Daily Burn review: New daily workouts for beginners, but the music is terrible
It’s been a holiday season unlike any other, and yet one thing remained the same: I found myself short on both time and motivation to work out. I was intent on making things merry and bright for my 4-year-old twins, all while anxiously watching our city’s COVID cases rise at a terrifying rate. I started hoovering cookies and hot cocoa like it was my job.
All summer and fall, I’d been utilizing what used to be commute time to take hikes with my dogs and extend the length of my runs. I was back in pre-baby great shape. Since Turkey Day, though, it’s all gone to hell; the pandemic has changed so much, but the holiday season is still, apparently, kryptonite to fitness.
New workouts daily • Stream or download • Wide range of movement styles • Compatible with many devices • Diverse instructors who are certified
Hard to follow along • Music is terrible
The customizable and varied fitness programs mean beginners and intermediate users will never run out of ways to work out with a (premium) subscription.
Enter the Daily Burn app, whose tagline, “Get Fit. Have Fun. Repeat.” felt almost laughably amateurish to me at first glimpse. But with a 30-day free trial — enough to keep me moving until the new year — I figured it didn’t hurt to try the fitness app.
This part is easy: Just enter your age, weight, and gender (if you want), then fill in some extras: How many workouts a week do you hope to do? What’s your fitness level? How do you like to move?
Quickly, the app draws up a list of recommended workouts for you. I got a slew of titles in the Pilates, yoga, circuit training, and barre categories, my chosen modes when I’m not exercising outdoors.
You can select your workouts one at a time, or, if you’re sick of making choices, opt for a program that leads you through several weeks’ of progressive workouts.
For accountability and motivation, the app counts your calories (though pretty inaccurately, as the baseline data you enter is surface level to start, and there’s nothing measuring your heart rate), and offers to ping you if you’ve gotten lazy.
What will it cost you?
After the trial month, it’s $14.95 a month for a basic subscription (mostly you get a new daily workout and nutritional advice), or $26.95 for a premium one, which gives you access to the full range and archive of workouts.
The workouts themselves
I don’t like being told what to do (no pre-determined workout program for me), so I chose my own adventure.
Day 1: It was late and I was tired. I chose “Intro to Pilates Two,” a 20-minute workout listed as a medium level. The trainer, Andrea, bugged me immediately: blond, thin, toned within an inch of her life. I sucked my teeth at her as I unrolled my mat while dinner cooked.
You know that thing they say about not judging a book by its cover? Yeah, well…sometimes first impressions are right. Andrea moved through the exercises much too quickly. If I hadn’t been a longtime Pilates vet, I would’ve been completely lost. I kept up, albeit a bit frantically, but it was for naught: Nothing burned at the end.
Irked, I checked my kitchen timer — dinner still needed time in the oven — and scrolled through for something else. My lower back and hips were tight from sitting, so I clicked on Brittany’s “Hip to It” yoga workout video, a 15-minute stretch sesh. I liked her immediately. She was curvy with unpolished nails and no trace of that obnoxious breathy voice. The workout seemed made for me: a 20-year non-devotional yoga practitioner with full knowledge of the poses and no patience or time to spare. “Let’s get right into those hips,” she instructed after the video’s minute-long cat/cow warmup. Leaning into lizard, I moaned with pleasure and relief. I like to go deep and fast during my yoga workouts, and Brittany was singing my song.
At the end of it all, I can’t say I felt particularly worked out, but I did feel looser, which counts for something. I doubt I would’ve been able to keep up if I didn’t know a thing or two about yoga poses, and this, I’d say, is a consistent issue with Daily Burn workouts. Theoretically, they’re geared for any level, but the instructors seem so focused on moving you through a quick workout that they scrimp on instruction and form, which could lead to frustration, if not injury.
Day 2: More energy. I clicked the “Sweat Sessions” tab and set my filter to “hard.” Most of the options required equipment — free weights or bands mostly — and, while I have both, I didn’t feel like digging them out. Swiping right, I came to “Total Body Tune-Up” with Matthew, a 20-minute workout that promised to burn upwards of 150 calories. Something about that math didn’t add up: 20 minutes of the highest-level movement should tally up to a lot more than that. But I brushed my misgivings aside and jumped in.
Matthew, himself, was peppy without being grating. He told me only what I needed to hear, was encouraging in the right places (i.e. star jumps, I hate them!), and otherwise was just frog-jumping and lunging along with me. I enjoyed this workout, even felt kinda challenged, especially as we moved onto the third round of the circuit. While I ended up sweaty, I kept up no problem. If this is “hard” in Daily Burn’s designation, their metrics are off.
The next day, I chose “Total Body Burn” from the Pilates section of the workout videos, listed as medium. Twenty minutes later, I felt great. Becca led me through a series of movements that surprised me and kept me on my toes. I liked her, too: She was straightforward, strong but not overly skinny, and damn it if I wasn’t jealous of her boldly striped workout pants. Trouble is, I don’t think I’d call it Pilates; I was doing Kunadlini yoga breathing and also mountain climbers before the workout’s end (Becca, herself, calls it “Body Arts”).
So, is it worth it?
After only a handful of workouts, I found myself uninspired and losing trust in the app. The intensity levels are off (where’s the crazy hard workout to follow a fight with my spouse, or to combat peak annoyance with my kids?), and the music — techno-bland — is lackluster throughout.
A novice might find good use for this workout app, as the step-counter, treadmill, and outdoor run guides, plus the range of workout styles, offers variety and may help with fitness goals. I appreciated the shorter length of most of the workouts. Almost all come in at between 15 and 40 minutes, making them well suited for busy working folk. For a more experienced exerciser, though, this one’s likely to go out with the dried tree and crumpled-up wrapping paper.
Download the Daily Burn app to start a 30-day free trial period. A Daily Burn subscription starts at $14.95.
Published at Fri, 01 Jan 2021 17:00:00 +0000