Transform Your Body with Brooke Burke, Strengthen and Condition

Brooke Burke, Greg Joujon-Roche
Year Released: 2012

Categories: Abs/Core , Lower Body Strength , Upper Body Strength

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I usually avoid celebrity workouts, but after reading some reviews of this one, I though it might work for me. It features entertainer Brooke Burke--who admittedly has an amazing body, even after FOUR children--working out with personal trainer Greg Joujon-Roche. The DVD has some nice features, as there are three separate workouts (for lower body, upper body, and core) of approximately 15 minutes each, and a customizable feature allowing you to create your own workout

Brooke and Greg work out in a nice, open-air building with exposed brick which looks onto a patio. The music is upbeat but not obtrusive; however, the DVD also offers a music-off option. I have provided a brief overview of each segment below.

WARM-UP (4.5 minutes)
Brooke leads this segment. It consists solely of static stretches with NO aerobic/dynamic warm-up, which is completely contra-indicated by modern exercise theory. The stretches WOULD be nice as a cool-down; they include neck stretches, shoulder rolls, forward hang, inner thigh stretch, hamstring stretch, and quad stretch.

For the strength portion, Greg leads, sometimes exercising along with Brooke, sometimes simply directing her. All exercises are performed in 1 minute drills (or 30 seconds per side). Greg and Brooke begin with unweighted (body weight only) moves and then use dumbbells; Brooke states that she is using 2-lb. weights.

LOWER BODY (15.5 minutes)
The unweighted moves include a back cross lunge, lunge to toe tap, back lunge to hop, squat swimmers, squat hops, and squat lunges (aka around the world lunges). They use dumbbells for one move only in this workout: v-ups, a sort of a wide-legged deadlift. They then return to unweighted moves for reverse snap kick lunge, down dog kickbacks (Brooke takes off her shoes for these), and two moves on all fours, bent knee lifts and hydrants.

UPPER BODY (18 minutes)
Greg and Brooke again start with an unweighted exercise, here with a boxing move. Next comes an outside bicep curl to a military press and then a plie with alternating front raise. A "triple scoop" further works the shoulders, and then Brooke and Greg drop to their knees. From this position, they perform chest flys, shoulder pulses, triceps kickbacks (on hands and knees), another set of shoulder pulses, and "salt and pepper" (an elevated bicep curl). Greg then has Brooke come down to the floor for "down dog" (actually UP dog) moving into standing forward bend. They finish with triceps dips and presses and a plank move called the Brazilian twist.

CORE (16 minutes)
The majority of this workout consists of traditional crunches. Moves include "roll-ups" (upper body crunches), reverse crunch, dead bug, reverse bicycle, lower abs squeeze, ballerina scissors, and wide leg rope pull. Next comes several plank moves, including a held elbow plank and a rotating plank. Then Greg has Brooke return to her back for a few final exercises, including see-saw, accordion crunch, and oblique choppers, a pulsing move.

COOL-DOWN (2.5 minutes)
This was an odd section, as it was basically a shortened version of the warm-up: Brooke runs through almost the exact same static stretches. However, she skips most of the lower body stretches and adds down dog with a calf stretch at the end.

Overall, I found this DVD to be disappointing. For one thing, given the supposed strength/toning focus, I had expected more weights work, so I was disappointed that the dumbbells were so under-utilized, especially in the lower body workout. I did find Brooke to be generally likeable--she comes across as fairly real, even taking breaks at times--yet she can also be annoying, constantly repeating the phrase "one minute of madness!" In addition, she simply does not seem very knowledgeable about exercise--this is most typified by the fact that she includes static stretches in the warm-up prior to properly preparing the body. The shorter workout segments on this DVD are nice, and I can certainly see how it would appeal to some, but overall, I don't recommend it.

Instructor Comments:
As noted above, I actually found Brooke herself to be fairly likeable in this workout. She takes breaks at times, which I appreciated--I needed those breaks too! And I didn't find her to be overly deferential to Greg, which I think some people complained about on the forum. However, I don't think I'd be likely to try another workout with her.

Beth C (aka toaster)