I never know what to expect when I try out workout DVDs featuring celebrities or people who don’t work out for a living. Carmen Electra’s striptease workouts weren’t exactly sweat inducing, but Mel B successfully kicked my rear. I wasn’t sure what to expect from Kim Kardashian. After all, she’s known more for reality TV and fashion than for fitness. In another case of not judging a DVD by its cover, I will say that I was more than pleasantly surprised by the Fit in Your Jeans by Friday three-disc series—I was pleasantly impressed.
To start with, the DVDs are definitely stylish. No boring studios here: The set has a loft-in-Paris feel, with wood floors, art on an easel, a work desk that reminded me of Project Runway, a rack of clothing in the background and windows that open into a city view. Kim is dressed more like a super hero than an aerobics instructor in all three videos. I’m not sure how she managed to keep cool in tight black spandex, but she looked hot.
Butt Blasting Cardio Step
This was the first DVD of the series that I tried. Kim and two side kicks lead you through this cardio step workout, which is approximately 45 minutes from warm-up to cool down. While Kim does make some comments as the workout is happening, most of the cuing is done by voiceover, which comes across as a tad boring. Plus, it sometimes seemed like the counts and music were just a touch off.
The warm-up gets you comfortable with the step, with basic straddles and stomps and a little hip shaking. A few lunging stretches and squats will have you ready to roll. The DVD then breaks into three 10-minute segments that you put together at the end for a bit of a step medley. It is nice that if you only have 10 minutes you can pick and choose which segments you’d like to do, but you repeat previous combos during the subsequent workout, so you’d have to be familiar with all three combinations for that to be effective.
The moves are fun, and I was able to pick up on most of them after a few repetitions. (I always have a hard time with moves around the step.) Basic moves like knee repeaters, L steps and hamstring curls are combined with fun cha-cha, mambo and box step moves, so it’s a good variety. I’m no pro at step, so it did take a few tries to pick up on some of the moves. I’d probably put the difficulty level at somewhere between basic and lower intermediate, and the cardio level at basic+. (The trainer that designed this workout is the one who designed the Skinny Bitch series.) The cool down was adequate, with side lunges, hip-flexor and hamstring stretches.
Amazing Abs Body Sculpt
This disc had me believing that I’d be fitting into my skinny jeans by Friday. With a different setup than the first workout, this was more like you were getting a peak into a personal training session. The voiceover is gone, and instead Kim and trainer Jennifer Galardi work out together. Jennifer is awesome, cues amazingly and is constantly going over to Kim to talk about correct form and exactly which muscles are being worked. Encouraging, joking, but no nonsense at the same time, she was a perfect instructor.
The warm-up starts with squats and squat reaches and faux jump ropes before you get into the workout. To focus on sculpting, Kim and Jennifer grabbed light weights. I grabbed my three pounders, which turned out to be just enough, although I might try fives next time. You work the entire upper bod, from the back to shoulders to biceps and triceps. Jennifer has you perform side reaches combined with standing crunches to work your core, along with balance challenges that target your upper body and obliques. I also tried new moves I’d never seen before, such as standing full-body roll downs (that’s what I’m calling them) that use an insane amount of ab and thigh control.
After the upper-body weight work you get into some crazy bootcampy stuff: Jumping jacks followed by a squat-thrust-turned-one-armed-plank on each side. And repeat. And repeat. Tough! The second segment starts with a bang with a jump to plank and push-ups for one minute, followed by mountain climbers. Three sets of mountain climbers! Torture, awesome torture. With lots of push-ups, tricep dips off the step and then a few ab moves thrown in at the end, you’re definitely getting effective work done. A yoga-inspired cool down is an effective and relaxing end to this 50-ish minute workout.
The warm-up was familiar but not a repeat of the previous workout; it had variation to make it feel new. The first segment starts you off with moving quickly between several squat variations that are enough to get you a little out of breath. I loved the balance challenges, such as combo lunges forward and back, and one-legged deadlifts.
Part two of the workout incorporated the step, with some cardio intervals mixed in. Some of the moves Jennifer runs you through are jumps up to the step, calf raises, side squats and leg lifts from plank (yes, more planks!). You finish the workout off with some good stretching.
Overall I really like this set of workouts. I always prefer that DVDs be challenging because it’s easier to take a break or reduce reps than it is to pump up a lame workout. Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced, these DVDs give you options for difficulty on many of the moves. While Kim might not have been able to carry the workouts on her own, she clearly picked stellar trainers and production staff. Similar to how I love the the Biggest Loser workouts because they are real people doing the work, I felt the same way with Kim. While she’s a gorgeous celebrity, she’s not afraid to show that she’s still learning—and you’re learning right along with her.
FBG Rating (Out of 5)
Long-Term Likeability: ★★★★
Fun Factor: ★★★
Meets Expectations: ★★★★
Overall: ★★★1/2 to ★★★★
Fit Bottom line: While I wasn’t as in love with the cardio DVD, it’s a solid introduction to cardio and a good basic to intermediate step workout. Both sculpting videos had a fresh vibe, introduced me to new moves and successfully had me sweating. —Erin