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I wrote a Web 4 Manifesto detailing where I think the web should be headed. Requesting feedback before I publish it.

What is Web 4?

Web 4 is a set of four modular paradigms and practices that allow integration of provable democracy in any social system that seeks to be more collaborative (organization, government, community, etc.). Modularity allows any project to adopt one or more of these principles to increase the accuracy, fairness, and transparency of each individual's role in collaboration.

Read on Github

Web 4 is built on top of web 3 (it's blockchain-based) while being fundamentally different and providing enough benefit to society warrant the new title of web 4.
In essence, web 4 is positive attention catalyzer, built on providing power to every that only gains meaning when they give it freely to another. This power is also freely given, and limited by time.
Web 4 combines real-world components like time and geography with existing blockchain technology.
In this manifesto, I will define each of the components of web 4, provide psudeocode to illustrate the minimum integration into web 2/3, introduce the benefits to society, and offer a roadmap to adopting these concepts.


Before we detail web 4, we must look briefly at the concepts of web 1, web 2, and web 3.
  • Web 1 Static web. Files are served from a remote server to a user's browser.
  • Web 2 Dynamic web. Web pages take a user's information and desires into account to build a unique experience for them. Asynchronous requests allow single page applications to thrive. Applications are still served from a central server.
  • Web 3 Decentralized web. Applications, often open-source, exist in distributed networks instead of a central server. This unfederated model trades control and censorship ability for freedom and autonomy.
  • Web 4 Democratic web. Time-limited cryptographic tokens are given to each individual, and used as a measure of opinion or desire in collaborative systems.
Today, the top 100 websites by traffic are all web 2 websites. The web 2 paradigm fits closely with the wider environment of corporate-owned information.
As more and more individuals and societies are reconsidering the place of government, censorship, centralization and federated power, web 3 has emerged as a powerful, provable option to shape the evolution of society on planet Earth.
A growing portion of web 2 websites and applications today have elements of web 3, like cryptoblogs and games. While web 2 and web 3 can operate independently, web 3 enhances the abilities of web 2. Similarly, web 3 and web 4 can operate independently, but it makes the most sense for web 4 to be built on blockchain tech to gain the benefits of reliability and transparency.

Guiding Philosophy

Web 4 seeks to implement biomimetic systems in harmony with the universe itself by replicating nature: the abundance of the Sun, rising entropy, and the equality of each human being.
I believe when we create information systems in harmonic resonance with natural systems, our society will be able to advance more rapidly than ever before, as we will be able to synchronize energetically with the larger systems of information processing around us (the Earth, Sun, and Galactic core).

Defining Web 4

Web 4 introduces four modular components for provably democratic systems built on top of web 3's open-source decentralized networks.

There are four conceptual underpinnings (modules) of web 4

  1. Time-issued cryptocurrency Individuals may receive "Time Tokens" at given intervals, but never more frequently, and can't hold another's time tokens.
  2. Proof of Individuality Biometric Secrets, Social Verification, Proof of Liveness, etc
  3. Pseudonymity and Information Entropy Information degradation over time, pseudo accounts in sensitive systems
  4. Harmonic GeoSocial Systems Fair, transparent collaboration through accounting the opinions and desires of participants
Each module can be used separately or in tandem. This paper invites you to involve any of these ideas into your current and future projects. We will discuss these concepts one at a time, but first let's examine why we need them in the first place.

Why we can't have Provable democracy with web 3

Provable democracy cannot be fully achieved in web 3 itself because there is intentionally no limit over how many accounts a user may control.
Democracy is essentially reaching a consensus with the idea that each person is equal in their influence on that consensus within defined bounds.
Many different consensus models have been developed in web 3, most notably, proof of work (POW), proof of stake (POS), and delegated proof of stake (DPOS). These paradigms of consensus are used primarily to determine which chain of transaction records (blocks) is considered valid, "securing" a blockchain.
POS and DPOS is additionally used to in projects like Hive to allow users to "vote" on valuable content, an early example of the democratic web. DPOS is also used for networks to determine who can access network resources, such as in EOSIO blockchains.
However, both of these POS/DPOS use cases (curation and resource allocation) are not democratic in the sense that each account is not equal. In both cases, the root of democracy is in the token, not the individual, and the ownership of tokens determines the voting power or computing power held by an individual.
In the end, the only way to implement true democracy in any system is through giving each individual equal power. The only way to do this while keeping web3's decentralized nature is to implement the technological (biosecrets) and idealogical (time tokens) advancements needed to be sure an account is owned by one individual, and that individual has only one account. These advancements are, for simplicity and communication, called web 4.


Time-issued cryptocurrency (Time Tokens)

Time tokens may be distributed to users' wallets periodically as time passes, or offered to be claimed manually. They work by hashing a unique personal identifier (address) with a time identifier, linking each token to a person and a span of time.
These tokens provide the user with a function or action. The action burns the token, which may cause some change in the state of a system, minting of another token, or any other action.

The Gears of Time Tokens

Time tokens rely on the following concepts:
  1. Time Unit A time unit MUST be a superset of a timestamp. This means that a time unit is some amount (or fraction) of seconds. Each time token MUST be the only one in existence stamped with a particular time unit for each user (wallet). Thus, each time token is unique and semi-fungible.
  2. Time Token Faucet A time faucet offers any verified user EXACTLY one time token per unit of time passed since their last faucet. This can be an active faucet; requiring some action by the recipient, or a passive faucet; automatically sending the cryptocurrency to the user.
  3. Verified Recipients Recipients of the system MUST be verified to be an actual human in order to receive time tokens.
For a full description of Time Tokens, visit the Time Token repository.

How do Time Tokens work?

