I have not had much luck with the Redbook series. I
had earlier tried their tai chi tape and wound up
giving it to an aunt who wanted to try videos, but
made no promises of returning anything I loaned her.
Still, I remained curious because these tapes are
widely available here and I wondered if they were
useful. I got this body sculpting tape from the
library and although I am quite happy I did not spend
money on it, I can see this tape being useful for
certain others. Note: I've only done the tape once,
and I am working from memory here. But once was
The instructor is A.F.A.A. certified, and she does the
most advanced version of the moves. She has one
background exerciser using slightly lighter weights,
and another who uses no weights at all. The warm-up is
a longish low-impact deal, designed to get the heart
rate going and the blood flowing. It does so quite
effectively: the series of toe taps and mini-squat
pulses is combined with large, sweeping arm motions
that are gentle and smooth. Following the warm-up,
there is a weight section that alternates basic
lower-body moves such as squats and small lunges with
biceps curls, shoulder work and a few back moves. The
cueing is adequate, but not exceptional: pretty much
the "now move your arms backward like I am doing"
type. There is a decent mix of compound moves and
one-at-a-time moves. The routine ends with a floorwork
section. The whole thing clocks in at around half an
I don't know if it is because they are gearing this to
beginners (this is never specified) or because they
are trying to get the whole thing under half an hour,
but some of the moves seemed a bit rushed. Most of the
sets are 8 reps, but there seemed to be a few that
were shorter, and only done once through. I felt they
certainly could have used more reps here: I was not
even close to fatigued and followed this tape with my
usual routine, not feeling the slightest bit tired.
The structure of the routine also seemed a bit random.
She said she was alternating upper and lower body
moves, which is fine. But she went from biceps curls
to squats, to shoulder work, back to biceps, on to
triceps, back to shoulders---it felt pretty random,
and there was no way to tell what was coming up. Her
lifting pace is slower than someone like Joyce Vedral
or Rachel McLish, but it's faster than someone like
Cathe or Tamilee. She holds the rep at the top, which
is a nice touch that not all instructors include.
Still, I didn't feel like I had put my all into this
routine, nor did I feel its structure and format would
allow me to. And I didn't feel like the instructor had
put her all into it either, which made it hard to get
myself motivated. It felt like we all could have
worked harder, and she knew it.
Still, it would likely be a pretty good tape for a
beginner. It's short, covers pretty much all the
bases, and shows the most basic modifications
throughout for those at different levels. The
instructor seemed nice enough, and the workout moved
at a brisk clip. For a more advanced exerciser,
perhaps TOO brisk a clip, but a beginner might the few
rep/fast paced routine to be just what they need.
This is a great video when you want some strength training but you're short of time. I'm an intermediate but I'm always sore in my arm after this workout. It's also a good workout when you want some stretching. Jenre is a very good instructor and it surprises me that she hasn't come up with any other videos that are known.
July 7, 2004