Though you see the Jane Fonda Complete Workout on numerous video exchange lists, I couldn't find a review of it. For those of you wondering if you should give up your Sweatin' to the Oldies for the Complete Workout, here are my opinions.
The workout consists of three parts: a 20-minute upper body workout, a 35-minute aerobic workout; and a 20-minute lower body workout.
The toning portions are very good, in my beginner/intermediate opinion. Advanced exercisers would probably find them too basic.
The aerobic section is where I have problems. Or make that, problem. Near the end of the cardio, Laurel, one of Jane's instructors, leads a routine that includes a move where you have to put your hands behind your back as if you had a turkey tail. Honest! I worked out to this video several times, and finally got so embarrassed that Ollie, my cat, saw my strutting around so stupidly, that I finally put the tape up for exchange. The word must be out about this silly move, because no one seems to want the tape.
The other reason I don't like this tape is that the aerobic portion is in the middle, and if I just want to do aerobics I have to fast-forward. I wish Jane had left out the turkey tail move and put the aerobics at the beginning. Then I might have found the tape more useful.
Because the toning is pretty good, I'll give this tape a "C" for beginner/intermediate leve.
Instructor comments: Jane Fonda is the high priestess of exercise video instructors; if you don't agree, at least admit she is the founder of the genre. Jane is beautiful and moves beautifully. She can make the most basic move look "dancy." Her cuing is usually good; she's such a perfectionist she probably edits out most goofs. She just turned 60, and now lets other, younger, instructors do most of the aerobic leading, while she does toning and stretching.
This is a beginner/intermediate-level workout, divided into three parts: upper body toning, aerobics, lower body toning. The workout was compiled this way so that if you don't have time to do everything, you can just do the aerobics, or one toning segment and the aerobics. I usually do the entire tape, as I feel like I've had a really good workout when I've finished.
In my opinion it provides a good introduction to toning with weights (I had done very little of this before using this video), and in the aerobic section you can get your heart rate up and the time just seems to fly by. The warming-up and stretches are also fairly thorough. This really is a complete workout.
The aerobics section is lively and uses simple, easy-to-learn steps (e.g. cha-cha, grapevines). Another reviewer mentioned the silly "turkey" move (putting your hands behind your back to imitate a turkey's tail feathers). It is rather idiotic, so I don't do it. Fortunately, it's only a very short part of an otherwise enjoyable routine.
There is some rather inappropriate "oohing" and "aahing"during the lower body toning, which I actually found a bit embarrassing when my husband was in the room. However, I really like the workout and I don't notice it too much any more.
Instructor comments: Jane Fonda gives the aerobics together with two of her instructors, and leads the toning alone. The cueing is good, as is the instruction in the toning sections.
Glynis van Uden
13 July 1998
I'm still at the Beginners stage, and I find this to be a tough workout when I do all three sections. It really is a complete workout.
The opening warm-up followed by upper body toning is basic and good for a Beginner. The correct form is taught, and I think it's a good workout to learn basic toning techniques when you're just starting out with exercising. I doubt that it would hold an experienced Beginner or Intermediate user's interest though.
I think the aerobics section is a fun, low/high impact, dance-based routine. I like the variety of musical styles and that few of the steps are repeated from one musical selection to the next. The changing instructors help keep me interested. I just wish I didn't have a bad knee and could do the higher impact version of the steps. They look a lot more fun than the low impact. Unlike the upper body toning section, I think this could be used by those at the Intermediate level.
The lower body toning was hard for me as a Beginner despite other comments that it's good for Beginners. Having a bad knee may be influencing that judgment, though. I find it to be a good, tough workout, and I'm seeing results from it.
Instructor comments: I like Jane's instruction. Laurel can be a bit flighty, but still keeps me motivated. However, I could do without Jeanie's negative remarks. There are mistakes made in cueing this routine, but they can easily be overlooked after doing the video a few times.
The video is definitely one of her best. The weight training for the upper and lower body are great for toning and shaping, the interval training aerobics are great, and the instructors Jane leads the aerobics with are a bit over the top on the level of enthusiasm, but they do demonstrate the moves simply or more intense depending on who you follow. A definite + for those looking for a "complete workout".
Instructor comments: Jane is very good with making sure exercises are done properly rather than flat out getting done. Her demonstrations and having half the class do a lighter workout and half doing a more harder class is good for an exerciser to learn from. She does well in the aerobics with having Laurel and Jeanne co-lead it. She pulls off a great workout!
The workout is one of my favorites, it's intense while letting you choose to go high or low areobic with it.
Someone wrote about the "silly turkey feathers" ... you might like to know that is a dance right out of the classic "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" movie :)
I love doing it.
I have been doing Jane's Low-Impact Aerobic video (from the 80's) for a while, and enjoying it, but I wanted something else to add to my video library for alternate days. I tried Jane's newer Low Impact and Stretch and really was disappointed in it. Then, as I just couldn't believe that I owned the only good video that Jane had made, I bought the earliest one, Complete Workout. I was a little bit nervous after reading some not-too-favorable reviews on this site, but I just had to give it a chance. Am I glad I did! It's really wonderful, and totally made up for my bad experience with the other video.
I thought the choreography was pretty easy to pick up (great for those who don't have time to sit and watch the tape 3 times before starting in), and fit in with the music well. Jane's cueing is GREAT -- Even while getting used to the steps, I always felt like I knew where I was supposed to be.
I even enjoyed the 'turkey tail' step -- one reviewer on this site stuck up for it, while the others panned it. I thought it was a lot of fun, and I really liked doing it! And the whooping doesn't bother me at all. Aerobics and exercise should be fun, or I won't bother to do it. I can look forward to doing this workout as a kind of a fun treat, not something I have to beat myself to make me go do it.
One thing (and this was my own dumb mistake, not the fault of the tape): Always make sure you understand the move before doing it -- don't just fling your body around carelessly. I pulled a hip ligament the first time I did this video (again, all my OWN fault) because I anticipated that a move was different then the way it turned out, and I flailed around trying to get back into the right place. DON'T do that -- if you don't know where you are, march in place until you can join back in! That goes for any video, not just this one, obviously. And it never would have happened if I'd taken the time to watch the video once first to make sure I understood each step.
Ok, my score for this tape: A+. The upper body section: A. Aerobics section: A+. Lower body section: I hated it!!! Because it was hard for me, but it still deserves an A+.
Instructor comments: Love her!A
I really love this video for even advanced exercisers. My sister did this one every day in college and that is when she looked her best! I have been doing this one for about a month and have already lost 12 pounds. I find the routines to keep me motivated and the 70 minutes flies right by. My body feels it the next day. The aerobic segment is great for fat burning. I am hoping to look as great as my sister did while doing this video regularly. I think even advanced exercisers can enjoy this one by adding more weight and following the high impact aerobic instuctor. I have seen some reveiws that say it isn't challenging enough for advanced exercisers. I completely disagree with this as my sister was in excellent shape when she did this video frequently. I guess I enjoy a traditional kind of workout such as this.
Instructor comments: Jane is motivating without being to annoying. She has good cueing and gives a great workout!