Thursday, February 5, 2009

Workout DVD Review

I heard about this dvd from the Four Fat Chicks blog and after seeing their amazing progress with this video and their Weight Watchers diet pact, I just had to give it a try for myself. I had been putting working out on the back burner the past few months because of a work commute but now that I've moved and have more time for things like that, I've become more motivated and I'm looking for new ways to workout. I can finally actually USE the 24 Hr Fitness membership that is so conveniently autodrafted from my bank account each month but the start of the new year also means the start of a new program for lots of people and the gym has been a little crowded. Also, there are just those days when you want to mix it up a little or save some time and workout at home.
So when I read about Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred dvd I added it to my Netflix list and thought "how hard can it be?". The dvd is made up of 3 20-minute workout segments. Levels 1, 2, and 3. The dvd is designed with the idea that even if you only have 20 minutes to work out, if you do one of these 20 minute workouts each day for 30 days, you will see results. Each 20-minute segment is divided into a warm up, 3 different 6 minute workout routines, and then a cool down. Each workout routine is 3 minutes weight training, 2 minutes cardio and 1 minute abs. Jillian keeps you busy the whole time with all that switching between exercises! The first level includes push ups, jumping jacks, squats, punches, jumping rope, crunches, reverse crunches, and I can't even remember what else. By the end of it I was a little sweaty but wanted to keep going and see what Level 2 was all about...

Level 2 was a little more of the same with some lunges, high kicks, and planks thrown in for good measure. Jillian doesn't let you take a water break but man I was reaching for mine every chance I got between the cardio and abs portions! This is a total body workout for sure! Its fast paced and Jillian seems focused and pretty serious about delivering results. I was able to do all of it, sans weights on the first go round, and Jillian is there cheering you on along the way which helps a lot too. She knows just what to say to keep a girl going "Picture yourself going shopping for jeans - or even better bathing suits!" - definitely got me going a little harder! There are 2 other girls in the video also, one doing an advanced version of each move and one doing an easier version so you just do what you can - the important thing is to keep moving. After I had finished I didn't feel like it had been the hardest workout in the world or anything but upon waking up the next morning and even still today, 2 days later, I am feeling those squats, lunges, chest presses. This dvd is about $10 and totally worth it. I think I'll be bringing Jillian home for good and adding her to my workout video library pretty soon! After my trial run of Levels 1 and 2 I wasn't up for Level 3 - honestly after Level 2 I'm a little scared of what is in involved in Level 3! Maybe I'll get there once I own the dvd and have mastered the other 2...

The only complaint I have is that you can't set the workouts to play all in a row. So if you want to do more than one, you have to go back to the menu, select the next one and then go from there. Not a huge thing but a "play all" feature would be nice. And the music selection isn't the best but what workout dvd really has music that is that great? Not many!

There are only 2 other workout dvds that I really like. One I've had since college and even though Billy Blanks has been around the world and back at this point and probably has about 100 dvds, I'm still a fan of the original. The dvd I have has 3 workouts on it and once you are familiar with the moves, the Advanced one is great. It runs about an hour and has great moves for strength and toning. There is a good section at the end for abs and butt/legs too. I can do this one over and over without getting too annoyed with the music and/or people also. I started doing Tae Bo in high school and still, 10 years later, I would be happy to pop this in and kick and punch with Billy for an hour!
The other dvd I regularly do at home is MTV Pilates Mix. This dvd is made up of 2 30-minute workouts and a 12-minute bonus routine for whenever you're in a real time crunch. On the 30-minute workouts, one concentrates on lower body and one concentrates on upper body. To me, the workouts are timed perfectly. They're not too long or too short. This dvd does have a "play all" feature so I usually select that and do both 30-minute workouts. This is the perfect workout for those times when you don't want to so hot and sweaty that you have to take a shower but you do want to get a good workout in. The toning and ab moves are great and I feel like it does help you lengthen your muscles and improve your overall posture. The instructor for this also does a Power Yoga dvd for MTV but I haven't tried that one just yet. It is coming up in my Netflix queue so I will let you know what I think pretty soon!
Also, none of these dvds require any additional equipment. You could use some light weights for the 30 Day Shred, but thats about it. You just need to make the space on the floor in front of the tv! And Jillian and the Pilates Mix dvds are listed for about $10 each on and qualify for their great "Super Saver Shipping" so you could add on something fun to make up the $25 minimum order and have these in your home by next week! Sadly, I just realized that the Tae Bo dvd I mentioned is pretty hard to come by these days. I think all of his workouts are probably great, the original advanced one is just one that I prefer. He must be doing something right if he's still able to make and sell all these new dvds!

1 comment:

Tiny's Treats said...

The 30 day shred sounds good!