Would it be a well-rounded review if I just wrote “Buy this!”?

Okay, probably not, but that’s my overall sentiment.

I read just about every fitness magazine there is, everything from ubiquitous mags like  SELF, SHAPE, and Fitness to the slightly more hardcore Oxygen and Muscle and Fitness Hers. If there’s a health and fitness magazine out there, I read it, but here’s a confession: You know those little sample workouts they give you?  I always mean to do them, but I always feel pretty spaztastic with my magazine cut-outs in the middle of the weight room.

Nothing projects authority in the weight room quite like page 89. So, I read them, try to retain what they tell me then generally go right on my merry way doing what I’ve always done.  That’s why this DVD is great.  It was produced by the powers that be at Women’s Health. Basically it’s like a magazine workout, complete with all the latest cardio and strength training must-dos;  minus the awkward looks at the gym!


Look Better Naked is broken up into two 20-minute sections: Metabolic (AKA Cardio) and strength training.  They’re also another 10-minutes divided between the warm-up and cool down.  Don’t let the names of these sections fool you—neither is entirely devoid of the other.  Hell even the warm-up will have you dabbing your brown.

The cardio section combines plyometrics and high intensity intervals.  There is not a moment you are not moving, but there’s also about a bajillion lunges that sneak in there so you’re secretly toning your legs and butt.

The strength training section–killer.  I mean killer in a less creepy dude in a dirty white van sort of way, and more wow ‘Where has Jessica Smith been all my life?’ kind of way.  Usually when I do strength based DVDs I use 8-10lb weights, but 5-lbs were more than enough.  I think the decrease in weight had a lot to do with the cross muscle groups being targeted and the definite presence of cardiotastic moves being thrown in.  You really pack a lot of toning in these 20-minutes by working more than one muscle group at a time.

I’m a big fan of Jessica Smith; I’ve mentioned that in about a half-dozen other DVD reviews either here or on Social Workout, so I’m sorry if I repeat myself.  The cuing is right on, there’s no sense of scrambling to catch up; the choreography is challenging for exercise mavens, but not so challenging that you won’t be able to get the hang of it after a couple of run-throughs, and she’s encouraging but not in that cloying super-perky way.

As far as all-round home workouts go, this one is perfect.  Quick, challenging, and all you need is a pair of dumbbells.