When I wrote an article on Ashley Graham’s workout routines last October, I was impressed. Not only did they seem difficult, but they were quick, easy, and positive, as is rare in the world of fitness. Because of this, I, a self-proclaimed workout connoisseur, decided to put her model-approved moves to the test and try out her exact routine to see if she was really as amazing and approachable as it seemed.
I also went to her YouTube channel to go over her fitness series Thank Bod. For the uninitiated, the videos were created by Graham in collaboration with her trainer, Kira Stokes, who developed each workout. The 33-year-old model started the series to encourage others (and yourself) to appreciate and thank their bodies instead of using training as a punishment.
Even so, I still thought it was going to be incredibly difficult – she trains with a trainer regularly, after all – but I was actually quite surprised at my last impression. To read about my experience (and to find out whether or not her exercise routine is a good choice for you), keep scrolling for a full and honest review.
Ashley Graham Workout Review: The Format
Let’s get this out of the way first: I’m unfortunately not a fan of the format of Graham’s workouts – at least the kind she follows in her Thank Bod series on YouTube. The model and her trainer set up the routines in a series of circuits, which means that you will typically do three to five moves on each circuit, for a total of two to three circuits. Because of this, you should repeat each cycle about three times to get the full effect of the workout.
In short, I didn’t like that at all. It’s a very personal preference, of course; But I found the repeatability boring and would much rather follow a 30 minute lesson with more varied features than repeat the same thing over and over.
Even so, it’s very easy to customize the videos to suit your needs. If you’re not strong enough to repeat the circuits, you can get a less intense workout just by doing them once or twice. And if you’re a circuit fanatic, you’ll love Graham’s routines – they almost all follow the same format.
Ashley Graham Workout Review: The Moves
While the format of Graham’s workouts isn’t my favorite, I liked a lot of the moves that she and Stokes incorporated into the racetracks. That was mainly because they were pretty simple: in each video, she stuck to simple and easy-to-follow exercises that I love because I’m not a fan of overly complicated routines. Plus, each video is great for beginners, so even if you’re not familiar with fitness terminology, you can join in.
However, one thing that caught my eye is that Graham uses a lot of heavy weights (around 10-15 pounds) in her videos. Not everyone has these at home – including myself – and for this reason I had the feeling that I couldn’t experience the full level of difficulty with some workouts.
Ashley Graham Workout Review: The Difficulty Level
Since Graham is being trained by a professional and appears to be exercising a lot, I was a bit apprehensive about actually being able to participate. In reality, you can make your routines as difficult or as easy as you want.
While many of the moves it shares aren’t inherently difficult (at least for me), many of the exercises allow you to add heavier weights or remove them altogether, making them incredibly customizable to your abilities. The circuit system she follows also allows you to increase or decrease the intensity: repeat the process more to sweat better, or do each one once or twice to make the job easier. As someone who exercises about an hour a day, I usually sweat after three to four rounds of each set.
Ashley Graham Workout Review: Last Minute Takeout Stalls
To be clear, everyone’s preferences, skills, and fitness trips are completely different – but in the end I don’t think Graham’s exact workout style is for me. No matter how fun and encouraging she is in every video, I just can’t come on board with a circuit system – I very much prefer each step in my routines to be done once, and I like to challenge the whole thing intensely for duration.
Even so, I still think the model’s workouts are accessible, great for beginners, and easily tailored to your needs. And with their fun, uplifting conversations, they make exercising less of a chore than a fun reminder to appreciate and take care of your body – something I can definitely get over with.