VIDEO: "The Jordan Workout," (2 Entertain Video, 2005). Note: This video is only available for purchase in the UK, but the entire thing is on YouTube in six segments. See the video embedded below to get started.)
STYLE: Light cardio kickboxing and standing/floor exercises
STRUCTURE: Warmup; 15-minute cardio kickboxing segment; 15-minute standing exercise segment; 15-minute floor exercise segment; cool-down
GIST: This isn't a fully realized workout, so don't do it except for a laugh, (total fitness beginners who are also fans of Katie Price excluded).
I was going to cover "The Jordan Workout" as a fun little trifle, then got sucked into hostess/workout slacker Katie Price's whole orbit, then did the entire workout and took notes in order to review it for real, then realized how crappy the workout is and am now writing about it a fun little trifle, but for real. This is the Holly Golightly of workout videos: She's phony; she's real; she's a real phony.
Let me explain. Have you never heard of Katie Price? No? Then you probably don't live in the UK. If you did, you'd know all about this girl's start as a topless model, time as a reality star and political candidate, series of best-selling novels and autobiographies, string of relationships with soccer stars, impregnation by some soccer star, marriage to musician Peter Andre, divorce from Peter Andre, series of children's books called "My Perfect Ponies," marriage to some other dude, divorce from some other dude, and all-around tabloid chumness. (I don't live in the UK. I got all of the above from Wikipedia and my Scottish roommate.)
So why's it called "The Jordan Workout"? Well, Ms. Price went by the single-name Jordan during her early glamour girl days, and still keeps the name around in a Sasha Fierce kind of way. (Both Katie and Jordan, however, seem pretty lame compared to her given name: Katrina Amy Alexandria Alexis Infield. Dayum, that's like an entire litter of Bratz dolls.)
So, the workout: Katie is the first to admit that she's just there for decoration and moral support -- not, like, peppy encouragement, but rather cheerfully whiny empathy. As Katie explains, in her blasé I-just-popped-a-Xanny delivery, she'd "never ever exercised or dieted in her whole life." But after giving birth and getting ready to get married -- "the two major events in a girl's life" -- she called in the big guns to help her "get back in my G-string in record time."
Enter Richard, who seems game and as surprised as anyone to be doing the heavy lifting for Katie in her Barbie Dream House workout world. (The set, a compact cesspool of pink, goes over the top -- I'm looking at you, high heel chair -- yet makes perfect sense.) Richard introduces himself as "the best fitness trainer in the world, apparently."
Richard is the kind but tough instructor; Katie is the charmingly bratty pupil, a proxy for her target audience at home. Together, they have a disarming screwball chemistry that makes the decent parts of the workout better.
Example: Richard leads Katie through some jump-rope hops. Katie's poor sports bra doesn't stand a chance, and her ginormous breasts heave up and down; she seems a little scared. "Not the most comfortable position," she says, hopping. Richard, looking at her, still hopping: "I see your point."
Katie's a handful, and she knows it. She doesn't do the moves correctly. When Richard tells the viewer to rotate from the hips for cross punches, she doesn't do it at all. When Richard leads a set of wide chair squats, she basically does some awkward grand pliés. Richard never corrects her, and the camera cuts awfully frequently to his side of the dream house, especially when he gets into some cardio-kickboxing combinations. "Coordination isn't my best thing," she says. Richard answers cryptically, "Ay, but the workout is."
Working out with Katie Price is like doing a student health center fitness class with your college friend who was always taking Klonopin and eating Taco Bell but somehow stayed skinny. She seems incapable of doing any move full-out, and she complains matter-of-factly throughout the workout, but hey, at least she showed up. She embraces the low bar set for her, and doesn't mind throwing in some boob jokes to keep things interesting. (After a set of push-ups, Richard asks how her chest is doing. "Quite intact, actually," she says.)
The problem is, even the shtick and even the Best Fitness Trainer in the World, Apparently can't make up for a poorly constructed workout. It starts out fine, with a warmup, some stretches and light cardio kickboxing. That takes up just over 20 minutes. For fitness beginners, that might be challenging enough; for anyone more advanced, it's basically an extended warmup. Then, instead of keeping the heart rate going, the next 30 minutes belong to poorly paced resistance exercises. Richard's lunges are too easy and a little awkward, his pushups start out 8 seconds long (4 down/4 up, which is way too slow and difficult for the target audience), and instead of having 2-3 reasonably timed sets in plank position, he does one super crazy long set. It's really uneven, and I got bored and cold quickly. I did see it through to the end, though, which was worthwhile if only for the look on this guy's face during the nutrition segment that follows the workout:
So that's the Katie-Richard Pharmie Screwball Workout. Don't do it unless you're a total fitness beginner, and even then, don't make it your main thing. This ain't gonna get you "the Jordan figure," as she calls it, and I'm not even talking about her boobs. As one YouTube commenter put it: "the only weight anyone lost whilst watching this video was in the testicles."
Love ya, Katie!