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Customer Review

296 of 301 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Graceful workouts that will get you results -- and a tip to help you get through this one!, December 24, 2012
This review is from: Ballet Beautiful: Body Blast (DVD)
Purchasing this Body Blast DVD and the full-body one was my first experience using Mary Helen's workouts, and I really like them. The soothing classical piano music, the lovely white set, and Mary Helen's soft voice make for two workouts that are pleasant -- even while Mary Helen is killing you! These might look easy, but they are tough!

As other reviewers have noted, these are not ballet exercises, but more toning/strengthening exercises. All you need to do this workout and the Total Body one is a mat.

The Body Blast DVD includes four fifteen-minute segments: Swan Arms, 15-Minute Total Body Blast, Butt Blast 1, and Butt Blast 2.

Since I've personally found it really hard to do the two Butt Blast segments back-to-back, my big tip is to start with Butt Blast 2, then go back to the main menu and "Play All" so that you then do then do Swan Arms, the Total Body Blast, and Butt Blast 1. Doing the workout this way allows my glutes and legs to get a nice break between the two Butt Blast segments so that I can complete the whole workout -- and still walk the next day! ;-)

If you are familiar with Tracey Anderson's workouts, the two Butt Blast segments on the Blasts DVD reminded me a lot of Tracey's Metamorphosis Hipcentric workout, where you work your legs from an all-fours position. I got great results using Tracey's Hipcentric before I had to stop it due to back strain, but because Mary Helen uses slower pacing, her workout seems much easier on my back. I do have some wrist pain when doing these two segments, but Mary Helen says that you can go down to your forearms if you need to.

For each exercises, you will do four sets of eight repetitions. Mary Helen counts each and every rep, which some people might not like, but I've found that it helps me get into the rhythm of the moves. She also repeats the same phrases, and I could see how that might get old after a while.

If you like these, you might also like Leah Sarago's Ballet Body workouts (Ballet Body Signature Series Upper Body Workout, Ballet Body Signature Series Core Body Workout, and Ballet Body Signature Series Lower Body Workout), which are equally challenging, but equally fun.

I've also had really great results recently using these. When I first got them, I didn't do them on a regular basis, but just recently, I was sick and didn't feel like doing any cardio. I only did MHB's two DVDs for about three weeks (with no cardio) -- and my legs and arms really tightened up! I feel like I had better results in just three weeks with MHB's workouts than I did with 42 days of Tracey Anderson's Hipcentric. Mary Helen is like the poor woman's Tracy Anderson! (I realize that the two methods are very different since TA has you changing up your workouts every ten days, but the Ballet Beautiful workouts seem to work better for me!)

I also love how graceful I feel after doing these! I haven't taken a ballet class since I was about five, but I feel like a ballerina doing these!

UPDATE ON 6-6-15: If you search YouTube, the Be Fit channel has several segments from this and the Total Body DVD on their channel so you can watch them for free and try them out before buying the DVD. :)

UPDATE ON 7-13-15: Cathe Friedrich (another wonderful instructor who puts out top-notch workout DVDs) just published an article in her weekly newsletter, stating that the best exercises for building the glutes without making the thighs/quads bigger are bridges (which Mary Helen does a lot of on her Total Body DVD) and quadruped hip extensions (which are the exercises that Mary Helen does in the two Butt Blast segments on this Blasts DVD). No wonder these workouts help build a nice, round posterior! The article, in case you want to search for it (unfortunately, Amazon doesn't allow us to provide links to outside sites in our reviews) is called "Can You Build Glutes Without Increasing the Size of Your Thighs?" and it was published on Cathe's website on July 12, 2015.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 24 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 29, 2012 7:50:02 PM PST
Dear Leanne,
I JUST started the Tracy Anderson Hipcentric DVD set. You mentioned you had done the exact same program. I'd love to get your opinion. Do you think it would be worth it it to incorporate (rather replace a few days a week with) MHB's workouts? You mentioned better results from MHB than TA Hipcentric. I own MHB's Total Body workout as well...


In reply to an earlier post on Dec 30, 2012 8:01:52 AM PST
Leanne says:
Hi Joanna, I tend to try to stick with just one system/program so that I can monitor results and see what that system does for me. Since you just started Hipcentric, I'd say to stick with it on its own for at least a few weeks to see how it affects your body. If you start getting bored with just doing Tracy's workouts, then that would probably be a good time to add in MHB's workouts, too. :-)

Tracy's program does have a lot more variety since she changes up the workouts every ten days, but the moves in Hipcentric were just really hard on my low back, and I ended up in constant pain, which is why I stopped doing it after 42 days.