Time tokens store a time unit (integer) with a unique user identifier (string) in a hash signed by the user's biocryptographic signature.
Time tokens are platform independent, and need only store simple data involving time unit and an account identifier at the most bare level.
Here is the minimum information stored in a time token, using JSON Web Token (JWT) as an example { "header": { "typ": "JWT", "alg": "HS256" }, "payoadData": { "time-unit": 294957, "userid": "7f3e873a2c3d" } } Below is a brief pseudocode example of how one could use a signed time token as a JWT.
See Appendix A for more detailed pseudocode of a time token. ``` const passedBioData = {..} // biodata from user
const header = { "typ": "JWT", "alg": "HS256" }
const payloadData = { "time-unit": "294957", "userid": "7f3e873a2c3d", "appData": { "gold": 479, "honey": 23, "axe": 0 } }
const bioSecret = bioKeyGenerator(passedBioData); // Biometric provider's key or one generated direcly by user
// --- Here we have the signature, to be used for any purpose --- \ signature = HMACSHA256( base64UrlEncode(header) + "."+ base64UrlEncode(payloadData), bioSecret )
function bioKeyGenerator(bioData){ // Function takes data in the form of user input into their browser or smartphone. // Data is normalized (explained in Appendix A, not shown here) bioSecretChecked = bioData; // Return biosecret return sha256(bioSecretChecked) }
`` The notable parts here are thetime-unitanduseridin the payload, and thebioSecret` which is generated by a user's biometric data.
We have said we web 4 is based on web 3 (blockchain), but this example intentionally used web 2 technology, so the ability to do it is at all begs the question:

Why can't web 2 be used for Time Tokens?

Of course it can! It's just not viable to fulfill all principles of web 4, but can be done to an extent.
Web 2 is not a viable candidate for provable democracy because the federated nature means that your biometric data must be trusted to a third party, possibly a government, large corporation or malicious actor. Time tokens do not rely on blockchain technology, but benefit from it to remove trust and add transparency.


Proof of Individuality - Biometric Secrets + Protecting Identity

Please Note: There are solutions available today (like FaceTec) that solve the same issues presented here. This paper seeks to outline a "better" system (decentralized + open source) that can be ran without a centralized actor, while not providing specifics to accomplish these goals.
Biometric secrets are akin to any cryptographic secret key, they are a hash of information. The information hashed in a biometric secret comes from a person's biometric expression. In today's biometric space, static images are most commonly used for things like fingerprint and facial recognition, and geometry is the means to compare this data.
Biometric secrets generated from static images are not secure, as static images can be faked. [2] Video offers a better solution to this problem, as it is harder to fake, can include audio, and lets developers create a whole new set of algorithms based on a changing stream of data. Facetec is one company using video for biometric verification.

What is used to generate a biosecret?

This stream of data (video + audio biometric expression) could be a user doing a series of hand gestures, singing a part of a song, speaking a phrase, speaking a phrase in different voices, clapping, making a series of facial expressions or movements, or anything else one can imagine.
For security, biometric expressions must be unique (for example, which combination of words to speak) and many types (gesture, singing, clapping) must be available and used in combination. If each person's biometric secret was generated from the same single biometric expression, it would be a matter of time before specific AI could be developed to deepfake it for anyone. If the user is the only one that knows their biometric expressions it becomes nearly impossible to guess the type and nature of the expression, and even if that is known, difficult to use the same technique on more than one account. The nature of the uniqueness could be chosen by the user, or generated at random from the biosecret software which would prompt the user to complete an action in a specific way.

Why do we need this, again?

Democratic systems certainly are being built without biometric verification, and will continue to be until suitable biometric technology develops along the open source, client-side requirements. For now, decentralized solutions like Civic, and centralized tech like Facetec provide the necessary individuality at the cost of trust and requirement of citizenship. As different projects implement web 4 in their own ways, the ideas presented thus far will develop as flaws are found.
We will present the ideas that are crucial for this system to be different, and represent true growth into web 4.
Key Aspects 1. Biometric Expression: A user is presented with a choice of different biometric options used to generate a hash that can only belong to this person. User can choose to either perform a chosen biometric task to receive their hashed biosecret (trustless) or generate it at any time from a third-party provider (trust). Any third-party provider will generate the same hash by a set of open-source algorithms.
  1. Biosecret Generation: User's sensitive biological information and generated algorithmic results are destroyed (made impossible to reconstruct) at the layer of hashing, and data not stored in any way, public or private, as the user runs the software on their local machine (assuming they choose the open-source software, not a third party).
The biggest issue with biometrics is the lack of trust, mostly due to the growing number of facial recognition softwares and databases. The lack of trust is almost always associated with an individual's lack of consent, not the technology itself.

To alleviate the trust issue, solutions must be:

1) open-source 2) ran entirely on the individual's hardware (client-side), and 3) not expose any biometric data to any other users or the system itself.
There will always be security concerns with biometrics. For example, if a user uses their biometric secret to unlock their mobile device, another app could be secretly recording the camera in the background. A person could record them doing their secret, and try to play that video back to the camera to gain access. Also, deepfakes. exist. These concerns must be addressed before this module of web 4 reaches mass adoption.
The upside of biometric secrets is they cannot be lost, and the account will always be recoverable by the individual. In a web 4 ecosystem, where the tokens are distributed daily and often spent daily, a hack would be much less catastrophic. The attacker will be able to access the user's balance, but not alter the past transactions, nor continue to collect the future deposits, because the real user will (in theory) quickly recover the account and change the biometric secret generation means so that the hacker's biofake is no longer working.


