Video Fitness

8-Minute Arms and Abs

Jamie Brenkus

These workouts are available separately on VHS; I got the DVD which includes both of them on one disk, plus a bonus ď8-Minute StretchĒ workout and some extras such as form pointers and previews of other tapes in the series.

The workouts in this series all share the same format: a main screen where they demo the movies, a bar up the side that indicates where in the workout we are, and on the bottom, two clocks---one counts down how much time is left for that specific exercise, and the other counts down how much time is left for the workout as a whole. I found these features extremely motivating; in fact, I often use a kitchen timer in my other workouts to produce the same effect.

Each exercise gets only one set, performed for as many reps as you can fit in with the time allotted (usually this is 45 seconds). The Arms section covers all the body parts, and is a good little workout given the time constraints, but I personally donít think 8 minutes for upper body is long enough no matter how well-constructed the workout is. If it did not come on a DVD with something else, I doubt it would have interested me.

The ab section was a decent routine of traditional ab work, and I feel it is a useful add-on to have in my collection. The timers make it very motivating and the time goes by quickly. The stretch is a decent routine as well, but note that it is the same routine that is included on the Legs and Buns DVD.

I donít think any of these routines were designed to be stand-alone workouts, but both the stretch and the abs work are great little add-ons. The arm workout is as good as it can be given the format, but I donít know what its place would be in a routine.

Joanna

5/16/03

I got the dvd version of this and it also has several segments of Gilad and a stretch. I've only done the title workouts at this point and I think it's a great workout to do when you don't have a lot of time or want to tack it on after or before something else, or if you're a beginner.

I like the countdown clocks...one on the left of the screen starts at :08 and counts down while another on the right counts down each exercise. Most are done for 45 seconds and then either repeat on the other side or go on to another exercise. There's a 'beep' when each set ends. If you can program your dvd it might be nice to repeat the workout maybe one or two more times for a longer workout.

I like the fact that he doens't really count..you do the exercise for the 45 sec period..sometimes he says 5 more but you really do what you can.

The abs moves are fairly basic exercises; crunches, reverse crunches, elbow to opposite knee, etc.

The arms one starts with good ole pushups! this is the only time I had trouble my first time through because when you hear the beep he immediately rolls to his back and does flies with the dumbbells. It's a fast move if you're not prepared with the dumbbells already there. I've gotten to where I put the dumbbells out to the side and do the pushups facing away from the tv so when I roll over I can see the screen. I use heavier weights (slightly)than I'd use for the Firm or LWTLW with Kathy Smith because it's only 8 minutes longa and each exercise is done for about 45 seconds. He also does overhead presses and some tricep and bicep and 'lawnmower' moves and delt moves. All are pretty effective exercises.

I don't think a very strong person will benefit much from these workouts, but I think the outside scenery is nice, the other 2 exercisers (a woman and a blonde guy who loves to look at his chest when he lifts the dumbbells!) just smile as he talks. he even uses cans for the dumbbells while the woman uses nothing and the other guy uses dumbbells. I think a total beginner can do this workout. I wish it would automatically play the entire disc though when you choose something earlier from the menu. At least on my dvd player it doesn't..I have to get the remote and choose the arms section after I've done abs if I want to do them.

Instructor comments: I like this instructor...he's motivating and easy to understand. Not really a lot of senseless chatter I don't think. At least not that I noticed.

Susanna (smith938)

2/26/04

Ab Section: Good for a beginner, but after about a month, you no longer feel the burn

Arms Section: This video actually did alot for my arms. After a few months, I actually have definition in my biceps, traps, and shoulders. It is lacking in the back exercises area.

Stretch Segment: Relaxing but has not improved my flexibility.

Overall: A good buy for a beginner. If you're on the intermediate or advanced level of strength training, you'll be bored.
Marianne

4/23/04



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