My Review of the Physique 57 Workout and DVD

06 Jul

A few months ago, I ordered the Physique 57 dvd’s to test out for our investigation.  The program is based on an exercise method developed by Lotte Berk, a famous German dancer who developed the workout to help women strengthen their spines and core.

The theory behind the workout program seems like it would be excellent for cellulite.  A lot of the moves are performed alongside a workout bar where each muscle is isolated and worked to exhaustion.  Thigh dancing is a perfect example of how the Physique 57 program targets cellulite.

My Review of the Physique 57 Workout

Physique 57 received some impressive reviews from bloggers around the Web (see our roundup of Physique 57 testimonials).  But somewhere along the line I read that the Physique 57 marketing team held a promotion where they sent free dvd’s for bloggers to review.  I’ve noticed that most bloggers tend to write positive reviews when they are offered free stuff, so I was curious to check out these videos for myself.

After using this workout routine for myself, here are my thoughts.  I think Physique 57 is an effective program for improving muscle tone.  It works the entire body in 57 minutes, so it’s a good cardio workout, too. It’s fast paced but the instructor keeps you moving from one muscle group to the next so I never felt so exhausted that I couldn’t continue.

I found some of the stomach exercises on the mat to be awkward.  The instructor recommends using a towel under your back but this didn’t seem to provide the same kind of support as the mats the women were using in the video.  I ended up using a thick pillow and that worked okay.

My Review of the Physique 57 DVD

Overall, I liked the workout but the video was lacking.  I can see why this would be a fantastic program for women who live near a Physique 57 gym.  Besides the benefit of interaction with the trainers, they get a fresh routine every time.  A video has to be well done for me to want to put it on week after week.  The corny jokes and “motivating” shouts quickly grow annoying after the second or third time watching the dvd.  If I hear her say “do you have a license for those guns” one more time…

For me, this dvd would work fine as part of a large collection where I could rotate it in every now and then, but it’s not the kind of workout video I would want to do even once a week.  So I’m on the hunt for quality workout dvd’s to start building a fun and effective home workout program.  I used to use Kate Potter’s Namaste Yoga series on Fit TV, but I don’t get that channel anymore and I don’t have a dvr at my new place.  I recently ordered Daily Energy, Vinyasa Flow Yoga by Shiva Rae and Yoga, Mind and Body by Ali McGraw after reading positive reviews on a yoga forum.  I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes.

Do you a have any go-to workout videos?  What programs or instructors do you recommend?

A Cellulite Investigator Update

Thanks for stopping by The Cellulite Investigation.  Things are a little quite around here at the moment.  I’m taking an extended break as I get married and settle into married life and a new home.  Don’t worry, I’ll be back soon!

Comments

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Elizabeth Walling says:
7/6/2011

Good review, Melissa. I have the same problem with workout DVDs. They get really boring really quick! I like the Yoga for Every Body DVD though. It rearranges a large variety of yoga poses into a bunch of different workouts. There are routines for beginners, intermediate and advanced. Some are as short as 25 minutes and others last for over an hour. There are also routines that target specific areas of the body or health concerns, and even routines specifically for when you’re menstruating.

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This looks fantastic! I just added it to my wishlist on Amazon. Thanks, Elizabeth!

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herama says:
7/6/2011

Ok, so I am not one for workout routines. I just cancelled my gym membership b/c I only went there to use the bathroom when out on my million mile walks. However, I did get the p90x system from a friend, and will say it IS a workout. I was surprised. It goes by pretty quick, and it is intense.
That said, I only did it a couple times b/c 1) there’s a LOT of pull-ups and push-ups in the first DVD, and I have a disc problem, so this caused me a couple weeks’ worth of major neck pain; and 2) I just can’t get into watching people on a tiny computer screen in my tiny studio apartment. I like to be either outdoors or interacting with others.
BUT if I were to do a video workout, it’d be this. I was actually very sore for a few days (neck notwithstanding) after the first video! That means something.

