American Gladiators Ultimate Workout
Lionsgate Home Entertainment // Unrated // $16.98 // December 16, 2008
Review by Todd Douglass Jr. | posted February 23, 2009
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The Workout:

When it comes to exercise DVDs the market is flooded with titles, making it very tough to choose one to try out. From generic cardio videos to dance moves, yoga, Pilates, and so many others, picking the right DVD to go along with your exercise routine is a daunting task. There are DVDs with celebrity instructors, ones with fitness personnel, and even some based on popular TV shows such as Biggest Loser. With this in mind we're looking at one of the latest TV releases today, which comes from American Gladiators.

That's right boys and girls, NBC's American Gladiators has their own workout DVD now. It features the guys and gals from the show, but instead of beating the snot out of hapless contenders in the gauntlet, they're beating the snot out of you. The Ultimate Workout DVD contains three exercise programs that offer most of the basics and give you a good workout, but won't exactly get you into shape for competing on the show. The bottom line is if you're new to exercising you'll find some nice routines here, but if you're looking for something a little more involved, you might want to look elsewhere.

American Gladiators: Ultimate Workout doesn't necessarily have a lot of structure to it. You can begin by customizing your own workout routine out of the three available exercises, but there are a few other options if you're looking for some variety.

As far as the customized routines are concerned there are two levels of strength workouts as well as a cardio one. The first strength workout features Titan, Phoenix, and Wolf working quads, back muscles, abs, and biceps. In this round of exercises you'll find lunges, squats, and arm curls. This workout lasts about 20 minutes and Titan keeps the pace going pretty well, but eventually switches places to allow the others to take charge for a bit. As the routine progresses there are some new moves added to increase the challenge a bit and by the time all is said and done you'll undoubtedly feel the burn.

The second strength workout switches things up a bit and brings Crush, Toa, and Jet. This trio of Gladiators works your triceps, chest, hamstrings, glutes, and abs. The structure here is very similar to the first with a reliance on weights and resistance training. Putting both of these strength workouts together is a nice way to get going, and if you keep up with them you'll definitely feel some improvement in overall tone after a while. I don't like the reliance on weights for these exercises, but they definitely add to the challenge. Luckily the cardio segment sheds the weights and gets that heart rate up with some nice routines and moves.

When you're done with the Customized Workout segment of the DVD there is a challenge feature that takes you through a variety of these exercises again. The challenges do implement some more traditional bits such as crunches and the like, and they are shorter, so if you're looking for a quick easy burst of exercise with more structure this may be the way to go. These bits are mostly for beginners, and I found that the customized routines were better, but even so there's plenty to offer.

American Gladiators: Ultimate Workout is actually much better than I thought it would be. It's not an advanced exercise program by any means, and it relies too heavily on weights, but it should appeal to fans of the show who might need to get off the couch every once in a while. The personalities of the Gladiators are kept in check, and though there are some cheesy moments, they actually stay on task most of the time. If you're looking for some beginner workouts to try you could do far worse than Ultimate Workout. Despite its television background, there are some quality exercises here that will really give you some burn.

The DVD:


American Gladiators: Ultimate Workout is presented on DVD with an anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio. The picture quality is very sharp with some nice resolution and a great amount of detail. Considering this is a workout DVD you don't really need a home theater quality presentation, but what's here is definitely more than suitable.


Likewise, the 2.0 Dolby Digital stereo is clean and suitable for the purposes of this DVD. The dialogue from instructors and background music come through loud and clear, and the option is available to just do the workouts with music once you get familiar with everything. Again, you don't need a 5.1 surround track for a workout DVD, so what's here is definitely more than adequate.


This isn't necessarily a DVD that you need extras for, but considering the American Gladiators motif, it would have been nice if an episode from the show was included or something.

Final Thoughts:

American Gladiators: Ultimate Workout is a good beginner DVD that should appeal to fans of the show. The Gladiators do a good job of keeping the routines going, and staying positive, throughout the DVD. The exercises here will work your body well and you'll definitely feel a burn every time you go through. The ability to customize workouts is also a nice touch, so you can do as much or as little as you want to. If you're looking for a DVD to start working out to consider this one recommended, but if you're looking for something more advanced you may want to look elsewhere.

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