SparkPeople – 28 Day Boot Camp DVD {Guest Review}

SparkPeople 28 Day Boot CampWe’re several weeks into the New Year – have you stuck with your resolution to exercise?

I’ll admit, I haven’t been consistent, but I’m making more of an effort. With a 6 month old and a 2 ½ year old, it’s not always easy to get to the gym.

Workout DVDs are a great option for home and the shorter they are with an effective total body workout, the better.

Thanks to Mommy B, I had the opportunity to try 28 Day Boot Camp with SparkPeople’s Coach Nicole.

SparkPeople.com is a free online resource that allows you to plan meals and track nutrition, find recipes, watch exercise videos, and much more. Coach Nicole, a certified personal trainer and exercise instructor, is an editor and fitness expert at SparkPeople.com.

Coach Nicole has a calm, straight forward approach to cueing you for each move and motivating you to stick with it. I know from personal experience that’s how she really is – I took some spinning classes that she instructed.

What I like most about Coach Nicole and the two ladies who are in the 28 Day Boot Camp video is that they are real. They look fit and healthy and you can relate more easily to them than the super fit, extremely thin women that often appear in exercise DVDs.

The DVD includes Coach Nicole’s 28 Day Plan which outlines how many minutes and the intensity in which you should work out along with the type of exercise (cardio, cardio-sculpt, tone and burn, and total body challenge). You simply go to the calendar and the appropriate day and play the workout from the calendar.

Or you can mix and match the workouts how you like. The DVD is set up so you can choose each of the segments individually for a 12-, 20- or 30-minute workout as well as a warm up and cool down. Check out a few clips from the SparkPeople – 28 Day Boot Camp video:

28 Day Boot Camp is one that can work for anyone. Coach Nicole and the two trainers in the video show you the moves at three different levels – beginner, intermediate and advanced. You can modify the moves to continue challenging yourself as you become more fit (or to make yourself work harder if you’re already in great shape). The only equipment needed are hand weights and a mat.

The background music is almost monotonous and doesn’t interfere with your ability to follow the DVD. I almost wish it was a bit more energetic to encourage me to keep moving. Also, there’s a clock on each segment that tells you how much time you have left. I have a love/hate relationship with counters like that – it’s nice to know how much longer you have but it can also be distracting.

Most of the moves seem fairly uncomplicated and include the usual suspects – squats, crunches, side steps, kettle-inspired moves, etc. Be careful not to overexert yourself though – there is one move that involves positioning your legs to the side and turning into the move. That particular move caused me to aggravate my lower back which resulted in pain for several days (disclaimer – I tend to have lower back pain issues that flare up here and there). Just listen to your body and choose the appropriate effort level.

Also included with the DVD are eight recipes (baked lemon rice, blueberry flaxseed muffins, and miso vegetable soup among others), tips to burn more fat and seated ab exercises (you can sneak a little exercise in while you’re working or watching TV).

Overall, I enjoyed the video and plan to include it in my rotation of home exercise DVDs. It’s a little lighter on cardio than some other videos I’ve tried, such as Jillian Michaels, but it has a great combination of cardio and sculpting moves. It also seemed that the instructors “rushed” through some of the moves and I found it difficult to keep up with their pace at times.

Regardless of which workout I selected, I found myself lightly sweating and experiencing that little bit of muscle soreness the next day that lets you know you worked hard, but didn’t overexert yourself.

You can find 28 Day Boot Camp ($16.99 list price) at Target and other retailers as well as Amazon. Visit SparkPeople.com here: http://www.sparkpeople.com to get a $3 coupon to purchase the DVD at Target.

Jamie BioAfter a 13+ years PR/communications career, Jamie K. recently took on her most challenging job yet – as a fulltime CFO (chief family officer). Currently, she lives in Alabama with her husband, an officer in the Air Force, and her toddler son and infant daughter. She’s a big fan of deal sites, attempts to be eco-friendly, and struggles daily with the great balancing act of being a super mom.

Although products were provided for this review, the opinions expressed are my own and were not influenced in any way.