Although we’re focusing on Fit Bottomed Brides all this week, today’s review is of a workout DVD that’s not only good for looking your best in your wedding dress, it’s also excellent for getting in shape for another season that’s quickly approaching—swimsuit season! While self-confidence is always the best asset to looking and feeling good in no matter what you’re wearing, a little muscle and cardiovascular endurance never hurts (and can certainly make you feel better about yourself, which is why we love it so much!).
Shape: Best-Ever Hollywood Workout with Gunnar Peterson delivers both cardio and strength with four convenient mix-and-match workouts that are all less than 30 minutes each. Most of the DVDs we review are led by ladies, so it’s kind of fun to mix things up with a dude. And Gunnar is quite the well-known dude in the fitness world, as he’s the master-mind behind the bootylicious bodies of J-Lo and Penelope Cruz. In this workout DVD from Shape magazine, Gunnar delivers a workout that definitely feels more like one-on-one personal training than group fitness.
All of the workouts are effective and challenging for a beginner to intermediate exerciser, as they feature a mix of compound exercises (working your upper body and your lower body at the same time), core moves and cardio drills that get your heart a-pumpin’. The workouts come with a quick warm-up and cool down, which is solid, although I wish the warm-up had more dynamic moves and less static stretching (plenty of that stretchy goodness in the cool down).
The 20-minute Total Body Toning segment—while a great full-body workout—felt a little disjointed as within the first 10 minutes you’re lying on the ground (for such a short workout, I’d rather stay up on my feet the full time, with maybe a few core moves at the end). Power Burn, another 20-minute workout, is billed as ”high-intensity cardio conditioning” on the DVD cover, which is somewhat misleading because it does use weights and a number of strength moves to get your heart rate up. So if you’re looking only for cardio (or have some soreness in your arms or legs from previous weight lifting), this isn’t just cardio drills. The other two workouts—Amazing Arms and Lower Body Blast—are both 10 minutes long, and feature a series of area-specific moves such as hip bridges and tricep kickbacks.
Gunnar is pretty laid back—there are no woo-hoos or real excitement in the DVD, but the instruction and cuing is solid. I especially love his choice of moves—many of which use a complete range of motion and engage your core (think balance work, wood choppers and standing rotation with twists), making all of the workouts functional for your everyday life. Not to mention that you get one heck of a workout and cardio burn with just a set of dumbbells. I do wish the music and the instruction was a little more fun and energetic though so that we could give this one another full star!
FBG Rating (Out of 5):
Long-Term Likeability: ★★★★
Fun Factor: ★★
Meets Expectations: ★★★★
Fit Bottom line: While not the most fun DVD you’ll ever do, the mix-and-match workouts and moves are effective and challenging enough to get you in shape for whatever “big day” you’re looking forward to!
Want to try this workout DVD for yourself? Of course you do! Comment below to enter to win. Winners will be picked randomly in a week! U.S. residents only, please. —Jenn