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Crunch Burn & Firm

Lori Dean

Looking back, I'm not even sure why I bought this. It's a 30-minute workout alternating floor aerobics and toning. It wouldn't take a rocket scientist to guess that in 30 minutes you couldn't get a very decent aerobics AND toning workout. However, I think that if this had been expanded to 60 minutes, it wouldn't have been bad at all. The toning is fairly weak as it is, but in 60 minutes, maybe she could have spent more time on it. The workout as it is, is beginner/intermediate. This could be one to keep around for "short" days, but I myself would prefer to do *all* aerobics or *all* toning on short days. It seems like you get more out of it that way. Grade C.

Instructor comments: Lori Dean seems very nice and pleasant. It's hard to tell in this short tape what her teaching personality really is, but I think she'd probably be pretty good in a longer, more advanced workout.

Annie S.

OVERALL: I like the video. Itís a fun video to do on the days that I am tired or when I need a jumpstart after not having worked out for days or weeks.

ABOUT ME: Maybe a little background about me to put my review in perspective. I donít exercise to lose weight; I do video workouts to tone my body and to keep it toned. I am in my late 20s and I am a size 2. That may sound enviable except for the fact that I suffer from chronic fatigue. My cardio capacity isnít marathon-level because I cannot push myself too hard or else my body will give out and I wouldnít be able to function for days. It's a Catch 22 really -- I am too tired to workout, but if I don't, my chronic fatigue would get worse.

With that said, I have learned to rely less on lengthy boot camp style cardio workouts and concentrate instead on shorter but quality strength training sessions to keep me in shape. Strength training workouts feel like cardio workouts to me anyway if I use good forms and engage each of my muscle groups properly. However, I do recognize the importance of cardio workouts and I am ever on the lookout for videos that are fun, non-repetitive, 30-45 minutes in length, and adaptable to my energy level.

WHO IS THIS VIDEO FOR: Back to the video review. Although the video jacket says that the video is good for all fitness levels, I think itís appropriate for beginners and advanced beginners. Itís for people who are scared of buying another average boring aerobic workout. The floor cardio and strength training (weights) sections are fun. There's not a single grapevine or jumping jack in the routine. Depending on your fitness level, you can get a good cardio workout from this video, if you have good techniques and choose the moderate-impact or high-impact moves as illustrated by the instructor. However, this is not a workout that leaves you panting or would totally makeover your body in two weeks.

VIDEO FORMAT: The video has a 5-minute warm-up, three sections of 5-minute cardio followed by 1-2 minute weight training, 5-minute ab workout, and a 3-minute cool down. About 35 minutes in total.

WHY HAVE THIS VIDEO: So why do I bother to keep this video around if it doesn't completely burn and firm for an intermediate exerciser like me? Because itís fun and I feel a sense of accomplishment when I am able to finish a pretty well-rounded workout in 35 minutes (incl. all major muscle groups). For the days when I am busy or tired, itís important to have a video like this around to keep myself moving so I donít give myself an excuse to skip a day (or a week). All the cardio and weights sections are relatively short, different and interesting; thereís not a lot of repeats. Thereís some fun footwork going on, but not too dancy for most people to master after viewing the video for a couple of times. I can easily persuade myself to do this tape after coming home from work or not having worked out for a while for health reasons.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: If you accept the length of the video as is (that itís not meant to be a grueling workout), I think the biggest problem with the video is that Lori Dean doesnít give more proper form techniques. For example, she doesnít tell the viewers to make sure that they donít extend their elbows fully and that they maintain good tension in their arms and abs as they throw punches. Tips like this would ensure that viewers engage their muscle properly and safely to get a full workout. Another problem with her instructions is her timing. For example, she does tell the viewers to not bend their knees beyond their toes when performing squats, but she only says so midway through the video, after viewers have done a couple of similar exercises before (and possibly with the wrong technique). All I am saying is that this is not an instructional video for beginners to learn good forms. But, if you know the basics techniques, this is a fun short video to have (especially if you happen to come across this on sale).

OTHER CHOICES TO CONSIDER: Iíd go with Karen Voightís Streamline Fitness. I know that itís short, but Karen gives excellent instructions and her moves are innovative and effective. Itís not a cardio workout, but itís a good toning exercise if youíre looking for something short to cram into your busy schedule (or if you canít handle rigorous cardio workout like me). For longer workouts and true body makeover options, Iíd use Tracie Longís Maximum Body Shaping (The FIRM) or Pam Cauthenís Firm Strength (The FIRM Cross Trainers). I used these to train my body before my wedding, and I totally reshaped my body for good without crazy dieting or cardio workouts.

Keep going and give yourself a pat on the back.

Christine M.

Instructor comments: Lori Dean is upbeat and motivating without being condescending or annoying. I give her cueing a B-/B+, compared to A+ instructors such as Karen Voight, Tracie Long (The FIRM), Pam Cauthen (The FIRM), and Tammi Webb.

Christine Mitchell

July 9, 2004

A great workout for light days. When I was pregnant, this workout really helped me feel "in shape" (as much as possible) but not beat up (I am normally intermediate to advanced -- Voight/Firm are my level). This workout is also great when I have no time, and it somehow always puts me in a good mood.

Instructor comments: Lori is unassuming, enthusiastic, and yet seems genuine. She has a pleasant manner, cues well, and doesn't get on my nerves. In my opinion, she is one of the best Crunch instructors and should be rated higher.

Elizabeth P.


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