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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Fitness DVD Reviews:

Since earning a living takes the Music Man away from home for 80% of the year and therefore renders me gymless (sigh) a couple of days a week, I decided to pick up a couple of fitness DVDs. Here's a review of the four that I've used:

Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred:
I found level 1 to be only moderately challenging. Mind you, I'm used to hour long cardio sessions at the gym, so 20 minutes felt like nothing. Jillian uses a 3-2-1 system, where you do strength for 3 minutes, cardio for 2, and abs for one. You only need a mat and some hand weights for this DVD, which is a plus.

Level two is much more challenging, and you get into moves that require some coordination. Plank jacks are simple enough, but the move where you're in plank and then jump your feet up to your hands? Killer. Did I mention that you do that for 2 thirty-second intervals?

I haven't tried level 3 yet, choosing instead to levels 1 and 2 together for a 40 minute workout yesterday. More to come.

Jackie Warner's Workout:
Overall not bad. I found the upper body to be quite easy; I only felt like I was working in the shoulder portion. Lower body is a bit more of a challenge, but not by much. However, buy this DVD for the core workout. I do Pilates at least two hours per week, and this kicked my tail. I loved that it was work for me, because there isn't much that challenges my core anymore (thanks to Pam, my wonderful instructor)!

Intermediate Pilates with Ana Caban:

I've owned this for years, and it's actually how I got into Pilates in the first place. Right after the Look Alike was born, this was a real challenge, and I think it's a good primer for anyone who is new to Pilates. Ana cues well, and there's enough repetition to feel challenged but successful. I do this on non-class days sometimes, but it's much slower than the pace of my class at the gym.

The New York City Ballet Workout:

The good news is that this DVD has loads and loads of good stretches. The bad news is that they're static stretches, so I'd say to only do this after you're warm. After stretching they move on to basic positions, demi-plies, tandue, battement, and small jumps. Most of this is doable. The cuing is terrible, but the voice over is soothing, and the whole thing is beautifully shot. It's quite long at an hour, and great for developing flexibility.

So there you have it, the DVDs I'm using to supplement my meager 7 hours a week at the gym right now. In combination, I feel confident that they'll keep my level of fitness high until I can take all of the kids with me!

1 comment:

SeeTheBlueSky said...

I so used to be a gym addict... I would hate the days I couldn't go. I always made sure that I was a member at one with free childcare (that I trusted) so that I could continue my habit.
The tapes are always okay, but not the same.
I've been trying to get back into the swing of things, and I am using tapes now. It's just not really inspiring. Thanks for your reviews... I'll have to check some of them out...
Also.... I did get everything frozen or canned that I picked....it just got really old.
We happen to be between Cartersville and Rome, with the garden area at my parent's house in Acworth.