I wanted to get fit but didn't think I'd stick to a gym class. What I did think I could do was stick a DVD in every other morning and follow some sort of routine. So I tried Nell, Davina, etc but they got a bit boring quite quickly. Plus you spend half the time working out what step you are supposed to be doing instead of doing it. Then I read the reviews for Fighting Fit, Fighting Fat and thought it had to be worth a shot.
The format is quite simple: there's a warm-up circuit consisting of some marching (normal, legs apart, semi crouched), some lunges, knee-lifts, hammer curls, upright rowing, arm presses and stretches; a beginners circuit (isometric exercises like jacks, crunches, skipping, boxing, press-ups, jog on the spot, back extensions, skiing, side lunges, squat thrusts, etc) with marching in between; an intermediate circuit (same exercises, some slightly harder) with a kind or march/hop in between; an advanced circuit (same exercises, some harder again) with running in between; and a cool-down circuit (a cut down version of the warm-up).
All the exercises are easy enough to pick up. There are three 'soldiers' (not convinced they're actually military, not that it matters) doing the exercises, sometimes with easier/harder variations. Harvey counts down to each change and tells you what's coming next, often with a 'you better not be sitting on your butt at home' thrown in.
To be perfectly honest the first time I put it in I made it through the warm-up circuit and the beginner's circuit and had to turn it off. But I was pretty unfit. A couple of days later I did it again and felt better at the end but couldn't get to the intermediate circuit. This went on for maybe 2 weeks, then I got through the intermediate and after 4 weeks did the advanced (for people who are 'all about it and a bag of chips' apparently). I now do it every day and do all the circuits with relative ease (hot, sweaty, tired, but in a good way).
I have to say I love this DVD. It really doesn't get boring. The whole thing takes just under an hour to do and there's a general sense of motivation all the way through. I hope Harvey Walden does another one with the same format, maybe different exercises - it's that good and that much better than every other workout DVD I've tried. There's no music (some drumming and occasional bugles), no cutaway to shots of Harvey shirtless on a mountain top posing like an idiot, no inane banter. It also doesn't play to weird gender stereotypes (I assume it's mostly marketed at men but I think many women would appreciate the lack of fluffy nonsense too). Even the fact the he must say 'relaxing the breathing, controlling that breathing and sucking that gut in' about a hundred times doesn't get old.
So yes. If you want a workout video that's a cut above the rest and has a better than average chance of getting you fit rather than collecting dust before it goes off a car boot fair, then I would recommend this one.