Chief Counsel Melissa Hansen is a fitness fiend.
3 workouts for your busy life
There are two types of people: those that love The Real Housewives on Bravo, and those that hope the rich, selfish, crazy women lose everything and have to turn tricks for a living (if they a haven't already). Actually, there is one more type: those of us who hate The Real Housewives but love Bethenny Frankel (Um…that would be me). She's the breakout from the New York version…along with being a natural foods chef, creator of the booze sensation Skinnygirl Margarita, best selling author, star of her own spinoff shows, and recent wife and mother. Whew! How does she do all that and stay a…well, skinny girl? With Bethenny's Skinnygirl Workout, of course!
This DVD is promoted as "three easy-to-follow yoga workouts." Well, it is a workout and it contains yoga, but I beg to differ with the "three" part of the descriptor. This is a longer workout that you can begin at three different places, so you don't have to do the whole thing at once. The first time I did the workout I hit "Section One" on the menu. After awhile, there was a quick break in the video, which would have been easy to miss had I not been glancing at the screen, and the moves continued. A bit later, I realized it had been longer than the 15 minutes the "workout" was supposed to be. Confused, I grabbed my remote and looked at the time display. Turns out that brief break in the action was the end of the first workout. Oops.
Besides the confusion over what workout is what, the whole routine seems unplanned, like someone just grabbed a video camera during one of Bethenny's yoga practices with her pal. Her dog, Cookie, even wanders around the set (which may actually be a positive for fans). Speaking of, if you're a fan of Bethenny you know her personality and what to expect to come out of her mouth, which is pretty much anything. If you are not already a fan, be warned: the girl talks…a lot…and bluntly.
So, how about the workout (I refuse to call it "three workouts") itself? Well, it is "easy-to-follow" but tough to do. This is not one for beginners. Instructor Mike McArdle takes Bethenny (and us) through some tough positions. You'll be sweating, breathing, and shaking. I guess that's how she stays a skinnygirl. For those who think yoga isn't strengthening, here's proof you're wrong. You'll tone and stretch every inch of your body. There is at least once where we're instructed to do the same moves to the right side twice, so be sure you're alternating which side you're focusing on. The positions are great, I just wish the presentation was at the same level.
Presented in standard 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, the image is what you'd expect from modern fitness DVDs: clea and clear. Don't expect anything special from the Dolby 2.0 audio either; you can understand the instructions, and that's all we need.
The whole thing is about 50 minutes (15-20-15 minutes if you want to break it up) without much "Om" time. However, there is an extra stretching segment (12 mins) that I highly recommend tacking on. (FYI: "stretching" does not translate to "easy.") An introduction gives us Bethenny's take on working out. You can read brief onscreen bios of Frankel and McArdle if you're yearning for credentials. And if the famed yoga butt isn't quite good enough for you, there is also a brief booty workout clip from Bethenny's previous DVD, Body by Bethenny. On top of that, she provides a booklet with a handful of recipes (including a cocktail, of course) from her book The Skinnygirl Dish. Are these real bonuses or attempts the get you to buy more of her products? I'll let you decide.
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