Judge Ian Visser is gonna sweat! Sweat! He'll let the music take control, let the music move him!
Our reviews of Denise Austin: 3-Week Boot Camp (published January 9th, 2010), Denise Austin: Body Burn With Dance And Pilates (published February 28th, 2009), Denise Austin: Body Makeover Mix (published January 9th, 2010), Denise Austin: Hot Body Yoga (published October 2nd, 2010), and Denise Austin: Sculpt And Burn Body Blitz (published September 11th, 2011) are also available.
12 moves in 12 minutes!
Denise Austin: Get Fit Daily Dozen is part of the growing "quick workout" trend found in the fitness industry of late. These products emphasize short workouts with constantly changing moves over the more-traditional 30 or 45-minute offerings that have been prevalent for the past decade or so. In addition to defeating the "I have no time" excuse, these shorter routines claim to provide a better workout by constantly changing exercises and limiting break times.
Denise Austin: Get Fit Daily Dozen provides five routines of 12 minutes each. These workouts include:
• Cardio-Athletic Blast
The suggested schedule for the workouts is pretty simple: one workout per day, with the Yoga Stretch routine on weekends. Each routine offers 12 individual exercises (squats, curls, jumping jacks, etc) which are each completed before moving onto the next. The idea is to keep you moving and boredom-free while providing an all-around workout. Light hand weights are recommended for the upper and lower-body sculpting routines.
Participants are encouraged to mix and match workouts as they improve their fitness level. The customization feature of the DVD allows users to select different workouts or repeat a particular workout more than once. This is a standard feature on exercise DVDs of late but it is nice to have the option to create a customized routine once the basics are mastered.
Denise Austin is your workout coach on this particular disc. Austin has a decent pedigree as far as fitness goes; she graduated from university with a Bachelor's degree in physical education and a minor in exercise physiology, and had a long-running exercise program on ESPN. To call Austin chipper is an understatement: with her omnipresent smile and cheerful yelling it might be damned irritating to have to endure 12 minutes of her cheerleading early in the morning (my wife wanted to reach into the television and punch her in the face, but your mileage may vary). There is a "mute" option for each routine that eliminates the narration and/or music.
A more serious problem than Austin's non-stop glee fest is that each routine tosses you right into the midst of fast-paced exercises with little or no warm-up. Considering that this product is marketed to beginners or those who dislike exercising, there is a risk that users could be left frustrated or outright injured at the aggressive pace being presented. Austin makes very quick transitions between exercises, often to the point that by the time you are able to catch up she is off to another move. The demand to keep each routine under 12 minutes means that there is no time for instruction or demonstration between each exercise; users may have to repeat the routines several times before being able to complete them at the same pace as Austin.
There are no alternative examples of the exercises offered to those without the same level of ability that Austin possesses. This is a problem during several of the abdominal moves, where the exercises are pretty advanced and are unlikely to be able to be completed by beginners as outlined. Austin also drops the ball on providing a time clock or progress bar during the routines…it would be nice to know how far along in any given routine someone is.
Denise Austin: Get Fit Daily Dozen is shot in digital video, so the image is defect-free and clear. The audio is sharp, if a bit loud.
The only significant extra is a brief list of foods in the insert recommended by Austin. These include fish, strawberries, oats, and so on. There is no mention of specific recipes, portion sizes, or when best to eat which food. Considering that conventional wisdom in the exercise world dictates that diet is the most critical component of improving an individual's health and fitness, the lack of a solid diet outline is a real short-coming. Exercising 12 minutes a day while still eating takeout and bon-bons isn't a recipe for success.
Several trailers for Austin's other exercise DVDs are also included.
Denise Austin: Get Fit Daily Dozen misses the mark in trying to provide shorter workouts that make exercising easier and more palatable. Austin throws viewers in the deep-end with minimal coaching and sets a rapid pace that allows little time for beginners to adjust. Ironically, the biggest selling feature of the DVD is its biggest problem: the steep demands of the routines means those who would benefit most are those least-likely to be able to accomplish them as designed.
Guilty. There are no shortcuts to fitness, people.
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