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Exercise DVDs - the good, the bad and the ugly

(115 Posts)
speedymama Mon 04-Jun-07 09:09:13

On the exercise thread, it was suggested that a separate thread reviewing exercise DVDs would be a good idea so I thought I would start the ball rolling with my faves and my pet hates.

Faves -
Taebo, especially, Everybody get ripped and Abs and Glutes work out. The advanced workout on Everybody get ripped is, imo, one of the best workouts I have ever done because by the end, every part of my body has had a workout - heart, legs, arms, voice box, sweat glands - you get the picture!

I also have Taebo Energise but I'm still getting into that one.

Davina Macall's Power of 3 and 3 x 30 minute work out. I do enjoy both of these and surprisingly, I don't get irritated by her pointless witterings. The workouts are intense, targetted and effective. They really work.

10 Minute Solution - Kickbox Bootcamp by Keli Roberts. This is great for people who are short on time. There are 5 sections - basic, legs, arms, abs and cardio - all 10 minutes long and designed to maximise intensity.

David Kirsch's Sound Mind Sound Body - Ultimate Fitness Boot Camp - I really enjoy this one because it is only 43 minutes long and it combines cardio with weights so it is like circuit training.

speedymama Mon 04-Jun-07 09:16:08

Other faves that I forgot to post (oops!)

Nell McAndrew's Peak Energy and Maximum Impact - you have to be fit to do these DVDs all the way through. They are challenging and extremely effective.

Pump it up - the original. As far as dance workouts go, I don't believe you can better this one. Not only is it fun, it is energeti and extremely effective at building your cardio fitness, especially the hi-energy dance section. Wicked!

Jane Fonda - Low Impact aerobics and Legs, Bums and Thigh workout. It is old fashioned compared to the modern workouts but I still go back to this from time to time because I just love the workouts. They are effective, enjoyable and Jane and her team are great motivators, especially if you are a beginner.

The Little Black Dress workout - Zoe Lucker. I think this is great for a beginner. It is not strenuous at all and provides a gentle all over workout. I did this when I started working out 3 months after my Csection and it was just what I needed. It is like taking a genteel stroll in the park. I don't do it now because it is too easy but for a beginner, I would recommend it. The Essex girl banter does get on my nerves though!

Keli Roberts - Step aerobics. Do people still do this? I love it. High energy workout and the abs exercise is just awesome.

Pilates abs workout - 30 minutes focused solely on the abs. Brilliant!

speedymama Mon 04-Jun-07 09:29:37


Bodylicious - The Ultimate Dance Workout

This is my number one loathesome exercise DVD. It is such a travesty and so misleading. Cutting edge modern dance choreography - where?

The dance movements are not explained properly, the music is just dreadful and third rate, the main instructor looks like he would rather be somewhere else but worst of all, it has that awful woman, Suzanne Cox. Please be warned - do not buy anything that has this woman in it - they are all second rate garbage. Don't take my word for it - just read the reviews on Amazon.

Hollywood workout.

No cardio workout, too much preening and froth. The constant, inane witterings just drove me to distraction. Yuk!

Penny Smith Yoga - boring, boring, boring.

Micah bo - Micah irritates me so much I gave him away to a charity shop.

3andnomore Mon 04-Jun-07 10:01:37

Tae BO (in general I love them all)
Used to have the Tae BO Gold, which I really enjoyed, and only gave away because it was a VHS and I only got a DVD player downstairs, and no space upstairs , where a Videoplayer is!
Tae BO Get ripped- really like the Advance one of this, the basic one is ok!
Tae Bo Active and Energise (are the same workouts, got them both as they were in the Ultimate idea why, lol! With these I love the Basic workout and the 8 Minute one is brill, too...and it's amazing how much one can sweat in just 8 minutes, lol!
Ta Bo Abs and Gluts...must admit, this one is o.k. but I find it to fast in the floorwork (basically meaning I ain't fit enough, probably and therefore can't do it properly and therefore not enjoying it as much!
All in All Tae Bo is's great cardio work and fabulous for your abs and gluts anyway, with all thsoe kicks and punches, etc...! Billy Blanks comes across as a bit cheesy, but I still like his way to explain and motivate.

