I know it’s VERY early to start thinking about beach bodies.
This summer, I’ve vowed to get trim, mainly as I’m on holiday with my size 8 mother!
Being time poor, getting to the gym isn’t always an option for many of us which explains why there’s been a 150% rise in fitness DVD sales.
So I thought I’d test this year’s top offerings by doing an hour of each one and tracking how many calories I’d burned at the beginning and the end.
Here’s how I got on working out with Lorraine Kelly, Frankie Essex, Scarlett Moffatt, Davina McCall and Joe Wicks and the guys from Xtreme Boot Camp.
Thanks to the lovely photographer Peter Powell for the highly embarrassing pics too!
Lorraine Kelly Brand New You £14 Amazon.co.uk
Last year Lorraine lost two stone through dancing at trainer Maxine Jones’ classes and shares her secrets in her second workout DVD.
It’s split into four sections, Bingo Wings Blaster, Jelly Belly Blitz, Legs and Co and Max Out Cardio.
Lorraine and Maxine take centre stage to show the moves while the rest of the class follow the steps below them.
It’s less like a fitness DVD and more like being back in Mr Smiths nightclub in Warrington back in the 90s.
With four routines to tunes like Independent Woman by Destiny’s Child in each section, it blitzes fat in a fun way with lots whoops from instructor Maxine.
It’s non stop too with lots of jumping, arm waving, grapevines and kicks and an arm section with a resistance band for extra toning.
While the other routines use HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) with breaks, Lorraine goes hell for leather from start to finish.
At 57, she looks fantastic and having done the Cardio, Bingo Wings and Jelly Belly section I was shattered.
The best bit is the calorie burn and the hardest part for me was keeping up with the routines due to poor co-ordination.
There is a ‘dancefloor ready masterclass’ section though so you can learn the moves.
Verdict: Lorraine recommends doing the DVD three times a week to expect great results and after an hour I was shattered!
She says she wants to reach out to young girls who are dangerously overweight and show them a fun way to address this. I was really impressed with the calorie burn, the highest of them all at 323.
Frankie Essex Weight Loss Workouts £10.99 Amazon.co.uk
I thought that Frankie’s would be the easiest of the lot.
But she’s teamed up with personal trainer Lisa Nash who she credits with helping her lose two stone and turning around her body in three months.
Frankie, 28, looks incredible in the DVD which is shot by a poolside in Greece and she recommends doing it three times a week.
It’s divided into three 20 minutes sections, HIIT, Boxing and Sculpt and Tone.
The HIIT section left me out of breath in the first round.
It’s 35 seconds of each exercise with a ten second rest and a one minute break between the two rounds.
Exercises include mountain climbers, press ups and jumping jacks and you repeat the same circuit twice.
The Boxing round I found difficult, but Frankie comes from a family of boxers so takes the routine in her stride and doesn’t throw a single wrong punch.
In Sculpt and Tone you build up to ten reps of each exercise like deadlift and frontal raises and crunches and pullovers.
I had a sneaky break in one of the rounds as my arms were killing!
Lisa says this part will build strength and decrease body fat and Frankie’s fab abs are testament to this.
Verdict: I could feel my muscles aching from doing an hour of this. I would definitely do the warm down too or you will ache.
Frankie is engaging and inspiring. She’s clearly worked hard to get her new figure and takes the workouts seriously. My Fitbit said I’d burned 263 calories.
Xtreme Bootcamps Cardio and Fat Burning Workout £11.99 xtremebootcamps.com
I’ve been to Xtreme Bootcamp for a weekend and it does exactly what it says on the tin.
So when I heard trainer James Evans’ voice again, it was enough to strike terror into me, three years on!
James leads his team of fitties – a mix of guys and girls who are all super slim – through the exercises.
There’s a five minute warm up and stretches before the main DVD starts.
The DVD starts with a ten minute ‘Pulse Raiser,’ made up of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off tabbatta intervals of five exercises including press ups, sit ups and star jumps and aims to get the heart rate up.
When I say off, you still jog on the spot, so it’s not like resting and this format continues throughout the hour.
Some of the exercises seem fairly easy at first, like squat jumps and knee raises but there’s tough ones too like burpees and tuck jumps, where you throw yourself on your back then jump (or stagger) up and do a tuck jump.
