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on September 16, 2008
I'm a mother of 4, and this Pilates Weight Loss DVD is the perfect workout to do at home. It's really helping me tone my saggy "muffin-top" waist area, while giving me the total stretching and strengthening I need. The visual demonstrations are very clear, and the detailed verbal instructions give me all the coaching I need to work on improving my pilates technique. This DVD is excellent as it's so easy to follow and has plenty of variation to keep me working out for months to come! It's amazing how these Pilates techniques, that make me feel so good by stretching my whole body, can really create a great cardio burn too.
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on October 19, 2008
I'm a fitness instructor who reviews numerous DVDs. I heartily recommend Brooke Silver's Pilates Weight Loss for Beginners to anyone looking for a cardio and mat workout that can create a slimmer, stronger and leaner bodyline. If Brooke's body is an example of what Pilates can do for you -especially after 2 babies -- then everyone should try her beginner Pilates dvd routines. I particularly love the way Brooke instructs you --she has an extraordinarly clear way of articulating the mechanics of each required movement and what you should be feeling in your own body as you go through each movement. This is fitness instruction at its superb best.
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on April 24, 2011
I've tried a few Pilates DVD's over the years, and just could never get into it. I'm such a fan of some of the other DVD's from Element though that I decided to give this a try. I am very glad I did because I've found that with the right instructor I really like Pilates.

This DVD is broken up into 2 parts: "pilates concious cardio" (20min), and "pilates prep & mat work" (30min). It should be noted that the "cardio" section is not really cardio. Though your heart rate will elevate somewhat it's not to a level that I would call "cardio". Despite that I love the exercises involved in this section, which range from very easy to very physically demanding (especially the last 5 minutes or so). The mat work section focuses mostly on your abdominal muscles, but there's also some leg/hip exercises. Again, it ranges from easy to physically demanding.

As an instructor Brooke Siler is excellent. No faux encouragement, and she uses imagery to help you perfect your form, which I found extremely helpful. Though this is supposed to be a "weight loss" workout I don't think Brooke even mentions that; at any rate she doesn't harp on about it, which is quite nice. You also will not need any special equipment, and only enough space in which to stretch out completely.

The reasons I love this DVD is because it uses controlled motion to build strength, which is excellent for me because I'm a total klutz. It's not glacially slow like some beginners Pilates DVD's are, but you are never left trying to frantically keep pace either. Secondly it pairs strengthening exercises with stretching, and even though I'm usually sweaty at the end of this workout I always feel great because of that combination. I must say in the few weeks I've been using this DVD my strength and flexibility have definitely increased. I do workout using other DVD's and being active by hiking, but since putting this in my rotation 3x a week I've noticed my arms are stronger, my pants are looser, my hips are slimming, and my abs are getting some definition.

While I do think this is an excellent beginners Pilates workout, I'm not sure if it would be a good workout for someone who isn't at least a little physically fit. If you were truly an out of shape beginner I would treat it with caution; maybe skip some of the harder exercises until you build up a little muscle strength and don't push your body beyond it's limits because you can hurt yourself. It's not such a hard workout though that's it's intimidating, but it definitely gives you a goal to work towards.
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on May 14, 2010
I have taken Pilates classes on my own and decided to get a video, since I'm often bad about leaving the house to attend classes. This is my first exercise video ever, so my critique may not take into account what's normally expected from other exercise videos. I like this video a lot and I don't think the moves are complicated; in fact, they're pretty straightforward. But after taking Pilates classes that catered to rank beginners, I found aspects of this video frustrating at times.

First of all, the speed is intense. Sometimes, I forget to breathe trying to figure out the exercise -- Siler is either doing harder ones than I was taught or with some modifications. In my classes, there was typically a 2-3 minute pause for breathing between exercises; something that not only made it easier, but helped me push through a 50-minute set. This video has 45 minutes of exercise with little pause at all. So there's more moves than I am used to, and it's done really fast with no breaks. I could hit pause on the remote, but who wants to deal with that after your 20th roll-up?

