I’ve always been a fitness DVD junkie (formerly fitness VHS junkie), and despite expanding my repertoire beyond what any normal person should have, I still find myself on the hunt for new favorites.
Like dating, finding the a good fitness DVD takes a lot of trial and error. Not every DVD I get ends up being used more than a few times. I’ve done them all, but some, I just never liked. Some I’ve simply outgrown (sorry Tae Bo). Some are fine for others, but just don’t fit my personality (I like Jillian Michaels, but have to mute her). I get bored really easily, especially when they’re too easy. I’ve started giving some away because I know I’ll never use them again. It’s tricky to find a DVD that will stay on my shelf and get used regularly.
I bought Mike Donavanik’s Extreme Burn: Total Body Interval Training a few weeks back, but hadn’t tried it until a few days ago. It’s VERY quickly becoming one of my favs! I’m a sucker for creative, interval workouts that keep me engaged, sweating & challenged: this fits the bill handsomely.
The PROMISE: “TRANSFORM YOUR BODY IN 6-WEEKS! Celebrity trainer Mike Donavanik brings you the best of his sculpting, cardio and ab work to create one of the most dynamic workouts available. Extreme Burn is a 6-week program, consisting of three workouts, designed to dramatically transform your body. Each workout is jam-packed with dynamic compound strength moves and intense bursts of cardio that will fire up your metabolism, burn fat, build lean muscle and deliver maximum results”.
STYLE: Interval training: a mix of strength & cardio for maximum burn.
BEST SUITED FOR: All levels, though beginners should start slow & low: few modifications are given. You can make the movements more difficult by adding weight & speed, and I found myself having to pull back to pace myself - a good sign.
Beginners may want to watch the segments a few times before attempting the moves. You do have the option to do each move without weights: something to consider the first time through. More than one set of weights is recommended (you can switch between light & medium as needed).
HOW TO USE IT: Mike recommends doing the workouts a minimum of three times a week. Because it’s interval based, you can swap this workout for any other interval style strength workout in your routine, and use it for cardio as well.
THE MORNING AFTER: I was SORE. I started using heavy-ish dumbbells (15lbs) and ended up switching to 10lbs halfway through. It was a little too heavy for his combinations, and I really felt it in my thighs, shoulders and core the next day. Warriored it out: it’s high rep & high engagement.
HIGH FIVES FOR…
1. Creativity: YES! Loved some of the combinations, and really felt challenged by them. A few were new to me, and that’s always hard to find. Each move or combo targeted multiple muscle groups for maximum burn. I was dripping with sweat very quickly.
2. Instructor Personality: I like Mike! Very clear, concise, even tone. Nothing over the top. Also, he ain’t bad to look at (he’s adorbs).
3. Bang for your buck: AWESOME. I liked the 40 minute format, and the option to do both is great if you want to REALLY push yourself. 2 workouts, each challenging, though I preferred the second to the first. Found myself having to lower my weights to accommodate some of the moves (started with 15lbs, moved down to 10lbs) and could have gone even lower for some of the segments. It’s a good sign that I can grow with this workout with the equipment I already have.
4. Enjoyment: I liked it! Wasn’t as entertaining as some of my workouts (Turbo Kick, Zumba etc), but still. I felt good after each workout, and willing to do it again.
LOW FIVES FOR…
1. Modifications. None given really, so I can see how beginners or those with special workout needs might struggle at first. Would have been nice to have at least one of the background exercisers do a modified version. Tip: remove the weights to take it down a notch at any time, press pause and/or remove jumps for lower impact.
2. Production value: Nothing fancy, BUT nothing distracting. Instructions were clear, multiple angles used. I really didn’t like the music (nothing crazy, just background blah). Would have liked an option to turn it off (I’m picky with music).
UPDATE: Mike let me know that there WAS an option to turn off the music! Don’t know how I missed it, but it’s there! BIG BONUS for me!
VERDICT: I loved this workout! While there’s always room for improvement, it’s rare for me to find a DVD with new moves (i.e. moves I haven’t seen or tried before) and a DVD that I feel I can grow with (with heavier weights). It was tough stuff: I was completely spent by the end of each 40 minute segment. I’ll be using some of the combos in my bootcamp for sure &some of them were VERY FUN! Big thumbs up.
Each DVD is a total body BONANZA & it’s perfect for fat loss & overall conditioning.
Overall grade: A-
Check out some of the moves in the video below!