For now, I’m back to doing self-defense (until my neck breaks, probably), running and my daily 10-15 mile walks.

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It’s hard to beat walking for an all around great exercise, especially if you live somewhere warm with hilly terrain. People seem to get really into p90x but for some reason, the thought of it reminds of a “boot camp” type workout which doesn’t appeal to me at all. Probably a repercussion of my military days…

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herama says:
7/6/2011

Well, I wouldn’t say it’s bootcamp style. It’s quite cheezy, actually. The guy who leads makes silly jokes, says encouraging stuff, and interacts with the other people in the videos. I was surprised by the congeniality of it! It’s also helpful in that the various people in the videos do the exercises in slightly different styles, so that if you can’t do it as “EXTREME!!!” as the main guy, there’s modifications to help you.
I don’t know, I’m EXTREME kinda exercise person, so I guess I found it not bad for a video. ;D

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Interesting. From the videos I saw on Youtube I was picturing loud heavy metal music and sweaty musclemen yelling at each other. :)

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herama says:
7/8/2011

That sounds like the krav maga classes to which I’ve finally been able to return! But there we have sweaty musclewomen, too! *ahem* :D

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herama says:
7/8/2011

Sorry, not really cellulite related, but I’m so psyched to be back at KM, I wanted to share a link. THIS is a great workout! This video is from the place I go. Not sure what’s up with the creepy military.com thing, though.
http://youtu.be/DEDHKdoy2XQ
This stuff will get you in great shape AND teach real skills!
Um, of course, it can also cause some real injuries :(

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Oh my goodness, Herama. All that yelling and fighting? This looks awful. ;)

To each his own… I’m glad you enjoy it!

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Sarah says:
11/17/2011

I know I’m pretty late chiming in on this one, but after reading the comments I simply can’t refrain from putting in my 2 cents about P90X. It has its pros & cons, but I personally haven’t found any other home workout that is even worth comparison. I’ve never done any boot camp style workouts, but this doesn’t strike me as similar. Tony Horton is surprisingly motivating – and he’s cheesy in a super endearing sort of way. The system is made up of 12 different workouts, all of which are HARD. Like, really hard. It offers a pretty solid variety of strength training, cardio, and flexibility routines (Tony is, for the most part, a surprisingly good Yoga instructor).

I know it is a lot to read, but here are what I consider the most significant pros & cons:

Pros: Excellent variety, which helps with the boredom of home workouts. Tony is incredibly motivating and is great with cues. Worksheets are available for tracking progress. The workouts are so hard that it will take several attempts at the full 90-day program before you can complete it on the same level as the folks in the videos (and once you can, you just up your weights). The routines are good for men & women, so my husband and I completed it together (I desperately need the added motivation of working out with someone else).

Cons: The program is relatively expensive (videos, pull-up bar (don’t buy the P90X version), weights, etc.) – but when you consider the cost of a gym membership, it is still a pretty good deal. The cardio videos are too long (I’m a firm believer that a solid cardio routine needn’t exceed 20 minutes). There is only one leg-based strength training routine which is repeated every Friday for the entire 90 days (and it is my least favorite of the strength training routines). The chest & back routine is an hour of almost nothing but push-ups & pull-ups, which, for me, got very boring.

Overall, I give it 4.5 stars out of 5. That said, I got bored and am back at the gym (trying out group classes for the first time). Also, I never saw any improvement in my cellulite, but that wasn’t really my goal with the program. I was definitely in the best shape of my life after completing the program – I’ve never felt healthier.

By the way, have you ever heard of the Truth About Abs e-book? Mike Geary has a lot of the same beliefs as you when it comes to nutrition.

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Thanks for the review, Sarah! P90X is one of those workouts I’ve always wondered about. Your experience validates what I was thinking about the program. It seems like it would be great at improving muscle tone and getting your body “in-shape,” but it doesn’t seem like the ideal workout for cellulite. As with Physique57, I’m pretty sure I would quickly grow bored with it. I haven’t heard of Mike Geary. I’ll have to check it out. Thanks for the tip!

