FIND YOUR FITNESS PROGRAM

A list of home workout programs and reviews

Hey, I understand going to a gym or even meeting a trainer can be intimidating.  Luckily there are lots of On Demand and DVD programs you can purchase to start moving at your own pace in your own home.  

Here is a list of fitness programs I have done over the years at-home.  Many are a great option to have that "group fitness" feel without having to go to the gym.  

Each includes a description and my review, so feel free to click on the image to learn more.  

** I am not affiliated with any of these services.  The reviews are just my personal opinion from my own experience.

Contact me if you would like additional info on a particular program.

Once you get comfortable moving your body, contact a trainer, participate in a class around town, or find a bootcamp!  The more you experience, the closer you will be to finding what you love to do to be a fit and healthy YOU!


Click the program of interest to jump ahead to a short description and review!

All Levels  

-Turbokick-   

-ChaLean Extreme-   

-TurboFire-   

-PiYo-                  

-T25-       

 

Intermediate to Advanced   


Turbokick

Focus:  Cardio

Level:  Any

Equipment: None

Look for a class near you, they're everywhere!  Turbokick is what is classified as a "cardio party."  More like a sweat fest!  Imagine choreographed kickboxing to music that gets you moving, with some dancin’ and shakin’ added in if you choose.  Classes build over weeks so it is great for anyone at any fitness level.   If you want to sweat and have fun this is for you!

One word of caution-- it does take some coordination.  And if you don't have coordination yet, it takes patience!  My advice, just keep moving and you'll still burn calories.

Turbokick was the class that made me fall in love with formatted fitness classes.  I highly recommend trying it out!  It is tons of fun, and you burn so many calories.

If you prefer to workout out at home, look ahead to Turbofire.

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Chalean Extreme

Level: Beginner, Intermediate

Focus: Strength Training

Equipment: Dumbbells or Bands

This program is perfect for any beginner looking to learn proper form for strength training and lifting techniques.  It is also good for more advanced levels because you can lift to your ability!

Chalene Johnson breaks down each move for you and goes at a nice pace so you don't lose form or get left behind.  There is always a modifier to show you a less advanced option.  The only downside is, once you get the hang of it, or if you choose to go back to it, it can seem to move a little slow because she does walk you through step by step.

This program focuses on reaching "failure."  Failure is when you can't push out another rep.  This allows you to learn what you can lift, and how you can push your body to the next level.

This is the program that helped me build a strong foundation, and my fitness level went up from there.  I have been back to it many times over the years.  Chalene is one of my all time favorite trainers!

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Turbofire

Level: All (may be challenging for beginners but improvement is easy with practice)

Focus: Cardio

Equipment:  None, bands for additional strength training DVDs

TurboFire is the home workout version of Turbokick, but I find it to be more intense!  Choreographed kickboxing to fun music that drives your cardio level through the roof (you will sweat hard).  It also mixes in strength training, HIIT training, and core work.  Chalene brings energy to the class, and so does the music!  This is not boring, you are constantly moving for a half hour to an hour depending on the workout.  The music = motivation!  The way it is filmed, you feel as if you are part of a live Turbofire class-- different and kinda cool.  Again, there is a modifier showing you how to do everything low impact so follow her until you get the hang of it.  

Turbofire is one of my favorite total body conditioning fitness programs!  Not only is a great for cardio, but it is also great for improving coordination. 

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Les Mills BodyPump

Focus: Strength Training

Level:  All

Equipment:  Barbell with weighted plates

This program is more about high reps with low to moderate weights.  This is what Les Mills refers to as "The Rep Effect."  All of the trainers are excellent and get you motivated.  Les Mills originated in New Zealand, and they have trainers from all around the world!  I love this organization, everything they produce is excellent.  Bodypump is one of many programs they have.  If you're looking to get into weight training, this is a great place to start.  Or if you want to get away from heavy lifting and increase reps, this is for you.    

What I love about this program is it is set to music, as opposed to other programs where you push out your reps to background music and not everyone is on the same count.  The music is what makes it fun, and helps take your mind off of the burn!

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Les Mills BodyCombat

Focus: Cardio and Strength

Level:  All

Equipment:  None, fighting gloves optional

This is by far my all time FAVORITE!  I tried this because I love kickboxing and Turbofire.  This program is similar in the sense that it is choreographed boxing, kickboxing, and other mixed martial arts moves set to music.  It is just a bit more technical, so you really feel like a fighter!  

This workout makes me feel tough, makes me sweat, and I can't get enough.  It is a full body workout-- my arms, back, legs became more toned, and it worked my core without doing a single crunch!  Not to mention I love the trainers, Dan and Rach are awesome! Again, it helps with coordination so could be challenging for beginners but improvement comes with practice.

