Everybody Fitness: Exercise Your Options

Dana Pieper
Year Released: 2013

Categories: Abs/Core , Circuit Training (cardio and weights) , Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance , Total Body Workouts

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I wrote several posts reviewing the workouts on Dana Pieper's Exercise Your Options DVD one at a time. Those posts are below. Hopefully, they will give the info needed for you to know if you would like this DVD...


OK. I did one segment of Dana Pieper's new DVD today and I thought I'd post thoughts and info as I went rather than waiting to write one big review.

The main menu has these options:

Warm up
Concentrated Core (20 minutes)
Simply Strength (30 minutes)
Cardio Quick Fix (40 minutes)
Interval Tube Conditioning (50 minutes)

You choose what you want from the menu. I saw someone asking if it's easy to skip the tubing section. Yes, don't choose it from the menu.

In the introduction, she gives an overview of the DVD. In it, she points out the warm up and suggests that you do it before any of the segments so that your body is ready for the workout. She also states that she will be giving directions, "left" and "right", which are HER "left" and "right". And, I thought, "Uh oh." That's one of the things that drove me NUTS in her first two workouts. However, it wasn't a problem in the segment I did because she seemed to have decided that instead of using those terms, she would use terms like "this direction", "that direction", "this leg", "that arm", etc. She only slipped twice and used the word "right". Once, it looked like she realized it and so she gestured with her chin in the direction she was going (which made it flow with no problem for me) and in the other she cued as she did the move and I just had a couple seconds of adjusting.

I did the Simply Strong segment. My rotation called for a high rep workout and I figured this would fall into that category (and it did). The workout lasts just over 30 minutes. In the first half (around 16 minutes), you use one heavy weight. My understanding was that I needed to choose one heavy light weight rather than a weight I'd actually use in a heavy strength workout. I used 10 pounds for most of this section and dropped to 8 with a couple of moves. The second half is using a set of light weights. I used 5 pounds until the end when she was frying my arms and shoulders and I dropped to 3 pounds. There are a LOT of compound moves in this segment. She usually would get started with the lower body and then add in the upper body.

There is one chapter point in this segment, at the 50% mark. At that point in the workout, words appear on the screen that tell you that you are 50% done and that is where the chapter point is. It falls almost at the end of the segment with the one high weight before you transition to the two light weights. It would be difficult to do more because she does a set of moves, does something else, and then comes back and does the other side. And, it's not always done in a set pattern. So, if I were to choose one or two logical places to chapter, this would be the one I would choose. A lot of the chaptering that should have happened in the first workouts has been accomplished on this DVD by her breaking up the different segments into menu options you can chose one at a time. I'll be interested to see how the rest of the segments are chaptered.

At the end, I was totally sweaty and smiling. I thought it was a fun workout and the time just flew. I'd rate it intermediate.

I'll post more info on the other segments as I do them.


This morning, I did the Interval Tube Conditioning workout. It uses tubing and includes both cardio and strength moves. It seemed to be more of a conditioning workout than pure strength building. She uses the tubing in many different ways - you hold it at different lengths, you stand on it, you lay it on the floor and do moves along and over it, you have it behind your back while doing push ups. The workout moved at a pretty good clip, but I didn't have much trouble keeping up with the set up of the band. She was very descriptive and gave time for the set-up of the band.

The workout is actually 50 minutes plus. I quit at the 51 minute mark as she moved into a last set of planks/push ups. The workout is actually 53-54 minutes long. She uses the relative references as she did in the strengh workout giving directions like "this way", "the other side", "this leg", etc. She did a lot of gesturing with her chin and hands. She only actually used the term "right" once or twice.

There are messages that appear on the screen at the 25%, 50%, and 75% marks of the workout. And, there are chapter points at each of those moments. They don't really correlate to anything in the workout (they're not starting a significant new section), but it would let you jump into a later part of the workout.

For people with joint issues, there are some things to keep in mind. There is a LOT of high impact. However, she always either starts with the low-impact version and then goes high impact or she tells you what the low-impact option is. There are a couple of modifiers who do low impact. Unfortunately, they are at the back and sides of the group of exercisers, so they aren't always on the screen, but you can usually see one of them. There are quite a few squats and lunges. There are also a lot of moves where your body weight is supported on your hands. I found ways to modify in most of these cases (chest presses instead of push ups, bridge lifts instead of tricep dips on the floor, etc.). They usually do not show modifications to these moves, so you're on your own with these. It is mostly a standing workout, although you do go to the floor in two segments (I think it's two).

I absolutely LOVE band workouts, so I thought I would LOVE this workout. Rather, I liked it the first time I did it. I did start with a medium tension band and dropped to a lighter tension and did better with it. I look forward to trying it again and seeing how I like it when I'm not figuring out modifications as much.

I also took a look at the core section. It is 20 minutes, give or take. There is 4 minutes of standing work. Then, she moves into plank work. At the halfway point (give or take), she moves info floor work.

I'm not really into core workouts, so I did the first four minutes and then watched some of the rest of it to get a feel for it.


I did the cardio workout - well, most of it - this morning. This is the last section of the DVD that I haven't done so far. It last about 40 minutes and almost all of it is high impact with low-impact options given. It is a cardio workout that I probably wouldn't buy on its own because there are just too many cardio workouts I prefer. But, it is a good option for me on this DVD that has so many options.

Like I said, it's almost all high impact, but she is very deliberate about giving low-impact options throughout the workout and presenting them as a perfectly viable option. Many times, she starts with the low-impact option and then morphs into the high-impact version. When she starts with the high-impact move, she will quickly show the lower-impact option once people get going. In several places, she will say something like:

Walking people/low-imapct people will look like this. (And, she'll do the move.) Running people/high-impact people will look like this (And, she'll do the move.)

And, since most of the low-impact moves just require you to keep your feet on the ground rather than lifting them, it's not a hard workout to modify. There are two lower-impact modifiers. The first is the the older guy on the right side of the screen and he is almost all low impact. Once in awhile he will shuffle instead of walking. I found myself following him a lot because he is on the screen a lot and I wanted to do the options he was doing. He's not the best at keeping the beat and once in awhile got a little off the beat, but he was having such a good time and it didn't happen too often that I just rolled with it. The other low-impact modifier is the woman on the far left side of the screen in the back row. She would sometimes to higher-impact moves (like jumping jacks) and often stick with the lower-impact options. She wasn't on the screen as much as the guy and it was good they were on opposite sides of the room because usually one of them was on the screen.

The moves are athletic rather than dancey and range from quick and shallow lunges and squats to boxing/kicking moves to various types of shuffles to running/walking in place to jumps/side steps, etc. I really like how she puts moves together and thought the workout was more fun than most high-impact workouts like this one. The moves got my heart rate up and kept it threre. It's not a killer workout, but a steady-state cardio workout that is designed to keep you breathing hard. Remember, I did the low-impact options, so I did NOT explore how hard the workout could be.

And, she just seems to have a blast in this workout. To me, there was nothing scripted about her exclaiming how much fun she was having (just once in awhile). I really like her as an instructor. She's genuine. She motivates you to work out hard, but lets you decide what "hard" is for you and encourages you to exercise at your own level.

Don't ask me about the music; I remember NOTHING about it. That should tell you something. The workout is set in a gym and it's a good basic set.

Instructor Comments:
She is enthusiastic and encouraging and seems committed to everyone getting a good workout for them.

Laura S.