Work It! Review of Denise Austin: 3 Week Bootcamp

Despite my nearly month long absence, I have still been working out about 3-4 times a week. The librarians have finally caught on to me, and have so kindly started keeping the ever-growing stack of DVDs in my name on the bottom shelf and ignoring the fact that they are supposed to send back items that haven't been checked out within 6 days. Bless their hearts.

My most recent (as in I finished it about 6 minutes ago) was Denise Austin's 3 Week Boot Camp. I'll try not to be too negative in this review, because it really is a pretty good workout. The dvd is separated into two 20-minute sessions. The first is an interval/circuit workout that alternates a few minutes of cardio with a few minutes of strength with light weights. The second session is called "Athletic Training" (whatever that means?) and is a kettlebell "inspired" workout - meaning no one on the video is actually using a kettlebell, but all the moves are kettlebell moves. So, if you have one, use it. It's more fun! At the end there is also a 6 minute ab "fat-blaster."

Instructor - 4

I have such terribly mixed feelings about Denise Austin that it's a little hard to decide on a score. I settled on a 4 because she really really really gets on my nerves. Lots of bouncing, and perkiness... and her voice is strange. And she wears her hair down??

If I think too much about the fact she wears her hair down during every workout, I start to get an inferiority complex about how sweaty I get in comparison to everyone else in the world. I'm already such a wimp that I have to have our tower fan on the highest setting pointed straight at me or I feel like I'm going to die from heat stroke. Things would just be better if you wore your hair in a ponytail like the rest of us, ok, DA?

But aside from all the personality/relational conflict we have, good ol' Denise has successfully kicked my booty twice this week and she is super easy to follow. Which is probably why she's been around for 20 years. She gives plenty of warning when transitioning between moves, and honestly she keeps things pretty simple (more on that later). I guess you could say she's also really encouraging, but I end up having to tune her out most of the time or I start laughing at the ridiculous beady-eyed, super-intense, Barbie voice that's whispering happy things to me. But if you think you might like that kind of thing, good for you!

Intensity - 5

This workout has a lot of squats. The cardio parts of the first session get your heart pumping, but the strength moves are kind of a joke. Overall, the first session feels easier than the second. However, by the end of the kettlebell workout, I was pretty exhausted and out of breath. Plus, both times I've done this workout, I've been really sore afterwards (the good kind, not the injured kind). The kettlebell workout is definitely the best bang for your buck and I can feel it working all my muscle groups at the same time. Also, it's worth mentioning that the ab portion at the end of the kettlebell workout is more intense than the entire 6 minute ab blaster.

Difficulty - 3

Really nothing too complicated here. Denise keeps it simple, and the focus is on repetition and switching it up frequently. The most complicated moves to learn might be the kettlebell pass-throughs (both regular and while doing front lunges), and the half-turkish get-ups during the ab blaster. But, really even those just take some practice - I was much more comfortable doing them this second time around.

Overall - 6

I just don't think Denise Austin will ever be my favorite instructor, but I will give her credit for knowing what she's doing and putting together a great workout. This boot camp dvd has some really effective moves and the whole 46 minutes goes by really fast because you're constantly moving. I'm always a fan of kettlebells so that was an added bonus.

If you have any questions or suggestions for me, please leave me a comment!