Easy Going (aka Prime Time Workout)

Jane Fonda
Year Released: 1984

Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance

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This tape is supposed to be for beginners of all ages and for those recovering from injury. Iíve been exercising regularly for about 3 years now, and Iíd say Iím at intermediate level; I use this tape during recovery periods. It would be okay for a beginner but I donít think it would be a good idea for older beginners (it contains some moves which are no longer considered safe, and I feel that Jane sometimes goes a bit fast). I agree with the reviewer who says it seems more suitable for those who already exercise regularly.

Most of the background exercisers (all about 40+ I think) look reasonably fit and flexible. With the exception of Herb, the ďtoken manĒ, the class is all female. The toning work is done without weights. The leg work isnít strenuous. It leaves me with a pleasant firm feeling, like after a long walk, but never sore. The upper body work is pretty easy, and feels more like a good stretch. I like the fact that the standing leg work includes ankles, and the arm work includes wrists and fingers. My feet and hands feel nice and stretched after doing this workout.

After the aerobics, you go to the floor and Jane says weíre going to squeeze the muscles in between the legs. I must admit to being confused when I first heard this, but fortunately in a voice-over she tells us these are Kegel exercises.

There is some decent ab work (although I find that she starts to go too fast for my liking) and plenty of pelvic tilts. The background exercisers do not always use good form (thereís some bouncing around going on), so I watch Jane or her stepmother, Shirlee. The short aerobic section is high impact, which isnít what you need if your ďmuscles and joints are more vulnerable and need a slower, gentler workoutĒ (from the cover). If youíre a healthy beginner, then itís still too short to be of much benefit.

People doing this tape with the aim of going easy on their joints can do one of three things with the aerobics: 1. Follow the low-impact version. However, 10 minutes of walking in place can be pretty tedious and isnít likely to raise your heart rate. 2. Do your own low-impact thing. 3. Fast forward. The music, especially in the first part before the aerobics, reminds me of cinema intermission music. It gets a bit better from the aerobics on. Although Iím not sure when this tape was made (around 1985?), it shows its age a little with moves that are no longer recommended, and I find it necessary to modify a few things. Almost all of the stretches are pulsed; I just hold them for a really good, long stretch. The hamstring stretch (bent forward, head down) could make you dizzy, and I read that stretching this way is no longer advised as it can lead to injury. After the aerobics thereís a couple of minutes of this bent-over forward stretching, during which I stretch on the floor. Thereís also a standing move in the upper body section (twisting from side to side to work the waist) that Iím not sure about. I think this is an okay tape for light toning and stretching. I only ever use it during recovery periods when I want to start back gently.

If I didnít already like Jane Fondaís workouts I donít think I would really use it. Look for it in sales or on the Exchange if you like Fondaís style and donít mind modifying. When it was made it was probably the only one of its kind, but nowadays there is a wider choice of safe beginner/ĒgentlerĒ tapes.

Instructor Comments:
Jane cues well (but she doesnít mirror cue) and gives extra form pointers in voice-overs. In this tape she counts a lot (even during the stretches), which I found a bit annoying at first, but I can usually manage to ignore it.

Glynis van Uden


This video, formerly "Jane Fonda's Prime Time Workout", is an excellent class. For those who used to do the earlier workouts, this is a good change of pace, but compared to her newer classes, it's pretty challenging. It's not back-breaking, but offers enough of a challenge to build strength and flexibility. The stretches are pretty good, and the moves are simpler forms of the older workouts. This is an overall good class though. Grade A

Instructor Comments:
Jane is pretty much like she is in the other workouts. She says "don't stretch too far" and she stretches miles long. She simplifies the usual moves from her earlier programs in this class. The class is not easy, despite the name. It is challenging if you really work with it. It may be harder, but the slower pace set by Jane is very helpful and more relaxing.

Michael B.


Music: Varied Instrumental
Length: 50 minutes. 4 minute aerobic warmup, 8 minute ballet-bar legs, 5 minute arms, 3 minute waist, 6 minute aerobics, 3 minute aerobic cooldown, 6 minute stretches, 10 minute abs & buns, 4 minute floor & standing stretches.
Energy Level: Varied
Choreography: Mostly irrelevant but simple where it exists
Production: good

It's very hard to categorize this tape. The aerobics section is quite intense, but even if you include the cooldown routine, it lasts only 9 minutes. The ballet-bar (or chair) exercises for the legs are intense (if you're not a dancer, of course) as are the abs & buns workouts. It helps to be limber: I am (with legs extended straight in front of me, I can rest my head below my knees, rest my elbows on the floor, and hold any part of my feet with my hands---with no discomfort) and I found many of the stretches, especially for the calves and quads, very challenging. If you have trouble standing still without becoming dizzy, then the first sections may be uncomfortable.

I'm not sure who or what this tape is for. The aerobics section has very simple steps, so it would be great for somebody new to aerobics, but it's too brief to have much value and, excepting for the arm & waist sections, the other sections seem aimed at people who are moderately fit. If there were no aerobics section, I'd say it's a great stretch & strengthening tape.

Diane Danielle