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Charlie Brooks - Before And After Workout (DVD)

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16 Reviews

Genre: Sports - Fitness / Theatrical Release: 2005 / Actors: Charlie Brooks ... / DVD released 26 December, 2005 at Universal Pictures UK / Features of the DVD: Anamorphic, PAL

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    16 Reviews
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      08.04.2012 12:15

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      A really good exercise DVD, worth buying.

      This is one of several fitness DVD's I own and it is one of the better ones. It is by Charlie Brooks, who plays Janine Butcher in Eastenders and she brought it out a few years ago when she lost quite a bit of weight after she had her baby. On the DVD it shows her at the beginning with how she used to look before she started working out and then as she does the routines for you to follow it has been filmed after all her weight loss. The change in her body is quite drastic and it is inspiring to see such a change in her. I find it much more motivating to see the figure of the celebrity before the weight loss and then the results afterwards, makes you feel like there's more chance you'll get fitter by doing it!

      The DVD is broken down into different sections depending on if you want to focus on kicking type exercises or dancing ones so you can pick which areas you want to work on. It is quite hard going and I must admit I struggle to keep up, but that is more to do with my own fitness than the actual workout routines. The DVD is good to follow and the instructions for each exercise are easy to understand. It does hold my interest, I just need to be fitter to do it all the way through!

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      05.04.2011 11:00

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      This straightforward but intense workout help me shed the babyweight and fit into the wedding gown. I hace tried an amount of workouts and jave found many effective but this is my good old reliable and I always seem to return to it. For that reason, it is always left out and never shelved. A great workout. For more on it, my weightloss and other workout DVDs check out the pages in my blog www.corkonianblonde.wordpress.com particularly my buffing up page http://corkonianblonde.wordpress.com/buffing-up-ouch/Charlie you always get my thumbs up!

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      11.10.2010 18:47
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      An old one but a good one

      Charlie Brooks is better known for playing bad girl Janine in Eastenders and I must say she looks good doing it. But do you remeber when she came into Eastenders years ago she was not a fit looking as the ladie we see today.

      This dvd was released in 2005 which means to me that Charlie has kept here weight off I always have way more faith in dvds where the celebrity has kept the weight off rather than pile it back on 2 months after it is released, to me that shows it is something that has genuinely changed their lifestyle for the better.

      I am currently trying to loose weight for a winter holiday and have been doing this dvd alongside others for a bit of variety.

      This dvd starts you off with a warm up which is nice and slow and introduces you to moves you will be using later in the dvd beware there are quite alot of squats here you have been warned.

      You then move onto a dance section where there are lots of twisty moves it is a bit tricky at first but the moves are repeated enough times for you to get the hang of it, I like with this that although the moves are repeated it is not to repetitive and there are other moves thrown in to break the sequence up so your not doing the same thing a hundred times in a row. This dance routine I would say is quite low impact it gets you moving but not to the point where you are completletly out of breathe. The instructer is very easy to follow and likeable and Charlie adds a few comments alon the way.

      Next up is a boxing section and things begin to get a little fast there are lots of punches and twists in this section and I feel like my core is really moving in this section which is great because lets face it we all want the perfect 6 pack don't we. This section gradually gets faster and it was here I felt my pulse begin to rise.

      Next up os a high energy section where there is lots of jumpy moves and your pulse really goes up. It was here I really started to fell breathless but I kept on and feel great when I have done it.

      Finally there is a pilates cool down section where you stretch off and do the plank and other pilates moves some of which are quite tough but really work your body.

      Each section is around 10 minutes long so the dvd is 50 minutes in total I found that the 50 minutes went quite quick because of the change in activity. The music isn't really brilliant and its not chart tracks but it is ok for the purpose of working out to. The dvd also contains adiet plan which I have not followed but it is there if you need it. I would recommend this dvd to everyone looking to workout and shape up the way the pace builds is great and so is having some variety.

      This dvd can be picked up for around £10 online

      Also found on Amazon under Clare Louise

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        03.06.2010 16:44
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        personally i think that there are better workouts

        I lost a lot of weight last year thanks to Davina McCall although once I stopped the workout I put it all back on again, now summers here again and so is my jelly belly (not a good look) but I couldn't get motivated to do the dvd so I thought I would try a different workout... hence this review on Charlie Brooks Before and After workout.

        ** The Beginning **

        The beginning of the dvd is quite frankly very slow but interesting and important at the same time, as it shows that with the help of the dvd and a balanced diet, we can all apparently look like the new and improved Charlie Brooks. It shows the before and after footage proving that Charlie is lighter and skinnier now etc.