Degradation of Information

Web 3 focuses on storing information forever in a provable way. Web 4 introduces a counter-model which may be optionally adopted by any time-token-based system. In this model, who did what becomes harder and harder to know the more time that passes.
This idea hinges upon incremental time units, the number of which is used to decide how difficult information about a particular individual is to access.
With pseudonymity, it is difficult, but not impossible, to piece together a story about an individual user by knowing they are responsible for a set of transactions over time. The further back in time a transaction is, the harder it is to link it to another transaction with any certainty.

Degradation of Information Fidelity

Information fidelity requirements can also be degraded over time. For example, when generating a users biosecret, it can be assumed that the more time that passes, the more the bioinformation of the individual will change.

Degradation of Biosecrets

Biosecrets are generated from a range of biometric values. This range of values can be expanded over time. The effect is, instead of having one hashed biosecret for eternity, the generation process will create a set of biosecrets from an increasingly wide range of data. This concept may be needed to keep people in control of their accounts as they age. There is considerable work to be done to develop this concept, as each data type has its own complications.
In this case, as time goes on, someone attempting to prove their individuality would have to spend a lot more effort to run the algorithms against their collected biodata, and the data precision needed to match the person's identity is actually lower. This is one example of fidelity change; others can make it more expensive to change a record from the past, make it harder to find out the ID of a voter, or even limit a past state's effect on the future of a blockchain.

Proceed with Caution

While the inclusion of this concept into web 4 may seem unnecessary at the moment, it is another guarantee of the privacy that is needed for many social applications. Philosophically, degradation of information also fits in with the general web 4 desire to reflect systems in nature.
Before moving on, I do wish to stress the modularity of web 4, and that this (perhaps the most radical idea presented) is not going to fit into every web 4 system, nor should it. This idea will find its usefulness when it is time, and should NOT be adopted without clear reasoning.


Geo-Social Harmonic Layers

Collaborative social environments are always happening everywhere humans live. Currently, we are both realizing the vast amount of ways to live abundantly, as well as deciding what direction we should be facing to grow as a society. Human growth in the past few centuries has been focused on technological improvements rather than social improvements. [3] To harness the power of the information age for the collaboration of humans, web 4 will be used to enhance, introduce, and replace current structures that organize our societies, which we term geo-social layers.
Web 4 proposes that systems based in time token are the most apt to create and improve existing social layers.

What is a Geo-Social Layer?

A geo-social layer is something that affects people (social) at a given location (Geo). A simple example is the governing body of an area, including all of the legislation. Another example is the customs and culture of a group of people.
The geo-social layers apt to be improved by web 4 are those which involve people collaborating; government/legislation, food and water management, community projects, education, events, charities, environmental protection and much more.

Geographic Stratification

Across the globe, one geopolitical pattern seems to emerge. Cities are within Counties, are within Districts (States in the USA), are within nations, are within the world.
  1. Cities (aka Towns, Commonwealths, etc.)
  2. Counties (aka Divisions
  3. Districts (aka States, Provinces)
  4. Nations (aka Countries, States, Republics, etc)
  5. Global
For communication, we will consider cities as the "lowest" and global as the "highest" stratification level.
Additionally, a community level may be added below cities to further add accuracy and usefulness.
For the purpose of any geo-social system, geographic association with each actor must be defined.
Traditionally, it's the existence within a certain area, such as a place of residence or business, that is of importance. When building a geo-social system, it's only necessary that association is declared at the lowest level of geographic stratification, from which the rest can be extrapolated.
Because each person can be associated to either a community or a city, we can develop systems within web 4 that allow coordination at every strata with just this one piece of data for each person.

Democracy, Collaboration, and ever-redefining Utopia

By offering time tokens to the individual that correspond to each stratum we can create high-fidelity democratic systems that better represent each and every person's desires. We can know exactly what the people want, with no guesswork, in a very short period of time.
For example, a person may be given 12 time tokens per month at each stratum to vote on the initiatives that they would like to see passed. They may vote all 12 tokens for an initiative they are most passionate about, or 1 token to 12 different initiatives (or 2 to 6 initiatives, etc). By collecting and counting these tokens, the governing body can know exactly what their constituents want, without the direct need to elect a representative who only estimates these desires.
The democratic system described in this paper does not solve all problems, as there are still issues of voter informedness, unseen actors, and more, but it is a skeleton to build a collaborative social system that are an improvement to the representative governments which were once as revolutionary as these ideas are.

Roadmap to Web 4 Reality

Phase One

Implementing time tokens
Time Tokens are implemented on any and all blockchains where developers see the value. These developers provide open-source instructions and tools to helps other developers incorporate time tokens into their applications.
Provable individuality for Time Tokens is up to each application and blockchain, and these application can choose to ignore this requirement, risking their systems' integrity. Federated (Facetec) and decentralized (Civic) options may be used, and so can social verification.
Information entropy and geosocial layers are starting to be theorized, but not showing up.
Phase 1 Action Points: - Time Token ERC proposal (and similar for other blockchains) - Developers exploring use cases for Time Tokens - Developers implementing Time Token in unexpected ways

Phase Two

dApps and discovering issues
Applications using Time Tokens are widespread, and issues in implementations are becoming known and solved.
Provable identity issues are becoming apparent, as certain applications with lax rules are being manipulated, showing the need for true provable identity.
Social Verification and solutions like Facetec are still used, while biocryptography standards and biometric secret technology are being developed to allow true provable identity (in Phase Three).
Information entropy principles are starting to be implemented, when required.
Geo-social layers are starting to be built, but not used for "real applications" like voting because of lack of true provable individuality.
Phase 2 Action Points: - Proposing the best uses for geo-social layers using time tokens - Incorporating different provable identity methods

