Customer Reviews

221
4.6 out of 5 stars
Crunch - Burn & Firm Pilates
Format: DVDChange
Price:$7.58 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

151 of 156 people found the following review helpful
Format: VHS Tape
This is Ellen Barrett's third Crunch Pilates video and the first which incorporates weights into the workout. Similar to in her previous video, Crunch Fat-Burning Pilates, many of the traditional Pilates floor exercises are performed here in a standing position, although Burn & Firm Pilates does include a separate matwork section (see below). The workout begins with a 5-minute warm-up consisting of simple movements such as marches and plies (there are A LOT of plies in this video!). Following this, there was a 7-minute segment that is difficult for me to define; it was too slow-moving to be cardio and might best be described as light toning. In this section, there are additional plies plus some basic ballet-inspired leg movements.

Next comes the "meat" of the workout, a 24-minute cardio segment using light weights to increase the workload. The first series includes alternating side leg lifts (the "saw") with a "swan" movement that involves raising one arm overhead and lifting the opposite leg. Although Ellen stated that we should be feeling this in our inner thighs, I found that it was actually my OUTER thighs and hips that were burning! Next comes more plies interspersed with two moves from the Pilates side series, rond de jambe and leg circles, both performed in a standing position. Continuing on, there is a segment involving knee lifts which turn into lunges and combine with a front arm raise. After that, it's back to MORE plies! This time, a standing Pilates arm zip is performed in-between sets. The finally cardio segment provides even more work for the arms: you will do a front and side mambo that turns into a front and side lunge (a bit awkward to the side) while performing bicep curls the entire time. The cardio section ends with a few additional exercises for the arms such as circles. Overall, I found the intensity of the cardio to be about the same as for the cardio segment of Crunch Fat-Burning Pilates, although this would not have been the case without using the weights.

The final 8 minutes of the video are performed on the floor, starting with arms and abs work in a seated position with the weights. Next, you move on to your back for two additional exercises, knee drops and leg straddles, using the weights as anchors. Finally, there are just two traditional Pilates matwork exercises, the single leg stretch and the single straight leg. The workout ends with a very short (1-2 minutes) cool-down in a seated position for a total of approximately 44 minutes.

I enjoyed this video and liked the addition of the weights, especially since I have been trying to add light weights to many of my cardio routines. What I did NOT like was the absence of a traditional Pilates matwork sequence; I would have much preferred to leave out the light toning segment early in the video and devote this time to mat exercises instead. Although the exercises are a bit more repetitious here, most fans of Crunch Fat Burning Pilates will probably enjoy this video as well.
22 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2006
Format: DVD
I love this workout for a number of reasons:

1. Ellen Barrett is excellent at leading the workout.

2. I have avoided traditional Pilates because I really enjoy something with a little more of an aerobic style - this constant moving routine using weights and Pilates inspired moves makes this possible.

3. At the same time, as I get older, I want less "jumpy" style aerobics - this routine also makes this possible.

4. By the end of this routine I have broken out in a full blown sweat.

5. When I first started doing this routine I too thought it was repetitive, however, the more I did it - the stronger I got and now the segments fly by - although still remain challenging - and I actually look forward to this workout.

6. And lastly, using this workout alone for the past 2 months (at least 4x a week - more if my schedule permits) and improving my diet, I have completely toned and reshaped my body.

I highly recommend buying this DVD - Just do it!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
50 of 54 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
Ellen Barrett takes instruction to new levels of perfection in Crunch Burn & Firm Pilates. I've rarely seen an instructor not only challenge me to my limits, but also keep me informed as to the next exercise so as to keep me in total harmony.

While doing this workout the first few times, you can modify most of the exercises by not using weights. When you do start using the weights it is invigorating and your heart rate will definitely be elevated to a fat burning zone.

There are quite a few completely unique exercises I have never seen in any workout. The "swan extension" is an artistic exercise you accomplish with two weights in hand. You almost feel like you are dancing with weights in some of the segments. Side raises with weights and lots of raising the arms and moving side to side raises the intensity.

