Three fun ways to reach your fitness goals at home

In a ongoing pandemic, the gym isn’t for everyone—but you can still keep moving.

Welcome to Catch (20)22, a series exploring how we all can maximize our new year while being sensitive to the current moment and gracious to ourselves.

There are some who never skipped a beat with their workout regimens during the pandemic. When the gyms closed, they built makeshift gyms in their homes or bought Pelotons—and I admired them; I really did. Then, they started posting their workouts and gains (and losses) on social media with hashtags and captions like “No Excuses.” That’s when they got on my nerves.

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Right before the pandemic hit, I’d begun to take my level of physical fitness more seriously than I ever had before. While my body typically responds favorably to any form of exercise, I learned what I liked. I’m a high intensity interval training (HIIT) girl and absolutely love the feeling I get when I know I’ve pushed my body beyond what I thought I could do and realized I could do more. I also learned what I needed: a personal trainer. Because, left to my own devices, I will skip cardio day altogether. (By the way, should any of you run into my current—and forever—trainer Rashad McDade, tell him to ease up on the sprints, please. Sheesh!)

I love exercising. I love how I feel following a workout. I love how I look after a few weeks. And I love how health concerns begin to dissipate simply because I’m taking out some time to care for me. But, all of that became increasingly difficult to love at the onset of the pandemic and as it continued to rage full speed ahead. Mounting death tolls and the isolation from civilization made exercise the last thing on my mind.

Then things began to open back up—and honestly, I remained hesitant. Though most gyms did and are doing their best to ensure cleanliness and sanitization, I was still skeptical. There could be three treadmills between me and the next person; as soon as I heard them cough, I wanted to call the CDC. Add to that, I couldn’t breathe trying to do all those jumping jacks in a mask!

Though I’ve found a gym where I feel safe, I completely understand why many are unwilling to return, especially during another variant surge. Still, folks got goals and they want to meet them. So, with that in mind, here are a few workouts and fitness influencers to follow at home who will get you sweating!


When my line sister told me about Trap Cardio, I was all in! Described as “a dance fitness class that mixes strength training with cardio to the hottest hip hop, Afrobeat and Caribbean tunes”, anything that allows me to pop, lock and drop it as a good workout out will always have my vote. There are still a few old classes available on YouTube but the virtual membership is only $25 a month or you can purchase their popular fat burning video, which garnered over 84,000 views on YouTube, for just $5.


When I first moved to Atlanta, everyone told me I had to attend a bootcamp at E.F.F.E.C.T. Fitness. “And you gotta do the bricks,” one person would say. Another would tell me, “tires is the one.” Commentary does an E.F.F.E.C.T. Fitness bootcamp justice; it’s an experience like no other. A $40 monthly membership gives you gives you access to their live bootcamps and other on-demand content. Fair warning: after one class, you’ll be in Home Depot like me buying bricks and trying to figure out how you’re going to get a tire in an already cramped garage.


“You’ve gotta try this!” My homegirl Kellee sent me a Tabata YouTube workout video when I told her I needed to get active that day. “If you can complete this workout, then you can do anything,” the sweaty instructor/motivational coach said. I mean…that’s what they all say, right? Five minutes in—while still in the warm up—I yelled, “I absolutely cannot do anything! No, I can’t!” Somehow, I finished it and knew that Johanna “Jo” Devries would be a part of my life. Whether high or low impact, her no-equipment workouts are amazing and a must-have for any at-home regimen. If you feel guilty about using those free YouTube videos every day and want to support, download her app and purchase a monthly or annual subscription.

Candice Marie Benbow is theGrio’s daily lifestyle, education and health writer. She’s also the author of Red Lip Theology: For Church Girls Who’ve Considered Tithing to the Beauty Supply Store When Sunday Morning Isn’t Enough. Find her on Twitter and Instagram @candicebenbow.

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