I went to the gym with my über wonderful sister-in-law this morning. And I can totally see why people love it. The camaraderie, the accountability, it’s an environment that’s charged by energy, health and a lot of sweat. What’s not to love? I’d love to have a membership someday, but right now it’s not the best financial decision for us AND I can get a great workout at home.
SO, if you want a great workout at home…have I got a post for you!
I’ve always been an active person, but I’ve been working out at home, consistently for the past 11 yrs. In my early-twenties I did what a lot of new brides do and gained the “I’m happy and I’m cooking meals all the time” weight. I didn’t gain a lot, just enough to make me want to do something about it. And that was the motivation I needed to make me look at my schedule and carve out time to workout.
Maybe today, you’re looking to get into better shape, maybe you can’t afford a gym membership, OR perhaps you’re just looking to supplement your gym workouts on the days when you’re home. Grab some tea or you know, a “Smart” water, and check out my 10 favorite Workout DVD’s.
Some of these are newer to me, and some are old standbys, but the beauty with each of these is that you’ll get a great full body workout using just free weights and the occasional kettle bell. Additional equipment that would help would be an exercise mat, gloves, an exercise ball and a bench ( or you could use a rectangular ottoman like I do 😉 )
The reason I prefer these workouts to the plethora of other DVD’s I’ve done over the years is that they incorporate multiple muscle groups at once; keeping your heart rate up, maximizing your time and your calorie burn. Are you pumped? …haha get it? *sigh…Here we go:
I first told you about this collection, when I clued you into the fact that I paint my nails before I workout…yet another reason I may not fair well at the gym. Haha I have grown to love these workouts…as much as one can love a workout. You’ll be doing cross fit type moves for about an hour, pouring sweat and feeling great afterwards.
This Collection was a STEAL. 4 DVD’s in one package at Target for $15. The Workouts are sold individually as well. Here’s the breakdown-
This Workout will kick your cute little self in the booty. Every. Single. Time. At just over an hour, you’ll get a full-body strength workout, but your heart rate will also be up the entire time. Expect lots of multiple muscle group moves and lots of shaky little muscles. It hurts so good 😉
Dumbbells- preferably 2-3 sets of varying weights)
Gloves- Bob has you doing weighted pushups into T-stands and if you’re anything like me, these little suckers can hurt the heel of your hands if you do them without gloves.
Even though “Cardio” is clearly in the title of this gem, because of the concentrated muscle work you do, I still consider this one a “strength” workout. As with the previous workout, it’s full body (except it doesn’t do a whole of chest with the exception of a few pushups so feel free to add that in ;)) This one is slightly shorter at 61ish minutes and contains lots of cardio bursts, plyometric moves and kettle bell swings. No kettle bell? No problem. Just substitute a single dumbbell held vertically. Also, Bob is wearing Black Compression socks and that is entertainment in itself.
Dumbbells (again, you’ll probably want a few varying weights)
This DVD is really unique because it contains 5 workouts; lots of bang for your buck. One 20-minute group class, good for beginners. Two 20 minute workouts called “Living Fit,” which are “cross fit” type classes. And two circuit Workouts simply called, well, “Workout 1 & Workout 2.” Bob claims these are his own personal workouts when he goes to the gym. They are approximately 25-30 min apiece.
CONFESSION: I’ve only ever done “Workouts 1 & 2.” I know I know. The other 3 workouts seem great if you’re just starting out, but they weren’t really my speed, BUT you could always switch it up and mash a few workouts together as well.
When I do this DVD I do “Workouts 1 & 2” back to back AND if I have extra time, I’ll throw a little 5 minute treadmill warm-up in there too. However, if you’re just starting out, doing just one workout would still be great exercise.
This is an excellent workout for those full-body-strength-days. Because you’re working multiple muscle groups at the same time, your heart rate will be continually revved. And you will sweat. A lot. The unique thing about this DVD is that it really feels like a personal training session. With the exception of the group class, every other workout is just Bob and the person demonstrating the exercises. It’s challenging and different and goes by fairly quickly. As with most of his workouts I’m reviewing there’s not a specific “ab” section, but you will definitely be working your core the entire time.
Dumbbells of varying weights
Kettle bell(s) *he has you swinging varying weights
Bench, ottoman, or even a couple of chairs. Remember kids: necessity is the mother of invention 😉
Ok, this Cardio Workout I actually do on my cardio days. Novel. BUT, make no mistake, weights can or will be in your hands the entire workout. This one is probably my favorite of the four in this set! It’s challenging, but fun and you’re constantly switching exercises. Also the last 10ish minutes you’re concentrating on your abs even though you’re never on your laying back.
Gloves (Lots of hand walks in this one)
I mean you can’t really have Bob without Jillian right? This DVD contains 2 workouts. They are each 45-50 minutes and are composed of 6 circuits that you go through 2x. Obviously, Level 1 is slightly easier than Level 2, BUT here’s a little trick to even the playing field: Do a cardio warm-up before you begin each workout. I usually jump on the treadmill for 10 min if I’m doing Level 2 and 15 min if I’m doing Level 1. THEN, you’re pretty much guaranteed a great burn. 😉 And as with most DVDs there are beginner and advanced demonstrators to watch. These workouts are honestly really fun and go by fast because you’re never doing 1 move for longer than 30 sec. You’ll work multiple muscle groups, BUT because you don’t stay on one muscle group for very long, I consider this a “cardio” workout.
