A Review of ‘Zero to Hero’: A Fitness Programme Designed for Those with Chronic Pain

A Review of 'Zero to Hero': A Fitness Programme Designed for People with Chronic Pain |

An Introduction of the ‘Zero to Hero’ Fitness Programme

I had the wonderful privilege of trying out the Zero to Hero online fitness programme for free, designed and run by Megan Densmore. It’s based on pilates and tailored for those who live with chronic pain, who are unable to keep up with a full on fitness programme or regime. Megan herself lives with fibromyalgia; in fact, the name of this very fitness programme stems from a painful transition in her life due to poor health.

There’s plenty of information on her website, so I won’t rehash them here. I’ll be honest with you though; as wonderful as the fitnes programme was, I fell off the bandwagon. This is no fault of Megan or the fitness programme in and of itself – in fact, there are many positive reviews here – but due to my personality type and how I learn best. Below are some of my personal thoughts on Megan’s fitness programme, based on my individual needs.

Zero to Hero Review: The Pros

The Fitness Programme Can be Done at Your Own Leisure

We’re all different, and our daily optimal hours vary as well. I’m quite unwell in the mornings, but some of you may find yourself the most energetic, then. Chronic illness is unpredictable, and committing to a class where I’ll need to show up in person can be a problem. The Zero to Hero fitness programme is 100% online, which means that you can complete the workout of the day at your optimal hour, in the comfort of your own home.

You Can Pause the Video as Needed

It’s nice to be able to pause the video to figure out how to get into a position, while taking my time to get into it. I don’t have to worry about keeping up with achy joints, like in a regular fitness class. It doesn’t matter how long you take to complete the exercise of the day, just do it at your own pace. The goal is to get stronger a little at a time.

Inspiring New Healthy Habits

While I did fall off the bandwagon, it was this fitness programme that inspired me to get moving more on a daily basis. I now try to do at least 30 minutes of walking or exercise every day, even if my joints are aching. This may not sound like much, but the key lies in building a consistent habit. I do play high intensity sports like squash now and then, but these are usually impromptu events. Moving a little every day is definitely more effective for long term health and wellbeing.

Direct Access to Trainer

It’s easy to find Megan’s email address, and there’s a form to fill in every week for feedback. It’s always a positive sign when a mentor is available for some one-on-one communication, as it shows that she cares about your wellbeing.


I actually found the exercises more relaxing than exhausting, and sometimes used them to help me fall asleep with more ease! There are some calm, deep stretches, which loosens up tight areas in my body. Combined with all the mindful breathing, this is perfect for calming down before, or even in bed!

Zero to Hero Review: The Cons

No One to Physically Correct My Poses

While I can pause the videos to adjust myself, I often don’t even realise that my pose is a little off in the first place. Yoga instructors are always correcting my positions during classes. These adjustments may be subtle, yet make an impact on whether they’re helpful or harmful to your body. We all have some blind spots as well. While the exercises in the beginner videos were easy enough to do without getting them wrong, this was a thought I had, especially as it progresses.

Slow Progression

The programme starts out with two weekly workouts, together with a mix of other personal fitness activities. This goes on for five weeks, before the next set is available. Perhaps this is the best pace for many with fibromyalgia and chronic illnesses, but I found the timeline a little slow going. Megan did suggest that I find some new form of exercise I could love on top of the fitness programme, but I admit I was a little lazy there *ahem*!

I’m Not Active in Many Facebook Groups

To avoid drowning in newsfeed overload, I turn off notifications for many Facebook groups. Megan and participants in the fitness programme are highly active in her Facebook group. She does many live chats, and answers people’s questions there too. This is great if you like interacting in this manner, but it’s not my favourite. I’m not sure how active she is on other social media platforms, but this is just an observation for those who don’t use Facebook. For those who do – there’s a wealth of collective knowledge there.


I felt very fortunate to have had the opportunity to sample this fitness programme which Megan painstakingly and lovingly built. If you’re not sure if this is for you, there’s only one way to find out! I would encourage you to drop Megan a message to arrange for a 30 minute consultation, and I’m sure she’ll give you a sincere, helping hand. She seems like a nice person with a great attitude. All the best in your fitness journey with chronic illness!

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I had the wonderful privilege of trying out the Zero to Hero online workout programme, designed and run by Megan Densmore. It is based on pilates and tailored for those who live with chronic pain such as fibromyalgia, who are unable to keep up with a full on workout. Click to read review or pin to save for later. | | #achronicvoice #chronicillness #healthylifestyle #fitness #exercise #spoonielife

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September 7, 2018 00:48

As a Personal Trainer and Certified Exercise Physiologist, this is a great review – you’ve pointed out the parts that worked for you, and the parts that didn’t, while acknowledging that some of these things may or may not work for others. Listing your personal pros and cons was a great way to help others know what to expect! I’m actually curious about it now myself!

Sheryl Chan
September 7, 2018 11:20
Reply to  TessaG

Hi Tessa, I had no idea you were a personal trainer, too! That’s pretty awesome, imho 😉 And thank you, I do try to keep things as fair as I possibly can. I think a lot of the problems in the world stem from becoming too absorbed with only one perspective, when really the world is full of possibilities! Sending hugs! x

Ava Meena
January 16, 2018 05:06

I’m glad you got to try out the program and that you did see some benefits for it. It sounds like it could be great for some spoonies. 🙂

Sheryl Chan
January 16, 2018 10:28
Reply to  Ava Meena

I think it would be wonderful for many spoonies out there for sure! 🙂 It’s definitely a programme worth a shot if you’re interested! 🙂

January 12, 2018 00:24

This sounds really interesting (especially when you said how you find the exercises quite relaxing and helpful when it came to sleeping!) I can see what you mean about the pace, though I imagine it must have been very hard for her to get the balance where she wanted it so that it was comfortable and not too fast nor to slow before moving things up a notch. I also think that one-to-one communication is fantastic to have with this should you need it for any questions or extra support! 🙂

Sheryl Chan
January 12, 2018 16:23
Reply to  Caz

Yes totally agree with you, it must be very difficult for her to balance each student’s pace! It was an interesting module for sure, worth a trial! 🙂