Workout DVDs allow you to get a gym-quality workout in the comfort of your own home. Between yoga, boxing, plyometrics, and other types of training videos, how do you know which one to choose?
In this article, we’re going to compare popular workout DVDs, taking into account customer reviews and the quality of the workout. We’re also going to talk about how to choose the best diet for your needs, so simply read ahead to discover how to achieve your desired body shape.
How to Choose a Workout DVD
There are lots of different workouts that will help you attain peak physical condition. They vary in time, type of exercise, and intensity. You need to know what you’re looking for in an at-home trainer.
There’s an unconscious respect that we give to people who work out. Even if you’re not in great shape, you’re making an effort and that’s the most important thing. Everyone has to start somewhere. It’s about the journey, not the destination.
In this section, we’re going to explain how to choose a workout DVD suited to your fitness goals.
Why Do You Do It?
Workout DVDs encompass a range of physical (and mental) activities. They vary from strenuous cardiovascular activity that burns fat, muscle toning exercises, stretching exercises, and more. Whatever your fitness goals are, it’s important to choose a workout DVD that will help you realize your final form.
Now, we’re going to explore the most common fitness goals.
I Want to Drop Fat
If you simply want to shed a couple pounds, choose an exercise that’ll make you sweat. Dancing and heavy aerobics will do that.
There’s a common misconception that only 20 minutes of aerobic exercise is effective. When you do aerobic exercise, both carbohydrates and fat are used as an energy source. At the beginning of your exercise, carbohydrates are used more. As your exercise continues past 20 minutes though, the utilization rate of fat increases and the utilization rate of carbohydrates decreases.
Therefore, the notion that you must do at least 20 minutes of aerobic exercise to see results is misleading. It’s just that at least 20 minutes of aerobic exercise will be much more effective at burning fat. To maximize fat burning during your workout, don’t eat any carbs for 2-3 hours before your workout.
Additionally, if you do 10 minutes of light weight training before you do cardio, fat will burn more easily.
I Want Toned Muscles
Many women think that if you lift weights you’re going to get bigger muscles. However, that’s not necessarily the case. Since women have fewer hormones than men, you need to train like an athlete (and eat like an athlete) to actually get substantially bigger muscles than men. So, don’t worry about looking too bulky. Train with confidence.
However, in women, there’s more muscle in the lower body than in the upper body. It’s easier to enlarge those muscles if you’re consuming a lot of calories and doing lower body specific workouts. If you’re looking for a rounded and tight hip, choose a workout DVD that focuses on the lower body and you’ll be good to go.
Remember, diet makes a difference. Let’s say you’re consuming more calories per day than you’re burning. If you’re working out, your muscles are going to get bigger. If you’re consuming less calories per day than you’re burning and you’re working out, you’re going to get thinner.
High protein foods are good options if you’re looking to get bigger muscles, too.
I Want to Correct Posture and Be More Flexible
Choose a workout DVD that focuses on inner muscle flexibility and spine alignment, like yoga or pilates. Many people lead mostly sedentary lifestyles (whether at work or just in general). You’re more likely to have a stiff body and experience back pains and muscle cramps.
When you do yoga or pilates, you reduce pressure on your organs; they return to their natural place and function properly. Your joints become more flexible, your posture more graceful. Yoga and pilates also help you control your breath and focus on mental stability as a precursor to a relaxed body.
Yoga especially values the relaxation of the mind, the stretching of the body, and abdominal breathing to create a centered and healthy individual. Pilates focuses on deep, long stretches, inner muscle growth, and costal (chest) breathing.
Choose an Exercise That You Can Easily Incorporate Into Your Schedule
If you’re new to working out, be reasonable about how much time you allot to exercise. A 60 minute set won’t be sustainable for a beginner. You won’t finish the set, get angry with yourself, and potentially leave the idea of exercise altogether.
So, choose an exercise regimen that can be easily incorporated into your daily life. Once you get comfortable exercising, that’s when you can increase the duration and intensity of the workout. Some workout DVDs have sets that are 10-20 minutes long each. You can easily do those during your free time.
Don’t Forget the Warm Up and Cool Down
You want to get in shape, so you put a lot of energy into exercising. However, if you get injured, that defeats the purpose of exercising. Make sure to get a workout DVD that shows you how to properly warm up and cool down.
