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30 Minutes to Fitness: Circuit Burn With Kelly [DVD] [2011] [US Import]
30 Minutes to Fitness: Circuit Burn With Kelly [DVD] [2011] [US Import]
Dvd ~ Kelly Coffey-Meyer
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £12.60

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great workout. I'll definitely be buying more DVDs by Kelly., 18 Jun 2013
This is the first Kelly Coffey-Meyer DVD I've ever bought, and I did so on the basis of the rave reviews all her DVDs get. I've done it this morning for the first time, and I must say I love the concept: the DVD has got 2 x 30-minute workouts, which you can do on their own or back to back. In addition, though, and this is the real novelty for me, there are 10 different premixes depending on what you want to work out: legs, cardio, boxing, a bit of everything, etc. These mixes range between approximately 30 and 60 minutes, with a couple of 40-minute options in-between. This is definitely great value for money: for the prize of one DVD you've got a very wide range of workouts almost tailor-made to suit your needs, and it is very unlikely you will ever get bored, for the combinations are almost endless (you can always combine 2 or 3 premixes, for example, although to do this you would need to get back to the pre-mix menu).

There is also a 5-minute abs section at the end that is not part of any premix, which means that you have to tag it at the end of your workout (I don't see this as a problem, personally). Don't let the shortness of this workout fool you, for it is an absolute killer. Oh my. I had pins and needles in my abdominal region within one hour of doing the workout this morning, and my abs are not particularly weak. Rather, the opposite is probably the case.

As for Kelly, she comes across as very nice, not at all cheesy, encouraging, matter-of-fact and extremely fit. The ladies in the studio all look like ordinary people with varying shapes and sizes and different levels of fitness, which helps get the message across: this is a workout anyone can do no matter what their fitness level is.

Billy Blanks' Cardio Inferno [DVD]
Billy Blanks' Cardio Inferno [DVD]
Dvd ~ Billy Blanks
Offered by Online4DVDs
Price: £19.95

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sorry, Billy, but this is not your best one..., 31 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have a number of Tae Bo DVDs by Billy Blanks, both old and new, and I can honestly say this is by far the most uninspiring one. Let me put it this way: the workout itself is OK for beginners and lower intermediate exercisers, with the usual kicks and punches, but there are a number of things which have prevented me from giving it more than 2 stars, and I have given it a few tries before publishing this review, but it doesn't get any better; rather, the opposite is the case. My main complaint is that the DVD does not live up to its title, for an inferno it is not, but there are also some other things I dislike about it:

1) As usual, Billy fails to train both sides evenly. I know, I know, this is one of the most frequent gripes about Billy's workouts, but one would have thought that he would have got it right by now. Not the case.

2) Billy explains each move very clearly before jumping onto the cardio bit; he makes you perform it at a slow pace so that you get it right and then gets you to do it double-time. That would be a very good thing were it not that you spend more time doing the move slowly than double-time, which is, to say the least, a bit of a paradox considering the title of this DVD!!

3) From minute 30 onwards, Billy starts preaching and prattling about you being your own boss, being in control of your body and your workout, etc, and I have to start fast-forwarding or, alternatively, running in place to keep my heart rate up. Seriously, at one stage he goes on and on for almost 2 minutes!! Talk about getting carried away...

4) Around minute 45, after all this preaching, and when you're seriously craving some real challenge that will send your heart rate up even if for only the final 10 minutes, he starts with the stretches, and by minute 50, it's all over. Therefore, the 67-minute claim must be if you count the tutorial, which seasoned exercisers like me will only bother watching once, if at all.

All in all, I can only do this supposed "cardio inferno" on very light days, and even then I can't help feeling that I haven't had a real workout at all, as it never really takes off, to put it mildly. I'm sorry to say this DVD appears to have been put together in a rushed and improvised manner, and it will definitely go to the bottom of my rotation.

