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Reviews of SparkPeople's '28 Day Boot Camp' Workout DVD

By , SparkPeople Blogger
When SparkPeople approached me about creating the 28 Day Boot Camp DVD you’ve been hearing so much about lately, I was excited of course! I love creating workouts (with you in mind!) and shooting videos for the It’s one of the highlights of my job and such and enjoyable experience. When you work so hard on a project like this, you fall in love with it and you hope that others will love it, too. How couldn’t they? Don’t they know how much time and effort was involved and that you think it’s great?
Well, unfortunately I’ve learned that not everyone will love what you do, and some can be really negative and hurtful in their comments. When we released one of SparkPeople’s first DVDs, some people went out of their way to criticize me (not my workouts, but my appearance). And then of course I’ve seen countless comments on our YouTube workouts doing the same over the years.
28 Day Boot Camp is our biggest DVD to date—professionally produced (I got the real star treatment!), widely distributed in stores nationwide, and sent out to countless writers, reporters and bloggers in hopes they’ll write about it for the masses. It’s reaching so many more people that I’ve been bracing myself for more harsh reviews since day one of this project. I would second guess everything during the process—the exercises, my cueing, what I wore—just thinking about all the things others could find “wrong” with it.  Two things really saved me from going crazy as I anticipated what others might think about the DVD (and me):
  1. I reminded myself that my intentions were good and pure. I was trying to help people and spread a positive and healthy message. Some people may find fault in the way it was executed, but I shouldn’t let it get to me because I did the best I could. I suppose I’d rather get some backlash by putting myself out there and going for it than never try for fear of how I might be perceived.
  2. I remembered the quote a member shared with me years ago that I still remember today: “If someone else has a problem with you, it’s their problem, not yours.” This is such great and comforting advice!
The reviews of 28 Day Boot Camp are starting to stream in from customers, reporters, independent bloggers and even SparkPeople members. Each time I see a new one I brace myself for the worst, but overall, they have been overwhelmingly positive. If you’re on the fence about checking out SparkPeople’s newest DVD, check out some of these honest and independent reviews first. Read their full review.
Oh, how I heart the Fit Bottomed Girls. They review and try countless DVDs every year, so they’ve seen it all. As a fellow trainer, I tend to agree with almost everything co-founder Jenn says about workout DVDs so I was anxious for her review: 4 stars, with little tidbits like this that show me just how much she really gets everything about what we were trying to achieve:
"While working out with Jillian and Bob is awesome, sometimes you really just want to work out with your girlfriend. Your normal, non-brutal friend, who can’t do laundry on her abs. You know, your friendly, upbeat, encouraging—and real—pal. Well, for times when you’re in that mood, Coach Nicole is your girl. Because she’s all of those things, plus she can give you a creative and fun workout that will challenge both beginners and intermediate exercisers in 28 Day Boot Camp." Read all customer reviews here.
Most people are buying their DVD at Target to take advantage of our exlusive 250 SparkPoints deal and $3 off coupon. I'm thrilled that so far only 5-star ratings have been left online at Target. Woohoo! Here's one of my favorites:

