Summer is rapidly approaching and beaches, bikinis and tanned boys loom in the not-so-distant future. But what’s a girl to do when she’s overwhelmed by classes, internships, homework, jobs and friends and has no time for the gym? Our favorite workout videos can solve that problem for you with workouts that you can do in your dorm room or living room in that spare half hour after your classes and before work – plus, buying a workout video is way cheaper than a gym membership!
1. Jillian Michaels’s 30 Day Shred
The Instructor: Jillian Michaels is a personal trainer, reality show personality, talk show host and entrepreneur. She became famous on The Biggest Loserand continued helping people get in shape on her own show, called Losing It with Jillian.
Why this video is great: Jillian says that you can achieve serious results by following her 20-minute-a-day workout video, and she’s serious. Her video is a national hit not because it’s easy but because it really works. Participants can choose from three 20-minute workouts which vary in difficulty. Each workout features portions of strength, cardio and abs, as well as a cool down, and the workouts are built to keep your heart rate up the whole time – she allows no resting between each burst of exercises. If you’ve got a month before summer and a trip to the beach, but only a few minutes each day to work on toning up your bod, Jillian’s definitely your girl!
Level of difficulty: 6 out of 10
What collegiettes say about it: “This tape is only 30 minutes so I have time for it every day but it’s also hard and gives you a great workout!” says Mackenzie Nickels, a Bucknell University senior who is dedicated to her daily workout with Jillian. “Plus, it's nice to have someone tell me what to do since I don't know how to work all of my muscles on my own!”
Where you can get it:You can buy the DVD on Amazon for $14.98! Then all you’ll need to complete the routine is a small set of hand weights and a mat (if you have a hard floor).
2. Insanity: The Asylum
The Instructor: Shaun T. is a former track and field star who now works as a fitness trainer and choreographer.
Why this video is great: The Insanity DVD series is a 30-day program which is built to help you gain muscle and lose fat, while also incorporating rest days. Different muscle groups also get worked on different days, but the program is meant for a collegiette who can spend a short amount of time with Shaun T each day. The Asylum set includes 6 DVDs, 2 bonus workouts, a speed rope, an agility ladder, a nutritional plan and a workout calendar. With the different workouts (which range from 25 minutes to 60 minutes) you’ll get a chance to work on your speed and agility, strength and on your core, and you will also target specific muscle groups.
Level of difficulty: 8 out of 10
What collegiettes say about it: Christina Troy, an ex-dancer and recent graduate of Merrimack College swears by Insanity’s results. “Insanity is literally one of the hardest workouts I've ever done, and I'm a former dancer. I have noticed a difference in muscle tone, though, and I think it's absolutely worth the effort. I just finished month one and am looking forward to month two!”
Sarah Dubow, a Bucknell University junior, agrees. She spent a month doing Insanity workouts last semester. “Insanity was the best workout of my life!” she said. “Though I couldn't walk for three days after the first day I did it and my body was almost in a constant state of soreness, I've never felt stronger or gotten results so quickly.”
Where you can get it: The set costs $104.80 on Amazon.
The Instructor: Tony Horton Jr. is the main trainer in the P90X series. He is known for his frequent presence on infomercials and for helping celebrities (and non-celebrities!) bring speed, flexibility, balance and muscle growth to their lives.
Why this video is great: P90X is the result of two years of fitness research and development and the newest DVD set contains what experts claim is the most cutting edge and effective workout you’ll find on the market. P90X is actually based on a concept called “muscle confusion”, which means that it breaks up your normal 30-day training plateaus to get results fast. Plus, you get a lot of bang for your buck with this DVD set: 12 workouts, a three-phase nutrition plan, a detailed fitness guide and a workout calendar. The workouts included focus on specific areas of the body: core, yoga, base and back, shoulders and arms, the ab ripper and the chest, back and balance segment, among others.
Level of difficulty: 8 out of 10
What collegiettes say about it: Ciara Heath, a University of Arizona collegiette, loves P90X because if you don’t want to buy the full set, you can buy specific workouts like the ab ripper or the arm workout on an iPhone, iPad or laptop. “I use the P90x all the time," she said. “And I like how you get to pick what you focus on. If you have an iPhone or iPad there are apps for ab, butt and arm workouts that I really enjoy and they are only 99 cents! I use P90X on the nights when I don’t feel like driving to the gym.”
Where you can get it: The full P90X2 set costs $139.80 on Amazon.
4. Hip Hop Abs
The Instructor: Shaun T., former track and field star, also hosts this DVD workout!
Why this video is great: Hip Hop Abs gets rave reviews from collegiettes across the country as a fun way to get a workout when you can’t make it to the gym. Shaun advertises the DVD set as a workout that will make you lose 3 inches off of your waist in 6 days (go ahead, we dare you to prove him wrong)! With the set, you’ll get four workout routines: secrets to flat abs, fat burning cardio, ab sculpt and total body burn. The workouts range from 13 minutes to 45 minutes, but all of them incorporate hip hop dance with ab exercises.
Level of difficulty: 5 out of 10
What collegiettes say about it: Julia Kennedy, a University of Portland collegiette, rates Hip Hop Abs as her favorite workout video in existence. “Hip Hop Abs is honestly awesome. I love that three simple moves can give you great abs. But on top of that, Shaun T. puts together dance routines for you to work out to as well! It's a kick in the pants as well as an incredible workout!”
Where you can get it: The set costs approximately $60 (the older and newer versions are slightly different prices) and you can get it here.
5. Biggest Loser: The Workout – Boot Camp
The Instructor: Bob Harper is one of The Biggest Losertrainers. He is also one of the most in-demand fitness specialists in Los Angeles and now works as both a trainer and a motivational expert.
Why this video is great: This 6-8 week fat burning program is built so that you move up intensity levels as you become comfortable with the level you’re at. Every workout begins with a warm up and later allows you to move onto your chosen level – somewhere between Level 1 and Level 3. The routines vary in length but none are more than 20 minutes (how’s that for a time saver?) before ending in a cool-down. Bob also incorporates cardio with strength exercises to achieve an all over, toned beach-body and to improve posture.
Level of difficulty: 6 out of 10
Where you can get it: The DVD is only $15 on Amazon.
Can’t go to the gym today because you have class, or because your final paper is taking longer than you thought? Not to worry, collegiettes, pop one of these tapes in (most of them only take a half hour!) and you’ll be able to tone your body while also getting a burst of mental sanity. What are you waiting for?