        ** The Workout **

        Well when the workout actually starts I have to say it is quite different to what I am used to. It involves a lot of dance moves some classic others more modern for example the cha-cha and a large amount of squats (which really hurt). Personally I didn't feel that it was the best workout I have done although I am aching I don't feel as though I have actually burnt any calories... I didn't finish the workout because frankly I couldn't keep up with the complicated steps nor did I find it that enjoyable... I put my Davina McCall into the dvd player and stuck to what I knew.

        ** Overall Opinion **

        Ok, so it could be argued that I didn't really give it my all and that I gave up too easily, but I found it tedious. I knew that it was dancy, and was looking forward to a great cardio workout, however I feel that it is more for toning and is great for the thighs and bum, but that is the least of my problems I need to get the rolls off my middle lol. Apparently the circular hip movements are ment to be great for the waist but I didn't feel it working this area, im only 23 and felt that these movements were going to seriously damage my hips, im all up for a bit of bumping and grinding on the dance floor when I've had a few, but without being under the influence I felt silly and didn't feel the benefit.

        Im not sure what the warm up and cool down was... I don't know when it started or finished. I don't think the dvd had enough structure and is a definite no no for beginners. I felt lost from the minute it started, I don't think it was coached very well and by the time the instructions were given the move was half way through making it impossible to get the hang of it in time.

        Most workout dvd's give different options for different fitness abilities, however this workout did not and I felt that it would be pointless to carry on.

        If you're a quick learner and are looking to improve the legs and bum then this dvd would be great, although it says its good for the tummy I couldn't personally feel it working this area and it didn't make me sweat, which is a must for me when it comes to exercise, I like to feel as though I have done something.

        I wouldn't recommend this workout as I think there are others that will give you better results, but it has worked for Charlie Brooks so there must be something right about it, but its not for me.

        Thanks for reading.

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          19.08.2009 11:35
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          Give it a go, it works for me

          Having recently booked a holiday I decided it was that time of year to try to get fit again! Or at least lose a few pounds. I found this DVD in HMV for £10, although have since seen it loads cheaper on ebay. I was very impressed with how amazing Charlie looks on the front, considering she has had a baby. The beginning of the DVD shows her 'old self' getting on the scales, then her 'new self' weighing in at 2 stone less.

          The DVD consists of 5 main sections:

          Warm up- this is a fairly gentle introduction to some of the moves and gets your heart rate going. There's no complicated steps, it just gets you moving and stretching.

          Disco- this focuses on dance steps and is a bit more complicated at first. However, because you are concentrating on your moves you don't get bored. Dee goes through the moves with you, then you basically just keep repeating them.

          Combat- this is my favourite one and incorporates punches and kicks at a fairly intense level. I'd never done combat before but I love this because it's easy to follow and gives you a great workout. Tough on those bingo wings.

          High Intensity- this is a fast, intense cardio workout and you really feel the effects. There are lunges, squats, star jumps...you get the idea! This one will get you very hot and sweaty.

          Pilates Cool Down- uses mat work to tone the tummy muscles.

          Charlie does all the routines with Dee Thresher, who explains everthing clearly as you go along, giving you plenty of time to understand what you are doing next.

          I like the way the DVD is split into sections so you can pick and choose which routine suits you best on a particular day. I will often just do the warm up, combat and high intensity workouts, as they are my favourites.

          I do have a few niggles though. I thought they would have some pop tunes to move to but the music is really dull. Also, some of the camera work is just ridiculous, focusing on the girls faces when you are trying to follow their steps just makes life difficult.

          However, I still enjoy this DVD and more importantly it has been effective. I've done some or all of this DVD every day for the past 7 days and have lost 4lbs. Admittedly I have also been eating healthily, but I can feel the exercises toning my body up, especially my legs and bum.

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            23.07.2009 11:26
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            A good workout for beginners but fitness freaks should look elsewhere

            In my all-out effort to improve my fitness and lose weight I bought all of Davina's workout DVDs about 2 months ago now and having worked my way through all of them a number of times I decided it was time for a new challenge. After reading lots of customer reviews, it seemed that Charlie Brooks' Before and After DVD came highly recommended and at £6.48 from amazon seemed well worth a try.

