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May 17, 2010 10:50 AM   Subscribe

Please recommend your most favoritest exercise videos. Bonus points for videos that aren't hosted by cheesy spandex-clad gym rats.

My wife and I are looking to start exercising more regularly. We get bored quickly at the gym, and we don't have much room for exercise equipment in our house. We sometimes enjoy doing yoga videos together, and I'd like to find some video workouts that are a bit more strenuous, but also stimulating enough to follow on a regular basis. The idea is to find some videos that we can use to work for 20-30 minutes every night. If they're on Netflix, even better.

It'd be great of the video wasn't your typical gym-aerobics-type workout and was low on the cheese factor. We tried a Crunch video that had some pseudo-ethnic drumming in the background and it was unbearable. (Music = good. Trying way too hard to be hip = bad.) We're open to any type of activity - yoga, pilates, etc. I generally prefer training martial arts to visiting a gym - I'm not necessarily seeking martial arts videos - but it's nice when the movements seem to have some purpose rather that simply lifting your legs 50 times in a row.

Extra bonus: Are there any decent exercise "games" for the Wii? We have a Wii but not a Wii Fit.
posted by gnutron to Health & Fitness (17 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
I have a 3 DVD set of Sharon Mann workouts. It's a mix of cardio, yoga, tai chi, pilates & the like. They demonstrate beginner/intermediate/advanced at the same time, using non-supermodel work out people.
posted by kellyblah at 11:11 AM on May 17, 2010

I have heard good stuff about P90X but have not tried it personally. My neighbors are doing it and it's kicking their asses.
posted by charlesv at 11:24 AM on May 17, 2010

Seconding P90X. Several friends have done it and report a similar ass-kicking. I believe there's a diet component that goes along with it as well.
posted by jquinby at 11:29 AM on May 17, 2010

P90X is twice to three times as long as what the OP wanted, though. Meaning the workouts are about 60 minutes each. Plus as my husband and I are discovering, it's kind of a PAIN and very expensive when two different people are doing it together. (Two sets of powerblocks? Two sets of dozens of different dumbbells? Neither of us are into resistance bands, so it's a challenge for both of us to have the weights to work with).

I think you both might like Jillian Michael's 30 day shred. There's minimal room needed, minimal weights, and it's not too cheesy.
posted by peep at 11:37 AM on May 17, 2010

I was going to rec 30 Day Shred. I like the P90x guy — he's not annoying or too cheesy but everyone is in really good shape and they are really long. It gets bonus points for options to turn the music off but still hear the cues. I've seen some other Biggest Loser workouts (on Comcast OnDemand) with the male trainer, Bob, which uses the Biggest Loser contestants. That would meet your requirements of short and non-models. I think the one I tried was "Biggest Loser Boot Camp." LIts had lots of squats that you feel the next day and not a lot of equipment - just light dumb bells.
posted by Bunglegirl at 11:53 AM on May 17, 2010

I love Gilad: Bodies in Motion. Kicks my butt and I think Gil is kinda hilarious.
posted by Sassyfras at 11:56 AM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

I also recommend the 30 day shred. It's less than 30 minutes and I personally lost over 25 pounds doing it 5-6 times a week for a couple of months. It's not easy but you get a good workout in not too much time.
posted by gyroscope at 12:44 PM on May 17, 2010

I really, really love Billy Blanks Bootcamp workouts. I have a 2-pack with Basic Training and Ultimate Bootcamp, and both are very good. They are somewhat longer than what you're looking for, but you can always quit after 20-30 minutes. It took me a LONG time to be able to complete them.

There's some kicking/punching, so your martial arts background is a plus, but not necessarily required. Both are on Netflix, but not Instant Download. (Resistance bands needed eventually, but worth doing without.)
posted by coolguymichael at 12:50 PM on May 17, 2010

The Firm!
posted by dmbfan93 at 12:53 PM on May 17, 2010

Gold's Gym Cardio Workout for the Wii is a boxing training game that's a pretty good workout and pretty fun. Retails for $20 full price. If you save up 50,000 in-game gold (I think), you can buy a bear outfit for your avatar (brown for boys, panda for girls) so my friends and I did that as the "panda challenge" to motivate us to do it more often. (It is balance-board-capable but the board isn't required and I haven't used the board with the game.)

MTV has some videos out that are a little older -- MTV yoga & MTV pilates -- that are pretty good, but they're longer.

There are a couple of different "10-minute mix" type DVD workouts where you choose 10-minute segments in sequence. Usually the DVD will have between 5 and 20 unique segments (sometimes all are 5- or 10-minutes, sometimes they're all different lengths), often grouped by target area or type of exercise, and you can "pick a mix" from among those segments and the DVD then queues those segments you choose in order, so it's different every time and as long as you want it to be. I've liked these to keep from getting bored. "10 Minute Solution" is one brand, where all of the exercises fit a particular theme like "bootcamp" or "kickboxing" or whatever. There are others out there; I have a post-partum one with like 30 unique segments that use the baby as your weight that I got for like $7 in a clearance bin.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:19 PM on May 17, 2010

We have EA Sports Active for the Wii. It does not require the balance board, but can use it if you got one. I like this MUCH better than the first Wii Fit because it has actual workouts, not just individual exercises. Wii Fit Plus is better in this regard, too. Active has a 30 day challenge (20 pre-programmed workouts, none longer than about 20 minutes), plus other pre-programmed stuff, or you can build your own by stringing individual exercises together. Thumbs up!
posted by wwartorff at 1:33 PM on May 17, 2010

Nthing 30 day shred - it's amazing, and it's hard to say you don't have time because it takes less than 30 minutes. The background music is not so awesome but if memory serves you can turn it off. It is REALLY hard at first and you will be sore. It took me a lot longer than 30 days to make it up to level three but my arms never looked better...
posted by hungrybruno at 1:38 PM on May 17, 2010

I also recommend 30 Day Shred. It's a great workout, and only 20 minutes.
posted by apricot at 1:53 PM on May 17, 2010

So funny that you posted this today, as I was looking for one of these threads yesterday! I gave up and just searched via the Google and landed on The Shred based on rave reviews all over the internet. Can't wait to try it out!
posted by elquien at 5:11 PM on May 17, 2010

The outfits and music are painfully '80s, but there are reasons that 24 years after it was originally released, Callanetics is still a best-seller (currently #14 on Amazon under Aerobics). It looks easy, but the exercises are tough. There's one she calls a standing side stretch, or something like that, which Mr. Lexica and I renamed the Hellbenders.
posted by Lexica at 6:47 PM on May 17, 2010

Be careful with Callanetics, though; because it looks much easier than it is and the stretches involve some odd twisting, it's VERY easy to hurt yourself. I tried the (basic!) workout one time, severely pulled a leg muscle, and threw the DVD in the trash.
posted by sarahsynonymous at 7:46 PM on May 17, 2010

My favorite from Netflix was Bollywood Dance Workout. No, it's not cheesy. It's not!
posted by Knowyournuts at 10:55 AM on May 19, 2010

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