Strong' points in O'Brien's fitness DVD
Host doesn't get too perky or bossy in easy-to-follow, adjustable workout
October 6, 2010
BY TAMMY CHASE, Sun-Times Media
"Strong Body, Fit Body" is neither fancy nor complicated. It is a strength and cardio workout for any fitness level.
This is for someone who wants to get into shape but isn't quite sure how to get started or who wants to get stronger and improve workout quality.
Erin O'Brien (who is married to actor James Denton of "Desperate Housewives" is a trainer for this video. O'Brien provides the right mix of enthusiasm and instruction, without being too perky, bossy or otherwise annoying. In fact, she seems like she'd be kind of cool to hang out with.
The DVD is broken up into nice, short segments that let you craft the workout you want, including four seven-minute circuits of weight exercises that are easy to follow. She also has an intense 6-minute floor (ab) workout, and offers a very good five-minute warmup and seven-minute cool down.
So many DVDs cheat on a good warmup and cool down - both of which are so important for injury-prevention - so these were refreshing. You will get a good workout, work up a good sweat and feel pretty good when you're done.
Arkansas Democrat Gazette
December 13, 2010
Multi-tasking exercises work as fitness shortcuts
KATHERINE BENENATI ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE
There may not be many shortcuts to fitness, but there are moves that help you multi-task. Strong Body, Fit Body With Erin O'Brien (available from Acacia $16.99) includes plenty of multitasking exercises. O'Brien explains in the introduction that working several muscle groups at once helps with coordination and balance. And she says it burns more calories. The DVD is about 45 minutes long and includes three circuits that each work the major muscle groups.
The three circuits each run about seven minutes, and a "From the Top" routine (also seven minutes) includes moves in the previous sets. There's also a six-minute "Floor Work" segment that focuses on the abdominal muscles. And she doesn't skimp on the warm-up (five minutes) or the cool-down (seven minutes.) She suggests that women doing the DVD start with 5-pound dumbbells and work up to 8 pounds, and that men start with 8-pound dumbbells and progress to 12-pound dumbbells.
Aside from weights, the only equipment required is a towel and water. She even does the routine in a wellappointed room that looks like a typical living room and instead of a fancy yoga mat lays down the towel for the floor work.
O'Brien is concise, offering suggestions on form and explaining how to modify moves, counting down exercises. She demonstrates certain moves that are more complex and gradually adds on moves (letting the exercisers at home get their biceps curls down pat before adding calf raises, for instance).
She does quite a few squat jumps, but nothing too explosive, keeping the plyometrics to a minimum.
But that's not to say you won't break a sweat or get your heart rate up. She has quite a few challenging moves, such as combining triceps kickbacks with a walk-your-hands-out-into-apushup move.
All of the circuit routines work the legs, arms and core in slightly different ways and are challenging in their own right. The routines can be combined or, in a pinch, done separately, and they are perfect for those who either haven't exercised in a while or want a quick total-body workout without going to the gym.