Judge Jim Thomas is trying to go slow. How about a 30-Year Slimdown?
Oh look, Brooke Burke has a workout video.
Sigh. The best-laid plans, yada yada yada.
My original plan was for me to actually use Brooke Burke's exercise DVD for a few weeks, then report on the results. That plan fell by the wayside as a particularly nasty stomach virus went on an extended rampage through the Thomas household. Once things settle down, I hope to perform that grand experiment and report back with the results. In the meantime, you're stuck with a more traditional review of Brooke Burke: 30-Day Slimdown.
The disc includes two 30-minute sessions. The first is a straight cardio, fat burning workout, while the other is geared towards toning and sculpting those pesky trouble areas; the basic idea is to alternate between the two workouts. The cardio program is OK, though the tendency to break everything up into chunks of 30 seconds to 2 minute makes it difficult to get into a good rhythm. On the plus side, at the beginning of each set, they display how many seconds the set will run; it's always a little easier to push through the pain when you see the goal ahead. On the downside, the display isn't a countdown timer—it's not a big deal with a 30-second set, but as the sets get longer, it becomes more problematic.
A larger problem with the cardio workout is that Burke doesn't explain the moves particularly well, let alone address the importance of proper form. The Tone & Sculpt routine, however, fares somewhat better, with Burke occasionally highlighting both the correct form and what muscles are being targeted. While there is one member of the exercise team who shows scaled back moves for people who physically can't do the current move, she isn't highlighted enough, given the challenging nature of the workout.
Video is OK, with some slight fuzziness of colors. It looks more like a good VHS than a DVD, but for what the disc is, it's enough. The Dolby stereo track is perfectly adequate. You have two audio options to watch the workout: music and instructions, or music only option. The music was added after the fact; you can tell because in the cardio workout, there's a 3-4 minute stretch where the exercise and the music aren't quite synched up properly. That will mess with your head—your eyes will try to make your body match what you are seeing, but your ears will try to make you match the audio.
As always, talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program. If you're in OK shape to begin with, you might be able to jump right into these workouts. However, having trouble keeping up right off the bat can be rough on the morale, so I'd recommend a week or two of daily walking to help the transition.
Brooke Burke has enthusiasm to burn, but she needs to be more of a coach than a cheerleader. It's a decent enough workout, but there's nothing about it that really separates it from the pack.
Guilty? Not guilty? Meh.
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