Move It Monday: Favorite Workout DVDs

by tinareale on July 2, 2012

Morning my fine and fit friends! How was your weekend? Mine was GREAT. I’ll fill you in more tomorrow. We have some movin’ to do today. Always good to start the week with some fitness talk to get us motivated. First up, a recap of my workouts this past week.


Overall, a great week of fitness. 20 miles + my favorite form of cross-training (spin) + some weights + some yoga and rest to balance it out. Not much different than last week. Hey. Don’t fix what isn’t broken, right? Although I have determined that summer is my absolute LEAST FAVORITE running season. The heat and humidity just slay me. I started my run at 6 am on Saturday to try to beat the heat and still couldn’t beat the heat and humidity. Ick. Perhaps that is the golden lining on not being able to do Chicago? No marathon training in this heat. Well, until next year.

Enough about all that now. Let’s talk workout DVDs!

When I actually first got into working out, I lived off workout DVDs. They were the ONLY workouts I did. My sister and I would hop down to our basement and rock it out to some Billy Blanks Tae Bo or FIRM workouts. We eventually broadened our horizons as I discovered Beach Body and Cathe. For over a year I never set foot in a gym while losing 30 pounds and getting in great shape. My DVD repertoire has only continued to expand and I still think they give me a great workout. Plus, I love the ease of home workouts. I now present you with my current favorite workout DVDs and top suggestions!



Best DVD for Beginners – Slim in 6

Slim in 6 is actually the first set of workout DVDs I ever bought myself. It helped me start establishing a routine with working out instead of the sporadic episodes I experienced prior. Also, I used it as my initial workouts after both of my pregnancies. I love the gradual build up of the program.

Best DVD for Strength Training – P90X

I hate to admit this because Tony Horton’s instructor style annoys the heck out of me, BUT the workout program holds up. It is quality, in my opinion, and really does provide a challenging strength routine. If I didn’t have the gym, I could handle some Tony Horton in exchange for a tough weights workout like this.

Best DVD for Plyometrics/Interval Training – Insanity

Insanity is..well, insanity. It is truthfully the toughest cardio workout I have ever completed. It will make you sweat. It will test your limits. It will knock you into shape as it knocks the breath out of you. The only beef I have with this program is that I wouldn’t necessarily recommend those types of drills on a daily basis. As a cardio challenge in an otherwise balanced routine? Heck yeah!

Best DVD to Complement Running – Physique 57

You all know I love me some Physique 57. I currently make a point to do one session every week to help with some imbalances I discovered. This workout really focuses on the core as well as stabilization/balance and the smaller gluteus medius/minimus muscles that often get neglected otherwise. Not a workout goes by that I don’t find my muscles shaking. I don’t think anything else works the tight, flat belly transverse abdominus muscles quite like it either.

Best DVD for the Core – Jackie Warner XTreme Crunch Free Abs

Talk about OUCH in the best way possible. These 15 minute workouts will blast your core in ways you never imagined. Plus, Jackie is really motivating herself. I mean, you only have to look at her abs to want to push yourself harder.

Best DVD for a Fun Cardio Blast – Turbo Jam and Turbo Fire

I have always been a big fan of Chalene Johnson and the Turbo Jam/Fire workouts. They provide a great calorie burn but in one of the most fun set-ups I have encountered. I never feel like I’m working out when completing these workouts, yet finish drenched in sweat and with a nonnegotiable post-workout high. I smile through the whole booty-shaking, kicking, punching workout.

Best DVD Instructor with Can’t-Go-Wrong Options – Cathe…anything Cathe

remember that awesome time I got to meet her???

Cathe. By far Cathe. She is my absolute FAVORITE workout DVD instructor. She always keeps up with current workout trends and develops new workout options every year to keep your body coming back for more. You never know what to expect since her workouts always keep you on your toes…but you do know to expect a burn. She has everything from step DVDs to kickbox/MMA style workouts, strength training, circuit training, intervals, barre, and more. I could go on and on about Cathe. Her workouts always have a TON of premixes to keep things interesting. If you workout at home, you gotta add Cathe to your DVD library. Go ahead and view her video library (clips of EVERY DVD), then take your pick of a new workout to try.

