Thursday, April 14, 2011

Workout DVDs

If you know me at all, you know how alternate-universe it is that I am writing a blog post to say that I LOVE workout videos.

Ever since I realized that I HAD to workout the next thing to figure out was, how? Gym memberships are pricey and difficult to work in to the schedule. Swimming laps was great, but also difficult to work in to the schedule, plus they were a huge time commitment every time I went (driving+swimming+showering+driving). I liked some other outdoor exercise, but mostly walking, which wasn't really aerobic enough for me and not something I could do a daily basis.

I decided to try Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred, thinking that it would be the fastest way towards the elusive bikini bod. The workout was good, but TOUGH. Really, really tough for someone as out of shape as I was.

After the 30 Day Shred I then started branching out in to other videos. I loved Jackie Warner's show Workout on Bravo so I got her DVD with the trainers from the show. That one is good, but a little long. There are three 20-minute segments, one arms, one legs and one abs. I tend to pick two, like arms and abs or legs and abs. She very much isolates exercises in this video. You aren't doing arms AND legs at the same time, just bicep curls and that's it, so it's not as strenuos.

The day I bought the above DVD I bought this Biggest Loser one. I have to confess, I have never seen The Biggest Loser, but I liked Jillian, so I thought this one would be good. Unfortunately, Bob Harper is so unbelievably obnoxious, it was hard to get through. Jillian's portion was really tough. I was sore the next day and I hadn't been sore in a while up until then! I have to say it was nice to see all of the "real people" on the tv doing the exercises, too. I wasn't the only one struggling!
The Xtreme Timesaver Training video with Jackie Warner is my favorite video so far. It is TOUGH, really tough, and 30 minutes long.I usually feel like I will die when I'm done, but, you know, in a good way. I find Jackie a teensy bit easier to swallow than Jillian, too.

My friend Stephanie suggested looking on Netflix for workout DVDs, which I recently did. I have only tried one so far and it was Self magazine's Bikini Ready Fast. It reminded me of more of the "old school" workout DVDs in that the instructor did a lot of "and one, and two, and bend, and twist . . . ." and did some really complicated moves that I had to keep stopping to watch and then still not getting right. It was a very easy workout and I ended up popping in another DVD and doing twenty minutes of something else right after.

After that one I got a mountain of DVDs from the library to try. So far I have done the following three:

Jillian Michaels' Six Week Six Pack is pretty tough, not suprisingly. It's not really ALL about the abs, but that is the focus. There are two levels and I did the first. I always wonder who Jillian's upper levels are made for-- not for mere mortals!

Jackie Warner's Power Circuit was a great workout. I enjoyed the intensity level and it was a little long, but okay. I did the 40-minute full circuit. You can also do 4 separate 15 minute circuits. Each circuit consisted of (I think) three exercises and then the "power burn" where you sped through each previous exercise. It was sort of fun and different.

Today I tried Jillian Michaels' No More Trouble Zones. Oh, I do love Jillian, but this video was WAY too long. It is a 5 minute warm up, a 40 minute workout and a 5 minute stretch. It is pretty hard, but not as bad as the 30 Day Shred, it's just too long. I kept thinking "is this over soon?" It runs on circuits and you do each circuit twice, which is a nice change.

So, that's it so far! I am sitting on another Biggest Loser DVD from the library and I'm not sure I even want to try it. Maybe if I put it on mute? Ha!

Any at-home workouts you've done lately that you love?


  1. I haven't done a home workout in a long time, but I've been considering it again. As for a resource, if you have a Family Video in your area, they rent workout videos for free! They also have videos for little kids for free.

    I used to do Tae Bo and loved it!

  2. thanks Jorje. I have never tried Tae Bo. Should look in to it! I also have no idea if we have a Family Video. Will look in to that, too!

  3. I thought that Bikini ready workout was so hard! I used 5lb weights and was dying by the time she put them down and started with the pushups. I cannot believe you did another workout after that one! Amazing. You are a rock star!

  4. Two things: I only have 3 lb weights, so that makes a huge difference. I also probably spent a lot of time standing there going "what the heck are you doing?!"
    I need 5 lb weights, though.


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