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    I Struggled Exercising During Lockdown So I Tried This New Workout Routine That Makes Working Out Actually Fun

    Wooden spoons really are the MVP of home workouts!

    Hi I'm Ben and ordinarily, I'm quite partial to a bit of exercise. But since being confined to my one bedroom flat back in March, I've found it hard to stay motivated and getting my sweat on has become a bit of a chore.

    One day, while doing the usual Instagram-scrolling-on-the-sofa-routine, I came across a video of a fitness coach throwing around an umbrella in his kitchen, and naturally I was intrigued. The man behind the madness was Coach Cory, head coach at Nike Running and founder of cult running crew Track Mafia, who since lockdown has been offering "fun indoor workouts that people with no equipment could do in their homes".

    Sold by Cory's amazing and simple approach to fitness, I decided to follow one of Cory's 15-minute workouts every day for week to see how it would impact both my physical and mental health, and to see if I could actually have fun whilst working out at home! Here's how it went...

    Day 1: When Cory told me I would need a kettle for my first workout, I was a little confused but excited to see what he had in store for me. Cory's mantra is to make workouts as accessible as possible, so he uses household items instead of traditional gym equipment – making it easy for everyone to get involved. So I swapped my kettlebell for an actual kettle and turned up the heat (to boiling point).

    Ben Armson / BuzzFeed / Coach Cory

    *FYI, although using household objects might be lighter than traditional weights, they still are potentially dangerous if not handled properly. If you would like to workout with kettles and frying pans like I have, please ensure they are safe before use (empty of water, tight handles etc).*

    Pow! 15 minutes of kettle thrusts, high kicks and fast feet certainly triggered those endorphins! There is something about Cory's energy that is just so infectious, you can really tell that he's enjoying himself when he's busting his moves and this really rubs off as you can see by my face!

    Ben Armson / BuzzFeed

    I'd done the first workout before work and it really set me up for the day and left me feeling energised! Having to walk the 10 steps from my bedroom to living room made doing the workout really easy as I didn't feel rushed to get to a gym or class, which was also a big plus!

    Day 2: Cory had another workout for me today and it was time to hit the books! (I opted to save my arms by leaving my copy of War and Peace on the shelf). Books in hand I was feeling good and ready for another workout!

    Ben Armson / BuzzFeed

    If it looks like I'm having fun, it's because I really am! Here's me and Cory "smashing the duppy", feeling like Zorro! As someone who likes to take my workouts (semi) seriously, but myself not, this workout was perfect for me. I had such a good time slicing up fictional ghosts in my front room it didn't really feel like exercise!

    Ben Armson / BuzzFeed / Coach Cory

    For me personally this is what working out should be about, exercise doesn't have to be some sort of rigorous punishment we put ourselves through five times a week, it should be something we enjoy and look forward to! When I spoke to Cory about it, he said the key was "leading everything with fun and joy, and entering into exercise with an intent for people to enjoy themselves." This really resonated with me, and I felt like Cory was the ideal trainer and all-round motivator!

    Day 3: Time to start tossing the big frying pan about! I don't usually have to think about washing the pots before working out but after a quick scrub I grabbed my pan and was ready to go! Another thing I love about Cory's workouts are the names he gives for each activity, not only are the workouts themselves super creative, he also comes up with his own unique names for all the moves – today would include moves like "Side Skank Fling Water".

    Ben Armson / BuzzFeed

    It's these little things that take away a little bit of the scariness of some workouts, because lets face it, 'deadlift' doesn't exactly sound appealing!

    Feeling like a mixture between Roger Federer and Mary Berry I swung that pan around like it was nobody's business! Today's workout was extremely fun, forehanding and backhanding a frying pan is definitely not something I ever imagined would be a part of my workout but I was 100% here for it.

    Ben Armson / BuzzFeed

    By Day Three I was also starting to feel the physical effects, which was a real added bonus. My aim with these workouts was never to become super ripped or anything, but it just goes to show that even 15 minutes of exercise a day can make a difference both mentally and physically.