Previous experience with Pilates and Ballet will make this workout especially intriguing for intermediate students of both. Ellen Barrett will often alternate between balance and control and then at times require you to balance while controlling the weights and movement of your arms in two different directions. The balance challenges in this workout are exciting and the hand-held weights make you feel much more powerful.

Warm Up
Standing Pilates
Standing Pilates with Weights - 3 segments
Mat Work
Cool Down/Stretch

What will you need?

1 Mat or Towel
Two 3-pound weights

My only question is: "Why such a short stretching session after such a high intensity workout?" The place I felt this workout the most was in my lower back and the stretching seemed to mainly focus on the upper body. My knees seemed fine during this workout even with the lunges because Ellen makes sure to remind you to turn out your toes and to check to make sure your knee is not going over your toes.

If you are looking for a perfect warm up, high intensity cardio routine and progressive challenges, I think you will love this routine. The footwork is fairly easy with the coordination level being more challenging for your arms so you get a great arm workout.

Also recommended:

Crunch Fat Burning Pilates
Crunch Pick Your Spot Pilates

~The Rebecca Review
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on March 1, 2007
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I bought this workout DVD because I really liked a similar workout that Ellen Barrett did for FitTV's All Star Workouts titled Pilates Sculpt. I have some experience with pilates so I recorded that workout and have used it at least once a week for awhile. That workout appealed to me because it really worked the core, hips and shoulders as well as got my heartrate up. The All Star Workout really seemed tailored for preparing me for the golf season. Unfortunately this Burn & Firm Pilates DVD did not turn out to be the good alternate workout I was looking for but instead a step backward. While this workout had several new exercises I liked, the general difficulty and intensity of the DVD were below that of the FitTv version. If you are not remotely in shape and starting out with pilates perhaps this DVD is an appropriate place to start. Completing Ellen's All Star Workout made me feel like I had accomplished something - this DVD did not.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 2005
Format: DVD
Get this DVD and stick with it and you will see results! You could get on that stairmaster or treadmill but you wouldn't be toning your entire body (which is key). I have been fitness conscious and physically active since my early 20s. My experience as an aerobic/step instructor from my 20s into my 30s had given me a good base of fitness knowledge. Now approaching 43 and having faced surgery induced menopause I have found it more difficult to stay fit, loose weight and get toned. Always tired due to severe sleep deprivation related to (night sweats), I fell into the pit of believing that ½ hour a day on my treadmill or stairmaster (4 or 5 days a week) would be enough and it just wasn't. What I found is that I began to have sagging upper arms and a larger middle section. One day running with (very fit/ripped and trim) sister-in-law (same age as myself) I discovered that she prefers Pilates over any other workout. An instructor herself she now only teaches or takes Pilates.

I have read many of the reviews written by other people that claim this DVD doesn't make you sweat enough. To that I say work harder. This video is good but you need to put in the effort and trust me you will sweat and elevate your heart rate. If you feel like you are not sweating enough add in the arm movements earlier (once you get to know the video), use heavier weights or step fuller/wider. Or you could mix it up with treadmill/stairmaster or bike by alternating days. Mix it up anyway, so you don't get board.

As for me I have been using this video and others along with some biking and my treadmill. When I choose biking/treadmill/stairmaster over the DVDs, I always include the Ab portion of one of the DVDs. I feel good, I am sleeping better (night sweats - lessening), I AM losing weight and people are noticing. I hope I have inspired you. Good luck and get to it.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2004
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I also have three of Ellen's Crunch Pilates DVD. All are excellent. This particular DVD keeps me moving - I never get bored. The participants on the DVD are not all "hard bodies" - they are "everyday" women which for me, is easier to watch. The music is uplifting, fast moving - and Ellen is easy to understand and follow.

I like the addition of hand-weights. This is a new spin on pilates. My arms and legs really felt the burn. If you do not like squats or if you enjoy a slower, calmer pilates style - this may not be your favorite...however, it is definitely one of my favorites because I keep a great pace and I can feel the muscles stretch and move without having a high-impact workout.

The mat work was shorter than her other DVD's, however, I substitute a segment from her "Pick Your Spot Pilates" DVD if I feel I want to continue mat work.

