I actually have this workout on video, so I'm reviewing the workouts only.
This is Cindy Crawford's third workout video, released in 1999. It features three workouts, which range in length, and it's actually aimed at new mums and women who want to ease into an exercise routine. I fall into neither of these categories, but in the short time I've had this video the third routine has become one of my most used.
A quick note - I tend to use the words toning and strengthening interchangeably when reviewing this type of DVD.
If you've done the earlier two Cindy Crawford workouts (Shape your Body and The Next Challenge), you will notice some distinct differences in this one (A New Dimension). The first video in particular was criticised because some of the exercises were deemed unsafe, as well as Cindy's form being poor. This has not put most people off it though - despite its age it's still a firm favourite because there is very little that can beat it as a no-nonsense toning workout that will really push the average home exerciser.
A New Dimension, though, has not garnered the same criticism. The instructor has changed - Radu has been replaced with Kathy Kaehler, who you may know from the Claudia Schiffer 'Perfectly Fit' series. Given that it is aimed at people who are easing back into exercise, much more thought has been given to safety. While there are hard exercises here, you won't find the leg swings and jerky movements from the earlier videos.
Some things will be familiar though - a lot of thought has been put into the production quality, with Cindy working out (and looking thoroughly gorgeous - your hubby may take an interest in your fitness regime) in various locations and music that is not your run-of-the-mill workout DVD fare. Also, because it's more rock/pop music rather than chart pop, it means this has aged better than other DVDs. Off the top of my head, the soundtrack includes Sixpence None The Richer and The Tuesdays.
All workouts include the warm-up and cool-down in the timing.
Workout A is 12 minutes long and is designed to be non-intimidating for those in a position to be intimidated! This is where new mums and new exercisers start. Kathy and Cindy take you through stretching and some simple strength exercises to get you moving again. It's designed so that you can do it barefoot in your PJs and short enough to squeeze in when you can.
Workout B is 16 minutes long and builds on the first by adding some light cardio and hand weights, as well as building on the strength exercises.
Workout C is the one I have been using. It's 40 minutes long, but I have to pause it a couple of times to change position so I plan for slightly longer. It's a full body toning workout with a couple of low-impact cardio sections. The moves in the cardio section actually make this an excellent choice for those who live in an upstairs flat where noise is a consideration - if you can get away with marching on the spot you should be able to do this video. There are jumps in one part of a cardio section, but there is a low impact alternative and it won't make a huge difference to the effectiveness of the workout if you miss out on the jumps. For the upper body work you need a pair of 3lb weights, but that 'translates' as 1.3kg in terms of what we can buy in the UK - I round up to 1.5kg, which makes me feel a bit better when I can't complete the same number of reps as Cindy. : ) If you're new at this, by all means round down to 1kg - it will still be a good workout. For comparison, a tin of beans (often used as a substitute in toning workouts) is about 0.5kg.
In workout C we go through exercises such as shoulder presses and lateral raises, plie squats and crunches - so far, so familiar. But there are a couple of surprises. The '8-count' push-ups is something I've never seen before (I can't do more than four or five at the moment), and the last tummy exercise (which Cindy warns you is a killer) is also a new one on me. And she is right - you will feel these! The hamstring workout using a chair is also really effective. Even though I can't always finish the reps on this workout I'm never left feeling discouraged - continuing the theme of the video, this is designed for you to work at your own pace and build up as you can. Kathy doesn't really talk much other than to give guidance for the exercises, and Cindy comes across as lovely. I hate it when celebrities on workout videos are whiny, but Cindy is never like this - she wants to work out and get her body back. Even if you can tell she's finding it hard sometimes!
Workout C isn't as hard as the Shape Your Body workouts, but that's a plus point for me. I can only stomach doing the Shape Your Body workouts once a week (at most) because I can barely walk for the next three or four days. With this one, though, it's possible to do it three or four times a week, though you'd probably want to add some more cardio in there as well - this is primarily a toning workout. Don't get me wrong, this is not a slackers workout - you will feel it (my thighs and tummy are sore today after doing this yesterday) - but it's not quite so incapacitating. It's harder than the Rosemary Conley toning sections. Perhaps comparable to Davina's workouts but with much lower intensity cardio intervals. Most telling is that I have done this workout a good few times since I got it, and I actually look forward to it, which is the truest test - the best workout in the world is no good if you don't do it!
