74 of 76 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2002
Format: VHS TapeVerified Purchase
This 45 min. workout is quite vigorous for a beginner (such as myself)and intermediates. Denise uses step aerobics, weight training, kick boxing and stretching in this video. I did not know that a step bench was needed so I've had to modify the routine and so far that's been okay. I think that if you're looking for something even more intense, you need the step. The routine was intimidating at first, but I simply kept the steps on a lower level (Denise usually presents 3 levels of intensity for each cardio move) and that still provided me with an incredible workout. Also, there's a point at about 20-25min. into the routine where Denise switches over to kick boxing and this provides a natural break if you want to cut it into two shorter workouts. Denise provides good instruction on proper form, and she does keep an accurate count of the moves, unlike in every other workout routine of hers where she constantly miscounts! The only reason I'm only giving it 4 stars is because I'm annoyed that a step bench is needed (esp. since they are so expensive!).
56 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on July 12, 2003
This is the 1st DVD I bought from Denise Austin who has a show I watch regularly on Lifetime TV. The Ultimate Fat Burner workout is frankly not a workout for everyone. It's of my opinion that you need to be in pretty decent shape already to do this. Here's why.
Denise incorporates a lot of material into this workout. Not only are you do aerobics but you are also doing weight training (3 lb weights are recommended on the DVD!), step work (I don't own a step so this is a problem!), and some yoga and kickboxing moves. She does a lot and a lot of it is very VERY high impact. However, she does introduce each aerobic move with 3 levels so you can stick to lower levels if you need to. Its a fun workout but challenging and by 1/2 way through I am usually pretty tired. Lots of jumping and jaring on some moves, this is not low impact aerobics folks so for those with bad joint problems may want to look elsewhere.
Overall not a bad DVD but does require a lot of additional equipment and I think would be best served for those who have already done other step work and interval training. Lets hope Artisan will release some more aerobic DVDs from Denise as this is the only one available and it's not for everyone!
47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
This new workout from Denise Austin (2001) features circuit training, mixed with light weights. To do this workout, you need a step and dumbbells (3 pound weight are recommended on the DVD). This DVD uses seven 3.5 minute intervals of cardio vascular exercise mixed with 1.5 minute weight segments. The workout runs for a total of 45 minutes.
The cardio segments are broken down into three "levels": Level One is a light, low-impact move, Level Two includes upper body motion, Level Three is a high-impact cardio intensifier. For example, the first circuit is boxing. For Level One, you are punching. For Level Two, you are doing light jacks between punches, for Level Three, you are doing full jumping jacks between punches on alternating sides. If you have knee problems, you may lose some of the benefits of this workout because you will be limited to Level One or Level Two low-impact exercises.
The weight segments of this workout are very light, and suitable for beginners. Weight exercises include tricep kickbacks, bicep curls, and military presses overhead.
The cooldown has some very light stretching and features predominately Yoga moves. If you have done Yoga before, you will recognize the Exaulted Warrior, Downward Facing Dog, and Brave Warrior postures.
This is a great workout for beginners, but may not be beneficial for intermediate or advanced levels.
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2002
Format: VHS TapeVerified Purchase
A great aerobic workout with strength training. 5 minute warm-up followed up by about 30 minutes of aerobic/strength training intervals. I hate aerobics, but this is a good tape for those of us who don't want to grapevine & cha cha to get our cardio workout. The moves are athletic & include some kick boxing as well. No dance moves. The cool down is too long for my taste but others may enjoy it, especially if you like yoga, since the cool down is mainly yoga moves.
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on July 12, 2006
Ok, harsh title. I generally love Denise Austin's workouts, but until I came across this DVD it seemed pretty hopeless that I'd find a good Denise cardio-centric workout. Anyway, let's get down to the critique. Denise Austin, if you're not familiar with her, is known to be an extremely perky workout instructor, so if you don't mind energetic and sometimes lame cheers of encouragement, then Denise Austin will work fine for you.
More specifically to this DVD: This is a circuit interval training workout, where you alternate every few minutes between cardio and weight lifting. For this workout, you'll need a step bench and some weights. Denise recommends 3 lb weights, but I say if you're more advanced, or if you've been working out for a while, you can use whatever you feel comfortable with. I started out with 5 lbs but now, after a few months of using this DVD I keep a few different weights handy, 8 - 15 lbs, and use appropriately. That's one of the advantages of this workout, in that if it gets too easy, there are ways to adjust it w/ little inconvenience. In addition to changing your weights, you can also increase the height of your step, do the cardio workouts with ankle or wrist weights or bands (I use Billy bands - they're individual bands for each foot/hand with loopholes at the feet. they work great for the kickboxing segments of this dvd!).
In terms of difficulty: I've been working out regularly for 3 or 4 years now, and I found this to be relatively challenging when I first tried this DVD. Not challenging in the sense that it was hard to keep up with or had difficult moves, but challenging in that the cardio kept my heart rate up, and I felt my muscles getting stronger with the weight lifting. Denise is pretty easy to follow, although her queuing isn't the best. She sometimes says "last one!" when it really isn't, for example. But that's easy to overlook, and with a few goes at it, you fall into step with Denise and her background exercisers.