Phase Three

Implementing Provable Identity
Provable Identity is now possible as suggested in this manifesto through the maturity of the biometric secrets. Standards are being created openly,
GeoSocial layers are being used to run and govern communities which are not dependent on traditional representative government. Existing governments are adopting time tokens to get a better read on what legislation the people want.
Phase 3 Action Point: - Creating provable identity solutions that satisfy all requirements

Phase Four

Geo-social systems
Information entropy is added to the systems where it can be of use. For example, this could make a person's (anonymous) voting record less knowable over time by increasing the amount of CPU time needed to associate one vote with another.
GeoSocial layers are being used as a replacement for representative government where it is the will of the people. Voter informedness is measured and known, as are the exact desires of the people. This creates collaboration and a renewed faith in democracy, and a feeling of belongingness and appreciation for each individual.
Phase 4 Action Points: - Building and operating geo-social layers for the benefit of society and any collaborating group - Exploring use cases and integrating information entropy where appropriate

Author notes

Change Without Conflict

No one can stop us from building collaborative systems with web 4 and even self-governing. We don't need to "tear down the system" or separate from society to do so. We can exist fully embedded in the geopolitical systems around us, while implementing and improving web 4 concepts, the underpinnings of collaborative democracy.
If and when the "old system" meets its demise, as all things do, we can transition rapidly to a web 4 system like Effective Collective or any other, as it will already be in place.

Why use the term "Web 4"

It is my belief that each version of the web must 1) be built on top of the previous version, 2) be fundamentally different than the previous version by introducing new technology, and 3) have meaningful impact on society.
This proposal for the next iteration of the web is an effort to both expand and shift the path of information science in a direction where the meaningful impact of society involves: 1) empowerment of each individual, which serve as the basis for collective (social), economic, and novel applications; 2) provable identity verification while maintaining complete separation from any federated system, including government, with the side-benefit of lifelong recoverability of private keys; and 3) resonance with our contained and containing systems, like our human organs and the Solar system, which provide us with life and free energy daily, akin to free time tokens.
While an argument could easily be made that DeFi is Web 4, or another emerging tech, like "layer 2" blockchains (rollups) are web 4, both of these are not new. DeFi mimics and improves the systems of the past. Rollups are merely making web 3 more efficient.
It is my hope and desire that the information presented here will be expanded on and implemented by many developers and systems in the coming years, not for the benefit of the few, but for the empowerment of each individual and the harmony of the human collective, and every layer of Gaia.

Notes + References

[1] - Solutions like Civic and Facetec have proved to be effective in verifying individuality. KYC services rely on government-issued identification, physical signature, and minimal, often human-checked bioverification. Until the technology is developed for a biometric system resembling the ideas here, these options (as well as social verification) are viable, though not fully embodying the idea of web 4.
[2] - Hao, K. & O'Neill P. (2020, August 06). The hack that could make face recognition think someone else is you. Originally Published at https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/08/05/1006008/ai-face-recognition-hack-misidentifies-person/
[3] - Nishimura H., Kanoshima E., Kono K. (2019) Advancement in Science and Technology and Human Societies. In: Abe S., Ozawa M., Kawata Y. (eds) Science of Societal Safety. Trust (Interdisciplinary Perspectives), vol 2. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-2775-9_2 (Specifically section 2.1.3) web link


Appendix A: Pseudocode Example of Biometric Function

function bioKeyGenerator(bioData){ // Function takes data in the form of user input into their browser or smartphone. let recievedData = bioData; // With data, quantifyable points are taken algorithmically let processedBioData = { point1:recievedData.point1, point2:recievedData.point2, point3:recievedData.point3 ... } // These points expanded to a pre-defined margin of error geometrically for each input type const expander = 20; // Set amount to expand dataset based on data type let rangedBioData = { point1: { upperRight: { x : processedBioData.point1.x + expander, y : processedBioData.point1.y + expander }, lowerLeft: { x : processedBioData.point1.x - expander, y : processedBioData.point1.y - expander }, point2: { ... }, ... } let snappedBioData = snapBioDataToGranularPath(rangedBioData); // For this to work, a matrix-like object containing every single possible hashed value for every point of data // ..must be stored on an authentication server for each data input. // Data must also exhibit granularity (snap to an integer path). // Without granularity, the hashes will never match a new input's hash. // This matrix of values is used to compare the biosecret with in the future // This must be made more efficient to use with today's computers let x; let y; let bioMatrix = {}; for (x = snappedBioData.point1.lowerLeft.x; x <= (expander*2) ; x++) { let curXRow = "x"+x; let bioMatrix[curXRow] = []; for (y = snappedBioData.point1.lowerLeft.y; y < (expander*2) ; y++) { curYRow = "y"+y; bioMatrix[curYRow].push(sha256(y)); } } // Finally, the real biosecret is returned as an object of hashed biometric data, which will be checked by comparing each granular piece of data's hash to the incoming granular hashes return bioMatrix; // Biosecret } 
function snapBioDataToGranularPath(rangedBioDataParam){ //returns data snapped to grid (recursively scans object passed) }
submitted by currentXchange to webdev

For 4 years, I’ve exclusively used at-home, YouTube fitness programs to work out. Here’s my massive review of all of them, with overall progress.

