DVD Reviews

Hey guys! I get a lot of requests of workout DVD reviews, so I thought it would be fun to compile some from reader’s into a massive DVD review page! If you have any you’d like to add that isn’t in here, send it my way: fitnessista at gmail dot com, Subject: DVD Review

Body by Bethanny

from Laura at Wonderland Papers

Body By Bethenny

Background: I used to take yoga classes regularly and really really enjoyed it. I hadn’t taken yoga classes in a long time when I started this DVD and I have to admit that I’ve gotten a bit out of shape since my last yoga class.

DVD Review: I purchased Body by Bethenny because I really like her perspective on healthy eating and healthy living. The DVD features her and Kristen McGee for a 40 minute yoga practice. The DVD has a very friendly vibe to it. It is light hearted but focused. Bethnny keeps things easy going so you don’t get too stressed when Kristen is challenging you to try different poses. I don’t recommend this DVD for someone that is a yoga beginner with no prior yoga experience. They do seem to expect that you have knowledge of yoga and yoga poses. It is nice having two instructors in the work out because they do show you some of the variations of the poses for when you feel like you can take the tougher steps and what to do when you need the poses to be gentler. The DVD also includes a 10 minute strength training workout and a 5 minute booty blast. I’m really happy with this DVD purchase and would recommend it.


Cathe Friedrich


from Tina at Faith Fitness Fun

Cathe Friedrich is one of my favorite DVD fitness instructors out there. Her cueing is incredibly on point and she has great energy to help push you through the workout. Her workouts definitely provide a challenge and give great results. Also, she looks great so that is extra motivation. I hate workout DVDs where the instructor doesn’t seem physically fit him/herself.

One of my favorite Cathe DVDs is the Legs & Glutes / Kick, Punch, & Crunch combo DVD. The DVD has two full workouts that are both around an hour in length. It even contains several premixes so you can get a mix of cardio and leg conditioning in one or choose a shorter workout when you don’t have much time.

The Legs & Glutes DVD has a tough leg workout. It contains a ton of step ups and many squat and lunge variations. It’s great. The floor section at the end always leaves me burning as well.

The Kick, Punch, & Crunch DVD is a really fun kickboxing workout. It has a fun kickbox routine that increases in intensity and then it finishes with some drills. I’m always sweating buckets within 20 minutes. It never gets old either and I keep coming back to it when I choose a kickbox workout.

Here is a link that has a clip of the DVD for preview.



Eight Minute Abs and Buns


from Joy

I love love loved (and still do) this video (though I have it on vhs and now that I don’t have a vcr I watch them on youtube) it is 8 minute abs and 8 minute arms – there is also 8 minute buns and 8 minute legs! These were great when I first started losing weight and was afraid to commit to a workout regime I told myself I only had to do 8 minutes a day… I remember the first day I did all 32 minutes I was dead! AND SO PROUD! I still love them for a quick workout in the morning (I do one each morning switching them out – I tried to do yogabut it wasn’t the right start for my day (I end my day with it) before my run!




From Naomi at One Fit Foodie:

Hey Fitnessista readers! My name is Naomi and I write One Fit Foodie. Like Gina, I am also a certified personal trainer! I absolutely love what I do, motivating others to lead healthy lifestyles and incorporate exercise into their daily routine! I am a huge advocate of trying new things, so I was so thrilled when I decided to purchase the Insanity DVD’s. As a personal trainer, I think it is important for me to get a taste of all the latest fitness trends, workouts, music and gadgets! I couldn’t wait to try Insanity.

One of my favorite Insanity DVD’s is the Core Cardio and Balance DVD. For those of you who don’t know, Insanity is a 60 day program. 1 month is a rotation of DVD’s and the second month is a rotation of another set of DVD’s (basically the first set on steroids) It is not recommended to do these two months back to back with no rest, so there is 1 week of active rest in between. This is when the Core Cardio and Balance DVD comes into play. You do this 38 minute DVD everyday for 6 days. I have to say in the week that I followed this DVD; I never got sick of it!

Shaun starts you off with a warm up that is a bit different than the warm ups you will see in the other Insanity DVD’s. The whole warm up is about 6-7 minutes, each minute is a different exercise

· Switch Heel Kicks (Kind of like a slow/medium jump rope motion).

· Mummy Kicks

· Football Shuffles (Side to side).

· Over the Log (Run in Place, then jump “over the log” Run in Place, repeat).

