Video Fitness

BE A LOSER! Lose Inches Fast--No Diet

Greer Childers with Bobbie Katz

I had seen the infomercials for BodyFlex and Oxycise a few years back, and hadn't given them much thought (when you really want to see an infomercial they never repeat it) but saw this book in our local independent bookstore, and it was 25% off the $14 price tag (New Year's Resolution Sale), so....

The first part begins with Greer's story of how she tried to lose weight and how a friend paid $1500 for ten one-on-one classes in the "Rolls Royce of Exercise" (Greer's quotation marks), and lost inches. Greer did it too, a daily hour-and-a-half program, until she got it down to 35 minutes a day (now it is a 15-minute program). According to Greer, she went back to the exercise physiologist who taught her the class and said that she should lower the price so more people could learn this. Supposedly the physiologist refused to budge, and Greer saw this as an opportunity. The rest of this portion of the book talks about her research and how she was able buy her own infomercial time without outside funding. Interesting reading.

Part two is the breathing technique, which I'd call "creative hyperventilating" and the 15-minute workout. Basically, you squat like an umpire, blow out existing air, inhale as much air as you can through the nose, force the air out immediately with a loud "pah" sound, close your mouth, and pull your stomach in and up, holding this position as long as you can. Then you gasp for air. This is one "breath". The workout consists of various positions done while your stomach is tucked in. Part three is well, you really should eat better, and by the way, add some resistance training, along with some testimonials.

Does it work? You shouldn't do this if you are pregnant or have glaucoma, and preferably should do it in the morning before you eat, or at least 2 hours after meals. Supposedly it is 40% more effective on an empty stomach. I tried a few breaths about 30 minutes after eating once and still got my heart rate up, although pulling the stomach in was of course more difficult. I found that the breathing alone was a great energy booster, and that it depresses the appetite for a good couple of hours. The two face positions (modified Lion's face and a chin stretch are pretty good. I think the rest of them (discus thrower type stretch, an ab crunch, the Cat, a wide leg inner thigh stretch, etc.) you could subsitute your own stretches for. I use the breathing alone as a warmup before walking, which is my preferred exercise.

How does it compare to Oxycise? BodyFlex is definitely the more forceful of the two. I have seen the Level Two Oxycise video, and not one person is doing the three sniffs and three puffs, so I think of Oxycise as being more of a breath pacing exercise. Bodyflex is definitely the funnier to watch, so if you're shy, find a hiding place. I did not find it easy to try to do Oxycise breathing after doing BodyFlex. I know people refer to them interchangeably, but they are different.

Interesting note: I always wondered who taught Greer, since no name is ever mentioned. While doing a BodyFlex vs. Oxycise search, I came upon a website selling videos for the LifeLift breathing technique. If you click on "Is there anyone LifeLift doesn't work for?" the founder, Rashelle Haines says she taught Greer the method but that she (Haines) uses much longer, slower breaths and movements. She does not mention the price discussion with Greer. Her video is $29.95, and, although curious, I am not anxious to part with that kind of money. If anyone has seen this video please review it.

Instructor inconsistencies: Selling exercise and selling supplements do not mix. Complaining of being fat at 5'10" and 150 seems strange to me. I did not know of the HealthRider connection when I first read the book (hopefully that makes me somewhat unbiased), although plenty of reviews on Amazon mentioned it. She supposedly does not eat after 4:30pm, but doesn't say when she goes to sleep. If it's 8pm, that's one thing, but if you're a night owl, you could get awful hungry. I think it is more realistic to quit eating about 4 hours before bedtime.

Bottom Line: I would advise that you borrow this book before you buy it, or wait till it goes on sale. It is available on Amazon (discounted), and at some bookstores, but not all of them. I have seen Oxycise only once in a bookstore, and it was a special order that someone changed her mind about. Amazon carries it, but no discount. The only other place I've seen it is the Oxycise website. To some, Oxycise will make more sense than BodyFlex.


Video Fitness copyright © 1996 - 2009 Wendy Niemi Kremer    All rights reserved