If you want to work out like Kelly Ripa and Kim Raver, start with Physique 57. The Pilates and dance-inspired program is challenging and best suited for those with an advanced fitness level, but promises to deliver long, lean and graceful muscle development.
Upbeat commentary is engaging, but tiresome: The Physique 57 program was created by Jennifer Vaughan Maanavi and Tanya Becker. Becker, who is the instructor on this DVD, was a well-known instructor on the Lotte Berk Method before creating this program. Becker is incredibly upbeat and high-energy in this workout DVD and is somewhat of a polarizing figure when it comes to reviewers. Some find her upbeat commentary entertaining, while others note they eventually had to put the DVD on mute.
A full-body workout to lengthen and strengthen: The workout incorporates Pilates-style and dance moves with lively music. The entire series is given high praise, with reviewers saying that the 57 Minute Workout is effective, challenging and doesn't feel as long as it is. Reviewers note that this is not a workout for beginners and should be used by those with an intermediate to advanced fitness level. The 30-Minute Full Body Workout is the favorite in the program, offering a solid, overall workout in a short period.
Necessary exercise ball comes included: The standard series, known as the Complete Physique 57 Workout kits, comes with three DVDs. Volume One includes: Classic 57 Minute Full Body Workout, Express 30 Minute Fully Body Workout and the Arm & Ab Booster 30 Minute workout. Volume Two swaps the upper body routine with the Thigh & Seat Booster. Each series also comes with an exercise ball, which is used in many of the moves. There are also higher-priced packages that include more DVDS. All kits provide the ball (and pump), which is a plus.
Review Credibility: Excellent FitBottomedGirls.com provides the most comprehensive database of current fitness DVD reviews. Their reviews are detailed and balanced, and rated on six criteria: instruction, long-term likability, music, fun factor, whether it meets expectations and overall. The complete Physique 57 collection is included in a roundup of DVDs that claim to make you sexier. The DVD collection earns the highest ranking (4.5 stars overall), beating out Susan Hyatt's Rockstar Workout and S Factor 1: The Beginning. The reviewer says that this is a workout that will make you feel the burn, but notes that toward the end of the workout the instructor's comments become annoying.
Review: UnderReview: A Sexy DVD Round-Up (& Giveaways!), Jenn Walters, Dec. 3, 2009
Review Credibility: Excellent In this FitBottomedGirls.com article, the editors select their highest-rated yoga and Pilates DVDs. Each DVD receives a very brief caption and links to a more detailed full review. Physique 57 earns the number two spot, with editors guaranteeing that you'll feel the burn.
Review: The 10 Best Yoga and Pilates DVDs We've Ever Reviewed, Editors of FitBottomedGirls.com, Jan. 5, 2011
Review Credibility: Very Good About 45 users weigh in on The Complete Physique 57 Workout Kit. The series earns a perfect score, 5 out of 5 stars, from 41 of these customers. Reviews are substantially more detailed than those found on other retail sites. Reviewers say that this program is challenging and delivers results, and that even the longer 57-minute routine goes by quickly. Some reviewers note that the instructor's commentary style is not for everyone.
Review: The Complete Physique 57 Workout Kit 3 Disc Set With Exercise Ball, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of January 2013
4. Woman's Day
Review Credibility: Very Good Woman's Day magazine's Abigail L. Cuffey selects her favorite must-have exercise videos. Unfortunately, while it is clear she tests each video, her reviews lack the detail of other sites. Physique 57 and in particular the Physique 57: Express 30 Minute Full Body Workout DVD earns a spot on her list. Cuffey comments that the quality of the workout she experiences explains the popularity of the classes behind it, but she does not give any further details.
Review: 10 Best Fitness DVDs, Abigail L. Cuffey, March 3, 2010
5. Fitness Magazine
Review Credibility: Very Good This article selects 10 workout DVDs tested by real women as top picks for 2009. The review includes feedback from the testing women. Reviews also include the estimated number of calories burned and necessary equipment. While the entire Physique 57 program does not earn a spot on the list, one of the three DVDs, Physique 57 Express 30 Minute Full Body Workout, is selected as the Best Butt and Thighs Makeover. Reviewers say that while this is an overall toning program, users will notice the burn in their lower half. Unfortunately, the article is more than two years old. Fitness magazine's Top 10 Workout DVDs of 2011 is a better source of more current workout DVDs.
Review: The Best Workout DVDs of 2009, Sarah D'Angelo, Not dated
6. Real Simple
Review Credibility: Good Sarah Smith selects seven workout DVDs as the top picks in this undated roundup. While the videos are tested, the site does not specify by whom or for how long. Smith includes brief captions as to why each DVD was selected. The entire Physique 57 is not selected, but the time-sensitive Physique 57 Express 30 Minute Full Body Workout, which is part of the collection, is named the Fastest Overall Routine.
Review: The Best Workout DVDs, Sarah Smith, Not dated
7. Los Angeles Times
Review Credibility: Good In this 2009 article, Los Angeles Times writer Melinda Fulmer suggests several more advanced workout videos. She urges caution when recommending these videos, noting the workouts are not all appropriate for beginners. The trendy Physique 57 is recommended with Fulmer noting not everyone will find trainer Tanya Becker endearing, but you'll get a solid workout.
Review: DVDs Fit to Get Fit To, Melinda Fulmer, Nov. 9, 2009
Review Credibility: Good CollegeCandy.com is a site geared toward college-age women, who contribute content. Here, one contributor gives the Physique 57 DVD collection a shining review, saying that the program delivers fast results. While the review is detailed, it provides no negative feedback and does not comment much on the instruction or the feel of the DVD.
Review: Body Blog: Physique 57, My Secret Workout Weapon, Contributors to CollegeCandy.com, March 1, 2010