Nell McAndrews, Ultimate Challenge and Maximum Impact...both these are fabulous, in my opinion. They are very hard work. A lot of cardio/Interal training and Squats. Lots of different Jogging and Jumping on the spot,etc...some floorwork and resistence traiing and a good cooldown session, too!
Nell doesn't make any comments, etc...and conversation is mostly explaing of moves,, it doesn't get annoying. Might not be good for someone with bad knees, though!
A good point is, that you require hardly any space for it! You do need weights though

Davina Power of 3 and my three 30 minute workouts...Power of 3 I love, wiht the three 30 minute workout I like "THe PUMP" section and "The Core" Workout, not that keen on the Cardio Box, though....I find that section is not as good explained as the other workouts!
I find that Davina's DVD's give you a very good workout, and love the Cardio Intervals dotted all through the Workouts. It's also nice that they give you the easy options aswell and put so much importance on the fact to workout at your level!
These are also great as not much space is required. OH and it's helpful if you have weights.
Must admit, after doing the workouts umptiest times, sometimes, despite the fact that I really like Davina, her comments can become annoying....

Beverley Callards - Rapid Results! This is a nice workout when you start out. The music and clothes are rather dated (and I tend to have a good laugh at the Blokes in their lil Aerobics male "leotards" or whatever one would call those for men).
There isn't much Cardio, but the toning and weightsection is fabulous.

These ones are o.k.:
Jade's Shape Challenge! Her comments are annoying no end ( and I haven't even had it that long, and therefore haven't done it that often, lol) but all in all it's a reasonable workout. A little bit in the style of Davina's, but not as hard work. Although soem sections are, of course, tougher then others.

Kirsty Gallagher, Body Sculpt!
It's an o.k. workout, but, the Breaks are to long inbetween and there is no encouragement to keep moving on the spot inbetween. And Kirsty is rather annoying, moaning all the time just how difficult it is (even if you are doing somehting pretty easy)....!I wouldn't buy this DVD again, but will keep hold of it now that I have it!

Aerobics Oz Style, The Spirit of's o.k. and well explained, but, even though I had never done Yoga before, I found it far to easy. I think though,k that Yoga isn't really for me.

The Hollywood Workout, it has no cardio and I wasn't even sweating after doing all 3 20minute workouts. However, I think it has some good resistence training in there and is, all in all, well explained. The Trainers are highly annoying though. He grions inanely throughout and she is making stupid comments and breathing in a sexily way etc....!
I doubt wiht just this Workout you would get anywhere near the Hollywood Body it's promises, but combined with a cardio workout one would see some results.

3andnomore Mon 04-Jun-07 10:02:51

Oh, the Hollywood workout lacks proper warm up and cool down sessions!

speedymama Mon 04-Jun-07 10:44:00

I think the Hollywood workout would work with the Taebo 8 minute workout. Use the 8 minute workout for cardio blast and the Hollywood workout for tone. I do not believe for one second that Hollywood royalty get their highly toned physiques based on this workout though.

The Body by Elle McPherson with Karen Voight combines weights with cardio fitness. It is a bit old fashioned now but effective. I have not done it for a while though.

Also, good point about the space requirements. I think that is where Nell McAndrew, Davina, and Taebo win. You don't need much space to do them. In fact, with Nell's you just need one spot!

speedymama Mon 04-Jun-07 10:49:52

Another aspect of Taebo that I love is that Billy Blank uses real people, not models. Some are overweight, some are really mature in age (one woman who appears in many of them is about 73 yo (he mentions this in Energise I think). In Everybody get ripped, in the basic section there is even a little boy who looks about 6 years old.

The 8 minute workouts are fabulous if you want to get a cardio blast in the minimum amount of time.

3andnomore Mon 04-Jun-07 11:16:50

OH yeah, the Use of real people in Tae Bo is brill!
I thought that lil one was a girl though, lol...think he/she is there with mummy though and not really working out for the working out sakes, lol!
But Marge ( I think that is the name of the old Lady) is fabulous! )! a bit to give you
The Ugly
(not necessarily because they aren't good workouts, but because I don't get on with them, lol)

Micah BO anything....don't like, just can't get into it!

The Personal slow for me and also, haven't got a Step, which you need.

30minute tone and stretch- just to boring for me.

Anthony's 70's Disco Workout (BB winner)- he doesn't explain any dancemoves, and the girls are so irritating. And as I am not very good with picking up dance just isn't for me.

Tracy Shaw's Salsacise For Hips And Thighs, hm....I couldn't get into it! Possibly again because me and Danceroutine, not the greatest combo, lol!

speedymama Mon 04-Jun-07 11:31:44

In Energise, there is a little girl too! I forgot about that.

Marge is amazing. On the 8 minute workout on the Everybody get ripped workout, she is squatting and doing the front kicks. There are many teenagers who would not be able to do 4 of those in a row without collasping. I think Billy Blanks uses her as a covert motivator - if she can do it, so can you!

