Channeling My Inner Jane Fonda

Except without the big hair, leotard and legwarmers, thank goodness.

Once again it has dawned on me that I have not posted anything remotely running related in, well...it's too long to remember. Every time I look at my blog title I feel slightly guilty, like I'm a fraud. Maybe I should temporarily change my title to Faux Marathon Bird?

In a nutshell, there hasn't been a lot of running going on. Not having a training goal or event on my calendar has busted my feeble running groove. I've been finding tons of excuses for not running outside or schlepping myself (and usually A.) over to the YMCA to be a hamster, which has led to not doing anything. Blech.

Recently, in an effort to kick start my exercise mojo, I've gone back to my trusty in-home exercise DVDs. Some may poke fun at these, but over the years they have served their purpose. Starting with aerobics with Jane Fonda back in the late 80s, moving on to Buns of Steel, The Firm, Cindy Crawford, Pilates and a few others I can't recall. Not that I stuck with any of them too consistently, but for short, committed periods here and there they were effective. Say what you will about their cheese factor, it's so convenient to pop a DVD in, whenever I want, and get a work-out done. Here's my 2 cents about the some of the newer ones I have tried:

This is one tough workout, but I really like it. There are 3 different levels of workouts, each about 20 minutes. Jillian uses an interval training system of 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio and 1 minute of abs, which is repeated throughout the workout and keeps things moving. I like that there are three levels to work up to as you get stronger (I've barely made it to Level 2 and Level 3 frightens me). Not that I want Jillian to be my BFF, but she can be a little harsh (if little people are around when you do this DVD, be warned she does say A** once or twice).

I bought these two DVDs a few months ago as well, hoping to get some strength training done to complement my running. Ahem. They have three different levels to work through and you can customize your workout if you want. Both workouts are challenging and incorporate your whole body, some of the exercises use dumbbells. Of these two, I think I like the Boot Camp one better than Power Sculpt because more cardio is incorporated and Bob is just nicer than Jillian.

This week I discovered a new series, at least it's new to me:

I guess Turbo Jam has been been around a while, but I am joining the party a little late. It is a fun kickboxing/dance style workout that also incorporates resistance bands for toning. I ordered my set from Amazon and it came with 5 DVDs, a resistance tube and band. I really like them so far! The cardio party is a lot of fun, the time goes by quickly while you are punching, kicking and of course, sweating. The strength and toning exercises with the band and tube are definitely felt later. Chalene is peppy and encouraging, not cheesy and annoying, which is good.

As with anything else, exercise DVDs can become boring, for your body and your brain. I guess it's good to have a few different ones on your shelf to mix and match or add in walks/runs/bike rides to stave off boredom (so far, that's just my theory). With most of these you can gradually increase your weight or resistance and work through more challenging levels as you get stronger, that's a plus. While no exercise DVD is perfect, it's nice to have them as an option when I need them.

Have you tried any of these DVDs? Do you have a favorite exercise DVD?


  1. Chalene also has a couple of other videos called something like "Chalean (nice play on words) Extreme" that are awesome. Great toning and interval workouts. I have the other ones you mentioned. I really like Turbo Sculpt.

  2. I've seen the ads for Chalean Extreme--it looks like a great workout system. She's so encouraging and her high energy is contagious.

    I like the Turbo Sculpt too, Jillian's personality grates on me a little though.

  3. I own one of the ultimate "cheese factor" videos...It's a step video from the 80's but I actually used it a lot after I had son. I'm so uncoordinated, so having something that I knew the routine to really helped...

    I'll never forget the time I was doing a pregnancy video and the instructor started in with kegal exercises...(how awkward--especially since it didn't look like anyone was doing anything but sitting there) --I should do a post on that! tee hee

    Enjoy your exercise mojo! :)

  4. does reading your post on exercise count as exercise? I'm tired just looking at all these ;)

    wow- I bought a new one a year ago & haven't put it on the old player yet... pitiful!

    You have inspired me to go find it & dust it off!

  5. Patsy: Ha! I don't do these consistently at all--but I'm trying to make using them more of a habit. I certainly go through phases, in between mine get dusty too.

  6. awesome! :) i HAVE done turbo jam!!!

    i have troubles with dvds...i don't know why, but occasionally i end up sitting and just watching..."taking a break." :)

  7. i do love that shred one! you are right about jillian, though. :o)

    I love variety, too. I got out an OLD Biggest Loser dvd the other day, it was great to do something different. I love doing it at home and having the convenience to do them anytime!!


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