When it became apparent that quarantine was going to last longer than a couple of weeks, I came to terms with the fact that I needed to create a routine. Since I was still a college student at the time, I had to figure out how to build a schedule that gave me room to work and “play”. Although I didn’t want to acknowledge it I knew I needed to work out and implement staying fit into my schedule. 

See, the gym and I have a love/hate relationship. When I decide to go I dread it but after spending time in the gym I leave feeling good because I invested in myself.

This cycle continued each week when I would wake up and decide to work out, but once my University closed and I no longer had a “free” gym membership. I had to start relying on myself.

Luckily, because we are in the 21st century the fitness community on YouTube exists and it has been a saving grace. I can now say without hesitation that I enjoy YouTube workouts more than the gym.

Getting anxiety from working out at the gym is real and more common than one might think. If you are someone who is new to the gym environment it can be intimidating to walk in and start using equipment when you don’t know what you’re doing.

Precor describes gym anxiety as: “that self-conscious, confidence-vanishing feeling one experiences when faced with an intimidating, embarrassing, or potentially awkward situation at the gym.”

It can feel embarrassing to stand in the front during a workout class and the feeling of not wanting to work out between two people at the treadmills is all too familiar. 

Turn to YouTube

Instead of going to the gym, stay home, open up your mat, and pull a video up on your computer. Those gym anxieties tend to disappear because there’s no pressure. The instructor you’re learning from can’t even see you and when you decide to take a pause in the middle of an ab workout (speaking from experience) the only person who knows you did that is you. 

As I have been navigating my own fitness journey these past few months I have begun to narrow down the fitness accounts I like most on YouTube, here are a few: 

Holly Dolke

Coming across Holly Dolke’s YouTube channel made it easier for me to work out. It wasn’t hard to find workouts online but it was difficult to stay motivated. Fortunately, Dolke started a 30-day quarantine challenge two days before I started taking working out seriously.

Her mix of ab, leg, arm, and HIIT workout videos were not always easy, but doing a challenge made me feel like I was part of something bigger. I wanted to prove to myself that I could complete all 30 days and with that goal in mind working out became enjoyable. Now, she has started a summer challenge that I’m excited to be apart of. If you’re someone who needs accountability when it comes to at-home workouts then head to Dolke’s channel. 


Maddie’s channel makes working out fun. Each video varies in difficulty depending on if it’s for beginners or those who are more advanced. I have found myself somewhere in the middle, especially depending on the day. In her about me on YouTube it says her main goal is “to help inspire everyone at all fitness levels to get up, get moving and reach their goals!” and she succeeds in this.

I love her dance-inspired workouts to popular songs like “Intentions” by Justin Beiber and “Supalonely” by Benee. On days I’m feeling particularly confident I do her ballet-inspired workouts and then feel the effects of it throughout the week. If you are someone who likes a variety of workouts then Maddie’s channel is the one for you. 

Chloe Ting

As I ventured into the YouTube fitness community I realized there was no escaping a Chloe Ting workout. If one of her videos wasn’t popping up then a #chloetingchallenge results video was. After putting it off I decided to try her ab workout that is talked about all over YouTube and TikTok, honestly, the song that comes on before her workouts start probably triggers some people’s fight or flight.

Ting’s workout was hard and when I tried a full-body HIIT workout a few weeks later, that one was even harder. Her workouts might be worth the work but I have to scrape up my motivation to do them. Still, I urge anyone trying to get fit to head to her channel. 

Wherever you are in your fitness journey take time to try new things. If you’re like me and you have a love/hate relationship with the gym then head to YouTube and find a fitness account that has what you want and need.

You won’t regret it.

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  • Carol Wright

    Carol Wright is a recent graduate of American University where she received a BA in Journalism and a minor in Business and Entertainment. She is also the founder and Editor in Chief of Nyota Magazine. Nyota focuses on featuring emerging stars in the areas of music, fashion, and culture. When she’s not writing you can find her rewatching New Girl on Netflix.