            I'm sure we all know Charlie Brooks as super bitch Janine Butcher from Eastenders. Not someone ever known for a super skinny figure, after having a baby she found it difficult to shift the excess weight. For this DVD, she's teamed up with Personal Trainer Dee Thresher (who also helped Eastender's Sonia to shed a remarkable amount of weight) to put together a workout routine which claims to help you shed a stone every 6 weeks. The photo's of Charlie before and after on the front cover are very inspirational - the after shot looks great! Ok, she has very bad posture in the first photo and it's not a flattering angle, but in both she looks like a normal person rather than a model which makes it feel really attainable to the average slightly overweight person.

            The workout takes place in a warehouse type building filled with all things hot pink and girly, and is split into 5 ten minute sections - warm up, disco, combat, high intensity, and a pilates cool down. The warm up is nice and gets the body working but I find that too little time is spent on the stretches to really feel that you are getting the benefit. The warm up and the disco sections are quite similar and use some of the same moves, which first time round take a little bit of time to pick up as it's quite step driven. Both these sections are pretty easy going and very low impact. I enjoy the combat section, which has lots of punching and kicking, although in terms of cardio it's still on the gentle side and doesn't push you anywhere near as much as the routines Davina has you doing. The high-intensity is the part of the DVD that really gets the whole body working, with lots of squatting and jumping. I really enjoy this one - it's not too stretching but leaves you nicely out of breath but this is really the only part of the DVD that I find really gets the heart rate up to the point where you really feel tired. I love the pilates cool down - there is a bit of stretching first (again, I don't feel the stretches are really held long enough) and then some floor work to work the core and my God you can really feel this on your tummy muscles.

            You do need a fair amount of space to do this workout, as there is lots of stepping forward and back, and I wouldn't recommend it for people living in a flat (the Sumo jumping move would no doubt see you neighbours complaining!) However, there is no extra equipment needed, no weights, no resistance bands, etc.

            Also included on the DVD is a diet section which is utterly pointless - just a list of various meals that you can mix and match, no talking or advice from Charlie or Dee, and if anyone can be bothered to sit and copy out recipes from their tv screen you clearly have more patience than me!

            I'm a bit mixed about how much I actually enjoy this DVD. It's a nice workout and great for beginners who are out of shape, but I'm sceptical that Charlie really managed to shed a stone every six weeks using this routine alone as it just doesn't push you that hard if you have a basic level of fitness - lots of the moves are just done too quickly to really feel the benefit (I really think quick squats just aren't that effective as you can't get as low) As Charlie says, it's all about how much effort you put into the routine, but even putting in all the effort I can and throwing myself around the room, I still don't really feel that it really pushes me. I like to use it on days when I feel a little bit lazy but on a normal day I would choose any of Davina's over this as I find them far more challenging and feel much more worked out after those. Don't get me wrong, I work up a sweat doing this, but I don't feel exhausted after it, which is what I'm after. I would certainly recommend doing the whole DVD in one go as most of the sections just wouldn't have a big calorie burn.

            My main problem with this DVD is Dee Thresher, who is upbeat to the point of being very irritating (even Charlie looks as if she finds her quite annoying). The whole focus is on perky Dee with Charlie barely uttering a word, aside from compulsory responses to Dee's irritating questions (e.g. Dee: "Really works the thighs, doesn't it Charlie? Doesn't it Charlie?" Charlie: "Yes, I can really feel it") She also whizzes through the moves very quickly, which is fine once you know the routine but the difficulty in picking up the steps is made doubly hard by the 'arty' camera work used - as they step forward towards the camera, the camera zooms up, meaning that you can't see what their feet are doing. This happens at numerous points in both the warm up and the disco section and for the first time through is really irritating. Also irritating is some of her counting in the floor work - when you are doing press ups it's very hard to know the speed at which you are doing them and she doesn't count along as most other trainers do.

            The music is also disappointing with nothing really standing out. I love a bit of pop when working out, but the music here isn't even the dance you get with Davina - the combat section seems to literally just be a military drum track played over and over! I like to stick on a nice bit of Girls Aloud in the background instead!

            In summary, a nice, fun workout, great for beginners, but not really challenging enough for anyone already used to home workouts.

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              02.11.2008 00:03
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              it works !!!

              Having Recently had a baby and feeling pretty miserable with my current appearence i thought i would try and lose the pounds so after asking around i had this dvd reccommended to me.

              The dvd was £13.99 on play.com and came through very quickly.I thought id give it a go while my little ones were napping one day so i could really pay attention.First of all you see Charlie tell you why she wanted to lose some weight and her reasons similar to mine are to lose the baby weight she gained.She gets weighed at the beginning and shows her weight and measurements then shows you what she was at the end of the training.