Okay! So! I’ve been meaning to do this since quarantine, but I'm lazy and it took me two months to write it. Like the title says, I’ve been working out consistently from home since 2016, averaging 5-6 days a week. As it’s my only form of exercise (with the exception of walking), I’ve completed the monthly calendars of MANY fitness Youtubers (in isolation, without other programs). So I've become familiar with their program strengths, weaknesses, and weird idiosyncrasies. Nowadays I create my own workouts by mashing videos together, but I always meant to review these programs!
I kept notes on my progress through each program, but I never posted them because I couldn’t decide on a steady, objective measure of comparison. I was dieting during some but not others, so weight loss can’t easily be compared. And, since this is over the course of 4 years, I had different goals at different stages of my life; my Youtube Workout of choice often reflected that. Overall though, I can say that consistently working out is key, no matter what program you do!
My stats back in 2016:
  • Height: 5’9”
  • Weight: 154 lbs
  • BMI: 22.7
  • Measurements: 35 - 30 - 42 (thigh 23”, upper arm 11”)
  • Notes: Prior to home workouts, I occasionally used cardio equipment at the gym and hit up a yoga class, but otherwise did no exercise and hadn’t since high school. I was a size 29-30 in jeans.
My stats today (June 2020):
  • Height: 5’9”
  • Weight: 136 lbs
  • BMI: 20.1
  • Measurements: 33 - 27 - 38 (thigh 21”, upper arm 10”)
  • Notes: In quarantine I work out 4-5 days a week, anywhere from 20-60 minutes a day.
Moving onto the reviews! I want to note that I always did the workouts in full, stuck to the program 90% of the time, and gave it my best shot. ETA June 15: Also, since I've received a few messages about this: these are my opinions only! Fitness is personal and gains depend on so much more than just a program, so YMMV on whether each program will be useful for you. I can only speak from my own experience.
1. Blogilates free monthly calendar: 10 months total in 2016
  • The program: Bodyweight “pilates” workouts, 6 days a week, ~30 min/day. You complete 4-5 short videos/day.
  • Equipment: none
  • Workout focus: Bodyweight burnout reps that focus mostly on abs and butt
  • Workout weakness: arms and butt (weirdly)
  • Background: Cassey was my stepping stone into online workouts. I started with her Beginners Calendar, which I did twice through, and then worked my way through her monthly calendars for about 10 months consistently. I would diet on and off throughout this program.
  • Fitness Gains: out of all the workout Youtubers, I had my best ab definition with Cassey’s videos. I’d argue that 80% of the moves she does are ab-focused, even when they’re meant to be working another body part. However, I was at my leanest during her workouts, as I had lost a lot of fat while dieting but hadn’t gained any bulk (I was around ~125 lbs at this time). I also completed her 100 reps/day Ab challenge, and saw definition from that, as well.
  • Pros:
    • She talks you through the moves, which is useful for beginners.
    • She has a LOT of options for different situations: no jumping, no space, no problem. Many of her videos are low-impact.
    • Because of multiple vids, you can choose to stop after finishing a video, but still feel accomplished.
    • For most of her workouts, the reps and time are hidden from you. She usually tells you the moves in advance, though.
    • Burnout really means burnout. You essentially hold moves until it's physically impossible.
  • Cons:
    • no warm up or cool down
    • I liked her chatter when I first started, but found it irritating as time went on. It’s not meant for my age category, I think.
    • It's annoying that you have to google the multiple videos before each workout.
    • The intros and conclusions in her videos made it hard to gauge how long the workouts actually are. A 30 minute workout might take 45 minutes just because of long intros.
    • She jumps STRAIGHT into moves that require strong ab definition, even in her beginner calendar. There were exercises that always hurt my back and I’d always have to modify, even after 10 months of working with her (…banana pose, anyone?).
    • Most of her arm workouts are weightless (arm circles) and don’t do much. Your shoulder strength will come largely from the ab workouts (holding planks).
    • She also focuses a lot on lower body, but I didn’t see any definition in my butt/legs in those 10 months.
    • Don’t follow her food videos. Terrible advice.
    • She is very focused on aesthetics
  • Would I recommend this program: Maybe. I haven’t used her videos in a long time; I have different goals now and have moved on from her style of workout. But I think some of her videos can be useful to those who need a small, bite-sized push into exercise (even if you do 10 minutes a day). I will say that she teaches you consistency and endurance, but I feel like her style of workout MUST be paired with low-carb (maybe even low-calorie) eating in order to see aesthetic results. Proceed with caution, and be realistic with what this type of workout can achieve in isolation.
2. BLOGILATES PIIT 28: 28 days total
  • The program: a paid program. HIIT-style workouts, 28 minutes long, 7 minute circuits, 4x through.
  • Equipment: none
  • Workout focus: HIIT endurance, weight loss
  • Workout weakness: no strength building, expensive
  • Background: I bought the basic program when it first came out, largely to support Casey.
  • Fitness Gains: I saw no change in terms of strength or definition, going from her free workouts to PIIT. I lost no weight.
  • Pros: timer at the top, easy to follow because it’s repetitive.
  • Cons:
    • you have to repeat the video 4x - she doesn’t do it with you
    • Lots of jumping. I wrote in my notes “too many plank jack moves”, if that helps.
    • Cassey came out with this program in response to Kayla Itsines videos, and it’s basically the same thing
    • Honestly, I have very few notes on this program. I just wasn’t into it.
    • Don’t follow the food advice.
  • Would I recommend this program: …No. I don't think it's worth the money.
3. Kayla Itsines BBG 12-week workout: I did this twice through for 24 weeks.
  • The program: paid program. 5 days/week, one stretch day, one rest day. ~30 minutes a day. Alternates between plyometrics and LISS, mostly bodyweight.
  • Equipment: yes. Requires bench or step, medicine ball, and jump rope.
  • Workout focus: HIIT-style weight loss
