As you’ve probably noticed, there are hundreds of great exercise DVDs out there that can all provide you with hours of fat-burning motivation.
The problem comes when you end the 30 day challenge that a specific DVD is designed for. Where do you go from there? You could repeat the DVD from the start but it won’t hold the same interest for you. If you buy another DVD, you’ll be in the same situation a month later.
So, do you keep buying new DVDs and fill your shelves or do something else?
The purpose of this article is to help you to understand what makes a great fitness DVD so that you can create your own workout and keep motivation and interest levels high.
Here are some key aspects of the likes of Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred and Shaun T’s Insanity:
- Focus on High Intensity Interval Training – you’ll notice that exercises are timed for short bursts of activity with rest (or lower intensity movement) which has an effect of sending your heart rate rocketing and burning fat efficiently compared to gentle jogging
- The start of any programme is usually quite gentle and builds up so when developing your own, the first time you start your own programme, you’ll have to work out what level of effort you’ll need to put in based on your own current fitness levels
- Aim for good form throughout the routine, perhaps using YouTube to ensure you’re doing an exercise correctly, or better still, get a Personal Trainer to give you a one-off session so that you can learn the correct form with him or her checking you
- You can increase the difficulty of an exercise by the number of repetitions, the range of motion, the resistance you have to overcome (eg when using a dumbbell), the time you spend moving at high intensity, shortening the rest periods and the overall length of time of the session
- The initial total length of a commercial programme may be quite short (for instance, just 10 minutes) but as your fitness levels improve, despite your moving at full intensity for each round, you may find that your overall training session extends well beyond 30 minutes so when developing your own, consider your current fitness levels and set the difficulty as appropriate to you
- You have to constantly make it more difficult to push your fitness levels
- As per a previous article I wrote, you can use an exercise bicycle or running machine; you can even do it outside if you enjoy running
- You will need some kind of interval timer either a physical one, a watch or a smartphone app
- Keep the exercises simple and repetitive so that you can instantly start the moves and shift the speed to full intensity – practice the moves outside of a formal session so that you are familiar with them and know the correct form and technique to avoid injury
A few more tips:
- To make sure you’re getting the best out of the exercises, high intensity should be so tough that you cannot continue for more than 20-30 seconds; if your high intensity period is going on for a minute or more, then it’s probably not intense enough
- Always warm up your joints and muscles before you train to minimise the risk of injury
- Remember to stretch after you’ve trained to reduce the recovery time
- If you have a pack of playing cards, you can allocate an exercise to each number and face card, then turn over cards to dictate which exercise you should do – repeat this for the time you’ve allocated to training
So with these simple tips, you can see that you don’t have to dedicate an entire bookcase to exercise DVDs!