Video Fitness

30 Days to Thinner Thighs

I was very, very disappointed in this video. It was a waste of 45 minutes and $14.95.

It consits of a 5-minute warm-up, followed by 19 minutes of supposedly high-calorie-burning aerobics, then a 15-minute section of standing leg work, ending with a 5-minute cool down/stretch.

I never really reached my target zone. I kept wating for the aerobic feelings of at least some sweating and deeper breathing than normal to appear, but they didn't. I didn't see that this tape is for beginners, but that's the level at which I would rate it.

The choreography could be challenging to some, like myself, but is fun, even if it isn't aerobically intense.

The toning part was also poor. The squats were non-challenging and the side lunges Donna wants done are so quick that poor form is almost unavoidable. (She doesn't even really seem to stress enough the importance of proper form for this part).

I kept waiting for my legs to feel as though they were being worked, but it didn't happen. The only good part about this video were the real-looking women in the background -- it's nice to know that somebody finds a real woman's athletic body a good role model (as opposed to those scrawny women I see in so many videos).

I would suggest other perform Karen Voight's "Lean Legs and Buns", the standing leg work section of Karen's "Energy Sprint", or Karen's section on leg work in her book before buying this video. Karen's exercises in any of these items seem much more conducive to acheiving great legs than does this poorly done workout, and she ALWAYS emphasizes proper form. I can't wait to get back the Karen's workouts...

I give this video a C-.

Instructor comments: While Donna is peppy and encourages you to "spice it up", I find her cueing poor.

Kelli B.
4/22/98

This is a 45 minute workout. There's a 5 1/2 minute, 19 minutes of floor aerobics, 20 minutes of standing floor toning, and a 5 minute stretch. The floor routine has 3 sections that increase in intensity and impact. I'd rate the tape moderate in choreography. You need to have some coordination to do this video, but not tremendous amounts. Donna makes the choregraphy more interesting than most of the moderate choreography floor tapes I've seen by changing from move to move quickly. The routine combines funky dance moves (i.e. funky hop, shimmies) with regular aerobics standards like grapevines, skips, plyometric lunges, and karate kicks. The general style of the workout reminds me of Crunch videos--upbeat, hip, moves using shuffles and traveling moves that add directional changes for variety. Sometimes a few of these shuffle moves could've been cued a little better, but overall, Donna does a solid job cuing. Overall, I'd rate the intensity as solid intermediate. There are a few hops, but not many. The tape is short, so I don't think it will make intermediate exercisers fully exhausted. I personally will use this as a very light day tape, as this tape doesn't really get me into my training range. The toning exercises are pretty interesting. Using a chair for stability, you do squats and lunges, but also karate kick moves that work the outer thigh and hip. Some of these get pretty tough and take quite a bit of flexibility, balance, and coordination. What I like most about the toning is that Donna uses tons of variations to keep you from getting bored. There's also ab work, which is pretty good.

My personal views of the video: I'm not a huge Donna Richardson fan. As an advanced exerciser, I find some of her instruction a little annoying. Sometimes it seems like she's talking down to down to you using super slow diction and a plastic smile. I don't know, maybe that's just me. I liked Donnamite, but for some reason, this time Donna seemed too consciously "instructional." I often felt like she was instructing me on form and also how to have fun. She constantly asks throughout the workout: "Are you having fun now? You feeling that groove? Let me see you work it. Are you with me?" I also thought some of the hip grind and shoulder shaking was a little bit much, but not majorly ("Give it to me" "Shake shake" "Throw it away"). It's not Demi Moore in Strip Tease, but it comes close in spots. I'm no prude, but some VFers found this offensive. (Aside: I haven't seen MTV's The Grind exercise video, so I can't say how this commpares. But the grinding here is of the type I see on music videos with scantily clad women *G* that's for sure). I enjoy some funk, but for some reason, with instructors like Barry Joyce and Calvin Wiley, and I don't feel like they're trying to "teach" home exercisers how to have fun with funk. Also, lots of these dancy funk moves in this video detracted from the intensity, especially in the last section. You actually stop, do some hip grinding for 4 counts, and then start working out again. The music is good if nondescript, and the production values are great, which coming from Video Treasures, is pretty surprising.

Eulonda Skyles
4/14/98

The tape has 25 minutes of aerobics, 15 minutes of toning, and 5 minutes of yoga style stretching. In this video she uses some new moves like kick-boxing. The music is instrumental jazz. I alway like her music because it goes along so well with the moves. The toning segment doesn't require any weights. I was wondering if this would be effective, since I have been using light weights to tone the lower body. After 5 weeks, I have greater tone than I have had with the light weights. Donna uses a chair for balance and uses a lot of ballet moves. It's intense, but still enjoyable. The stretching segment is quiet relaxing. I would highly recommend this video.

Instructor comments: Donna Richardson makes floor aerobics enjoyable. She always has one person who demonstrates how to do the routine with low impact. She has a warm personality and isn't annoying. I find that she is very good with explaining the moves, and I like her choreography.

MM
4-27-98

This tape consists of about 25 minutes of floor aerobics and 20 minutes of standing toning with a stretch at the end. I would say that the tape is beginner in some respects and intermediate in others. The aerobics are pretty fun, there is a section with a rear kick in it, and some of the toning moves also use kicking moves. The aerobics are a mix of high and low impact with one-person showing low impact moves. You sort of slide into the cool down by bringing down the impact and intensity of the moves, you could then stop the tape and cool down more if needed.

The toning section is standing using a chair for balance. The moves are a sequence of lunges, kicks and holding you leg in an extended raised position with pulses. I found that these routines where a bit aerobic as well due to the sequencing of moves. Also, during the toning section you work a lot of stabilizers as well. You basically do one three sequences of moves, once on each side. There is a standing stretch at the end that incorporates some yoga-like poses. Overall I find the tape is fun, the music and moves are energetic and Donna Richardson and the back-up exercisers also seem to be having a good time too.

Instructor comments: Donna Richardson is having a good time here. She does give good form pointers and the moves in the aerobic routine are both athletic and funky.

Lisa Kucharski
eenah@aol.com
12/18/99

30 days to thinner thighs and 30 days to firmer arms and abs

Donna has done a great job identifying her target audience of advanced beginners to intermediates who like fun, dance party workouts with these two. The aerobics really do feel like social/ party dancing. Lots of hip shimmies and wiggles and so on. I think I saw someone else describe this as vulgar, but I didn't think so at all. I thought she really captured the fun, let it all hang out spirit of a party. The aerobics aren't terribly intense or complicated, but sometimes her cueing is off. If you're not very coordinated, you might have trouble getting all the steps. But after a few run throughs, you won't miss a beat. I liked the legs video better because I thought the toning was more interesting. Both start with a warm up, then floor aerobics, then toning and a good stretch. She offers options in the aerobics to increase the impact and intensity. These workouts are a lot of fun if you like a little attitude and dancey fun in your workouts. What I think really makes these videos stand out is Donna and her friends. They are having so much fun its contagious. They also have very real, fit, atheletic, attractive, healthy bodies. Its nice and refreshing to see normal women working out, having fun and looking good. I found it motivating. Lots of fun.

Instructor comments: donna is fun, funky and enthusiastic. she really seems to enjoy working out, and wants everyone to have as much fun as she has. Her workout personality is so different from the cheesy personality she has when she introduces her videos. She seems so friendly and down to earth.

linda



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