Exercising at home: my DVD rundown

Ever since I started teaching Bodypump, I’ve neglected other forms of strength training. Honestly, learning the choreography and all of the practice doesn’t really allow enough time for any other form of lifting throughout the week, because it targets every muscle group (unless I lift back to back days, which is dumb and counter-productive). Before the fall, I would train with Ken once a week, which was mostly cross-fit kind of stuff. We never did the same workout twice, and our sessions usually involved a lot of sledgehammers + big tires, prowlers, TRX, battle ropes, sprinting and other any kind of torture device Ken (try this out- it’s killer!) was in the mood for. The workouts always got me heart-rate up like crazy, so it was a great combination of strength training + cardio.

On days that I didn’t train with Ken, I would try to use a lot of the techniques that we practiced in my own workouts. If I didn’t feel like going to the gym, I popped in one of my Bob Harper DVDs, because they also pushed me to the limits physically (and combined strength training + cardio).

I decided yesterday morning that I would take a break from Bodypump for my afternoon workout and work out with Bob instead. I can’t remember the last time I worked out to one of his DVDs (besides Yoga for the Warrior, which I do twice a week)- it’s been months… maybe early October? I knew that the workout would completely kick my ass and leave me sore the next day- but that’s exactly what I needed. I don’t like to get too comfortable in a workout routine, because that’s when you stop seeing results!

Here’s my current exercise DVD collection:

Let me break down this collection a little bit. From the top:

The Bob Harper Inside Out Method (all include 1 60 min workout + 1 express workout):

Body Rev/Cardio Conditioning is an ass kicker. It combines heart-pumping bursts of cardio + some strength training using your own body weight

Pure Burn/Super Strength: Another ass kicker. This is the workout I did yesterday. It requires 1 heavy weight (for a lot of arm swings and squats) and a set of light dumbbells (although they certainly don’t feel light at all when you use them!). It alternates between intense short periods of cardio and cardio + weights for toning.

Oh yeah, and he doesn’t like to stop for breaks. Both of these DVDs will leave you in a pool of sweat and on the floor by the time you’re done. And you will feel completely awesome about yourself and like you can conquer the world.

Yoga for the Warrior: My favorite DVD of all time. I have done this DVD at least twice a week since September and never get tired of it (and it’s still always challenging). It gets your heart rate up and makes you sweat and works your legs like crazy. And your shoulders.

I just discovered that on his website, these DVDs are only $5 each. I might have to go back and purchase the ones that I don’t have! I paid $20 for each when I got them!

I have to say- I absolutely LOVE Bob. I love the way he leads you through the workouts and talks to the camera. It isn’t awkward at all, and not to sound like a total dork- but you actually feel like he’s talking to you. And I love the way he talks to the other people that he’s training on the DVD. Love, love, love him. Have I said that enough?



Yoga Meltdown: I’ll be honest- I’ve only tried this workout once. From what I remember, it had two different workouts: one for beginners and one for intermediate. I just wasn’t into it- I should give it another chance. It’s hard for me to do another Bob-style yoga DVD that isn’t Bob.

Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism: If I was traveling and needed to bring a cardio DVD with me, this is the one I would bring. You don’t need any equipment for this workout- it just uses your own body + body weight for a heart pumping cardio session. She leads you through different circuits- each consist of repeating 5 different moves twice. The workout itself is 45 minutes long + a warm-up and cool-down. Like Bob, she does not like to step for any “breaks.”

No More Trouble Zones: This is set up very similar to the previous DVD with several sets of circuits that repeat the same 5 moves twice. It’s also the same amount of time. This workout doesn’t get your heart rate up as much, but it still combines strength training with a bit of cardio. It requires light to medium dumbells and also uses body weight for certain circuits. Definitely a good overall muscle workout.


Jackie Warner

Power Circuit Training This DVD is 40 minutes long and goes through several circuits designed to target various muscle groups. I bought this DVD before any by Jillian or Bob, and used to do it several times a week, with a little cardio before and after. It requires several different sets of weights, and it’s good if you have a bench for the chest workout. The workout itself is good, but Jackie is awkward and not as comfortable teaching in front of the camera. I’m a big fan of Jackie from her show Work Out  on Bravo, but don’t like her as much on this DVD. I have to say though, the abs portion of this DVD is killer and makes it worth owning just for that.


Billy Blanks (Billy’s Bootcamp)

Cardio Inferno Billy has about a million DVDs out there. This is the only one I have ever tried, and purchased it because I wanted a good kickboxing DVD for me to use at home. It’s about an hour long (with a warm-up and cool-down) and shows Billy teaching a very diverse group of people. It is a really good workout, once you get the moves down. But, again, I find him to be awkward in front of the camera. He’s comfortable, but just kind of cocky and the people are a little nerdy. Hard to describe- I don’t know. It’s a good cardio workout though, but not one that I choose to do often.