Unusually, each workout on this video includes Kegel exercises, which we all know we're supposed to do - including them here makes it more likely I'll actually do them!
In full disclosure, I haven't actually done the first two workouts other than watching them to get a feel of them. I do plan to though, to decide if I can see them fitting into my routine in any way, and I will update this review when I have.
As I mentioned, I got this on video for 50p in a charity shop, but it's also available on DVD from Amazon for the bargain price of £3.98, or in the box set with her other two DVDs for £8.98. That's the good thing about these older DVDs that have stood the test of time - they are great value! If you're a new exerciser who worries that workout DVDs are too hard, or if you are a new mum wanting to ease into getting your figure back, this is really an excellent choice. And even if you've been exercising for a while, this is still a great one to have in the collection for Workout C, which is just the right length at 40 mins for feeling like you've done a proper workout without eating too far into your day.
You will need some hand weights for the last two workouts, a mat and a chair. Also, they recommend a pack of playing cards for the squats (this will make sense when you see it). They aren't essential though.
I didn't realise this was aimed at new mums when I bought it, and I'm glad I didn't because I think I would have left it on the shelf.
I was attracted to this product primarily because on the front of the DVD case it reads 'ease yourself back into shape' and that is exactly what I was looking to do.
Now I know this exercise DVD is aimed at mums who have recently given birth and are looking for a more gentle introduction to getting back into shape; however, after using it myself, I can recommend it for anyone who is looking for a softer approach to shaping up.
Personally I was looking to use it to help manage my chronic condition which often leaves me unable to exercise properly for quite long periods of time. I needed something to ease my body back into exercise, particularly stretching out the muscles and re-strenghthening them.
I found this DVD very helpful.
It is split into three sections which, as you would imagine, each progress in difficulty.
The first section is the one I use most frequently. It is a gentle 10 minute routine, comprising mainly of muscle building work with some lovely stretches.
Section two introduces some cardio elements to the routine and slighlty intensifies the muscle work. Whilst section three combines cardio and muscle work whilst offering a 'bums and tums' section also. You have the option of using hand held weights should you wish but you can simply follow the routine without them if you find this too challenging at first. You also have to have a chair handy for part of the routine
The warm up and cool down is very thorough on this DVD which means you don't often ache the next day due to over working the muscles. Only after the third section did I feel a slight 'burn' for a few days after but this is to be expected when the muscles haven't worked for a while and you intensify the workout. It certainly didn't damage my body in any way and Im particularly cautious because of the nature of my illness.
So because this is split into three sections you get variety and you can alternate the intensity and length of your workout depending on how you are feeling.
Personally I find I can use section one even on a 'bad day' and I leave out anything that feels too strenuous so I can tailor it to suit my own needs.
Cindy Crawford is beautiful and is an inspiration to watch and I feel this helps me and encourages me whilst Im doing the workout. She seems to have a lovely nature and this makes it all the more enjoyable to use.
This is purely muscle and toning work with almost zero cardio work. Effective but not very fun to do! But Cindy, at least back then, was really a pro! She knows all the good movements and all body aspects.
I would recommend this for people who needs a re-introduction to excercise but it may be too easy for more advanced people. Its also perfect for women who want to get back into shape after giving birth.
My husband does this video with me - he's a fitness instructor - but I'm suspicious that it's for the plentiful Cindy cleavage shots rather than the workout .... Anyway, I rather like this video. One major plus point is that it is divided into segments of differing lengths so you can choose which workout you want to do (12, 16 or 41 minutes). It's aimed at mums exercising after giving birth, but I've seen it recommended in lots of fitness mags as a good vid to try if you are easing back into fitness. I also really like the fact that each segment has a warm up and cool down incorporated, so you don't have to look for them before and after the workout bit (a real niggle with similair videos). The equipment needed for it is minimal (hand weights, cards and something to lean on like a chair). I've only done the first two segments, but I'm enjoying it. I found the second one (16 mins) hard to follow at first, but I got it with practice, and my husband picked it up straightaway (I am a coordination biff). I can't say that I look like Cindy Crawford now, but I am enjoying the video and feel that it is making a difference. I could do with less of the nauseating Cindy with ickle baby and hubby shots though ....... (although it is comforting to note that Cindy's baby is no better looking than our mortal babies!).