I own all of Davina's fitness DVDs (except for the pregnancy one) and have recently started to use them again after a period of inactivity. My favourite of all her previous workouts is 'Super Body', so I knew that it would be a hard act to follow. 'Davina Fit' is structured slightly differently from 'Super Body', in that they have created 4 separate 30-minute workouts, plus a 10 minute 'Yoga Stretch' section which you are encouraged to do at the end of each workout.
This is a Jackie workout. I normally prefer the 'toning' sections with the weights (Mark's) but I enjoyed this one; I can see that Jackie put a lot of thought into changing the routines from the previous ones. She's a very inspiring, motivating instructor and I love the fact that she's not a 20-something dancer type smugly telling you what to do. There is a fair bit of jumping around in this section but as usual Jackie gives you an alternative if you want to take it down a notch or two. Followed by abs and cooldown. I love how Jackie has varied the abs section a little bit just enough to make it more interesting. There's only so much you can do to change a crunch exercise, but the little gimmicks of 'pulling on the ropes' for example keeps it interesting.
Top fit is brilliant, another classic 'Mark' workout. You will need dumbells for this, just like in 'Super Fit'. I used to be a fitness instructor, many years ago, and more of a free weights person than cardio. So Mark made my day with this section by including exercises for all the various upper body muscle groups, including upright row for the upper back (erector spinae), which somehow never seems to get included in these workouts. Hurrah! There are intervals in between to keep your heart rate going, and should you start finding it too easy you could always use a heavier set of dumbells. Followed by some mat exercises (dips, half press-ups and plank raises) and abs.
Unlike its predecessor 'Super Legs' in 'Super Body', Bottom Fit doesn't require dumbells. So you'll be doing a lot of squats, lunges, broken up by intervals. Sounds easy, eh? Well, it's not, because there are so many repetitions that you will be really struggling to complete the sets. Another great workout from Mark, followed by a short mat routine and abs.
The kick fit section is excellent. I like Billy Blank's Tae Bo's workouts so normally I find the kickboxing routines in other DVDs a bit lacking. This one, however, is great because it incorporates more kicking than in previous ones. The abs section at the end is varied and once again Jackie adds a few touches such as punching doing the crunches etc, to keep the 'theme' going and also to prevent you from thinking you've seen it all before in the previous section.
I really like this section. I don't know much about yoga but I have done a few Yoga DVDs (Leah Bracknell and some Ashtanga) and I recognise the poses. Jackie's instruction is very very clear so for once I can follow the moves without finding myself tied into a knot. I really enjoy this addition at the end of the main workouts, it's been a great idea to include it and I can see myself doing it on its own if I'm stressed and just want to have a stretch.
As many people have said in their reviews, the individual workouts do feel a bit short. The fact that they are self-contained with a short warm-up and a short cool-down means that you get to the end of the main section and think 'oh, is that it'? I felt like that at my first attempt, with the Aerobics Fit section. HOWEVER...ALL you need to do to have a longer workout is to combine two sections together, skipping the 'floor' section at the end of the first workout, go to the second workout, do the floor section there and THEN go back to the floor section of workout no.1. Your muscles will have stayed warm, and then once you're on the floor you can do both mat workouts and even double abs. Yes it does sound a bit of a faff but actually it's not, as long as you keep the remote control nearby. I can see why they didn't put in separate warm-ups and cool-down: because PEOPLE WOULD SKIP THEM! And then maybe injure themselves...! So I can't blame them.
Another 'negative' for me is the music. I'm never a fan of the sort of music you hear in workout DVDs but this one is particularly bad. First of all, the Bottom Fit section is RUINED by my least favourite song EVER: "Here come the girls". When the Boots advert is on I have to change the channel, but I can't do that in the middle of a workout. I might have to keep my iPod speakers nearby and mute the TV during this section, because I really can't bear it. The music in all the other section is slightly better but still doesn't seem to really go with the beat of the workout. It's also a bit too quiet in the background.
Well, everything else really. I know some people find Davina annoying, (but why do they buy her workouts then?) but I find her presence inspiring. She's funny, 'normal', unpretentious, and clearly has fun working out, unlike a lot of other celebrities who clearly only do it for the DVD and then put the weight on again. Davina goofes around, pulls funny faces, does funny dances and in the meantime distracts you from the fact that you are working your a**e off! The chemistry between her, Jackie and Mark is fantastic: they clearly all enjoy what they are doing. The banter is nice, you really do feel as if you're working out with a bunch of old friends. I like the fact that Jackie and Mark's personalities are allowed to shine through, instead of having the usual drill seargent barking instructions in the background. I hope that the 3 will carry on making workout DVDs for a long time.
Also on a positive note, the fact that each workout is only 30 minutes really does help if you're in a hurry - you know you'll be done in exactly 30 minutes so you still do something (and they are quite intense anyway) and you can always do 2 back to back the next day.
The routines are perfect if you workout in a small space, as they never make you 'travel' around the room too much (something that a lot of DVD programmes don't seem to take into account, even Billy Blanks is guilty of this).
With all of Davina's DVDs, there are no gimmicks. No Tracy Anderson-style 'here comes the science bit' (recycled from Pilates, yoga etc), just no-nonsense cardio and weights, but put together in such a way that you don't get bored, and delivered with a smile by the best team you can ask for. You won't spend the first 6 workouts trying to learn the moves whilst not even breaking into a sweat. You won't learn the most amazing coreographies, instead you will tone up your backside and burn some fat. I know what I'd rather choose.
All in all, although 'Super Body' still remains my favourite, I'd say 'Davina Fit' deserves 5 stars. Buy it and alternate it with Super Body to keep things mixed and you will really see results very soon.