Some Method to Our Madness: Workout DVD Reviews

The FBGs know that getting to the gym isn’t always possible. And, gosh darn it, sometimes the weather just doesn’t cooperate. (Overcrowded gyms and Mother Nature can be such a pain in the arse.) To remedy this pesky problem, we’ve decided to review an exercise DVD once a week so that you can spend your indoor, in-home workout time wisely.

You can note these posts by their labels. “Under Review” is a critique of exercise DVDs released within the last year or so, and “Retro Review” is a/an analysis/assessment/celebration of DVDs that are, well, retro. Think of your mom’s favorite VHS tapes from a time when you were too young to tell the difference between good fashion choices and neon aerobics garb: Sweatin’ to the Oldies, Buns of Steels and anything featuring Jane Fonda. Thankfully, many of these throwbacks have been re-released on DVD format. The FBGs find this incredibly awesome/terrifying.

So that you know that we aren’t basing our ratings of these DVDs solely on the incidence of fashion faux pas (no matter how fantastic or horrendous they are), we’ve outlined our rating system below. Note that all ratings are out of five stars and that five stars aren’t easy to get.

Instruction: Is the instructor easy to follow and understand? Is she encouraging, but not too encouraging? Happy but not high as a kite? We’ll rate this all here.

Long-Term Likeability: Is this a DVD we’d imagine ourselves doing again? If so, there’s one star, maybe even two. If it’s a DVD we can see ourselves doing regularly, we’re in the three- to four-star range. If the DVD is so amazing that we want to do it morning, noon and night (OK, or even weekly), it’s a five-star DVD.

Music: How’s the music? Is it fun? Is it something we could see ourselves listening to on the radio of our own free will? Or is it disjointed and better suited for a 1st grade talent show? Two stars is bearable. Three and four stars are likeable, maybe even hum-in-the-shower material. Get five stars, and we’re dancing our pants off.

Fun Factor: Did we actually enjoy it? Would a sane, non-group exercise instructor really have fun doing this DVD? We filter out the non-fun stuff for you.

Meets Expectations: DVD covers promise A LOT. This rating separates the hype from the truth by letting you know how true the workout is to its DVD box’s description. (Note that at least a full star is usually deducted for DVDs that fail to mention that you’ll be needing additional equipment. That’s the worst!)

Overall: A summation of the above criteria in star form.

Fit Bottom line: The FBGs visceral reaction to the DVD.

If you have any suggestions on how to improve our rating system or have DVDs you’d like us to review, please comment below or e-mail us at [email protected]. —Jenn



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