Having said this, please do not hesitate to try some of the new Tae Bo releases, such as "This is Tae Bo", "Tae Bo Extreme" or "Tae Bo Express", which are all really good.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 25, 2013 6:23 PM BST

Spanish cooking recipes in the Thermomix. Way of St. James
Spanish cooking recipes in the Thermomix. Way of St. James
Price: £1.35

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I agree with one of the previous reviewers. How can such a horrendous translation have been accepted by a publisher? Either this has been self-edited, or the proof-reader didn't do his/her job properly, but some of the passages are written in such abysmal English that they are almost hilarious. Absolutely dreadful, and such a shame as Thermomix is a wonderful gadget and it neither deserves nor needs such poor-quality reference material.

And, please note, this review has been written by a Spaniard, which comes to show not all of us are poor speakers of English.

Tae Bo Ripped Extreme [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Tae Bo Ripped Extreme [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Billy Blanks
Offered by supermart_usa
Price: £5.57

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TRULY EXTREME, 9 Mar 2013
Having been a Billy Blanks fan for a long time, I have purchased a few of his most recent releases, and I must say this workout is one of the hardest. It is also better than other workouts of his for two reasons: 1) both sides are exercised evenly, a major gripe with some of Billy's older, "live" workouts, and 2) he doesn't stand around preaching and giving you pep talks when you just want to get on with it, as happens on a couple of occasions in some of his newer releases, particularly Cardio Inferno (read my review about that one to see what I mean).

Ripped Extreme is almost an hour long; after a quick and active warm-up, you start with the usual punches, hooks, uppercuts, kicks, etc, and you gradually build up to a sweat. I found myself starting to get tired 20 minutes into the workout, and it's all the way up from there, so have a good bottle of water by your side, because you're definitely going to need it.

Approximately on minute 30, the weights section starts, which is a bit of a novelty with Billy, and it takes another 20 minutes to complete. Beware if you're used to working out with weights, because you will probably find you have to use lighter ones: I normally use 3-5kg, and I can't use anything heavier than 2kg for this workout; the reason for this is that Billy performs the moves quickly, pump-style, and it is not possible to maintain proper form if you use your usual, possibly heavier, weight.

The last 10 minutes are a sort of extended, active cool-down in which you perform balance exercises, push-ups and other exercises, this time without the weights. The idea is to gradually bring your heart rate down whilst still making you work out.

All in all, a very well-balanced workout incorporating weights which will leave you feeling that you have definitely taken your strength and stamina to higher levels and, if you're like me, completely drenched in sweat. However, there is no "dread factor", as it is also good fun; Billy and his gang are, as usual, nice and encouraging; you end up feeling so good about what you've accomplished that you feel motivated to get back to it again.

Definitely one to keep in your rotation. Well done once again, Billy!

Tae Bo Express [DVD] [2012] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Tae Bo Express [DVD] [2012] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Billy Blanks
Offered by supermart_usa
Price: £5.97

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD FOR ADVANCED TAE BO FANS, 8 Dec 2012
I like this DVD: it works you hard, and I find myself drenched in sweat after completing about 4 o 5 of the workouts. Having said this, I have a few gripes about the way the DVD has been put together, and this is the reason why I have given it 4 stars instead of 5:

1) The workouts are not listed coherently. Let me explain: the first workout, which actually comes 3rd in the list, is "Fast Footwork", which is intended as a sort of warm-up. Fair enough, but why put it third, then? The rest of the workouts also come in random order, so if you wanted to do them following the sequence in which they were filmed, you would have to look at the amount of sweat on Billy's t-shirt to put the jigsaw together which, to be honest, I'm not going to bother doing...!

2) The DVD is not customizable: when I finish a workout, I have to return to the main menu and choose a different one, and so on, which somehow breaks the rhythm altogether.

3)There is no separate warm-up and cool-down section, which would have been very useful, as workouts build up fairly quickly (they're only 10 minutes each, remember) and finish off even more quickly. Billy gives a short motivational talk at the end of almost every workout which, the way I see it, could have been spared and replaced by a couple of minutes of real stretching.

To sum it all up, therefore: a very good workout which will leave you thoroughly drenched in sweat if you're a die-hard tae-bo fan. However, I can't help having the feeling that it could have been put together in a less rushed manner so that the end product was a much better-produced one.

