Ultimate Body: Challenging Workouts for Weight Loss

Meghan White
Year Released: 2004

Categories: Total Body Workouts

Overall, I enjoy and like this DVD a lot, but I do have some complaints and cautions. First, the positives:
1. The title lives up to its name--it's probably among the most difficult cross-circuit DVD I've done, definitely not for beginners. There are no modified versions of the more strenuous bits. I would consider the cardio workouts to be a solid intermediate to high intermediate because there are a lot of jumping and bouncy moves. The strength training workouts are intense depending on the amount of weight that you use.
2. It's a real bargain. Unlike many exercise DVDs, this one has a lot of routine. Two 20-minute kickboxing routines, with their own warm-up, cool-down and abs section, and two 25-minute cardio boot camp routines, with their own warm-up, cool-down and abs section. You can mix and match as you please. I like that each abs routine is tailored for the cardio routine it accompanies.
3. Timely cuing by Meghan.
4. Good variety of moves within each routine. The cardio boot camp routines use a mix of jumping, hopping, squats and running in place. I didn't find any of the routines excessively hard on the knees.
The negatives:
1. No mirror cueing. If she says RIGHT, it means HER RIGHT.
2. High-pitched voice. Her voice is high-pitched, and the sound quality only accentuates its thinness. On the plus side, she doesn't have any annoying mannerisms, like saying the same phrase over and over, and she doesn't "cheer-lead" too much. How to solve this problem: Lower the volume of your TV and play your own music. The moves are very basic anyway.
3. Occasionally the pace of the routine gets so fast it becomes difficult to maintain good form. In the second boot camp routine, one of the background exercisers uses a step for some of the moves. Because of the fast pace, she half-stumbles a couple of times, and it looks to me like the chance of injury using the step (which I've never tried) would be high, unless you're an experienced "stepper."
4. Limited instructions for the kickboxing moves. If you've never done any kickboxing, you may have trouble getting the proper form down, especially for the side kick. Other videos (Kathy Smith and Total Workout) offer better instruction for kickboxing.
CONCLUSION: A great buy despite a few negatives. The variety and athletic choreography of the workouts, the generally high intermediate intensity level, and the mix-and-match options of this DVD make this a keeper for me.

Instructor Comments: