THE ESSENTIAL 12 MINUTE WORKOUTS WITH ROBERT FERGUSON

Essential12MinuteWorkouts

2008, $3.99, at Goodwill Superstore on San Fernando

First Impression: I think he wants to be Billy Blanks.

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Second Impression: Yup.

This exercise DVD has the dubious distinction of being the only one I’ve seen with the manufacturer’s suggested retail price printed directly on the back cover.

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We think highly of ourselves, don’t we? Do you know what you can get for $39.99 at the 99 Cents Store? Forty copies of Kim Kardashian: Fit In Your Jeans by Friday – Amazing Abs Body Sculpt. Maybe to hand out to Trick-or-Treaters on Halloween? A perfect item if you’re looking to give out treats more disappointing than a tiny box of raisins.

There are four different workouts on this disc. Two 12 minute, a 24 minute, and a 36 minute routine. I don’t know what’s with Robert Ferguson and multiples of 12, but in all the routines each move has 12 repetitions.

We should be glad that these workouts are so short and efficient because they’re not very… interesting. They all incorporate the same side-to-side steps, squats, and motivational rhymes: “stay tight so we can wear white.” He says this in a speaking voice so high and nasal that it’s a sneeze away from being a Wayans Brothers character.

There’s something off about his energy. It’s like when your supervisor at work talks loudly to signify “friendliness” but you know they are making a mental list of what they need from Target during your entire conversation.

I wonder if the persona Robert Ferguson presents is his real self, or if it’s been shaped by an image coach. His off the cuff comments are more head-scratchers than actual jokes. Of his backup crew, he says, “I feel like calling the Fire Department. They’re ready to blow the roof off this place.” Cut to close-ups of their placid smiles while they execute a set of 12 lunges.

During the cool-down, which not surprisingly involves more side-to-side steps, he announces that we are “getting our groove on.” I did not know that.

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