              I had to say the transformation was amazing !! It did make me wanna get on and start my exercising.

              The dvd is broken into five 10 minute workouts

              Warm Up
              Disco
              Combat
              High Intensity
              Pilates Cool-down

              The dvd also has on it some menus that come up for a guide to healthy eating and some meals that are reccommended to eat along with doing this work out.They are very yummy !!!

              This is a great amount of time as lets face it most people have busy lives to lead and its easier to put aside 10 minutes of each day rather than 30 minutes which when looking for a dvd found most of them are.

              The routines are a bit complicated at first as there are alot of moves involved and for someone with not alot fo co-ordination i was a bit over whelmed at first but now after 2 weeks of doing it i am really finding my feet.

              The music that accompanies the workouts is ok, nothing too distracting so you can really focus on the work out.

              I have only been doing this for 2 weeks but it has already helped me shift 4lbs !! I am doing it along side some healthy eating but i think it has made a positive difference to me already.

              Out of all the dvds on the market i found this one the least gimmicky and quite a reasonable price.She is a normal girl and one who has slimmed down in a way which is achievable and mainly fun at the same time.

              For someone out there who wants to lose weight but hates the gym then this is a great dvd.All the moves from the gym but in your front room.I think its especially great as a post pregnancy work out.

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                07.09.2008 21:59
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                --

                ****Charlie Brooks before and after workout****

                So it was the beginning of a new year and my jeans were felling a little tight after all the lovely Christmas food so i decided to buy an exercise dvd in an attempt to lose those extra pounds.

                The work-out itself is a mixture of intense fat-burning with dance movies incorporated in and there are five ,ten minute workouts these are Warm up,disco,combat,hi-intensity,pilates and cool down.Combat was my favourite.A lot of the work-out doesn't require that much space so perfect if you only have a small area in which to exercise.

                Not a big fan of exercise watching the warm up was enough to raise my temperature but i persevered and found it fun.
                Charlie Brooks is someone i recognized from Eastenders so seeing a big difference in the way she looked was encouragement even if i did have that niggling feeling that the before and after pictures weren't all about weight lose but about clever photography,oh well :-)

                Music
                Not my type of thing at all,but after i started to get used to the routine i could turn it down.
                Eating Plan-Something that seems to appear in a lot of exercise videos-this one is easy to follow

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                  03.08.2008 23:43
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                  really recomend it

                  THe fact charlie brooks has made such an impressive transformation in her figure i find is a massive incentive to carry on with this routine instead of giving up. and you too can share the results.

                  The workout is split into 5 sections, THere is a warm up followed by disco, Combat, Hi-Intensity, and finaly apilates cooldown. EAch section works your body in a different way, and last about 10 mins each, so you could pick and chose which sections to do if you dont have a lot of spare time for working out.

                  Each section is fun and the time does go quickly, its quite satisfying when you initailly find certain moves tricky and after a few times through you get them with ease :)

                  The Dvd also provides a healthy eating plan to give you an idea to what you should be eating to aid your weightloss and see those results... something i thnk is important.

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                    03.07.2008 14:18
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                    didnt work for me

                    Most people will know Charlie Brooks for her character Jeanine Butcher in Eastenders, I am unsure weather this DVD did in fact help Charlie lose the weight but it is true she is now looking great. I aways feel these kinds of DVD's are stupid in the sense that the celebrities put there name on them and get all the recognition yet it is fitness trainers who actually 'teach' you the work out.

                    I have never been one to buy this sort of thing, but hey, a friend said it was really good for her ... after buying the DVD and using it 2 twice a day (morning before work and Evening after dinner) I did star to lose a couple pounds but shortly after that the work out was not helping.

                    I think the best thing to lose weight is just eat healthy and do a hours exercise a day, But then again everyone says that and I don't think anyone actually listens any more.

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                      04.03.2008 20:20
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                      a grreat DVD that is fun and helps shed those pounds

                      Charlie Brooks Before and After Work Out DVD


                      Most people will know Charlie Brooks for her character Jeanine Butcher in Eastenders a few years back, since then she has had various roles in other drams but in 2005 after the birth of her daughter Kiki, she released this before and after workout DVD.


                      I have never been one for these sorts of DVD and have always thought it better to head off down the gym. After seeing so much about this DVD and Charlie Brook's appearance after having done the workout for a few months was quite impressive and this is why I bought it all those years ago. I think I did the workout around 3 or 4 times when I first bought it and since then it has been collecting dust in the DVD cabinet.