  • Workout weakness: no strength gains, expensive, it is honestly so boring.
  • Background: full disclaimer, I did not buy this workout. I used a free pdf I found online back in 2017.
  • Fitness gains: I lost ~8 pounds when I did this program alongside some crash dieting. Like Blogilates, there’s definitely a focus on weight loss and leanness, even if she tells you it’s about resistance and strength. I wanted to be lean and model-esque during this time, so I will say that it helps if that's your goal. But the dieting is key.
  • Pros:
    • rep-based exercises are easy to follow (“20 burpees, 15 lunges, 24 squats, 30 jumping jacks, repeat 3x”)
    • You get photo instructions for each move
    • If you buy it, you also get video instructions and dieting advice, apparently. I am a cheating cheater who didn’t do this.
  • Cons:
    • lots of jumping. You need a bench to do a lot of the moves, which isn’t accessible for everyone
    • I felt incredibly neutral about the program. It's very repetitive; it felt like a weird ritualistic thing I had to do every day, even if the moves themselves weren’t complicated. It wasn’t fun, I didn’t see strength improvements… but I did lose weight.
    • She definitely has a focus on Looks, if you view her before and afters
  • Would I recommend this program: Nah. It's expensive, the gains were small, and there’s much better out there. That being said, if you’re someone who likes repetition and dislikes following a video, this may be the program for you.
4. FitnessBlender Workouts: used multiple programs consistently for over a year.
  • The program: 3-6 days/week depending on program, usually with 1 yoga day, 1 rest. The programs I paid for: Stretching, yoga, and flexibility program (25 min/day, 4 weeks), FB Bodyweight Fat Loss Program (40 min/day, 4 weeks), FB Booty (35 min/day, 4 weeks). Otherwise I just mismatched videos everyday as fit.
  • Equipment: Depends; they have both bodyweight and strength programs (requiring dumb bells).
  • Background: I love FitnessBlender and used them consistently for over a year, so I think I’ve done all of their free workouts. Literally. All of them.
  • Workout focus: Kelli does mainly HIIT and booty workouts. Daniel focuses on arms and abs, Tabata and ladder-style workouts.
  • Workout weakness: honestly, they’ve got a pretty good range of videos, so no real gaps in what they cover.
  • Fitness Gains: I had a LOT of gains on this program. I started with their no equipment, low-impact programs, and then slowly worked my way into the HIIT workouts. Finally, I took the plunge, bought some dumbbells, and got into their strength-training videos. I saw tons of definition in my arms and butt during this time. I watched my calories but didn't diet; my weight remained steady.
  • Pros:
    • As mentioned, really good dumbbell glute workouts
    • A hidden gem are their kickboxing vids for cardio. I still use them often.
    • Programs are cheap and their calendar lays out the workouts for you, so you just have to click through. You can also use their site to create your own workout calendar for free by adding their videos.
    • They have a timer and a progress bar, which I really loved, and they list the exercises for each workout in the description
    • Their videos are manageable (workouts are around ~30 minutes each), and include a warm up and cool down.
    • I like Kelli and Daniel as people (sounds weird, but it’s true). They talk you through the moves but don’t talk endlessly about unrelated things. They’re also… human. They modify their own moves when needed, take breaks, huff and puff and sweat like the rest of us. They made working out seem accessible, easy to follow, and not intimidating.
    • They strike a good balance of focusing on strength, but they also acknowledge that aesthetics play a part in working out.
    • Mostly, they made me realize that I didn't need to be exhausted after a workout, which is a mindset I had prior to their channel. This is probably a combination of me getting stronger, but also a focus away from long rep bodyweight and cardio.
  • Cons:
    • Sometimes they’re late instructing you how to modify a move, or proper form. Not a big deal, but y’know.
    • They include warm up and cool downs in their videos, which means the actual Workout may be quite short. A 45-min video may only have 25 minutes of actual exercise if you remove all the breaks.
    • Kelli has a weird Thing where she tries to justify a workout to you. They’re small, throwaway comments every few videos, and probably a type of motivation tactic ("keep progressing!"), but it didn't vibe with me. In a bodyweight workout, for ex, she might throw in a comment about how it’s a great video to start with… but that bodyweight might be hard for me as is, and I didn’t appreciate it. Once I finished their set programs and started making my own, I almost always chose Daniel’s workouts because I prefer his kind of motivation. ETA: I feel like I should add that I still like Kelli's workouts, and do use them, so don't be turned off by this! It's just a preference thing.
  • Would I recommend this program: Yes yes yes! I think FitnessBlender has probably the BEST workouts for anyone, out of all of these programs, especially for beginners. They are easily modified, simple and instructive without being overly challenging, and I got the most bang for my buck in terms of fitness goals. They’ve slowed on making videos due to a health condition of Kelli’s, and so they weren’t able to ride the Quarantine Workout Trend. It's a bummer they've fallen under the radar, because they're great.
5. Heather Robertson: free 12 week program
  • The program: 12 weeks, 30-40 minutes per video, 1 video a day, includes a short warm up + cool down.
  • Equipment: yes. Light dumbbells, exercise ball (though not necessary imo)
  • Background: you can sign up on her site for a monthly calendar (I had done random workouts with her in this form in 2019), or you can sign up for this 12-week program (both free). It comes with a long pdf that includes what to eat and how you track your macros, which I did not follow.
  • Workout Focus: it’s largely HIIT with weights - focus is low weight, high rep. It’s also a progressive program, where the first 4 weeks are largely no equipment, then you move into strength, and the last 4 weeks are a combination of both.
  • Workout weakness: lower body. Most of her focus is on HIIT, which means upper and abs get a focus.
