Although probably not quite as much as The Biggest Loser, I'm a big fan of Bravo's reality TV show Workout. If you've never seen it, the show follows the owner and personal trainers at Sky Sport Spa in Los Angeles as they interact with clients, each other and, well, life. The show isn't always about fitness (these people have some mad drama, I tell ya), but it's fabulously entertaining and interesting to watch. The most recent episode, which was the finale of the TV show's third season, featured the Sky trainers and owner Jackie Warner as they film an exercise DVD. True to form, this last show has tears, exhaustion and smiles as the group learns that exercise DVD making is hard work. As someone who uses exercise DVDs to stay fit, it was fascinating to go behind the scenes. And after watching the show, I immediately put Workout: One-On-One Training with Jackie in my Netflix queue.
And like the show, I wasn't disappointed. The DVD consists of three 20-minute workouts. The first workout focuses on the upper body, the second targets your lower body, and the third works the hell out of your core. And all of the workouts can be combined or broken up with a customizable menu, which seems to be the norm on quality exercise DVDs these days. (Thank you workout DVD makers!). All you need for the workouts are some free weights (5 lbs and 8 lbs were enough for me), a mat, some water and a towel, for you will get your sweat on.
Prepare to work, too. Each 20-minute workout features a quick warm-up and then gets right to the point with one-minute intervals of weight-lifting moves such as overhead presses and skull crushers (I've always thought this name was lovely) in the upper-body section, and sumo squats and knee-ups in the lower-body segment. But, it's not just a strength DVD. Oh, no, sirree. Jackie works in one-minute cardio drills, too. Think mountain climbers and side kicks. My favorite methods of torture. And the core section? INTENSE. Planks, plank twists, bicycles, side planks...need I say more?
Because the movesare kept to one-minute intervals, there is no counting, and the music is only background. Additionally, the names of the exercises are displayed at the bottom of the screen as you do them, which is a nice feature that you don't see very often in exercise DVDs. Sometimes the exercises are done too quickly, in my opinion, but overall the workout is smooth, effective and fun. Score.
What I liked most about this DVD is that it brings a unique format to the usually perky and aerobics-dominated exercise DVD world. Instead of jumping around with 10 people behind her, Jackie stays true to her background and works with each trainer (Jesse, Rebecca, Renessa and Agostina are all on hand) one-on-one in the upper-body and lower-body segments as she focuses on each muscle group. Jackie instructs you on proper form, breathing and overall tips to get the most out of the exercise as the trainer actually performs them. It really feels like Jackie is training you, and it's no wonder she's had so much success in her fitness career. She looks great and knows her ish.
For the core portion, all of the trainers and Jackie do the exercises together, but it still feels very personal trainer-y, and many of the moves are unique. One of my favorites was "the clam," a type of crunch where you put your heels together and reach for the sky.By the way, don't wear a running skirt for this one. Even if you're working out alone, it's just feels, um, exposed. Oh, and try to ignore the sexual undertones of Rebecca doing bridge with weights on her hip flexors or Renessa always replying with a breathy "I love it" when asked how the exercise feels. If you've ever seen the show, it's par for the course.
FBG Rating (Out of 5):
Long-Term Likeability: ★★★★★
Fun Factor: ★★★★
Meets Expectations: ★★★★★
Fit Bottom line:Can't afford a personal trainer? Get this DVD for $8.99 and get one heck of a session in your very own living room with unique, challenging moves by a celebrity trainer. —Jenn