It's no secret that we've all tried a crazy workout or two (or 10). As beauty editors, we're in touch with the latest fitness trends and attend classes for research all the time. Often, we fall in love with it and continue to integrate the class into our regular lives. But every so often—even when we try our very hardest—we just can't get into it. Or, something that works for a friend or colleague just doesn't yield the same results for us. Because I know what I like (yoga) and what I don't (choreographed dancing), I assumed my fellow Byrdie editors would have similar success stories… and a few fitness failures as well.
Below, we lay it all out: The good, the bad, and the very exhausting.
"I can't tell you how many times I've tried to force myself into liking yoga. My 54-year-old mother is the quintessential fit 'yoga mom,' who can't live without her advanced weekly classes and proudly shows me some new contortionist trick she's mastered every time I see her. Plus, I live in Los Angeles, where (take it or leave it) 'namaste' is practically the state anthem.
"I have been to dozens of yoga classes over the years—hot yoga, chill yoga, sculpt yoga, meditation-centric yoga, super-duper beginner yoga for dummies—and even though you'd think I'd have grown to like it by now, I still just haven't. I find yoga of all breeds slow and kinda boring (and a little culty to be honest). Plus, the movements and poses themselves just don't feel good in my body. I am also awful at it, which doesn't help things. (Unfortunately, my personality only allows me to enjoy things I'm semi-decent at.)
"I'm sure there are plenty of people who'd like to tell me I just haven't found the right class or that my technique isn't right, but I think I've simply come to peace with the fact that I suck at yoga and don't like it. I'll take a hike outside any day over a stuffy yoga class."
"Aerial yoga: I'm not sure if I can definitively say that this workout didn't 'work' for me since technically I only tried it once, but once is enough. Going into it, I had visions that I'd be able to perform at a Cirque du Soleil level, flipping, spinning, and wrapping myself up in the cloth with ease.
"I had no reason to think this, by the way, as I'm totally incapable of even doing a handstand or a proper cartwheel, I was just feeling a little smug that day. The reality, however, was me clutching the cloth for dear life, palms sweating, shaking my head and telling the instructor to get real if she thought I was actually going to flip upside down in a sheet of fabric hanging from the ceiling.
"I felt sore the next day, which is usually an indication that I've given my muscles a good workout (or perhaps it was just from being tense the entire time), so I definitely think it's a great way to get in shape. However, if you're not a graceful swan and have a debilitating fear of heights, I suggest sticking to a workout that doesn't defy gravity."
"I've never been a fan of boot camp–style workouts. While I definitely love pushing myself through a workout and breaking a sweat, I prefer a general flow of working hard, taking a breather, and working hard again. I feel like I can never catch my breath in boot-camp workouts, and I'm not a huge fan of that sensation.
"Fact: All the boot camp–style classes I've ever attended have either been by accident or for work. (Seriously—I've walked into what I thought was Pilates TWICE only to realize five minutes in that it was definitely not the class I signed up for.) It's a shame, since the one time I stuck with boot camp over the course of a couple of weeks (for a story), I immediately saw results.
"I felt like I needed to convince myself to love it, but I ultimately realized that it wasn't worth dedicating so much time to something I really couldn't enjoy. I now stick with tough yoga-and-weights hybrid classes and hiking, and I've never felt more satisfied with my fitness regimen."
"I love everything about yoga except the actual exercise. The clothes and the scene are right up my alley, but when it comes to doing the actual exercise, I just can't. I know what you're thinking: There are many different types of yoga, surely there is one form you enjoy? To that, I can confidently say no, there is not one form of yoga that I have tried and enjoyed or even tolerated. And I can say this with absolute certainty, as I have tried everything from vinyasa to pranayama and even a Bikram hot yoga class (why someone would choose to workout in triple-digit temperatures is still mind-boggling to me).
"Having given yoga a fair shot, I finally decided to ditch the exercise, and I signed up for a Pilates class. Not sure what to expect, I attended my first Pilates session with an open-mind. While getting used to the reformer (the machine in which you perform exercises on) took a bit of time, the actual workout and pace of the class were invigorating. Soon after my first class, I bought a monthly package and began taking classes twice a week. After about 30 days I started to notice results: stronger, leaner limbs and an improvement in my posture. Needless to say, Pilates has become my go-to workout."