                      However after having put on so much weight with Jack during pregnancy and trying, very unsuccessfully to shift this weight, I decided to blow off the dust and give it a go.


                      The DVD says to do the workout at least 2 to 3 times a week but I went all in and did it every night for a month and was very impressed with the results. Of course I was eating sensibly as well but the weight just seemed to drop off.


                      The DVD is made up of five sections I will go through and describe each of them as they are played:

                      1) Warm up - This is a great start to the workout and introduces you to a few moves that are seen later on through out the workout. This section lasts for around 10 minutes and does get you a little breathless and certainly gets you warm. There are no really complicated moves and I found it easy to follow.


                      2) Disco - This is my favourite section as it has a little bit of dance in with the exercise. Again this lasts for around 10 minutes, has a few of the moves from the warm up section in and really has no difficult moves. As Charlie Brook's says at the beginning of this section it doesn't really feel like exercise but you are actually working your body. By the end of the section I am getting pretty hot and feeling myself getting there!

                      3) Combat - This is my next favourite and this section really does feel as though you are working out your whole body. Lasting for 10 minutes as all the other sections but working a little harder with lots of leg lifts, punches and twists. There are no complicated moves, it is easy to follow and although you feel like you are getting a good work out it is quite enjoyable.


                      4) High Intensity - this has got to be my least favourite and some times I will only do the first few minutes of this section. It may be 10 minutes long but it feels like an hour. This one is really challenging, it has no complicated moves but every move is a real workout for your muscles. There are lots of squats and jumps and it definitely lives up to the HIGH INTENSITIY name.

                      5) Pilate's (Cool Down) - This section is great and by doing this I may have ached in the morning but I have never been stiff and in pain like I sometimes was when I attended the gym on my own. Lasting for 10 minutes this section covers all the muscles in a gentle way. It seems to concentrate on the legs and stomach and like Charlie said even I noticed results within a couple of weeks, maybe even sooner.


                      I have had this DVD since it was released back in 2005 and I bought it second hand from an eBay member for about £5 but it was priced at £14.99p and I have seen it recently in HMV for the same price as when it was first released. Of course I am sure there are loads kicking about on Internet auction sites for a cheap price.


                      I really like this DVD it is easy to follow with a workout that you can swap around and do different sections on different days. It really does work out the whole body and I enjoyed doing it, which I think is a very important aspect.


                      I was hoping to see more or the before side when Charlie was no looking so good but there is only a small portion of her being weighed and her first time doing the exercises on the extras part of the DVD. Along with the healthy eating plan (which I didn't choose to follow) that is all that is on as extras but on an exercise DVD I don't think having lots of extras is needed.


                      Charlie Brook's does the workout with Dee Thresher who has also released a workout DVD this year with Sonia from Eastenders. Dee is really good at talking and exercising I just don't know how she does it. Dee explains everything well and it is easy to follow her. Although the workout has Charlie Brook's name all over it really it is Dee Thresher who has planned out the exercise and is leading you in doing it with Charlie just following along. This however isn't a bad thing as Dee is very nice and easy to understand and follow.


                      As I say I have lost a good amount by eating a little better and doing this exercise DVD most nights. I have eased off and am now not doing it every night (my ironing and washing piles were getting too large). I am keeping doing it though and I now pretty much know the workout off by heart. This music is starting to grate on me alittle but it is not something that really bothers me that much.

                      I would recommend this workout DVD to anyone of what ever ability as it really breaks you in gentally and builds you up gradually. For the price I think it is well worth it as gods knows how much I would of spent if I had done the hours I have done in front of this at my local gym.


                      10/10 for this brilliant DVD that made me loose weight and keep it off. Thanks Charlie and Dee!


                      And thank you for reading I hope this has been of some help to you.


                      xxxx

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                        08.09.2007 00:08
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                        A must have for dvd fitness fan

                        God, I forget how good this is! This was my very first fitness dvd, and after a year I have now more than 30! I got bored with this after a while (it happens with every single routine)and have just finished it after months. This is really hard work. The Hi-Intensity section is really hard and what about those ab exercices in Pilates cool down section!? I'm pretty fit and still can't do it!

                        Also Charlie and her trainer are so much fun! A must have...for every dvd fitness fan.

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                        05.07.2007 18:24
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                        A fun workout that is easy to follow and not too challenging!