Ellen is definitely my favorite instructor. I look forward to any more pilates DVD's she releases in the future.

I highly recommend this DVD!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on April 8, 2008
Format: DVD
Thank God I found Ellen's Pilates inspired DVDs. Years ago, I first tried pilates by Mari Winsor and that was a complete turn off. I wasted time and money with Mari Winsor. I'll post a review on winsorpilates to elaborate. Anyways, Ellen's programs ( I also have her pilates/yoga blend and love it) may only be pilates inspired but they gave me results. This burn and firm is a total body workout but it especially helped slim down my thighs; they don't jiggle as much and I fit nicely in those 'skinny' jeans. I really believe it's from the million plies in this video. I don't look forward to doing those plies but I remind myself of what those plies had done to my lower body. This is low impact and I sweat buckets when I'm done with this. This has compound exercises like the seesaw and the swan combination and that works the entire body. There are many more kinds of compound exercises here that are so effective. I highly recommend this DVD 'coz it's completely wonderful....
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I bought this video because I loved Ellen's Fat Burning Pilates video. I thought that I had mastered the video so I figured it was time to upgrade and boy I was no wear near ready for this video. I workout 6 days a week and it takes a lot for me to get sore and tired during any workout, but this one (I admit) kicked my butt. I was definetly feeling the burn in this one. There are a lot of lunges and piles in this video. I was very impressed with this video. It takes a lot to get me tired and hurting and in this video it did just that. I would highly recommend this video to anyone who is looking for a great challenging workout. Just make sure your ready for all the lunges and piles. I would not recommend this video to anyone who has mild to serious knee problems.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2006
Format: DVD
I've been a devoted pilates practicer for over 6 years, and was somewhat sceptical about any kind of workout that tried to turn classic pilates into a more aerobic-type exercise. Still, I had an Ellen Barrett DVD (Self Sleek and Slim) and liked both the workout and instructor (she's extremely personable and has impeccable cueing), so I thought I would give this DVD a go. I'm very happy to report that I love it.

I think Ellen does an excellent job at applying pilates exercises to a standing and mat workout that makes you sweat. I love the feeling of simultaneously stretching & stengthening my body while also burning fat. And even though the routine moves at a relatively slow pace, as other reviewers have pointed out, the use of weights really gets your heart going. I'd rather move at a steady pace and do the moves properly (that's a pilates principle!) than flail around at a frantic speed, as is the case with so many workouts. Many people seem to think that unless it's really fast paced, you're not getting a good workout--and that's totally wrong.

I should add that I've always found weight training boring and have avoided it, so I'm very happy to have found a way to incorporate some into my workout. I also think that people with no pilates background can probably do just fine with this DVD, but you'd probably get more out of it with even some rudimentary instruction in pilates. I would recommend the Stott videos (also all excellent) starting with the beginner Pilates Mat workout.

I work out 4-5 times a week, and have been using this DVD at least 2 times a week for 6 weeks now. I still look forward to it. Highly highly recommended.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2005
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I am not really sure what I think about this workout. I appreciate the cardio-strength- coordination aspect of this Pilates-dance-aerobic combination but at the same time I find it extremely repetitive and get quite bored with it. The program does offer great exercise that trains your whole body. It is easy to follow and even if you get lost for a moment you will have plenty of chances to find your way back. As an alternation for the usual low-intensity Pilates this DVD offers a great change to get your heart rate up and build muscle strength at the same time. There is one major problem with this workout though - IT IS EXTREMELY HARD ON YOUR KNEES. SO DO NOT TRY IT IF YOU HAVE BAD KNEES!!! I have even heard people that usually do not have knee problems to complain about pain in their knees after this program. If you do not have knee problems and you do not get bored to do the same movement over and over again, I warmly recommend this DVD. Otherwise ... try something from the Quickfix series...
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
Crunch - Fat Burning Pilates
Crunch - Fat Burning Pilates by Ellen Barrett (DVD - 2003)
$5.88

Pick Your Level: Weight Loss Pilates
Pick Your Level: Weight Loss Pilates by Pick Your Level (DVD - 2006)
$5.47

 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.