I tried the workouts of 3 famous fitness YouTubers to see which is the best

PHOTO: Instagram/chloe_t, Instagram/pamela_rf, Instagram/madfit.ig

My fitness routine had been on a steady decline even before the Circuit Breaker. For the past two years, I used to workout two times a week (going for HIIT classes and yoga). But come February, I slagged off. So I ended up only going to the gym three times a month.

In March, Youtube's algorithm recommended a bunch of "Chloe Ting challenge review" videos to me. And I, like many other viewers, belonged to the "passive audience" community. Yes, I watched these videos while lying on the sofa and snacking on a bag of chips.

Then, I came across the other end of the Youtube-fitness spectrum - expose videos on how these Youtuber workouts aren't effective or accurate in boosting your fitness levels. So I got curious and wanted to test them out for myself.

Over the last three months, I've followed the workouts of three fitness influencers: Madfit, Chloe Ting and Pamela Reif. Only because they've often been compared to each other and some promise results in a very short time.

They also have a similar workout structure - you can either do one video everyday or follow one of their self-curated fitness schedules.

Here's what I thought…

Chloe Ting

She's probably the most popular fitness Youtuber right now. This 34-year-old has a cult of home workout fanatics as her fanbase (her Youtube subscriber count stands at 12.5 million today). And on top of that, her videos have caused quite a bit of controversy in the online fitness circle.

Her top video, "Get Abs in 2 Weeks", has over 100 million views.

I started my experiment with the 2 Week Shred Challenge, a 14-day schedule curated by Chloe herself.

Level of engagement:

This is definitely a great video to get you up on your feet. Her edits are creative and she's got a great on-camera persona.

Because of her bubbly personality, you don't feel awkward jumping into her challenge. She also begins every one of her videos with a segment showing the number of people who've tried and reviewed her workouts. It makes you feel as though you're part of a fun community.

During the workout, she gives encouraging comments and maintains an enthusiastic tone throughout the video.

Workout routine:

Her exercise consists of mainly functional movements (i.e. lunges, squats and push-ups) with a 20 to 30-second rest in between. They were definitely easy to follow and she also had ample rest time.

I liked that she also tried to make the workout very dynamic and constantly switched from a facing-down position to a standing or facing-up position. That way, I didn't feel like I couldn't keep up as I was working a different muscle after each change.

The only thing I was slightly worried about was that she didn't mention how to keep the right posture during more complex exercises. One example of this would be the reverse plank, where you can easily hurt your neck or back if you end up throwing your feet too far back.

Results:

While I didn't lose much weight, I definitely noticed my abs area and thighs starting to look more toned after the first week. The cellulite on my upper thigh typically reduces whenever I work out and I must say Chloe Ting's exercises did have the same effect.

What I didn't notice, was a significant increase in strength (which she doesn't promise). So if you're someone who's focusing on strength and conditioning…this probably isn't the workout for you.

Pamela Reif

While she hasn't attained cult status, this fitness vlogger has been reviewed by several fitness magazines for her effective and easy-to-follow videos.

For Pamela's videos, I decided to take a different approach. Instead of following her workout plan, I did one video of my choice every day.

Level of engagement:

She's a lot less chatty than most fitness Youtubers so if you're someone who prefers to have an instructor encouraging you throughout the video, you may find her videos a little boring.

However, she has a great playlist of workout-friendly songs and they do keep me pumped throughout the video. She also has dance workout videos if you don't like HIIT workouts.

Workout routine:

Her workouts have various levels of intensity and she labels them in the titles. Thinking that I was an expert after two weeks of Chloe Ting's workout, I tried the intense workout playlist. And yes, I know what you're thinking. But you're also right, I was totally wiped out by the second day.

With Pamela's workouts, she works in more movements into a single exercise (i.e squats with boxing, lunges with kicks, etc.). This helps keep the exercise upbeat and most of your muscles working at all times. Which is great, but also pretty intense.

However, she also doesn't explain how to do the exercises and you have to watch the videos a few times to get a hang of them.

As for breaks in-between exercises, there are none. So yes, try it at your own risk.

Results:

It was a challenge to keep up with her no-breaks routine. However, I did notice that my muscles were very sore the next day. While muscle soreness can sometimes mean that you're working too hard, I didn't feel uncomfortable.

After a week of her videos and sticking to a whole food diet, my abs were pretty much the most defined it's ever been in the last six months.

Madfit

Like Pamela, Madfit's subscribers are under five million (still a sizeable number). She's also got a routine planned out for her viewers, but I went rogue and did one video a day.

Level of engagement:

She's by far the most professional-sounding out of the three and gives great advice on how to keep your posture (i.e. reminds us to keep our core engaged and lower our hips in plank position).

She also talks us through the first rep of the workout just so you know how to do the movement.

Workout routine:

She also combines multiple movements into one exercise and for those who have bad coordination, this can be pretty challenging.

However, she does the exercises at a reasonable pace so you can catch up pretty quickly.

Results:

I got slight muscle aches (just by following a 15min video) the next day. And while I haven't noticed a drastic weight loss, the areas that were once flabby have "firmed up" and I do find myself feeling stronger after every workout.

Overall, I think each of them have their pros and cons. And while I'm no fitness expert, I must say that the exercises are great for those who want to get moving. The videos aren't for the serious fit-folk but they're a great way to start getting active again.

And one thing I've learnt, is that weight loss (if you aren't medically diagnosed with weight issues) shouldn't be the first thing on your list when you start working out. Increasing your endurance and getting your muscles activated should be your key goals.

This article was first published in Her World Online