2012 fitness mania: What fitness DVD ‘worked out’ best?

Tina Case

With visions of holiday clean-up piling high before me, the thought of exercise, working-out and New Year's resolutions is far from my mind. But with 4 extreme fitness videos to test, my get-in-shape plan is starting to take a shape of its own. After eating gooey cinnamon buns over the holidays, I am prone to sitting on my buns, which is not a healthy way to kick off the New Year. My husband likes to say my main source of exercise is jumping to conclusions and hurling orders to the family to clean up their messes. But let this be my "Out-Loud" resolution. 2012 is the year I finally work out. With 4 fitness videos that claim to take just minutes a day, let's see who's fit and who's not.

First, a little about my work-out style...

I describe my fitness level as: Sedentary, I am not physically active. In my mind I would like to be, but it hasn't happened. I do eat right so my weight has not fluctuated much since my twenties but ironically that is probably why I don't feel the need to work out.
I exercise a few times a week: I do have two dogs that get me up and out the door daily. I walk them about a half-mile twice a day.
My usual reaction to fitness DVDs is: I'm fine working out in the privacy of my home. I actually like the ability to form my own fitness routine that works with my personal schedule.

Jackie Werner Crunch-Free Xtreme Abs

On a scale of barely sweat to totally-kick-butt, this workout is: This is a kick-butt workout. It's a fast-paced, fun workout. The time goes fast.
The equipment I needed was: Just a good pair of workout shoes and comfortable clothing is all I needed.
The next day I felt: You will definitely feel the fire burning in your thighs with this workout. Squatting never felt so painful. Even sitting down hurt!
The instructor was: It seemed like Jackie was reading from a prompter. That's fine, but a little distracting.
I'd recommend this DVD to: Friends who, like me, are not prone to working out and want fast results. This would be a good workout 6 weeks before that high school reunion.
I would do this workout again: I will use this workout as part of my weekly regime.

Zumba Fitness Total Body Transformation System

On a scale of barely sweat to totally-kick-butt, this workout is: Zumbastic! Of the 4 workouts, this was by far my favorite. It's got great music, fun instructors and when you're dancing you don't think you're working out. Not until the next morning. Ay caramba!
The equipment I needed was: Comfortable clothing and a good pair of running shoes - you're going to be moving - A LOT.
The next day I felt: While you may feel like you were having fun the day before, the next day you will absolutely feel the muscles that have not been in use since you played kick ball in grade school. No pain, no gain - in this case no pain, no perfect booty to shake about.
The instructor was: Alberto "Beto" Perez is the founder of Zumba. He's fun and engaging and gets you off your buns and dancing the Samba.
I'd recommend this DVD to: This is the one workout video I would recommend to my friends.
I would do this workout again: This got me off my Zumbutt.

INSANITY Fast & Furious 20 Minute Maximum Fitness results Workout

On a scale of barely sweat to totally-kick-butt, this workout is: This work out is aptly named "Insane." If I were ever going to be a Navy Seal would I regularly do this video? But I'm not insane nor will I ever be even a Navy Seal pup. It's a total kick-butt work out for the extremely active mom. Maybe moms are supposed to have their kids do this to tire them out.
The equipment I needed was: Workout mat, comfortable workout clothes and great workout shoes. And lots and lots of water and towels to wipe off all that sweat.
The next day I felt: The next day I felt like I had been on a Mission: Impossible set; this is possibly the most physically impossible workout routine for me.
The instructor was: Certifiably insane about his workout!
I'd recommend this DVD to: A future army recruit. It will get them in boot camp shape in no time.
I would not do this workout in the near future: I might revisit this video in a year, that is, if I'm able to stay on track and Zumba the year away.

Kettlebell Workout with Bob Harper

On a scale of barely sweat to totally-kick-butt, this workout is: An 8 out of 10. Is that equal to at least half a cheek of my derriere?
The equipment I needed was: The kettlebell weight, good shoes and comfortable workout clothes.
The next day I felt: My arms felt the burn, that's for sure.
The instructor was: Like Jackie, I felt like Bob Harper was reading from a prompter. But he was engaging enough and provided great demonstrations and how-to instructions.
I'd recommend this DVD to: After Zumba, this was my second favorite workout routine. I'd recommend this to someone who wants to get great arms and a different sort of workout with the Kettlebell.
I would do this workout again: I plan to use this routine on a regular basis to mix-it-up with my Zumba routine.

I wrote this post as a Shine from Yahoo! Get It Guide Guru. Yahoo! provides me with exclusive Get It Guide content and products. If I think there is something valuable that you should know about, I'll share it with you. Yahoo! pays me for my participation in the program, but that sure doesn't stop me from telling it like it is.

Tina Case is a mother of three, freelance writer and professional photographer. In addition to writing for Shine and Yahoo! on a regular basis and providing photography for magazines like InTouch and Travel and Leisure, Tina is co-editor of two blogs, Parent Grapevine and Moms Who Click and a member if the Yahoo! Mother Board.