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sparrow says:
3/26/2012

I really like Gillian Michael’s Yoga workout. I have long loved yoga, but her workout puts a bit more “oomph” into it with cardio by “moving in the poses”. And I’m definitely sore afterwards if I do both workouts (30 min each).

The only downside is that I find her voice a bit annoying, but I know the workout well enough that I just turn the volume very low.

On a completely other note, you could always try crossfit! I’ve done it off and on and it’s challenging and doesn’t require a ton of equipment.

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Thanks for the recommendation! Is this the workout you like? Jillian Michael’s Yoga Meltdown. I like the price tag (under $8)!

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Brianne says:
5/13/2012

I’m shocked that you wrote a review without having even done the workout enough to know if it works! I think you are basing your review too much on your opinion, where FACT is, if you DO the workout, (CONSISTENTLY!) you get the most amazing results imaginable. I know this firsthand. Who CARES if the “license for… guns” is a lil’ cheesy, these DVDs WORK. Hands down. Off I go to make by butt even higher and tighter and ROUNDER than it already is… thanks to Physique 57 and CONSISTENCY!!! ;D
*muah!*

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Fair enough, Brianne. One of the difficulties I’ve run into with The Cellulite Investigation is there are so many different products to try, it is physically impossible to test them all 100 percent before writing the review. In the beginning I tried to be thorough and give each product a full shot, but I quickly realized this investigation would take a million years at that pace and I might not ever get to the bottom of it. At some point, I need to go with my gut and spend time on the treatments I believe offer the most promise for me.

With that said, it sounds like you’ve had fantastic results with Physique 57. That’s awesome! Do you use the dvd or are you lucky enough to live near a studio? Have you seen results in the cellulite department too in addition to the improved shape and tone of the muscles? I’m one of those thin people with cellulite. I’m actually happy with the shape of my body, it’s the cellulite-y texture that I’m trying to get rid of.

Thanks for your comment!

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Brianne says:
5/15/2012

:) Wow, a kindred spirit! :D I, too, am “skinny” (5’7″ and weighing in at a grand total of 112… LOL 114 on a good day…) and have “issues” with the condition of my skin. I can honestly say I have seen a significant reduction in cellulite! Sadly, my bigger issue is stretch marks… I seem to get them from merely breathing! ;)
My suggestion is if you can, give the dvds another whirl! (Oh yeah- I forgot to say that is the way I do Physique 57) Alas, I am not lucky enough to live near a studio, up here in Washington state! They (the dvds) REALLY WORK! The only problem I DID encounter was making sure I ate enough, because the dvds really do burn through calories. When I initially started, I began LOSING weight (NOT my goal! ;) and had to bump up my food/protein intake.
I have done many types of exercises, I got an A.A.S. in Exercise Science, and know quite a bit about working out/personal training, but I NEVER learned of Lotte Berk through school! I lifted heavy weights, which made me strong, but I didn’t have the strength in my “assisting” muscles to keep my joints injury-free… sooo, I began exploring outside my realm of knowledge- and into dance-centered moves such as Physique 57. Oh- I also do Yoga. Which also keeps cellulite at bay (at least for now- LOL I’m getting older every day!) Anyways this is quite long, but I wanted to make sure you know the reasons why I love these workouts. Once my shoulders/hips/knees are a bit stronger, I probably will sprinkle in some heavy weight days, but as it stands I am ready for swimsuit season, solely from Physique 57. Oh- and Yoga! Have a good one, and again, thanks for the response!

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Thanks for the info, Brianne! You have convinced me to give Physique 57 a second look. I do love the concept behind the Lotte Berk exercises. Have you tried any of the other programs, such as The Lotte Berk Method?

I LOVE yoga! Which kind do you do? Based on the info we’ve uncovered about cellulite and the lymphatic system, yoga seems uniquely targeted to help banish the blight.

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