  • Fitness gains: I saw endurance gains because of HIIT. I went ‘leaner’ and lost some mass in my legs and butt that I had gained from strength training. I also lost weight despite not dieting during this time (~5 lbs in 12 weeks).
  • Pros:
    • Workouts are circuit based, usually 45 sec on/15 off, 5-6 moves, 2-4x. So there’s variation but a bit of repetition.
    • Music is actually good, which is a rarity in workout vids (it's basic workout stuff, but not too cheesy)
    • Her HIIT workouts are killer; I’m always sweating like crazy every time.
    • Her HIIT workouts often include light dumbbells; it’s a step up from the usual no equipment HIIT and gives a good burn.
    • She’s focused on strength, not aesthetics.
  • Cons:
    • Not easily modified; if you don’t do high intensity, you’re not going to see results.
    • Not apartment friendly.
    • She doesn’t speak throughout the videos, so no guidance. There’s a beep countdown to let you know when to transition.
    • Sometimes I don’t hear the beep and miss the break, which kills my soul.
    • Breaks are SO SHORT WTF. They’re usually 20 seconds between sets.
    • if you’re unfamiliar with strength-training, it can be difficult to know the correct form since there’s no guidance. Hence, I don’t recommend for beginners.
  • Would I recommend this program: Yes, for more intermediate level workouts. I think Heather is great if you want that 'lean and fit, but not noticeably muscled' look and a focus on cardio. Again, results are best paired with diet control, but I saw my endurance increase substantially using her HIIT workouts.
6. Sydney Cummings: 30 day program: I did ~50 days total, and got back into it when quarantine struck.
  • The program: I know she has a calendar, but since she posts daily workouts I just followed those for ~50 days. Her program is strength training across the board, with no rest days: it’s 5 days of strength, 1 cardio, 1 stretch. Workouts range from 30-60 minutes on average, with short warm up and cool down (like under 3 min).
  • Equipment: yes, dumbbells and bands. Occasionally she uses a bench, but not necessary.
  • Workout focus: Strength training, usually higher weight, slow reps (though timed).
  • Workout weakness: Her arm workouts are hard. Also, she could probably improve her cardio-only workouts; their format is not as strong as her strength ones.
  • Fitness gains: yes! I saw improvement in both booty and shoulders. I also increased in weight but my measurements stayed the same during this time.
  • Pros:
    • She gives instructions on proper form throughout the workouts, making her a great intro to strength training.
    • Mostly apartment friendly
    • She always give modification moves
    • She’s one of the few Youtubers doing strength workouts that you can follow along, in full.
    • I like the structure of her workouts: it’s strength with a bit of cardio mixed in, and ends with a 2-4 min burnout round.
    • She is focused on strength, not aesthetics.
    • ETA: I forgot to add that she's also fun to workout with! Like FitnessBlender, she's very real and down to earth, and I appreciate the genuineness she brings to the videos.
  • Cons:
    • Though there’s a timer, it only counts down from the workout as a whole, not the exercise at that time. Sydney decides when to start each move (‘we’ll start at 25:10!’), so it's hard to follow the time of each interval. ETA: I don't mind this, but it's worth noting.
    • Doesn’t tell you the moves in advance of the workout
    • HIIT is always going to be high knees and burpees, repeatedly. It's effective but I hateee it.
    • While you can always modify, her workouts are really meant for heavier lifting, so this is more of an Intermediate program. You'll need a range of weights.
    • The motivation talks can get kind of annoying, although overall aren’t bad.
    • ...I strongly recommend stretching your wrists before you begin.
    • Not a con but a consideration: she does a lot of planks with weight (like plank to row, lifting the weight); I was always worried about my weights denting the wood floors of my apartment, so I would modify these.
  • Would I recommend this program: yes! I only discovered Sydney around the holidays, so I’m fairly new to her channel. I like her workouts and have seen gains in doing them. I continue to use them 2x a week, on average.
7. Chloe Ting 2 week shred: 2 weeks
  • The program: 2 weeks total, 2-4 videos that range from 25-45 minutes, 2 rest days
  • Equipment: no
  • Workout focus: abs only
  • Workout weakness: …abs only
  • Fitness gains: yeah I had more defined abs.
  • Pros:
    • There’s not much to say about this program. If you have low body weight, you’ll get some good ab definition.
    • The workouts are timed, and I liked the progress bar to show how far along you are in the workout.
    • She provides modified moves in a Split Screen mode, which is nice.
  • Cons:
    • I’m not a big fan of her video titles; “Do this to get a HOT SEXY booty” type stuff.
    • huge focus on aesthetics. Many of her videos start off with a body-check like pose.
    • As mentioned, I don’t like workouts that require multiple videos.
  • Would I recommend this program: I'm neutral about this. I found her workouts on par with Blogilates 100 ab challenge, so it's your preference. I had more ab definition from Cassey’s workout than I did with Chloe’s. That being said, I’ve looked through some of her other challenges, and they seem on par with Kayla Itsines program. So if you were considering Kayla’s, maybe try Chloe’s, instead, since they're free. I also like her booty band workouts for glute activation.
8. YogawithAdriene: 30 days of Yoga
  • The program: it’s a free program that leads you through yoga workouts, usually with a theme of the day (love, resiliency, comfort, strength, etc). 20-60 minutes, depending on day.
  • Equipment: none. Blocks and blankets are optional.
  • Workout focus: Mental… everything.
  • Workout weakness: It’s yoga, so expect slow gains.
  • Fitness gains: Yes. I gained overall stability in bodyweight exercises. I no longer shift around awkwardly in a plank.
  • Background: Unlike the other programs, I didn’t ONLY do these videos; I usually did 2-3 a week in-between other strength workouts.
  • Pros:
    • they’re good for relaxation, and you become more aware of your planks and stability
    • Her dog is cute as hell.
  • Cons:
    • this isn’t yoga meant for stretching or flexibility. It focuses mainly on form and mental wellbeing.
    • Adriene is probably the least ‘woo-like’ out of all the yoga instructors on Youtube, but there’s still some woo, which I don’t always vibe with. That being said, I like her dry sense of humour. It's rare to grin while yoga-ing!
