Monday, January 26, 2015

4-3-2-1 Go

Viva Fit 'n Fun: Aerobic! This one's an oddity from across time and space, and it recently washed up on the shores of Amazon Instant Video. I haven't totally figured it out, but it's definitely of German origin and late '80s / early '90s vintage. The distributor is, a purveyor of -- you guessed it -- travel videos, and my best guess is that they acquired this content with some European production company's back catalog and, realizing that irony is a thing these days, decided to revive it on multiple platforms. Because who wouldn't be tempted to see what this is all about?

What it's all about is a half hour of some of the easiest, most throwbacky aerobics I have ever experienced while still enjoying myself. There is sass here, ladies and gentlemen. And it all rides on the attitude and abilities of two people:

Our presenter, whose healthy build, game attitude, and hair that seems between rolls in the sheets all amount to a formidable but welcoming presence . . . 

She is a down chick. 

. . . and this guy. 

I took this from his website.

Meet Alexander Bestereimer, the man responsible for tipping this video from dated-and-for-good-reason to dated-but-kinda-magical.

As Mr. Bestereimer himself quoths (himself) on his homepage: "For me, it's important that by means of my music, I am able to send out positive energy so that people get lucky moments."

That is just darling, and it's pretty much how I felt doing this video. 

The whole thing is instrumental only -- no verbal instruction -- which is refreshing, but unfortunately they swapped the budget line item for copy writer with "graphic designer on drugs." And so before each segment, which ranges from 2.5-4 minutes, we get these proto-GIFs that do very little to help us understand the next move. 

"Descend into hell."

This one's for a box step, I think.

These things go on forever, so prepare to jump in place or check your Instagram or start cooking dinner between segments.

So many arrows!

I like this, because it makes clapping during exercise seem exalted.

Each segment is ridiculously simple: two to three moves max, repeated, and maybe with a variation thrown in. Before each one, the music counts off, "4-3-2-1 go," in an android voice, and I appreciate the automaton approach. Rather than your American-style cheerleader stuff, this feels more like strapping yourself into a mediocre theme-park ride, one indifferent to your ruminations on your belly fat. 4-3-2-1 go. Just go.

We're going! There is a ton of marching in place in this video, and these ladies will shame you with their aptitude in this department. Knees up, hair bouncing, scrunched socks in the air -- [insert dated "militaristic Germans" joke here]. Just go with it.

 They love it!

So we get into some boxy box steps . . . 

. . . some crossing step touches . . . 

. . . pretty much the most basic aerobics moves you could ask for. For beginners, this is great, and for junkies like me, what elevates the proceedings is the music of Herr Bestereimer, which is corny but fabulous, much in the way of the tinselly synthpop of "Rhythmics." If you want a preview, the whole soundtrack is available here. But maybe don't listen to it out of context. Actually, definitely don't listen to it out of context, because it only makes sense when you're doing this:

At the end, you'll be decently sweaty, and the android will say, "Feel good now." You will obey.

There are a bunch of these Viva Fit 'n Fun videos, all free streaming with Amazon Prime, with titles such as "Body Walk" and "Jazz Gym." Try 'em out when you're having a weird day. 


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