Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Oh Davina, whisk me away to Clatterford!

Isn't she the cutest?

VIDEO: "Davina Super Body Workout," (2 Entertain, 2008) **Only available in the UK and coded "Region 2," so it won't work on most U.S. devices. (Hello, bittorrent.)**
STYLE: Kickboxy aerobics, weights exercises, toning
INTENSITY: Moderate to kinda intense
STRUCTURE: Two 40-minute workouts, both with their own warm-up and cool-down: Super Fit is straight-up aerobics/kickboxing, while Super Sculpt consists of weights exercises interspersed with short bursts of calisthenics; four separate 10-minute toning sections (legs, butt, abs, upper body).
GIST: Funny, thorough and customizable, with good real music and the always-entertaining Davina. Like working out with your cool fit aunt in a sleek studio in the English countryside.

With all the workout video cruising I've been doing for this enterprise here, I haven't been able to keep any single one in rotation for very long. And with all the gorgeous fall weather, I've been jogging every chance I get. My old standbys are feeling neglected. They'll get over it.

I have kept one video, though, a fairly recent acquisition, in regular play: Davina. 

Who is Davina? She is your cool, fit but not fitness-obsessed, delightfully quirky aunt. She makes me laugh. And she's here to mug her way through your workout.

Davina is the ultimate everywoman workout video hostess. That whole "hostess" concept is kinda strange in the U.S., because we typically only have one person leading the video: the instructor. In the U.K., there's this trend of having a host, usually a famous/semi-famous/barely-famous person, AND an instructor to lead the workout. The host is Famous But Just Like You, and y'all are both going along for the ride following the instructor's orders. (See my post on the mega-titted Katie Price for a memorable addition to this genre.)

Reasons I heart this video:
  • It's a real workout, meeting pretty much all my benchmarks: It's long enough, challenging enough and entertaining enough to give me a good sweat sesh. The 40-minute aerobics section weirdly doubles up the same 20-minute routine with the exact same music, prompting you to wonder if there's a glitch in your ISO file legally-sourced DVD. But no, you're not buggin. It's just the same routine, starting over from the beginning. But whatever. That said, the kickboxing moves have some great, killer variations. They got my heart rate up right quick and kept it in a good place. 
  • Davina's the star here, but the instructors are too cute. One is a gentle giant of an ex-Marine; he leads the Super Sculpt section. The other is a straight-up middle-aged lady who looks straight out of Clatterford. (Do you not know about "Clatterford"? Or "Jam and Jerusalem" if you're in England? Get it on Netflix, stat. It's like warm plum crumble and Devon pudding eaten on a brisk ramble through the English countryside. And hilarious.)

  • The music is BOSS. First track in the Super Fit section, a cover of Alanis Morrisette's "Uninvited," gets things going nicely. Later, as things are starting to heat up, what do they throw in there but HOT CHIP. Hot Chip! "Ready For the Floor"! I squealed with delight the first time I did this workout because of that song. Then, bam, it's on to Run-DMC. Brilliant!
  • Last and most important, there's Davina. She's such a peach. She gets all meta, making funny faces into the camera, whispering asides to the cameraman and making references to the set and equipment. She says things like, "Hope you're warmed up, because we're about to get Medi-evil with the boxing harrrrrrr." Her facial expressions are priceless, not only for the visceral pleasure of an amusing visage but because they're the exact kinds of faces we all make when we work out. Unless we're no-fun meatheads. Which we are not.
Here's a photo gallery to illustrate what I'm talking about:

"Quick! I'm getting wobbly! Go into the hamstring!" (Actual dialogue)



Geekin out on some dumbells

Cheekily counting off the next routine. Because she's so silly.

Impersonating a pirate/Viking/Medieval tyrant

Staring off confusedly. She does this from time to time. JUST LIKE WE DO IN REAL LIFE.

And that about sums it up. Real life + warmhearted BBC sitcom + quality workout = DAVINA. 

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