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Kathy Smith: Strong, Sleek & Slim

KathySmithI love Kathy Smith. Her Rules of Fat Burning DVD is one of my staples. It has great mix-and-match cardio and strength, and if you’ve got 17 minutes, you can fit in one hell of a jump rope workout. We’ve got an awesome Q&A with Kathy coming up tomorrow, so I thought in her honor, I’d go back and review one of her oldies. I found the oldest DVD of hers that I could on Netflix—a combo video of three workouts from the 80s and 90s.

If you have Netflix, go put Kathy Smith: Strong, Sleek & Slim in your queue. Now. I’ll wait.


You won’t be disappointed. This video blew my mind; it is fabulous on so many levels. First, the retro aspect of it is like nothing you’ve ever seen before, and I can’t do every facet justice in the written word. But even in the face of 80s video technology, wardrobes and sets, the workout is sweat inducing and the aerobics are easy to follow. It also made me thankful that wearing pantyhose while working out is no longer fashionable. Be warned: The workouts are long, and none clock in less than an hour.

Weight Loss Workout
This workout is mostly aerobics based but does add in some strength moves. Starting out in a warehouse setting, you do basic aerobics moves before flashing to a pink-carpeted studio to complete the warm-up. After picking up light weights, you work the arms, shoulders and chest/back while also getting cardio because you move a lot. The meat of the DVD is heavy on cardio, and each cardio segment switches it up with theme changes (beach party is one) and even different lighting. The aerobics here include lots of knee lifts, side-to-side moves and grapevines. The add-a-move is a staple, as well as moves that fit the particular theme of the segment. After the cardio, you get into leg strength work with weights, including lunges and leg lifts, before cooling it down with basic stretches at the end. A portion on healthy eating at the end is a good reminder about how to eat right.
Highlight: A 50s-themed segment complete with skirts and a dance-off style dance tunnel.

Ultimate Video Workout
This workout, circa 1984, is awesomely dated with its studio with cut-out skylines in the backdrop and its “foot lookin’” portion, which shows how your feet should look as they’re doing the moves. It’s basically everything awesome, 80s and aerobics in this one segment. Highlights include layered socks, moves that remind me of the “robot,” and can-can kicking, which was tough. Fantastic changing formations attempt to distract from the fact that you’ve been jumping up and down and doing jumping side lunges for several minutes straight. It’s like jumping rope but more entertaining to watch. Arm work using your own resistance made me burn, as did the thigh and ab floorwork.
Highlight: An outdoor parking lot shoot with fans sitting on hoods of cars clapping and feigning the moves while the stars do add-on moves, including my fave, “space arms,” a kooky over-the-head arm move you just have to see for yourself.

Ultimate Stomach and Thighs Workout
This segmentis definitely “ultimate” if that means it lasts an eternity. If you do it, break up the abs and thighs unless you have about 85 minutes, although Kathy does talk for about 8 minutes at the start of the video. The ab work is broken up into the foundation, which is heavy on the basics and form; the workout, which includes reverse crunches and oblique crunches; and the challenge, which is more difficult versions of the basic moves and will fatigue your mid-section into oblivion.

The thigh segment consisted of both thigh and butt floorwork, which I haven’t done in awhile, so I was feeling it because I tried to rock it with the advanced moves even though they showed modifications for beginner and intermediate levels. Standing work also targeted the buns, and there were plenty of leg lifts, squats and lunges.
Highlight: Gym bags on the floor as decoration made me giggle.

FBG Rating (Out of 5):
Instruction: ★★★
Long-Term Likeability: ★★★
Music: ★★★
Fun Factor: ★★★★★
Meets Expectations: ★★★
Overall: ★★★★

Fit Bottom line: By far my favorite retro video yet, this one is great for its diverse cardio and toning, and you are guaranteed to giggle at the awesome 80s factor. Entertaining and sweat inducing, even if it is lengthy. —Erin

This one’s a steal at Amazon.com!

Want more reviews? Read the Fit Bottomed Girls’ review of Cindy Crawford’s 90s workout and my favorite Mindy Mylrea DVD. For more on how our ratings are determined (it’s not a science, but we do have some method to our madness), read our review criteria.

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  1. tfh says:

    Ooh, Kathy Smith has been too challenging for me in the past, but this one sounds worth trying just to be transported back to the glorious 80s!

  2. Merry says:

    Interesting… sounds like I should check out these DVDs. Well, maybe not the one that lasts for an eternity… but definitely the others 🙂

  3. GroundedFitness says:

    ahaha I love her outfit on the CD- who dresses these people?

    Kelly Turner

  4. Sagan says:

    Oh NICE gotta love the 80’s hehe. Am excited for the Q and A:)

  5. Juliet says:

    Okay I am going to put it in. I hope it is good!! 🙂 I’m sure it will be! How do you like working out at home vs. at the gym?

  6. Erin says:

    Juliet: Let me know what you think!

    And I love working out at home. I get excellent workouts…and save the 20 minute round trip! It just depends on what I’m in the mood to do that day.

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