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Category: Beachbody

‘YOUv2’ Workouts Focus on the Fun

I had a few different fitness setbacks pile up, so between a cranky achilles on one leg and an IT band flare-up on the other, followed by dental surgery and a cold … let’s just say I’m a little deconditioned and in need of a good beginner workout to get me back in the swing. […]


I had a few different fitness setbacks pile up, so between a cranky achilles on one leg and an IT band flare-up on the other, followed by dental surgery and a cold … let’s just say I’m a little deconditioned and in need of a good beginner workout to get me back in the swing.

And I found it! I’m not sure where I first saw it, but a video of trainer Leandro Carvalho (he’s the Brazil Butt Lift guy) having the time of his life with a room full of “real-sized” women had me seek out his new YOUv2 workout DVD set.

I ordered it and promptly popped the first disc into my DVD player.

OMG, fun! Seriously, I’m in love with this workout set.

It’s not a big, complicated “system” — you get two discs with six 30-minute workouts. They’re primarily cardio but a couple of them focus on bodyweight sculpting.

You get a guide that goes over each workout, a four-week journal for charting your goals, “daily vibe,” and inspiration, a calendar to keep track of your workouts (with a cute backside of motivational sayings), and a Keep It Super Simple Meal Guide that features some good-looking recipes and a weeklong sample meal plan.

These aren’t intense, hard-body workouts by any stretch but that’s not what I was looking for. I glanced down at my Fitbit and saw that my heart rate was at a respectable 150 bpm while in the cardio phase.

Leandro is motivating and cheerful without being condescending — something that often crops up in workouts meant for the less fit. The background exercisers, diverse in age, race, and size, are freaking delightful — none of them fit the typical workout DVD mold, and they all appear to be having a blast. The music has a bit of a Baby Boomer vibe with songs like Love Shack, Hit Me With Your Best Shot, and Let’s Get Loud.

Best thing about these workouts — I promise you can complete them all without any modifications. That alone is a huge motivator. In fact, the only background exerciser doing anything different is the woman wearing weighted gloves for a little more upper-body resistance.

The set is available on DVD through Beachbody and Amazon and is also offered through its Beachbody On Demand streaming channel, which is available on many platforms, including Roku and Amazon Fire. One little extra in the streaming version is that there are kid-focused workouts, featuring younger exercisers.

How do you get back into the swing of exercise after a setback? —Gail



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Podcast Episode 21: Autumn Calabrese of Country Heat and 21 Day Fix

Get ready to kick those boots up and say yeehaw because we just talked to Autumn Calabrese — the Beachbody superstar who created Country Heat and 21 Day Fix! Whether or not you like country music (and, turns out, even if you think you don’t like any of it, you probably have some really great memories with at […]


Get ready to kick those boots up and say yeehaw because we just talked to Autumn Calabrese — the Beachbody superstar who created Country Heat and 21 Day Fix!

Whether or not you like country music (and, turns out, even if you think you don’t like any of it, you probably have some really great memories with at least a few songs — as we learned!), this episode of our podcast is just really fun. From how Autumn created her workouts to how she keeps a positive body image to her best workout tips and favorite healthy meals, it’s just a boot scooting good time. (See what we did there?)

Here are a few of our fave quotables from Autumn …

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Podcast Episode 21 Highlights With Autumn Calabrese

  • How she got in with the successful Beachbody workout system empire
  • Her favorite “go-to” quick workouts
  • The true level of dedication needed for bikini competitions
  • How she speaks to her son about having a healthy body image (because remember, young men can have body image issues, too)
  • The favorite meals she makes from her cookbook, Fixate

Inspired by Autumn’s new workout, Margo, Kristen and I also decided to each share our favorite country song of all time … and we tried to share as many videos as we could below!

