Friday, 23 July 2010

DVD #2 - Lucy Benjamin's Dancercise

So of the 100 DVD's on my LoveFilm list, they choose Lucy Benjamin's Dancercise first, even over Carmen Electra's Strip Tease. Well, as the good trouper I am, I gave it a go anyway, much to the scoffing and eye rolling from the other half (yeah, the supportive side didn't last long, although it might return when I get the Carmen Electra DVD...)

Firstly my excuses, I've got a cold, and I can't really breathe. Yet I still managed a fair chunk of this workout. It really isn't hard. I don't have the greatest coordination in the world, but the dance moves are so super easy. Her instructor intrduces the basic moves in the warm up and you use these throughout. New moves aren't introduced until the last 15 minutes! And these are the good moves! Right at the end they put all of the moves together which is great for cardio.

If it's simple or beginners cardio that you are after, or you are getting back into exercise, then this is a good video for you. If you are looking for stretches or flexibility, then you will not enjoy this workout at all, as the stretches are ued for cool down purposes only, and they are the most basic of basic moves.

After the whole workout is finished, Lucy ropes her friends in to show us how easy it is and that anyone can do it. This bit last less than five minutes. Seriously.

The music is fairly varied, but looped. And when I say varied, I mean it comes from somewhere between 1963 and 1985.

I have to say, I do love the moment at the end when Lucy asks the trainer 'Have I been annoying?'
... only through most of Eastenders love, apart from when you shot Phil, that was kinda funny.

Top Tip: Lucy has assumed that everyone has the lounge the size of her workout area, which happens to be the grand hall of a country house. If you have limited space, or like me, downstairs neighbours and two feline friends, you will probably end up breaking something.

Lucy has also included a section on 'Beauty Tips'. She is advised to 'scoop honey from a jar and slap it on her face'. she also advises against soap which isn't pH balanced. All this whilst getting a facial. It's OK advice but really it is stuff that you should already know (don't dunk your fingers in chemicals people!)

Score: 2/5. and only because the other half thought her instructor had 'great' trousers.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

DVD #1 - Martine McCutcheon's Dance Body

I'm cheating here slightly - I own this DVD. My excuse? It was recommended by a friend. A friend who is very tiny and pretty slim already.

Now, I love Martine. I really do. She comes across in everything that she does as such a lovely person, and I honestly think that if I met her in real life she would be a great best mate. To be fair I think she would be everyone's best mate. And she is absolutely gorgeous to boot.

Martine did have one of those bigger to smaller transformations, and she lost a fair bit of weight, but in my opinion, I don't think she was that big to start with, and she certainly hasn't become one of the super skinny celebs that everyone worries about having eating problems.

In this DVD, she looks really happy and healthy, and, as the other half pointed out, she still has great boobs. Bonus points for Martine!

The DVD starts with an introduction to Martine and how she sees exercise, in short, the same reasons as to why people buy fitness DVD's and not gym memberships! Her workout is based on dance and pilates movement, and she has a choreographer alongside her who has helped her to create all of the moves.

So the workout gets going. And I have to say, the warm up and the cardio is pretty intense going for the first 15-20 minutes. Martine says after five minutes of cardio that of this is your first time, you should take a break there. Bloody hell I was grateful for that!

After the cardio, she moves onto upper and lower body toning, then stretching based on pilates, but at an accelerated pace. Ouch. Then, when you think that she can't possibly inflict any more pain, she does abs, right at the end. I did approximately 64 sit ups in less than 3 minutes. INSANE.

Martine does have several backing dancers/fit people and one of them does the easy moves, so if you are not as flexible as her then there is another way! Some of the stretches are crazily hard and if this is your first workout DVD then I wouldn't recommend going all the way with them.*

What I found slightly surprising was that Martine took a back seat and let her choreographer do all the instructing, whilst she sweated alongsside, clearly working just as hard as me at home. She looked fab and flexible, but you could clearly see some pain on her face at times, which I actually found heartening. I know I am slightly biased when it comes to Martine, but it is good to see a celeb in pain too!

The DVD also has nutritional advice in it, also from her choreographer. He advises that you can eat almost anything you want, as long as you either eat it at certain times of the day, or you only eat certain food groups together. For example, you can eat as much fruit as you like, but only before midday. and you can eat loads of carbs, but not with protein, as your stomach takes longer to break food group mixtures down and it slows metabolism. Whilst I can see where he is coming from, and I'm fairly sure it could potentially work, I also fail to see how it can possibly work in practice.

In Summary: Martine looks great, and is great in this DVD. There isn't as much dancing as you might like, but it is fast paced and you will feel the burn! Possibly not for first time DVDer's, and the nutrition advice is a little hard to follow, but I'm certain that if you did follow it 3 times a week like she advises, and even if you got creative and added weights to some of the stretches, you will see results!

Score: 3.5 out of 5

*I will be including pictures of me doing these workouts, however the ones from this workout were definitely NSFW.

The First Post - An Introduction to Myself

It's probably beneficial to lay out to y'all who I am, and more importantly, how fit/fat/thin/unfit I am. That way, you will know for yourselves where to gauge my progress (because I will make progress, I will!) and other such fitness related things.

So, without further ado...

I am a women (girl) and I'm 23 (and a half).
You can call me Gem.
I am 5 foot 7 inches, and I am currently ( as of this morning) 11 stone 7. That's 161 pounds if you are American, and just over 73 kilos if you like the metric system.
In terms of BMI, mine is (according to the NHS) 25.2.

A healthy BMI is somewhere between 18 and 25, so in terms of what I weigh, I am literally just over. It is recommended that somebody of my height is around 10 stone 7, or 147 pounds, or 67 kilos.

When it comes to dress size, I am a UK size 14, US size 12. This is the average dress size for UK women. I would like to be a size 12 ideally, as I do happen to also have massive boobs, and to be honest, I kinda like 'em.

OK, so, about my life. I live in a second floor apartment (with no lift) with my boyfriend and our two little treasures (kitties!!) in a little village in North Wales, UK. I also happen to work in a fitness club. I'm not kidding folks, I work in a gym.

I realise that the gym is a really scary place, but to be honest, there aren't that many posers; it is full of normal people like you and me who would love to shift a few extra pounds or just burn off that curry they ate last night. But for me, I am in that gym for 40 hours a week. I don't wanna be there anymore than that, and neither do I want my co workers, or even the gym regulars, seeing me sweating away, huffing and puffing on a treadmill, or in my itsy bitsy bikini. I love my colleagues, but sorry guys, it's weird.

So that's why I decided to investigate the fitness DVD. I started searching lovefilm (netflix) for DVD's and realised that they had hundreds!! Boxercise, Salsa, Yoga, Circuits, Pilates, Bollywood, literally everything that you could think of and more. They have all been graded out of five by previous renters, but there is nowhere that really compares the workouts or seem to have been reviewed by a real person.

Well, I am a real person, and I want to lose a stone and feel awesome again after some pretty crappy months. So, with the support of the other half (who surprisingly hasn't laughed at me once yet. Or, if he has, he managed to hide it pretty well...) and the two cats, Benji and Cleo, and with my ONE piece of equipment, a gym/yoga mat, I will commence my unattractive and inflexible but hidden from sight route into a fitter happier me!

...and if this doesn't work, then it's back to the takeaways and chocolate biscuits.