I am a huge believer in switching up your workouts and doing things you enjoy. For me, this is a mix of going to the gym for cardio, weights and group fitness classes, running outside when it’s warm enough and home workout dvd’s. When I am short on time, or just too “lazy” to leave the house in the cold, or if I have exactly 30 minutes before I need to be getting ready for work, a workout dvd at home is the perfect solution. It’s quick, it’s convenient and it’s a great chance at some “me time” without other gym rats getting in your way. Plus, it’s a great way to help you break out of an hours and hours of cardio rut, like I talked about last week.
No questions in my mind (or my muscles) this is the most intense, results getting workout on dvd I have ever done. I don’t think a harder workout exists on dvd. I have tried out Country Boy’s P90X dvds, and INSANITY tops it. (Both INSANITY and P90X are made by BeachBody). INSANITY is a 60 day program. You start with a fit test, so you can track your progress throughout the program. The first 30 days consist of a variety of high intensity interval workouts that are between 35-45 minutes. The last 30 days are longer workouts usually 55-60 minutes. The reason this workout works? Not only is it just plain hard work, but it’s high intensity interval training. This means you work to the point of exhaustion for a few minutes and you rest for 30 seconds, only to do it all again. I did the entire program last January and lost about 10 pounds and definitely saw a huge difference in muscle tone. LOVED the results. The cool thing is, now I do INSANITY once or twice a week, mixed with other workouts and the results haven’t gone away. (Of course, I do other weight lifting/cardio activities). But if I had to recommend one body changing dvd workout, INSANITY wins. Caution: The warm-up is the warm-up, but when you first get started, it will feel like a workout, rather than a warm-up. Don’t cry. Do it.
Core Fusion has a variety of dvds. I own the Body Sculpt and the Pure Arms and Abs dvds. Each Core Fusion workout runs a total of about 50 minutes; five segments of 10 minutes. You can do the whole thing, or pick and choose between segments. I usually do it the whole way through for max benefits. Core Fusion is a slow paced, relaxing workout that really gets you focusing on your posture, breathing and using your muscles with a mind/body connection. I usually do this about once a week because I love how toned and calm I feel after this workout. Think: long strong muscles.
Turbofire is actually part of the Beachbody family too, but this is like INSANITY’s super fun party animal little sister. Chalene Johnson uses the same high intensity interval training (HIIT) as INSANITY, but with dance moves, hip music and a fun energy. This set comes with a lot of different workout options, ranging from 15 minutes to an hour. There is also a workout using resistance bands, an ab workout and some stretching segments. I love doing this when I’m not really in the mood for a workout because it feels like dancing, makes me sweat and gives me a huge energy boost!
SIX WEEK SIX PACK
Ok, let me start by saying I hate the name of this Jillian Michael’s workout DVD because I hate when workouts advertise fake results. I don’t know many people that would actually develop a six pack from doing a 35 minute video a couple of times a week. (Note: I think the video recommends you do it every day, but how boring/repetitive/ineffective would that be?!) Anyways, I usually do this a couple of times a week and it’s even more than an ab video. There is a level one workout and a level two, each are 35 minutes of cardio and resistance moves that do a great job of targeting your core. I love that I can get a workout that is challenging and effective in just over a half hour.
Those are my top picks for now. I’ve got my eyes on a few more I’d like to buy.
But let me be honest, I really learned the beauty of an at-home workout video years ago when I would do Jane Fonda and Buns of Steel with my mom in the family room while she had dinner in the oven.