It’s that time of year when every women’s magazine cover trumpets its own formula for the perfect beach body. If you are still feeling a wee bit zaftig from all of those wonderful winter comfort foods you consumed, have no fear help is around the corner. While there is no silver bullet to losing those extra lbs, Physique 57’s DVD series is pretty damn close. Based on the famed Lotte Berk Method, Physique 57 is a rigorous ballet-inspired routine that is designed to sculpt long, lean dancer-like muscles in a full-body routine that takes just 57 minutes. The focus is on developing a strong core, muscle endurance and flexibility. I once heard Physique 57 described as Pilates on steroids. If you want to experience one of New York-based Physique 57’s wildly popular classes without the $30.00 per class price tag, this home DVD series (of which there are now two) is just the ticket.
Physique 57 at a Glance.
Degree of Difficulty. Challenging to Very Difficult. As a relatively fit woman, I thought I would breeze through the 57 minute classic work out. Wrong. Ten minutes into the DVD, my quads were burning, my legs were shaking and I was pouring sweat. The classic routine starts with a warm up, followed by arm exercises using the 3lb and 5lb weights. I scoffed at these light weights until I did this arm routine. Trust me. They will be plenty heavy when you get into the workout. The Express 30-minute DVD is a bit less hard core but still a solid total body workout especially for those new to the Physique 57 regime.
Fun Factor. I’m not sure I would call Physique 57 “fun” but instructor Tanya Becker is appealing and her light banter keeps your mind off your burning tush as you go through endless squats, plies and leg extensions. The background music is a combination of hip-hop and deep house tracks that’s loud enough to hear without drowning out the instruction.
Production Value. Excellent. The studio is well lit and clear audio makes it easy to follow Tanya’s direction. She explains each move very clearly as well as the proper positioning of your body to ensure optimal performance and injury prevention. For beginners or those who need to take it a bit easier, there are easy-to-follow modifications to all of the exercises performed in the DVD.
Cost. About $60.00. The Physique 57 DVD kit includes three DVDs (Classic 57-minute work out, Express 30-minute work out, Arms and Abs Booster), a playground ball and pump. In addition, you’ll need a set each of 3 and 5 pound weights, a yoga mat and a blanket or thick towel.
Physique 57 Benefits. The workout suits just about all fitness levels and is especially good if you are looking to develop muscle tone and definition without the use of heavy weight machinery. This is an especially good workout for sculpting trouble spots like your rear, inner thighs, arms and abdominal region. With clearance from a doctor and some modifications, it’s possible to do Physique 57 through some or all a pregnancy and is especially great post-partum (Side note: Since they offer pregnancy fitness classes in their studios, my guess is that Physique 57 will add a pregnancy workout to its DVD series sooner or later).
Physique 57 Negatives. While Physique 57 claims to provide a good cardio workout (and it’s true your heart rate will go up), I would not rely on this workout for my sole source of cardio. Better to do this workout a few days a week and supplement with your cardio choice on alternate days.
Overall Rating. I’d give the Physique 57’s DVD series a solid 4.5 stars out of 5. This is a challenging full-body workout for time-starved moms and professionals that will produce great results with sustained effort. With a minimum of equipment and priced well under $100.00, Physique 57 series is also less expensive than other popular home workout series like Turbo Fire, P90X and Insanity.
Have you tried Physique 57 at home or in studio? What was your experience and would you recommend it to others?