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on 29 January 2013
I got this DVD for Christmas, but I wanted to wait until I'd given it a fair test to review it. I've been doing it 4 times a week for 4 weeks and I am very happy with the results.

I do the Cardio and Abs section together one day and then alternate to do the toning section the next time around and so on.

First things first, I always find it helpful to understand how long a workout is. It's not helpful to say a workout is 20 mins when actually it's closer to 40 by the time you've done the warm-up and cool down (which you must!).

Warm-up - 13mins
Intense cardio - 20
Intense toning - 27 mins
Intense Abs - 13mins
Cooldown - 7 mins (for the short version)

I'm comfortable with my weight around the 8-10 size, but have crept up to a 10-12 over the past year meaning a lot of my clothes don't fit. I should also say that I am one of those people that puts weight on from head to toe so it takes about a stone for me to notice a real difference because it's always so evenly distributed.

I never weigh myself because, let's face it, it's so depressing. Weight is really only numbers that you say to other people and I've never found that it reflects how I feel about myself. For me, feeling good is being able to wear the clothes I love with confidence so I chucked out the scales long ago.

With an event coming up I knew I wanted to get back into something nice and feel good. This DVD seemed like a good bet. A little over four weeks ago I could barely pull my size 10 jeans over my bum, let alone do them up, but I am happy to say that they're not only up and over, but there's a little bit of wiggle room too. That's about 4-5 inches lost from my bum and hips and I am feeling great.

I'm a big fan of Davina, Jackie and Mark and have tried all their DVDs. This is up there with my favourites. There's just something about their workouts that, although they are challenging, they are so enjoyable and motivating too. I have to workout first thing because of my work patterns and even at 6am I am happy to pull myself out of bed and get stuck in.

Put your trust in the trio - this workout will bring some great results.
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on 12 December 2012
Firstly I will say I love Davina's workout DVDs. I've owned them all over the years and look forward to the new instalment each year. I said last year that Ultimate Target would be hard to beat and although Intense is still a great workout and a fresh approach to exercise, Ultimate Target is still my favourite. (See edit below!)

This DVD is split into 5 sections, warm up, intense cardio box, intense toning, intense abs and cool down.

The idea of this DVD is to keep you at an intense level with your heart rate up for a period of time before having a rest period and then another intense level of exercise. I've never really been a fan of high impact exercise but this is managable for me and I think with practice I'll be able to keep up!

One of the great things about this DVD is that it is all quite self contained in terms of space, you don't need a massive space to do the workout. You will need a mat or towel, some water and a pair of weights(or bottles of water)

Warm Up:

Led by Jackie, A very good warm up, fun at the beginning and then harder than the previous dvds and definitely gets your heart rate up with the usual stretches afterwards. I love the stretches, if only to see Mark trying to balance yet again! His shimmy is also something you don't want to miss! :-) The warm up is harder I assume as the workout is also quite hard so it prepares you for that.

Intense Cardio Box:

Led by Jackie this is some of the usual boxing moves done on the previous dvds but much faster. Jackie prepares you before each section to tell you what the moves will be. There are also 2 minute breaks between each workout section, which might annoy some people who can keep going but for me I need that break. I found it quite hard to keep up with Davina and Mark, but as you are working to a period of time (30 seconds on most) you just do what you can.

Intense Toning:

Led by Mark, again some of the old moves you have seen on previous DVDs but much faster. Again I couldn't really keep up, but hopefully after a few attempts I will be able to. At only 11 weeks post partum I'm a little out of practice! I did this yesterday and I am aching today, in a good way! Again you have slightly longer rest periods between the exercises.

Intense Abs:

Led by Jackie, it starts with some standing ab exercises which again get your heart rate going, there is no easy part of this DVD, so don't expect an easy ride. It is then followed by some laying moves which are again very good and I am aching today on my abs.

Cool Down:

Led by Mark, A usual Davina workout cool down, lots of nice stretches to relax you after the madness!

All in all, I'd recommend you try this DVD, especially if you already love the Davina workouts. If you are very new to exercise it may be a little hard at first, but Jackie always does the easier workout and you can work your way up.