Best DVD for Yoga – Rodney Yee

Confession. I have yet to find a yoga DVD I really like, so I put a call out to some of my Fitfluential friends for recommendations. A few ladies – Carla and Christine – shared an affection for Rodney Yee’s yoga. He has quite a few options. I’m thinking I should check some of them out!

Best DVD for a Quick Workout – Jillian Michaels


Many of Jillian’s workouts are around 20-40 minutes in length, which is perfect for when you’re in a time crunch (especially those 20 minute options!). Somehow, Jillian makes you beg for mercy in that short time span.  That’s all I need to know for a quick workout.

Best DVD for Circuit Training (Strength + Cardio in One) – Cathe’s Body Max 2, Drill Max, or Circuit Blast

I’ve done each numerous times. They never get easier. Never. That’s a good thing to me. Plus, those premixes I mentioned on her DVDs mean you get like 3-4 different circuits with each DVD.

So, there you have some of my top workout DVD suggestions! I hope you found the information helpful.Here’s to a fit and fantastic week ahead. Happy training!

Your Turn – What is YOUR favorite workout DVD you’ve ever done?


1 Miz July 2, 2012 at 7:00 am

Im not a big dvd person yet….
I love love love me all things JACKIE WARNER.

2 Ruby @ Focus, Woman July 2, 2012 at 7:06 am

I love Jillian Michaels, my fav actually being yoga meltdown. Another fav is Pump it up, great fun for cardio :-) (has the actress/dancer from Eric Prydz call on me song, plus that song. Very funny.)

3 Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers July 2, 2012 at 7:35 am

I haven’t done any of these. haha I like one by Bob Harper and one of Jackie Warner’s other ones. She’s pretty awesome!

4 lindsay July 2, 2012 at 7:39 am

I still need to check out insanity! I am dying to try it. Great post lady!

5 Claire @ Live and Love to Eat July 2, 2012 at 7:55 am

I’m all about the Jillian DVDs – quick and effective!

6 Alex @ therunwithin July 2, 2012 at 8:06 am

gah thank you for doing this. because I don’t have a gym and may not for a while I wanted to invest in dvds so this is super helpful especially the categories. Thank you!

7 tinareale July 2, 2012 at 9:27 pm

You’re welcome! I hope you find some you like! :)

8 Heather (Where's the Beach) July 2, 2012 at 8:08 am

Well, you know I’m totally with you on Cathe’s workouts. I loved her STS strength series. I just found a new kickboxing DVD I’m liking too – Susan Chung RapidFire Results.

9 tinareale July 2, 2012 at 9:29 pm

I actually never did her STS series, which is why I recommended the P90X. I don’t know why I never did those workouts of hers come to think of it.

10 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More July 2, 2012 at 8:16 am

I love Jillian Michaels and definitely need to get one of her DVDs myself. I tried one of her DVDs that my old roommate had but want to get one for myself for those days when you just can’t get to the gym.

11 tinareale July 2, 2012 at 9:28 pm

I’ve done quite a few Jillian workouts by getting them from the library. Then, there was a groupon for 3 or 4 of her dvds for $25 awhile ago that I snatched up.

12 Adrianne July 2, 2012 at 8:22 am

I love Cathe! I have a ton of her DVDs and enjoy every one of them. Turbo Fire is another of my faves too, especially for the music. If I had to add to the list I’d say Amy Bento is pretty good but she doesn’t have the most peppy personality. A little bland if you’re used to Chalene but an excellent workout. I’m also old school and like The Firm DVDs. Does anyone else do The Firm still?! :-)

13 Yaara Leve July 3, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Yes! I love the Firm! Cardio Blast is one of my faves!

14 Lindsay @ Lindsay's List July 2, 2012 at 8:29 am

LOVE p90X! And the yoga in that series is actually pretty great too!

15 [email protected] July 2, 2012 at 8:36 am

The Insanity one and the strength training sound so good but super pricey! Do you have the full sets?

16 tinareale July 2, 2012 at 9:30 pm

I was able to borrow the P90X one. I do have Insanity. I got it sometime last year. I think for my bday?

