Eating all those birthday cupcakes has motivated me to work out!! Well, not really…the realization about a month ago that swimsuit season is impending was motivation enough. Cupcake consumption just served to seal the deal.
A few weeks back, I began looking around for something new to inspire my efforts to get back into the swing of exercising. Jay will tell you that I have to think long and hard about exercising before I ever just put on my sneakers and go for it!!
Given our budget is pretty lean right now, I turned to my friend the library, and checked out several dvd’s to try at home. After working through most of them, I settled on my favorite of the bunch, a Denise Austin “Kick Your Butt” Fat Burner workout, and have used it a few times now. It’s felt helpful enough that I had to share a personal review with all my patient readers!
First, please do not be turned off by Denise’s lack of clothing as pictured on the cover of the DVD – she wears something entirely different (and more covering!) during the actual workout. This is a great workout (said the “hasn’t exercised in a thousand years” girl) that will challenge you over and over. It is circuit training: cardio bursts interspersed with weights, and consists of seven segments which each include about 4 minutes of high cardio activity immediately followed by a couple minutes of weight training. This goes on and on and on….till you wonder how Denise can still possibly be bouncing up and down, and looking downright happy about it!!
There are three levels of intensity shown for every part of the cardio exercise, and of course you can vary the size hand weights used for more or less resistance. The moves are less “dance-y”, and much more athletic in nature. Most are inspired by kickboxing and basketball moves. Some of you may hate Denise’s upbeat, happy personality, but I find her comments about exactly which muscles you are using during each segment really helpful. Her banter is encouraging, and even funny. “Burn that butter!”
I gotta tell you though, that I do not look as awesome as Denise does while burning butter (or fat, whichever term you prefer). Her hair, neatly styled and worn past her shoulders literally never falls out of place or gets the slightest bit frizzy, and I do not believe the woman even began to break a sweat during the entire 45 minutes of high energy exercise. But Denise has a few advantages I don’t: for one thing, she has a huge workout studio with hard floors and plenty of space to punch, jab, and kick. She has backup “dancers” er, workout buddies, to make her look good. And perhaps most importantly, there are no children or animals sharing her workout space with her.
This morning while I sweated along, I had a toddler on one side of me brushing up on his own little jabs and punches, and a Kindergartener on the other side desperately trying to keep up with the fast-paced shuffling and kicking. The kindergartener also diligently weight-trained right along with Denise and me, using his own tiny set of weights (and asking me in a most polite manner to please move over so he could have enough room to do his workout properly!).
Of most help though was my eager lab, who would not submit to being put out of the room just because her 55 pounds were in the way of my workout. Instead she stayed close by to monitor our progress, and near the end happily licked my face repeatedly during a particularly trying set of tricep dips. I think she, like Denise was cheering on my feeble efforts.
Well, there you go. I’ve never been a huge follower of exercise “videos” but I think a good one can be a nice help in adding variety to a fitness routine. If any of you have re-entered the world of working out after a long hiatus and found things that helped keep you in the game, please feel free to share!! Also, if you have favorite workout dvd’s that you want to share names of, please leave me a comment.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, enough of this exercise talk. I must go stuff my face with some homemade queso and chips!!