On the whole, this is one of Denise's better workouts, and definitely one of the better sources of cardio fitness out there, and definitely worth the money. Use it 3-4 times a week and I think you'll see a difference. :)
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2003
I truly enjoyed this workout. It is not a compilation of other DVDs like Kathy Smith, it has all original material. I was also on a weight loss plateau (after losing 35 lbs) before this purchase, and thanks to Denise I have finally started to see results on the scale and tape measure again. There are various sections in this DVD including kickboxing, weights, and step aerobics. My roommate started laughing when she heard Denise Austin yelling "burn that butter" during a squat section, but her energy really motivates me. The variations and innovative moves in the routines make this DVD easy to follow without getting bored. I am an intermediate exerciser and I began sweating after about 15 minutes. The arm (weights) section is a little weak (when compared to The Firm) , but my legs and thighs were humming the next day. Overall I feel that this DVD is a good cardio and lower body workout with a little yoga thrown in at the end.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on August 8, 2003
I was not overweight (but could stand to lose a few vanity pounds) when I bought this DVD but I was also in very poor shape. The first time I did this video I could not get through it. Now I have been doing it a month and if you do stick with it three times a week for four weeks, YOU WILL SEE RESULTS. I find that I am now easily able to do the entire routine. I have lost twenty pounds, have energy that I never knew i had, and I have muscle tone...and the only program I followed was this DVD (with a healthy diet of course). Though it is a little tough for beginners, just go slow at first, staying at intensity level one or two, and in a few weeks level three will be really easy. The best part by far about the video is that it is not boring. It is broken up into six sections with brief weight training segments between each one: Boxing, downhill skiing, kickboxing, crosscountry skiing, and basketball drill.
Now the complaints:
Equipement is used, however, I don't think it is really needed. In the beginning I didn't have a step or weights, but even without the items, you still get a really good workout. I used soup cans for weights.
There are four other people on the video besides Denise who do the moves alongside her. They seem somewhat bewildered on the video, as if they didn't go over what they were going to do before filming. Denise often seems bewildered at times, as if she herself does not know what she is doing next and is waiting for someone off camera to show her.
Still, I think it was a great video to start off with because unlike other videos I have tried, I didn't lose interest right away. It is 45 minutes long, but because it is broken up into sections, the time goes really really fast.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on May 28, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
I've been lifting weights, doing step aerobics and interval training for about six months and just wanted to mix things up in my routine a bit. I'm not really a fan of Denise; I find her voice a bit annoying and her choice of words a bit on the cutesy side ("tone those tummies"). I figure that anyone who looks as good as she does must know what she is doing, so I gave this video a shot. It is quite intense and definitely not for beginners. I had to modify the pushups at the beginning and do them on my knees ("girl pushups") and only put two risers under my step, but I got a great workout. I like the variety in the different routines, and the recovery time gives you a chance to get your breath and rest a bit before moving to the next phase. I was disappointed, though, that there was very little instruction about how much weight to use or appropriate step height. Not everyone is going to be able to do the program at the intensity that Denise and the others follow on the tape. If you are new to exercise, skip this one, but if you have been working out for a while and need to kick your program into high gear, then this would be a good tape to choose.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2003
Format: VHS TapeVerified Purchase
I've used this video for two weeks now, and although my percentage of body fat has not diminished, it has provided a great workout. I would not recommend this video for beginners because the steps are quick and a little difficult. The steps are from kickboxing, basketball, even speed skating. They are not your typical aerobic moves and are actually fun to do. I found the three levels of intensity all challenging. When Level 3 was too difficult (i.e. the lunge power move), I simply continued the Level 2 moves. I didn't feel like I was cheating myself out of a better workout.
I know that a lot of people think Denise is too cheery, but I found her motivating. She doesn't assume that everyone using the tape is a gym rat.
I gave it four stars, though, because a step bench really is necessary, and I needed more space than I had. Overall, though, excellent workout and definitely worth the money.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2006
I find most of Denise Austin's workouts to be geared to beginners but I have a feeling a beginner would have a hard time with this one. The weight training segments are more beginner orientated but the cardio parts really get your heart pumping! A couple of them (the plyo moves of cross country skiing and the downhill skiing section)have you anxious for the end of the intervals! The weight traing segments are welcome breathers! I really liked the warmup in this workout as it seemed to get you warmed up faster and was more to the point than a lot of other workouts. Denise uses a step for some things, which I can't use as my knee hurts when I do , so I do everything on the floor and still get a great workout. I would consider myself an advanced exerciser, running in the warmer months and working out to videos in colder weather and this is one of my favorite tapes for cardio. It's not filled with a bunch of dance moves that I have a hard time following but just serious moves that get the heart going!