Workout DVD Reviews

NEW*** Prevention Drop it in 30 – This DVD features Chris Freytag (wow, is she buff!) and has 2 different workouts on it. A fat blasting cardio workout and a metabolism boosting workout. You can do the workouts together (total about 50 minutes) or separately (30 minutes per workout). There is a good variety of moves, ranging from sports inspired to more dance-y moves. She repeats things at least twice, so you have a chance to pick up the moves. The choreography in this one is more complicated that the “Walk yourself fit” DVD, but just as fun. Good for beginner to intermediate, 4/5 stars.
New*** Prevention Walk Yourself Fit – I like this workout DVD. It’s great to do on those days when I just can’t get myself to put in one of my tougher workout DVD’s. It still gets me sweating and my heart pumping, but if you’re not a beginner, you may need to do more than 1 of the workouts. This DVD contains 3 walking workouts: the Accelerated workout, which combines low impact and high intensity moves; The Body sculpting workout which adds in weight training using dumbells; and the Cardio workout which focuses mainly on getting your heart rate up. Each workout lasts about 30 minutes, including warm up and cool-down. As always, Chris Freytag is pretty easy to follow, although I don’t think her cueing for the moves is quite as good as Ellen Barrett. The moves in this DVD are pretty easy to pick up. No complicated moves and some moves are repeated in each different workout. My rating : 3 and a half/5 stars. Good for beginners, but if you’re intermediate, you can do 2 back to back workouts for about 1 hour total.
Prevention 3-2-1 Workout – featuring Chris Freytag. This is the first of the Prevention DVD’s that I’ve gotten. I liked the idea of circuit training as opposed to completing all the cardio, then completing all the strength in separate sections. This DVD has 6 “circuits”, each with 3 minutes of cardio followed by 2 minutes of strength training, and 1 minute of abdominal work (hence the “3-2-1”). In each of the circuits, you focus on a different muscle group : legs, arms, back, shoulders, glutes, chest. Each circuit is completely different, which I thought was really fun and it made the workout go by quickly. Even though you only focus on cardio for 3 minutes at a time, you heart rate continues to stay elevated as you do the strengthening and abdominal work, so it gives a great workout. Chris is pretty good at cueing the steps, but sometimes I just wish she would not speak for just a moment and blink a little more. 🙂 And she tends to say “c’mon” too much. 4/5 stars, good for beginners to intermediate.

Crunch: Super Slimdown, Pilates and Yoga Blend – featuring Ellen Barrett.
I LOVE IT!!! This has become one of my absolute favorites. This is a great one to do if you’re just not up to a hard core workout, but you know you ate too much chocolate last week, so you should do something good for yourself. I have those days all to often. 🙂 Anyways, like the title says, it’s a pilates and yoga blend. The workout uses modified yoga postures, and standing, side lying, and matwork pilates to help tone you up and get your heart pumping just a bit. It’s definitely NOT cardio, and therefore, should complement your cardio routines throughout the week. It does make me sweat though! I love that you do it barefoot, and it makes me feel long and lean and limber, and I always seem to stand a little straighter after doing this workout. 5/5 stars!!! This would be a great one if you’ve been sedentary for a while, but can also be great for someone who has been working out a while and just wants a more “flowing” workout to strengthen and limber you.
Crunch Burn n’ Firm Pilates – w/ Ellen Barrett: This was my first purchased DVD. I first did it in WI while visiting relatives. I was hooked. I liked the different style of aerobics workout it offered… I’m not too big on the fancy footwork and all the grape-vining. Basic footwork, and great use of light hand weights to help tone and burn even more calories. The workout combines pilates mat work and standing “pilates-inspired” movements with weights. There are a lot of squats and plie’s, so if you have knee problems, I wouldn’t recommend it. Ellen is very encouraging, but not annoying. She does a great job calling out the next step so that you stay on cue. One of the background exercisers does beginner modification moves for people just starting out or trying the workout for the first time. 5/5 stars, good for beginners to intermediate.

Crunch – Cardio Salsa w/ Giselle (?) – Fun cardio workout if you like latin dancing. Don’t expect to learn any actual moves that you can take out salsa dancing. The workout uses very basic dance steps to create the aerobic workout. This is strictly cardio; no strength training. The instructor is good at demonstrating the moves, but can be a little too enthusiastic at times, so some might find her annoying. This workout is fun because you can add alot of your own “flare” and hips to the movement. There is a back-up drummer who plays the bongos and drums along with the music, so that’s a nice change to boring cardio music. 3/5 stars, good for beginner to intermediate.

