SparkPeople Blogs  •  fitness  •  DVD

Reviews of SparkPeople's 'Total Body Sculpting' DVD

By , SparkPeople Blogger
I don't have kids yet, but I've heard (and mostly believe) that when you become a parent, you never love anything in the world more than your own child(ren). You will think they're smart and beautiful and amazing little creatures—because they're yours. And if you've ever worked on something with so much passion and time and energy that you thought of it as your "baby"—whether "it" is a thesis, a cause, or even a work project—you've probably felt something similar.
My latest "babies" have been the workout DVDs I've created for SparkPeople. The process of creating a workout DVD is no small feat. Like any project, it becomes a labor of love. It keeps you up at night. It stresses you out at times. It takes a lot of your energy and focus. It becomes a priority above all else and even an obsession. It makes you question yourself and your decisions. But if you're lucky, it grows into something that fills you with love and a sense of pride. After all, it's your baby!
I can say truthfully that I love my Total Body Sculpting DVD for all of these reasons. I'm proud of it and I was integral in every aspect of it, from its conception to its "birth" into the world. But like any parent who thinks their child is great, sure…maybe I'm a little biased. While I love the DVD and think it's relevant and amazing, I can't hold onto this little baby forever. Ultimately, I had to send it off into the world, hoping that everything I did to nurture it paid off—and that others received it with open arms and treat it well.
Waiting on "the world" to tell you what they think of your baby is scary. The reviews of Total Body Sculpting DVD have been streaming in from customers, reporters, independent bloggers and even SparkPeople members. Each time I see a new one I brace myself for the worst, but overall, they have been overwhelmingly positive. If you’re on the fence about checking out SparkPeople’s newest DVD, check out some of these honest and independent reviews first.

Fitness Magazine: Read their full review.
Fitness magazine puts out a list of their top DVDs every year, as tested and selected by their readers. We all held our breath in hopes of making their list and this year—Total Body Sculpting made the cut as one of the "10 Hottest DVDs of 2013"—a huge honor! Not only was "TBS" pictured in the February issue of their magazine, but they raved, "Multitasking moves make it feel like you aren't wasting a second."
iVillage: Read their full review.
I was thrilled with fellow fitness trainer/writer and DailySpark contributor Jessica Smith included Total Body Sculpting in her round-up for iVillage's "Best Exercise DVDs for Any Fitness Goal" feature. Our title made the cut in the "Full-Body Workout" category. "Led by Sparkpeople’s friendly and unintimidating coach Nicole Nichols…[who] progresses each move gradually, allowing exercisers to follow along at their own pace and intensity level," writes Smith.

Shape Magazine: See the spread here.
Our friends at Shape magazine also raved about Total Body Sculpting, naming it one of their top 6 DVDs of the year in a recent print issue, saying, "Cardio, barre work and weights. Nicole has the right combo of approachability and pep." Read customer reviews here.
Collage Video is a website and catalog that specialized in fitness DVDs. They have everything, from the mainstream to the independently produced. What really sets them apart is the detail they offer in their descriptions since every workout is watched and then described by a certified trainer. The people who tend to use Collage Video are exercise DVD enthusiasts (they are picky and have seen it all) and certified trainers and instructors. They have high standards and can be very constructive in their reviews. I brace myself when I check their website, but so far I’ve seen nothing but 4- and 5-star ratings of Total Body Sculpting. Here’s a great excerpt of one:

"I've collected exercise videos since the 80's. I am in 64 but look younger and have as good of a figure as my daughters in law because of exercise. I love collage video and have spent mega dollars always getting the newest videos. The SparkPeople videos are now the best for me because they get the job done and are safe plus you can make them harder with their options." Read all customer reviews here.
You never know what kind of reviews you’ll get with In general, customer reviews there tend to come from your average consumer, but so far, we’re in a good spot: 16 of the 18 reviews (at press time) rate it with 5/5 stars. Here’s a great one!
"This DVD is ideal because it doesn't just focus on one part, like abs or weight training. It features three different workouts, done at three different levels, (beginner, intermediate, and advanced), and works the entire body. The workouts utilize a combination of interval cardio, dance, and weight training to get the heart rate up, but not so far up that it becomes too much. The pace is challenging but not impossible, and the music helps you exercise steadily. The workouts start at 22 minutes, include a warm-up and cool down, and you can work your way up to an advanced level using the included calendar schedule. Coach Nicole changes it up quite a bit during the workouts, do you don't get bored. Her calm and friendly demeanor is the perfect accompaniment to this thorough and manageable batch of exercises."

SparkPeople Member Reviews (click username to read full review on each member's blog):
  • SHERYLDS: “This exercise series feels like choreography of controlled movement that leaves you feeling stronger and more relaxed at the end of the session. This is a great workout for someone who wants to get fit without being sore. True to her style, Coach Nicole’s clear instructions make it easy to maintain proper form. It has a great blend of exercises that works several issues at once. It truly is a total body workout."
  • TATYPREZ: “I have tried all of [the workouts] but my favorite is the barre workout. If you want to tone your legs…this is for you. Basically all you need is a chair and a set of LIGHT!!!! weights. This is about a 20 min workout but your legs can feel it! I also like that it makes me feel like a graceful ballerina even though I’m clumsy and uncoordinated. (PS- I started doing this about once a week and I can now fit my calves into my winter boots…an excellent bonus for a day like today!) I would definitely suggest picking this DVD up if you want a place to start with strength training."
  • PINKHOPE: "This newest DVD did not disappoint. Back is the mixed workout giving both cardio and strength training. The routines are demonstrated clearly with verbal instructions from Coach Nicole. This is not a fast paced dance routine that is difficult to follow. You can do these workouts first time out of the box! I highly recommend this video. I'm 57 with double knee implants and get a good workout with the beginner modifications. With the normal routine and advanced modifications I think anyone could benefit from this workout. Just one more thought. This would be an excellent Valentine's present instead of a box of chocolates!"
  • FLYINGB16: "I am not a fan of workout DVD’s because the instructors can be hard to follow but I don’t have this problem with Coach Nicole. She is awesome! The routines are easy to follow and they can be modified for beginners or made more challenging for more advanced users. During the winter my only form of exercise has been running on the treadmill and shoveling snow. I wanted to add some variety to my workouts and this video fits the bill. I would recommend this DVD to anyone looking for an easy to follow workout that is fun and has lots of variety."
I think SparkPeople’s Total Body Sculpting DVD has something for just about everyone--if you try it with an open mind, follow the appropriate workout level for you, and select the proper weight to execute the exercises. Workouts are not one-size-fits-all and no single workout will be perfect or ideal in everyone's eyes, but if you can provide something that works for most, then you've done a pretty good job. Luckily you don’t have to take my word alone in making your decision. Hopefully some of the great comments above will help make the decision for you!

Thanks to everyone who tried the DVD, bought the DVD, and reviewed the DVD. I value and appreciate your support, as does SparkPeople. Thank you for making my job so fun and rewarding. And SURPRISE: Another "baby" is on the way! We have a new SparkPeople DVD in the works and would love to hear YOUR ideas for it in the comments below.
Have you tried SparkPeople’s Total Body Sculpting DVD? What would you like my next workout DVD to be like?