Your Best Body Circuit is an hour long aerobic workout, using 2 sets of hand weights (heavy and moderate), a resistance band (which comes with the DVD), and a folding mat. Michelle Dozois demonstrates the workout with 4 other women in a studio. It's a high energy routine and the women regularly make whooping noises to show their enthusiasm. The music in the background is reminiscent of early 1990s generic rave/techno music. The workout is most appropriate for people who are very comfortable with fast moving workouts and would work best with people already familiar with her moves. Dozois does just a few repetitions of each move, so if you are trying to learn it for the first time, she will have moved onto the next one before you worked it out. She spends the whole workout explaining what you are meant to be doing, but since she does each move for just a short time, she doesn't have time to explain anything in detail. Some of her instructions are rather vague -- for example, I didn't understand what she meant by "Marching on your right leg." Quite often it isn't very clear how to keep symmetry between right and left sides, and it is easy to end up doing more work on one side than another. If you are trying to follow her instructions, you will have even less time to look at the screen and try to work out what she is doing. The camera work is nearly all from straight on, and occasionally from above, and it would have been helpful to have some shots from the side to see what angle the bodies are at.
Many of the exercises are demanding, and require plenty of strength. One of the women demonstrates more moderate versions of the exercises. Dozois gives workouts for the whole body, and if you can follow her, you are bound to build up your muscles and heart strength. There are seven circuits, working on back and biceps, chest and biceps, backs and biceps, chest and biceps, shoulders with legs, legs, and abdominals. The final five minutes do some stretching to relax. There's a shorter 35 minute version of the program. There are also some testimonials.
Michelle Dozois has a whole Breakthru Fitness program based in Pasadena, California. These DVDs might be much more user-friendly when used in conjunction with going to workouts at a gym that follow the same routine, so you could learn the workout in a group of other people, where it would be much easier to follow what other people are doing. For people wanting a workout at home without also going to a gym, I would recommend finding another fitness DVD that spends a little more time explaining how to do each circuit and giving you more time to get used to each exercise.
Link: Breakthru Fitness Web Page
© 2008 Christian Perring
Christian Perring, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Dowling College, New York.