Again I'd say Ultimate Target for me is probably the best DVD they have done. I found that working at a slightly reduced level for a longer period of time without the longer breaks is what I prefer along with the targeted sections that DVD offers. However, I think that Intense combined with Ultimate Target is all the workouts I'll need to get back in my pre-pregnancy shape. It must be so hard for them to come up with a new DVD each year and to keep it fresh and they don't disappoint.

I wanted to edit this review to also mention the Davina Fitness app which is available. It runs alongside this DVD and is free to download, although there is a personal trainer section you can download for £1.49. I wanted to just mention the App because it is actually genius. You can basically workout anywhere you take your phone and it also has a running buddy if you want to go for a jog and log it.

It has lots of different exercise routines that you can pick from a Cardio Tone and Sculpt list which target specific body areas such as 'muffin top gone' 'Kick box extreme', also broken down to beginner, occasional and experienced, so you can go at your own pace depending on your ability. Every time you do a workout you get a heart. The workouts are not video based, it just tells you what exercise to do for that minute or 30 seconds, although there are video tutorials you can use.

You can make your own playlist on your phone and play this alongside the workout which is great. Another great aspect is that all the workouts are self-contained and only 20-25 minutes long so for those of you who don't have time to do the full DVD workout you can do the app and the workouts include a short warmup and cooldown stretches. I've done it three times in the last two days and I'm still aching!

***Ok I had to edit this review again. I said that in my first time reviewing that this wasn't my favourite, but I have to say that after a few weeks its slowly becoming as much of a favourite as Ultimate Target for me, I think the more you do this DVD, the 'easier' it will get. I've noticed a difference already that I can keep up and my cardio is getting better. Waiting now for some batteries for my HRM so I can see how many calories I'm burning!
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on 12 December 2012
I am a HUGE fan of Davina, Jackie and Mark's and have loved working out with them over the years, their approach, variety and intensity of exercises ever increasing with each DVD, always with a little humour thrown in.

I work out 6 days a week and need the variety of workouts this trio provide, I alternate between Body Buff, High Energy 5, Davina Fit and Ultimate Target, after doing this DVD earlier I will now be adding this to the mix!

I loved doing this workout, it's fast and really gets your heart rate soaring. Obviously, you only get out of a workout what you put into it, put 110% in and you will really feel the benefit!

I have given a brief description below of the format:

The warm up does what it says, it's a different approach to her other DVD's, there is a short gentle few minutes (a bit of a fun dance and shimmey!), then a more faster paced few minutes (think star jumps, twists, high knees), followed by lovely stretching.

Intense Cardio box - This is fast paced 30 second intervals - there are 4 sets of 3 minutes with a 2 minute active recovery inbetween each, which gives you chance to get some water and lower your heart rate for the next burst. (high knees, lunges, a variety of punches, knee raises, kick backs, kicks, squats, the list is very long!)

Intense Toning - Again fast paced intervals this time using hand weights, it's advisable not to use the size of hand weight you would normally use as the speed of the toning intervals is quite fast. There are cardio burst intervals following the toning and then active recovery as with the Cardio Box. There is also a short floor section prior to the last cardio interval where you work arms and abs.

Intense Abs - You start with a standing ab section which is great, as if you are following one of the previous sections your heart rate will still be elevated, then move to the floor for more intense toning. Again this follows the principle of 30 second intervals.

Stretch - LOVELY - The usual mix of basic plus dynamic stretching with Mark.

Thanks again you lovely, lovely trio you have not disappointed. xx


I have now been doing this workout twice a week in combination with the other DVD's previously stated and WOW, I have noticed a major improvement in my stamina and strength levels when doing the other DVD's. I always use a heart rate monitor, and upon reading other reviews of comments on the 2 minute active rest being too long I thought I would let you know my readings as an indication of why the rest periods are so important. (As a guide I exercise 6 times a week for up to 2 hours, I consider myself to be very fit and healthy).

In the Cardio Box my heart rate elevated to 170-178 at the end of each section, at the end of the 2 minute rest periods it never went below 124.

In the Intense Tone my heart rate elevated to 160-170 at the end of each section, at the end of the 2 minute rest periods it never went below 130.

