Everyone agrees exercise is good for you. But it can be difficult to find time to fit it into the day, join a gym and get fit. Even if you do those things, it can be hard to know what exactly to do to get in shape.
Darebee is a revolutionary free resource that provides exercise programs for free to people of any fitness level online. Their programs are carefully structured by specialists and tailored for different results. Some are geared towards losing weight. Others focus on strength building. All have detailed diagrams and instructions explaining exactly what to do and in what order over the length of the program. Most require no equipment.
And best of all, it’s all available for free online, including printable posters detailing the workout schedule. You can pick a fully designed month long plan that will tell you what exercises to do every day to meet your goals. Or you can mix and match with their large variety of individually mapped workouts.
We caught up with Darebee spokesperson David Amerland to ask him what Darebee is all about.
How and why did Darebee start? – Like most great ideas Darebee started as Neila Rey’s personal fitness project where she shared the fitness routines that she used to keep herself fit while travelling. Those few shares, initially on Google Plus, received tremendous attention and she then started sharing more and more of her fitness routines on her own website neilarey.com That soon outgrew the scope of the project and after some deliberation on her part Darebee was born. It is now an international project reaching millions of people all over the world and helping them change their lives every day.
Why did you decide to give away all your information away for free? Neila Rey believes that fitness is a right, not a privilege. Being fit and strong is linked to improved mental health, improved happiness and improved success at both a personal and a professional level.Fitness used to have a high entry threshold point that kept many people outside it. You needed the right shoes, the right clothes, some equipment, a gym membership, maybe a car to get there. The time to exercise when the gym was open and so on. Neila believes strongly in fitness being something that is available to everyone and made as accessible as possible. Because of its life-changing potential she argues that the people who most need help to get fit are usually the ones who can least afford to spend all that money and find the time to exercise properly. So, she made it her life’s mission to change this. Darebee has always been marked by high-quality work: we extensively field-test each workout for up to three months before it gets published and we do an enormous amount of fact-checking for each article we publish.
Then all this is made available to anyone with a device and an internet connection at zero cost.
What’s the most common misconception about exercise that you come across? Most people still think that exercise is body-part specific. In order to lose weight from their stomach or legs they need to exercise that particular body part. What we know about exercise and how the body responds to it is changing all the time. We have known since the 1970s however that there is no way to exercise for weight loss in a specific body part. Exercise kicks off a whole lot of adaptations in the body that help us become stronger, healthier, cardiovascularly and aerobically fitter and that, then leads to weight loss. That weight loss is always in total instead of being centered on a particular body part.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out working out, who hasn’t really had control of their body before? We all start from zero. We can get to incredible heights provided we give ourselves time and we are persistent and consistent. We also need to have a support network. People who believe in us and can help us keep going when the going gets tough. The Hive, the Darebee Forum, has been instrumental in helping people from across the world achieve just that. So, if you’re starting from a total beginner’s level, pick a program that helps you build up slowly, talk to people in The Hive who have already been through that journey and enlist their help to help you in yours.
How much exercise is too much? There can never be too much exercise. We have bodies that from an evolutionary point of view were made to physically work twelve hours a day and we probably manage, at best, two. Having said that from an evolutionary point of view no-one went from zero to twelve hours of physical exertion in an instant. There would be a gradual build up and broadening of the horizons of a person’s capability, so it is unrealistic to think that if one hour of exercise a day is great, doing twice as much will be of even greater benefit. That is not how exercise works or bodies function. Biologically we have evolved to adapt but the physical adaptations that turn us into healthier, stronger and more capable versions of ourselves take time. We need to give ourselves that time when we exercise. It’s important to vary the intensity so the body can recharge, it is important to vary the routines so we don’t get stuck in a rut or create chronic fatigue disorders or overload specific muscle groups with tiredness.
What is the ultimate goal of Darebee? Neila Rey envisioned the project as “A High Quality Fitness available to everyone free, forever”. There is a greater depth to it which is best explained by what we call the Darebee Way. Because of its size the project has grown in scope. Fitness should be the great equaliser not yet another means of creating inequality in the world. Darebee plays a key role in promoting exactly this approach by being the same accessible, high-quality fitness project to everyone regardless of gender, ethnicity and status.