We know that all of you aren’t into dance, aerobics and Pilates/yoga, so today we’re reviewing two harder-hitting, more athletic-type workout DVDs. So lace up those sneakers, get your game face on, and let’s do it!
Cuerpaso’s Gift of Health workout combines a basic boot camp with a bit of Latin-flavored hip swiveling to attain your “ultimate body” (the English translation of “cuerpaso”). One-name celebrity trainer Tadeo leads you through the workout, which is infused with hints of another Latin American favorite: soccer.
Tadeo gives the boot camp a Latin flavor by having you “marchando” to recover from the tough stuff, which basically means a march in place withhip swivel. The basics are definitely covered here—lunges, explosive squats, bursts of cardio—but you also incorporate a soccer ball on a lot of the moves for a fun twist. The soccer ball (or a medicine ball or your imagination) is a great workout assistant. You use it as a marker on the ground to jump over or to bounce on your thighs as you high-knee your heiney off. You also use the ball for lunges, which is great for balance, and as a weight for strength work, such as overhead soccer throws.
While the basics of the DVD are good and it definitely got my heart pumping and muscles burning, I had a few complaints. Tadeo refuses to count correctly, ever. At times he says 10 more and then quits after a few more; sometimes he says four more and then quits at 20. There is no rhyme or reason, but it might be his schtick because he does at one point say that his counts don’t mean anything.
Two backup exercisers were also along for the workout. One had perfect form, while the other one was struggling. I wish Tadeo had taken the opportunity to correct her form or bump her down to easier modifications. The lack of direction on form and few modifications would give me pause in recommending this video to someone who didn’t know some exercise basics.
While the video wasn’t perfect, I did love the 20-minute kids’ workout, which is a great reminder of how much fun it should be to work out. A great way to get the family together and active!
FBG Rating (Out of 5):
Long-Term Likeability: ★★
Fun Factor: ★★★
Meets Expectations: ★★
Fit bottom line: For an exerciser who knows the basics, this could be a challenging boot camp workout with a sporty Latin twist. But if you expect correct counts, turn off the sound immediately!
With the tagline: “No sets, no repetition and no choregraphy,” this DVD set had my attention from the get-go. I love choreographed stuff, but sometimes a girl needs a no-frills workout that gets right to the point and beats your fit bottom the heck up. This whole workout runs you through a series of “challenges,” each one about 5 to 8 minutes long. In each challenge you do three to six exercises that range from functional balancing moves to cardio drills to your normal lower-body mat work. It’s basically like circuit training where the circuit is never repeated. And even for an hour-long workout, the time really does fly. Surprisingly quickly. And all you really need for the workout is a pair of dumbbells and a mat, but if you’re lucky enough to have a Bosu, Gliders and BodyBar, you’ll use ‘em.
Three DVDs come in the set, so you get two hour-long workouts, plus a DVD that allows you to mix and match challenges so that your workout never gets dull. Cool, right? I absolutely loved volume 1. Instructor Christina Leon gives good cues, the exercises are great (yet brutal), and, again, the time flies by which is no easy feat. Volume 2? EH. The exercises seemed ridiculous at times (my hubby joked that if they could ask us to levitate they would), and while Christina joked in DVD uno that she “couldn’t count,” in DVD dos she drove me insane with her inability to count—this appears to be the theme of the day. (Again, my husband and I would joke “okay four more left…20 more….3 more…” And we weren’t that far off in our sarcasm. Seriously.) And the music? Two words come to mind…one is rock, and the other rhymes with, ahem, rock.
FBG Rating (Out of 5):
Long-Term Likeability: ★★★
Fun Factor: ★★★
Meets Expectations: ★★★★
Fit bottom line: At less than $25 for the three-DVD set, volume one is worth the price tag. Unless you plan to learn the moves and hit mute, skip volume two. Three is never-get-bored bonus.
If you want to try Athlekinetix and Cuerpaso for yourself, leave a comment! We’ll select two random commenters next week to receive these DVDs! U.S. residents only pretty please! —Jenn & Erin