3andnomore Mon 04-Jun-07 12:29:28

had a blond moment there...when you set get ripped I didn't think of everybody get ripped, but the get ripped one I have...oh so!
And, yeah I think that is partly why Marge is in all of them, well, more or less anyway

wuzzlefraggle Mon 04-Jun-07 14:08:10

oooh the 2 i use are Ministry Of Sound, Pump It Up The Ultimate Dance Workout and Ministry Of Sound, Pump It Up Burn It, Loose It.

fantastic, and by Dianne Berrie. Both are great and a really good workout, make me sweat like mad when i do them and are fun to do. i do one of the dvd's every day (normally in the morning)

speedymama Tue 05-Jun-07 16:10:24

The Fit Club video is very different from most of the others because it is Harvey Walden doing his no nonense routine.

The first time I did it I thought boring but that was because he does not use modern pumping dance music. The only music is this military tune and it is very much in the background.

I now like it because it is exercise stripped down to the basics with no fancy thrills. He does things like marching on the spot, squat thrust, jumping jacks, twists etc. There are three sections as well as the obligatory warm up and cool down sections so you can bail out when you feel you have done enough.

As you can expect from a hardcore trainer from the US Marines, the work out gets your heart pumping.

This one would suit beginners, intermediates and advanced exercisers. It will also appeal to men who feel awkward dancing around the living room.

3andnomore Tue 05-Jun-07 17:12:14

Stylewise it does sound a bit like Nell Mc'Andrews ones So, I bet I will like it!
You mentioned on the other thread that there isn't really any music...well...I suppose one could always use ones own favourite tracks, well, once one knows the routine (wow...lots of ones and once in there, rofl)

speedymama Thu 07-Jun-07 09:18:11

Last night I did Nell McAndrew's Ultimate Challenge and believe me, it is a challenge to do this unrelenting routine all the way through.

Fortunately, the main cardio part which last about 40 minutes has about 5 bail out points so you can stop at any of these points.

The DVD starts with a warm up which last about 10 minutes. If you are completely unfit, I think this could wipe you out. The main cardio section (Part 2) comprises running on the spot, jumping on the spot, jumping jacks, ski jumps coupled with a plethora of arm aerobics. After each cardio blast, there are the killer squats. If you want shapely legs and thighs, this workout will certainly deliver that. There are about 5 points where they allow you to bail out of the routine so you can do as much as your fitness level dictates.

Part 3 comprises upper body workout with weights as well as press ups, killer ab routine, back exercises and glutes workout. It was a relief to see Nell unable to complete the last set of press ups - she is like the rest of us.

I also did the extra workout which includes doing the plank for the abs - that was soooo hard!

If you want an invigorating and relentless work out, this will not disappoint.

speedymama Thu 07-Jun-07 09:24:25

I have all 3 of Nell's DVDs and in order I would rate them as follows:

1 Ultimate Challenger
2 Peak Energy
3 Maximum Impact

These DVDs are the marathons of home exercising whereas those of Davina are like a three mile run. Taebo is a combination of both depending on if you do the advance or basic workouts.

After my workout with UC, I watched the testimonials whilst drowning copious amounts of water. One of the guys in the DVD lost 6 stones by exercising with the outfit who design these workouts and by following a healthy diet. Another guy lost 3 stone when he started workout with the outfit too. Very inspiring!

speedymama Thu 07-Jun-07 09:24:53

That should be Ultimate Challenge

3andnomore Thu 07-Jun-07 13:11:56

I have 2 more Exercise Dvd's to rate, now!

Kate's Cardio Combat!
I was pleasantly surprised, tbh...wasn't sure what to expect.
It's an Aerobic Woekout based on Boxing , so, in some ways similar to Tae BO. It could be more challenging, I suppose, however, I think it would be ideal especially for someone only starting to work out!
Very easy to follow moves, on the spot...which helps if you don't have that much space. Kate Lawler (BB3, I think) is o.k. and doesn't talk to much. It's about 50 minute long, devided in different sections, so, can be done all in one go or you can mix and match as you have time and what you want to work, etc...!It's not a Routine for which I would want to pay full price, but if you can get a good deal on E-bay or Amazon, it's worth a go!

