Last year I reviewed Davina’s 7 Minute Fit. I enjoyed the dvd, and I was keen to see what this year’s dvd would bring. I pre-ordered Davina 5 Week Fit and it arrived the day after Boxing Day, so I started with it the next morning, much to the amusement of S who apparently loves nothing more than to sit on the sofa of a morning and watch her mother prance about.
This dvd comprises 5 seven-minute workouts and a stretching routine. The workouts each come with a 3-minute booster at the end – in case seven minutes wasn’t enough!
There’s also a 21-minute Ultimate Fitness Challenge, a workout designed to test your stamina.
And because Davina and Ed think of everything, there are even two different warmup routines – so that you don’t get bored of doing the same one every day.
The extra special part about this dvd though, is that it’s been designed as a specific 5-week plan, with a planner inside the case to show you which workouts to do on which days.
The workouts are all fairly self explanatory: Hiit Workout, Full Body Fat Stripper, Ultimate Legs, Box Fit and Ultimate Abs. I have a very small floor space in my living room and am able to complete all of them without running out of space. Most of the exercises are done on the spot, or stepping from side to side.
The planner has you go through all of the workouts each week, building up from doing two or three workouts per day in week 1 to all seven on the final day.
One thing I did find odd here is that the hugely popular 7 Minute Fit seemed (on the face at least) to suggest that you could get as fit as Davina McCall in her crop top on the front, in just seven minutes per day – but the plan with this dvd has you doing two workouts on the very first day – thus exploding the myth of the previous dvd!
How Effective is it?
Of course, deep down we all know that we’re never going to get as fit as Davina McCall by doing her workout dvds; she clearly does a lot of other exercise on the side and is extremely fit to begin with. When I published my review of 7 Minute Fit last year a couple of people commented to say that the dvd was no good if you already had a good level of fitness – something which hadn’t occurred to me because I didn’t! Something occurred to me though; this along with most other fitness dvds, is not aimed at people with an existing good level of fitness. Someone with a good level of fitness achieved that by going to the gym or running or whatever else; they’re not the target audience for these dvds. People who buy these dvds are usually people like me: we want to get fit and burn off all the Christmas cake, but we can’t get to the gym – or don’t feel confident going. In that respect, it works really well. I get really out of breath doing the workouts, and my muscles hurt the next day so I know I’ve worked.
The extra 3-minute boosters at the end of the workouts mean that if you want to push yourself that little bit harder you can, and the five week planner naturally progresses you so that you feel challenged even as you gain more fitness.
The only equipment you need for these workouts is a set of weights. A yoga mat would be useful for the abs workout, but I think you can probably get by without it.
One thing I don’t like is that there’s nothing to tell you which workouts you’ll need weights for; they don’t even mention it at the beginning of the workout. I kept getting caught off guard by Ed saying “and now grab your weights” half way through a workout, so now I just have my weights to hand before each workout.
There are tutorials to show you the correct way to do some of the moves like abs and squats, and the dvd includes a copy of the five-week planner.
There is a short introduction from Davina, but that’s basically just her introducing her website, Get Fit With Davina. (the dvd includes a code for 6 weeks free on the site so I will post a review of that soon). I was disappointed that there wasn’t more in the way of extras to be honest; when I’ve had previous Davina workout dvds they’ve included interviews or chats. I remember the bonus material on the Pre & Post Natal Workouts dvd being particularly interesting and useful. I suppose they want us all to go to the new website though, so that’s where the interviews probably are!
The best part is the five-week planner aspect of the dvd. When I first started PiYo last year, I found the planner that came with that invaluable, and I’m so please Davina is following the same route in showing people how to combine the workouts, or which order to do them in for best results.
Without the planner it would be easy to just do one 7-minute workout every other day, and wonder why you don’t have a six pack. I don’t expect to get a six pack by following the planner, but it does show me how to put the various workouts together. For example, yesterday I did the Hiit Workout followed by Ultimate Abs; this morning it’ll be Ultimate Legs followed by stretching.
The stretching session is disappointingly short, and although it does stretch my muscles I feel like it would have been nice to have an entire session with proper stretching to really lengthen the muscles after all that jumping around! I’ve decided to continue with my PiYo workouts (which I reviewed last year) alongside these workouts, to ensure I am able to keep my legs and hips flexible.
I love this dvd and think the five week planner is a fantastic addition to the dvd. When I finish a workout I feel like I’ve worked hard and my tell-tale aching muscles remind me the next day that I’ve done a workout. I’m only just one week into my five weeks, but I do feel fitter and stronger already. I love that the workouts are compact so that even on a day where I’m doing 3 sessions, it doesn’t take more than half an hour. The shorter time means it’s easier to carve out time in a busy schedule to fit in that workout – and that means I’m more likely to stick with it long term!