Crunch – Fat burning Pilates w/ Ellen Barrett: The “prequel” to Burn n’ Firm Pilates. This has less intense aerobics, and a little bit more Pilates mat work. This workout does not use weights. I like this workout because it makes me feel graceful. She uses terms like “elegant arms” and encourages good posture and a tight core throughout the workout. I like to do this DVD on days when I just don’t really feel like working out. It’s intense enough to get my heart going, but it’s not so strenuous that I’m completely spent afterwards. If anything, I feel more energized. 4/5 stars, good for beginner to intermediate.

Pilates Complete for Weight Loss w/ Karen Garcia: I don’t love it. Thankfully I got it for cheap. The training section is good to learn the pilates movements, but in the workout sections, the moves aren’t arranged in any logical order. You go from laying to standing to sitting to standing, to sitting, to laying… you get the picture. Unless you memorize what is coming up next, you have to transition very quickly to keep up, and that seems to take something away from the workout for me. The instructor explains the moves well in the training section, but her voice is annoying and the voice track volume varies from section to section, so you have to turn it up and down every so often. I also find it annoying that she says “len-then” instead of “lengthen” … okay, i know that’s getting a little nit-picky, but I can’t help it… it’s annoying. I hardly pull this DVD out, so if you wanna buy it from me, make me an offer. 🙂 2/5 stars, good for beginner to advanced levels since you can pick which level and how long of a workout to do.

Self Magazine – Slim and Sleek Fast w/ Ellen Barrett: Did I mention that E.B. is my favorite instructor? 🙂 Again, She has good cueing and easy steps to learn and follow. This dvd is set on a beach in Mexico, so it’s easy to look at if you love the ocean. There are 2 background gals and one does a low impact version of moves, and the other smiles for the WHOLE workout (!!!). The smiley one makes me giggle sometimes… it’s so hard to believe that someone can be so happy to workout, especially considering that it looks pretty hot outside. Some of the moves are dance inspired (ballet). I really like the arm swirl movement… feels so graceful. There is a tougher section that has rope jumping (sans the rope), jumping jacks, bunny hops, and the like, but you have the option to do the non-impact version of it if it’s too tough. After the cardio, you pick up 2 to 5 lb weights and do some upper body work. This is a great workout that combine aerobics with weights for a full-body workout. After the workout, Ellen talks about some tips for staying on track with your weight loss and workouts. There is also a bonus short workout on the dvd. 4 and a half/ 5 stars, good for beginner to intermediate.

Self Magazine – Bikini Ready Fast w/ Ellen Barrett: This workout has more toning and less intense aerobics than the “Slim and Sleek” dvd. This is a good workout for lighter days or days when you you do another cardio workout. This is also set in Mexico on the beach… can’t get enough of the ocean waves. Toning section uses light to medium weights (2 to 5 lb). There is also a bonus workout for abs. Ellen is joined by the same 2 background gals: “smiley” and the one doing lower impact moves. As usual, E.B. is good at cueing, keeping good variety int he moves, and is encouraging, but not over the top. 4/5 stars, good for beginner to Intermediate.

The Firm – Transfirmer (3 DVD set) – Tough workouts using the “all new, revolutionary” transfirmer system. They repeat that phrase several times. The choreography is hard to follow, which makes me not want to do these dvd’s that often. The transfirmer design is pretty neat. you have a 6 inch step and an 8 inch step that stack directly on top of each other, or you can stack it in a way that it creates a sort of diagonal platform. When used diagonally, you can do upper body strength moves while laying down, which is kinda cool. I think that if you did these workouts regularly, and spent time to learn the steps, these could be incredibly effective workouts, but I find them a bit boring and hard to follow at times. 3/5 stars. I’m considering selling this set.
NEW** Winsor pilates – Maximum burn basics and fat burning workout – This dvd has 2 workouts on it. One is mostly cardio done to Latin music with live Bongo players in the background, then a short mat workout right after. The other workout is strictly Pilates matwork using hand weights to up the intensity. The cardio/pilates workout is pretty good. The best thing is the music. Mari Winsor is not always so good at cueing the moves, so it might help to watch it before trying it. The pilates only workout using hand weights is a good strength workout, but I seen to have trouble keping the tension out of my shoulders. It may just be that I’m not at the level where I can use the hand weights without too much strain, but I’m not sure. Either way, this was a good workout, but it was expensive… all the Winsor Pilates stuff seem to be pricier than other great workouts that are available. 3 and 1/2 out of 5 stars. Good for beginner to Intermediate.

One reply on “Workout DVD Reviews”

just wanted to say thank you for the nice reviews.
i’m andrea ambandos from dragonfly productions and produced/directed about 80% of the above dvds you reviewed. makes me feel good to know our hard work is being appreciated. thanks, vanessa!
andrea ambandos

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