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What I think Darebee can improve on

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    What I think Darebee can improve on

    Darebee is a great website don't get me wrong, but there are some things I just dislike and I think can be improved upon.

    Repetitiveness: The exercises hardly vary at all, nearly all workouts are just an assortment of the same 20 or so exercises.

    Eg:
    Push ups (with little to no variation whatsoever)
    Planks (Which gets very easy very quick and there are harder alternatives that I don't see employed anywhere like Push Planks)
    Squats (Which is a breeze without weights)
    Lunges (Same as squats)
    Jumping Jacks (Very boring even when you're trying to be fast)
    Burpees (Boring especially when you have to do 40 or so burpees each set)
    Kicks or punches (Not as boring but is used so often)
    etc etc etc I guarantee you yourself have noticed these

    There are so many of these workouts with the same collection of exercises and it just gets boring after you've done a dozen of them.
    And yes I know, because Darebee is body weight oriented and some exercises are better than others, there's bound to be some exercises that crop up more often than usual, but that does not necessarily mean that you have to do the same exercises over and over again, like maybe some variations? Which brings me to my next point.

    Progression:

    When I say progression I mean how you advance and how much fitter you're getting. Darebee does this by sets, 3 sets is Level 1, 5 sets level 2, 7 sets level 3. Seems fine at first right?

    Not really.

    Yes you probably are getting fitter and having better endurance as you progress from Level 1 to Level 3 but you also spend much more time working out when you could honestly do the same in a shorter amount of time. Intensity is what really makes a workout not the amount of time.

    Eg: Now let's take a workout for an example, Combat Burpee

    Instead of doing the basic boring burpee every time until you get sick of it, you could do like a kickthrough burpee which not only makes the exercise harder but forces your coordination to kick in. (Athlean X exercise btw)
    By doing this, not only do you save time by not doing a extra sets but you also have a challenge. This is akin to why HIIT is better than normal steady state cardio. So instead of more sets, you could add exercises variations to make it more interesting while also saving time and in this busy world of ours today, time is much needed.
    For example:
    Level I - Basic Burpee
    Level II - Basic Burpee with jump
    Level III - Kickthrough burpee
    (Just an example, I think the minds of the Darebee Team can think of much better ideas)
    I hope you get what I'm getting at.


    Exercise selection: There are some exercises that should not really be included, or should be a safer alternative.

    Eg: Over head tricep extensions: This jeopardizes the health of your shoulder and there are better and safer alternatives like lying tricep extensios and push downs.
    Upright rows: Also is bad for your shoulder and is used in plenty of workouts that Darebee has come up with.
    Chest flyes: Only used in 1 workout but the chance of the weight slipping from your hands is very real and can led to a torn pec (Arnold Schwarzenegger tore his pec twice)

    Also there are very few or if at all rear delt, traps (not just shrugs), Serratus anterior, or chest abduction exercises. And all of them are very important to your overall health and well being. Going body weight should mean that you are much more free and creative with your exercises.

    These are just suggestions and take them however you want, in my honest opinion Darebee is a good fitness site with an absolutely amazing community. Thank you so much.


    P.S
    If Darebee is working for you please don't let a stranger's word on the internet stop you. It's just my view.

    #2
    Hi Dyno7, and thank you for taking the time to write down so many ideas and suggestions.

    I do not think I am personally qualified enough to assert whether exercises such as overhead tricep extensions or upright rows are so bad indeed. Just like in a lot of instances, I guess a great deal of the possible danger come from the user's form and how much is lifted exactly. I've also had the opportunity to read articles claiming that bodyweight exercises such as burpees or pistol squats were to be avoided for various reasons, so...

    I'd rather address the other two points you mentioned.

    First, progression.

    One of the core principles of Darebee is to make fitness accessible to as many people as possible. Still, some workouts like this one, or that one, offer the opportunity to tackle and eventually master difficult exercises. And the workouts have difficulty ratings from "light" to "advanced", which mean nobody has to do the same basic exercises over and over again.

    The thing is, the way the workouts are designed, easy to read, print and share within a single page, means that too much information would just feel like so much clutter. And it is much easier for an experienced person to modify workouts in order to make them harder, than it is for a newbie to make workouts easier while still effective.

    So, basically, if you think you could make a workout more worthy of your time by using a more advanced version of a given exercise, or adding weights... well, there's really no reason why you shouldn't go for it. I know I personally do it on a regular basis.