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Natalie Jill 12 Week Super SHred

Focus: Strength Training and Cardio

Level:  Intermediate to Advanced

Equipment:  Dumbbells or bar, bands, stability ball

Natalie Jill's 12 Week Super Shred is an intermediate to advanced sculpting program.  Once you purchase, it is ready for download.  The program consists of workout sheets with listed moves, reps, and rest time required for each set.  You also receive a zip file containing short tutorial videos.  Most of the effort is focused on weight lifting, but you are also required to do a certain amount of steady state cardio.

I am a big fan of Natalie Jill, she has several programs available for all levels and has an awesome YouTube channel.  I chose to do the 12 Week Super Shred because I wanted to lift on a more intermediate/advanced level.  It was challenging!  I do wish it was an actual DVD program where you could push play and follow along with a routine.  It was different, but I adjusted quickly.  And for anyone who would rather take their routine to the gym, this is perfect!

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Piyo

Focus: Strength and Stretch

Level:  Any

Equipment: None

PiYo is full body strength training using your own body weight.  Choreographed pilates and yoga inspired movements are set to music.  PiYo is great for anyone who prefers intensity without the impact. 

I was hesitant to try PiYo at first.  I am not flexible, and usually prefer to do more high impact, cardio workout routines.  But I love Chalene Johnson so I went for it.  I’m glad I did!  I like it for a change of pace.  It is core and strength training to the max, and you definitely build strength through the weeks.  It is definitely more challenging than you would think.  The beginning starts a little slow, a lot of repetition so you can master form.  But once you get past the first few weeks it gets challenging.  There are also some cardio workouts mixed in.  If anything it was worth it for the abs routine—hardcore!

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UFC Fit

Focus:  Full Body Strength and Cardio

Level:  Any

Equipment:  Light set of dumbbells for some

Full body intensity training is what UFC FIT is all about.  It is full of martial arts inspired training moves.  So if you want to feel like you are a fighter in training, this program is for you.  I also think this is great to learn technique for workouts like Bodycombat.  Each workout is made up of rounds.  Each round is a set of 30 second drills repeated on each side of the body.  A light set of dumbbells is required for some of the exercises.

I love Mike Dolce as a trainer.  He isn't over the top, but has enough energy to motivate.  This was a little different than what I normally enjoy-- the high energy choreographed routines to music-- but I really like this program.  I would recommend it to anyone who wants to learn fighting techniques, build strength, and burn calories at the same time!

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Body Beast

Focus: Strength Training

Level:  Intermediate to Advanced

Equipment:  Dumbbells, Stability Ball, Bands Optional:  EZ Bar/Barbell, Weighted Plates, Pull-Up Bar, Bench

Body Beast takes your strength training and weight lifting to the next level.  If you want to build muscle, this is your program.  It is all about different types of weight sets—single sets, supersets, progressive sets, dropsets.

I will say, it took me a little while to get used to Sagi as a trainer.  I would have preferred they include some women in the videos, and not just a bunch of large muscular men.  Body Beast is easily done by women; why not show that women can use this program to gain muscle and look lean?  That aside, now I find Sagi quirky and funny for the most part.  This program has increased my strength and lean muscle tremendously!  I do wish the program included a little more cardio, but I have others to fill that void.

The other great thing about this program is you can take it to the gym if you prefer.  Some people aren’t ready to make the investment into owning equipment.  Just watch the DVDs, print off the worksheets, and do your sets at your own pace!

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Les Mills Grit Series

Focus: HIIT

Level:  Intermediate to Advanced

Equipment:  Varies

The Les Mills Grit series is killer! It is HIIT (high intensity interval training) style training to the max.  Anyone can do it at their own pace, but it is a challenge.  The series includes cardio, strength, and plyo grit workouts.  Workouts are 30 minutes of full throttle, pushing yourself to your max!  And you will reach your max very quickly, but you just have to push through.

I love to hate Les Mills Grit.  It challenges me!  But what challenges you, changes you right?  Hopefully.  My goal is to complete a Les Mills Grit workout once a week.  I like the challenge, but I do not want to undergo high impact several times a week.  I recommend it to anyone who wants to take their fitness to the next level and is interested in HIIT training.  It is tough, but the feeling of satisfaction you get when you finish is unbeatable!  The way they film is great too.  Everyone is doing it live, so you feel like you're part of the class and you don't feel as bad when you see people in the video struggling too.

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Focus T25

Focus:  Cardio and Strength

Level:  Any

Equipment: none for first 2 phases.  Light dumbbells and/or band for 3rd phase

T25 packs a great cardio workout into just 25 minutes (28 minutes with cool down).  Your heart rate will be up in no time with much of the focus on larger muscle groups.  Put on a headband, and get ready to sweat (this was a quote from my husband who had done this program several times-- he really does prepare with a headband:)).  This series is split into 3 phases (Alpha, Beta, Gamma), which increase in intensity as you progress. The core of the workouts is consistent between phases; so do not be intimidated moving from one phase to the next.