Even James, a former marine, was drenched in sweat after 15 minutes.
Verdict: By far the hardest. It’s not for the faint hearted and if you want a workout to really push you this is it. James said you will see results if you do this three times a week and there is no doubt in my mind you would. My FitBit said I’d burned 262 calories.
Scarlett Moffatt Super Slim Me Plan £14 Amazon.co.uk
I’m A Celeb winner Scarlett dropped three stone and six dress sizes last year by using the programme on her new DVD.
Scarlett, 26, and her trainer David Souter take you through eight different workouts that are between five and seven minutes long each.
There’s loads of jumping and running around and the breaks are so short you barely notice you’re having them.
After 20 minutes I was sweating, but Scarlett, who advises you do the DVD fours times a week, still had a full face of make-up and looked immaculate.
Again, like in Frankie’s video, some of the boxing might be a struggle if you’re not very well co-ordinated.
Scarlett mixes up cardio moves like Highland Flings with legs and arm exercises like planks, side shuffles, skaters and hover kicks to maximise fat burn.
Her infectious sense of humour is there throughout and quips like: “We don’t sweat, we glisten,” aim to stop you from flagging.
She even named some of the exercises after pop stars like ‘Michael Jacksons’ which are moving squats and ‘Elvises’ which are bum sculpting leg moves too.
My favourite exercise was the Butt Lifters which are where you jump around waving your arms in the arm and kick alternate feet up to your bum.
It finishes with five minutes of abs – at which point I was ready for a lie down.
Verdict: What’s good is each session is only short so you get a rest, but it can be hard to keep pushing through the whole DVD. My FitBit said I’d burned 231 calories.
Davina McCall – 30 Day Fat Burn £12.99 Amazon.co.uk
Queen of Fitness Davina teamed up with trainer Ed Lumsden – an abs specialist – for her 16th offering.
For the 30 day programme, Davina, 49, advises a combination of a minimum of two of the workouts building up to six of the workouts in one session in the final week.
I did the final workout, which was Ultimate Fat Burn, Box Fit, HIIT Fat Burn, Strength and Tone, Abs and Stretch.
There’s lots of squats and lunges, plus more advanced exercises like burpees and planks and what I love about Davina is her stream of witty remarks and daft impressions, including one of the Churchill dog!
Her figure is inspiring – particularly her abs which are awesome for a mum-of-three.
The abs section is made up of very small, isolated movements that you can really feel working.
New this year is a buddy workout made up of bodyweight exercises you can do with a friend.
For me, this her most relentless DVD yet, with only the HIIT section giving any rest and that was only for 15 seconds!
The exercises are all fairly easy to follow without needing much co-ordination and easy to do in a very small living room.
Verdict: Davina fans will love this and with short workouts that you can mix up, there’s really no excuses for not doing this DVD a few times a week.
My FitBit said I’d burned 201 calories, which I was surprised by as I was absolutely knackered.
Joe Wicks The Body Coach Workout £12.99 Amazon.co.uk
I’m a big fan of Joe’s online workouts and this is his first fitness DVD aiming to take you from beginner to winner.
Joe says: “All you need to start your journey to getting super fit and lean is a small space and some determination to win.”
He uses HIIT workouts – High Intensity Interval Training – where you work in short bursts then rest, which help the body burn fat all day.
The DVD has three hours of workouts, ranging from 15 to 30 minutes and a section with Joe talking through nutrition tips.
I tried Level One and Two, both 15 minutes, and the final one, Level Seven, the ‘Winner’ one at 30 minutes, in one session.
The first two both had the same format, 30 seconds work then 30 seconds rest, doing five different exercises three times.
It mixed up squats, press ups, burpees and lunges and as you build up to the harder sessions the work to rest ratio changes.
By the final winner workout I was doing 20 seconds on and ten seconds rest with hideous Burpee Tuck Jumps. Joe describes it as ‘Brutal’ and I was truly broken.
But Joe stripping down to his skimpy pants and jumping into the sea was a welcome treat at the end!
Verdict: Joe explains each move and focuses on quality repetitions. It’s a great introduction to fitness. Of them all, my FitBit said I burned the least calories, 181, but this isn’t a slight on Joe, it is because of the way he works and I really rate this DVD.