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The Obvious Shills Made Me Wanna Gag . . .
on March 25, 2013
. . . still I'm a sucker for Bollywood dance workouts. So after a little research, I decided to purchase the 3-disc package--best value for this Doonya uninitiated girl. For visuals of this workout, go to YouTube or the Doonya website.
EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Only an exercise mat for floor work during the express abs workout. Other than that, nothing.
FORMAT: The format of the workouts is pretty "Zumba-esque," for lack of a better expression. Each "routine" is made up of one song. You use a few moves to make combinations which are repeated throughout one routine. Next routine, you use a different set of moves to make up a different combo and so on.
DIFFICULTY: I'd say this workout would mostly benefit beginner to intermediate exercisers. If you're on your fifth round of Insanity, you might laugh at this one. Of course, as with all things, what you put into it is what you will get out of it. I'm an intermediate level and, while I wasn't about to die, I did have a decent sweat going. You will be sipping water between breaks-have it handy. There's a LOT of balance work (i.e. supporting yourself on one leg). If this is not your thing, you have been warned.
THE WORKOUTS: The same "Intro to Doonya," warm-up (a roll down, chest isolations, squats, lunges, grapevines, hip/knee lifts, and various stretches) and cool-down (flowing side lunges, cat/cow, swan, butterfly, downward dog and other various stretches) are on all of the DVDs. There's a modifier on the discs 2 and 3 for those who prefer to make things less intense.
DISC 1: Beginner Breakdown: This is exactly what it sounds like. It's a breakdown of Doonya's signature moves. There are four major influences for the moves: (1) Bolly-Pop (a fusion of Northern India's hip moves and expressions and Western dances like jazz and hip-hop), (2) Pop Bhangra or "Phangra" as it's referred to in the workouts (strong shoulder moves, kicks, and lifts), (3) Regional Village (series of glides and flowing movements) and (4) Classical Conditional (appropriate stance and hand gestures). There are about 20 or so moves but they're pretty easy to remember since they're all slight variations of each other.
There is also a dance that you can learn. The dance is broken down into segments and builds into an entire routine that lasts just above 3 minutes. There's a bonus performance to the same song as well.
OP: You get to know the moves a bit more accurately since you're learning them at a slower pace. However, after you've got the moves down and learned the dance, you're likely to never use this disc again.
DISC 2: Cardio Dance and Conditioning: This DVD consists of 9 full dance routines (Heads up! One routine has planks and push-ups . . . don't get scared, there's not a lot) and 2 conditioning routines--one for glutes and thighs, the other focuses on shoulders and arms. On the workout menu, it shows the focus (glutes, legs, core, cardio, etc.) and the song of each routine. Pretty neat feature. There's also a separate "refresher" of the moves on this DVD. It's basically the beginner breakdown done at a faster pace.
OP: The best in the bunch!! Super fun workout! Lots of variety and you have a few free-style options so you're not married to the moves. This one (the third disc as well) also has a music only option, which I love.
DISC 3: Abs, Glutes, & Cardio: The final disc has 3 express workouts: (1) "Abs" is a combo of standing abs and floor work: chest isolations, hips lifts, body rolls, sweeps, twists, planks, plank jacks, "guitars" (crunches and extensions in a "C"-curve position), seated rows, and leg pulls in plank. (2) "Glutes" consists of glute lifts (naturally), glides, swings, kicks, taps, lunges, etc. (3) "Cardio" includes 3 routines: the first and third are mostly knee lifts and kicks and the second routine is all bhangra steps--taps, bhangra basic, and back swings.
OP: The cardio portion wasn't as fun as disc 2 but still not bad for a quick workout. The abs for me was a bit light. Suggestion for you all with stronger abs: lift your feet during the guitars and rows and don't tap your foot during your leg pulls. This will make your workout a bit more challenging. The saving grace of this disc is "Glutes." Your bum will sizzle but at least you'll have a good time doing it!
INSTRUCTORS: Priya and Kajal take turns leading each routine so while one leads, the other joins the rest of the group as a background exerciser. This is very cool since one doesn't talk over the other. They're neither over the top cheerleaders nor dictators; it's like working out with your friends. They're cueing is not on point all the time but overall, it's pretty good.
PRODUCTION/MUSIC: The workouts take place in a gorgeous outdoor park setting. The production and editing was very clear and professionally done. The music is infectious. I woke up this morning with it still bopping in my head. (Yes, that's a good thing.) Personal favs: "Thug Le," "Do Dhaari Talwaar," and "Show Me Your Jalwa."
JUST A HEADS UPS UP:
*Give this one a couple of tries before casting it off. The first time I tried this I thought it wasn't that intense but during my second try, I was able to put more into it. Made a whirl of difference.
*Some of the steps and transitions are kind of tricky when done on carpet. Make sure that you have footware that allows you to "glide" a bit.
*Don't look for the routines to be the exact dance numbers you'll see in the movies. You're going to be disappointed if you do.
*Quite a few of the routines have these mini-introductions--usually it's an explanation of a new move that's going to be used in that routine--which are helpful during the first couple of times you do them but after that . . . well, you know. Good looking out on the editor for putting chapters within those routines so you can skip those portions. Intros cannot be skipped unless you're using the "Play All" feature.
*No, your eyes are not deceiving you. There are actually a few more moves in the refresher than there are on the breakdown.
THINGS I'LL JUST HAVE TO LIVE WITH:
*Have your remote controls ready, ladies and gents--the warm-up and cool-down are separated from the actual workout. You have to click on the warm-up on the main menu and when it's complete, you scroll down the menu to open up the workout menu. Once your workout is complete, you have to go back to the main menu to go to the cool-down. (Whhhhhyyyy???!)
*There's a two minute introduction to the warm-up (importance of warming up, proper alignment, etc.) which got old by workout two. Yes, you can fast forward it but it would have been great to include the skip option so you wouldn't have to try to gauge at what point the actual warm-up is supposed to start.
*While you can choose from individual routines, customization a la the 10 Minute Solution workouts would have been a cool feature for those who wanted that option. So instead of doing one routine at a time, you would have the option to mix and match without having to keep going back to the remote.
OVERALL: As crazy as it may sound, I almost counted on being disappointed yet again. I've had my share of duds but this is without a doubt the best Bollywood workout that I've ever tried. Looking forward to more!
Fun Factor: *****