Top Rated Exercise Programs

Whether you’re looking to maintain cardio-vascular fitness, add muscle mass or just lose a few pounds, there’s an exercise program out there that can help you reach your goal. Once you decide what you want to accomplish by way of your exercise program, consider one of the programs reviewed below.

•    Tae Bo– If you watch TV whatsoever, you’ve probably seen Billy Blanks. This guy uses a modified martial arts regimen to kick and punch viewers into shape. His DVD Billy Blanks Tae Bo Amped delivers what he calls “maximum benefits and optimum results.” The DVD set energizes your body and burns fat, firms and tones, provides an intense cardiovascular workout, covers specific problem areas of the body, and lets you join as Billy orchestrates a 300 participant workout at the Hollywood Palladium. Tune in, turn on, and get ready to drop those extra pounds and get into shape.

•    P90x–
Short for Power 90 Extreme, this work out systems can get your body in top shape in 90 days. Alternating the use of different muscle groups over time, no frustrating plateaus are reached. So you go through continuous improvement as you engage in your exercise regimen. Techniques such as strength training, cardio, yoga, plyometrics and stretching are the physical components of the system. These are coordinated with a nutrition program, fitness guide and DVDs. Caution: this isn’t for the weak. It will kick your butt.

•    Insanity–Think you’re ready for what’s called the hardest workout program ever put on DVDs? Then go with these 10. Insanity’s Max Interval Training endorses long periods of maximum intensity exercise with tiny periods of rest. It features non stop, blood pumping, muscle burning intervals of intense exercises for strength, power, resistance abdominal and core training moves. And, no bulky weights or cumbersome physical equipment are necessary. It’s just you, the DVDs, and the desire to work through the lactic acid build up in your protesting muscles necessary to run this vigorous work out schedule. It’s… insane!

•    Spinning–
You might have a bicycle out in your garage, basement or elsewhere. A bike can get you on the path to fitness in no time. But there’s another form of cycling that doesn’t get you soaked when it rains, in danger of being hit by a car or chased by dogs. It’s called “spinning,” otherwise known as exercise bikes at the gym. Now don’t think you just climb up on the seat and pedal. Taking a spinning class will have you face off with a drill sergeant type instructor who’ll have you standing on those pedals when there’s a hill to climb. They’ll shout things like “Push, push, no, HARDER, HARDER!” and “Feel the burn? Feel the blood rushing faster and faster through your veins?!” You get the picture.

Don’t think it’s all bad; a good instructor can encourage and motivate you to push yourself to the fitness level you want to achieve. Check them out a spin class at your local gym. You just might like the whole idea of exercising on a stationary bike.

•    Couch to 5k– A pair of sneakers, the open road and you. How much simpler can it get? This program is a step by step process to leave a sedentary life style behind and enter a world of movement. Begin by walking, do some gentle jogging, and eventually get into a steady running program. A support forum is available to give advice and encouragement. Check out the Couch to 5k nine week running program.

Have you tried any of these? Found something that works better? Tell me about it in the comments.

Join the discussion

  • Great list. I think Tae bo would be interesting for me. I’m spending no more than 30mins a day for exercises, but they are not the desired type of training for me. Tae bo is another thing. I’ll definitely try it.

  • I would have to say that P90x and Insanity are probably the toughest to do. They offer the best results in my opinion because of the very challenging exercises. Tae Bo is more geared to cardio but also challenging.