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Review of the Spark People 28-day Bootcamp DVD

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Wednesday, January 01, 2014

For a link to the full review, go here:

Because formatting is difficult in these Spark Blogs I'm going to post an abbreviated version of the review here. Please see the link above for the full review, in gory detail.

On Dec 4, 2013 I got an email from Sarah Felkey (Marketing Manager @ SparkPeople), asking if I’d like to review Coach Nicole’s 28 Day Boot Camp DVD. I’ve never done any fitness videos before, unless you count a Tai Chi video I had in the 90s and a kayaking-oriented yoga DVD. I was curious and followed the link to sign up (apparently the first 20 respondents to sign up before December 10 would receive the video). The catch was that needed to post a review of the DVD on my SparkPeople blog by February 1. This is that blog post.

A package arrived on December 20 with instructions for reviewing the DVD and an empty DVD case. I emailed Sarah about this, and on December 24 a new DVD case arrived (this time shrink-wrapped) that actually had a DVD in it. The workouts on the DVD aren’t very long and my exercise routine has been disrupted because of the holidays, so I’ve been trying them during the week between Christmas and New Year’s.

So what are my impressions?

I would recommend this DVD to someone who has been doing low-grade exercise like walking around the block but isn’t ready to go to a group exercise gym class, or doesn’t have access to a group exercise class.

I would NOT recommend this DVD to anyone who has knee or joint issues. For me personally my best next step after walking was to seek out water-based exercise because it was kind to my joints. At 300+ lbs I would not have been able to keep up with these workouts and would have found them extremely frustrating. Had I tried, I would have probably injured myself.

I would also NOT recommend this DVD for someone who is already training for particular sports or doing dedicated lifting with a trainer. They will have specific needs and goals that the DVD will probably not address.


Hints for getting the most out of this DVD:

1) Print out a copy of the calendar to help keep track of where you are in the workout. You can cross off the days as you do them.
- Go here: www.sparkpeople.c

- You can right-click on the picture of the calendar and choose "Open image in new tab." Then print it.

2) Use the calendar on the DVD to play the workouts even if you're not specifically following the 28-day plan.

On the DVD you can play the workouts from the 28-day calendar or from a list of workouts. On the computer when I select an individual workout the next one on the DVD starts playing immediately after, which is inconvenient. The best way to use the workouts seems to be to play them from the calendar, because that plays just the desired warmup, the workout, and the cool down, in the right order. Having a printout of the calendar can help you plan ahead which workout option you want to use.

3) Have a variety of weights available

I found it helpful to have a variety of dumbbells available, depending on the exercise. For some of the high-rep shoulder exercises it's hard for me to go above 5 lbs without losing form. For the squats, a pair of 10s was just fine. For me the curls with 8s were good. Here is an official answer about how much weight to use: www.sparkpeople.c


The reviewing instructions that came with the DVD said, “Please mention that the DVD is available at Walmart and that members will get 250 SparkPoints for buying their DVD at Walmart, and will be entered to win a $500 Walmart gift card for purchasing before Jan. 31, 2014.”

According to Sarah, "The DVD is unfortunately not available on Walmart.com, only IN stores (the “dot com” side of the business is separate from the in-store side, strange I know!). About 1,500 stores nationwide are stocking the DVD, so it's not available at every location. We’re suggesting that people call their local store to see if the DVD is in stock before they go shopping for it"

The instructions gave us a link to purchase the DVD online, although they didn’t specifically ask us to mention it. www.sparkpeople.com/28da

I am also required to say, “I received this DVD for free from SparkPeople and did not receive any form of payment for my review.”


Happy New Year, everyone! I hope the next 12 months we will all find the time, energy, and interest to make progress toward our goals, and find the little moments of joy along the way.


EPILOGUE: Since I won't be using the DVD now that I see it doesn't fit well with the kinds of exercise I prefer, I've mailed it to THEVOW2013. I hope she likes it, and if not, maybe she can pass it along to someone else who will use it. I definitely think there's a niche for the DVD, I'm just not it.
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