In December, I was struggling to keep working out regularly, which for me, is about 5 days a week (sometimes 6). I no longer have easy access to gyms, and my work one is pretty small and stuffy. There was one week earlier in the month where I pretty much did not work out for nearly a week. Even though I was active and on my feet a lot, I felt bad about my deviation but at the same time, I knew it would ultimately be good for me.
Waking up early to go running just has NOT been appealing. Now that I sleep in my very, very comfortable Sleep Number bed, I have less achiness and more reasons to stay in bed. However, I started waking myself up earlier to at least do SOME sort of morning workout. Cue the workout DVDs. Sometimes, it would be Jillian Michael's (No More Trouble Zones), and sometimes, it would be these The Bar Method Body DVDs that I purchased a while back but have not gotten to use due to me being a gym rat.
I attended a bunch of The Bar Method classes a while back and really liked them. They claim to lean out and strengthen your leg muscles if you go regularly, which I didn't. I only went due to an online coupon and would not be able to afford taking classes continuously. Instead, I sprung $24 for both of these DVDs, which received favorable reviews on Amazon.
Burr Leonard, who is in her early 60's (late 50's in the videos... ) is the instructor for both the Designer Sculpting and Fat-Free DVDs (which both run about 45-50 min). You can tell that she is definitely fit and toned, as are all her "sidekicks." Having been in those classes before, I knew this was the norm.
To do these videos, you will need a soft surface like carpet or a mat (I use both just because my mat is always laying out), a dining room chair, some 1-4 lb weights (for the Designer Sculpting one only), and a strap. I use a really old bathroom robe strap for this purpose, though I'm pretty sure even a long towel could work.
Admittedly, neither video made me feel as wobbly as I do after an actual Bar Method class. In the actual class, my legs shake like crazy, but I only get brief moments of that with the DVD. Since Burr does a pretty good job at reminding you about form, I think the classes are just harder in general and utilize more "thigh work" because the studios actually have the ballet barres.
I've been doing these videos a couple of times a week. I usually try to sneak in a few miles in the evening (and I REALLY DO mean a few, like 3 or maybe 4) because I don't sweat much with this. In contrast, when I do Jillian's videos (I'll review 30 Day Shred at some point), that'd be my only workout a day. Even so, after even just one workout, I noticed a difference -- though I think this varies.
I give these videos my full recommendation. Supposedly, these types of barre exercises are good for runners, and I can use all the help I can get! I learned at my personal training trial that although I ran a lot, my legs were weak in some important areas.
As a note, I don't think you need to get BOTH DVDs... and if I had to choose one, I like the Designer Sculpting a bit more, though they are similar. There are a few more The Bar Method DVDs that I'd like to try (and review!), once I legitimize the cost by first making sure I stick to the videos. In reality, though, at $17 (max) per DVD, I don't think I need to worry too much.