Dumbbells (at least 2 sets)
This was my introduction to Bob Harper workouts and let me tell you; the first time I did this…I shelved it for a while. It was tough, but after keeping at it, it’s now a favorite. Plus, one of the “demonstrators” is a bit of a drama queen, so that provides some laughs as do Bob’s compression socks that once again make an appearance. This is a strength workout with cardio intervals, multiple muscle group moves and a little more mat work than the previous workouts. If you’re advanced, you may want to add in a little extra chest and tricep work, but if not the “dive-bomber” and “around the world” push-ups will suffice 😉
Dumbbells (2 sets, varying weights)
From the first time I started doing Jari Love video’s I was hooked. You will see and feel your muscles changing. I own a few of her workouts but this one is definitely my favorite for a few reasons. First, as with all of her DVDs, it’s a challenging strength workout, but this one has 1 minute cardio segments between each strength set to keep your heart rate up and maximize your calorie burn. Second, again I like multiple muscle group moves and this one delivers. And lastly, it’s the least boring out of all the ones I’ve tried. 😀 Hey, just being honest. 😉 The ways you can incorporate this workout into your routine are pretty endless. You can do the entire 70min workout from start to finish, or you could do certain segments depending on your day. The DVD is formatted into chapters so you could pick just “back” and “abs” say if that’s all you’re interested in working that day. It’s a nice feature to have. However if you’re full of energy one day, tack on some extra cardio, do the entire DVD and applaud your shaky little muscles for going full on beast mode. Congratulations, you are now a Boss.
Dumbbells (varying weights)
Step (This is totally optional, but will “up” your workout. *note: I don’t own a step, so I just use my basement steps :))
Exercise ball or “bench”
This DVD is great for many reasons. First, there are 4 workouts that are progressive in nature. Ideally, you would do this DVD for a month and move on to the next level of workout each week. But since I’m notorious for NOT following directions, I’ve only ever done weeks 3 and 4. 😉 These workouts are shorter than all the other previously reviewed DVDs. Each workout is 24-ish min with a warm up and a cool down. Because it’s short, I usually do 20 min on the treadmill first. But, that’s me, do whatever is going to work for your schedule and fitness level. Whatever way you slice it, it’s a challenging 24 min 😉 This workout is set up in 3 circuits of 3-2-1 intervals: 3 min of strength, 2 minutes of cardio and 1 minute of abs. This workout really delivers a great burn and I personally happen to think that level 3 is just as challenging as level 4. (Weighted jumping lunges anyone?) These workouts have been in my rotation for about 2 years and because of all of the plyometric work, they still continue to challenge every single time. Weighted “scissor kick-jump-thingy’s” (it’s a technical term) are the bane of my inner thighs. I usually yell when I’m doing them. My hubby and Gunther have gotten pretty used to it.
Dumbbells (varying weights)
Last but certainly not least is this little Jillian gem. I’ve had this workout for quite a while, but I always go back to it because it is so effective. It’s a 50 min workout composed of seven 6-minute circuits that hit every single muscle group. These circuits combine upper and lower body moves for a full strength-training workout that leaves no muscle untouched. The cardio warm-up is pretty minimal so I usually add about 20 min of treadmill work when time permits. The last 15 minutes of this DVD is all floor work so an exercise mat is especially helpful.
Dumbbells (varying weights)
There you have it, my 10 fav at home workouts. And actually, if you did ALL of the workouts on these DVD’s…you’d have well over 10. Bonus. Here’s a couple of helpful tips I’ve learned along the way:
-Almost every exercise can be adapted for your fitness level. Ex: Jumping Jacks. You can do standard jacks, if that is too much for you, keep your feet planted on the floor, but keep your arms in motion. However if you could do jumping jacks in your sleep, add weights until its challenging. There’s always room for growth.
-If a workout is too short, add some cardio. Too long? Do just ½ the DVD. 20-30min of focused working out is still beneficial. Don’t have an all or nothing mindset.
-Recognize and work at tearing down the negative mindsets that tell you can’t exercise. I’ve written a whole post about that here.
-At the same time, balance that with listening to your body and taking care of yourself in order to prevent or heal from an injury quickly. Wrote a whole post about that too. Read it here.
-When your workouts start getting easier, up the weights or just add weights to your cardio drills. Squats will go to a whole other level when you start doing “weighted jump squats” and then having to hold that position after your set. Thanks Bob.
-Keep yourself in check and make sure you’re exercising for the right reasons. Anyone who tells you they aren’t exercising to fit into their cute jeans, are probably lying. However, that can’t be the overriding reason you workout. Let’s not be motivated by :
- Fear of “getting fat” OR
- Lies and excuses
I don’t know about you, but I want to be fit and healthy enough to live the life that God has called me to live. And as far as it depends on me, I vow to do just that. Because if God calls me to go climb a mountain to tell an unreached people group about Him when I’m 97, I want to have the calf muscles to do it! 😉 You are an overcomer dear one & you have exactly what it takes to either maintain your fitness level or to kick it up a little bit.
Your life is not small. Let’s take care of ourselves so we can live it to the full. Now, go lace up your tennis shoes AND if you have any favorite workout DVD’s pass them along, I’m always on the hunt for new challenges. And if you get discouraged along the way, just remember:
Until Next Time,