Whether your goal is to pack on muscle, increase flexibility, or get fitter, you can achieve all of this in the comfort of your own home. The best home workout DVDs can range from yoga to Insanity. There is something for everyone, no matter what your fitness level. However, you do have to ensure that you follow the instructions carefully to avoid injuries, as some of these programs can be very intense.
I will be going through my favourite home exercise DVDs, to help you choose the one that is most suited to you. The DVD’s I have used are mostly comprised of Beachbody workouts. Some of them are better than others, however they definitely give you fantastic results. Let’s have a look at which one is best for you.
What is your goal?
Before you purchase a home workout DVD, you should think about your overall goal. There are so many Beachbody DVDs, and most of them have a different intention. For example, Insanity is probably the most popular home workout DVD. It is amazing if your goal is weight loss, tone and fitness, however you can not build serious muscle, or improve flexibility with Insanity.
If your goal is to improve flexibility, then PiYo is for you. This is a mixture of Pilates and yoga, and will give you great results. You will tone up, improve your flexibility and also strengthen your body, with PiYo. To make the choice easier for you, I am going to review the best of the bunch, so by the time you have finished reading, you will definitely know which one is for you.
Insanity consists of 10 DVDs. It is performed over 60 days, and is probably THE most intense workout I have ever done. When you purchase the program, you receive the following…10 DVDs, wall planner and nutrition guide.
Together with the above, you will need adequate space (not a huge amount), a very positive attitude and a BIG heart! I have competed Insanity on a couple of occasions, and let me tell you that the results were phenomenal. Not only did I drop weight but my resting heart rate hit an athlete level of 50 bpm. Yes, I was already relatively fit, and had a RHR of around 62 bpm but to get it to 50 was an unbelievably proud moment for me.
Shaun T is the instructor that will accompany you on your 60 day journey. He is incredibly motivating but slightly annoying when he tells you to keep pushing past your limits. There were many occasions where profanities were launched in the direction of the television. But, seriously his support is what got me through.
The only negative thing about Insanity is the length of each DVD. They last for 60 minutes, which means you have to perform these workouts when you have ample time. You will need to ensure you stretch thoroughly once the workout has ended. This will help to avoid sore muscles and injury.
At the start of the DVD, you are pre warned about the intensity of the program. If it is not performed correctly, you could end up with a serious injury. I did get injured during my second round of Insanity, as I pushed a little too far. I learnt a valuable lesson the hard way, but I recovered and was able to go back to it.
My Rating: I rate Insanity very highly. You have to ensure that you perform every exercise with strict form. Never compromise this. It will take the 3 D’s to complete this program… Dedication, Determination and Discipline. You will definitely need a massage after this!
Insanity Max 30
This is the most recent version of the Insanity series. I purchased this knowing that it would be a great follow up to the original Insanity. In a nutshell, it is exactly what it says it is… Insanity in 30 minutes. As I previously mentioned, one of the disadvantages with the original Insanity, was the length of time for each DVD.
There’s no need to worry about this anymore! This version of Insanity packs a 30-minute punch (literally!). I have completed 4 rounds of Insanity Max 30, and never been disappointed. Exercising for 30 minutes is an optimal amount of time to get your heart rate up and really push through to that next level of fitness.
This program is not only intense and rewarding, but it is thoroughly enjoyable. You will get all the benefits of Insanity in 30 minutes. The whole program is 60 days. By the time you have got used to the workouts in month 1, a rude awakening will be thrust upon you in month 2. Your body will be in for a shock!
As with the original, it will take the 3 D’s, in order for you to complete it. However, knowing you can quickly fit it in before and after work, or even lunchtime (if you are brave), is great for the mindset.
My Rating: Overall, this is a must for all of those that partook in the original. However, even those of you that haven’t tried the original, will love this. Massive thumbs up.
PiYo is a hybrid program that works with both Pilates and Yoga principles. I actually started this program due to a shoulder injury I sustained. I was so used to the fast paced Insanity series, that I decided I needed to try something a little less intense.
I say “a little less intense” but it definitely makes you work for your results. With PiYo, you get 7 workouts on 3 DVDs. All the workouts last between 30 – 45 minutes. Let me tell you, the time flies by and by the time you are finished, every muscle in your body will be aching.
PiYo, will not only take your flexibility to where its never been before, but it will strengthen your core muscles and provide your body with that lean definition you have been after.
My Rating: I definitely recommend adding PiYo to your home DVD collection, as it provides something totally different from other workouts. As with Insanity, make sure you perform all the exercises with the correct technique.