Even in the Intense Abs it never went below 100 which is quite high considering you are lying down!

I hope this gives and indication of why the 2 minute recovery is SO important. xx
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on 6 March 2014
I would recommend this DVD to anyone! when i first bought this DVD i could barely complete one section; 4 weeks later i was able to complete whole DVD and lost 2 stone! thanks Davina!!
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on 29 November 2015
This is one of my pereffered fitness dvd's; my favourite being Shaun T's T25.
This is based on high intensity training.
I find the narration a bit annoying in places, but I know the exercises so now have the sound off and listen to my own music.
It really does work on fitness levels, though I double up the cardio and abs in one session, then do the toning a different day (often with a different cardio too).
The abs section is quite short, which is why I double it up with other exercises.
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on 27 February 2014
I love this DVD. I have a few of Davina's DVDfrom when she first started doing them which I liked but this is the first one I've bought for a few years because I decided to try to get back into exercise after a few years of not really bothering! I liked the idea of intense bursts and to be able to do a workout in 30 minutes rather than an hour is brilliant - life is too short to spend it working out all the time! I'm not a fan of exercise - I do it because I have to if I still want to eat crisps basically so this is perfect to do a few times a week coupled with a good walk on the beach with the dogs every day!
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Although I have various workout DVDs - Hannah Waterman, Claire Nasir, Jillian Michaels, Erin O'Brien etc - I've never tried one of Davina's for some reason. But as I really like interval training workouts and have found them pretty effective in the past I thought I'd give Davina Intense a go. And I'm really glad I did.

The DVD is split into a warm-up, cardio, tone, abs and cooldown. Each section is short and involves short, intense bursts of moves that you perform as hard and fast as you can - you put in your absolute maximum effort so your heart is absolutely pounding and you're too breathless to hold a conversation. Think of it like a 200m sprint. Then you have a minute or two to get your breath back and have a drink of water (walking around and moving the whole time) to let your heart rate come down before you crank it up again. Each workout brings your heart rate up and down several times for maximum fat-burning effectiveness.

This isn't the first time I've done this type of exercise so I know that the principle behind it is sound: if you really do put the level of effort in that you're supposed to, it definitely works. Each workout on the DVD is short - the warm-up, one workout and the cooldown probably takes about 40min in total, with the actual workout being 20ish minutes - but you'll get the same level of effectiveness that you'd get from doing an hour or so of ordinary aerobics/toning. Personally, I much prefer shorter, harder routines that really make you feel like you might die to longer, steadier, more evenly paced exercise, so this approach is perfect for me. If you're someone who is more attracted to sprinting than jogging or prefers circuit training to zumba, this is probably a great DVD for you.

The actual exercises in the routines are of the simple-but-effective type - ideal for people like me who don't mind working really hard but have zero coordination! There are lots of punches, kicks, squats, sprinting on the spot, star jumps, high knees, lunges etc - this isn't a dancey type workout with complicated choreographed moves, so anyone could give it a go! And it because it's an interval training, circuit-style workout, if you hate one move, you at least don't have to do it for long before you move on to the next one. There's no time to get bored.

Lots of the workout DVDs I've done don't really tell you much about the correct form/posture for the exercises, but Jackie and Mark, the trainers who present the DVD with Davina, are great at reminding you how to do the exercises effectively - when you need to be sure your back is straight or that your knees aren't in front of your toes, they will tell you, which is something I always appreciate in any workout DVD.

Davina herself fronts the DVD very well. She's enthusiastic without being annoying and is down-to-earth and honest about how hard the routines are. Plus, although she's clearly very fit, she has a realistic, attainable body type - she's fit and toned rather than skinny and undernourished and looks very healthy and sporty.

Jackie and Mark, the two trainers, are great - they're the warm, friendly types of trainers rather than the shouty aggressive ones or the cheesily over-earnest ones. You get the impression they genuinely really want people to succeed and they encourage you to push yourself as hard as you can but always within your own personal boundaries. With that in mind, there are easier versions of most of the exercises - Mark and Davina do the hardest moves while Jackie does less intense versions that beginners can try instead. I follow Mark and Davina, but a couple of years back when I was first learning to work out and used to struggle, I would really have appreciated having Jackie's easier moves to follow and it's a great idea to have them there.

