My principles were put to one side and I turned to Amazon’s shopping basket. There were plenty of options — slim celebs know December is the perfect time to unleash fitness DVDs on a post-Christmas plump public, so every year sees a barrage of new releases.
After clearing my living room floor and rooting out some old ‘New Year’s resolution’ weights, I began my first workout DVD, from television presenter and fitness guru Davina McCall. Ultimate Target is her eighth fitness DVD along with her trainers Jackie and Mark. It is designed to target troublesome areas such as bingo wings, abs, legs and bottoms. I have always been a big fan of the Big Brother host, her humour and style has always succeeded in keeping me glued to her many TV programmes. I was hoping she would do the same and continue to see me through till the end of this target fat-burning lark.
What is great about this DVD is how the sections are divided up into eight short fragments. If you are unable to complete the entire workout, you can skip to certain sections such as ‘Marks Bootcamp’ or ‘Bikini Bum’. Unfortunately, I did not have that option.
As I began the Latino-style warm-up, I forgot what I was doing as I was kept entertained by Davina, Jackie and Mark. “Arriba” she shouts with her planet-munching smile and instantly I notice my hips beginning to roll faster. That’s one tick for motivation.
The next section we came to was the ‘Fabulous Fat Burner’. A non-stop, energetic workout along to some African-themed music, making you think you are bum-squatting in the safari. Better than a stuffy living room, right? This workout was great fun and Davina made sure to entertain throughout.
Next up was the ‘Brilliant Boot camp’ instructed by Mark which involved the use of weights — and buckets of sweat. The squat-riddled routine had Davina glistening with sweat, as for myself, no comment.
And then there’s the abs routine. Plenty of sit-ups along with exercises I haven’t seen before. I was too busy crunching towards my ceiling to observe Davina, but going by her laughter and killer torso, I doubt she struggled. As hard as these were, nothing could prepare me for what was coming next.
This section was named ‘Bingo Wings’. This is no workout for the faint-hearted. She began the workout by counting down from 10 and ended the workout with a neck full of bulging veins. Looking at her arms, the results are unmistakable.
There are a few more short exercises like ‘Bikini Bum’ and ‘Summer Shoulders’ that are great too. I was never lost or confused by any of the regimes or moves. I felt the effect the next morning pretty much everywhere, and found Davina very professional. An 8/10 for me.
Next up was TOWIE star and ‘vajazzle’ founder Amy Childs. Fit in 30 Days trained by hunky Dew is aimed to strengthen the core and achieve the fittest body in 30 days. First observation was her choice of cleavage-busting attire and secondly her fluttering fake-eyelashes and make-up. The thought of both combined with a gruelling workout is ludicrous but image aside, I kept an open mind.
Her opening line was: “Hi I am Amy Childs, and this is my trainer Dew who is going to explain this workout.” So much for an intro, isn’t this meant to be your DVD, Amy?
There are five workouts, all categorised from one to five. I noticed there was no warm-up, which I thought was quite poor. As Dew carried on doing all the talking through the first dumbbell workout, Amy continued to do her iconic trout-pout pose. In comparison to Davina, who was very much involved, I felt this DVD was owned by Dew and Amy was his model. But as for the routine, my arms were burning once the first workout ended.
Workout number two, we began doing press-ups. It came to press-up number 10 out of 40 and Amy yelps out “this is burning”. She struggled on and so did I. More weight-lifting continued throughout the workout along with lunges that kept leaving Amy losing her balance. Instead of motivating her audience, she moans “you’re going too fast, Dew”. This workout was a breeze compared to Davina’s, but I’ll give Amy this, her ditzy comments kept me laughing throughout.
Up next was workout three. More bloody weights, followed by squats, sit-ups and planks. The burning never left my body, my arms were like spaghetti and my bum felt like I fell into a campfire. As for the ‘fit’ aspect of the DVD — beats me.
Which now leads us to workouts four and five — you got it, more sit-ups, squats and finally a few beads of sweat on Amy’s face.
She was ‘well’ excited to be introducing the last workout which is the most effective workout on the DVD. The workout started with more weight-lifting exercises and ended with planks.
I felt Dew was encouraging Amy more than the viewers, me. I lost all motivation halfway through and found counting the times Amy said ‘burning’ more interesting than the workout itself.
No doubt if you’re an Amy Childs fan or looking to build muscle you will benefit. Whereas if you’re looking to lose fat and get fit, keep reading. Last up is Bob Harper, trainer on The Biggest Loser USA, with his Beginner’s Weight Loss Transformation DVD. Rock music began playing as the DVD started and at that moment my stomach knotted. Thankfully, it was just beginners. This DVD is divided into two sections which is ‘Beginner’s Weight Loss Transformation’ and ‘10 minute Beginner Abs’.
We began with a simple warm-up before starting the 44-minute transformation. In order to lose weight you must get your heart rate up, so several short exercises like jumping-jacks, squats and weight-lifting were performed. I found these great, effective and I still was able to keep my breathing under control. Bob is incredibly encouraging; in fact he doesn’t stop talking.
The workout started to get more intense, and you know you are shedding by the second. Air kicks, elbow-planks and oblique-crunches had me working up every morsel of sweat — it actually felt great. Throughout the different fat-blasting workouts, he gives the models and viewers instruction and critique to help ensure everyone is achieving the best they can from the workout.
My concentration and motivation was unbreakable. Why? Because this workout was bloody well working.
Next up after stretching is the 10-minute abs workout. This doesn’t comprise just sit-ups, Bob has several different techniques that make it fresh and interesting.
We begin ‘rowing’ as if you’re on a kayak and start doing leg-lifting and every type of crunch that is possible. If this doesn’t give you a midriff like Gwen Stefani, I don’t know what does. If you are looking to lose weight and tone-up, this is the DVD for you. Full marks for you Bob!