Davina McCall is getting as well-known for her inspiring healthy lifestyle, super fit body and fitness DVDs as she is for her career as television’s shoutiest TV presenter. Healthista Editor Anna Magee reviews her latest DVD Davina: 7 Minute Fit
If I have counted correctly, this is Davina McCall’s 13th fitness DVD. The previous ones have sold like hot cakes and – at least in the case of those I have tried such as 15 Minute Fit – there’s a reason for that. They’re engaging and they push you but they’re also practical and provide instruction for all levels. I was hoping for more of that this time around.
7 Minute Fit starts with an astounding promise for the ten seven-minute circuits on the DVD: ‘You can’t believe the difference you can make in seven minutes’ and ‘maximum results in the shortest possible time.’ So far, so ambitious. First, I’d like to explain the principle of short workouts. They’re based on High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT which has been shown to lead to the same fat burn in 5-10 minutes as longer, less strenuous workouts. But for them to work, during that time you need to be working so hard that you literally can’t speak and can barely keep your last meal down. This workout doesn’t deliver anywhere near enough challenge to qualify as HIIT training – in my opinion.
First of all, the warm-up, which needs to be done before each workout (technically meaning they’re not actually seven minutes) isn’t much of a warm up at all. There are some leg and arm circles and a few jumps but it didn’t make much difference to my cold early-morning muscles. I was also distracted by the set, which looks like something The Two Ronnies cast away in the 70s as too well, 70s. But forget about aesthetics, let’s talk workouts.
The set looks like something The Two Ronnies cast away in the 70s as too well, 70s
The first workout was a combination of jogs and squats and burpees but all done in sort of slow motion, like a fit seniors’ callisthenics class. The second is based on boxing with hooks and jabs but no options to make it easier or tougher. That’s a problem. When you spend money on a workout DVD which I do regularly (and I did on this) you expect to be able to progress from any level to any level. There are no advanced moves explained here as in Davina’s previous DVDs. In fact, there is little direction on what to do for the level you’re at.
The next ‘Tone & Burn’ section was enjoyable, with plenty of movements to get your heart rate up as well as lots of resistance moves such as lunge kicks. The next two were abs-focused and though eventually I felt pain, most of them were done either lying down or in straight plank poses with small modifications, so not as challenging as they needed to be to qualify as HIIT workouts.
The final ‘Fitness Challenge’ is seven sets of one minute blocks of exercise; a series of pulse raising jumps, jogs, sprints and resistance moves such as squats and press-ups. This is the kind of thing I would have liked more of in the actual workouts, something to really challenge my body (it is only seven minutes after all) but what I got was fairly one-dimensional moves and Davina grimacing and saying, ‘This is sooooo hard,’ whilst not breaking a sweat.
There are tutorials that show you how to do moves properly which for beginners is priceless as it’s important for long-term safety and success of your workout to practice good form. In fact for beginners, this is probably not a bad buy as you won’t feel in over your head and the fitness challenge means you can test yourself as you get fitter.
A) It’s boring. B) It’s boring. Plus, the warm up and cool down sections are separate so you keep having to go back to them before each workout – if I am going to do one short workout I would rather not have to keep going back to the menu. There are not enough options for lower impact, higher impact or advanced moves. Each 7 minute workout isn’t tough enough in itself – I believe – to make much difference – you would need to do at least three of them together.
Will it work?
I did the entire 70 minute workout by which time I had indeed started sweating. And while yes, this would serve well as an hour long workout, I was promised a workout that can achieve incredible results in seven minutes. This is my opinion and I am no personal trainer or sports scientist, simply a woman currently addicted to home workouts because if you find the right ones, they really make getting fit convenient. So, while I think if you did one of these every day it’s going to get you fitter than you were before if you were starting from nowt, for anyone with any level of fitness, it’s not challenging enough to get real results in one seven minute workout a day. If you’re short on time and not a beginner, a much better buy is Joey Bull’s 7 Day Shed which I believe will get better results than this faster than this.
Healthista rating: 2.5/5
Davina’s Davina: 7 Minute Fit is available from Amazon
Read other reviews in Healthista Fitness DVD review special
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