In our neck of the woods, it rains quite a bit, off and on (or more "on", as my girls would say) for many months. On our small property within the city limits, our yard is a bit on the swampy side from November through April or sometimes, like this year, May. It's tough to have the girls go outside to get some exercise when it's raining, or when the backyard is mushy. While we're not totally vain about the appearance of our backyard, it would only take an hour or two of running around on very mushy grass to completely tear up the backyard - and it would take many months of regrowth for our lawn to repair itself naturally. My hubby wouldn't be all that happy about having a torn up yard year after year.
So, needless to say, we don't play outside for about six months of the year.
Since we don't feel like we can afford a family gym membership, that leaves us with a lot of months of inactivity unless we can motivate ourselves to work out in the dryness and comfort of our own home. I'm ashamed to admit that we haven't done very well with this over the years. We have zero room for any workout equipment, unless it would sit right smack dab in the middle of our living room, so we are limited to watching workout videos/DVDs via the television. And right now, our DVD player is broken, so that means no workouts.
GoTrybe to the rescue! As a member of the TOS Crew, I was given a 3-month trial membership this spring to GoTrybe.com, a fitness website that is trying to revolutionize fitness, nutrition, motivation, and wellness for students.
GoTrybe is an online fitness video website that provides a large number of short workout videos for a variety of fitness levels and activities. We were excited to sign up for this, but we were curious to see how it would all work for the girls. The girls signed up immediately after receiving directions on how to do that, and it was easy for them to do, with me watching, to see how the process went.
GoTrybe is designed for three different age levels:
After the girls registered their accounts, they were asked to select an avatar. Neither of the girls felt like any of the two female options fit them. One looked like a little kid, and the girls felt like the more mature female option wasn't posed in an appropriate, modest pose (at least, from what they saw in the shadow, above). But, they went ahead and selected their avatars. I chose one, too, for my own account. Oh, if I were only that thin. Sigh.
Here's my avatar. By doing workouts, answering nutrition questions, and watching motivational and wellness videos, students can earn points which will enable them to "buy" clothing, hair styles, and accessories for their personal avatar.
I don't know that the whole avatar deal was a big motivator for my girls in doing the workout videos, but some students in this age group would really enjoy this part of GoTrybe.
Here's the part of GoTrybe that my girls used the most: GoTrybe Fitness. Members can have GoTrybe select a workout for them, that includes warm-ups, cardio, strength, and flexibility video segments, or they can personalize the workouts for themselves.
Basically, the member selects a category (warm-up, cardio, strength, flexibility) and drags video segments that appeals to her to their respective category video boxes. It is really simple to do. We can also hover the mouse over an individual video thumbnail, and it will tell us the name and description of the video, its length, whether appropriate for classroom or individual use, how intense the workout is, which body parts it focuses on, which (if any) equipment is needed (think exercise mat, exercise ball, weights, etc.), and the name of the instructor.
There is a decent variety of workout video segments available on GoTrybe. I didn't count all of them up, but I'd say that there are probably around 200 video segments from which to choose! We watched or previewed video segments containing hip-hop, circuit training, kickboxing, yoga, salsa, mambo, Pilates, and more. In addition, there were sport-specific warm-ups and workouts for basketball, track and field, and cross training.
Warm-up video segments were from 3-4 minutes in length. One video segment could be chosen for the warm-up section of a workout.
Cardio allows 3 video segments to be added, and they are around 3-4 minutes in length, giving members 9-12 minutes of active workout time.
Strength allows one video segment to be selected, and they are each from 5-8 minutes long, focusing on either the abs, back, biceps, legs, etc.
Flexibility video segments are from 2-3 minutes in length, and one video segment can be added to each workout.
A built-in timer shows how much time has elapsed during the workout. This is really handy to have it built right into the website like that.