Gilad: Step & Tone [DVD] [US Import]
Gilad: Step & Tone [DVD] [US Import]
Dvd ~ Gilad Janklowicz
Offered by Books2anywhereUS
Price: £5.65

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC WORKOUT., 7 Oct 2012
As a 41-year-old, full-time working mother of 3, you may imagine I can't even think of hitting the gym so, over the last 12 years, I have piled on workout DVDs, a treadmill, an elliptical bike and a step; of these, the step was the only item I wasn't using, and I workout every day of the week for an hour in the morning. For some reason, though, there didn't seem to be any suitable step DVDs in the market any more, until I came across Gilad's Step Aerobics Gilad: Step Aerobics [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]; I must admit I was initially a bit reluctant because of the old-fashioned clothing and the early-90s atmosphere, but I decided to give it a go and, boy, I'm glad I did! That was a thorough, 60-minute workout, with simple, logical choreographies, a feel-good factor from beginning to end and challenging enough to make me sweat, although without leaving me totally exhausted. I soon decided to get another one of his step workouts and I purchased this one, wanting to place more emphasis on my upper body.

I must say, this workout is even better than Step Aerobics, which is very good itself. The only downside is that you need about 70 minutes to complete the whole thing but, if you've got the time, it is a serious workout. If you don't, since the DVD is divided into chapters, you can always pick the sections you want, and the warm-up and cool-down are separate, which for me is a plus.

The DVD is divided into the following sections:

1) Warm-up: 8 minutes, but very effective, cardiovascular and also focusing on stretching key muscles. One of the things that modern workout DVDs seem to have lost over time is this thoroughness when warming up. Things have become more rushed, probably due to customer demands, and warm-ups have definitely got shorter and worse. Not the case here at all.

2) Upper body: This is in turn divided into several sub-sections, which you can also select at will: biceps, shoulders, back, triceps. Each section is short enough not to get boring, and long enough to leave you feeling thoroughly worked out. The choreographies are easy to follow, logical and repeated several times, so even someone with two left feet like me doesn't find it at all difficult to master them, even the first time around. This is the longest section on the DVD, lasting about 30 minuts.

3) Lower body: this is lower-body toning (no cardio here), also very effective and focusing on the thighs, buttocks and calves. Although not overly strenuous, it has made me remember some muscles (particularly calves) which, I can see it now, had been a bit neglected for some time. This section lasts for about 15-20 minutes

4)Abs: a shorter section focusing on the abs (about 8 minutes). As with Step Aerobics, I felt it was short, but to the point. Gilad tends to super-set his ab moves, and you feel the burn very quickly, which is good.

5) Cool-down: This is short compared to the long warm-up, but if you consider that there is already a cardio-based cool-down at the end of the upper body section, and that the lower body and abs sections are toning and no cardio, a longer section here would have felt superfluous, so this is just right.

I'm pretty sure I will be using more of Gilad's workouts in the future. He's nice, pleasant, encouraging and makes you work hard without leaving you feeling as though you're being punished. There are days when I need Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper, and there are days when I need Gilad. If you have a step sitting at the back of your cupboard, put it to good use and get back into this very effective form of exercise.

Total Body Transformation [DVD] [2011] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Total Body Transformation [DVD] [2011] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Bob Harper
Offered by supermart_usa
Price: £5.58

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PLEASANT PAIN..., 27 Jun 2012
I bought this alongside 2 of Harper's Inside Out DVDs (the strength and the cardio ones). Having watched the three of them, I decided to go for this one, as it looked slightly easier and I'm just out of an ankle injury. Boy, was I wrong! 15 minutes into the workout, with lots of kettlebell-style arm-swing combos and I'm having lots of fun, but I've only just broken into a sweat. Not bad for the first time with this trainer, I think. Just then the fun comes to an end, as Bob starts with plyometric squats, jumps, round-the-world push-ups (OMG!!), side planks, side burpees, dive bombers and all the rest, which another reviewer has already described in detail, so I won't mention them all again. Needless to say sweat starts to drip off onto the carpet and doesn't stop until 10 minutes from the end.