Jenn’s Picks

  1. Randy Travis, “Forever and Ever, Amen”
  2. Garth Brooks, (Just about everything from him!)
  3. Dixie Chicks, “Sin Wagon”
  4. Dolly Parton, “I Will Always Love You”
  5. George Strait, “All My Exes Live in Texas”

Kristen Picks

  1. Lonestar, “Amazed”
  2. Dixie Chicks, “Goodbye Earl”
  3. Johnny Cash, “Fulsom Prison Blues”
  4. Dolly Parton, “Jolene”
  5. Brooks & Dunn, “Boot Scootin’ Boogie”

Margo’s Picks

  1. Glen Campbell,“Wichita Lineman”
  2. Patsy Cline, “Walkin’ After Midnight”
  3. Miranda Lambert, “Crazy Ex Girlfriend”
  4. Willie Nelson, “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”
  5. Dolly Parton, “Here You Come Again”

Get the episode with Autumn Calabrese here or below!

Get more info on our podcast here and be sure to subscribe on iTunes so that you never miss an episode!

So … what top five country songs would you pick?! —Jenn



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Zumba and Beachbody Kick Up New Country Workouts

Had your fill of hip-hop? In a salsa slump? Well, cowgirl, you’re in luck — country workouts are having a moment, and two of the biggest players in the game — Beachbody and Zumba Fitness — have jumped on the bandwagon. Country dance workouts were hot in the 90s but fizzled out, giving way to […]


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Had your fill of hip-hop? In a salsa slump? Well, cowgirl, you’re in luck — country workouts are having a moment, and two of the biggest players in the game — Beachbody and Zumba Fitness — have jumped on the bandwagon.

Country dance workouts were hot in the 90s but fizzled out, giving way to hip-hop and Latin varieties. You can still find those DVDs, but the look and sound are dated as well as the moves.

We took a gander at the Zumba Country DVD and Beachbody’s Country Heat DVD set.

Zumba Country: A Calorie Inferno

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You know when the workout starts with a “Yeehaw! This is Zumba Country, y’all!” that it’s not your mama’s Zumba workout.

Kass Martin, a longtime Zumba Fitness instructor, leads the two 30-minute workouts on the DVD. In both the workouts she is accompanied by two male and two female background dancers — one of whom is her sister, Emily.

The DVD, filmed in a real country honkytonk (my neighborhood one!), has an authentic nightclub party feel. The exercisers are clad in jeans, boots, trucker hats and cowboy hats, which makes the workouts seem more accessible.

But hold your horses! Some of the footwork is mighty fancy, albeit fun, and Kass offers modified moves if you can’t master the footwork at first.

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So how does Zumba do country? Pretty dang authentically with a dash of Latin flair. We spied some cha-cha and even a little Colombian cumbia mixed with the boot scootin’.

As always, the cueing is exceptional, so much so that you can turn the voice cueing off after awhile and just dance along with Kass and the gang, following her hand motions.

The music is the real deal, not “sound-alikes” or instrumentals. Some of the more fun selections are the Dixie Chicks’ “Sin Wagon,” the Charlie Daniels Band’s “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” and the line-dance standard “Cotton-Eye Joe.”

Country Heat

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Autumn Calabrese (who we’re talking to for an upcoming podcast episode!), creator of the hugely popular “21-Day Fix” workout program and those little portion-control containers, shows off another side in this three-DVD workout collection. There are five 30-minute dance workouts as well as a 24-minute dance-inspired conditioning workout, a 12-minute line-dancing lesson and a bonus Dirty 30 half-hour workout from her “21-Day Fix.”

While the Zumba crew looks like they’re ready for a night on the town, Autumn and her posse of background exercisers are dressed more athletically with sneakers instead of boots. The setting is a rustic gym-barn with a Shakeology saloon (of course).

While the songs feature country faves, such as “Here for the Party,” “Chattahoochee” and “Fake ID,” these are sound-alikes — but they’re well done. The music can be played at a normal level or turned up so Autumn’s cues are nearly drowned out.

The dance moves in this set are more simple than Zumba Country, and Autumn — a college dance major — does a good job of explaining the moves and cueing.

In addition to all the workouts, you get a set of her portion-control containers, a 30-day workout rotation calendar and a comprehensive eating plan that is largely recipes, many of them super simple.

Are you a fan of country dancing? —Gail



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