Kicking some butt: A guide to popular workout DVDs

Sarah Lipoff

There's no denying the holiday season added extra jiggle to my already gelatinous middle. As it is I've barely got enough time in the day to get the basics done, which means putting aside a few moments to work out hardly ever happens. And stepping on the scale is out of the question. So when my latest Get it Guide Guru post was to try out some new fitness DVD's to ring in the New Year, I was ready.

I describe my fitness level as: OK. I've got several pounds hanging around that wouldn't be missed.
I exercise: 20 minutes, 3 times a week (sometimes). Hey, I've got a toddler -- that's a workout.
My usual reaction to fitness DVD's is: Boring.

Jackie Werner Crunch-Free Xtreme Abs

On a scale of barely sweat to totally kick-butt, this workout is: Good, but hovering close to barely-sweat. Although I love the crunch-free idea, I didn't feel like my abs were going to be ripped after doing this workout for a couple of weeks.
The next day I felt: Just fine.
The instructor was: Friendly and easy-going with just a bit of edge. But, honestly? Jackie's abs are way over the top. Sure, I'd love some skinny-fit abs, but hers? Too much.
I'd recommend this DVD to: Someone starting an exercise regime focusing strictly on ab work.
I would do this workout again: Maybe, but I'm not in any rush. There are two workouts on the DVD, which is a plus, though.

Zumba Fitness Total Body Transformation System

On a scale of barely sweat to totally-kick-butt, this workout is: Perfectly right in the middle, with lots of steady cardio.
The next day I felt: A bit sore, but great and ready for more.
The instructor was: Fun and energetic and the back up dancers were, um, hot! The girls have healthy-fit bodies and the guys are machismo (in a good way), which made me want to continue crazy Zumba dancing with them.
I'd recommend this DVD to: Anyone that likes to dance or do something a bit different as far as exercise goes.
I would do this workout again: YES, but I'll be honest. At first I felt silly basically line dancing in my living room. Then, after a few minutes with the hyper-motivated and hip-shaking instructors, I transformed into a stomping and clapping Zumba fool. There is also a whole collection of workouts on the DVD so things don't get old.

Insanity Fast & Furious: 20 Minute Maximum Fitness

On a scale of barely sweat to totally-kick-butt, this workout is: Beyond kick-butt. In fact, it's so kick-butt that the beef-cake leading the workout couldn't even get though it himself -- and neither could I.
The next day I felt: Sore -- and not in a sore-but-I'm-ready-for-more kind of way.
The instructor was: Way too much. Sure, I get it. He's insane. He's intense. He's going to kick our butts to get us in shape. But it's way too much for me. His back-up guy couldn't even get through the work out and can be heard "coughing" off camera at the end.
I'd recommend this DVD to: Anyone that loves to feel sick after exercising.
I would do this workout again: Yeah, no. And, there's only the one workout on the DVD. Don't waste your money.

Kettlebell Workout DVD with Bob Harper

On a scale of barely sweat to totally-kick-butt, this work out is: Right in the middle. It'd be awesomely kick-butt if it wasn't so disjointed. There's also only one workout on this DVD.
The next day I felt: A nice burn through my legs.
The instructor was: Just fine. Yeah, Bob isn't bad on the eyes, but all his yammering about his "kettlebell" was a big turn-off. And I was constantly scared I was going to drop it or throw it through the TV.
I'd recommend this DVD to: Anyone that likes swinging stuff because that's pretty much what you do with Bob and his kettlebell for 20-minutes.
I would do this workout again: Probably not, unless Bob wants to send me a copy sans all his kettlebell talk.

I wrote this post as a 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.

Sarah Lipoff loves using her background as an art educator to make lots of messy art projects and stir things up in the kitchen with her two year old daughter. She also loves spending time searching out and trying new things and sharing it all on her blog at sarahlipoff.com. Sarah's recipe posts on Shine have been featured on the front page of Yahoo!.