                        I bought this DVD after seeing it advertised in a magazine just after Christmas. What attracted me to it was the fact that Charlie had lost 2 stone from doing this workout so I thought I just had to give it a go!! I paid full price for it (£16.99) as it had just been released but now they are selling much cheaper and of course there is always amazon, Ebay etc. which are reasonably priced.

                        The front of the DVD is very attractive and shows you Charlie's figure before embarking on the workout, and after she had been doing the workout for a little while. It inspired me and I was convinced that I could do it too - I was quite excited about the prospect and couldn't wait to give it a go.

                        WARM UP
                        Charlie and her instructor Dee are in a light, airy and very pink studio which is very girly. They are wearing white and pink outfits and Charlie looks extremely toned, tanned and very slim - this inspires me even more! Charlie is very smiley and enthusiastic and the instructor takes us through some basic dance moves which she says will be also used in a later section. We also do stretches and a few squats. The warm-up lasts quite a while and I do begin to get slightly bored as I just want to move on the main sections. However, once the warm-up is over I do feel prepared and motivated to carry on, and I am not too out of breath which is always a good thing!

                        DISCO
                        This is the aerobic section and features lots of simple dancy moves. I wouldn't say it was very 'disco-ish' and if I'm honest, a lot of the moves are very repetitive and boring. I know it is just meant to be a bit of fun and to get your heart rate going, and I'm sure a lot of people would enjoy this section, but it's just not for me unfortunately. It's not very challenging and didn't get me very out of breath. The moves consist of 'cha cha', knee lifts, claps, twists and various other dance-type steps. Don't worry if you are not much of a dancer, as it's not very complicated and is very easy to follow. The music isn't very good either and maybe this was part of the problem.

                        COMBAT
                        This section consists of lots of boxing moves and kicks which definately gets your heart rate up - I prefer this section to the 'Disco' one and usually just do this section for my cardio workout. Dee takes us through jabs, hooks, leg kicks, charges and side kicks. Easy to follow and does get you out of breath. Also good for getting some aggression out if you have had a bad day!

                        HI-INTENSITY
                        This section is brilliant for toning you up and the first few times I did it I had to keep stopping for breath as it always exhausts me. We do lots of squats, lunges, skipping and a move called the 'sumo' which involves you jumping in the air and then landing in a squat position - you can really feel it in your legs. Brilliant section for cardio and toning.

                        PILATES
                        This section is all about toning the abs and cooling down. You do exercises such as press ups, the plank, leg lifts (you can really feel this in your stomach) and some stretching. The music is nice and relaxed and it finishes off the workout nicely. I like the fact that the cool-down is included in the floor work rather than having a separate cooling section as it means the workout is over quicker! Dee speaks in a very soft voice and makes you feel very chilled out.

                        EXTRAS - BEHIND THE SCENES
                        We go behind the scenes with Charlie and show her getting measured and weighed before she started the exercise regime. You can definately see how much weight she has lost and it's nice to see that she wasn't skinny to start with so inspires you to do the workout and shows that anyone can lose weight if they perservere. We see her beginning the routine at home and getting mixed up with the moves etc. She then gets weighed and measured two months later and tells you how much she has lost.

                        EXTRAS - EATING PLAN
                        I thought this was going to be a proper section showing Charlie taking you through a diet and nutrition plan, but was rather disappointed. The diet plan just comes onto the screen for you to write down and that's it! No explanations or talking, so I felt a bit cheated in that respect. It's not really a proper plan either, just stuff like cornflakes for breakfast and jacket potato for lunch, which I could have worked out for myself!

                        OVERALL
                        I did enjoy this DVD and would recommend it if you are new to exercise and enjoy dance and aerobics. It's not the most challenging DVD (apart from the Hi-Intensity Section) but it is fun and good to do if you just fancy a bit of light exercise. If you prefer more intense workouts then it's probably not for you as it's quite short and not very high impact. That said, it's easy to follow and Charlie isn't remotely annoying, they don't chat too much - they just get on with the exercise!

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                          02.11.2006 16:27
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                          I'm actually doing this one!

                          I bought this DVD last week determined to get fit and lose some weight. I was a bit skeptical about buying it as there are so many out, but I can already feel a difference from doing it three times and it is easy to learn and fun.

                          You do probably need to watch it before trying it, and if you are as unfit as me wont be able to complete it without having to stop for a break the first time!