It’s important to do dynamic stretches and light cardio before you exercise. This will minimize the chance that you pull a muscle during your workout, and you’ll be able to push yourself once your body is warm.
After working out, do stationary stretches like touching your toes so you won’t be sore the next day. By preparing the body during your warmup and gently loosening the muscles during your cool down, you will prevent injuries and end your workout feeling refreshed. These are the steps you need to take so you can start working out on a daily basis.
Choose a Workout That Will Explain Carefully
If you’re exercising for the first time, it will be difficult to understand the litany of instructions from your workout DVD. You won’t be able to remember them all. We don’t want you to feel frustrated during your first workout. That might make it difficult to hop back in the saddle the next time around.
Choose a workout DVD that is simple to understand. If it carefully explains how the exercise is going to benefit your body, you’ll know where to look to see your results coming in. If you have a thorough grasp of the exercise, you’ll be more motivated to complete it.
Choose a Teacher That Inspires You
During your workout DVD, you’ll be playing close attention to the instructor in front of you. Choose a teacher whose body you want to attain. If the reward is right in front of you, you’re going to work harder to get it.
TOP 10 Best Workout DVDs to Buy Online
You’ve gotten your primer about how to choose a workout that works for you. Here are our recommendations of the top workout DVDs on the online market today. Let’s get you sweating!
10. Zumba 101 Workout DVD
Dance Party Workout for Busy Beginners
Zumba is an exercise that’s a dance workout with high-energy music. The instructor, Beto Perez, is a Columbian fitness guru who trademarked the workout in the early 90s. Zumba incorporates hip hop, salsa, merengue, and other dance moves. If you’re looking to burn calories and have fun, you’ll be able to dance along with Beto through two 30-minute workouts.
The first workout introduces you to Zumba methodology and basic movements, and the second workout uses what you’ve learned and really makes you work it. Since it starts slow, you’ll be able to keep up, even if you have two left feet. Grandmas and grandpas in their 70s love it, and the 30 minute sets are fairly easy to add into your day if you’ve got a busy schedule.
9. Billy Blanks: Ultimate Bootcamp
Martial Art Training with Billy Blanks
Billy Blanks, the recognizable fitness guru, invented the Tae Bo workout. Billy has a history in martial arts and boxing, so he incorporated those techniques into this hour long workout. It tones the upper body, lower body, and works your abs over the course of an hour. Because you’re moving for an hour long, you’ll get a great cardio workout too.
If you’re looking for a more relaxed workout, this Bootcamp probably isn’t the right one for you. Remember, though, working out wasn’t meant to be easy. If it burns, it’s working. This Workout DVD came out in 2005, so some of its techniques might be outdated. It’s also just a single one hour workout with no variation beyond that.
8. Island Girl Dance Fitness Workout
Tahitian Toning Cardio Moves
Here’s a workout you probably weren’t expecting on this list. Kili, your host, is all about toning. She calls the sandy beach her home, so rest assured that she knows a thing or two about beach bodies. Kili’s program focuses on toning of the legs, arms, and abdominals.
It’s marketed as somewhat of a less intense workout, but Kili will definitely get you sweating. Actually, for the uncoordinated, it might take two or three tries to get it right. (And if you just wave your limbs without paying attention to form, nothing’s going to tighten.) This workout is not that stressful on the knees, and a good entry point for those of us that are obese. Plus, the pleasant Hawaiian foreground takes your mind off your day and gets you on Island Time.
7. Gunnar Peterson’s Core Secrets
Core Focused Cardio Blast
Here’s a 45 minute workout that beginners will feel comfortable diving into. Gunnar Peterson is another well known fitness guru, and he’s crafted a workout regimen that uses compound core exercises to hit every part of your body. It’s fairly fast paced, so you’re sure to work up a sweat and get a cardio workout, too.
If it’s too easy, increase the weight of the dumbbells you lift. (You need to buy those, as well as a balance ball.) He’s a patient teacher and explains the exercises carefully. Gunnar’s regimen focuses on functional training for your core. Functional strength gives you better control over daily activities, like simply lifting things and walking for long stretches of time.
