Judge Ian Visser used to be a Spice Girl—"Attachment Disorder Spice."
"Ooh, I'm all sweaty!"—Mel B.
From hit records to squat thrusts, a former girl-group star takes to the mat to show you how to buff up.
Facts of the Case
Melanie Brown (Spice World) is best known to the world as Mel B., the feistiest member of the now-defunct pop collective Spice Girls. Her post-Scary Spice career in the music business has been mixed, featuring a couple of middling albums and a relationship with Eddie Murphy that ended with a nasty paternity case.
But the entertainment world is forgiving, and there is always room for a one-time star to remake herself. In this case, Mel has turned to the world of fitness, releasing her first compilation of workouts entitled Totally Fit.
Totally Fit provides a mix of routines designed to improve specific areas of the body. With the exception of the Cardio (15 minutes) and the Advanced Cardio workouts (30 minutes), all the routines are ten minutes in duration. Users are encouraged to build on and combine routines in order to improve their fitness level and get faster results.
The routines include:
Mel B. is out to kick your butt. Make no mistake about it, this is a tough, no-holds barred series of routines that, if you can get through them, will probably have you dropping pounds and leaning up in only a few short weeks.
In the course of the DVD there are some unique and challenging moves to get the blood pumping and the sweat pouring. Almost all of the routines have moves executed in one-minute durations; do a minute of lunges, then a minute of thrusts, and then on to a minute of kicks. It's simple and allows the user to get the hang of one move before moving onto the next. The most challenging element of the routines is that Miss B. isn't interesting in giving you a break…aside from a short respite in the abdominal series, its all-out action from start to finish. These routines—even the ten-minute ones—will provide a stiff challenge for anyone who hasn't exercised in a while.
The down-side of the Totally Fit routines is that they can get repetitive. The leg workout, for example, features a lengthy stand-up, sit-down move coupled with kicks and knees. It's basically a single move repeated over and over for six minutes; it gets stale early and stays that way. There is a good deal of variety in the moves throughout the DVD, but repeating a similar move repeatedly gets a bit tiresome.
Mel herself makes for a fun, outgoing host. She makes a lot of double entendres during her workouts, keeping the mood light and upbeat. She's in great shape and is definitely walking the talk. All the routines take place outdoors in a tropical setting, accompanied by several other participants. The camera moves about on a regular basis, allowing the participant to get a look at the moves from different perspectives.
The technical aspects of the release are top-notch. The widescreen image is defect-free; despite the outdoors setting there is no light flaring or other inconsistencies. The 2-channel audio is loud and crystal clear, both in the workouts and the bonus segments.
The only extra on Totally Fit is a nutrition and cooking segment. Mel takes viewers through several of her favorite healthy foods, touching on breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. We watch as she prepares fish, chicken, and turkey meals, all done with low-fat and high-protein ingredients. While the recipes demonstrated are all simple, they do not offer specific measurements or a list of contents aside from the running commentary while the food is being assembled.
The Rebuttal Witnesses
There's no delicate way to put this, but I am compelled to make mention of it. As is popular with some young women these days, Miss B. has undergone a breast enhancement procedure that has left her with impressive décolletage. Not one to be shy about showing off what the good Lord (and her plastic surgeon) has given her, the result is a display of fleshiness that goes beyond impressive and right into downright distracting. I'm certainly going to tell another person what they should or shouldn't do with their own bodies, but there may be more than one reason why someone's husband or boyfriend is using this product.
Totally Fit will kick your butt up one side of the wall and down the other. You'll probably end up in the best shape of your life if you stick with the program…just don't expect the experience to be a walk in the park.
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