Buff Brides: Count Down to Gown

Mia Caress
Year Released: 2006

Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance , Total Body Workouts

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I probably shouldn’t review this one since I didn’t make it all the way through except for previewing. I checked it out from the library and decided to return it right away. This is a beginner video with an even more beginner modifier. It would have been nice if they had shown an intermediate modifying background exerciser since I’m guessing a lot of soon-to-be brides could handle that challenge (perhaps I don’t know this market very well?). I should clarify: beginner videos are great. I have a lot of them in my collection and have relied on them many times. But this one was lackluster at best. A good beginner video like Abs Diet 1 is still a challenge, is interesting to do, and also leaves room to grow.

I think the marketing is what bothered me the most. Calling this a “high energy, fat-burning cardio program” is missing the mark. Marketing this to brides may be missing the mark, as is any indication this will get you buff. I have not seen the TV show to know how this compares.

The video has a cardio section, an upper body section (that has lower body in it) and a lower body section (that has upper body in it). The cardio is mostly variations on marches, grapevines, and side to sides. It is similar in intensity but not length to a Leslie Sansone. The modifier doesn’t use her arms. Why do we need that shown? Why not just say you don’t have to use your arms or you don't have to kick so high and put that woman to better use by having her show a little more intensity?

My big problem with the weights section is that, well I have two problems. The women use little tiny weights and not in a “Karen Voight uses tiny weights in Great Weighted Workout but boy is it a killer anyway!” kind of a way. No, just tiny weights. And you go through the exercises too quickly to change weights even though the bigger muscle groups worked clearly need more of a challenge. They’re using something like 3-5 #’s on dumbbell rows.

Early on, the instructor Mia got confused and called squats “crunches.” I figured one time is okay but she did it again before correcting herself and later also called bicep curls “crunches” as well before correcting herself. She was off the beat once or twice that I noticed.

Occasionally she’ll suggest a more intense variation on an exercise and then quickly add “just kidding!” Why just kidding? Cannot women handle medium or heavy-sized weights, more difficult choreography, or more intense cardio? Mia also has that annoying knack of saying everything is much harder than it is. Everything is amazing and fantastic and her heart rate sure is up there! She’ll groan throughout or say “oh no, we still have to do the other side!” Normally I don’t mind that talk too much, but here it is quite an exaggeration, considering the marketing and their target audience.

Music is generic and repetitive. The set is an empty room with brick walls and a strange, back-lit hanging umbrella display, because that just screams fitness.

The “Buff Bonus” segment is a waste. It has a 10 tips section that includes such great bits of wisdom as “be sure to make time for fitness,” “have a positive attitude,” and “be committed.” Sigh.

Instructor Comments:
Well, she's energetic and she believes in what's she's doing.