You've seen the commercials and thought perhaps the four easy payments would be your key to fitness success but do DVD workouts really keep you in shape?

Here is a quick review of the most popular workout DVDs by fitness guru Libby Norris:

  • Insanity -- Good as it requires no equipment, but its INTENSE! (4 out of 5 stars)
  • 10-Minute trainer -- Great, because it gets people doing something with a short time commitment (4.5 out of 5 stars)
  • Turbo Jam --  Good, offers variety and fun (4.5 out of 5 stars)
  • Slim in 6 -- Quite ridiculous as it looks like old style aerobics – but it appeals to the Curves crowd who we often forget (3 out of 5 stars)
  • P90X -- Not new, but still very popular and used by a lot of people I know personally, including instructors to get workout ideas (4 out of 5 stars)
  • Core Rhythms -- Seeing celebrities get skinny dancing has made it big – but they are dancing for hours not 30-40 minutes. This is a fun one. (3 out of 5 stars)


Do any of those products you see on TV really work?


I get asked this question so often but the answer is unique to each product. There are some surprisingly great options available on air and online, however, you really do need to be an educated consumer.

We've come a long way from the "ThighMaster" but with so many options out there, it can be confusing and intimidating. When it comes to infomercial fitness products, you don't necessarily want to be the first on the block to have one. What you see on camera may not always be what you get!

Tips for finding the right home fitness fit:

  • Ask around -- talk about the product around friends or at work; you may end up finding someone who has seen it or used it or know someone who has and these testimonials will be a lot more realistic than the ones you see on camera
  • Ask a professional -- find a fitness trainer you can trust who will give you an opinion based on your needs
  • Try it out -- you may have to wait for a bit, but there are now many stores who end up carrying the products; even if it's more expensive, you will reduce your risk of disappointment or surprise added costs
  • Think used -- notorious inclusions in neighbourhood garage sales, you can also purchase used fitness equipment at second�]hand stores or online.
  • DON'T be quick -- avoid responding the first time you hear or see an infomercial; they will promise the upgrades again and you can determine if it's impulse or if you're truly interested for the long term


Most infomercials say money�]back guarantees, but is it really safe to buy fitness products this way?


The home fitness market has grown dramatically with more people are choosing to workout at home for many reasons – time, convenience, privacy or price. Many credible manufacturers have responded to the demand by developing broader ranges of retail products, but it has also left the door open for lots of gadgets that end up gathering dust.

More tips to avoid infomercial let down:

  • Pause before you buy -- companies try to appeal to your emotions prompting you to purchase immediately with added incentives to "call now!" Don't �] wait at least 24 hours before you make any purchase over a set amount – what you can afford to lose!
  • Confirm the guarantee -- ask the operator to confirm the guarantee with all details for eligibility
  • Double�]check the order -- make sure they ONLY include what you want and not additional subscriptions, products, services or doubles
  • Read the fine print -- or ask the operator very specific questions when ordering; make note of the operator's name or number, answers to your questions and any other specific details about the ordering process; ask if there is an ongoing subscription or services they automatically include unless cancelled
  • Check your credit card -- make sure the price quoted in what is charged to your credit card. Check for months after to ensure your credit card isn't being billed for something you neglected to NOT order!

Very often, the best defense is a good offense. In order to avoid being lured in by claims that sound too good to be true, consider some of the techniques used on many infomercials. Once you understand the process, it may be easier to step back and evaluate your purchase with a critical eye.

Infomercial Strategies:

  • Emotional appeal -- to dreams, desires and needs
  • Testimonials -- rapport and connection…just like me
  • Endorsements -- from celebrities and/or experts
  • Scientific research -- which may not be evidence�]based
  • Overcoming objections and upping the ante – "why it's possible, don't accept substitutes, but wait…if you call now, we'll upgrade…"
  • No risk -- we guarantee (but don't divulge the fine print on that one)
  • Persistence -- repeated over and over with numerous -- but wait -- additions to the promise; in one half hour segment, you can usually count on seeing the same sequence at least three times