I’m a firm fan of working out at home, favouring thrashing it out in my living room over joining burley mirrror-gazers at the local gym or parting with £15-a-pop for group classes. If like me, an anytime, effective workout appeals, then fitness fx’s latest DVD range might just be for you. It’s been developed by some of the exercise world’s leading presenters, claiming to accelerate weight loss and maximise fitness gains. With six programmes to choose from, I ordered jump fx (a fat-busting aerobic workout) and blast fx (a dynamic pilates-style toning session) to try and boost my summer health surge.
Leggings and sweatbands on, I prepare to annoy the downstairs neighbours by thumping the floorboards jump fx-style. Athletic moves like reverse burpees and jumping spins are combined with fun, lighter steps such as mambos and grapevines. All that leaping gets the heart racing and a sweat soon sets in – so far so good! But then the pace starts to shift so quickly I have to miss a few steps to recoup. The focus on speed over technique suggests some prior aerobics experience is assumed – however, as all the moves are repeated, it becomes easier to stay on track once you know what’s coming up.
Blast fx is a similar format, but offers bodyweight-only conditioning routines, a bit like ultra-dynamic pilates. It works your core to improve posture and muscle tone and as it’s particularly punishing on the arms and torso, it’s perfect for brides who want to blitz these areas pre-wedding.
Without the motivation of a class-full of people behind you, there has to be something that keeps you going to the end. With fitness fx, it’s the music, where clubbing-style remixes of chart tunes, old and new, help sustain momentum. I particularly relished the air guitar move to a remix of cheesy rock song More Than a Feeling (but prayed my boyfriend didn’t walk in at that moment).
Equally as motivating are the male Aussie instructors, who come across like guys-next-door who you really want to go down the pub with and order a couple of schooners. The Lycra-clad men keep you moving by chanting out the music lyrics, even getting creative with them, my favourite being – “We’re gonna have a party… a party in our legs. You bring the food, I’ll bring the plyometrics!”
Blasts of high intensity are interjected with regular releases in both programmes. This interval-style training is proven to work effectively, as you can maintain a longer workout and naturally push yourself harder when you know a break is coming up. Plus, the time period and song name flashes on the screen at the start of each section, while a counter lets you know how long there is to go (so helpful when you’re feeling the burn and looking forward to getting onto the next track).
If you like your exercise DVDs themed or gimmicky, you might find the production a little stripped back (it’s shot against a white background with the instructor triplicated). However, if it’s the results you’re interested in, slotting these workouts into your routine is easy and effective. The more intensive plus programme (alternative, harder moves that you can choose to do in each track) will help accelerate your results and if you have more discipline than me, download the Fitness Test Challenge card from their website to track your progress.
For busy brides-to-be, it’s often hard to find enough time to focus on toning up so DVDs are a great way to maximise your little windows of spare time. I definately felt like these gave me a thorough all-over body workout – my core felt stronger and energy levels increased straight away. I also found it easy to incorporate them into my routine (after Hollyoaks, before dinner) and it’s been an enjoyable change to my usual get in-shape regime.
Find out more
To buy any DVDs from the range visit fitness-fx.com. Prices start at £14.99 per DVD.