Calorie-torching Exercise DVDs

Lose pounds in a hurry with these fat-burning workout routines you can do at home.
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Jillian Michaels’ Shred-it with Weights

You’ll need: mat and kettlebell (if you don’t have one, use a 3-to-8-pound free weight) Level: Advanced _The Biggest Loser’_s Jillian Michaels isn’t kidding when she says she wants you to see "body-shredding" results. In two 20-minute routines, she takes you through kettlebell moves with names like "punch swing"-and never lets you put the damn weight down! Even when you’re doing crunches, Michaels advises you to grip the KB in the "crusher" position (hands holding the round part). Don’t let the more peaceful-sounding moves like "The Windmill" fool you: Reaching one hand toward your ankle while extending the other in the air with a kettlebell isn’t easy. But the burn is so rewarding that-to borrow a phrase from Michaels-you’ll be inspired to "smoke this last circuit" every time. Preorder the DVD on Amazon.
Photo Courtesy of Amazon

Dance With Me Cardio Fit with Billy Blanks, Jr.

Level: Intermediate For women of a certain age, Billy Blanks was the guy who stood between them and the missy department: His high-octane tae bo routines got them in fabulous shape. Now his son is poised to carry the fat-burning torch. In Dance With Me Cardio Fit, Junior and his six very unintimidating exercise companions present three 10-minute dance routines that are aerobicized versions of hip-hop, country and Bollywood styles. Not for those with two left feet, these high-energy moves will definitely make you break a sweat—as well as a smile. This is the rare DVD in which everyone on camera seems to truly be having fun. Available September 7 from Lionsgate.

Total-Body Toning With Lashaun Dale

You’ll need: Step, mat, free weights, weighted ball Level: Intermediate to advanced Veteran New York City fitness instructor Lashaun Dale has come up with a quick-results workout that’s great for exercisers who are easily bored. The opening segment, called "Metabolic Optimizer Warm Up," gives a clue as to what you’re in for. What follows are several 10-minute routines that alternate cardio blasts with strengthening moves, some of which are quite creative. You can combine the segments in any way to focus on your trouble spots. Buy the DVD at Human Kinetics.
Human Kinetics

Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown

Level: Intermediate to advanced If you’re looking for a de-stressing yoga session, keep on clicking: Jillian Michaels, star trainer on The Biggest Loser, has something else in store for you. With nary a Namaste, she puts you through two fast-paced, 30-minute yoga workouts designed to build muscle and burn calories. "No slow sequences here," Michaels announces at the beginning of the DVD. "Get ready to get ripped!" Her athletic approach to yoga makes frequent use of switching in and out of positions such as a side plank. Or, as Michaels exhorts, "Rep it out!" Throughout, the trainer delivers clear instructions, and offers modifications for those not in tip-top shape. Be warned: The Level 2 workout is considerably more advanced than the Level 1. Buy it at Amazon.
Photo Courtesy of Amazon

Denise Austin 3-Week Boot Camp

You’ll need: Weights Level: Intermediate Denise Austin leads two 20-minute interval workouts, one that emphasizes cardio and weight-lifting, another that does athletic movements (think: kickball, kayaking, skiing) at a cardio pace and uses a dumbbell to provide full-body, kettlebell-like exercises. More cheerleader than drill sergeant, Austin is always upbeat and encouraging (she promises you’ll look "awesome" and become "happy"). The DVD suggests you start with the 20-minute routines alone but if you’re already in decent shape you’ll probably need the challenge that comes from combining the two workouts into one 40-minute session. Buy the DVD in her online store.

Jari Love’s Get Extremely Ripped Body Rock

You’ll need: Weights Level: Intermediate to advanced You may never have heard of Jari Love, but this Canadian trainer is a rock star in certain quarters-especially those filled with very buff, Red Bull quaffing, push-it-to-the-limit exercisers. Love’s routines typically include non-stop reps of high-intensity cardio and weight-lifting moves. Here, she mixes things up a bit by switching in dance-based cardio (jazz, disco, Latin and hip hop) taught by a professional dance teacher. The goal is to help you break out of a plateau. Come prepared to sweat. Available at College Video.
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Personal Training with Jackie: Power Circuit Training

You’ll need: 1-2 sets of weights Level: Intermediate to advanced In her reality TV show, Work Out, Jackie Warner, a $400-an-hour trainer who’s owner of the Sky Sport and Spa gym in Beverly Hills, is often plagued by personal and personnel melodramas. But in this DVD, she’s relaxed and totally in control. Her workouts (one lasting 40 minutes, four others for 15 each) are broken into four-minute segments that work one muscle group with three different exercises, then finish with a "power circuit" that repeats the three exercises at a faster pace with fewer reps. Her goal is to work your lower body, upper body and/or abs muscles to total fatigue. Mission? Accomplished! Buy it at College Video
Collage Video

The FIRM Calorie Explosion

Level: Intermediate to Advanced The FIRM began in 1979 as an exercise studio in South Carolina, and went on to produce videos and then DVDs that have attained almost cult status because of their effectiveness in remaking bodies. The secret to their success? FIRM routines not only combine cardio and resistance training but they also alternate between upper and lower body moves, which gives your muscles a slight rest and thus allows them to work harder. Here, different instructors (mostly with Southern accents!) provide four fast-paced routines: athletic drills, explosive power moves, cardio kickboxing and high-intensity moves. Buy the DVD at Gaiam.

Weight Loss Cardio Sculpt

You’ll need: mat, free weights Level: Intermediate Violet Zaki tag teams strength and cardio training over the course of two 20-minute workouts in a DVD that’s worthy of being your next (and most-reliable-yet) fitness buddy. In fact, Zaki’s interval training is so well-timed that just when you think your arms are going to fall off, she puts down the weights and switches over to aerobics. Plus, she is a rare breed of NOT annoying fitness instructor: Even when she says things like "mentally prepare yourself for a cardio blast," you’re willing to go along. Buy the DVD on Amazon.
Photo Courtesy of Amazon

Next-Level Pilates with Erika Bloom

You’ll need: mat, resistance band and small Pilates ball Level: Intermediate to advanced The owner of a renowned New York City Pilates studio, Erika Bloom knows how to deliver a deep-muscle workout for a longer, leaner more toned body. To be sure, though: The DVD doesn’t shatter any Pilates-lover stereotypes. Bloom does indeed speak in a breathy voice and, yes, there’s soft piano music playing in the background. But, hey: Calming sounds are a good thing. Customize your workout based on your needs or goals (you can target legs, abs, arms, hips and back), or try the pre-designed routines (30 minutes or one hour). Buy the DVD on Amazon.


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