· 8 High Knees/8 Power Jacks

· 8 Fast Feet/8 Hooks

After the warm up, its time to stretch. The stretch is just a good solid stretch, not as intense as the stretches in the first few DVD but still great. What I love about the stretches is he really focuses on the hip flexors. For me, this has always been a tight area, but it is also a common tight spot on many others, so he takes the time to focus on that a whole lot!

After a short water break, it is time for the “meat” of the workout. I like this workout because it is not AS intense, but I still found myself panting and sweating throughout! There are 10 moves next, each one is a minute. After these higher intensity exercises we go into something called “Hip Burners” WOW. These are no joke. You spend 1:30 minutes on each leg and use your hip flexor to work your lower abs. Trust me when I say that you feel the burn on these!

Next is oblique knee lifts (30 seconds raising one knee to the same elbow, 30 seconds on the other side) This is a standing exercise

Lastly, he really ends with a bang. The Shoulder Burners are the last set. You get into a deep squat t, with your knees wide, toes pointing outward. Arms are straight out. Move your arms in an up and down motion for 30 seconds. Next, your straight arms go from the sides to the front, back to the sides.  This is followed by your arms going straight up over head.  Almost done, and don’t forget to stay in your deep squat.  Now you begin backwards circles, and then forwards. That is 3 minutes of pure agony!

I love this workout. It is a perfect time to fit into someone’s busy schedule and it also hits all part of the body from core, legs to back and arms. For those who are a bit intimidated by the whole Insanity program, if you know someone who has the DVD’s—try the core cardio and balance one to start! I also love that Shaun always explains how to do the exercise beforehand! He is also easy on the eyes 🙂


Jillian Michaels: 30 Day Shred

30 day shred

from Laura at Running from the Delta

I love the Shred because it is combination of strength, cardio, and abs, all packed into 20 quick minutes.  I have done this DVD so many times that I almost have it memorized.  So, if I’m traveling and forget my Shred DVD I can just do it from memory in a hotel room or on the beach!  It’s a take-anywhere workout because all you need are weights and possibly a mat for floor exercises.
When I started working out regularly, it was all I could do to get through level one.  But as I progressed and got stronger, I would run a mile or two, then do level one.  Or possibly do level one followed by level two if I was really feeling hard-core.  So, you can tweak or add this DVD to another workout, in order to customize it to your fitness and strength level.
I *heart* a really sweaty workout, and this one keeps the sweat a-flowin’!


Jillian Michaels: No More Trouble Zones


from Ashley at Healthy > Thin

(Me doing my favorite move—lunges with bicep curls!)

What I Love:

1. It’s a full body workout packed into 45 minutes. I tried the Jillian Michaels: 30 Day Shred first but wasn’t satisfied with it. The Shred is only a 20 minute workout and, though difficult, I didn’t feel like it gave me a full body workout. No More Trouble Zones works the whole body in 45 minutes, which for me is the perfect amount of time—not too short, not too long.

2. The 5 minute circuit-training style keeps me from getting bored. (A usual problem for me when it comes to workout DVDs.)

3. The combination of upper and lower body workouts in each circuit, it really gets my heart pumping and definitely works up a sweat!

4. After a few weeks (3-4) of doing this DVD four times a week I was noticing more definition in my quads (and butt!) and my abs. (YES!)

5. The DVD was only $9.00 at Wal-Mart!

6. All you need to accompany the DVD is a set of 3 pound weights (Skeptical? See below) and a yoga mat.

What I Didn’t Like (at first!):

1. I was skeptical about only using 3 pound weights, I didn’t think it would give me any definition in my arms. After about a month of using the DVD I got a little cocky and tried to move up to 5 pounds—ouch. They tell you to use 3 pound weights for a reason! And as it turns out, my arm muscles are becoming more defined. I’m sure once you build the strength you could increase the arm weighs a little bit—I just found it unnecessary.

This DVD is an especially great, inexpensive option for someone looking to incorporate weights into their exercise routine but isn’t comfortable lifting free weights on their own at the gym. When done consistently this DVD really does yield great results!



From Kim

Lalo is great b/c his dvd’s always feature “functional” exercises – they’re not the usual bicep curls & leg lifts.
Lalo’s workouts are interval training types – cardio segments mixed in w/ strength exercises.
they emphasize natural movements, balance and strength.  I had done Cathe & Jari for over a year (w/ great results!) but I was in a rut when I discovered Lalo.
the first time I did v.1 I was shocked at how hard – totally impossible!- the balancing exercises were. after a few weeks, I worked my way up and I still turn to it now for a great all over workout.
The music has a kind of modern clubby feel, the set is urban decayed and, Lalo himself is easy on the eyes.