    Day 4: Today's workout involved some wooden spoons and a lot of skiing-based activities, so despite it being hot as hell in my flat I'd need to channel my inner alpine skier! With a mixture of downhills and drum solos this was probably my favourite workout yet!

    Ben Armson / BuzzFeed

    This one was not only a great physical workout, but an absolute hoot! This was probably one of the most unique workouts I'd ever done, and I was curious to find out how Cory came up with these. Cory told me how he would just pick up a random object and the moves would just come naturally to him which impressed me even more. The moves also felt really natural to me while I was doing them, in turn making the workout feel like it was play rather than "work"!

    Day 5: Today all I needed was a bowl– I was flinging invisible water all over the place and loving it!

    Ben Armson / BuzzFeed

    Bowl in hand and back in the living room, some of these moves looked a little bit more like the regular exercise moves I'd seen before, but the creative names and scenarios that Cory builds into the routine once again made it feel exciting and not boring! I never felt like I was lunging or squatting, instead I was "Making Wine And Moving" and "Flinging Water Right & Left". Sometimes you just need to trick your brain a little to gain a lot.

    As the days progressed, I found myself getting more and more into the workouts. Even where I was supposed to be having 30 seconds rest in between moves, I would find myself dancing to the music...

    Ben Armson / BuzzFeed

    The workouts aren't really dance workouts per se, but when the music was bopping I just couldn't help myself. Cory is a self confessed "old-school raver", he creates a custom playlist for every workout and he uses music to make his workouts emotive. This was something I found really enjoyable and motivational, because of the gradual building of the tempo in the music I found myself naturally building intensity without even realising, which I think is something that is great for people who either don't enjoy exercising, or are new to it. The best way to exercise is definitely to not even know you are IMO!

    So after a week of Cory's at home workouts what are my key take-aways?

    Ben Armson / BuzzFeed / Via Ben Armson / BuzzFeed

    – Exercising at home alone, can be fun! I can honestly say I had a great time doing these workouts. It's taught me that I don't have to put myself through a hellish workout to stay active and no matter what it is you do, it should always be enjoyable.

    – Sometimes just switching things up makes all the difference. It's easy to get into an exercise routine that can eventually get you in a rut. With things feeling quite monotonous these days, adding a bit of adventure and quirk into your routine can certainly help with boredom!

    – You don't need fancy equipment to work out! Cory's workouts have definitely taught me to think about what I already have lying around the house and how that can be used for different purposes. Grab those wooden spoons!
    – Music is VERY important! Do not underestimate the hype an absolute banger can bring, turn the music up and bench your coffee table!

    – Sometimes less is more. These workouts were only 15 minutes long, well enough to get a sweat on, burn some cals, and get the heart pumping, but also not so intense that I was feeling exhausted all day.

    – Having someone who can get you motivated and keep you smiling through the pain like Coach Cory is extremely helpful, even more so when you're working out at home. His infectious energy and zest for life really comes through in his workouts and it made doing these them extremely enjoyable. The amount of times I was cracking up mid-rep really proves this – when can you normally say working out is a laugh?

    Ultimately I felt like I cracked the code (even though it really wasn't that difficult in the first place) – the secret to having fun whilst working out is really to not taking it too seriously. Big shoutout to Coach Cory for showing me that a pair of spoons is sometimes just as good as the stair-master!

    Ben Armson / BuzzFeed

    Now the week is over, I'm definitely going to continue to do Cory's workouts a few times a week to keep bringing the positive vibes. If you would like to do the same, you can find lots of his workouts over on his Instagram, ranging from 3-30 minute videos which are all currently free! You can also see more videos over on the Badu Sports Instagram page. If you're like me and running is your thing but have found it hard recently, you can also do guided runs with Coach Cory using the Nike Run Club app.

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