Wednesday, 8 September 2010

DVD #7 - The Hip Hop Workout

When I saw what Lovefilm was sending me this week, a little part of me died inside. I am not the world's biggest hiphop fan. I find Snoop Dog, P Diddy (or whatever he's called nowadays) and the rest of them really annoying. Actually, I find the female rappers even more annoying.

My worst fears were confirmed in the opening credits when 'the crew' were introduced. I won't divulge what their names were but I'm sure you can imagine that they were most definitely from the infamous block. To be honest, most of the girls looked like they could do with a whole new wardrobe, as their clothes seemed very torn and full of inappropriate holes.

My worst fears were cemented by the fact that the workout was to be demonstrated in a garage full of blingy cars, and a lot of tyres.

My worst fears were buried six feet under as they announced the 'e z warm up' 'Kool Down' and the 'hardcore workout'.

So I did the warm up, feeling slightly more achy this morning than I generally do. It was the usual stretches and a few cardio bits and pieces, although it seemed pretty quick for a warm up.

Then onwards to the hardcore workout. And I'll tell you something; I have never heard my bones make such horrible noises. This DVD needs to come with a better health warning. Now, I don't consider myself to have any injuries or be any different fron the next person, but this video was awful. These are trained professionals, and the moves they are doing are way too fast and far too complicated. You need to have a serious level of fitness behind you already to attempt to do this video. And if you are low in self confidence then this is NOT the video for you. I've done it and I feel even worse now than I did before.

The guy who leads this video keeps telling you to smile. Whilst I just want to tell him to bugger off. He says at the start that he has split the sections into 9 minute chunks. I didn't get that. For me, it was an hour of pain. He kept saying 'We're at the top!' but I don't really understand what he meant by that.

The dancers? They whooped throughout the whole thing. It was more annoying than the looped hiphop track that passes for music these days. And whoever put the girl in bright blue trousers next to the guy in bright orange trousers needs their eyes testing. Badly.

At the end they put all the moves together and made like a hiphop music video. By this point I was so fed up of not acheiving anything and my bones cracking every two seconds that I stood there like a loser at a disco and swayed from side to side.

Don't do this video guys, you will only injure yourself. Good cardio, bad for bones.

I still maintain the Martine's Dancebody is the best dance video.

Score: 1/5. It's for professional dancers only. And I'm guessing that professional dancers don't need fitness videos.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

DVD #6 - Rosemary Conley's Fat Attack

You will need a pole. Seriously.

Rosemary reckons that the best way to attack fat is through aerobic exercise and muscle toning exercises. Which is fairly obvious to me, though we may have been a more clueless nation in the early 90's.

But this workout: it's hard. There is a countdown clock in each section so you know how much longer you've got left. Tell you what, when I saw almost 12 minutes pop up on screen at the start of the abs section, and 'when you're in love with a beautiful woman' kick in on the stereo, I wanted to kill Rosemary. I had toyed with these feeling during the first toning section when she had cracked out a pole and was squatting around it*.

The sections are tough going but not necessarily fast. I'm used to the Martine McCutcheon abs section which is an awful lot faster than this. Rosemary does explain each stretch or movement very clearly, so you won't get lost.

I did feel that Rosemary wasn't working as hard as her class. Maybe that's just me, but she did look like she was blagging it. There is an easy version demonstrated, as in most fitness DVD's, but Rosemary seemed to be doing something somewhere in between.

Also, she was always pushing. Even in the cool down routine, she was saying 'if you want a better stretch do blah.' Which is normally OK but I'm not sure that in a cool down you want to be pushing it further.

In the first of it's kind, Rosemary has included a circuit for men, but 'its also suitable for women'. She acquires four, probably unwilling, men and one of her ladies. She says all you need is 'a couple bottles of water and a rope', possibly and unwanted insight into Rosemary's almost healthy sex life...

Anyway, the cicuit has the usual warm up which is uncannily familiar to the normal warm up at the beginning, just with a couple more squats and marches.

And the circuit stations were absolutely hilarious. They had jumping jacks, sit ups, press ups, weight lifting, all to the sultry sound of Hot Chocolates 'You Sexy Thing'. Rosemary then explains the use of the rope, or basically, a line across the ground that you have to jump over. And because the guys go at their own pace, I was falling about laughing for most the time and couldn't join in. Especially when David, her chap doing the high impact stuff, obviously thought he wasn't on film and was clearly not working as hard as he should.

Rosemary then suggests 'rewinding' to repeat the circuit, before launching into the cooldown.

In summary: It's pretty decent, but I can't see the men folk taking it seriously.

Score: 3/5 - I suspect you could get pretty fit with this one, but Rosemary needs a new haircut.

*Some of her dancers were of course using chairs, demonstrating that the workout could be done whether or not you had a pole in close proximity.