Workout DVDs: Yay or Nay?

Good morning!

I’m heading off to biochem and then leaving straight from school for the airport to fly to Miami! Since I knew I was leaving town this weekend, I’ve been trying to eat up everything in the fridge and not buy anything new. Last night’s dinner was perfect — used up some bok choy I had sitting around as well as some leftover brown rice!


I simply sautéed the bok choy and some frozen shrimp in a wok with a little sesame oil, fish sauce, and soy sauce. Once they were both cooked, I added the leftover (already cooked) brown rice to the mix and voila!

Dinner is served.


Tasty and easy. :)

I spent this morning studying for my biochem quiz and also squeezed in a workout in the form of this boot camp DVD that I was given at Fitbloggin’ last year.


I’m not normally into workout DVD’s (my house has way too many distractions and it’s hard for me to focus — plus, as you guys know, I love exercising outside), but I’ve been doing this one about once per month in a pinch and I actually really love it. It’s good motivation to get some strength training in, too — I’ve been slacking on it besides yoga and swimming!

As far as I’m concerned, three things make a good workout DVD:

1) The host isn’t annoying. The girl in this DVD is motivating but not overly intense or perky — I like her. The only lame thing is the military boot camp theme she has going on — it’s really cheesy. But thankfully not often referenced. :)

2) The workouts keep me entertained. These definitely do — I love that the workouts are all 10 minutes long! Breaks it up nicely and makes it go by faster. Plus, I can easily do a shorter or a longer workout depending how much time I have. Check plus again!

3) The workouts are actually a good workout. If I’m doing a workout DVD, that usually means I’m crunched for time — so I want to get some bang for my buck! This one definitely fits the bill here, too.

There are five 10 minute workouts on the DVD — one upper body, one lower body, one abs/core, and two total body workouts. I did the ab/core workout, the upper body workout, and one of the total body workouts this morning, for a total of 30 minutes. Better than nothing, right? And my heart was seriously pumping! I also did about 10 extra minutes of stretching and hip strengthening moves. Quick workout win.


Do you like workout DVDs? What do you think makes a good one? Do you have any favorites? I also really like Bob Harper’s “Yoga For the Warrior” DVD, as you guys know! But only when I can’t make it in person to Franklin Street Yoga. :)

It’s time to head off to class. Catch you guys later from (hopefully) sunny Florida!


  1. 1

    Agreed! I love Jillian Michaels but I’ve done Shred and Yoga Meltdown so many times I can recite everything she says word for word at this point and I get super annoyed by her telling me not to “phone it in” at this point. Luckily, it has a
    no sound” option which I happily pick now :)

    • 2

      I need to try one of Jillian’s DVDs! I never have and keep hearing they are great. I think I’d like them – unless she is too perky/forceful. Not a huge fan of that. No sound is a good call ;)

  2. 3

    Yes and No on the workout DVDs… I’m the same as you – I much prefer exercising outdoors and the energy I get from group classes. However, ever since I moved abroad to Europe fitness is SO much more expensive here. Plus the weather is so bad that its impossible to be outside. I’ve resorted to my favorite DVD’s… also My Trainer Bob strength and yoga workouts!

    • 4

      When I was living in Prague, I actually went to a few fitness classes in Czech – it was pretty hilarious trying to figure out what was going on. Also, everyone was wearing 90’s style workout gear for some reason.

  3. 5

    I’ve always had a terrible time getting myself to work out at home. I adore exercise, but I don’t love it in my living room. That said, I used to do a few exercises at night, and that’s a habit I should re-create.

    • 6

      I’m totally the same – unless I’m super time crunched, I 100% avoid my living room because for me, exercise is my excuse to get outside (or at least out of the house)! Plus I get distracted SO easily with my computer, etc. nearby.

  4. 7

    I LOVE Jillian Michaels DVDs – she really gets me sweating and her workouts aren’t dance-y (I’ve got two left feet!) I quite like some of the Firm ones too.