One very good thing about this workout is that, just when you think you can't take it any more, you get that little break, which can be a run in place or a series of jumping jacks, for example; theoretically not much of a break, but then, you've just been pushed to your limits. These little active breaks keep you motivated, as they give you a respite without ever having you stop moving, and they take your heartrate and your breathing down one or two notches, which is a welcome relief. But make no mistake: things don't let up until the last 15 minutes, when you go down to the floor (pheeeww[...] and then start a short but extremely intense series for the bum. After that comes the long-awaited cooldown and stretch, which by that stage you are really looking forward to, of course.

This is a really work-you-hard DVD, suitable for intermediate exercisers upwards; you can modify some of the moves if you are not feeling up to it, or just do fewer reps and build it up from there. My arms in particular feel shaky 45 minutes after completing the workout for the first time this morning, with that nice dull ache which will most probably have developed into full-blown pins and needles by this afternoon. My thighs, which I've always believed to be stronger than my arms, are also aching, and my planned run for tomorrow may have to be a brisk walk or just a light aerobics workout. But, all in all, I feel great, refreshed, energetic, strong, and that's what a workout should accomplish afer having pushed you to your limits in a good way.

I know for a fact this is not going to be my last Bob Harper DVD and, as soon as I feel more confident with this workout, I will move on to the Inside Out series. I'm already looking forward to it.

TeckNet@ Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Leather Cover/Case With Built-in Magnet for Sleep/Wake Feature + Screen Protector - Black
TeckNet@ Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Leather Cover/Case With Built-in Magnet for Sleep/Wake Feature + Screen Protector - Black
Offered by TECKNET
Price: £9.98

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great product at a better price., 1 Jun 2012
I bought this case after shopping around a bit, as most other cases, leather-made, seemed to be way too expensive for what I wanted. It is obvious that a sturdy case is almost essential for your Kindle, as it enables you to read much more comfortably, but I couldn't help thinking that most cases were a bit overpriced or, if you want, they were too fancy. So, as you can imagine, when I saw this product I decided to give it a go. If, in the worst case scenario, it wasn't what I needed, I could always return it or, whatever the case, it wouldn't have cost an eye and a leg.

I must say the case is just perfect. It fits the new Kindle snugly and it protects it in case of an accidental fall. It makes the act of reading just as comfortable as holding a book (more so, as the Kindle is so light), and it is not expensive. Of course, if you are looking for luxury, then this is not your product. If you are more practical-minded, though, this case is just it.

10 Minute Solution - Ultimate Boot Camp [DVD]
10 Minute Solution - Ultimate Boot Camp [DVD]
Dvd ~ Andrea Ambandos
Offered by BTR Direct Ltd
Price: £4.75

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING WORKOUT - NOT FOR THE FAINT-HEARTED, 28 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have just completed the workout, which I bought alongside Carb & Calorie Burner 10 Minute Solution - Carb And Calorie Burner [DVD] and Ultimate Kettlebell 10 Minute Solution - Ultimate Kettleball Fat Burner [DVD] [2008](both of them already reviewed). Had I not had a shower yet, I would still be dripping with sweat. This is an amazing workout, which will leave you feeling all your muscles if you tackle the five sections back to back, as I've just done. The instructor is friendly, encouraging, not at all patronising, and cues well, although a couple of the moves will take another two or three workouts to master, at least for me. Let me review the sections one by one:

- Fat Fighting Skills and Drills: as in all 10-Minute Solution workouts I've seen so far, this is intended as a sort of extended warm-up and prepares you for what lies ahead, although it can also be used as a workout on its own if you're pressed for time or don't have the stamina to go on for longer that day. But, be warned, this IS intense, with a lot of jumping around. By the time I've finished this one, I was already huffing and puffing slightly, a good sign as to what the rest of the DVD had to offer.

- Ultimate Upper Body: I've used 3 and 4 kg dumbbells with this one (the latter just for a pec exercise which called for a heavier weight); this is about 1 kg below my usual weight, but having watched the DVD in advance I decided I would settle for less and see how I went. Wow, was I dripping with sweat by the end of it, and were my biceps and triceps sore! I would advise not to up the weights on the first couple of occasions you do this workout and focus on form instead. Definitely intense and to the point.