17 [email protected] Palate July 3, 2012 at 1:28 am

It’ll have to go on my Christmas list :)

18 Michelle July 2, 2012 at 8:45 am

I have a hard time saying motivated with a workout DVD — but I do agree that Cathe is AWESOME. She’s not annoying either – babbling on and on! I like Jillian’s workouts – but she is a talker and it makes me want to throw my weights at my TV :)

19 Kimberly @ Redefining Kimberly July 2, 2012 at 8:55 am

I am really loving Turbo Fire at the moment. I especially like the HIIT workouts – it packs a powerful punch in a short amount of time.

20 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries July 2, 2012 at 9:16 am

this is a GREAT post to refer back to! i’m always looking for new and challenging fitness DVDs, so i loved this. home workout DVDs are always so convenient and it’s nice to mix things up from your normal routine sometimes.

21 Nicole July 2, 2012 at 9:22 am

I’ve tried most of these and love them all! thanks for the compilation!

22 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats July 2, 2012 at 10:33 am

I love Jillian’s 20 minute workouts! They’re perfect for before or after a short run!

23 Julia H. @ Going Gulia July 2, 2012 at 10:37 am

I’m with you–this summer heat is killing me! I just got back into running in May & am training for my first half marathon, so I’m all pumped up to hit my next mileage point in my training plan when I go outside, then realize how ridiculously hot it is (no matter how early I go out) & have to push through my run without dying haha. Uggg!

24 Danica @ It's Progression July 2, 2012 at 10:45 am

LOVE this post!! I tend to stick with Jillian Michaels’ DVDs (I always get a good workout in with her) but I’ll definitely check out some of these other recommendations, especially when fall and winter roll around.

25 Ali @ Around the VeggieTable July 2, 2012 at 11:30 am

I have really wanted to try Turbo Fire! I had heard so many things about Insanity and so I tried it finally. I finished the first month and actually gained about 5 pounds! My diet never changed so I don’t think it was diet related…I actually felt huge like I was developing tons of muscle since I had been doing almost ALL cardio (running) for a few months prior to that. I ended up quitting because my clothes were starting to get tight! So now I’m looking for a new system that will lean me out, not bulk me up.

26 Lisa @ Jogging on Coffee July 2, 2012 at 11:32 am

I’m always looking for new at-home options so thanks for the recommendations! I’m so jealous you got to meet Cathe, I love her :)

27 tinareale July 2, 2012 at 9:31 pm

She hosted a workout at Fitbloggin last year for the group. I was like a crazy groupie so excited to finally meet her. Haha!

28 Heather (Heather's Dish) July 2, 2012 at 11:51 am

girl, you know i love cathe too…i used to record her shows on fitTV (when it existed) and did the workouts all the time! these days i’m doing insanity and i really do love it – i like that it reminds me of the old days & doing volleyball jumping drills! i’m thinking when i’m done with insanity i might order p90x, but i’m not totally sure just yet. i think it would be a really great challenge for me to finally be able to do a pull-up!

29 Pavement Runner July 2, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Great list… I don’t really do many DVDs. Actually I think I have done maybe one in my lifetime, but I’m glad that lists like this exist so that we can see what is out there.

30 Amanda July 2, 2012 at 4:17 pm

I just got the turbofire dvds last month and am having a hard time with them. Its mostly the whole “exhausted because I have a four month old that doesn’t sleep and I also have a 15 month old to take care of” thing that gets in the way of doing them, but I completed the first two weeks and really liked how it made me feel. I’m looking forward to sleeping and having a manageable schedule in the future so I can actually complete the program.

31 tinareale July 2, 2012 at 9:33 pm

It is hard when dealing with kiddos and exhaustion from that. Do what you can and be as consistent as possible. I’m sure you’ll get back sooner than you think! :)

32 Bethany @ Accidental Intentions July 2, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Oooooooh I HATE Insanity! (In the way you’re supposed to hate these kind of things, not in an actual, legitimate hate way haha). I took a conditioning class twice a week for the first half of last semester and every now and again we would do Insanity…oof. So. Awful. Just like everything in that class, actually. Such a butt-kicker!

