Tried & Tested: Fitness Videos

By: Jennifer Pretty May 31, 2011

Fitness videos have come a long way since Richard Simmons and Jane Fonda. Today, there are millions of fitness videos on the market in every workout style and fitness level.

Often these programs don’t come close to the impact of a live fitness class, but they are a great alternative when you’re short on time or can’t make it to your favourite class.

I love to try the newest fitness videos. Some are great and some don’t even force me to break a sweat and get boring quickly. Here are my opinions on a few popular programs out there at the moment:

#1) The Insanity Workout: This is my all time favourite workout video. Staying true to its name, this video is definitely insane. The workout regimen is similar to P90X (if you are familiar with that program).  This 10 disc set includes a large variety of movements including cardio drills, power and resistance exercises, plyometrics, plus core and balance workouts. This program emphasizes “interval training”. Meaning you workout vigorously for 3-4 minutes, and then have a 30 second rest period. I absolutely hate when you buy a fitness program and in a week or 2 you find your body has become used to the program and it becomes too easy. I’ve been incorporating these videos into my workout routine for over 7 months and they still push me. I love them! However, if you have any major joint problems this video probably isn’t for you as there are a lot of jumping and squatting movements.  Also, if you haven’t been very active recently you may want to work your way up to this program, or try doing half of a video at a time.

#2) Zumba Fitness: This 4 disc program is a lot of fun, and perfect for Zumba beginners. It combines aerobic movements with various Latin style dances including Salsa, Samba and Cumbia. The 45 minutes – 1 hour workouts fly by. Some of the movements may seem difficult to beginners at first, but remember the more you take part in the video the more familiar you will become with the movements. Practice makes perfect! This program is low impact and suitable for most people. Although fun, I must stress these videos don’t come close to a live Zumba class. A live Zumba class is high energy, and you are always learning new choreography from your instructor. All in all, I think these videos are great for beginners, especially if you are nervous about taking a live Zumba class. This would be a great introduction to get your confidence up for a live class.

#3) Carmen Electra Striptease Aerobics: Although great for a laugh, I certainly didn’t break a sweat. Most of the movements you may feel in your hips or thighs, but there is no real cardio workout.  Carmen Electra does a great job teaching the various movements, but I found the video to be too routine.  I’d consider this video to be more of a striptease instructional than aerobic workout. This video would be great for a “Girl’s Night In” or just for fun, but if you are looking for a heart-pumping workout I’d look elsewhere.

#4) Yoga Booty Ballet: This program combines aerobics, ballet movements for strength and toning and yoga for flexibility. It delivers easy to follow; low intensity moves and is suitable for beginners. It is a switch from your every day workout. The different videos in the program range from hip hop abs to a cabaret style workout. Some of the movements do require a yoga mat and exercise balls. The program does work different areas of your body, just as long as you can handle the cheesy rapport between the 2 instructors!

Fitness videos can be a great way to try a different style of exercise before committing to a class, or is a convenient way to get your workout in with a busy schedule. With so many options out there I’m sure there is a program out for you.

Until next time,

Peace, love and vitamin C!

Jennifer Pretty began her career as the director of artist development for a well-known Canadian music label. Branching out on her own, she then started her own PR business “Pretty Media Management” planning and hosting various charity, entertainment and fashion events. As a dance and fitness class enthusiast Jennifer is a firm believer in the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle. She also loves to cook, travel, spend time with family and friends and most importantly living life to the fullest!