Monthly Archives: August 2019


2015, $2.99 (in the original shrink wrapper!), at Goodwill on San Fernando in Glendale

First Impression: The back cover says this program is Level 1, but Difficulty 3.

Second Impression: I have questions already.

The first screen is a page of legalese and a some terms you must agree to, in order to get the DVD to play:

I’m scared. Hold me.

There’s a slick intro with footage of sinewy women high-fiving each other. Then Moira Merrithew appears. I recognize her as the lady whose catch phrase is, “I’d say we’re ready for some pushups.” Moira introduces our instructor, who is afflicted with horrible varicose veins that are visible even on a low-resolution video transfer. She is attended by two handmaidens, chosen for their identical short haircuts:

Moira departs, leaving the dirty work to others. First, we practice an emergency airplane crash drill: 

Now, since loving yourself is at the core of any exercise program, we give ourselves a hug. Then we do snow angels, and I’m wondering what the warning at the front of the routine was all about. 

Then we slide our arms and legs around some more.  The instructor asks, “That was our warmup, is everyone okay?” Yes, I think we will manage.

We jump right into a stretch that will prepare us for a human sacrifice:

Now, we’re getting somewhere!

We do a side leg series, which I enjoy, and doesn’t seem like someone made it up as a joke. At this point, the “check filter” light comes on on my wall AC unit and I know it’s a race against time to finish the workout before my apartment becomes unbearably hot. 

There’s a shoulder bridge series, and then we flip onto our stomachs for Superman moves, whee!  These are always fun, not least of all because they always appear at the end of a workout so you know you are almost done.

And behold, The Return of Moira. “Great work ladies, thank you for demonstrating.”

Has she been lurking off camera this whole time? And why is she dressed for a workout if she didn’t actually do anything?

Just look at her crouching down to have girl chat:

“Have a wonderful day,” she says directly to camera, in the tone someone would use if they secretly hated your guts. She knows I’m about to point out that this workout is neither “Intense” nor a “Blast.”