Nell Mc'Andrews Peak Energy!
Like Speedy, I have got all 3 DVD's now, and compared to the other 2 the cardio section is pretty easy, still sweat breaking, but hardly any Squats, etc....!
The Upper Body workout is the toughtest one of them all, my arms felt like they would fall off, and towards the end I had to put my 2Ib weights down (which I usually easily use) and continoue without weights.
Loads of Push ups, right after the upper Body workout, and must admit, I bailed out on that one...Push ups are my definite weak point anyway.
I think that this workout would probably be the best when you start working out, and then work yourself up to the level of the other 2 DVD's.
I do like the style of the routines, because they are so easy to follow.
Must admit, with this DVD I found the Background a bit dire and the sound wasn't that great, I found it hard hearing the, might aswell that it is such a straightforward workout

speedymama Thu 07-Jun-07 17:33:41

Agree about the background music in Peak Energy. I think the acoustics of the building they use is appalling so it is a good job that the work out is half decent(lol). Also agree with comments about the cardio not being as strenuous as the other two. I placed it above Maximum Impact because I think it is more rigorous in the toning section.

My Pilates essentials has arrived so will try this out tonight and provide a review.

TheodoresMummy Thu 07-Jun-07 21:10:55

I want to get a few workout DVDs to supplement going to the gym (which i'm finding dull if I go more than twice a week).

I am looking to burn fat/lose weight primarily. Toning up is also desirable .

The Pilates Abs one mentioned at the start of the thread sounds great for my very wobbly tummy.

What would you recommend for the fat burning ? I can put up with almost any 'personality' on the DVD if it's a great workout.

speedymama Fri 08-Jun-07 08:06:50

I would personally recommend getting one of the Taebo DVDs. Everybody Get Ripped is one of the best and contains the Advanced, Basic and 8 minute workout as well as an instructional section. Billy Blank motivates like no other trainer and you will sweat, sweat, sweat.

Ultimate Challenge by Nell McAndrew would be my other recommendation.

Good luck!

laloop Fri 08-Jun-07 12:03:17

Hi - I have just done the 40 minute interval training section of my new Nell McAndrew "Maximum Impact" DVD. (There is also a 20 minute Resistance workout (with weights) on this DVD as well, I have yet to try this).

Would definitely join the others in recommending this DVD, Theodoresmummy, especially if you are a regular gym goer. I think it might be too challenging for a beginner despite saying on the cover that it is suitable for all fitness levels. Another point I would make is that a good supportive pair of trainers (and sportsbra ) is needed for this workout as there is a lot of jogging and jumping on the spot throughout - otherwise sore joints, ouch!

Really enjoyed the interval training, looking forward to doing the resistance section too next time.

3andnomore Mon 11-Jun-07 10:07:50

Yes, I think Tae BO and Nell Mc@Andrews workouts are fab for fatburning, but think Davinas Power of 3 is also brill for fatburning and for toning.

Well, I have done Harvey Waldens Fighting Fit, Fighting Fat DVD yesterday and really enjoyed it.
Obviously his Marine Personality could be off putting to some and there is no background music (well there is but it's so quiet you can't really hear it, lol)! It's really easy to follow and pretty much exercising on the spot, which is great when you don't have that much space.
Another plus is, that there is no need for weights or anything.
Must say though, that you probably would feel a fool if you do the army stand still thing, lol!

speedymama Mon 11-Jun-07 10:13:27

My favourite bit on the basic workout from Taebo Energise is when Billy comes up to the screen, puts his ear to it and says

"What, what's that? You tired? Yea, yeah, I know you're tired, get moving!".

He is such a brilliant motivator!

3andnomore Mon 11-Jun-07 11:20:57

Or when he says...I can't hear
he is a great motivator, in his cheesy sort of way, lol

speedymama Tue 12-Jun-07 12:50:19

Well I did the Taebo Ultimate Bootcamp and it is not for the faint hearted or the unfit. Usually, Billy has a range of people in his class like the totally super fit Shelley to the pensioners like Marge as well as some oveweight people because Taebo is for everybody. However, Ultimate Bootcamp is not and this was reflected in his workout team. They were all super fit with many of the ladies displaying their 6 packs.

After the warm up, Billy launches into squats and leg dips. After this, I was aching but there was another 45 minutes to go. He uses a combination of cardio and toning exercise to great effect. He introduces his Billy bands for the toning exercises but you can use normal hand weights. The upper body workout is a killer. I could not do all the sets, despite his admonishment to "focus, focus, focus". Even the fit women struggled with the punishing press up routine.

I would recommend this DVD to those who have a good level of fitness already because it is tough. This differs from his other DVD because they tend to be more focused on cardio workout. If you like "The Pump" section of Davina's 3 little workouts or "The Power of 3", you will love this. It is a lot more intense, varied and last about an hour. Plus you have Billy booming at you

"I can't hear you, you falling asleep on me? COUNT!"

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