I admit, I have always been a snob about exercise DVDs. The idea of watching television and getting fit has always seemed like a cop out to me, I think I believed people didn’t actually do the exercise, just put on the DVD, sat on the sofa and had a cup of tea when it all got a bit tough. With garish front covers and z-list celebrities that fathom new depths of irritating with each new DVD release, I had treated exercise DVDs with the same amount of respect I treated their celebrity cover star’s ‘careers’, until now.
I’ve always wanted to try pilates, with spindly gibbon-esque arms (with slightly less hair), a back about as proportioned to my body as a giraffe’s neck is to it’s and a hatred of weights, I saw pilates as the ideal way to strengthen myself up. However getting to any sort of class to learn such things was proving difficult as apparently in West London only those free at 11am and so obviously without working commitments ever want to go to classes apparently. So when my pal said that amongst her hectic schedule she had started doing pilates I wanted to know where, when and how much. ‘£10.99, in my lounge, any time’ came the reply. At first I was baffled, trying to figure out how she had managed to find time to become a pilates instructor around her busy busy diary, until she revealed the secret – a Pilates DVD. And not just any Pilates DVD, but one that gives you a short burst of pilates exercises in 10min stints, designed for those who can’t make a full class for whatever reason or who only want to tone up one part of their body. I was dubious, skeptical, but also a little intrigued, I had to try this out for myself.
The ’10 Minute Solution’ boxset does exactly what it says on the tin, as explained above, it’s 10 min videos leading you through exercises for different areas of the body. Yes there are garish colours, logos that look like they’ve been mocked up on WordArt and a deeply riveting and philosophical quote from Closer magazine proclaiming that they ‘Love it!’ stamped all over the box, but I put my snobbery aside, put in DVD 1 entitled Beginners Pilates and braced myself. Pilates is just yoga with a bit more stretching right? How hard could it be.
The answer, my friends, came approx 8 mins later when I lay in a heap on my bedroom floor, red faced, with stomach muscles feeling like they were about to burst out of my skin like a scene from Alien. Despite my inability to breathe however I was still capable of telling Lara Hudson, the smiley instructor lady on the screen in front of me, that I hated her. I hated her because whilst doing the exercises she’s still smiling, and talking. TALKING. I can barely take in enough oxygen to remain conscious and this lady is having a chat. Even though I had warmed up before hand, i don’t know if my body has ever been in that much pain as it did whilst old smiley-Lara-chops took me through my paces.
Its now been a month or so and I still often struggle during the sessions, have had to stop my calf cramping approx 10 times and have discovered in the region of 1000 new muscles just in my bum and thighs that I never knew existed before, but do feel stronger. At least, a little bit stronger. I’d still prefer to go to an actual class and see how I progressed there, but when needs must, I think the DVD may actually be an ok substitute.
Image from http://shop.silverdisc.com – thanks!