Everybody Fitness: Total Body Conditioning

Dana Pieper
Year Released: 2012

Categories: Boxing/Kickboxing/Martial Arts , Circuit Training (cardio and weights)

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Full disclosure: I received a free review copy of this workout.

I am a 49-year-old exerciser with two types of arthritis which means that I have senstive hands and wrists and bad knees. Because of this, I often modify moves to be low impact and I don't ever try push ups - I do chest presses or planks instead. All of this affected this workout and I note when I modified in case this helps someone else out.

I read raves about this DVD and wanted to try it. And, I can see the reasons for the raves. She is an excellent workout instructor and the workout is just plain fun. Unfortunately, for me, there are some major flaws to the DVD that balance out the good points some. Some of those flaws include:

> She doesn't mirror cue. It doesn't kill the workout because the moves are athletic and pretty simple. But, it is aggravating. My left side consistently did one less move than the right side because of the lack of mirror cueing.

> Lack of someone on screen doing low-impact moves. There are a couple of low-impact exercisers, but they are not beside or right behind Dana, so they are often off screen. She does often start with the low-impact move and then transition to the higher impact move and that's good. And, they do put text on the screen at points to tell what you can do low impact. I'd still like to SEE someone doing it.

> The DVD is not chaptered. To me, this is the worst of the worst. The workout is just over an hour with multiple segments and you cannot skip forward to a segment. In this day and age, I just cannot imagine why anyone would ever put out an exercise DVD with no chaptering. If you are someone who regularly exercises for more than an hour, it would not be as big of an issues. I have read that she has already been given this feedback and has said that future DVDs she puts out will be chaptered. That is good and may make her workouts usable for me.

The warm up is just plain fun. I was getting into it as a light cardio segment. Then, she does stretches. I never do stretches at the beginning of a workout, but I couldn't skip to the beginning of the next segment because of the lack of chaptering.

The next segment uses a stability ball. She says at the beginning of this segment that the ball is optional. And, I left it out because I just don't enjoy holding something that big during a cardio/AWT workout. I tend to bend forward in my lower back when I do that. However, this segment was fun and I didn't miss it. I could hold a smaller ball, if I wanted increase the intensity. At the end of this segment, she does some moves that are on the ball and so it is necessary then unless you do chest presses on the floor and planks on the edge of a chair like I did. And, of course, I couldn't skip over that part to the next segment.

Next, you hold light weights. I thought this segment was really fun as well, even more so than the stability ball section. She does fun moves with a lot of form pointers and options. The moves seemed fresh and different to me. This segment ends with "progressive push ups". You run in place, drop, do one push up, get back up, run, drop, do 2 push ups, etc. During the part where they did 1-4 push ups, I laid on the floor and did chest presses. During the time they did 4-8 push ups, I ran with them and did planks on the edge of a chair.

The next segment uses heavier weights. she does a fun lunge/squat segment followed up renegade rows and push ups. Then, she does a few moves on the floor. I wish she had kept everything standing. But, if you like moves on the floor, it seemed like a challenging segment.

The last two segments are kickboxing and moves with a band. I did not do those two segments because the workout was just too long for me, even for a lazy Saturday. I really wish I had the option to skip to the band segment.

Some of the things I noticed about this workout were:

> This workout has a LOT of high-impact moves. She stresses over and over that you should do moves at your level. She will begin with a lower-impact move and then take it higher impact (and you have the option of staying with the first move). Once in awhile, she shows a lower impact and/or lower intensity move of an intense move already shown. Most of the time, however, she doesn't. There wasn't much modification being done by the background exercisers. If there was though, it would be hard to see because a lot of time people weren't on the screen. They would show only the people right behind Dana on the screen much of the time. I think it would help in future workouts, if there was more leadership on modifications shown.

> She is so very motivating. I really like her as an instructor. She's real and her background exercisers are real. She is motivating and she kept me with her for most of a long workout. And, she constantly encourages you to do whatever is your level. It's all good with her and that's motivating to me.

> The pace of the workout is good. It's ambitious, but I would not describe it as too fast. And, moves just flow from one to the next, so I just kept going because it all flowed so well.

> The music is standard techno-beat music. However, it fit the workout well. I found it motivating when I noticed it.

Overall, this is a really good workout for me, except that it is long with no chaptering. That makes it less usable than it should have been. I am really glad that Dana decided to make workout DVDs. She is a fresh new presence in the workout DVD market and brings motivation and good workouts to those who enjoy workout out at home. Overall, I like this workout. But, I wonder how often I will do it. Most of the time, I do shorter workouts because of time constraints before work.

Laura S.


This is a nonstop 67 minute athletic cardio & sculpt workout. Dana leads this in a gym w/ a group of background exercisers. You will need dumbbells, a stability ball, and tubing for this workout. Dana offers modification options.

After a warmup & stretch you move into a standing strength segment utilizing the stability ball- exercises include football run, jacks, 1/4 turn hops, & ball squats & dips. Dumbbell work is next: dips, squats, tri extension, pulse pliets w/ fast bi work, hop & shuffle, burpee- pushup-shuffle, renegade rows, crab kicks, & weighted V twists. A kickboxing segment follows (punches, kicks, shuffles, knee pulls) and then tubing work: fire walker, bi curls, football shuffle, plyo lunge, 180 hops. The workout concludes with floor core work & a stretch.

This is a hi intermediate/low advanced workout. Lots of variety and a hi fun factor. The work is faster paced so I used 8-10# weights. Dana really keeps things moving along, no wasted time here! She is an excellent instructor and provides great cuing & form pointers. This is a great high energy with a real live class feel. I really like Dana and the upbeat energy this workout left me with. I received this dvd to review.



I received this workout as a free copy to review. Like Dana's kickboxing workout, this workout is also set in an indoor gym; the camera angles are good and the music is very energetic. Dana uses a stability ball during the warm-up, holding it overhead while we do the following moves: squats; fast feet; jogs or marching (your choice); front crunches; side crunches; more jacks or jogs; side lunges; step-touches, hamstring curls, and skaters -- these last moves are all done while moving the ball in a “figure 8” motion.

With the warm-up over, we put the ball on the floor and do planks and crunches on the ball. I was glad to get the core work over and done with! Next, we put the ball away and grab our weights for squats and reverse lunges. Dana gets the upper body involved by adding front arm raises, side arm raises, rotator cuff moves, and tricep kickbacks. Everyone in her class looks like they’re getting tired; I’m glad I’m not the only one!! After a quick drink of water, everyone comes back for plie squats with arm raises, then squats with reverse lunges. The next move was something Dana called “progressive push-ups” which were suspiciously like burpees. I wasn’t crazy about these. Then we did side-to-side shuffles with a floor touch at the end of each shuffle. Picking up heavier weights, we move to squats with knee lifts, to which we add lateral pulls and pulses, then alternating lateral pulls with tricep kickbacks. Then it's back to the mat for more pushups, seated crunches, and oblique twists (guess we WEREN'T done with the core work!) We return to standing for single weight presses overhead, put the weights down for some kickboxing, then pick up tubing for side steps and overhead arm stretches. Finally it's back to the mat for crunches, then a nice stretch!

While I am not a big fan of using a bunch of different equipment, it didn’t bother me that she mixed the workout up with the stability ball, dumbbells, and tubing. I am also not a fan of standing, then sitting, then standing, etc. There was some of that in this workout, but not enough for me to hate it.

Instructor Comments:
I really liked the energy of this workout, and Dana has a really terrific personality. Unfortunately, she does not mirror cue – it always bothers me when an instructor doesn’t mirror cue, but I guess I can get over it.

Debbie J