This is another new workout from fitness instructor Kelly Coffey-Meyer's 30 Minutes to Fitness series. Like the other DVDs in this series, 30 Minutes to Fitness Bootcamp offers two separate workouts; when combined with the warm-up, each of these workouts is around 30 minutes long, perfect if you are short on time. However, Kelly also offers plenty of additional options, including a Bonus Stretch segment and various Premixes which allow you to create a longer or shorter workout. Kelly works out with two background exercises, one of whom shows modifications for the higher impact moves. The Main Menu of the DVD lists the Warm-Up, Workout 1, Workout 2, Bonus Stretch, and Premixes. The Premixes include Double Session (both workouts), 55 minutes; Strength Session (strength segments only), 30 minutes; Cardio Session (cardio segments only), 30 minutes; and Stretch Session (warm-up & bonus stretch), 22 minutes.
Kelly beigns the 3 1/2 minute warm-up with marches, jogs, shuffles, and hamstring curls. She then moves into a sequence of squats, jacks, and lunges, ending the warm-up with some push-up/plank work. Then it's on to the workouts. Without the warm-up, Workout #1 is 27 minutes long, and #2 is 26 1/2 minutes long. Both follow the format of repeating an exercise for 2 minutes and then moving on (although sometimes Kelly changes it up and does a short drill-like sequence at the end). In general, Kelly alternates weight work with cardio bursts, although some of the later use a single light dumbbell. Kelly does a great job of always telling you the amount of weight she is using while encouraging you to use the weight that is most appropriate for you.
In both workouts, the time really flies, as Kelly keeps you constantly moving. The cardio portions contain quite a bit of impact, but as mentioned above, modifications are always shown. Also, as is traditional with bootcamp workouts, both workouts have a plank portion about mid-workout. Workout #1 contains some unique weight work which Kelly likens to kettlebell swings. There are also several moves with a sports feel to them, including a basketball jump (cardio) and a shotput (weights). In Workout #2, there seemed to be quite a bit of impact in the first half, whereas the second half contained a lot of fun exercises, again derived from sports: eg, a hitter, lacrosse, catcher cardio sequence, and my favorite, an en guarde strength move. Both workouts conclude with a very brief (<2 minutes) stretch.
For those wanting a more thorough stretch, Kelly has included a longer stretch segment that's about 19 minutes long. This section includes a mix of ballistic (bouncing) and static stretching. Kelly begins standing for some standard stretching moves, but these did not feel like they were held long enough to me. However, she then moves to the floor, where she slows down and does some longer holds; she also incorporates a towel (or strap) for some of the moves. Unfortunately, she finishes the floorwork with several moves (known as plow and shoulderstand in yoga) which I think many might find too advanced for a basic stretching program.
As with the other workouts in her 30 Minutes to Fitness series, Kelly did a great job with this DVD, which provides users with plenty of workout options. Although I definitely would recommend this DVD, I would caution that it is not for beginners (I would suggest intermediate and above), that it contains quite a bit of impact, and finally, that the workouts themselves provide very little cool-down/stretching. I admit that bootcamp workouts aren't really my thing, but most people who like Kelly will love this workout.
I like Kelly and thought she did a great job overall here. I don't particularly like the "bootcamp" style, though: too much impact for me, and I don't like doing push-ups/plank work during the warm-up as well as mid-workout.
Beth C (aka toaster)
January 16, 2009