Libby Norris, Canada AM fitness expert Published Monday, October 28, 2013 7:01AM EDT Last Updated Monday, October 28, 2013 9:02AM EDT
Home workout videos have come a long way from the Jane Fonda days. Home workout DVD's now provide a great option if you can't make it to the gym. Many are packaged as a series offering multiple workouts, variety and progression with training.
Beachbody currently dominates the market with a strong team of trainers that instruct popular formats including kickboxing, boot camp and dance. There well-produced with online blogs and communities you can get additional information, motivation or connect with other class keeners! Overall, the bar has certainly been raised with options to suit any fitness level and workout preference.
These programs make working out at home more appealing and help to give you a more similar experience with the workouts, support and interaction that used to be limited to the gym.
Still popular, the first in this series has 12 workouts. You workout 6 days a week for 60-75 minutes - so definitely requires commitment. Tony uses sound training principles and introduced "muscle confusion" which is simply his wording for varying training to avoid hitting a plateau.
Equipment: Resistance bands or dumbbells, a pull up bar and a mat
Bottom line…good workouts but challenging time commitment.
P90X2 - 4/5
P90X2 includes 12 new workouts with the same variety and an increased focus on athletic performance. Workouts are more intense so the schedule is reduced to 5 days a week to allow for recovery. There is more flexibility in the workout schedule but each still ranges from 55-70 min.
Equipment: Resistance bands, dumbbells, pull up bar, mat, medicine balls, stability ball and a foam roller
Bottom line…more reasonable workout time but very intense to tough to leap into without already having a good base level of fitness first.
Very little space required, this is a body weight boot camp style class that includes lots of sports drills that reflect Shaun's background as an athlete. There are 5 workouts for month 1 and another 4 for month 2.
Bottom line…time-efficient and fun (if you like intervals) but it's incredibly intense and there aren't a lot of options or modifications offered.
Asylum - 4/5
Never a dull moment in these videos! They have more fun sports drills but, like Insanity, is definitely not for the faint of heart! There are 6 workouts with 2 at 25 min, 40, 45, 50 and one 60 min. workout.
Equipment: skipping rope and a ladder (included in the program package)
Bottom line…fun feeling like an athlete for your workouts primarily using body weight again, but can be intense and intimidating.
Still high intensity, but each workout is only 25 min. There are only 3 workouts but the intention is to use over a 4 week period. Shaun uses integrated exercises that involve multiple muscle groups to pack more in and make the most of every minute.
Equipment: dumbbells and/or bands
Bottom line…very intense but very time-efficient!
Rocking Body - 4/5
Showing versatility and hitting an entirely different demographic, this program includes 7 DVD's with a variety of dance workouts plus a core and "booty time" workout to focus on conditioning.
Bottom line…fun moves to a variety of music and suited for all levels of fitness.
Turbo Series - Chalene Johnson
Turbo Jam - 4.5/5
This continues to be one of my favourites and is great for all levels - from beginner to experienced cardio kick participant.
Equipment: none required; weighted gloves are an option
Bottom line… Chalene uses good technique for punches and kicks modified to make them easy and safe to execute; I'd skip the gloves to avoid stress on the joints.
Turbo Fire - 4.5/5
This is a combination of athletic kickbox drills and muscle conditioning in a high intensity interval training format. Each workout is 30-45 min. with high energy and motivating moves, instruction and music.
Equipment: dumbbells or bands and a mat
Bottom line…great workouts; some moves can be a bit fast and it's intense but Chalene always offers modifications for non-impact.
ChaLEAN - 4.5/5
This program walks you through 15 different muscle conditioning workouts. Intense enough for advanced but includes cuing and technique instruction for all levels and demonstrates a variety of options throughout. The strength component is about 35 min. with additional interval options
Equipment: dumbbells and/or bands and a mat
Bottom line…GREAT option for muscle conditioning