Watching workout DVDs will make you buff! And watching “Masterpiece Theatre” will make you British! It just doesn’t work like that. You don’t get killer abs by popping a disc into your entertainment center, unless your viewing is part of a larger commitment.
Watching workout DVDs will make you buff!
And watching “Masterpiece Theatre” will make you British!
It just doesn’t work like that. You don’t get killer abs by popping a disc into your entertainment center, unless your viewing is part of a larger commitment.
“There’s no quick fix, no magic pill,” says Lee Gough, personal training manager at Lifetime Fitness in Scottsdale (video).
Gough believes that certain DVD workouts can be useful. “But you’re not going to look like the people on the DVD cover, unless you incorporate the exercises into a lifestyle that includes balanced nutrition, a structured cardio workout, and customized strength and flexibility training.”
The DVD market is fat on fitness workouts. Some offer genuine substance, some spin fads and gimmickry as exercise, and some do a little of both.
We asked Gough to turn an expert eye on some new releases and see if any are worthy of a lunge to the checkout line.
Dancing With the Stars: Cardio Dance
These exercise routines, inspired by the ABC series, promise you can “get a toned dancer’s body,” and they use unusual methods. “I don’t know if I burned more calories on the exercises or laughing at my lack of rhythm,” Gough says. The workout has a nice beat, he says, and you can certainly dance to it. “But it’s a basic dance workout, extremely simple. It’s fun. But it requires a lot of room, to go forward and back and side to side. And it seems like a thing of the moment. There’s no progression (of difficulty), and it’s not something I could see people popping in the DVD player and using over and over again.” (2 stars)
The Seasons of Fitness
“This is more of a pure yoga/Pilates workout,” he says. “It uses the backdrop of the four seasons to combine stretching and core-strengthening exercises into a workout.” Demonstrator Sue West uses a series of soft stretches for her spring segment, followed by core strength exercises for summer, mat Pilates for fall, and deep stretching for winter. “I actually tried this as a warm-up before playing golf, and it worked well to stretch and protect my back,” Gough says. “There’s a little more solid scientific background to this one. It would work as a supplement to a fitness program.” (4 stars)
Keli Roberts: Time Saver Workouts A.S.A.P.
Now, we’re talkin’. “This DVD was the closest of the four to a workout in a gym,” Gough says. “It requires a stability ball to work the entire body, and breaks the program up into three good eight-minute workouts.” While not sufficient as a stand-alone fitness program, Gough sees this as “a great supplement to a structured workout program. It only takes 25 minutes. It doesn’t require a lot of space — it’s a move-the-coffee-table-away-from-the-couch thing — and would be perfect if you’re on vacation or a business trip and wanted to maintain a workout. My only ‘down’ on it is the annoying elevator music.” (4 stars)
Yoga Booty Ballet Master Series
Not as cerebral at the title makes it sound, but Gough says this does have some substance to it. “It uses a mix of yoga and Pilates to work core strength areas like the abdominals and the glutes,” he says. The two-disc set “has a yoga disc that focuses on postural muscles, and the ‘Goddess Booty’ disk is more of a full-body workout. It’s got a little more structure and a little more science to it than ‘Dancing With the Stars.’ It’s fairly easy, and I had fun. But one of the problems is that the movement descriptions often require you to abandon your pose to see how they’re doing it on television.” (2 stars)