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.
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