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Mel B: Totally Fit

Mel B went from Scary Spice to Fit Bottomed Spice with one run through her new workout DVD, Totally Fit. This was one of those examples of not judging a workout DVD by its cover or your own expectations. I expected total fluff, but Mel B and her abs convinced me that she was serious about fitness.

The DVD is broken into several sections for a mix-and-match workout. This isn’t just another celebrity workout DVD. Mel B’s flair for performing is evident, and she not only instructs well and gives tips on form, but she is also highly entertaining. Peppered with Britishisms, she’s given me new phrases to incorporate into my vocab, like “burn it out” and “get the bum popping.” Unfortunately, no times are listed on the menu for each section, so you have to do the workout before you find out how long the segments are (or read FBG).

The warm-up and cool down are both more than adequate to fulfill their intended purposes, but I’ll focus on the meat of the workout because there’s a lot to cover. In each segment, from the warm-up and cool down to everything in between, the moves are broken up into 1-minute segments. While this can make it seem a little repetitive, the beautiful pool and oceanside setting are fun to look at while doing the workout. One bonus to the DVD was the nutrition section, showing a couple of Mel B’s recipes. I would have loved more specifics on the food, but it was fun to see her cooking in her kitchen.

This 15-minute segment is very much like a boot camp cardio segment in that a lot of the work feels like strength training, but quickly moving between the exercises really gets your heart rate up. You start with side toe taps while flapping your arms, which looks simple but will get your hips and bum firey. Squats and jump ropes followed by jumping twists feel more like real cardio. You get a break with standing oblique work, but then you get murdered by mountain climbers. Advice like “Don’t even think about what’s going on, just do it” is actually really helpful when your bum is on fire. Walking push-ups for a minute followed by push-ups had me begging for mercy like Uncle Jesse on Full House.

Advanced Cardio
This 20-minute segment is also cardiomixed with strength moves. Starting with a jab, you do upper cuts and punches. You keep your feet moving while doing bicep curls, a V-for-victory shoulder lift and triceps. Mel B uses water bottles, but I used 1-pound ankle weights around my wrists and definitely felt the burn. The second round through these moves is tough. Props to Mel B for dropping down weights when it got too difficult. This “advanced section” didn’t seem much harderthan the regular cardio section but was tough nonetheless. Jumping jacks get your heart rate back up and you burn out your bum with side leg lifts. Mel busts out the push-ups again for this section and rounds out the segment with abs for a full-body sweat session.

With this 11-minute segment you can use bottled water, cans of soup or 1-pound weights like I did. You start with the usual suspects for arms, biceps and shoulders, but withside-to-side steps,you even incorporate a bit of cardio work. You’d be surprised how long a minute can seem when you’re doing these high reps. And how heavy one pound is. Triceps with a semi-lunge also get at your derrière.

You do about a bajillion variations of squats in this segment, and if you’re not sore or exhausted by the end, you’re a superhero. I was sore for days. You actually squat onto a chair, so you get more range of motion than just squatting on your own. Squats with knee ups, then with kicks give you variation on the squat theme. Deeper squats reaching toward the ground makes you dig in a little deeper.

You start out burning right off the bat with the “dog peeing on a hydrant with a leg extension” move, followed by butt raises and outer leg lifts. This section didn’t seem as difficult for me, and I even did it while I had a cold. It’s 10 minutes of manageable but effective floor work.

Tums (Bum and tums. How cute is that? )
You really work out the midsection in this 10-minutesegment. Mel warms up the abs with a minute of basic crunches and then has you dig deep with two-count rope climbing, with your extended leg acting as the rope—a unique move I’d never seen before. The hot potato movewas ridiculous at about 45 seconds in. A plank twist and a plank will make your abs and your arms shake, shake, shake.

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

Fit Bottom line: While a little repetitive, Totally Fit was easy to follow, and Mel B successfully entertained me and made me feel some serious burn. It also makes you “wannabe” as fit as her! —Erin



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