Self: Slim and Sleek Fast focuses on overall health and toning in a series of exercises aimed at toning the entire body. The goal of the workout is to raise the heart rate and burn fat, rather than to focus on a specific area of the body, as Self: Your Best Butt Fast does.
Ellen, the instructor of this workout, leads viewers through a warm-up, a series of ballet moves aimed at toning the legs, as well as two cardiovascular workouts. The final workout involves hand weights, so viewers may want to keep that in mind. Fortunately, the scene selection allows viewers to tune into a favorite part of the workout, so it is possible to skip the weight training if a viewer does not possess weights. For the full benefits of the DVD, however, weights are recommended.
I recommend viewing the "Tips" section first, which comes at the end of the DVD; this section gives vital advice about correct form and posture in order to minimize injury. In this section, Ellen discusses the importance of strength training, and the benefits of building muscle in place of fat. She also gives advice for those who want to continue strength training beyond the DVD by visiting a gym. This section is more lengthy, detailed, and helpful than on other Self DVDs, and the advice about avoiding fad diets is well-taken and much needed.
One great aspect about the Self video series is the location. As someone who finds herself incredibly bored by exercise, participating in an exercise DVD that takes itself outside of the typical gym or studio is a much more pleasant experience. Another feature this collection emphasizes is women with real bodies; they are very toned, but they look healthy rather than too thin, and realistic rather than silicone-filled.
The high quality of the video is a pleasant surprise, considering the fact that many exercise videos come across as low-budget, with grainy pictures. The picture and colors are sharp and clear.
Compared to a feature film, sound quality may seem to be less important on an exercise DVD, but remember, it is necessary to listen to what the instructor is saying. There are no particular flaws in the sound, however it does not enhance the overall experience either.
There are no included extras, but viewers may appreciate the fact that individual scene selections allow them to skip directly to a favorite workout. While in the beginning it is most likely best to stick with the entire workout, it is nice to have the option to switch up the routine if desired.
Any of DVDs in the Self collection is a sound investment. The workout routines are easy to follow, they are challenging without being too intense, and the instructors' genuine and encouraging natures are motivating. In the glut of workout DVDs on the current market, the Self series stands out as one of the best in terms of overall quality.