  • Would I recommend this program: Yes. I personally can find yoga a bit… long, but I think it’s a good way to slow down and be more mindful of your form. I’m trying to incorporate it more into my life.
9. Natacha Oceane: AT HOME RELOAD: I only completed 3 of 10 weeks.
  • The program: 10 weeks, 5 days on/2 rest, each workout is around 60 minutes (with long breaks due to plyo exercises). It also comes with a guide on how to track calories, food plans, and all the basic fitness stuff.
  • Equipment: resistance bands and a box step are required, but she also recommends adding weight if you can.
  • Workout focus: HIIT or plyo strength, depending
  • Workout weakness: too many buy-ins, not accessible for some homes
  • Fitness Gains: n/a
  • Background: Full disclaimer: this is the only program I did not complete in full. I also didn’t pay for it - a friend had bought it and shared the guides with me, but she also quit. I think I did about 3 weeks of the program.
  • Pros:
    • It’s deceiving in how hard it can be!
    • Focus on strength, not aesthetics
    • The program comes with an App that lays out your daily workout, so it’s easy to setup. She also has demonstrations of every exercise to guide you through proper form, but whether you watch them is up to you
    • This is probably the closest program to a “gym” workout at home. It’s a lot of the same moves you would do when strength-training at the gym (chest presses, rows, hip thrusts, Bulgarian splits), and less of the usual “at home” moves (skaters, knee push ups, etc).
  • Cons
    • The reason I quit this workout is that it’s just not very accessible. I lived in an apartment at the time, and despite living on the lower level (so I didn’t have to worry about jumping), you need a lot of space and height to complete these workouts. You also need a lot of her specific equipment (particularly the bands and the app) to make it more effective.
    • I also realized that I like real-time workouts when I’m working from home - most of the time I want to follow a youtuber, rather than doing it by myself. It makes the time go faster. Just preference.
    • which is kind of a shame, because I like her personality a lot; she'd be amazing if she did real-time workouts.
  • Would I recommend this program: not if you live in an apartment. If you're in a house, have a good amount of space, and are willing to buy her resistance loops, then I think it could be quite effective for a replacement gym workout.
Annnnd that's all the programs I've completed! Onto Miscellaneous YouTubers! All of these are fitness YouTubers who do "light", quick workouts without programs. While the workouts aren’t long enough to show gains, you can double them up with other videos if you’re looking for a specific bodyfocus or want to ease into exercise. I’ll just do a quick review of the ones I've used often.
1. Madfit
  • Equipment: mostly bodyweight, sometimes light dumb bells.
  • Workout focus: arms and abs. She does a LOT of ab workouts.
  • Pros: I like using Madfit when I’m not really in the mood to workout. Her videos are short, the instruction is decent, and the music is good. She’ll often show you the moves and explain the circuit before she starts. Her dance workouts are really cute! I usually add one to the end of my workouts just to loosen up and laugh. I also double up on her booty band workouts sometimes when I want a quick workout session.
  • Cons: she focuses so heavily on abs that you need that foundational strength to do a lot of her videos.
2. Pamela Reif:
  • Equipment: no
  • Workout focus: bodyweight burnout
  • Pros: her ab workouts kill me, quite literally. I still am unable to get through one without a break.
  • Cons: there’s no verbal instructions, no breaks, and I feel like only her ab videos are effective.
  • Overall: I use her videos on days when I want to feel like I’m working out, but I don't know if they do anything for me in terms of gains - it’s more about mental health.
3. PopSugar fitness
  • Equipment: occasionally dumb bell
  • Workout focus: it’s essentially a free workout class (cardio classes, mostly) on the computer
  • Overall: the quality of the instructor really matters with PopSugar, because some of them are TERRIBLE and incredibly hard to follow. I’d say most of their videos fall into the range of "Working Out to be Healthy" rather than "Working Out to be Fit", which is not a bad thing! I think it's important to do this kind of workout once in a while for mental health.
  • If you want a good burn workout that's effective, I recommend these instructors: Jeanette Jenkins, Simon de la Rue, Ranier Pollard, Christa DiPaolo, Joseph D, and any of the STRONG by Zumba workouts.
4. Emi Wong
  • Equipment: none
  • Workout focus: bodyweight, low intensity workouts
  • Overall: I'm going to be honest, I'm not entirely sure why her videos have millions of views. Her workouts are low intensity, bodyweight burnout, and I don't see lasting results coming from them. There's not much structure to them, either. Yet I kept using her workouts as burnout rounds, I think because she seems relatable? She's funny and nice, and works out in her living room... but she has a model body. I dunno. Her workouts are pretty close to the early days of Blogilates. ETA: I want to stress that I discovered her vids after having completed strength training programs, so I've just moved on from her form of exercise. If they work for you, please keep going with them!
5. Sanne Violet
  • Equipment: booty band, sometimes
  • Workout focus: low impact pilates-type exercises.
  • Overall: same as above. Her workouts are short and quick burning, but like Emi's, they don’t have a lasting effect. They're also not well instructed. I’ve done maybe 10 of her workouts and don’t love them, but sometimes I use them as a burnout round, particularly if she's using a booty band. Otherwise, not much to say. But hey, she's a model, not a fitness instructor.
annnd that's it! There are other Youtubers that I don't use as much (Bailey Brown, Fitness Marshall, Rachel Aust, etc), but I think this covers the majority. I hope it helps you decide what At Home Workout is right for you! Also, I'm aware of the total lack of diversity in these fitness Youtubers. If anyone has any recs for free workout programs from fitness instructors who are POC, I'd appreciate it!
edited 06/13/2020 to clarify a few things and fix spelling.
submitted by WonderfulHoneydew to xxfitness