I've liked Denise Austin for years and have worked out to her DVDs and her television program on many occasions so I had to check out her Shrink Your Fat Zones Pilates DVD.
Denise is so upbeat and positive. She makes you feel like you really can do all the exercises in her workout. She's always very helpful about telling you exactly what you need to do and her voice keeps you motivated throughout.
This is a beginner's DVD, for sure. I had previously done Mari Winsor's program so I was at least a little bit familiar with the general pilates method.
There are actually three workouts included on the DVD to cover the entire body so you can do them one right after the other for a full body 45 minute workout, or you can do each 15 minute workout separately (which is what I did) for a concentrated hit of exercise.
If you're just getting into pilots this is a great DVD for you because Denise's positive, caring attitude eases you into it without stress.
If you've already done pilates for a while you may need a more advanced program such as some of Mari Winsor's discs.
Vernon Rockville, CT
Not enough Reps
I just finished working out to this one. Shrink Your Fat Zones Pilates is definitely for beginners. Lots of Pros and Cons here.
Pros: Denise looks great, as usual. She continues to be very encouraging, very motivating. She never forgets to help you keep your body alignment correct and safe. She provides constant cues and reminders, such as "Keep your back straight" and "Zip up those abs." These reminders help; I tend to forget. The set is bright and colorful, backup exercisers are fit and attractive. Good music too, it has a motivating vibe and sounds current.
Cons: It's too easy. Even for a beginner, I don't think they'd get much benefit, in terms of body re-shaping and weight loss. The major problem is that Denise doesn't do enough reps. The DVD is broken up into 3 fifteen minute workouts: arms, legs/butt, and abs/core. Each segment has it's own warm up and cool down. But the reps are too short! Just when you start figuring out the move, and the muscle is starting to work and feel a slight burn, she's done, and moving on to the next move. Some moves have only between 5-8 reps. The moves are actually good, and include standing moves and floor work. On the arm section, she recommends 1, 3, or 5 lb weights. I used 5 lbs and didn't feel much of a burn. (I'm a moderate exerciser). If only she did more reps, You'd get a good workout. The ab section probably provides the best workout.
To sum it up, use this if you're a complete beginner, or for a weak/tired day, when you want some energy, feel-good stretches, and very light toning. If you're looking for some dramatic weight loss or speedy body re-shaping, this isn't the DVD for you. I do like Denise Austin.
Flowing Light Toning Pilates Fusion Workout
Denise Austin, 2010
This dvd has three 15 minute zone specific (upper body, lower body, and core) pilates-esque routines on it. The dvd allows you to mix & match or select an individual workout. Denise works out in an open space with wood floors & multicolored window type panels with 4 background exercisers. You will need a towel (or stretchy band) and dumbbells for this workout.**Zone 1 Abs & Core:** This routine utilizes a towel (I used a stretchy band) to vary the intensity of the moves. or support the neck, or to put between your knees to intensify the lower ab effect. I really liked the use of the towel & it definatly added variety and intensity to the work. Some of the moves include: C-curves, side bends, roll downs, toe dips, roll ups w/ torso twist, doulbe leg stretch pulling the towel over & under the legs, bicycle, can can (fun!), saw, lower abdominal crunches, straight leg drop variations, modified T-stand into a twist, knee to elbow pull on all 4's, plank with leg lifts, etc. Very enjoyable & effective-my favorite section.**Zone 2 Upper Body:** This section uses light dumbbells (1-5 #s); I would consider it a flowing -light toning/pilates routine. Moves include bug w/ back fly, pilates stance & pliets w/ chest scoops, pliet stance w/ preacher curls, side lunge while circling your weights, pulsing chair pose w/ tricep kickback, side lunge w/ a row & torso twist, a flowing move that includes overhead tricep pres - kickbacks - and a soft lunge, renegade rows, pilates- type pushup variations, pec fly w/ leg extension, pec fly while bicycling the legs, and a reverse plank.**Zone 3 Buns & Thighs:** This section requires no props and I would consider it a flowing- light toning/ pilates routine. Standing exercises include: pilates style lunge & side lunge to curtsy, torso twist, balancing stick, 1 legged squat w/ knee lift, & pliet. Floor work includes: donkey kicks while lying on your belly, single leg swings (lying on your side), inner thigh lift variations, & leg cirlces in modified T-stand.I really like shorter, mix & match, or add on type pilates & yoga routines. It is rare that I would do a 60 minute pilates or yoga routine, so I am a big fan of the multiple shorter routines on 1 dvd. Denise is fairly mellow in this one and her cueing and form pointers are very good. I like this workout and will definately be using it often as an add on to other w/o's. I would rate this high beginner level. It is perfect for those of who arent huge fans of pilates or for those who are looking for "not your typical pilates" routine -because of the s a unique spin she puts on traditional pilates moves.