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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » The South Beach Diet Super Charged Workout
The South Beach Diet Super Charged Workout
Koch Vision // Unrated // May 13, 2008
List Price: $14.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Ryan Keefer | posted May 30, 2008 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

You're never going to believe this, but film critics, and perhaps more specifically online film critics, have this knack of not being the most svelte bunch of characters out there, and in the interest of full disclosure, I count myself as one of those individuals. In fact, my idea of a diet had always been to put one slice of cheese on my burger instead of two. In recent months though, I've decided to diet myself and have lost about 35 pounds, but like a friend of mine always says, there's still a ways to go. I've done this diet and exercise on a program different from the South Beach diet, so I really didn't know that much about it.

What I did know about South Beach, aside from the fact that their region is nice and there's a lot of scantily clad women down there, was that it was a blockbuster diet program that began in 2004, and was developed by a cardiologist named Dr. Arthur Agatson. The diet has since spawned several derivative programs, but the thinking is that foods which are very carbohydrate heavy have the potential to contribute to an increased risk of diabetes. At least, that's what the diet's Wikipedia page tells me. So, you don't get a lot of grains, along with some other more obvious food choices, during the program. This South Beach Supercharged video is released in collaboration with the book of the same name, which, as far as I can gather, is designed to be a more extreme kickstart to your metabolism, with the recipes and instruction from the core South Beach program of course. (Can you tell I'm a plebe to all of this material?)

The actual workout material is laid out rather easily, and the workouts are based on interval training, which, simply put, balances core workout training with rest or maintenance periods (like walking in place), broken into equal periods of time, with the rest periods incrementally decreasing as the workout progresses. This helps to increase stamina and endurance for the trainee. The first section focuses on the cardio interval, with an instructor named Lisa Christie (who's an absolute look-alike for Tracy Scoggins), along with two exercisers, one is a little more athletic in body type in Madison Chase, and the other (Ilyse Baker), well, isn't. The ladies take turns serving as the exercise modifier for beginners as they breeze through 20 minutes of squats, lunges, jogging, and the like. The rest intervals are usually broken down into marches. Does the cardio workout get your metabolism going and make you sweat? Well, I certainly got worked up doing it, and that was before I exercised. Wait a minute...

Moving onto the Total Body Workout, things are broken down into three phases that last about 15 minutes apiece. Phase One focuses on the abdominal muscles with exercises like leg lifts and others that demand patience and balance. This phase (and the other phases) also includes some deep stretching and yoga based exercises. Phase Two includes squats and other exercises to work the abs, but also includes more upper body work as well (make sure to break out the weights or weight-resistant device for your biceps and triceps). Phase Three uses the weights again for the pectorals and chest, along with the glutes and thighs. Warm up/stretching periods and cool down periods appear to be subtle parts of all of these phases as well.

The Disc:
Video:

Mildly surprising to see an exercise video with a widescreen presentation, but you get 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen accompanying this disc. You're going to see sweat bead on shoulders and all, but things are pretty straightforward when it comes to viewing the disc.

Audio:

Sonically, you get a two-channel Dolby stereo mix. The transitional music comes through very strongly in the center channel and then during the actual workouts, things calm down a little bit, but again, this is an exercise/instructional video, so anything more than a two-channel mix is going to be a pleasant surprise.

Extras:

Agatson provides an introduction to the workout, explaining the benefits of interval training and why he likes the routine, but he also returns later to discuss any specific dieting tips that might be of use to someone not familiar with the diet. Kris Belding, who is a Pilates teacher based in the South Beach area, also talks of the benefits of the program. Each of these interviews runs about three and a half minutes in length to go with the workout.

Final Thoughts:

As a neophyte, I honestly can tell you that my proverbial dogs were barking after going through the South Beach Supercharged Workout disc a couple of times for my benefit. Christie is a supportive and receptive voice during the workout, even if the other two women don't say a word, which makes the atmosphere a little too sterile. Having never experienced a workout video before, I think that this was decent enough and if you're an exercise enthusiast, it's probably worth your time.

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