Davina McCall has a new dvd out. Davina: 7 Minute Fit follows a long line of fitness dvds from Davina; she’s been bringing them out for ten years, and seems to have all but cornered the New Year fitness market. I bought one of her early dvds, and also had her Pre & Post Natal Workouts dvd when I was pregnant with S. I generally like her dvds because they’re not some celeb prancing about for the cameras; she gets sweaty and out of breath and you can tell she’s really working.
She also had a great on-screen chemistry with the two instructors she made her dvds with… but for the firs time ever, she’s brought out a dvd with a different instructor. Ed Lumsden replaces Jackie and Mark Wren, and certainly makes his mark. It’s a big risk to bring in a new trainer after so many successful dvds, but I think Davina made the right choice with Ed, and this dvd works really well.
The dvd comprises ten 7-minute workouts… Read that again: seven-minute workouts. I did scoff a little when I read that; in most exercise classes the warm-up is longer than seven minutes. I doubted I would be likely to break a sweat in a seven-minute dvd workout, unless it was seven minutes of jumping jacks or something awful like that!
Let’s just put that one to rest here, shall we? You can definitely work bloody hard in seven minutes, without spending those seven minutes doing jumping jacks.
Each workout has more or less the same format, in that it’s two or three sets of the same exercises. This is great, as you only need to learn three exercises for each workout. None of them is particularly complicated, and there’s nothing that requires more floor space than laying on your back or taking a couple of small steps to the side. Perfect for those of us with a small living room!
How Effective Is It?
Each workout has three sets of exercises. You start off with the first set, thinking “oh, why am I bothering with this? This is not going to get rid of these wobbly bits!” By around 6:30 in, you’re thinking “oh cripes, I can’t breathe… I really should have opened the windows before I started…” and just as you’re thinking you might just keel over… it stops.
The idea is that you can either do one workout at a time, or – if you’re feeling more adventurous – two or three at a time.
This is one of those great workouts that doesn’t use loads of fancy equipment. You’ll need a couple of weights, and perhaps a floor mat for some of the push ups and suchlike.
The dvd has a set of tutorials, where Ed and Davina go through the correct way to do certain moves, such as squats and lunges. Often when you get a fitness dvd, they launch straight into all these fancy moves, without telling you the things you would get in a gym class environment, where the instructor often comes around and corrects posture. I’ve not really seen this in any other fitness dvd before, and although it’s fairly boring to watch it’s very informative and teaches you postural techniques that will hopefully help you to avoid injury.
There’s also a short interview with new trainer Ed, where Davina talks about how she found Ed. They talk about his approach to exercise, and how important technique is to exercise – it’s great that they put so much emphasis on this, as most dvds don’t really mention how important it is. As Ed says, “10 good ones are better than 50 bad ones!” They also explain why a 7-minute workout is a really great way of exercising. Ed also tells us that losing the weight is 80% diet and 20% exercise, whereas maintenance is the other way around. This is something I’d never thought of before, but it makes a lot of sense. I’ve always been able to do the exercise side of things, but the diet side is usually complete rubbish – and I do struggle losing weight.
Davina McCall manages to be obviously super fit, but also to look like that person at the back of the class who can’t get the moves right. In the Box Fit session, she looks just like any woman who doesn’t usually do boxing, doing punching moves. She’s not polished and wearing ten tons of make up, more worried about whether her head band matches her t shirt; she looks like a real person, doing a real workout. This relatability is what I think has allowed her to have such storming success with her fitness dvds.
There’s a “Get Fit With Davina” website which has a “complete health, fitness and weight loss programme” where you get a personalised 5-week programme with special workout videos designed to fit your fitness level. The dvd ties in with the website, in that your programme on the website will tell you which workouts to do on which days. There’s also a personalised nutrition programme that goes with it. When you buy the dvd, you get a special VIP code for five weeks of free membership to the site. All of this sounds fantastic, and it is advertised as “coming in January.” It’s now mid-February, and nothing seems to be going on with the website.
I own a lot of fitness dvds. I’ve bought everything from Jordan’s workout dvd (yes, she really did one, back when she was still Jordan) to Jillian Michaels. In fact, I think I have three or four Jillian Michaels dvds. When I moved house last year, I ended up dusting a lot of them off, and giving them to a charity shop because I’d not touched them for ages. Some of them, I never even did the workout routine all the way through before I gave up and put it back in its case. I have already lost the box for this dvd; it’s somewhere behind the telly I think, with the “lost” Baby Jake box set. It doesn’t matter, because the dvd is permanently in my player.
The workouts are hard in terms of hard work, but not in terms of concentration on complicated moves. And more importantly, they’re enjoyable. And because they’re only seven minutes, I can do them while my dinner is cooking or before collecting S from nursery – I don’t need to try and carve out 30-40 minutes from my day.