Keep me posted on what you decide to do, and good luck! :-)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2012 7:29:03 AM PST
Hi Leanne,
Thanks for your kindest in answering back! Yes, you are right. I definitely should keep with the program as much as I can to monitor the results. I've actually done SO MANY other programs (P90X, Rushfit by Georges St-Pierre, Chalean name a few) and really nothing has worked the way I wanted them to. So, I got excited when you mentioned in your post that you got great results from the MHB's Body Blast in just three weeks and thought maybe I'm on the wrong track to JUST Hipcentric and maybe I should replace a couple days a week with the Body Blast to get better/faster results. Like I mentioned earlier, I do own and have done MHB's Total Body DVD and I really like it. But I stopped using it once I acquired TA Hipcentric since I was feeling I need some sort of program (as always). I'm on day 14 today on Hipcentric and I have to say its working well work well. I'm just really eager to see dramatic results! I'm an athletic person / been working out for years, but I'm really tired of my body always being kind of "stocky" -- I'm only 5'3''.

I think I'll stick with Hipcentric and analyze after 90 days. Not sure if I'll do TA's continuity or try something else. I don't know of anyone who's stuck with TA Metamorphosis after 90 days.

Good luck with your workouts as well! :) Thanks for the discussion!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2012 9:23:26 AM PST
Leanne says:
Hi Joanna, It's nice to chat with you! :-) I think that sounds good to just stick with Hipcentric just so you can see what kind of results you get. When I did it, I ended up doing my own cardio since her dancing was really hard on my knees. I think it takes at least a month to start seeing results, so stick with it and I'm sure your results will be more dramatic soon. :-)

Have you ever visited It's a great forum where people post about fitness DVDs and what they like/dislike about them. Quite a few women there have been doing the TA Continuity program (after finishing the 90 days of Meta), and have gotten great results. In fact, I think that there is a daily check-in group devoted to her workouts, so it might be worth investigating if you're interested in finding out more. :-)

Like you, I'm also stocky and have always struggled with my lower half. I've found that Brazil Butt Lift and floor workouts like MHB or Tracy A. seem to work best for slimming things down.

Good luck and happy New Year!

Posted on Jul 23, 2013 8:31:18 AM PDT
Cookie68 says:
Leanne, thank you for your review. I have been doing TA for 3 weeks now and I'm a little discouraged that I haven't seen any results yet...half hour cardio plus the half hour toning. (I'm in good shape, though). I love Tracy's philosophy on muscle training and I definitely want to have a dancer's body over the girls you see in Muscle & Fitness. I'm not ready to totally abort the TA method but I do question if there's other programs out there that may give me something to smile about in quicker time. I did order this DVD but haven't received it yet. I appreciate your comparisons of this DVD to other programs out there!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 23, 2013 9:39:32 AM PDT
Leanne says:
Hi Cookie68, I'm glad the review helped! I've tried Tracy Anderson twice now, but each time I ended up feeling like I backslid in how I looked -- my legs and thighs (my trouble areas) just got mushier and worse-looking. :-( I hope that you like this DVD! Each time I focus on doing these BB workouts for a few weeks, I get great results!

MHB has a new cardio DVD coming out in the fall, so I'll probably use it and these other BB workouts then.

Good luck, and keep me posted! :-)

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 14, 2013 6:39:50 PM PDT
Cookie68 says:
Thank you, Leanne. I have done the workout a few times now. I have also incorporated some different cardio routines & came across Tonique. Have you tried these tapes? I love them! Sylwia is so upbeat and she actually has the lean, toned body I am looking for. She does a combination of using the major muscles, accessory muscles and light weights for arms (1-3 lbs). Between her & Mary Helen I am set! Mary Helen is coming out with some new DVDs also so I am looking forward to that. I feel like I am looking more toned after two weeks. I don't know why the TA method made me so mushy looking! Weird, huh? A common complaint. They recommend you stick with it but I caved in and moved on to Ballet Beautiful & Tonique!

Posted on Apr 6, 2014 3:08:44 AM PDT
fitnhealthy says:
Are you still using the dvd? If yes, do you think the results are good?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 6, 2014 5:22:48 AM PDT
Leanne says:
Hi Fitnhealthy, I still use the Ballet Beautiful DVDs on a regular basis and have even been trying out her streaming workouts -- and still do love them! Even though I've worked out fewer days/hours these past two weeks, I've actually lost some weight using her workouts. They're really great! If you have Amazon Prime, I think you can stream this one and her Classic one for free. :-)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 6, 2014 5:23:37 AM PDT
Leanne says:
Cookie68, how are you liking the Tonique and BB combo? Have you still been doing them? I've been doing a combo of the two off and on, and love how well they work together! Hope you're well~ :-)
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Location: San Diego, CA

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