Monday, May 5, 2008

Abs Diet for Women Workout

THE WORKOUT: The Abs Diet for Women Workout $12.99 at Amazon


WHO CAN DO THIS: You’ll want workout experience since no time is spent on proper form-—an oversight especially noticeable in the pilates and yoga chapters.

THE BREAKDOWN: This peculiar but likable DVD does a little bit of a lot of things—it may be just a teaser lure you into the online interactive Abs Diet program, which presumably is more in-depth.

Exquisitely taut-bodied Jessica, Kat and Madison lead us through the quick menu of workouts. Jessica leads the workout, blond ponytail a-bobbing, and she's low key and pleasant.

The first of two five-minute abs segments is traditional crunches, the second is more challenging and creative, using weights and balance. Both wisely include back strengthening.

The 20-minute cardio interval segment is straightforward almost to a fault, with intervals of easy jogging alternating with intervals of increasing (up to 90 seconds) and then decreasing durations of jumping jacks, high-knee runs, jumping jack squats and other no-brainer but heart-pumping moves. (Bring on the cast-iron sports bra for this one.) It’s not a gripping workout but it’s definitely effective, with no learning curve.

The 16-minute strength segment is my favorite. I find weight lifting tedious and am always happy to find a quick, efficient program. The combo moves here work all body parts in a short time.

The four-and-a-half minute pilates segment is hard work for the core, although because I don’t practice pilates I can’t judge whether I’m doing the moves effectively. The yoga segment is a big honkin' waste of four minutes. If you practice yoga, it’s unsatisfying and if you don’t, you won’t know what to do. Skip it.

The final segment touches on the "diet" part of the abs diet, and any diet that recommends peanut butter is OK by me.

A quibble: Why did they tag the warm-up on to several segments? If you do more than one segment, you only need the warm-up once. You can skip it with the push of a button, but it’s annoying.

THE SWEAT FACTOR: The cardio interval and strength segments should get you glowing, at the very least. The others, not so much, although the abs workouts definitely burned.

BUT IS IT FUN? Not exactly fun. But not grueling, either. Let’s call it “benign.”

WHEN IT'S OVER: Depending on what and how many segments you’ve done, you’ll either be sore and sweaty or ready to move on to another DVD to complete your workout. Or kidding yourself. Five minutes doth not a workout make.

GEAR AND APPAREL: Mat, aerobic shoes and hand weights.

FINAL WORD: I’ll probably never do the cardio interval, pilates or yoga segments again, but the others will enter my rotation.

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