6. INSANITY Base Kit
Body Transformation Hell Month
Don’t be afraid. Well, maybe just a little bit. You’re guaranteed to see results with INSANITY. That is, if you can keep up with it because this program is tough. We’re talking pouring sweat, screaming muscles, burning throat. If you’re cool with coughing up nearly $150 for this DVD set, this workout program is the one for you. You’ll motivated to finish it since you spent a good amount of dough on it.
Power, strength, resistance, and core training are the focuses here. No extra equipment necessary. The exercises range in duration from 20 to 80 minutes and everything in between. Fitness guru Shaun T has crafted this program with high intensity interval workouts that’ll work every part of your body. If you’re serious about your lifestyle change, get insane.
5. 3 Week Yoga Retreat Workout Program
Yoga School for Beginners
Contrary to popular belief, yoga can be a great way to shed pounds and stay in shape. You must pair your workouts with clean eating, and this workout DVD comes with a nutritional program to help you do just that. This program is more relaxed than other workout programs. It’ll get you leaner, more flexible, and you’ll definitely have more stamina.
All you need is a mat. There’s 21 classes in this program, and each week gets tougher than the one previous. They’re all less than 30 minutes, so you have no excuses. By the end of it, you’ll feel like a master yogi. There’s a mental health component which emphasizes feelings of wellbeing and self love. There are many ways to go about getting your workout in. Don’t forget about this one.
4. Cardio Abs DVD
Ab Focused Interval Training
While this workout program is focused on sculpting and toning your abs, the high intensity workout will still give you a great cardio burn throughout. There are three 28-minute workouts included in this DVD, and they’re all considered High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
The idea behind HIIT is that you’re alternating quickly between a couple different activities, leaving only a couple minutes of rest. There’s kickboxing, weight training (dumbbells not included)—stuff that’ll tighten up muscle. The instructions are easy to follow, and there’s not a whole lot of extra motivational chatter. (Some miss the pep talk; many don’t.) Be ready to get mean and lean with Jessica Smith.
3. Jillian Michaels BODYSHRED
60 Day High Intensity Endurance Program
There are 10 30-minute workouts packed in this workout DVD program. Jillian Michaels got her start on the NBC show The Biggest Loser, where she was a popular trainer. Since then, she’s risen to fame by crafting her own workout regimen. (Which works–look at the before and after pictures in the comments and weep.) If you’re worried about hurting yourself, just know that every session’s got a warm up and cool down and easier alternatives for the more impossible exercises.
On Mondays and Thursdays, the workout focuses on push muscles, which is mostly upper body. On Tuesdays and Fridays, it’s pull muscles, mostly the back and lower body. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, the focus is cardio. Sunday is a full rest day, and trust us, you’re going to need it.
2. Mark Lauren’s You Are Your Own Gym
Bodyweight Fitness Box Set for All Levels
Before becoming a fitness guru, Mark Lauren was an operative in the United State’s Special Forces. He trained the best of the best to be the most battle ready soldiers on the planet. He’s not merciless, though; he puts a lot of stress on injury prevention and slows down his pace, so you can check form and make sure you won’t hurt yourself. This workout is bodyweight only, meaning you need no extra equipment. Think planks, situps, and pushups.
There are three DVDS: novice, intermediate, advanced, with three workouts in each. Bodyweight fitness is arguably the best kind of workout because you can do it anywhere, anytime. By the end of it, you’ll be the master of your own body.
1. Focus T25 Shaun T’s DVD Program
10 Week Workout Program for Novices
Here’s an example of a workout that you’ll have no trouble fitting into your day. Shaun T is a former collegiate track athlete turned motivational speaker and celebrity fitness instructor. All Shaun requires is 25 minutes a day, 5 days a week, and you’ll see results. There’s an Alpha workout plan (tones your entire body) and a Beta workout plan (works out those abs), with 5 unique workouts in each.
Basically, each 25 minute workout is packed with intensity. (But you’ve also got that one person doing the easier version, so, no matter how out of shape you are, you’ve got no excuse.) This is an all encompassing “get fit” workout plan, and it comes with nutrition plans and workout calendars. For beginners, this program will equip you with a wealth of workout knowledge to tap into.
There are myriad ways to go about getting in shape. Your choice of exercise depends on your comfort level with the workout and what you’re trying to look like.
Are you looking to tone, shed pounds, or build muscle? No matter what, it’s going to be tough. Just remember the old adage. Pain is temporary, but pride is forever.
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