Physique 57

From Megan at Healthy Hoggin

I was excited to try the Physique 57 Workout Kit after hearing “Live with Regis and Kelly” co-host, Kelly Ripa, rave about how this fun workout transformed her body! (Who hasn’t noticed her toned body, right?) Since I live no where near the New York studio, I figured these DVD’s are the next-best-thing! I purchased the complete Physique 57 Workout Kit, which includes 3 DVD workouts: the Classic 57 Minute Full Body Workout, the Express 30 Minute Full Body Workout, and the Arm and Ab Booster 30 Minute Workout— as well as an Exercise Ball with Pump. All you need is a chair with a sturdy back, a cushy towel or mat, and a pair of light and heavy weights to get started!

The workouts are primarily led by Tanya Becker, creator of the Physique 57 method, who’s instruction is engaging and entertaining! Many of her exercises have you use a bar (or chair back) for support, while you squat and lift your own body weight as resistance. A playground ball is used as your own personal “thigh master,” which really has you feeling the burn quickly as you squeeze your thighs toned! Becker refers to her method as “interval overload,” in which muscles are targeted using dynamic exercises, overloaded, and then stretched for relief– sculpting your muscles quickly! In fact, visual results are guaranteed after just 8 workouts! Your thighs, glutes, and abs will be burning and shaking in no time! One of my favorite moves in this series is called “thigh dancing,” and as fun as it sounds, it’s also a real calorie scorcher– my thighs are on FIRE almost instantly! And just because you’re a girl, don’t expect to be doing many “girly” push-ups during this workout– Tanya prides herself of her clients doing “real” push-ups!
When I started this series, I have to admit– I had a hard time getting through all of it! It is THAT challenging. However, I love having room for improvement (as well as advanced moves to look forward to someday), and saw my strength and endurance improve quickly, even after just one week! And having 3 workout DVD’s to choose from has kept my muscles challenged with a variety of moves, and has managed to keep away the dreaded “workout boredom!” In no time, you could be a “thigh warrior,” too! 😀


One on One Training with Jackie


from Astrid at I Have Two Feet and Ten Toes

Length: 3- 20 minute routines (upper body, lower body, and core). You can select an individual workout, or do all 3 for an hour long workout.

I rented One on One Training with Jackie (the trainer from Workout) from Netflix. I had been doing Jillian Michael’s No More Trouble Zones for about a month and needed a change in my strength workouts. Jackie provides exactly what I needed. This workout does not rely on circuits, but rather relies on using your muscles to near exhaustion. Exercises are performed for one full minute each, with some cardio thrown in every 2-3 exercises.

The upper body section works out your arms until they ache. You will be doing hammer curls, bicep curls, kickbacks, presses, flies, etc. The lower body has different variations on lunges and squats. She also has you down on your mat doing leg work. This back absolutely kills your glutes in an amazing way! The core portion has you doing different crunches and plenty of plank variations. I have a strong core, and this workout has my ab muscles screaming.

If you love Jillian Michaels, you will love Jackie Warner. I love how this video feels like a training session. Her trainers are on the video and they take turns doing the exercises. You will be nice and sweaty after an hour of this video.

If you are new to strength training, start off with 2 or 3 pound weights for this video. I use 5 pound weights and my arms are definitely feeling it.

Pros: Jackie always shows an easy version, a moderate version, and an advanced version of each exercise. She also does not spend much time talking. She gets straight to work and if she does talk, it is about form. She is one of the least annoying trainers I have seen on a video. I actually plan to buy this dvd. It is fun and it hurts in a good way.

Cons: My muscles are in pain. But that is not a bad thing!


I’m excited to keep this page going! I’ll be sure to add my TurboFire review when I finish the program, too 🙂


  1. kim on August 13, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    hi, sorry my image for LALO didn’t come up – here’s a link to his site:
    did him this morning – he rocks!

  2. Kimberly on August 13, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Has anyone tried Tracy Andersons dvd’s? They look interesting. Thanks!

    Thank you Gina for posting these reviews!

  3. Holly on August 22, 2010 at 2:52 am

    LOVE No more trouble zones, and I have to say it is good to use that and the 30 Day Shred together. Trouble Zones will kick your butt! 🙂

  4. Liesl on November 21, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    If you chose between Insanity, P90X, or Turbofire to have for your only workout DVD set for the rest of your life…which one would you chose? 🙂 Just curious!

    • Fitnessista on November 21, 2010 at 9:29 pm

      turbofire 🙂

  5. Liz on November 30, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Hey Gina- Have you done a full review of Turbofire? I’m interested in your thoughts on it vs. Insanity. Does Turbofire come with a similar schedule?

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