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                            08.04.2006 19:29
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                            I have never been someone who I would consider overweight but I have one of those figures which go up and down as in, I am thin but if I don’t watch I can put on some weight. Lately after Christmas and eating one too many takeaways I started to notice a bit of a mini stomach form, nothing too big but the slightest sign of getting bigger I always take action. Usually I want to keep fit but a personal trainer costs a lot and the gym I never know what plan to do and even when I used to go there I got too muscular that I wasn’t happy with the results. I would say that currently I am 2 stone heavier than what I should be, sort of similar to Charlie so I needed some kind of help.

                            I had flicked through Heat magazine around Christmas time and noticed the list of fitness & workout videos, I narrowed it down to 4 Colleen McLoughlin’s dvd, Davina Mccall, Jordan or the Charlie brooks dvd. After looking on DooYoo and Ciao for some help I then went to Amazon and the Charlie Brooks one looked more like my kind of thing. I didn’t want to pay £13 for it though incase I didn’t like it so I settled for a second-hand copy on eBay which in my opinion looks almost as good as new and is in better condition probably or just the same condition as any store bought.

                            So the DVD cover is simple enough it is a pink cover with Charlie from a sideways view on the left hand side, looking worn out with a bit of a stomach and then to the right her face on with a toned stomach looking, tanned, happy and in good shape. I believe that there has been no cutting off by digital editing but this is true. The back cover is a little note from Charlie. The DVD consists of approximately 5 ten minute workouts, some run a little over.

                            At the menu section, you can play the whole DVD through or just go straight to the workout. At first I decided to play the whole thing through to get an idea of the kind of exercises I would have to tackle, it looked quite fun and I wasn’t put off by what I was seeing, it looked achievable is what I am trying to say unlike some fitness videos.

                            At the beginning we see the days when Charlie first tackled the workout, her and her trainer Dee Thresher who seems friendly enough. She was a lot bigger to start with and they take her measurements then, a month goes by and she is weighed and we see she has lost weight then another month goes by and Charlie is happy because she has reached her target weight and looks genuinely like she has come through a lot to get to this stage. S she says if she can do it so can we. I don’t ever get the impression when watching the DVD that Charlie is a liar and that she is selling this DVD as a fraud just to make money but I feel she really wants everyone to do what she has and to follow this plan with hope. I was persuaded and so the day came where I was to start.

                            WARM UP
                            __________
                            At first we see Charlie in her white halter-neck with shorts on looking slim and the same with Dee in shorts too also looking thin, I look and hope that it does the same for me. So the warm up begins, it seems easy enough and goes by quickly. This just takes you into the workout so it shouldn’t seem too difficult. Ever since day one of this section I’ve still felt the same afterwards. It warms you up as it is meant to and also introduces you to some moves which will be used in later sections. There are stretches, some marching, twists, all seems fun enough. This lasts for 10 minutes like all sections then it ends. I usually take 5 minute breaks between all sections because doing them all through with no break would kill you. The warm up is long enough but not tiring so you might not need as long a break after but I like to balance it.

                            DISCO
                            ______
                            This section is quite fun but isn’t my favourite. We learn some moves which make up a routine and then by the end we repeat this routine about 3 times, she does the routine bit by bit so that eventually it is all put together. I agree with what Dee says throughout, it’s all about the effort you put into it, if you don’t put all your energy into the moves and also have fun no fun then you won’t get the best out of it. I feel I try my hardest and try to put my energy into the moves to make it like a workout. I like this section but it lasts the longest and by the end gets repetitive, I still don’t find this ridiculously exhausting, it definitely gets the energy levels up higher by the end though. I find this section fun as it is meant to be. I like some of the twists and clapping in this as I feels like a disco and is a new method to workout which I haven’t done before, it makes a change from the usual stretches.

                            COMBAT
                            _________
                            This is my favourite section of the whole DVD. I think it’s because it it is dfiferent, it makes me feel fierce and really builds the energy up. It gets your anger out from the day and also I feel it is working. There are a lot of punches, kicks and jumping and by the end I’m usually quite tired but not so much that I have to pause and take time to recover. It is a good section for building up the muscle in your arms and thighs. It’s all quick moving and to me this section is not so repetitive and usually passes quite quickly although I’m still glad to hear her say it is finished.

                            HI-INTENSITY
                            _____________
                            This section is the level that you definitely feel most at work on. The name says it all and at first there are a few side steps and when I first did this section I was thinking oh it’ll be ok. I hate the repetitiveness of the side step and drags as I find them boring. Then you start doing jumps and star jumps, the move called the sumo when you sort of jump forward in a crouched position and curve in your arms sounds silly but it is tiring as well as the star jumps in sets. Altogether this section is exhausting. I remember the first 2 times I had to pause this section twice to regain my breath but Dee always says if it’s too much for you pause and take a break. I now feel after a couple of weeks I no longer need to pause. I’m still not a huge fan of this section but that’s only because it is tiring but probably the most effective.