Also, index skips would have been a nice feature. When I'm worn out doing roll-ups or their derivatives, I would like to move on to other types of floor work -- but I have to use a FFWD feature to get it done. My Pilates instructor, before we took a break from the winter said that in order to do mere upkeep, you needed to do three types of exercise for each of the following sets: the back series, the stomach series, the side series and standing. This is to help you keep your body in balance. Because there are no well-planned skips, it makes it challenging to try to balance your modified workout as you're trying to learn the series.

Nevertheless, the moves are simple, but some of them are intermediate or advanced forms,according to Brooke Siler's book on Pilates. I plan to do as much as I can until it gets easier. I'm kind of okay with the fact that it's a little too hard for me; but I also have the experience of having had some classes to try to make sense of it. Might be harder for someone just starting out.
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on September 30, 2008
I've been a fan of Brooke's for years -- I've done numerous Pilates dvds and have only been able to do Pilates with Brooke, thus far, with her books, flash cards, and CDs (in the Pilates Body Kit). I've loved her from the start and have been hoping for a dvd.

I did this one today and just loved it! Don't worry that it says it's for beginners if you've been doing Pilates for years. This is a solid Intermediate Pilates workout. It's approachable for Beginners, but isn't broken down slowly for explanations like most Beginner Pilates dvds. It flows wonderfully, is full of challenging exercises, and is a pleasure to do with Brooke. Just wonderful!
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on September 23, 2009
I bought this DVD looking for a good introduction to Pilates. I dance, walk, and do yoga, so I am somewhat fit, but I am new to Pilates.

The first half of this video, Pilates-inspired cardio, is a nice 18-minute routine. It's a little too short, but it does increase the heart rate while toning and lengthening muscles. It was an accessible, enjoyable workout.

Most of the DVD is a "beginner" Pilates workout. I was clearly going to end up frustrated and/or injured, so I stopped. When I told a friend who is a Pilates instructor about the exercises, she agreed that they are not moves for Pilates beginners. She mentioned that some of the exercises, particularly the Scissor, could cause low back injury.

Proceed with caution.
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on June 4, 2009
This is a fantastic video if you are trying to learn the right technique for Pilates and even if you consider yourself intermediate. The technique is explained perfectly and the exercises are challenging. I gave this four stars, however, because it is NOT a cardio workout as advertised. I am in pretty good shape (run/walk on the treadmill six days a week) and this workout did not even make me break a sweat. However, for Pilates, it is wonderful. What I have done now is do a 30 minute jog on the treadmill first and then do the Pilates matwork portion of this video. I found that this is an awesome balance of cardio and Pilates.
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on July 1, 2012
I am just jumping back onto the exercise train after a year of gaining weight. I have done Pilates in the past and I've even done this DVD workout before but this time being overweight prevented me from doing many of the exercises - I simply couldn't get my body into some of the poses. Ms. Siler gives an easy-to-follow demonstration of the exercises and her voice cues are very easy to follow while doing the routine. Once I lose more of this weight I'll try this DVD again. So a word of caution - if you are 50-100 pounds overweight this DVD probably isn't for you.
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on September 20, 2008
Brooke is the only person who can keep my attention for 45 minutes! She does it by talking you through every step of the workout with such calm, clear and helpful instructions. She really gets me to work my "core" and I end up sweating and feeling exhilarated everytime I do it.
She never stops talking you through the lesson, therefore you are able to stay focused. I cannot get that great of a workout from even private lessons at my club. Brooke's DVD is the best instruction tape I have ever purchased. Definitely buy this DVD. You will not be SORRY.
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on March 2, 2009
I am a beginner using Pilates. I had already used 2 other Pilate DVDs I'd purchased elsewhere and was enthusiastic about the method but wanted something that was alittle longer and well rounded. I read some of the other reviews. Brook's instructions are VERY clear and concise and she reminds you all the way through how to stay focused and how to do each stretch correctly which is so important. This is my favorite by far. It has been a good stress reliever and I'm amazed at how much flatter my abs are and how toned my legs have become in such a short time---about 8 weeks. I've got 25 lbs to drop and I'm 54 years young.
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