The (Big) Review

Imagine a world where human beings are not constrained by intelligence and physical abilities. A world where we are all super humans, almost omnipotent; having all the information we need to do anything we want. Well, that would be my warped idea of utopia. But in reality, we are all bounded by the types of relationship we have, to obtain appropriate information. We gain theoretical knowledge in school through our lecturers. We learn about the morals and belief systems from our parents and people around us… You get what I mean.

While my utopian perception of the future is still far from reach, the introduction of the Internet technology has brought us close to being “all-knowing” beings.

The process of globalisation and the adoption of capitalism as a way of life have brought the culture of consumption to another level. With the massive amounts of products we are exposed to, how do we know which are the best/most suitable one for us? While there are sites which provides reviews to certain products, most of these posts were sponsored, so we probably won’t know how true they really are.

Fitness fads are here to stay because we want to look good. That’s not a crime, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of. I used to be a member at the school gym. But not seeing the results I wanted to see after weeks of working out and eating clean, I almost gave up. That’s till I started looking into fitness DVDs. This post is dedicated to providing my honest feedbacks on workout DVDs which I have tried, and health books which I own.

1. Physique 57 Sequence 1 (includes a full 57 min, 30 min express and arm and ab booster workout)

Among the workout DVDs I own, this has to be my favourite. There is a reason why it’s been raved about so much throughout America. With their studio based in New York, this pilates inspired workout method is Tough.

While I’ve not seen major changes in my body yet, I believe that it would give me great results because every move on the workout DVDs are challenging. My legs would tremble and shake when I’m in the Pretzel routine, and their ‘thigh dancing’ workout is just the killer.

That said, it’s only fair if I acknowledge the bad stuff as well. I find that all their moves are too thigh focused. While its been said that the thigh muscles are one of the biggest muscle groups in the body, it’s not attractive to have overly muscle-y thighs.

2. Tracy Anderson Mat/Cardio/Studio Design

What I love about Tracy is how she’s so cool. Trainer to Gwyneth Paltrow, Tracy utilises moves from various dance elements, striving to give her followers the tight, toned and lean dancer’s body.

Her mat workout is my second favourite after P57 (and probably among all her other DVD. her mat workout propelled me to spend more on the other DVDs). Unlike P57’s routine (which focuses on the thighs), Tracy Anderson’s mat workout is a holistic routine that really targets the major areas. Some of her arm exercises might look really stupid, with all the arm flinging and flailing. But oh man. My arms were so sore the next day.


However, I am not a huge fan of her dance cardio workouts. It might be because I’m totally hopeless with anything related to dance. But, I feel that her steps are too bounce-y and it really adds pressure to the knees and the ankles.

Here’s just a clip of her and Nicole Ritchie doing the dance cardio.

If you’re a great dancer, then you might want to consider following her method. But if you’re not, get her Mat DVD and definitely go for P57.

3. Ballet Beautiful

Mary Helen Bower, founder of Ballet Beautiful and trainer to Natalie Portman for her role in Black Swan, is the epitome of grace and poise. Her workouts are very ballet-esque and that helps making one feel prettier (like a ballerina). But honestly, her workouts aren’t the most challenging around, and to feel the effects of her workouts, you’ve got to do more reps.

I reckon Ballet Beautiful is a good start for beginners who want to try home workout programs. But as you become stronger, these workouts are probably not enough to support your strengthened body.

4. Eat Clean Diet by Tosca Reno

Yes this book has been recommended by many people on Amazon. But honestly, it’s not worth the money at all. If you have a basic knowledge towards eating clean like consuming lean meat and tons of vegetables, you might want to save the money on something else. The book tells us about drinking plenty of water, getting sufficient sleep and what not.

Her meal plans and recipes are pretty unrealistic too. She recommends consuming bison meat, which I’m pretty sure isn’t available in most regions around the world..

Definitely not a keeper.

5. 7lbs in 7 Days (Jason Vale‘s Juice Diet)

One controversial aspect of diet is on juice diets. Are fruit juices good for us? Will we gain weight by eating too much fruit? Those were the questions I asked my roommate (she’s a 1st year postgraduate medical student at University of Melbourne).

According to her, fruit juice diet is not the answer to weight lose. In fact, fruit juices are just loaded with empty calories because their fibres have been stripped completely. In addition to not feeling full, the acids in the fruit juices are bad for the teeth as well, corroding your precious enamel.

You might think going on a fruit diet would help you shed those extra pounds. It won’t work unless you incorporate intense cardio into your schedule. While fruits do not contain sucrose, they have a significant amount of natural carbohydrates which would just be stored as fats.

Jason Vale’s juice diet may work to a certain extent. But the amount of prep work needed for EACH meal is so tedious. The worst thing about juice diet is that you’re not able to keep the juices for long and hence you have to blend the fruits every single day or maybe twice a day.

I hope this review has been helpful in providing you with details you need to look out for if you’re deciding to start on your own workout routines. I’ve heard a lot of good stuff about The Bar Method and I’m thinking of getting the package. I’ll definitely post a review here once I’ve bought it and tried it for a month or so!

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2 thoughts on “The (Big) Review

  1. As soon as I read the first first words of this post, I thought “the internet has brought us closer to your idea of a utopia” – then you said it! The integration of capitalism and neo-liberalistic ideas is something of value too, as it is as the heart of all structural change in society at the present. Fantastic post. The layout of this blog is very navigationally friendly; much like mine http://osciwosci1.wordpress.com

  2. What an interesting post! Clicking onto your site for the first time, I”m really impressed by your ability to handle such a popular topic discussion with honesty and a friendly approach. A one stop shop for feedback on so many different, all very popular fitness regimes that will help your readers bypass the inefficient, waste of money programs and hone in on what really works! great work and hope it’s all coming along really well!!

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