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by Tracey Mallet
ATP Fitness Productions, 2008
Review by Christina Behme on Nov 10th 2009
This 'Total Body Makeover System' consists of four DVDs that target different 'problem zones'. Rock Hard Abs & Buns offers a 12 minute yoga, a 20 minute 'Middle Whittler/Buns Thightener' (sic.) and a 6 minute 'Quick Abs Blast' segment of exercises for different core muscles. These can be done together or mixed with segments from one of the other DVDs. Dancer's Body targets specifically the lower body and contains a 9 minute yoga segment, a 15 minute 'Buns, Hips & Thighs Super Sculptor' a 13 minute Lower Body Burn and a 6 minute Quick Cardio Lower Body Blast segment. Total Body Fat Burner and Total Body Calorie Blast are both from Tracey's 6-minute Quick Blast program and contain Cardio, Upper and Lower Body and Abdominal segments, all 6 minutes in duration. For the 6-minute exercises hand-weights (3 or 5 pounds are recommended) and a stability ball are needed. All exercises can be done indoors or outdoors.
This DVD set aims presumably at an audience that has at least some previous experience with exercise routines. A complete novice might have some difficulties to 'catch on' because even though Tracey introduces the obligatory person who will do the 'modified version' this person is virtually invisible throughout the routines. The explanation of the individual exercises is accurate but very brief and even though Tracey talks non-stop while exercising this is mainly 'cheer-leading' and 'you can do' talk. Overall the exercises are targeted and will result in strengthening and possibly also shaping. However, a word of caution regarding the exuberant advertisements on the cover: even though I had not exercised for a while I was able to complete all routines without getting much out of breath. So it is highly questionable that just adding these routines to your day will result in any substantial weight-loss or add to your lean muscle mass. For the former goal a targeted diet regime is needed for which I would recommend to get the advice of a nutritionist instead of relying on Tracey's 'Healthy Eating Tips'. For the latter you may want to add old-fashioned favourites like swimming, running or even walking.
Should anyone buy this set? That depends. There is nothing here that cannot also be found on similar products already on the market. Given that some segments are repeated on several DVDs one might get more value by buying just individual DVDs. And you better like Tracey's voice because you will hear it non-stop while the accompanying music is virtually inaudible. On the other hand there is nothing problematic with the exercises and the cheerful 'can-do' attitude never slides into obnoxiousness. So if Tracey is the instructor you want to look at and listen to a lot then this certainly is a good choice for you.
© 2009 Christina Behme
Christina Behme. Philosophy Department, Dalhousie University