Video Fitness

Fat Eliminator

Minna Lessig

This is a short (30min and 15min bonus strength routine) circuit style video that includes some kickboxing and strength training. I found this video extremely disappointing. Minna leads you through several circuits of super basic moves with nothing more creative than a Scissor. There was way too much emphasis on lower body as Minna leads you through series after series of lunges and lunge variations. While Minna is a competent instructor, the routine was boring, boring, boring. And it was way to easy to be labled Intermediate (as College rated it). At one point between circuits, she halts the workout altogether to give direction. It never sustained my heart rate enough to warrant the unfortunate title of "Fat Eliminator." Overall, there was nothing inspiring or interesting about this workout.

Instructor Comments: Minna is obviously fit and capable, but I found her stiff and overly rehearsed. She never seemed excited about the workout and so neither did I. (I'm not talking squealing or 'whoo whoo-ing' but just SOME emotion.) I thought her choreography was so dull and everything but the kickboxing reminded me of moves I'd done in some of Kathy Smith's 80's videos. That was fine then, but I don't want to go back there!

Rose S.

This is definitely a beginner/intermediate video, and I am way past that level, so this one has already been traded. However, I could see myself liking this one five years ago (or maybe 20 years in the future!). The intensity is about the same as a typical Buns of Steel or Crunch video. Minna does a 30-minute (total) workout of cardio and toning intervals without weights, though you could add dumbells to the strength intervals if you desire. The toning is mostly lower-body squats and lunges, though she does do one set of pushups. For the cardio, she speeds up the squats and goes into very simple routines of floor aerobics. The choreography is extremely basic - a grapevine is the hardest move here, and Minna actually shows you how to do it! Not much room is required, either. After the workout, a 15-minute "bonus" section demonstrates basic gym-style strength routines with dumbells. Although the music is just Crunch-style disco rather than the "spicy Latin" promised on the box, this video is overall of good quality for the price, and I would recommend it for beginner/intermediates looking for a painless circuit workout, or persons new to weights. Grade A for beginners.

Instructor comments: Minna has just the personality I favor - a sincere, cheerful "TV spokesmodel" demeanor, good cueing, and no whooping or repeating of silly remarks. She gets extra points for dropping by the VF forum! I'd love to see an advanced video from her.

Sue Bryant

This is a 45-minute total body tape. The body of the workout is 30 minutes long with an additional 15-minute dumbbell toning section as an added bonus. The workout combines 6 circuits alternating strength and cardio. All of the strength segments use only your body weight as resistance and all of the cardio sections are floor, no step is required.

The workout structure is as follows:

Strength 1: This section includes squats and squat pulse, outer thigh leg lifts, and narrow stance squats.

Cardio 1: Fast squats, small plyo squats where only your heels lift from the floor, toes stay grounded, outer thigh leg lifts, knee lifts with side kicks, side lunges. All of the squats and thigh lifts are done faster than they were performed in the Strength section.

Strength 2: Reverse lunges (Dips) and reverse lunge pulses, dips with hamstring curls and leg extensions

Cardio 2: Back taps, grapevine sequence with reverse lunges and front kicks, scissors, and power reverse lunges.

Strength 3: Pile squats

Cardio 3: Plyo jumps, regular jumping jacks, and speed skate slides

Strength 4: 2 count pushups, lying back bend extensions, and rear delt flies

Cardio 4: Pulsing squats, fast squats, and alternating heel digs

Strength 5: Narrow stance piles

Cardio 5: Punches, and simulated jump roping

Strength 6: A move very similar to an elbow strike to work the shoulders and one leg squats

Cardio 6: Side hops, knee lifts and hamstring curls.

A short stretch follows. There is no real cool down. Just a very short sequence of stretches that neglects to stretch most of the muscles used in the workout.

A bonus section of dumbbell toning ends the workout. All of these moves are done with very light weights. You will need dumbbells and a mat for abdominal work. You will do bent leg extension in the table position with a dumbbell supported in the knee bend, back rows in a knee lunge position, triceps extensions, bicep curls, side lateral raises, and crunches, reverse crunches, and oblique work. A very short stretch ends the workout. All of these toning movements are done in a very slow and controlled manner. Making it very easy to increase the weights while still keeping good form.

