Keep It Tight on the Cheap
As we’ve said before, gym memberships can get ca-razy expensive. First you join and you realize that all you do is 30 half assed minutes on the elliptica machine, 5 crunches, 10 reps of lat pull downs in between laying on the mat in the crunch position watching Hoarders in closed captions. Then when you’re like ” I know, I’ll take a class!”, you look at the schedule and realize with dismay that virtually every class is in the middle of the day on a weekday and therefore useful only to trophy wives, students and the unemployable, none of whom, I bet, belong to that gym.
I used to belong to Crunch Fitness, because, you know, I hate judgements and I hate spending money on shit I can’t eat, drink, wear or rub on my body, but soon after joining they replaced their Vinyasa Yoga classes with something called Turning Tricks and did away with Cardio Kickboxing to make room for Pole Dancing. Unable to see the benefit behind paying someone to allow male gym members to watch me gyrate against a pole through plate glass, I resigned from the gym.
In terror of cellulite and creeping obesity I then decided to test drive a number of at home workouts. Here’s the run down.
Anna G. covered it already but let me reiterate. This thing works. It actually works. You have to do it everyday like she says, for 30 days, but you will see results, especially in your arms and legs after only about ten days. She gets that you don’t really want to work out and each workout is only 25 minutes long, so by the time you feel like giving up, it’s almost time to stretch. Plus Jillian Michaels is insane and that’s fun to watch. This is perfect for when you have to get in shape for a wedding or a vacation.
Pros: Quick, and requires only hand weights and a mat
Cons: Can get really fucking tedious, music is horrible.
As a jappy teen in the suburbs I worked out to this video on the semi-daily. It features Cindy at the height of her hot hot heat, her pint sized trainer Radu, 3 alternating workouts that actually do tone up the muscles and shape your body. If you do it every day you will see results,
Pros: Awesome 90s soundtrack, super “urbane” locations, legs workout is great.
Cons: You need real consistency to see results, ab workout is only mildly challenging
My mom had this video when I was growing up so until I was like, 17, I had no idea that Jane was an actress and Vietnam-feelings inflamer; I just thought of her as “that exercise lady!” The workout isn’t bad. It keeps you moving which is good but it’s not terribly challenging and for the most part you can kind of just half ass your way through it.
Pros: Hilarious outfits, super cheese music, lots of upper body work
Cons: Not enough cardio, you won’t really sweat, Jane’s hair, only available on VHS
Nothing makes me feel better, stronger or more stretched out in a good way than yoga, so I thought I’d try this video which came highly recommended. It’s pretty good. The locations are beautiful, Shiva is a good instructor, she doesn’t go too fast and there are a couple of practices to choose from. Overall I think it’s probably about as good as a yoga video can get, but unlike push ups, sit ups and other basic aerobic, strength workouts, no yoga video will be as good as a class. Therefore in the interest of developing good form in your practice it’s best to do a video like this in conjunction with regular yoga classes at a studio or gym.
Pros: Feeling all stretched-out without leaving the class, going at your own speed, the freedom to pause and rewind if you need to see how she does a pose
Cons: It can be hard to tell if your form is correct without an instructor watching you. When you’re on your own, you’re on your own. If you’re not getting the right form you may keep doing it and develop bad habits.