  5. 9

    I love Shape Bikini Body workout, it has 3, 30 min workouts. Cardio, strength and then a combo with kickboxing moves. I told my sister about it and that’s how she kickstarted a 40lb weight loss! She wasn’t into running and not a fan of the gym so it was perfect for her. I also only do it in a pinch or if I want to get some strength training in.

    • 10

      Wow, 40 lbs – that’s amazing! Good for her. And good for you for telling her about them! :) Different workout approaches (outside vs gym vs DVDs) definitely work for different people – it’s all about finding what motivates you to move the most.

  6. 11

    I do like workout DVDs for days when there is not time for a gym trip and/or too cold outside! My favorite are Jillian Michael’s – I have the Yoga Meltdown and 30 Day Shred both which I really like! And yes, you get a darn good workout from them!

  7. 12

    I agree with you on what makes a quality fitness DVD. I’ve tried a few on Netflix that annoy me because of the host/instructor or they’re just lame and hardly a workout. I really enjoy Jillian Michael’s DVDs. They always challenge me and make things fun.

  8. 13

    I used to be anti-workout DVD. I’m a big fan of working out outdoors during the summer, and during the winter (as I live in Canada) I had come up with varying routines for the gym that kept my interest piqued during the four years I was working towards my English and history degree.
    I’ve become dependent on workout DVDs this school year however- I’m now working on my education degree, which means I move back and forth between my university’s town (Kingston) for class and my hometown (Ottawa) for placement every month. In Kingston, I billet with a family and live a fair decent from the main campus gym, depend solely on a poor busing service and have 25 hours of class a week. Workout DVDs are at times my only feasible option for exercise.
    I have the exact same sentiment towards Jillian Michael’s DVDs as Gina, muting for the win. I also like to throw in Ab Ripper X in there every once in a while, and there are a lot of POP Pilates segments available online… Free videos are always the favourite of a fifth year student.

  9. 15

    I have done two of those 10 minutes solution DVDs but I don’t do them often. I have the one for a stability ball and my old roomie had a different one that I can’t recall off the top of my head. I liked them both for the reasons you stated.

  10. 17

    I really like Jillian’s Shred. I don’t do it anymore since I have access to a gym but I still use most of the moves she teaches during workouts.

  11. 19

    I have to use workout DVDs sine I have the kids and if one is sick…can’t take them to the gym daycare. I love Cathe, Jillian, Turbo Jam/Fire, and Insanity. I agree – it has to feel like a great workout with a host I don’t want to kill. then, I’m good. Always wanted to try the 10 min solution ones too!

  12. 20

    It gets flippin cold here in the winter and sometimes my van is snowed in or we have a no driving order. Work out DVD’s save my life during these times.

    I love Cathe and the Biggest Loser Yoga. But I must admit my favorite is actually the Jane Fonda/Richard Simmons workouts my mom had transferred from her VHS to a DVD for a Christmas present. It reminds me of doing them with my mom as a kid.

    • 21

      Awww so old school, I love it! I bet their outfits are awesome. I have a vague memory of doing one of the Jane Fonda workouts with my aunt at some point when I was little! So fun.

  13. 22

    I haven’t done any exercise DVD’s for such a long time, because I love going to the gym, and working out outside. But, it’s time to invest in some, perhaps a few used ones that I can buy online. Thanks for the motivation. I do have a Pilates DVD that I turn to, as a back up, if it’s been forever since I’ve been to the class at the gym. Great idea someone had to put the sound on mute. I could listen to my own cool music while imitating the instructor!

  14. 24

    I like the three JM DVDs I own for different reasons – 30 Day Shred is quick but gets your heart pumpin’, No More Trouble Zones is a great strength workout, and Banish Fat Boost Metabolism is great circuit training so you don’t get bored. I still want to try her Yoga Meltdown.