"I tried it out today for the first time and WOW let me tell you, What a workout! I would consider myself an advanced exerciser and yet still found this DVD challenging! Overall I loved this DVD very much and look forward to doing it again." Read customer reviews here.
For those who aren’t familiar with it, Collage Video is a website and catalog that specialized in fitness DVDs. They have everything, from the mainstream to the independently produced. What really sets them apart is the detail they offer in their descriptions since every workout is watched and then described by a certified trainer. The people who tend to use Collage Video are exercise DVD enthusiasts (they are picky and have seen it all) and certified trainers and instructors. They have high standards and can be very constructive in their reviews. I brace myself when I check their website, but so far I’ve seen nothing but 4- and 5-star ratings of 28 Day Boot Camp. Here’s a great excerpt of one:
"I am an intermediate to advance exerciser. I bought this because it looked like a good workout for light days. This is probably the best cued and safest workout I have ever done. It seems easy but you work up a sweat and feel it the next day. There are many options to choose from. I ended up doing the entire workout (approx. 84 min.) but, it went by so quickly." Read all customer reviews here.
You never know what kind of reviews you’ll get with In general, customer reviews there tend to come from your average consumer, but so far, we’re in a good spot: 4.5 out of 5 stars on average (of 18 reviews at the time I’m writing this blog). There are a couple outlying 1-star reviews, but that’s far from the norm of 4 and 5 stars. Here’s a great one!
"Lovelovelove this DVD. I've always been intimidated by other workout DVDs due to the models - I mean instructors - as well as their seemingly endless energy and shouting. In Coach Nicole's DVD, all of the instructors are beautiful and fit, but still look like real women I can relate to and not feel intimidated by. They represent 3 different workout levels so you can follow along at your own pace and have an instructor to watch who is doing it right there with you so you don't feel like you're being left behind by a DVD. The workouts are fun and the choreography isn't too complicated. You may get tripped up the first or second time on any workout, but that's to be expected. Just keep moving and catch up when you're ready! Would definitely recommend."
SparkPeople Member Reviews (click username to read full review):
XPHOENIX: “None of the moves were difficult at all to get and there were modifications for any advanced move she did, so you can use this DVD as a beginner or even much more advanced.”
EMFRAPPIER: “I’m picky. I know exactly what I want from an exercise DVD, and most of them don’t stack up. Coach Nicole and the 28 Day Boot Camp deliver. I was impressed. Nicole's cueing is great, and she tells you what is coming in advance. Coach Nicole also provides a 28-day plan for best results. I would have loved this when I was first starting out. I was unsure of how often to exercise or what to do and could have used the advice...I love this new DVD, and I will incorporate the workouts into my weekly routine. I’m going to share this find with everyone I know. Trust a picky workout DVD connoisseur – this one is GREAT!”
TATYPREZ: "I get bored really easily and I hate when you’re just repeating a 20 min workout every day, but this plan actually has variety. I also liked that the workouts were gradual. You started with one movement then added an arm movement, then a kick, then something else. It was almost like you didn’t realize how hard you were working."

Independent Reviews and Press
  • Woman’s Day magazine (Feb. 2012 print issue): "WD loves SparkPeople: 28 Day Boot Camp DVD. Burn mega-calories no matter what your fitness level with this DVD featuring Nicole Nichols, fitness trainer for SparkPeople."
  • named it one of the best exercise DVDs for any fitness goal! "Offered as part of a 28-day workout plan, this DVD offers four different, calorie-burning routines designed to put you through a total body boot camp – sans drill sergeant- that won’t have you crying or throwing up! Led by friendly certified personal trainer ‘Coach Nicole,’ the high-energy cardio drills and full body strength exercises are tough, yet manageable."
  • The Washington Post: "For those who don’t like a one-size-fits-all workout, SparkPeople has created a flexible program complete with cardio and strength training…If you’re in pretty good shape already, you won’t sweat much in the beginner-level short workouts. But the longer ones at the advanced level will make you breathe hard and break into a sweat."
  • Express Night Out (a publication of The Washington Post): "One unusual feature of the program is the countdown clock on the screen during each of the segments, reminding you of exactly how much longer you need to sweat it out."
  • "Coach Nicole's ‘28 Day Boot Camp’ is probably the least intimidating boot camp routine on the market…Nicole Nichols sets a lively pace -- but not one so fast that it's impossible for us less coordinated types to keep up."
  • Weight Loss Examiner: "Don't be put off by the words 'boot camp' -- the DVD is geared for any fitness level and it's customizable with 12-, 20-, and 30-minute workout segments, plus bonus features."
I think SparkPeople’s 28 Day Boot Camp DVD is the bomb-diggity (hehe) and has something for just about everyone--if you try it with an open mind, follow the appropriate workout stage for you, and select the proper weight to execute the exercises. Workouts are not one-size-fits-all and no single workout will be perfect or ideal in everyone's eyes, but if you can provide something that works for most, then you've done a pretty good job. Luckily you don’t have to take my word alone in making your decision. Hopefully some of the great comments above will help make the decision for you!
Have you tried SparkPeople’s 28 Day Boot Camp DVD? Will you try it after reading these reviews? Do you have a review of your own to share below?