Case Number 11059: Small Claims Court


Rodale // 2006 // 82 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Ian Visser (Retired) // March 22nd, 2007

The Case

Exercise and workout videos are a growing market and the popular Women's Health magazine has jumped into the arena of late. Their newest offering is an all-around workout plan designed to get women moving to slim down and shape up. Women's Health: Train for Your Body Type follows the basic pattern of most exercise DVDs by combining pre-determined routines with custom workout options. But is it worth your time and money?

Women's Health: Train for Your Body Type is comprised of five sections:

A brief intro explaining how to select a workout based on your body type (curvy, athletic, or lean and narrow).

Pre-Built Workouts
These pre-built routines are based on the three body types and split by day. For example, Monday is cardio, Thursday is lower body, and so on. Once or twice a week is a rest day. Here's a day-to-day example of the "Classic Curvy" routine:

Day 1 -- Cardio
Day 2 -- Upper Body
Day 3 -- Cardio
Day 4 -- Lower Body
Day 5 -- Cardio
Day 6 -- Rest
Day 7 -- Abs and Core

Custom Workouts
All the routines are listed in one menu, allowing the viewer to organize a workout according to what they feel like doing that particular day. Users can add and remove routines, or double-up on others for a tougher challenge. Don't like your choice? Clear it and start again.

Bonus Segments
Lisa Dryer, a nutrition advisor for Women's Health, gives eating strategies in the segment, The Ultimate Eat-For-Energy Plan. It's basic stuff (drink water, don't skip breakfast), and clocks in at less than 2 minutes. It's the same story with second bonus feature, Salads That Fill You Up and Slim You Down! Again clocking in at less than 2 minutes, Dryer informs viewers about what to eat at the salad bar (nuts, veggies, protein) and what to avoid (creamy dressings, bacon bits). It's all solid advice, but not a comprehensive plan for someone looking to lose a significant amount of weight or make a lifestyle change. The overall feeling around these extras is that they are a means of driving viewers to the Women's Health website (and maybe a magazine subscription?) rather than providing complete nutrition information.

Audio Set-up
Choose music and instructions, or just the music, during the workouts.

The main difference between Women's Health: Train for Your Body Type and other workout DVDs is the notion that training should vary based on your body shape. I'm not so sure that's the case. Most experts would tell you that for beginners, any exercise is beneficial, and only serious athletes are going to require any kind of specialization. The benefit of using the pre-planned routines based on body type is never explained, and regardless of which body type is chosen, it's the same exercises presented in a different order. As a result, it feels like a viewer is only getting partial value based on this system, since only one of three routines is supposed to be used.

Moves-wise, there is a good deal of standing movement for an aerobic effect, coupled with weighted moves to help build muscle. Routines combine kick-boxing, boxing, yoga, stretching, and lots of lunging and squatting. There are also a lot of jumping moves, so anyone with downstairs neighbors may have some problems. It's curious that the movements on some of the routines switch after only a few reps, so you often find yourself just getting used to a movement before having to switch. As a result, you may have to work through some routines more than once before you get accustomed to the motions.

The requirements for success are a little steep. According to Women's Health: Train for Your Body Type, you'll be working out almost every day, which can be difficult for those who live busy lives. And you'll spend those workouts looking at a series of very thin and attractive models, which may do more to intimidate new viewers rather than inspire them. Be prepared for some pounding, jarring electronic opening, and menu music that sounds like a rejected track from The Prodigy back in 1996.

On the plus side, Women's Health: Train for Your Body Type does its audience a solid by detailing the exercise equipment requirements (a mat and light hand-weights) on the box, something often missing from other offerings. The technical aspects of the release are also very good, with no video issues and a crisp digital audio track. As mentioned, the opening menu music track is geared really loud, so keep the speakers low until you get your routine going.

So will Women's Health: Train for Your Body Type work? Sure, provided you are able to maintain the daily requirements for exercise and can find nutritional information elsewhere. But if a viewer is going to follow the instructions and stick to only 1/3 of the available routines, you have to ask if this offering really presents a solid value.

Review content copyright © 2007 Ian Visser; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2016 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 75

Perp Profile
Studio: Rodale
Video Formats:
* Full Frame

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)

* None

Running Time: 82 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* The Ultimate Eat-For-Energy Plan
* Salads That Fill You Up and Slim You Down!

* Official Women's Health Site