- Ultimate Lower Body: no weights involved in this one, but also fairly intense. I've got quite strong legs, so I haven't ended up exhausted, but I can definitely feel my quadriceps as I type this. Once again, no-nonsense and straight to the point.

- Ultimate Total Body: This is your typical bootcamp circuit, and it definitely ups the intensity and leaves you feeling all your upper AND lower body muscles just in case you were not feeling them already. I was totally drenched in sweat and puffing by the time I got here.

- Six-Pack Ab: This definitely takes things up a couple of notches! This has to be one of the most effective short ab workouts I've seen in a long time. Only Billy Blanks leaves me aching like this. If you have back problems, beware, as there are lots of leg raises and full sit-ups which will push you to the limit. As with the rest of the workouts, though, the instructor gives you some hints as to how to take the intensity down or modify the moves to adapt them to your present level of fitness.

All in all, an excellent DVD workout which I will definitely include in my rotation. It's tough, not for absolute beginners, I'd dare say, but if I can master it, I believe anyone can. I'm a 41-year-old mother of three and, although I'm reasonably strong, I've never been particularly flexible or agile, so if you have the will, you'll definitely master it. Give it a go.

10 Minute Solution - Carb And Calorie Burner [DVD]
10 Minute Solution - Carb And Calorie Burner [DVD]
Dvd ~ 10 Minute Solution
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £6.82

Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have done this workout for the first time this morning, after having purchased it alongside 10-Minute Ultimate Bootcamp (which I haven't tried yet) and 10-Minute Kettlebell Fat Burner, which I liked a lot (see my review for that one).

I own a lot of Billy Blanks, The Firm and Jillian Michaels DVDs, and I wanted these 10-Minute Solution ones to add some additional variety to my rotation. I like the 10-Minute concept, as I believe that, whilst 10 minutes is not enough to build up your fitness to a significant extent, this approach will probably encourage you to increase your exercise time and you'll end up doing more than you had bargained for in the first place, which is of course positive.

Having said this, I must admit I have not liked this workout as much as the 10-Minute Solution Kettlebell one. The instructor is good, encouraging, explains every move carefully and generally does her job well. No problem there. As for the 5 workouts, which I have done back to back, I do believe they are not for the intermediate exerciser upwards; I only started breaking a sweat towards the end of the third workout which, I promise, is quite unusual for me. The first workout felt like just a light warm-up; the second one, kickboxing-based, was OK, but too much time was devoted to explaining the technique and, even those who have not tried kickboxing before will have probably mastered the moves by the third or fourth time they do it anyway, so all these explanations will become superfluous. The third workout comes with a warning from the instructor that intensity is going to be taken up a couple of notches: half a notch would be more like it. True, there are some intervals and they are performed at a higher speed, but the breaks in-between managed to bring down my just-so-slightly-accelerated heartrate very quickly for me to feel they were really effective. The fourth workout is bootcamp-based and, while it is performed more slowly, it is a bit more intense than the previous ones - just. As for the last workout, which is performed with weights, it's a nice addition to the whole lot, but the weights used by the instructor looked ridiculously light considering the low amount of reps involved, so I had to resort to my 4 kilo interchangeable dumbbells (a bit burdensome, I must admit) for me to feel the burn.

This workout will be useful for a beginner/lower-intermediate exerciser; someone who has got a lot of weight to lose; a new mum returning to exercise after a 9-month pregnancy; or anybody returning to exercise after a long spell, for that matter. However, chances are the workout will be quickly outgrown by most, so this is why I give it only 3 stars. I tend to rate workouts by how long it takes me to outgrow them; the more quickly I feel comfortable, the lower the rating. This one has not pushed me beyond my limits at any point; it has only got me puffing (slightly) by the fourth workout. Therefore, I will give it just another go with weighted cardio gloves on a very light day and then I will most likely keep it for those days when I don't feel like working out, usually once or twice a month.

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