Although the stretches feel great, I
don't like this video. Denise Austin is too
upbeat and loud to lead a calm, relaxing, stretch
video successfully. Plus, like all of her videos,
this one has terrible sound quality.
Total Energy is made up of four segments: Rev Up, Night-time stretch-out, Sports stretches, and Relaxation. I must admit that although I've done each segment, my favorite by far is the first. For months I swayed and stretched and did "Denise's Daily Dose": a variation of the Sun Saluation four times. This Rev Up workout made me feel good all morning. I learned it by heart and even did it every day at camp while my husband and I were on vacation. HE would say, "If you're At One With The Universe yet, we can have breakfast." I enjoyed the second nightly segment, although Denise's personality is more of a pep-me-up than a cool-me-down. The third segment of sports stretches taught me how to prevent the inevitable groin pull from long-distance hiking or fast walking. The final relaxation segment wasn't too hot, because, as I said before, Denise can wake you up by you need ear plugs for her to put you to sleep. All in all, I like this video and keep it for when I just have a few minutes to "Rev Up." The setting is a beach, which is nice, and Denise wears bikinis, but they don't put you off because she's not exactly a Baywatch babe -- just a normal soccer mom, as I said before. I'd give the tape as a whole a C+, but the first "Rev-Up" section an "A."
This is a very convenient tape for a beginner or
intermediate. It has 4 10-minute stretch workouts
which vary in quality. The first 2, AM energy and PM
tension release are okay. The sports stretch is pretty
good, but the last one, the mind body relaxer isn't
very helpful. These are very light routines and better
for relaxation then for actual flexibility work. For a
good stretch, I prefer the 20-minute living arts tapes
(and they are cheaper then this one) but when I am
very short on time, this workout is better then
Not to be repetitive but just like her video Sizzler, the sound quality is poor on Total Energy! That aside, Total Energy is broken down into 4 10 minute stretch and relaxation segments. This would be ideal in a DVD format (in fact the last segment Mind/Body Relaxer is on her Tone & Tighten DVD) so could access the segment you prefer.
AM Rev UP is a quickie introduction to the sun salutation flow segment found in most yoga workouts. Ms. Austin also uses a little tai chi as a warm up. I found this segment useful as a cooldown or warm-up segment.
PM Tension Release is supposed to be an 'evening' or bedtime routine. Ms. Austin chatters quite a bit in this segment making 'relaxation' virtually impossible. Again I found this segment useful as a cooldown or warm-up segment.
Sports Stretch by far is the strongest segment on this tape. Using a towel Ms. Austin, along with her training partners, guides you through some sports-specific stretches. This tape would be far better if this particular section was expanded, in my opinion.
Mind/Body Relaxer is again sort of yoga-flavored with breathing and relaxtion exercises. Ms. Austin appears to have a little difficulty with balance poses in this segment.
I got this particular video on a VF trade, therefore I am hard-pressed to assign a financial value to the tape. I do use some of the tape occasionally but I'm glad I did not pay big money to get it.
June 10, 2003
I got this tape cheap in a trade off ebay so I agree with another reviewer who found it hard to place a monetary value on it. However, I have found, much to my surprise, that I really enjoy it. Granted, the 'Mind Body Relaxer' is the weakest segement on the tape (I have never been told to tighten parts of my body while lying in something similar to shavasna and I found it very distracting) but the other segments are OK. The first segment, the "Rev-Up" is a great warmup, although I felt a bit silly doing some of the Tai Chi-like moves. Relax into though, and it's pretty good. I really love the second segment, the "PM Stretch" and have found it is perfect, NOT as an add-on to a workout but instead when I finish my waitressing shift in the evening. For those of you on your feet for any length of time, try it - it's one stretch you DONT have to stand up for! Finally, there is the "Sports Stretch", which I agree is a thorough stretch for after any exercise (I use when I walk for my cardio) and the use of the towel to stretch against is a nice addition. Overall, I found this tape to be surprisingly useful and knowing the segments are only 10mins each is great motivation for those times when you really want to be elsewhere.
Although I know there are people who find Denise's style irritating, I really enjoy her workouts and reach for them whenever I think it would be easier to give a workout (any workout) a miss. I understand that in a stretching tape Denise's style may not be the most appropriate however, so give her style some thought before purchasing this tape.