Fitz Koehler, the badass blonde behind FLIP FLOP Abs, has been a friend of mine for years. It started out with me training with her more than 10 years ago and developed into a friendship that even our dogs share.
Now, that might make you think that offering to review her breakout core fitness DVD would be a no-brainer. You’d be wrong.
The fact is, I accepted the DVD to review because, as I mentioned, I’ve trained with her. I know what kind of amazing workouts she’s capable of leading. I also know how goofy she is, having been the recipient — and occasionally the good-natured butt — of her jokes, which she slings out almost as often as commands to kick higher and hit harder while you’re working over the heavy bag in her gym. If I’d been concerned about the quality of the workouts, I would’ve politely declined. I’m happy I didn’t have to worry about that.
Not surprisingly, FLIP FLOP Abs (so named because you’re constantly flipping from your front to your back and from one side to the other to hit every angle of every core muscle you can imagine, and even some you can’t until it starts burning) delivers on the tough workouts. There are three workouts, each 12 to 15 minutes long, and all require nothing more than you and a little space on the floor. (Maybe a mat if you want one.) I love workouts that don’t require a huge amount of floor space or equipment.
She’s also surrounded with a crew of crazy fit (and, when a triathlete calls people crazy fit, you know it’s for real, right?) guys including former NFL players, a track champion, an ultramarathon runner and more — proof that this isn’t just a powder-puff, get-ready-for-bikini-season type of workout. It is fo’ real.
I did all three workouts in a row, which is probably not recommended, but I wanted to make sure to get the full experience. (See what I do for you guys?) What’s great is that, while a couple of moves are similar, there are no repeats. Plus, you know how I mentioned she’s goofy as all get out? That shines through in a big way as she chats and jokes her way through each move, stopping only occasionally (and only for a second or two — literally) to catch her breath.
Since Fitz is a friend of the FBGs (she and Jenn go back a while, too), I figured this would be a fun opportunity to ask a couple of questions about the “making of” stuff. How often do you get to grill someone on their first video, right?
Q&A With Fitz Koehler
What was the hardest part of making this video? Designing workouts and teaching fitness is what comes naturally to me, so that wasn’t hard at all. However, taking my business savvy up a notch to be the publisher was a bit of a challenge, and I did have a moment of “I hope I don’t EFF this up” right before shooting. You can read all about that stomach churning, but short-lived moment of hell here.
What’s your favorite, favorite move? I love so many of them, and I actually say that during the workouts a few times. However, I think the full oblique sit-ups really make a monster of an impact. If you do nothing else, do those.
Any that you love to hate? I meant to make the side-plank exercises really hard, and they are. Even though I can do them well, they’re definitely still a challenge.
What kind of comments did you get from your super-fit assistants? I chose my crew of elite male athletes for a few reasons. I wanted men to have role models within the DVD (and it doesn’t hurt that they’re gorgeous and make the workouts more fun for the ladies, too). But I also chose them because I knew they were too cocky to quit mid-workout. Former NFL wide receiver Chris Doering is an absolute Adonis; he’s ripped and really athletic. A few weeks post-shoot he confided that five minutes into his workout, he wanted to die. He says he made it through the rest on pure ego alone. The other guys were on a similar page, but they all did great. They’re all hard-core fitness freaks with great attitudes. You’ll love them, too!
What’s your favorite comment you’ve gotten from someone who’s done the workouts? Two things. I’ve heard “my abs are going to explode” quite a few times. That’s pretty funny. But I also love hearing from new moms who say they can feel a major difference in their waistline and that their backs feel better and stronger, too. It’s important that these workouts help people not only look better, but function better too.
[Editor’s note: When I talked to Fitz after my husband and I did this, her first question was, “Did Jared curse at me?” When I replied that he did, she said, “I feel super fulfilled now. It’s the little (vulgar) things that matter.” See why we’re pals?]
What’s next? If this DVD sells well, we’ll see FLIP FLOP ABS 2, FLIP FLOP ABS for Beginners and FLIP FLOP Glutes and Legs.
Review: FLIP FLOP Abs Workout DVD
Long-Term Likeability: ★★★★★
Fun Factor: ★★★★★
Meets Expectations: ★★★★★
Best for: FBGs who are looking to strengthen their cores and learn some new moves. Anyone with a basic level of fitness will benefit, although beginners should be aware that there aren’t modifications shown for most moves, so the best bet is to start out doing a few reps and build up.
Congrats to Fitz on the first of what we expect to be a series of DVDs! Who else out there loves it when the instructor on their workout DVD is fun and goofy but also totally tough? —Kristen