Level: beginner. Duration: 32 mins
This was my first toning video, which I started when I'd been doing cardio for six months. According to my log, I did it eight times, and found it disappointing.
A chair is used for support throughout the workout, including the warming-up, but I thought it was unnecessary there and more of a hindrance than a help. Actually, I found the warming-up rather awkward. I just couldn't get into it - even when I stopped prancing around the chair. The music and the movements don't match, and I got very confused. (I just did it again to refresh my memory and I still can't get it right.) I found the music inappropriate to the workout and quite irritating. It's sort of jazzy and reminds me of morse code.
The exercises are mainly for the lower body, using a chair for support (she points out that you'll need it less as you grow stronger). You do squats, calf raises and plies. A couple of times the camera focuses on her upper body, which is not very helpful for beginners. For the upper body there are push-ups - using the chair. There is no demonstration by her or either of her two companions of how to perform any of the exercises without the chair.
After stretching the legs, she moves on to five minutes of ab work (crunches, obliques and reverse curls). This is the best part of the tape. She briefly demonstrates how to perform the exercises seated in a chair if the floor version is too difficult.
The tape ends with five minutes of stretching (sitting in the chair).
This is probably an okay-tape for someone who is extremely out of shape. Otherwise I think it would be outgrown very quickly, and it won't be challenging enough for most beginners. There are other tapes which are more effective and would remain useful for a longer period of time.
Instructor comments: Aileen Sheron is an unintimidating, reassuring instructor for beginners. Her cueing is fine, but I think she could have given more detailed instruction on form, considering that it's a tape for beginners. Before the workout she gives general tips on safety and the importance of going at one's own pace. During the workout she offers encouragement, reminding the exerciser that it's not a disaster if you can't complete all the exercises at first.
Glynis van Uden
25 June 1998
This is a beginner video that focuses on toning the lower body and abs. It begins with a warm up and then you do standing exercises using you body weight such as: lunges, plies, squats using a chair for balance. After this you do a short stretch and then move to the floor for ab work. After the ab work you stretch again. This tape is part of a series that Weight Watchers produced. The toning sections that work the upper body are contained in the Step and Sculpt tape.
Overall this is a pretty good beginner tape, and there is a segment that shows how to do the ab work in a chair if you are unable to do ab work on the floor. Once you have mastered this tape though it is hard to modify up, so I found that only on rare occasion to I use this tape at this point in my exercise routines now.
Instructor comments: Aileen Sheron is pleasant, and gives a few more pointers on form than in the other tapes in this series.