Sampling the new Gen-Ex videos

February 24, 1998|By Tamara Ikenberg | Tamara Ikenberg,SUN STAFF

Just like the demographic they're targeted to, you can't make generalizations about the quality of Gen-Exercise videos. Here's a look at offerings from industry leaders and whether we think they're steak or just sizzle:

Grind Hip-Hop Aerobics ($12.98)

Instructor: Former MTV Real-Worlder Eric Nies has a certain meathead appeal, but his sweat looks like it was professionally applied to his pecs.

Choreography: Difficult, but stylish and current dance moves. If you're coordinated, you'll have a great time. And if you master just one move, you'll be covered in the dance clubs for the next few days or so.

Music and setting: Actual radio techno and a spare, urban studio.

Strength: Eric takes off his shirt.

Weakness: So much time is taken doing slow run-throughs of the choreography that the workout never gains momentum.

Crunch Master Class Aerobics ($14.95)

Instructor: Michael Perron has a big tattoo on his arm and is totally cute and supportive.

Choreography: Pretty traditional aerobics; kicks, touch-step, grapevines, etc.

Music and setting: Generic up-tempo synthed exercise music in spacious studio with big, weird Deco sculptures in the background.

Strength: One of the girls is wearing the cutest little baby blue workout outfit ever. It looks like underwear.

Weakness: Not terribly interesting or different.

MTV Advanced Workout ($14.98)

Instructor: Keith Byard, the most annoying of the video instructors, sounds like Dudley Do-Right in labor and won't shut up.

Choreography: Challenging and athletic; push-ups, jumping jacks, lunges. It also includes free weights and yoga.

Music and setting: Byard and babes exercise on a big platform above the ocean to popular funk and hip-hop music.

Strength: Good, clean, varied workout. Plus, two black-Spandex-clad babes do a lot of cleavage-exposing moves and you can imagine Byard falling into the water.

Weakness: Byard.

Reebok Power Blast ($19.95)

Instructor: Lisa Gaylord is one buff chick. A bit jockish, but she knows what she's doing.

Choreography: This innovative, athletic workout incorporates everything from calisthenics to basketball drills to balance-enhancing karate kicks.

Music and setting: Forgettable beat-driven soundtrack in a gritty makeshift gym containing a boxing ring and punching bag.

Strength: Graceful martial arts moves worked into warm-up and cool-down.

Weakness: Hard-core, high-impact moves like jumping straight up could cause real damage if done sloppily.

Reebok Rhythmic Power ($19.95)

Instructor: Petra Kolber is the least annoying of all the instructors and she has perfect form and a great haircut.

Choreography: Traditional moves made fun with easy-to-follow but sleek-looking dance flourishes.

Music and setting: Music is synthesized, beat-heavy generica, but the set is classy; softly lighted with hardwood floors and flowing curtains.

Strength: Warm-up is thorough and toning-oriented. And the workout never gets too bouncy, boring or complicated.

Weakness: Guys in background look vastly uninterested.

*Cut is late-'90s slang for a hard, lean body.

Pub Date: 2/24/98

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