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Under Review: Melt It Off!

Although gymnast Mitch Gaylord hasn’t won his four Olympic medals in winter sports, we wanted to keep the spirit of the Olympics going strong this week even in our workout DVD review. If you’ve ever wanted to work out with an Olympian, here’s your chance!

Mitch’s Melt It Off! DVD contains four complete workouts—Cardio Burn & Sculpt, Sizzlin’ Abs, High Calorie Melt and Melt in 10—making it a great disc for anyone who wants variety. Plus, the workout came with a 2-pound medicine ball, which is a great addition to any equipment arsenal.

High Calorie Melt is an hour-long cardio and strength workout. You’ll get your heat a-pumpin’ even as you’re doing classic strength moves such as squats, push-ups, lunges and the iron cross—the gymnastics staple in which you pass the medicine ball from one hand to the other overhead and reach your arms out in a T position (not used to that one!). You use the medicine ball for most of the exercises, so your core and upper body are engaged even for lower-body moves.

Cardio Burn & Sculpt is a 40-minute session that incorporates coordination drills along with strength. Agility and coordination take me back to elementary school basketball practice: figure eights with the ball while squatting, passing the ball between your legs and around your back during lunges. Push-ups in this workout also use the ball, and floor work for the butt is killer (think one-legged hip lifts with one foot on the ball. ) Mitchy also punishes you in both of the longer workout sessions by making  you hold a squat with the ball between your knees for what feels like an hour and a half. Oh, the burn.

The Sizzlin’ Abs section incorporates the ball for tons of ab moves on the floor. With the ball between your knees, you twist your lower body to hit your obliques and extend in and out to really get your abs burning. Three one-minute planks are also BRUTAL! The Melt in 10 workout then pulls 10 moves from the other workout segments and puts them together for a 10-minute total-body workout. Perfect for when you’re really short on time.

Throughout each of the workouts, Mitch emphasizes working at your level, be it gold, silver or bronze (cheesy, but it works). He and his cohorts give variations on the exercises so that you can challenge yourself or ease up as needed. Plus, you can always bump up your med ball to a 4- or 6-pounder for even more of a challenge!

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

Fit bottom line: Chock full of basics, Melt It Off! has enough workouts (four!) and enough variations to keep both beginners and more advanced exercisers satisfied!


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