternated between kneeling and sitting back on my heels when the pain got too much — not that it really made a difference. Like a lot of Pilates workouts, the aim here isn’t to work up a sweat or torch calories; it’s to build toned muscles through high repetitions. You really can do this one from your desk during a Zoom meeting — just make sure your camera is turned off before you start.
The results? 13 minutes later, my arms seriously ached, as if I’d done a boxing class in the gym. Of course, I didn’t shut down the YouTube video with guns like Schwarzenegger, but my arms definitely felt like they’d had a workout, and lifting my 35-pound cocker spaniel into the car a few hours later was a challenge. It’s definitely a workout I’ll be repeating, and a brilliant reminder that home workouts don’t have to take hours, or require you to invest in tonnes of expensive gym equipment.