Video Fitness

Comments about Richard Simmons

Richard is an inspiring leader at first. He encourages you and assures you you can reach your goals if you keep trying. However, after several viewings he can get on your nerves so I eventually tuned him out.

Sarah Keffer

Richard Simmons is a wonderful person and great motivator. I learned a lot from him when I went on his April cruise this year. All of Richard's videos are easy to do and follow even for someone with a disability like mine.

Jackie Nitowitz

Richard Simmons is, for me, that first instructor who motivates you to try. As heavy as I was (am) I needed someone who would help me to feel that I could really and truly do this. But after a bit his voice and the continual "lovey" undertones in his videos make me put them further back in my collection. I do return to his videos when I need some extra motivation, but they are no longer my everyday tapes. Of course, some of that motivation to move on to other things has come from him telling me I could do it, which I appreciate.

Jennifer Pitoniak

I find Richard to be encourging, his step and music excite me into buying the material and doing the steps. I love to dance and I think Richard does also.

Sherry Franzell

Everyone knows Richard Simmons - you either hate him or love him. I love him! He is a little "hyper" at times but that energy he has is what keeps me going. I have had his tapes for 7 weeks and have done them 6 days a week, except for the two weeks my daughter and I were sick and she was in the hospital. He is enthusiastic, he tells you over and over again that "you can do it", "do as much as you can", "you are getting stronger", that he loves us. Some people may find him a little hard to take, but I guess at this point I need that extra "coddling". I hope he will come out with a new video soon - I would love to have it.

Debbie Ivey

Richard Simmons is a very perky, positive, energetic instructor. If he gets on your nerves during infomercials do not buy his videos. Of all his videos I think he is the most mellow in this video. This was his first video and of all his videos he is the least "chatty" in this one. I don't care for the other videos that followed this original. They seemed to get longer. This video lasts 40 minutes. I was able to turn some moves into higher impact once I progressed. I was unable to do that in the later videos he made.


Richard Simmons is a hoot. He has more personality in his hair than many vid stars have in their bodies. He's encouraging, and is the best at inviting out of shape folks off their couches.


Richard Simmons is not for everyone--you either love him or can't stand him. It seems to me that he targets severely obese people who have lost all hope. He's very motivational for that audience. He's very hyper and "lovey" and cries easily. But it seems that he really and truly cares about the people he helps. It's nice that his videos include his address, encouraging people to write to him.

Paula Menke

I find Richard Simmons to be very caring and motivating.

Yvonne Jacobs

Richard gets an A for creativity of choreography. From beginning to end one has the ambience of a New York Disco in one's living room. Richard has a natural sense of rhythm and clearly likes to dance. His style is theatrical & dramatic. He knows where the camera is at all times, in relation to himself and his dancers; thus, making it easy to observe footwork and form.

His personality, although a bit eccentric, is warm, highly motivating,and fun. He coaxes you through the workout, but does not "hold your hand" when it comes to cueing and verbally describing moves. ( The constant change and relative complexity of movement with low repetition, does not lend itself to excessive verbal cueing or exagerated physical cueing, seen in some calisthenic type workouts).

Richard belongs on the stage and is at his best doing dance aerobic routines in various themes.

Ann M. Casto

I have loved working out to Richard Simmons!

He is very inspiring to watch, He loves everyone! He helps you love yourself. I have lost almost 30lbs in almost 2 months,doing his tape 5 days a week. I have never felt better about myself in years! This tape was a great purchace! I also love Toning Uptown and Downtown with Richard Simmons!! Thank-you!! Richard

Jennifer R.

I think Richard is great- yes I could see why some people might find him nerve wracking, but the thing to remember is that the audience he is targeting are those who really have lost hope & he's here to prove that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Although hard to believe,he really is sincere, being that he had a weight problem & knows what his audience must feel & how hard it is. If you've never been severely overweight, it can be a tough climb especially if you've been made fun of or put down because of it & most relatively thin people take it for granted. That's why I like Richard so much, despite the fact he might come off to others as somewhat overbearing. He's empathetic. He's also really fun & creative with his dance movements & his choice of music is better than the usual boring casio that most instructors use. Keep it up Richard & stay as you are!



Richard cracks me up, and that's what keeps me doing the videos. Just when I start getting too serious and not enjoying myself, he says or does something goofy that makes me laugh and puts it all into perspective again. I mean, why exercise if it's not enjoyable? Just because we call it a "work out" doesn't mean that we can't have fun doing it!

Besides his motivating humor, and his just plain motivation, the routines are fun. Some people have commented on the steep learning curve when starting out. That doesn't bother me, because I find other routines rather tedious over time due to the amount of time the instructors spend breaking down the routine into chunks that are easy to learn. With Richard's routines, once they are learned, you just do the routine - no slowing down or possibly compromising your target heart range. But, then, I come from a dance background and, as a result, I prefer to do a routine full-out once I've learned it, which is impossible with many of the routines available on video by other instructors.

There are a few things that people should bear in mind when doing these routines. Richard doesn't do mirror cuing sometimes. He miscues at times. He also doesn't demonstrate good form. This can be a problem for people who've never exercised or danced before, especially in the toning videos. Anyone using his videos would be wise to learn proper form from another instructor and apply that knowledge when doing Richard's tapes.

Criticisms aside, I heartily recommend his videos to anyone who wants to have fun when they exercise, especially those who prefer a dance approach to fitness. The routines will do the job of getting you in shape and keep you laughing along the way. What a great way to lighten up!


I really like Richard's video tapes. They are fun to do, safe and effective. The tapes have terrific production values and some of the best music on the market (he hires a live band and covers R&B tunes - a big step up from Dynamix, and he's very generous with featuring the musicians prominently in the tape). His uses easy, fun choreography - the kind of stuff you'd do on the dance floor at a wedding if you were feeling loose and confident.

His cast is always very diverse in terms of age, ethnicity, and body type - something I look for in a tape and that aggravates me about many of tapes. While he has some ringers, he uses "success stories" in his tapes, introducing them at the end. Many of these people have lost over 100 lbs, some 200 or 300. They're dancing unselfconsciously with appropriately happy faces. Very inspirational.

Four months ago I weighed 46 lbs more than I do now and was completely miserable. There was very little on the market that could have worked for me other than Richard's. I'm now 202, regularly exercising, eating healthy, and losing weight every week. I no longer use Richard's tapes (except ab formula) because my cardio endurance has markedly improved, but I don't know how I could have started without them.

I understand he just hits people the wrong way with his strong personality, and that's ok, there are many many tapes out there. I think he is what he is - that his schtick is genuine and not the product of focus groups. His life story is sort of interesting. He's from New Orleans. His mother was a fan dancer. There's an E! True Hollywood Story about Richard which is worth watching.

His tapes are beginner/low intermediate, which obviously isn't for everyone, but are terrific for, well, beginner/low intermediates!

My favorite tapes are House Party, Dance Your Pants Off, and his Ab Formula tape. I'm not a Broadway type, but for you Broadway fans, those tapes are nicely put together and alot of fun.

Jane C.

i love the disco tape and how he helps people. the disco tapes are my favorite tapes and I enjoy working out with richard and i just want to let richard know that i enjoyed him.

debbie rose

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