33 Stephanie @ My Freckled Life July 2, 2012 at 5:05 pm

This is so great! I used to be really into DVDs too, but I’ve gotten out of it a lot lately and have switched to workouts at the gym instead. But I would love to get back in to them now that my schedule is getting crazy again! No more excuses for not being able to work out when I can do it at home!! Thanks!!

34 [email protected] July 2, 2012 at 6:57 pm

I’m not a DVD work-er-out-er, but I appreciate a good burn when I am on vacay. I like Jillian’s stuff for quick workouts, and P90x for some plyo. I’ve never done that abs video-but it sounds/looks like a good one!

35 Yellow Haired Girl July 2, 2012 at 7:13 pm

I starred this in my reader … thanks for providing me with a nice lil resource for when I need some new DVDs! I frequently use Jillian Michael’s Yoga Meltdown and Bob Harper’s Yoga for the Warrior (the title of which makes me feel like a rock star … but in reality I am a sweaty disaster). I’d like to give Insanity a try one of these days too!

36 Laurel July 2, 2012 at 8:10 pm

As a single mom of a toddler, I live for my dvds. My daughter likes to do TurboFire with me. I am a huge Chalene fan, as well. I agree with you on yoga, I have trouble liking it. Back when I first started getting into shape, I loved yoga and Sara Ivanhoe’s DVDs. I find hers to be the only ones I can do without getting angry.

37 tinareale July 2, 2012 at 9:34 pm

And not good to be getting angry with yoga so that is a must. Haha! I do it at my gym but would love to be able to just do it at home too. So cute that your daughter does Turbo Fire with you!

38 Leonor @FoodFaithFitness July 2, 2012 at 8:28 pm

I’ve never done a DVD workout. Not in the last 9 years. I would like to try Insanity and Physique 57.

39 Brittany @ Delights and Delectables July 2, 2012 at 8:30 pm

I love workout DVD’s! I borrowed P90x but never did it because all the workouts were so long, but I love Turbofire for some cardio days. I like a 45 min or less workout!

40 Tempie (The Texas Peach) July 2, 2012 at 9:14 pm

I have done some workout DVD’s in the past, but I just don’t enjoy those quite as much as I do running, so I find it hard to stick to them. One that I used to do (that I actually stuck with for awhile) was Jillian Michaels Boost Your Metabolism DVD. It took me a while to be able to do the whole workout straight through without stopping to catch my breath. I’m not really familiar with Physique 57, but it sounds like something I might want to look into, especially if it’s a good complement to running.

41 tinareale July 2, 2012 at 9:36 pm

It’s a “barre” style workout that does lots of pulsing squats, hip/glute work, and pilates type core work. It’s definitely different than a “traditional” workout. I actually didn’t expect much of it when I first tried it a year ago. But it kicked my butt and I have been a big fan ever since!

42 Lindsay @ FuelMyFamily July 2, 2012 at 9:48 pm

I have been debating doing insanity! I think as soon as I wean my daughter in a couple months I am doing it but i don’t think my body can handle it until i am no longer breastfeeding. And hopefully it will help keep those couple pounds off i gained when i weaned my first. I LOVE a workout that makes me sweat so it seems like a perfect match!

43 Charissa July 2, 2012 at 11:15 pm

These DVDs look awesome – I need more in my library. I love Jillian Michael’s DVDs the most…

44 Anna Marie July 3, 2012 at 7:42 am

I am on my second round of Turbofire! I LOVE it! The advanced DVDs are on my birthday list. ;) Jackie Warner’s Abs DVD is hard-core wonderful! It works your abs for sure. When I first started teaching I had a hectic schedule so I did the Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred & alternated it with Jackie Warner’s abs DVD. Work out DVDs are great for good time management and no excuse work outs. I love, love, love the DVDs.

45 Meredith @ DareYouTo July 3, 2012 at 8:18 am

Fantaaastic collection! Thanks for sharing. My favorites include anything by Jillian Michaels and an AM morning routine I’m obsessed with, but other than that I haven’t tried to many new ones. Fortunately, I’ve got a new stash to work through so I’ll get started soon!