Shaun T is a good motivator in this workout, or if you wish, pump up the music volume to drown him out and get in your zone!  Every workout has someone doing modified exercises.  Switch over to this person if you are struggling to keep up.  I followed the modifier for the first few days, but quickly saw my endurance increase, which allowed me to follow Shaun T and the rest of the crew.  If you like cardio, you'll like this workout.

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The Master's Hammer and Chisel

Focus: Strength Training

Level: Intermediate to Advanced

Equipment: Dumbbells, Chin-Up Bar/Resistance Bands, Bench (optional) 

 

As I write this review, I am only into the second week of this program.  I use this as my resistance training 3 days a week, so I'm not moving as quickly as someone doing it full time.  This program is all about strength training and literally muscle recruitment to get that chiseled look.

So far so good.  #1 this is NOT for beginners.  The first day was a super challenging, balance workout with resistance.  I couldn't walk quite right for a few days I was so sore.  There is no wiggle room on this one-- if your form is not up to par you will have a good chance of hurting yourself.

What I do like about this program so far is that it isn't repetitive (yet).  Each video is totally different than the one before, and because there are two trainers, it really feels like a change up each day as you go through it.  In the majority of Beachbody programs I've done, the first two weeks are spent focusing on just a few of the workouts because they are easing you into it to learn the ropes and good form.  Great for a beginner, but if you are quick to learn and have some experience, the schedule can get a little repetitive.

The resistance exercises are really different from what I am used to, and that's a huge plus!  I don't like to be bored, I like variety, so this is a great program to get just that!  I'm very happy with this purchase and can see myself mixing in these workouts into my routine from here on out. 

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Natalie Jill's Total Body Weight Series

Focus: Body weight exercises

Level: Basic beginner to intermediate/advanced

Equipment: None

I purchased this bundle because it was a great price, and I love Natalie Jill.  As of now, I've only completed a couple of the Rev4 workouts which is supposed to be for intermediate level.  I skipped the Total Bodyweight Beginner because I knew it would be too easy for me-- but the bundle was a great price!

This digital collection (or DVDs if you choose) is all about using just your body weight to get stronger.  Nothing else!

First of all, I love that you have access to these workouts anywhere!  On your phone, your computer, wherever you are, you can push play and go.  The quality is great.  I played it on my phone and streamed it onto my TV through my Apple TV.  So easy!

Second, this is absolutely great for beginners.  I've done a lot of programs that claim to be for all levels but it's not necessarily true.  I've seen many people get discouraged and quit.  There are many of us out there who have never played sports or experienced anything fitness related, so in my opinion, if you are one of those people and looking for somewhere to start, this is it.  The intermediate level was actually easier than I expected, but I think it is because people sometimes classify intermediate as advanced.

Finally, you can customize this to your needs.  Most of the workouts are short, they get a little longer as you get more advanced, but 10 or 15 minutes is all you need.  If this isn't enough, you can do more!  The program is divided into segments-- total body, upper body, lower body, abs.  You can focus on one, or combine two more more to get what you want.

I definitely would recommend this to anyone looking for their beginning or anyone short on time.  For someone with lots of experience, this may be too easy (but I haven't gotten to the advanced workouts so I don't want to speak too soon).  But they say the best weight to lift is your own, and I think this bundle would be great to add to any fitness collection!  

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Click image to go to Cathe.com

Cathe Friedrich:  DVD Series and Cathe On Demand

Focus: Varies

Level: Beginner to Advanced

Equipment: Varies

Cathe is probably the one person who started me on the fitness path.  When I was little, I would do step aerobics with my mom to Cathe's videos-- we're talking VHS times!

I now subscribe to Cathe On Demand.  This gives you access to all of her DVD series as well as her Live classes.  This is a great investment for anyone.  She has yoga, cycle, low-impact, HIIT, strength training, kickboxing, step aerobics-- the list goes on.  She is a great instructor!  Many of the people in her videos have been with her for years, I think that says a lot about the kind of trainer she is.  

What I love even more is that she is 52 years old and STRONG.  #goals

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Les Mills On Demand

Focus:  Varies

Level:  All

Equipment:  Varies

Les Mills on Demand is my go to service.  I've already highlighted some of my favorite workouts that are included in this service-- BodyCombat, Grit, Pump.  

As a personal trainer, I love creating programs for other people.  But when it comes to my own workouts, I like to have a mental break and have someone else tell me what to do!

Les Mills has some of my favorite classes with my favorite trainers.  I aspire to be as fit and inspirational as them.  You can't go wrong with any of their workouts, and there is a ton of variety: weights, HIIT, core, dancing, cycling, you name it.  The best part-- the music!  Music is motivation.  

Check out Les Mills on Demand today!

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