Ballet dancers are masochists.
I know this for a fact after experiencing two weeks straight of Mary Helen Bowers’ "Ballet Beautiful" DVDs. I am sent fitness DVDs to experience and possibly review all the time and this duo of videos was no different, except that masquerading in the guise of "pretty ballerina" filmed in billowy white light and set to a repetitive piano concerto, "Ballet Beautiful" is in reality, the most grueling, punishing, torturous set of calisthenics I’ve ever attempted.
Bowers was a dancer for the New York City Ballet for 10 years, but is perhaps best known for training Natalie Portman for "Black Swan." Portman has always been slim, but her transformation for this film showcases her personal discipline and the fact that Bowers obviously knows what she is doing.
For two weeks, I rotated between the hour-long "Classic Workout" (divided into semi-more tolerable 10-minute segments) and the (what seemed much longer than an) hour long "Blast" made up of 15-minute, teeth-gritting sessions. The first three days I was driven by adrenaline and being obsessed with gazing at the stunningly, exquisitely gorgeous Bowers who seems to be executing each move with the greatest of ease. Her tiny, yet elegantly well-muscled body covered by only the slightest sheath of a leotard inspired me to drive forward through each second of muscle-burning punishment. But, after three days, I dreaded her cheerful voice and endless counting of eight reps for four sets.
Still, I persevered. I made it through 14 days straight – at which time I was promised I would see results. Did I? Other than feeling tighter (or really sore,) I didn’t look any different or drop any pounds. (From my experience, I do believe "feeling different" is "results." I personally think it takes longer than two weeks to experience real results from any exercise program. I like to give at least six weeks for the body to catch up to the physical program being inflicted upon it.) They only recommend usi…Read more...