I Tried a Virtual Trainer (Special Discount Included!)

This time last year, I started working remotely, something I had experienced before but never for more than a few months. It was (and is) great! Fast-forward 12 months, and while the freedom of my new situation has been great, it had an unforeseen side effect: I gained 10lbs.  I was a sedentary digital nomad.

I asked some fellow distributed colleagues if the same thing had happened to them, and they all agreed there was a “freshman fifteen” effect of remote work. More accurately, for those of us that were never gym buffs or particularly active to begin with, this just made it worse.

If I could work remotely, I could work out remotely.

Between traveling, eating at restaurants, and hanging at coffee shops at weird hours, everything was working against me. In August, I decided to reboot my routine and make a point of working out several times a week and eating fewer calories. To get it started, I needed something that I could do anywhere, any time, and not require me to pack any equipment.

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That’s when I heard about Jennifer Rochon from Bouge Fitness. Jenn is a trainer in Montréal and had recently launched an online fitness program. I am all about encouraging local female entrepreneurs, so I gave it a go. If I could work remotely, I could work out remotely.

A one-time fee of $49 USD unlocked twelve 30-min interval training fitness videos, broken down over four weeks, a sample meal plan, and more.

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Jenn is funny, engaging, and the videos are very clear — which made it easier to get on board. “When you just start, you don’t feel the motivation to work out,” says Jenn, in a phone interview. “Let’s face it, it takes a lot of mental work to get started.”

Ain’t that the truth. What made Jenn’s program perfect for me was I didn’t have to think. I just had to open my laptop and do whatever Jenn told me. I committed to doing three videos a week and to stop snacking.

Jenn tells beginners to start with three days a week, like I did. “I see it all the time,” she says. “People join the gym and try to go five times a week, and quit after a month. It’s better to start slow, take days off, and then you’ll look forward to your next workout.”

“When you work out regularly, you’re less stressed, sleep better, and have more energy,” says Jenn. That’s huge for creatives and business professionals who are always on the road.

Jenn suggests doing your workout first thing in the morning. “If you do your workout first, you’re less likely to skip it and are more likely to eat better for the rest of the day.” She also recommends staying active on rest days by going for walks. “People confuse soreness with pain, but the last thing you should do when your muscles are recovering is stop moving.”

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Four weeks later, I’m down about 6 or 7 lbs — neither incredible nor unhealthy. While weight loss is an easy metric to track success, it wasn’t actually my favourite benefit of Jenn’s program.

My favourite result was that I was actually looking forward to working out. I didn’t have to talk myself into it and it was easy for me to fit it into my schedule, wherever I was. I felt stronger, had more energy, and was even more committed to eating clean. I hadn’t even thought about this, but Jenn confirmed this was a noticeable benefit for digital nomads.

“When you work out regularly, you’re less stressed, sleep better, and have more energy,” says Jenn. That’s huge for creatives and business professionals who are always on the road.

Overeating is also a problem when you’re traveling. It’s hard to stick to small portions and healthy food when you’re always eating in restaurants. “I always snack on a protein bar before I go to a restaurant,” says Jenn. “That way, I’m not starving by the time we’re ready to order and don’t feel tempted to get something fatty.”

She suggests buying protein bars that have a good protein-to-calorie ratio, like 15g of protein per 150-200 calories. When she does order, she’ll go for a fish and vegetables meal, or a small piece of protein and a salad with dressing on the side.

The one obvious downside to working out at home is there is no one to tell you if you’re doing it wrong. That’s why Jenn was very insistent on including several instructional videos along with her workout routines. “You might think you know what a squat is, but actually be missing out on a lot of the benefits because you’re not doing it quite right,” she says.

So what am I up to now? I’ve been re-watching Jenn’s videos since finishing the program, and have added drop-in pilates and ballet classes a few times a week. As Jenn says, working out is supposed to be fun. Even if you don’t think so, now there’s one less obstacle to staying active.

Want to get 15% off the Bouge 30-day program? Sign up to the email list to receive the discount code.

 

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