This is definitely a case of saving the best till last! P90x is my all time favourite Beachbody workout. You begin and end this journey with Tony Horton. As with Shaun T, Tony has his moments but overall he is very motivating. With P90x you get the following…10 DVDs, workout planner, nutrition guide and in some packages you get resistance bands.
P90x provides you with cardio, strength training and yoga. This all round powerhouse gave me results that were beyond my wildest imagination. You have the option to use dumbbells or resistance bands. Some people think that you can not get great results with resistance bands. However, this is a big misconception.
Resistance bands are a great tool for building and toning muscle. They provide resistance on both the eccentric and concentric parts of the movement, which can in turn build more muscle. I was not only able to keep off the body fat with P90x, but was able to build considerable muscle. The amount of pull ups and push ups involved, gave my upper body an unbelievable burn.
Beachbody have also released P90x 3. I have completed this, but I did not find it as impressive as P90x. The only downfall with this program is the length of each workout. Each workout lasts between 1 -1.5 hours, so you need to plan your day accordingly. P90x 3 has tried to combat this, by shortening workouts to 30 minutes.
My Rating: I would have to recommend P90x as the go to for all aspects of fitness. Again, I have to re-iterate the intensity of this program. You must ensure that you listen to all the instructors and not push yourself too far too fast.
Jillian Michaels: The Ultimate Boxset
Jillian Michaels is well known for her bootcamp style workouts. She is most famous for being the in house Personal Trainer on Biggest Loser USA. She has helped countless people to lose weight and get in the best shape of their lives.
Her workouts are especially popular with women. I came across Jillian when my sister asked me to research some workouts for her. She had watched me perform Insanity, and thought that she wasn’t quite ready for that type of workout. I had to find something that pushed her but also was an introduction to fitness. As soon as I found the Jillian Michaels’ collection, I knew that it was for her.
A lot of women find themselves in the same position that my sister was in. They want to lose weight in the comfort of their own home, and want an introduction to fitness, but still want to experience incredible results. this is where Jillian can play a massive part. The collection consists of 5 fat blasting DVD’s, that will get you into incredible shape. They range from 20 – 45 minutes, and all have a different type of workout.
My Rating: Seeing the shape that my sister got into, whilst doing these workouts, I can unequivocally say that Jillian Michaels knows what she is doing. She will be a great mentor to all of you who wish to start their fitness journey.
Shaun T’s Focus T25
This is definitely the workout to complete if you are short on time. It is exactly what it says it is! A workout that lasts for 25 minutes. Going back to my sisters experience, she started this workout post Jillian Michaels. She gained so much confidence from completing the Jillian Michaels Ultimate Collection, that she wanted to move on the the infamous sweat pouring workouts of Shaun T.
As a fitness professional, I was monitoring her progress, to ensure she was not overdoing it, but at the same time, wanted to ensure she was getting the most out of her workouts. That’s why I recommended Focus T25. It is a great “warm up” before Insanity.
T25 provides you with 9 DVDs, nutrition guide, workout calendar and a B-LINES resistance band. You are expected to workout 5 days per week and follow the nutrition plan, in order to get great results.
THIS WORKS! My sister got into the best shape of her life with this program, and that was without being ultra strict with her nutrition (don’t tell her I said that!). Yes, this workout can get you ready to complete Insanity. However, it also holds it’s own, so if you wanted to continue partaking in T25 for a few months, by implementing the 3 D’s, you will continue to get great results.
My Rating: Another great Beachbody workout. If you are really short on time, this is definitely worth trying. Although it is a great workout, those of you that want to push your self to the max, would be advised to go to the Insanity series.
After trying all the above more than once, I have to say that for overall fitness development, my go to is P90x. However, due to the convenience of the 30-minute workout, Insanity Max 30 and PiYo are the ones I partake in more often. I definitely would not write off P90x 3, as a 30-minute concept but I achieved better results with the other 2. No equipment is needed. You just play and go.
If you have a spare 90 minutes, 6 days a week, then please try P90x, as you will not be disappointed. But if you have a busy lifestyle, then the 30-minute workout concept will definitely cater for your needs.
You may find these programs difficult to begin with but you always have the option to follow the instructor who is showing you an easier alternative. Trust me when I say, take it at your own pace to begin with and you will prosper and get the results later on.
Jillian Michaels is also a great introduction to fitness. Not as intense as Insanity or P90x, but it will definitely get you into great shape.
As mentioned above, you only need a small amount of space and a great attitude. Don’t let your ego get in the way of your progress and remember the 3 D’s!
I would love to hear your thoughts on the above. If you would like to leave any comments, or have any questions on any of the material, please feel free to leave your feedback.
Power on and go achieve your dreams!