Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wednesday Workout Review: Yoga Meltdown

I checked out Jillian Michaels' Yoga Meltdown through Netflix recently.  I can't truly recommend it, and yet I give it a qualified recommendation.  Bear with me as I explain.

Here's the thing.  There are two major issues I have with Yoga Meltdown.

1.  Yoga?  Hardly.  I think the most you could honestly say is "yoga-inspired."  That is, some of the exercises in this DVD bear a passing resemblance to some yoga poses.  Beyond that, this is in no way Yoga.  It feels a bit more like Jillian Michaels showed up at the gym one morning and said, "Hey, I'm gonna do a yoga DVD.  Quick, someone give me a half dozen poses to work with!"  And, in fact, at one point in the DVD, she says, "I'm new to this, too."  Yeah.  We noticed.

2.  I know Jillian Michaels is a mega-celebrity and well-known trainer, but prior to watching this DVD, I'd never seen her before.  Here's me coming to her cold:  she's a bit much.  She's got a definite onscreen persona, a rather over-the-top tough-love/empathy combo, to an extent that this DVD seems almost like a parody of exercise DVDs.

That said, these are balanced against two other points:

1.  The over-the-top persona?  Though certainly guaranteed to be grating in large doses, it does have a certain charm.  Variety is the key to sticking with exercise, and variety of instructor personality does factor into this.  In short, Jillian Michaels grew on me a bit after a few viewings.

2.  Yoga Meltdown is actually an effective work-out, and even more importantly, it's an effective 30-minute workout.  When you get right down to it, what ultimately matters in an exercise DVD is if the DVD works.  This one does.  (Qualification:  I didn't do the beginner segment, just the Level 2 workout.)  In addition, it runs 30-minutes.  In the realm of exercise DVDs, there are any number of mix-and-match 10-minute workouts available; a goodly number of 20-minute options; and lots of 40-, 45-, or 50-minute workouts.  Sadly, 30-minute workouts don't seem to be the norm.  Personally, I think they're ideal, and I wish there were more of them.

So...  Campy or not, this exercise DVD will be added to my mix as an "occasional."  You might try it for a bit of variety in your own exercise routine.

Other reviews here and here.

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