During my internship I tried a wider variety of food and exercises than I have in my whole life (which might be only 24 years, but still!). Swimming was my entire fitness life until I turned 17 and quit (a long story and regrettable decision), so when Jenn had me choose another workout DVD to review for y’all I was pleased.
Since Strong Sexy Svelte: 3 Total Workouts for a Rocking Body focuses on weights, Pilates and yoga, it is a bit different than other workout DVDs I have reviewed, but I was rarin’ to go, and popped this DVD in ready for some fun.
This section is simply a short introduction about Kristin McGee and how she came up with the S3 program and why. If you don’t really care about background info and just want to get moving, feel free to skip this section.
Sweat (5-minute bonus cardio)
Kristin moves pretty fast, but this short little bonus section was fun and easy to follow. My favorite move was the hop-skip where you stand in place doing high leg lifts and skip while flourishing your arms about. (I swear it makes sense when you see it.)
I didn’t love the jump rope — so many of the workouts use them — but eventually she made it more interesting by having you jump around the four corners of an imaginary square.
One thing I noticed right off the bat: Kristin talks a lot, and I am sure plenty of people like that. However, I prefer a happy medium of talking enough to clarify instructions but not so much my mind is screaming, “please, please pleasepleaseplease, STOP.”
Strong (25-minute YogaTone)
Strong consists of YogaTone, which is weights and yoga combined. The first thing Kristin mentions in this section is that you need a yoga mat (check) and some small weights (umm, not check … introducing canned corn and peanut butter jars). Next she goes full-steam into yoga poses without pausing, so if you have not done yoga before, prepare to get a little lost.
To my immense satisfaction, Kristin does a warm-up consisting of a continued Sun Salutation pattern. However, there are no pauses in this section of the DVD, so I often found myself two to three moves behind.
Although I appreciated the warm-up, I didn’t really enjoy this section. I wasn’t fond of how much we jumped around with the weights — all my prior weight training has been done at standard machines at gyms where I only work specific areas of my body, and this was a big difference. If you’re comfortable with free weights though, you’ll probably like it much more.
Sexy (25-minute Pilates core workout)
I liked the Pilates-based Sexy workout from minute one! Why? Because the first thing we do is work the core and stay on our back engaging the core. I might not have liked much about Strong, but Sexy had nothing I didn’t like.
My favorite part was when we were on our back and put one foot in the air in a straight L, moving it around in a wide motion. It wasn’t easy — my hip kept popping and it was actually rather painful. But after the workout, when I was in the kitchen cooking, I noticed that my hips felt really great! Flexibility is a huge part of this section, but if you don’t bend like Gumbo don’t be discouraged; we’ve all been there. And it just means you have room to improve!
Svelte (25-minute YogaFlow)
This final section was Svelte, a YogaFlow workout beginning with a warm-up similar to what we did in Strong. I loved doing Warrior 3 (where you stand on one leg with the other completely stretched out behind you parallel to the ground, arms are stretched in front of you, also parallel to the ground). However, that’s just about the only thing I enjoyed in this section — this is a tough yoga workout with more advanced poses than I was ready for.
FBG Rating (Out of 5)
Long-Term Likeability: ★★★
Fun Factor: ★★★
Meets Expectations: ★★
Fit Bottomed Line: Would I recommend this DVD? Most likely not — I wasn’t a fan of the constant stream of dialogue, not to mention the rapid pace (which was too challenging for me as a beginner). If you are a yoga master (or at least have a bit of experience under your belt) though, you might like this DVD, but beginners can probably find a better option (like these!).
Can too much instruction (or lack of) kill a workout DVD for you? What else do you avoid or look for in a workout DVD? —Maria