I Tried Instagram’s Favorite Workout App for a Year, and It Transformed My Fitness

it's the first workout that made me love exercise 💪🏼
written by HAILEY BOUCHE
Source: @form
Source: @form

I prioritize movement because I know that I should—I know that it’s good for my body and my mind and about a million other things, blah blah blah. But I’d be lying to you if I said that I’ve ever been the kind of girl who actually gets excited to lace up her shoes and sweat for an hour. Sure, I love the feeling I get after a great workout, but I have never believed a single soul who has said “All you have to do is find a workout you love,” because trust me, I’ve tried. Barre, Pilates, running, spin, HIIT, yoga, Lagree, TRX—they are fine! But love? Seems like a stretch.

I was painfully close to admitting that I would never truly love working out, but in the final hour, I stumbled upon Sami Clarke’s FORM, and I finally understood what it meant to enjoy (and actually look forward to) exercising. I was hooked instantly, and now, a year and some months later doing FORM (pretty much) exclusively, I am sharing my full review of the platform and all it offers.

What is FORM?

Sami Clarke is an LA-based health, wellness, and fitness trainer and the cofounder of FORM, which is a digital platform for all things fitness, wellness, and self-love. Offering a variety of strength and Pilates classes along with meditation and nutrition, FORM provides you with the support, information, and motivation you need to feel like your best self. Workouts offered on the platform range anywhere from 5-50 minutes and cover everything from full body strength to low and slow sculpts to rest and recovery, so no matter what you need, there is a class available to you on demand.

Minimal equipment is needed and varies depending on the class, but typically, strength classes use anywhere from 5-15 pound weights, and Pilates classes use 1-2 pound ankle/wrist weights. Sometimes, an optional resistance band is added in, or Sami grabs a chair to do some exercises with, but if you don’t have the exact equipment needed, she gives plenty of modifications, making it doable for just about anyone. FORM offers a seven-day free trial, and after that, is only $120/year, which, TBH, is what I used to spend monthly on a gym membership and classes.

What I’ve noticed throughout my year using FORM:

I have more structure in my routine

Before I started FORM, I was consistent in that I would work out four to five days per week, but those workouts would consist of random on-demand videos and whatever workout classes my friends would ask me to attend with them. At one point, I did follow programming through an app, but because it was the only one I knew I could tolerate, I would do it over and over and over again and eventually burn myself out. This never-ending cycle consisted mostly of cardio, ab videos, and some booty work, and for me, that didn’t provide enough variety and structure to yield results.

FORM has given me the structure I’ve always needed in my routine with three types of weekly schedules, including a strength-only schedule, a Pilates-only schedule, and a strength and Pilates combination schedule. Every Sunday, the schedules are released for each section, listing exactly what video(s) to do on what day. This has completely changed the game for me. I haven’t spent a single second trying to decide what workout to do, which makes getting up and pressing play seamless. Plus, the variety of workouts and the schedule ensures that I’m not working out the same muscles day after day, which has helped me see results. My week feels structured without feeling rigid, which is exactly what I needed.

My workouts are more effective

When I only have 20 minutes to work out, I want to work out the entire 20 minutes. I used to hate when I would pick a 20-minute video online, and the first five or so minutes would be the teacher just chit-chatting away, making the actual workout itself really only like 13 minutes. Thankfully, that’s not an issue with FORM. When Sami says the workout is 35 minutes, you better believe you are working the entire 35 minutes. Each class is incredibly effective—so much so that I now feel like I work harder in 30-40 minutes than I ever did in most full-hour classes. The exercises are intentional, and of course, Sami is constantly giving form cues to make sure that when you’re doing the exercise, you’re doing it right.

I appreciate that every second of each class is accounted for to make sure that when I show up on my mat to work, I get the very most out of my time. Plus, whether I’m doing Sami’s signature five-minute burners or 45-minute strength classes, I feel like I fit in a great workout.

My body feels a lot stronger

Remember when I said I used to only do cardio, booty, and abs? Well, I now work muscles I didn’t even know existed or didn’t know I could work at home, and muscles I completely ignored because I just straight up didn’t think they mattered that much (talking about you, lats, inner thighs, and triceps). Because of this, my body composition has completely changed for the better, and I feel way stronger than I ever have before, which is wild to me because I spend less time working out each day than I used to, thanks to the effectiveness of each class. Feeling myself get stronger and wanting to get better at the exercises that are new to me (while still being doable and approachable) keeps me coming back for more.

I actually get excited to work out

I truly thought people who said that they love to work out were lying, but now, I actually get it. Never in a million years did I think that seeing my workout schedule on Sunday night would excite me for the week ahead, but now I crave showing up for myself and getting my workout in with Sami’s support. I appreciate that I know what to expect out of each class—usually a few circuits and a burner at the end—but that Sami keeps me on my toes by adding variety, new exercises, and challenges throughout. One thing I’ve learned throughout the last year and a half-ish of using FORM is that working out doesn’t have to be boring or repetitive to yield results. Every class is different, and I swear, the classes I’ve repeated are only because I liked them so much (or the music!) and not because there wasn’t enough variety in the programming. And if I ever do feel a little unmotivated (because I’m human), I love Sami’s quarterly challenges to push myself back into the groove of working out.