                            PILATES COOL-DOWN
                            _____________________
                            This section is a nice break after the section before but it’s still not as good as combat to me anyway. It is a few calm stretches then you get down on the floor and do a couple of push ups and then some other stretches, one I just can’t seem to do no matter how long I follow the DVD maybe after a month I will. It ends of with you doing leg stretches and Charlie says she felt this section toned her stomach most after her pregnancy. She noticed results after 2 weeks, the leg exercises you can really feel working your stomach. By the end I am glad to sit up turn my head as she says then it ends and you think thankfully it is over. I like the relaxed way about this section, Dee talks in a much softer voice and you won’t sweat on this section.

                            Charlie says the workout should be done 2 to 3 times a week so I usually do it 3 times because I really want to get in shape quick.

                            The workout is not easy at first on all sections because you are watching the screen to see you are doing things right and I paused to make sure I got the hang of some moves. Now I find I sort of know what is coming so I focus more on the actual exercise. It’s like all exercise the more you do it the more you work your body up to it and so it is not as exhausting.

                            The background of the whole thing is some building with a lot of light and the theme seems to be pink and white which is quite nice. I just exercise in my living room and find it easy enough but it all depends on your room and the layout. I have a carpet in my living room and still find it ok on this.

                            One thing I definitely recommend is that you drink lots of water while exercising I am always gasping for water and especially after the high intensity section. I usually go through a bottle of water on every workout day which I don’t see as bad. The workout takes up a lot of time if you don’t have any. I usually pick days I know I won’t be rushed because it is important to do all sections to get the best out of this DVD. I usually take just over an hour to complete the whole thing which is ok on days off but not on others.

                            Dee Thresher is clear on speaking and ads her own input and advice at times which is helpful she also counts a lot which is good because it’s easy to follow without looking to see if you’re keeping up and once you learn the name of steps it’s easy. Dee and Charlie seem like good friends and they have their own chats throughout which is funny and seems natural. It’s better than them keeping silent and not talking at all.

                            One thing I’m not keen on with the DVD is the music it is quite irritating at times and when I really can’t be bothered I create an iTunes list and go through my workout just watching the TV and doing it with my own music which can be nice at times and makes you want to work out more. I feel the music on the combat section works though because it fits in with the moves and is less distracting.

                            There is a diet that goes along with this workout and there are some good options for all meal times which seem nice enough. I don’t always stick to the diet on the DVD though as sometimes there is no time. I tend to eat healthy but in my own way and don’t feel it has affected my results.

                            So the part you want to hear has it actually worked. Well I am ending my second week of the DVD and as Charlie said I do feel my stomach is looking more toned and less flabby and also I feel more healthy and toned all over. I have also lost 5 pounds in 2 weeks which to some may be just not enough but for me is really great and I enjoy doing the workout. I would recommend it to those not looking for too strenuous a workout with some fun and honesty.

                            The DVD can be bought on http://www.amazon.co.uk or you could do the same as me and go to http://www.ebay.co.uk and buy a second hand or new copy cheaper than in stores. Mine cost £6 with postage and I was happy enough. Good luck if you try this.

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                          • Product Details

                            One of the most acclaimed celebrity fitness DVDs of recent times, Charlie Brooks’ Before And After Workout finds fitness trainer Dee Thresher putting the former soap star through her paces with a series of five ten minute workouts. Brooks herself claims to have lost a couple of stone using the routines on the disc already, and it’s easy to believe why. And rather than, as some in the genre choose to do, focusing heavily on the celebrity, this fitness discs puts its firm emphasis on the workout routines. They’re explained clearly, are straightforward to follow, and there’s enough variety to ensure you don’t get bored. The routines are of varying difficulty, and unless you’re already fighting fit, it’s feasible that you’ll have some trouble with them in the early days. But then that’s the point. And because none of the workouts outstay their welcome, there’s little reason not to stay motivated. Sure, you’ll end up working hard, but there’s nothing on this disc that outstays its welcome. It’s surprising perhaps to find a fitness DVD that has earned such acclaim, but having followed Charlie Brooks’ Before And After Workout through, the plaudits are well deserved. So if you’ve ever been frustrated by a celebrity workout disc that’s proven to be more about the former than the latter, then this will be a very welcome treat.--Ann Foster