    Finally, about repetitiveness...

    I have to say I think you may be a bit harsh here. Just on push-ups alone, a program like Strength Protocol, or the Push-up Master challenge, offer dozens of variations. The thing is, some people will be very happy if you give them limited options (it means they can focus on form and will have an easier time assessing their own progress); other people will crave for variety. There are 1200 workouts in the resource and hundreds of exercises in the video library. I guess there's really something for everyone here.


    But of course, that's really my own take on it. I completely understand that since we're all different, a one-size-fits-all approach can't be the answer. But I also know that the Darebee resource has grown tremendously since I first discovered it a few years ago, and I believe it's far from over...

    Comment


      #3
      I can only speak for myself. Darebee is the only thing that has made me work out on a regular basis. I have to modify some exercises but there are suggestions for modifications. In the workouts there are so many different workouts, I don‘t get bored. What I really appreciate is that it makes fitness, nutrition and healthy lifestyle accessible for everyone. Even if you have no experience in working out, if you have physical limitations, if you don‘t have money: You can start a healthier life. Additionally everyone is very helpful and supporting.

      Comment


        #4
        Dyno7 At the beginning i thought the same things: few exercises and when you reach level 3, 7 sets and 30 sec rest between sets the training finishes but I was looking only for strength / tone workouts and only one to do till “maximum”.

        Then I changed prospective.

        I have started to do daily dares, challenges, workouts of the day, themed week, etc … in a word I tried something new and mostly I started to combine different training.
        Daily Dares and the workout of the day are non “really” challenging as a difficulty but they push me to do exercises that I don’t choose on my own.

        I like Darebee because is beginner friendly but I like much more Darebee because if you are “advanced” you can really challenge yourself combining:
        programs
        daily dares
        challenges
        workouts

        Hell Week humiliated me I had to balance all my training to go on.

        For the “dangerous” exercises I usually modify them, my health always first.

        I don’t want to change your mind but if you dig Darebee there’s much more than the first look.

        Comment


          #5
          I enjoy darebee a lot as the variety of exercises is there plus programs I have just done day 8 of Spartan Trails and that is introducing me to different types of exercises plus the community keeps you here as they are always willing to help when needed

          Andy

          Comment


            #6
            Dyno7, while I could agree with some of your observations at first glance, I think a lot of them stem from misunderstanding Darebee's mission. I think of Darebee as a "gateway" fitness routine for people who are not yet physically active to start working out regularly.

            It provides a simple structure and out-of-the-box motivation approaches (RPG programmes, badges, challenges, events etc.), gives the individual the freedom to find what works for them and a comforting environment (the Hive) to deal with their journey with no ads or added pressure. It is also geared towards people who don't have the resources to buy equipment or a lot of space to practice in (therefore somewhat limiting the types of exercises used) or those who don't have access to high-speed internet (hence the images instead of just videos - but this again limits the choreography/moves - it's hard to fit complicated, compound moves - with instructions - on an A4 size poster without making it look cluttered). So while your concerns could be valid for other fitness resources catered towards already athletic people who want to progress, I'm not sure they are justified in this case - for a beginner/amateur, simple is best and there is more to Darebee's approach than just the type of exercises used in the workouts. Additionally, as Redline mentioned, it is much easier for an experienced person to make the exercises harder with progressions (provided they do their own research) than it is for a beginner to modify down and not get discouraged in the process. This is also in line with what I have been taught from the health educators' perspective - as long as you get people moving for 30-60 min/day the details don't really matter unless the person has specific goals (bodybuilding, strength, a specific sport, etc.). Given that Darebee is user-donation based and usually low on income, and that it is entirely a work of volunteers, it also makes sense economically to use the same drawings and let users modify, instead of providing hundreds of variations of different exercises. Some people who have established their routines with Darebee continue to use it and do harder workouts, some then use it occasionally to spice up their training and some move on to other resources, all of which is fine.

            Comment


              #7
              Agreeing with previous comments, just one more about difficulty, repetitiveness and progressions. We "are allowed" (by ourselves) to do friendly modifications when an exercise is out our level, It isn't? Then, I understand that we "can" look for a harder modification when we find easy to perform an exercise or a serie of them into a workout. For example, just to mention two classic and basic: do inclined push ups instead regular, or do squats with weights instead "normal" ones.

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