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Exercise DVDs trainers, Jillian Michaels DVDs, Denise Austin workouts
Exercise DVDs Features
Instructors.Someone staring out at you from a TV screen or computer monitor with a poker face and no oomph is hardly going to rev you up into workout mode. You want an exercise DVD with an instructor who smiles, encourages you to keep on moving, and praises your efforts -- without knowing what you're actually doing, of course -- in a tone that's both believable and motivating.
Jillian Michaels is a certified fitness trainer who works with contestants on "The Biggest Loser." She also used to be overweight, so she's easy to identify with (hey, guys, you can lose weight just like me). As any viewer of the TV show can attest, Michaels is tough, with a soft side. This enthusiastic, kick-butt approach is apparent in Jillian Michaels DVDs like Jillian Michaels: No More Trouble Zones (starting at $9, Amazon). Leslie Sansone's approach, seen in her Walk Away the Pounds Ultimate Collection (starting at $10, Amazon), aims to get you motivated without being over-the-top. Denise Austin workouts feature Austin, who is perky and professional, like in Denise Austin: Burn Fat Fast - Cardio Blast (starting at $9, Amazon). Billy Blanks is another tough-as-nails trainer who is perceived as motivational in his series of Tae Bo videos (the five-disc Tae Bo Amped starts at $23). The cheap workout video that didn't get many exercisers going is 10 Best Fitness (starting at $18, Amazon), which strikes users as cheesy and just too much.
Credentials.Chalk it up to human nature, but a well-known fitness guru is likely to inspire more commitment than an unknown instructor. Brand recognition, like in Denise Austin workouts and Jillian Michaels DVDs, attracts new followers because, well, the trainers have already won over other fans through years on the exercise-video circuit or appearances on popular TV shows. But star power alone doesn't cut it in the market for exercise DVDs. You want to invest your money and your time in a cheap exercise DVD that features an instructor with credentials. Credentials maximize the chances that the exercises will help you shape up and minimize the chances that they'll do you harm.
The cheap fitness videos on our list all feature trained instructors. Michaels is a certified personal trainer and Sansone is certified by six fitness organizations, including the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). Austin, another certified trainer, has been a fitness industry powerhouse for years; her early-morning workout TV shows were aired in the 1980s and 1990s. By contrast, 10 Best Fitness presents an array of instructors, including some celebrities (like Jerry Hall) with no known fitness background.
Format.Apart from the variety of workout routines and fitness goals, cheap exercise DVDs tend to follow a similar format. The best exercise DVDs include warm-up and cool down elements. For example, Jillian Michaels's No More Trouble Zones warms you up for five minutes and then moves to seven six-minute strength-training circuits that each focus on an area of the body, like legs, butt, and shoulders and arms, and then closes with a several-minute cool down. Sansone's Walk Away the Pounds includes a warm-up and stretch of similar duration.
The idea behind all of these segments is to offer the user a chance to mix up workouts and/or work up to higher intensity levels. For Sansone's video, for instance, the beginner would use her 1-Mile exercise first until ready to move on to Mile 2.
Best Cheap Workout DVDs
Don't Bother Cheap Workout DVDs
10 Best Fitness - 10 Video Set
With 12 hours of exercise, you get a lot of bang for your buck, but users say the exercises are random and outdated and the music corny. The focus seems more on the attractive instructors and strange transitions (e.g., an instructor putting on body paint) than on serious fitness. Users also don't appreciate the labels placed on the some of the workouts, like stretching for old people. Read more »
10 Best Fitness - 10 Video Set Review
Denise Austin: Burn Fat Fast - Cardio Blast Review
Jillian Michaels: No More Trouble Zones Review
Leslie Sansone: Walk Away the Pounds Ultimate Collection Review
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