I've seen some people say that the two-minute breaks in this DVD are too long and that they don't need them. If that's the case, they just aren't working hard enough. The whole point is that if you don't need time to get your breath back between the intervals, you're not working to your full capacity and you need to crank your efforts up a notch and work harder and faster.

I was a bit out of condition and had put on weight and lost tone over Christmas and New Year, and thought I'd give this DVD a go to kick me into action. I'm pleased to say that I saw results VERY quickly, and because the workouts are short and intense, it's easy to fit them into my day. Love it!
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on 12 December 2012
I've got a few of Davina's other DVDs so was excited to get a new one as it's nice to get some variety. The basis of this one is short bursts of high intensity exercise with rest periods in between- I've only done the cardio box so far but it was worth buying just for that. There are also toning and abs sections.
The only thing that slightly disappointed me was that from the description I thought the whole workout process would be shorter and so useful for fitting in a workout when I've not got a lot of time. But actually by the time you add in the warm up and cool down it's around 30-40 minutes from start to finish.
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on 5 July 2014
I purchased this DVD to help me re-gain my fitness after fracturing my arm. Overall, the exercise routines are fairly motivating and fun to do at the beginning. However there is quite a lot of jumping and twisting of the lower joints, which is not great if you don't want to end up with achy knees etc.
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on 11 December 2012
Being a huge fan of the Davina DVDs I was very much looking forward to this new realise. I felt that the last DVD (ultimate Target) was a bit of let down as it was too similar to its predecessors. It promised some new latino moves which were few, so I was sceptical but yet I knew I couldn't resist Intense!
I am pleased to say it lives up to its name. The workout has a separate warm up and cool down. The warm up provides an enjoyable start with lots of dance moves that haven't been seen before in a Davina DVD. It gets you warm for sure, with a few minutes of stretching at the end. Mark finally gives in to his balancing issues which is amusing even when you know it's coming! The cool down is what you would expect; a relaxing atmosphere with a longer developmental stretch at the end. Again, this has some new stretches not used before.
The Cardio section see's a mix of some of the boxing and kicking moves we are used to seeing in these DVDs, however due to the intense nature of the workout, they are presented in a new and fresh way. The workout has you doing each repetition for 30 seconds, not the usual way of counting reps. This means you can take more control of your workout and really push yourself in the timescale. The new method also has two minute cool downs throughout, whereby after you have built up your heart rate to a high level you then keep moving but allowing your heart to drop to a manageable level before building it back up again. You are also encouraged to drink water and keep moving by the sub headings that flash up on screen. Even though this section is 20mins long, combined with the warm up, you do feel as though you have had a thorough workout. If you do it right you will be sweating, which is more than I can say for the last dvd (as my fitness improved these DVDs couldn't provide the cardio I needed.)
The toning section is my favourite as it combines some intense fat burning sessions which are different to the one minute intervals we're used to. These are four sets of 30 second intervals at a time. This shoots your heart rate up, and doesn't get boring as your only doing one thing for 30secs at a time. Again there is a cooling off period to let you heart rate regulate and get some well deserved water. There is an abs section at the end and some floor work for your shoulders. Again, you feel you have had a good workout as cardio and toning are taken care of in one 26 minute workout. You can really push yourself in the interval sections knowing you are going to have the rest (which is great for me as an asthma suffer!). Davina uses 2kg weights in this section as it is fast and using my usual 3kg weights I found it hard to keep up, so I would recommend trying it with smaller weights to begin with.
There is also a small 12min abs section which has some new combinations and some variations on old ones. You really work the transfers muscles here which is fab. I felt they could have extended this workout into a more cardio version as there is on the High energy five workout. However, that is just being picky as you have enough cardio here to burn fat and sweat to.
In conclusion, I am really happy with this new DVD, and I hope it will see me through without getting too bored of it as quickly as the previous couple. Mark and Jaki are still a laugh too. I am aching for the first time in a while after doing the whole DVD over the course of an evening and the following morning, but I feel great!
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