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The new Davina McCall fitness DVD reviewed as part of the Healthista 12 days of Xmas – 12 fitness DVDs challenge

For Day 4 of Healthista’s get-fit-in-your-living-room DVD challenge, editor Anna Magee tried out Davina McCall’s latest fitness DVD, Fit in 15 released on December 2nd

Let’s get one thing straight, Davina McCall has abs. Proper abs. In her latest fitness DVD, Fit in 15, they’re looking as sculpted and strong and enviable as anyone’s abs ever have. I haven’t coveted abs like that since Jess Ennis getting ready for the heptathlon circa summer of 2012. Something Davina does works.

Davina is ab-tastic in her latest fitness DVD
Davina is ab-tastic in her latest fitness DVD

Based on interval training, that’s doing 45 seconds of tough exercise with 15 seconds rest – far harder than it sounds – the workouts in this DVD are split into four 15 minute sections:

Cardio 15

Legs 15

Arms 15

Core 15

Each is a stand-alone workout and has a warm-up included so can be done from a standing start, something I loved.  Most of it requires no equipment except the arms section which needs some dumbbells. Another plus for me.

The idea is to do one of the workouts daily or, if you’re feeling fit and energised and have a little more time, put two, three or even four of them together. In the intro, Davina promises it will be ‘massively challenging, burn fat, tone muscles and do all the things we love plus, you’ll feel energised at the end.’

I did all four sections and can report this a fairly cutting-edge workout featuring two of the most effective concepts in fitness, interval training and plyometrics (moves that require jumping to get the heart rate up). Instructor Jackie does easy versions of each move while trainer Mark and Davina do more advanced versions.

The Cardio 15 section is set to upbeat music – some pop-py sounds and plus a bit of soca and reggae-ish ones too. It’s an extravaganza of kicks, squats, punches and sprints to get you puffed and sweating. All the while, Davina throws in typically self-deprecating gags to make you smile: ‘My thighs are slapping together…slap…slap,’ she said during the squat jumps. Love her. So yes, there’s plenty of jumping but there’s also options for the fainter-hearted with Jackie doing low-impact  versions for anyone with bad knees or ankles.

Davina and the team doing a typical jump ion the Cardio 15 section
Davina and the team doing a typical jump in the Cardio 15 section

When Davina says, at the start of the Legs 15 section: ‘We are going to annihilate your legs so you can wear shorts anytime you want,’ she is not kidding. I am convinced that if you did this workout regularly, beach-worthy pins would be yours. But blimey, they make you work for it. It was during this section that I thought ‘Wow, this woman is fit,’ when I saw Davina doing jump lunge after jump lunge, with barely a breath in between long after I had  collapsed on my sofa covered in a fine sweat. Thankfully, her gags and banter with Mark and Jackie continued and the whole torturous mess was over quickly.

During Arms 15 (which Davina calls ‘Guns 15’), you’ll need some dumbbells, which I didn’t have so I used a couple of big fat books I got for Christmas. It’s much more than mere upright rows and side lifts and trainer Mark takes all the moves a step further than you expect. For example, instead of doing a bicep curl, you do one-legged bicep curls to make things interesting.

The core section was a huge surprise, perhaps why Ms McCall has those killer abs. I thought ‘Thank God, a chance to get on the floor and do the easy stuff.’ Er, no. This section comprised more lunges and squats but this time with the addition of moves that work the core muscles. For example, side squats while lifting a weight and swinging it out to the side. Honestly, I am writing this two hours later and my tummy muscles still hurt.

There’s a stretch section you do at the end of your workout that you can tag onto whichever 15 you’re doing. Plus, a longer chill out session features deep yoga moves that stretch out the sides of the body, the bigger muscles of the legs and lower back that work hard during the main sections.

There's a long, delicious stretch and chill out section at the end that features yoga moves to help ensure you don't hurt too much the next day
There’s a long, delicious stretch and chill out section at the end that features yoga moves to help ensure you don’t hurt too much the next day


A meditation at the end requires nothing more of you than lying flat on the floor and following the cues from Jackie to breathe and relax.  My favourite workout yet on this challenge.

davina_coverDavina McCall’s Fit in 15 is £13.17 from Amazon 

PROS:  Great for anyone short of time who wants to squeeze in a workout but still feel like they’re getting results. Based on interval training to burn fat, moves work the whole body and there’s plenty of high impact moves to keep the heart rate up along with resistance to tone and strengthen. The music is motivating, Davina’s gags and the instructor banter make it go quickly. All four 15-minute sections can be put together to make one workout.  CONS: Might not be tough enough for someone wanting an advanced workout.

Healthista rating: 4.5/5

Note: Healthista has purchased all the DVDs in this review – they’re not press gifts

Read other reviews in the Healthista 12 days of Christmas Get-fit-in-your-living room DVD challenge:

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Day 3 Celebrity Trainer Ramona Braganza’s 3-2-1 Training Method

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Day 2: Nell McAndrew’s Peak Energy Recharged (£7.49 Amazon)

15 minute fast

DAY 1: 15 minute fast fitness – Fat Burning with former Gladiators Jenny Pacey and Wayne Gordon

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