Last month, Acacia Fitness sent me a copy of Body by Bethenny at no cost. I was very excited for the chance to review this before anyone else was able to try it, but here I am over a month after the DVD was released, first writing my review!
First, let me just say this: I love Bethenny Frankel. I just love her. I think she is hilarious, intelligent, clever, beautiful and extremely hardworking. I kind of want to be her. I even watched her topless in the worst movie ever from 1994.
That said, I found it humorous that she would put out an exercise DVD. As good of a chef she might be, as experienced in eating to be Naturally Thin (although not so much at editing), as witty a reality TV star with her one-liners — who is she to do a workout DVD?
Turns out, Bethenny got a certified personal trainer, Pilates master, and yoga instructor — Kristin McGee — to lead the DVD. You might remember Kristin from her appearance on 30 Rock! Bethenny was more of a participant in Kristin’s class. I really liked this because I’m used to see yoga instructors do all the poses perfectly, and of course I can’t do them expertly myself. Who can? It was nice to have the yoga teacher Kristin and Bethenny, the “regular person” right next to her. Sure, Bethenny was imperfect. and that is what made this better to watch than other DVDs. Sometimes we need a reminder that we aren’t awful at yoga. I know I do.
Perfect example — check out the differences between Bethenny’s and Kristin’s raised legs in Warrior III:
That makes me feel better.
And why would someone who isn’t a fitness instructor put out a fitness DVD? Because Bethenny gets asked all the timeabout her fitness regime. People want to know what workouts Bethenny actually does herself, and so many people asked that Bethenny, a very smart business lady, saw an opportunity to answer everyone at once with a DVD.
Here is the official description:
“People keep asking me how I get in shape, and this is what I do.” –Bethenny Frankel
Unleash your best body as you work out with Bethenny Frankel, celebrated natural food chef, TV star, and New York Times bestselling author of Naturally Thin and The Skinnygirl Dish.
Bethenny keeps her slim figure with simple, realistic exercise routines like this one. Celebrity instructor Kristin McGee joins Bethenny for a 40-minute yoga program that stretches and strengthens the entire body. You’ll get toned abs, thighs, glutes, and arms while increasing flexibility and balance. Follow it up with a focused, 10-minute strength-training segment to sculpt lean muscles and increase your metabolism. Then finish off with the 5-minute Booty Blast to learn fun moves you can do anywhere for a tight, firm behind.
Bethenny champions a down-to-earth approach to exercise that fits your lifestyle. No matter your size, shape, or fitness level, this program will work for you. You are a true “skinnygirl” when you feel your healthiest, so trust yourself, enjoy yourself, and make Bethenny’s workout your own.
Equipment needed: light hand weights and a mat
Body by Bethenny was divided into three sections.
- 40 minutes flow yoga
- 10 minutes strength training (arm weights)
- 5 minutes booty blast (glutes)
I was impressed! My exact words, that I tweeted to Bethenny (and got a reply back!) were “This DVD is exactly like my favorite yoga classes.” And that really is the best way to describe it. Since January, I’ve managed to surprise myself and become a regular at yoga. I used to hate it and now I love it (but that is a story for another post). The classes I like best are the ones that keep a constant flow, are repetitive and easy to follow along, make my muscles work with challenging poses and make me feel like I got both a cardio, strength and flexibility workout afterwards. This is definitely a toning yoga workout. I especially enjoyed the side planks.
As someone who isn’t quick to catch on to dance combinations and sequences of exercise, I was excited about the repitition and how easy it was to follow along. As someone who is still new to yoga, I appreciated how this DVD is accessible to first-timers and those who are more experienced. When Kristin did more difficult poses, Bethenny would show modifications. I never graded a workout DVD before but I feel the need to grade each part of this one.
Yoga grade: A
This was a good, basic arm workout. It includes six different movements with weights, and you do two sets of each. So there are two sets of bicep curls, for example.
I’m used to very tough arm workouts from Core Fusion. I am used to very tough arm workouts via DVD from Core Fusion Body Sculpt and Pure Abs + Arms. In Core Fusion I use three pound weights and those were too light for Body by Bethenny. There are simply fewer exercises and fewer reps at a slower pace. I picked up five pounds and that is working pretty well for me here. I like this arm section as an alternative to Core Fusion for when I want a change or really, want a quick arm workout with a little lessburning. That said, the arms workout in Body by Bethenny is very good, especially if you are new to weights and want to learn some basics. If you use a heavy enough weight for your level, you will certainly build some muscle tone with this one.
And you get the added bonus of Bethenny’s quips.
Arms grade: B+
This was a quick five minute section that was thrown on to the end. It doesn’t add much to the DVD, but it doesn’t hurt either. It was similar to Core Fusion gluteal work, small leg lifts, but on a much smaller scale. It was nice for Bethenny to include, perhaps some people will benefit, but overall there was not much to this section.
Booty Blast: B -
Overall, I was very impressed with Body by Bethenny! I like how Bethenny was upfront about the fact that the yoga section is what she always does, as well as the fact that she doesn’t do some of the arm workouts as much as she’d like. Also interesting is Bethenny’s comment that she doesn’t do targeted ab workouts (pre-pregnancy she had NICE abs), but instead she engages her core while doing her arm workouts. Good to know! Bethenny also explains that she usually does yoga and that is more than enough to tone her body — she just included the arms and butt sections as added bonuses. Bethenny is pretty self deprecating throughout the workout, which I love, and in my opinion, she is very real. I just like watching her. And did you know she was pregnant while filming this DVD?
This is my only “workout yoga” DVD and right now it is all I need. I’m very happy with the type, and level, of yoga, and I just like Bethenny. I’d recommend this DVD for anyone looking for a good yoga DVD with a bonus arms section.
Watch the trailer here.
Overall grade: A-