Every day that a member logs on to GoTrybe, he or she can earn points by answering nutrition questions and watching motivational and wellness videos that are 1-2 minutes in length. These can only be viewed once per day. Above, you'll see a sample of one of the nutrition questions.
Members can become "friends" with other online GoTrybe members and "shout out" at them, which is a simple chatting format. We chose to only become "friends" with each other in our own family, although I've heard that some people using GoTrybe automatically were forced to become "friends" with strangers on GoTrybe simply because the strangers requested it. We didn't experience this, so I can't comment on whether that was the case or not. Some TOS Crew members experienced swearing and coarse language in the chats that they chose not to become a part of but couldn't remove from their user pages. We didn't have any difficulty with this, as we were only communicating with each other, and rarely at that. We prefer to chat with each other in person! But you may want to be aware of this. Hopefully, GoTrybe has an option to exclude unwanted strangers from becoming online "friends" on their site.
GoTrybe also has a members' only forum. From what I saw, this isn't something that is very active at this point. We chose not to use the Forum feature.
What it really comes down to, though, is what my daughters thought of their experiences with GoTrybe. They really enjoyed using it! Kelsi was very faithful in getting up a bit earlier each morning so she could do a full GoTrybe workout before breakfast. She toned up and actually lost a little bit of weight, too. She was excited about that! She really liked the hip-hop segments!
Brittany used GoTrybe about every 2-3 days, not quite as much as Kelsi, but she did enjoy it, too. I think her favorite video segments were the salsa!
There are a few things I'd like to point out about GoTrybe:
1. If a child is dishonest or not being supervised at all, potentially he or she could start a video workout on the computer and then walk away while it is playing and instead go do something else. Points would still be earned for "completing" a workout, but they really weren't earned. Conversely, if a child goes outside and plays tag for 20 minutes or plays a game of soccer on a Saturday, no workout points are earned. I'd love to see a special secret password for a parent or administrator who could enter additional exercise activities into GoTrybe so the child could earn points for them on his or her account.
2. At the middle school level of GoTrybe, only a few videos have male instructors. If you have sons in your family, they may or may not prefer seeing almost all-female instructors.
3. While the workout clothing on instructors and students is probably typical of what anyone would see in a gym or workout club, you may or may not think that the attire is modest enough in some video segments. If you have high standards for modesty, you may want to preview some of the video segments to see if they are appropriate for your own family or situation. The clothing worn in the workout videos and the instructional/wellness videos will be acceptable for the majority of people in the United States, although for my own family, some of it would not be acceptable.
4. If the mature, female pose of the "teen" avatar is not appropriate for your situation, you can easily have your child select the younger avatar.
5. We did notice that a few of the video segments were lower quality or older video quality, but most of them were fine. In a few segments, the students didn't seem interested in following the instructors, or just didn't seem happy about being there for the workout, but I suppose that goes along with the typical middle school experience these days.
All in all, we thought that our GoTrybe experience was very positive! The large number of workout videos, and the ability to mix and match them to create our own workouts, is appealing to us. Since GoTrybe is inexpensive for an annual membership, this is something we are considering extending for one or both of our daughters once their memberships expire at the end of June.
If you would be interested in giving GoTrybe a trial run, you can click on the graphic below, and have a free, 24-hour trial of GoTrybe by entering the promo code, "GETFIT":
GoTrybe is normally $39.95 per student per year. However, you can click on the banner below and register for a GoTrybe account for 99 cents per month using the promo code, "KIDSFITNESS".
If you find that the above links/banners don't work for you, you should also be able to use the GETFIT code to receive an annual membership for $19.95 per person.
Jump on over to the TOS Crew Homeschool Blog to see what other crew members thought of GoTrybe!
What do you do in your family to motivate your pre-teens and teens to workout during the wet and rainy months?
Disclosure: My family was provided with several memberships to GoTrybe. All opinions expressed are my own, and I was not asked to share any views other than my own. No other compensation was provided.
Hi! I'm Julieanne!
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