Case Number 15458: Small Claims Court

ABS OF STEEL: SCULPTING AND TONING

Warner Bros. // 2008 // 58 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // January 16th, 2009

The Charge

Six pack abs with the queen of the crunch! She's back!

The Case

Leisa Hart has built an empire off her "...of steel" workout routines, and here is one of the latest versions for your fitness consideration. She sold over six million videos back when VHS reigned supreme, so no surprise now she dips back at the well with Abs of Steel: Sculpting and Toning on DVD. It's all to woo you over in front of the television ready to crunch your way to glorious stomach muscles. She's actually quite good at this by now, and Leisa's routine is challenging and will isolate those abs.

The DVD breaks out with six complete routines including:
1) Ab Conditioning -- a 10-minute standing aerobic routine that incorporates dance and boxing moves teamed up with good old fashioned planks to get your abs going. This one is a challenge to follow first time through, and may throw off beginners.

2) Ab Isolating -- 10 minutes on a chair doing a lot of the standing moves, but this time seated. This one is easier to follow from the start, but you will need an armless chair at the right height for you.

3) Ab Toning -- five minutes on the floor with Leisa. This is what you'd expect to find, crunches and stretches in the traditional and easiest to follow ab routine.

4) Ab Flowing -- five minutes of a more challenging routine on the floor. This one is like the advanced class for graduates of the "toning" routine. Lots of stretches on knees are found here with moves inspired by other training modes.

5) Ab Pilates -- five minutes on the floor again, but this time Leisa works in the Pilates moves. You're going to need some more balance here, as well as a good mat. It's easier than what comes next though.

6) Ab Yoga -- five more minutes on the floor again, except now yoga stretches are included for your ab pleasure. Think of this one as the next level from the Pilates routine.

As a bonus there are what Leisa brands "routine regimes" that marry the "ab conditioning and ab isolating" for a 20-minute session, "ab yoga and ab flowing" for 15 minutes, and "ab pilates and ab toning" for 10 minutes. Three five-minute routines also include the ab challenge, bun challenge, and ab stretch to round things out. You really can't complain here about all your options, and I'd say this is a quality workout DVD. Leisa includes examples of three levels for each workout. She does the moderate versions of everything, while her two back-up exercisers do more advanced variations she terms as "ultimate." A smart move with the DVD are the audio options that allow for some variety. You can choose complete narration or music only, and can even toggle between English or Spanish. It's a super nice touch there to have a bilingual ab routine. The image is fullscreen, but quite sharp and easy to see.

Now let's have a disclaimer and reveal the skeptic in me. Leisa has done numerous interviews where she has admitted she was blessed with great genes, and fitness comes all too easily for her body type. She's publicly stated most people can not get her shape simply by following her videos. Abs are something tied to diet more than any other part of the body, so you will need an aggressive food plan to match this routine if you are looking for that elusive six-pack. Think about this -- junkies always have great abs, and so do people who are malnourished. Why? Because most of us have them, but we have to get rid of the fat to see the muscles. I suggest either dieting or crack if you truly want abs of steel. Either a lot of lettuce or a lot of speed should do the trick.

But to help you in your drug or calorie reducing habit, these routines are quite good at isolating the abdominals. Hats off to Leisa Hart who has indeed updated her routines to incorporate newer moves and more influences like pilates and yoga to freshen up this set of abs exercises. I'd put this one near the top of fitness DVDs because the routines target what they claim, the host knows her stuff, and they put enough variations on here so you won't get bored quickly. Abs of Steel: Sculpting and Toning sets the gold standard for fitness DVDs, and it looks like Leisa Hart will make tons more cash off her genetically blessed stomach.

Review content copyright © 2009 Brett Cullum; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 90

Perp Profile
Studio: Warner Bros.
Video Formats:
* Full Frame

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 2.0 (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Spanish)

Subtitles:
* None

Running Time: 58 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* Routine Regimes
* Bonus Routines

Accomplices
* Leisa Hart Official Site
http://leisahart.com/