Shiva Rea Even though I haven’t used this DVD a lot, it is pretty awesome. It is divided into short segments and lets you pick and choose which ones to do for your workout. The menu screen gives a list of several options and you hit “select” on all of the ones that you want to do for your workout, and then they play in that order. Kinda genius if you ask me. It’s a little too laid back for me- I prefer more fast-paced yoga and kind of get annoyed by the “soothing” voice and music.

Yoga for Every Body I bought this DVD because it was cheap. I don’t like it. I tried it twice and got really bored. And, it seems very out-dated.


Out of all of the workout DVDs, it may be obvious that I use Bob’s the most (followed by Jillian). I definitely love having the option to work out at home, because sometimes I just don’t feel like going to the gym, and the weather isn’t suitable for exercising outdoors. It’s also just good to mix it up.

I have a very eclectic collection of dumbbells that desperately need a rack.

But as I’ve said many times in the past, my most prized possession is, of course, my Spin bike :

And this guy certainly doesn’t get the attention he deserves. We have a very love/hate relationship:

If you’re in the market for a foam roller, get this one. It’s called “The Grid” and I like it much better than the standard foam rollers.

I also came across a few old exercise VHS tapes that I used to rock out to back in the early 2000s:

That Cindy Crawford tape was definitely responsible for helping me lose a few pounds after college. I’d actually like to get a copy of that on DVD if it exists- it was a pretty awesome workout! Unfortunately, I seem to have gotten rid of the Kathy Smith tapes that I used to own. In college, my roomie and I would workout to her tapes in our dorm room, but would be giggling the whole time, because she and the other people on the tapes were sooooo dorky. Oh well, it’s not like I have a VCR to play them on anyway… and with that in mind, what the heck do you do with all of your old VHS tapes? I have so many great movies… should I just throw them away? So sad.


I’m going to take a rest day today, as my body is sore from head to toe from yesterday’s workout. The only form of exercise I will be doing is walking my crazy mutts, followed by some shopping.

Have a great weekend!

Do you work out at home or use exercise DVDs? If so, which are your favorites?








15 Comments on “Exercising at home: my DVD rundown”

  1. Lee says:

    Ha – I had that Cindy Crawford VHS tape too.

  2. Thanks for this review – sounds like Bob’s dvds are the best. I have a few from Jillian and Jacki but was never a dvd person until P90X. Maybe I’ll break them out (or invest in a few from Bob) when I’m done with the program 🙂

    • Lauren says:

      I would love to try P90x, I just don’t want to buy that whole package! I’ll have to borrow it from one of my many friends who have bought the DVD set. 🙂

  3. Cindy Crawford was my favorite! I used to do those workouts with my friends when we were ten years old – no idea why we had desire to do that, but we thought we were so cool!

  4. WOW. You have quite the collection–AND an awesome home gym. Love it!!

    I have a Pilates DVD I love <–lots of core work. And I also really like P90X Plyometrics and Ab Ripper.

  5. lgsmash says:

    can you come set up a home gym in my apartment? your equipment and dvd collection rocks! i only have a few dvds and they don’t get much love. my 5 lb weights and kettlebell, on the other hand, i use almost every day!

    • Lauren says:

      I need a some kettlebells- they would be especially useful for the Bob workout I did Friday. I’m just SO cheap and those things are SO expensive!!

  6. My mom has an audio tape og the Jane Fonda pregnancy workout that she still listens to sometimes… 22 years after my little brother was born:) I recently set up a home gym in my garage and have been looking for some new DVDs to try. Thanks for the heads up o. The awesome price for Bob’s DVDs.

  7. Great post pretty lady!! I loved reading your reviews. Where did you buy your spin bike?

    • Lauren says:

      Greg got it for me as a Christmas gift in 2008. I think he just got it from Spinning.com.
      I LOVE IT. If you’re ever wanting to buy one, let me know! I can give a good recommendation.

  8. so bob’s dvds are stellar? I love Jackie’s dvds. I did to start doing them again though. 😦 BTW jealous you have enough room in your house for a bike!

    • Lauren says:

      When I got the bike, we were still living in our old townhouse and it was set up in the middle of my husband’s office. Luckily, our new house has 5 bedrooms- and there’s only 2 of us! I’ve never in my life had this much living space and I love every square foot of it.

  9. Corrie Anne says:

    I love this! I always want to know about other dvds I don’t have. I just got the Bob yoga… I’m trying to like it as much as Jillian so opposite of you. Jillian’s moves a little faster and that works for my add exercise brain!

  10. […] outside. It was windy, but the sun was out. My original plan was to do the same work out I did last Friday with Bob (the one that left me sore for three days), but ditched that idea and went for a run […]

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