46 Yaara Leve July 3, 2012 at 6:51 pm

Thanks for reviewing these Tina! I enjoy turbofire–been doing them for a few months now; The Firm; Tracy Staehle–great bootcamp workout; and Bob Harper–his inside out method Cardio–is killer.

47 tinareale July 6, 2012 at 11:53 am

I still need to try Bob Harper’s DVDs. Haven’t yet. Thanks for the recommendation!

48 Laura July 5, 2012 at 12:33 pm

I literally was just thinking of rewarding myself with a new workout DVD then you posted this! I think I’ll try Physique 57 or a Cathe DVD. I love workout DVDs, especially for circuit workouts or strength – it’s so much easier to just do what they say than come up with my own routines! I love Jillian’s No More Trouble Zones and the 10 Pound Slimdown Xtreme DVDs (although I don’t necessarily love the name of the latter… but they’re a great workout!).

49 Diana @ frontyardfoodie July 5, 2012 at 9:08 pm

I LOVE Jillian’s Shred and of course Insanity is crazy awesome…but insane.

I’m looking for a good yoga too. I just had a baby and will be okay’d for exercise next week and am wanting to do mostly Jillian to start but need yoga for muscle tension, flexibility and getting centered each day. I really really hope someone leaves a good suggestion here!

50 Lina - Mom's Butt Is On Fire! July 6, 2012 at 9:33 pm

I love anything TURBO. ;) turbo jam and Turbo Fire are the !! Chalene Johnson is awesome.
I also like Bethenny Frankels Yoga dvd’s.

Just found your blog. Like it a lot!! Started my own not to long ago, you should come and check it out!!!! ;)

51 purelymichelle July 8, 2012 at 2:06 pm

I have yet to find a yoga dvd I like too! I want to do more of it at home, but hard to get into it. I used to do Rodney’s yoga dvds, need to find them again.

52 [email protected] for the Soul July 8, 2012 at 4:47 pm

yayyy awesome post Tina! I looooove insanity sooo much!!! I also love Jari Love, but I haven’t done her DVds in a while since I do my own thang, but she’s truly legit…and also! I love Rodney Yee’s yoga because it’s really powerful stuff, yet SO relaxed. I like his “yoga burn” dvd

53 Tara July 27, 2012 at 11:59 am

Tina – I’ve been a long time reader but never commented.
I just had my 2nd baby and am slowly getting back into running and these DVD recommendations came at a perfect time as I’m needing something to compliment my runs in order to work on my stomach area post-baby.

I just wanted to say that you are one of my top inspirations for getting back into running post-pregnancy. I find a lot of your posts running through my head as motivation during my runs as this exhausted mommy struggles to re-find my grove.

I’ve been tracking my progress, inspired by your body after baby posts, at my new online journal

54 tinareale July 27, 2012 at 1:29 pm

I’m glad it’s been helpful Tara and that you have recognized the importance of taking care of yourself too. I always found my wokrout time so helpful in decompressing as I adjusted to life as a mom. :)

Off to check out your blog now!

55 Mason September 16, 2012 at 6:27 pm

Also check out the Revolt Workout ( It’s the only custom DVD program available, which means you get to focus on the things most important to you.

56 Lisa October 3, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Check out Shiva Rhea for yoga! I used to own a few Rodney yoga dvds years ago but found him to be a little too relaxing/slow for me so after asking around the yogi community, I came across Shiva and I <3 her! She is primarily a Vinyasa instructor so her workouts are quite intense, but she does have some dvds that focus more on relaxation yoga if that's your cup of tea!

57 Ursula December 4, 2012 at 1:55 pm

I really like jari love’s ripped training for strength training. I’m always so tired by the end of the workout with her doing pulse work all the time I even have to lower my waits constantly to keep going. When I’m done my body shakes still hours after the workout.

58 Stacey Jennings February 27, 2013 at 8:15 pm

I found the best workout DVD here! Jillian Michael’s body revolution workout program is probably one of the best workout DVD’s out there. I tried it and lost a substantial amount of weight. Follow the nutritional guide and workouts and you are good to go! Keep yourself motivated! I wish the best of luck to all of you on your road to your perfect body!

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