This tape is labeled as intermediate, but is more suited for high beginners or low intermediates. The strength portions are not very intense and the cardio sections are very basic and not very intense either. You can choose to use weights during the Strength sections and eliminate the arm movements or choose a lighter weight so that you can incorporate the arms movements as well. You can add intensity to the cardio by utilizing more plyos and increase in the range of motion.

The production quality was good, though the music was very bland “quasi latin” canned music. Minna is very rehearsed in this tape. She is not overly hyper nor is she to boring, but I do get the feeling that all of the cues were being read off of cue cards. There is no interaction with the participants.

This would be a good tape for a beginner or someone who is getting back into fitness after an absence. I don’t feel that even with lots of modifications a high intermediate or advanced exerciser would find this tape holding their interest very long, even on a light day.

Susie F.

I agree with the other reviews of this video that it's high beginner/low intermediate and that the 'spicy Latin' music promised on the cover doesn't exist in the video!

I bought this knowing it wasn't very advanced and that it was short. However, I did expect more of a total body workout rather than so much focus on lower body. There is plenty of standing leg work without weights: squats, lunges, plie squats, etc. That's fine, since you are using your body weight as resistance.

The upper body work was very disappointing though. Yes, there were some push-ups to work chest, shoulders and triceps but I don't personally believe that merely pushing your arms out from your chest while standing, or doing arm circles, etc. works the muscles much. The upper body work is nothing without doing the bonus toning section at the end, and even that isn't much. If heavy weights build strength and high reps build endurance, what the heck does doing 12 bicep curls with very light weights do?

I'm okay with the lower body work and the abs, but this video leaves a lot to be desired if you're expecting a decent upper body workout as well. Oh, and the cardio is merely something to do in between lower body sets. A lot of it continues to work the lower body with faster lunges, etc., so that's a plus.

I might try this video again - on a light day - but I'd be sure to modify the upper body work to use weights and would probably substitute other exercises and add more reps.

Joni O

I like this video a lot. I understand why other reviewers were disappointed however. This is definitely not an intense tape for people who do videos by Cathe or other advanced tapes. The moves are way too basic and minimal to use for a "real workout" when I am in the mood. However, I bought it for its length, circuit style and low intensity. This workout fits great on those days when I really don't feel like working out or if I have slacked on my exercise routine and need to gradually rebuild my strength. It fits nicely with my other videos. It consists of 6 aerobic/toning exercise segments that focus mostly on the lower body. For the choreographicaly challenged (did I spell that right?) it provides welcome athletic moves rather than choreography. This is definitely a keeper.

Instructor comments: Very nice personality. Cues well.

Latasha Gary

January 4.2003

I wanted to submit a review on this workout mainly because I disagree with the previous reviews posted here. I believe this is a good intermediate workout. With all the plyo jumps and scissor jumps, I think this video is too high intensity to be considered beginner. The choreography is very basic and yet I think it is presented in a way that is a little different than what I've experienced before. I liked the arm movements that are done with the exercisers. Even the arm movements with the demi plies in first position were simple, but effective. It's true that the set is plain, the background exercisers are quietly doing their thing and Minna is not overly excited, but I found this to be a refreshing change from many of the workout tapes I own where everyone is whooping and hollering in a very exaggerated manner over nothing in particular.
There isn't much as far as lifting weights and the toning intervals are mostly concentrated on lower body, but that's okay with me, too - that's why I have a variety of workouts - I vary them to get the best out of each one.

Also, this tape was a real bargain considering what I paid for it. I recommend it highly. Tammy


This is a circuit workout. There are 6 rounds, each of which features strength and cardio. The choreography is simple and mixed impact.

Minna is a pleasant and friendly instructor, and I have enjoyed her in previous workouts. In fact, the only reason I even have this one is due to its being on the same dvd as Strength & Grace, which is my fav Minna workout.

As far as the workout itself, it is not a staple in my rotation simply because I do not prefer to do my strength work in this way. I do enjoy a nice cardio circuit, but I prefer to keep my strength in its own workout because the type of strength work in this sort of routine is never enough for me.

So overall? I like Minna, but this routine was nothing remarkable and is not the sort of routine I typically do. Were it not on a dvd with a workout I do enjoy, I probably would not keep it. It’s not a bad workout, just not the sort of thing I have a place for in my routine.

Instructor comments: I really enjoy Minna. I wish she would come out with some new stuff.



Video Fitness copyright © 1996 - 2009 Wendy Niemi Kremer    All rights reserved