Video Fitness

The Funk Factor

I am so disappointed with this! I saw it at Best Buy for $8.99, and debated with myself over whether to buy it. I find the "cheapo" ones are usually that way for a reason. Then, I saw on the back cover that David Gray is an instructor at the Voight Fitness and Dance Center. I thought, "Wow! If he's good enough to teach for Karen Voight, he must be tough!" WRONG! This 60-minute low-impact workout won't even make you breath heavy, let alone sweat. David is a good instructor, and extremely well-built, but he didn't get that way from doing this workout! Don't waste your money on this one.

Annie S.

This was an impulse buy for me, found in the bargain bin. I got it home and thought, "Oh, NO!" A mediocre production effort of 1991 (adjust your tracking!), the video is highly representative of the youth culture of that year. The workout includes moments where the class stops to "vogue" and they all wear acid washed jeans in the cool-down session.

At second look, however, I am finding that I LOVE to do this tape. Structured more like a jazz dance class rather than a traditional aerobics class, you can make this workout as easy or as difficult as you like. It is all contingent upon how much ENERGY you contribute to the steps (ie. if you just half-commit to lunges, they won't do much for you.) Gray is wonderful at pulling the energy out of me...he and his smiling class are having so much fun and I want to, too. The choreography is simple and the moves are not very tiring, but at the two heart rate checks, I was surprised to find that mine was right on target.

There is a perfunctory toning section towards the end of the tape consisting of plies, rond de jambes, push ups, cruches, and so on. Again, it's not killer by any stretch of the imagination, but if you focus hard on your muscles and go for proper form, you will get something out of it.

Finally, I was pleased to see that the stretch section was longer than many of my other tapes.

Despite the mediocrity of production and the fact that only six years later it seems "out of style", I really like this workout. Gray is very fun to follow and is obviously excited about fitness. The music is better than average-- 1990's dance-club mixes. I like to do this one when I want to have a good time and/or am sore from doing a workout with weights.


I agree with Karen, the reviewer who said that this tape is fun to do. No, it's not in the category of the Firm in terms of a challenging workout. And no, the tape quality is not the best, as it is rather cheapo and requires fiddling with the tracking.

But David Gray is a lot of fun to work out with. I like the moves, and I can follow the dance steps fairly easily (I am not great with complex choreography, I will admit), and Karen is right -- it is the effort you put into it that makes the difference. I enjoy the music, because I love working out to dance music. The funkier the music, the more motivating for me. I bought Jane Fonda's Lean Routine hoping for something like Funk Factor. Talk about a routine that's hard to follow! If I have to play it every day for a week just to learn the darn routine, it's too complex for me. Variety is what keeps me going with video workouts and I don't like a workout that I can't use just occasionally without forgetting the whole routine. Funk Factor gives me enough danceability to make it fun, and it's simple enough that even an uncoordinated clod like me can follow it.

My rating: B. (Would be a B+ if video quality were better.)

Kathy Diemer

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