    • 25

      I like strength DVDs since I usually do enough cardio on my own, so I’ll have to try the No More Trouble Zones one! I didn’t know she had a yoga DVD… I bet it would be hard!

  15. 26

    I hate workout DVD’s! I wish I loved them because it gets very cold in Detroit, so outside isn’t always an option. I just think they are boring. I have the new York city ballet workout DVD’s, though, and they are the only ones I enjoy. It isn’t too repetitive and ballet is sort of like yoga, your mind is very engaged and at the end I feel very calm even though it kicks my butt. Ballet uses butt and thigh muscles I didn’t even know I had!

  16. 30

    I love workout DVDs! Sometimes I’m not in the mood to head to the gym, so I start my own at home circuit and lose motivation halfway through. DVDs keep me motivated. I love all of Jillian Michael’s DVDs. I also have a pretty big collection of turbo jam DVDs haha.

  17. 31

    i usually end up muting workout dvds and just listening to my own music, b/c the repetitive host does annoy me!

  18. 33

    I love workout DVD’s. I really enjoy Jillian Michael’s DVDs and also the Butt Bible workouts. I usually mute them and pop on ipod.

  19. 36

    I actually love workout DVDs, and it’s how I do most of my working out. Jillian Michaels all the way for me. She is responsible for all the toned muscles I now have! The Shred is good, but OMG the Ripped in 30 DVD will get you FIT! It kind of makes me want to die, but it is very effective!

  20. 38

    I’m a big fan of Bob Harper’s videos. The yoga one is my favorite, but the other ones in that series are good too. I also really like his Ultimate Cardio Challenge video. I always sweat like crazy and I’m sore for days after I do his videos (except yoga, which I find to be just the right kind of difficult for a yoga workout). I also like Jillian’s workouts – Shred, No More Trouble Zones, and Banish Fat Boost Metabolism. She’s not quite as fun to watch as Bob though, her voice tends to get on your nerves. I recently bought the Tracy Anderson Method and it was good, but I’ve only done it once. It’s not a sweat till you drop kind of workout, but I’ve got a friend who swears by it!

  21. 40

    I haven’t had a gym membership in about 2.5 years, and I’m definitely in the best shape of my life (which has always been very active). Aside from running, I heavily rely on workout DVDs for my workouts. I’ve done the full P90X program a few times through now, and also have done the P90X+ program, as well. I also use the Insanity and Insanity Asylum DVDs for an INSANE cardio workout, and it also helps build my plyometric fitness (Currently, I’m doing a hybrid program that incorporates both P90X and Insanity Asylum DVDs… apparently I’m a masochist). I also LOVE all of Bob Harper’s Inside Out Method DVDs (Super Strength, Cardio and Yoga) – they’re tough, but phenomenal workouts. When I’m not doing any of those workouts, I like to hop on my bike trainer inside and pop in one of the CTS Trainright or Spinervals DVDs to get in an intense cycling workout.

    With all these DVDs at my disposal, I never get bored or stuck in the same workout routine. I’ve saved so much money by canceling my gym membership and I’ve lost about 15 pounds while gaining so much strength incorporating all these DVDs in my fitness routine. Obviously, I prefer a great run or bike or sport outside, but when the weather in unfavorable or I want to focus on strength, these DVDs are so great for keeping me in shape and whipping my ass in gear! :)

  22. 42

    OH Annie. Are those pictures taken with an on-camera flash??

    • 43

      Haha I know, I know. I didn’t feel like letting my food get cold while I set up my tripod and tried to get a decent non-flash shot. Don’t hate me :)

  23. 44

    I cooked this meal and it was delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe. Regarding the workout DVD’s I totally agree with the point the host shouldn’t be annoying. Don’t take this wrong but I am british and most of the american hosts are a bit like too enthusiastic. I don’t like that at all :). What I discovered lately there are loads of home workout videos on youtube these days and they are free. For instance ( or I just discovered the other day( I think they worth a try.

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