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Karen Voight: Great Weighted Workout

Let’s go back. Waaay back. To a time when neon pink, blue and orange were H-O-T and when Miami Vice-ish palm trees were all the rage in decorating. To a time when leotards and big scrunched-up socks were considered haute couture. To a time when Karen Voight filmed the Great Weighted Workout. Welcome to 1990.

This DVD, converted from the original VHS tape, is a fantastic trip back in time. Karen Voight herself is a force to be reckoned with and equipped with some killer muscles. She’s seriously long and lean and yet very Linda Hamilton from The Terminator. You can also tell that, despite her somewhat overbearing attention to detail (more on that later), she’s not always 100 percent comfortable in front of the camera and kinda goofy. And I like goofy. The FBGs never take themselves too seriously.

The DVD lasts 82 minutes, and, as the name implies, is all about weights. You have the option to either play the entire workout or mix and match the workouts (the editing on this isn’t great since it wasn’t filmed to be broken up, but I appreciate the feature nonetheless). You get a nice, balanced 6-minute warm-up and cool down, plus sections of standing leg work, upper body, lower body and abdominals. The warm-upincludes dynamic stretching, and does its job of getting you toasty.

The “standing leg work” title is a little deceiving, as it includes 6 minutes of both upper- and lower-body exercises, like single-leg squats plus rows and lunges plus bicep curls. Oh, and walking side lunges where Karen and her very enthusiastic and 90s-clad participants get some serious sneaker squeaking on. Like a basketball game. It made me giggle.

During the 20-minute upper-body section you get some pretty fun moves, and by fun, I mean complicated. So complicated that I’m really not exactly sure how to describe them, but imagine arm aerobics with 2- to 3-pound weights. Arms all over the place and burning. In fact, I think Tracy Anderson may have “borrowed” some of Ms. Voight’s moves. Unfortunately, the lightest weights I own are 5-pounders (such a bad ass I am, I know), so I was DYING. As in, holy crapola, I can’t believe my arms are still attached.

For the lower-body section, you hit the mat with ankle weights (again, I don’t own these, but with how many reps she does, I can’t imagine surviving with extra weight), a small weighted ball (that you can sub with a dumbbell) and a piece of wood to bite down on as you suffer through, I mean perform, HUNDREDS of inner-thigh, outer-thigh, butt, hamstring and quad exercises. After 30 minutes of this, I can see why Karen’s legs look so good, but I still think I’ll stick with mine.

You break out the mat and ball/dumbbell (no stick needed to bite down on though, thankfully!) again for the abdominals section, which includes 15 minutes of varied crunches that hit every part of your abs. The pace on the crunches is nice, and the section is just long enough to make you want to scream uncle without boring you with endless reps (which sadly, the lower-body section did for me a bit).

Through and through, this DVD was solid. It’s your traditional aerobics-y low-weight, high-reps format, and you will definitely feel the burn. The music is really fun, and even features real songs by real artists like Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive.” The DVD definitely gets bonus points in the fashion department, too, as everyone is in some form of spandex, including two dudes in singlets and one redhead in the back who has on a leotard that’s one of those one-piece suits with the cut out that exposes most of the midriff but not all of it. Saucy.

Unfortunately, the DVD doesn’t do too much for beginners because you get little to no variations or modifications. Granted, you could just do the DVD without any weight, but it would be nice for the beginners to be recognized. My only other hiccup with the workout is that Karen really never stops talking. Never. By all means, she’s not overly perky or particularly annoying, but she’s constantly giving alignment tips and cues. Normally I would like this attention to detail, but a full 82 minutes of it? Overkill. This is one of her earlier DVDs, so I’ll chalk that up to nerves.

FBG Rating (Out of 5):
Instruction: ★★★★
Long-Term Likeability: ★★★
Music: ★★★★★
Fun Factor: ★★
Meets Expectations: ★★★
Overall: ★★★1/2

Fit Bottom line: If you’re looking for a trip down early 90s memory lane and want to feel the burn with solid instruction and tons of reps with low weights, pick this one up on Amazon. —Jenn

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  1. tfh says:

    Ooh, I think my library has this one! Sounds good, although I tend to have very little patience for high reps/low weight– it does get boring.

  2. Moonlight Dancer says:

    I really like Karen Voight. I think I have her streamlined fitness DVD (if that’s what it’s called) it used weight balls and i loved it. I like videos that are easy to follow, i bought a Crunch video once and it immediately went up on half.com because she didn’t give any instruction on what the move looked like and no time to transition, by the time I learned one move she was moving on to the next and I’m pretty coordinated.

  3. Sagan says:

    Sweet, the 90’s, fun times!

  4. CAP says:

    My favorite is Elle McPhereson’s Personal Best with Karen Voight. The location shots are beautiful and the music is okay. If you are just beginning, the rotation between aerobics and strength training make it easy to complete while still giving yourself a workout. The abs were the hardest, the third aerobic interval was the most fun, and I still use the cool down.

  5. Davion says:

    I feel so much happier now I unedrnstad all this. Thanks!

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