CosmoBody YouTube Channel Review

This Subscription Fitness Service Is Now Free on YouTube


Until early 2016, the CosmoBody fitness program geared primarily to millennials was offered as a paid subscription service for just under $10 per month. Whether due to low subscriber numbers or the high cost of producing and hosting such high-quality videos, CosmoBody ditched its all-out effort to wow the world with celebrity trainer-led workouts and moved all its content to YouTube to offer it for free.

Yes, free. 

Obviously, CosmoBody isn't the only high-quality fitness content on YouTube—there's a lot of it out there. But they're the first big-name subscription model to chuck their subscription service and say, "Here, just take it." 

So while I tend to be fairly critical of online workout programs, it's hard to be mad at a company that decides to give it all away. This is especially true given that CosmoBody elected to make their content available on YouTube, which means it's incredibly easy for people to queue up their videos on practically any screen, whether a Smart TV, through the YouTube Roku or Amazon Fire TV apps, or on any smartphone, tablet, or computer. 

CosmoBody YouTube Channel Basics

In a nutshell, CosmoBody offers a variety of workouts from a variety of expert trainers, all easily streamed to your favorite device. Workouts include:

  • Yoga
  • Dance
  • Strength Training
  • Cardio
  • Barre

You can find playlists geared to these types of workouts by switching from the main channel page to the "Playlist" page on the navigation bar.

It's harder to find niche strength training formats—for instance, high-intensity interval training—than it was on CosmoBody's subscription model, but you can sort through all the video options by using the "Videos" tab on the navigation bar. 

CosmoBody trainers tend toward the "celebrity" variety, including Tara Stiles and Adam Rosante,  and workouts tend toward short—typically no more than 30 minutes.

There are also a number of lifestyle videos and tips accessible through the playlists tab, including food, love, and beauty content.

The Pros

CosmoBody's done a great job with quality. The video and sound is excellent, and the workouts are easy to follow along with. They've gone above and beyond to source trainers with big names to help draw people in and keep them interested.

I've tried a number of the workouts, including yoga, HIIT, and dance, and as usual, I found myself personally drawn toward interval training workouts. I was incredibly impressed with Adam Rosante's training skills, and even though he talks a lot during each workout, I wasn't annoyed by his banter. In fact, I found him quite motivating.

I can't say I had the same experience with every workout I tried, but the fact that there are so many different programs and trainers to choose from made it easy to find options I liked.

Even though the new YouTube playlists aren't as easy to navigate as the previous subscription program, I had no problem finding the workouts I wanted to try. And with more than 200 videos to access and try, there's plenty of variety to help keep routines from getting stale. 

The Cons

As mentioned, I'm not a fan of every trainer.

I tried a Tara Stiles yoga routine, and simply didn't enjoy it. She's a good instructor, but I found her voice grating and her chatter with the other demonstrators distracting. That said, I would do her programs again simply because the routines themselves are good.

Astrid Swan McGuire is a different story. I followed one of her strength training workouts and was not impressed. Beyond the inane conversation she had with her backup demonstrator, the exercises she led didn't make sense, she lost track of where she was, failed to perform some of the same moves equally to each side, and just didn't deliver a solid workout.

I was left asking myself, "Is she even certified?" Apparently she is, but I won't try another one of her routines.

All-in-all, most trainers are high-quality and good at what they do, but you might have to try several workouts before figuring out which ones you want to use.

Another con is the length of the workouts. I'm all for short routines, but it would be nice if there were a mix of longer workouts, too. For instance, a 20-minute dance workout is nice, but I'd prefer a 40 to 50-minute option. Likewise with yoga, short practices are great when you just have a few minutes, but having the option for a longer practice would make this channel even better.

Which brings up an important point—CosmoBody hasn't added any new content to their channel since moving their videos to YouTube. If you're hoping for regular updates and additions, you won't find them here.

Two More Considerations

  1. Audience. It's very clear that CosmoBody is intended for the millenial audience—an audience that's similar to Cosmopolitan Magazine's target demographic: young, single, and fashionable. There's a lot of talk about going out to the clubs, getting drunk, hooking up, being late for work, and generally embracing a bit of irresponsible behavior while entering adulthood. If you aren't in this target demographic, you may not appreciate the banter or the intent.
  2. End of Workout Advertisements. At the end of each workout the instructors share what they're wearing. In other words, they plug brands like C9 by Champion and Reebok. Presumably, CosmoBody is getting paid for this additional promotion. There's nothing wrong with it, and having it at the end of the workout is better than at the beginning, but it's a pretty blatant plug.

Who It's Suited For

A millennial audience that's comfortable streaming online videos through a mobile device or Smart TV.