Sunday, 20 January 2013

Cindy Crawford – Shape Your Body

 This workout was first released in 1992. Presumably on VHS or by means of a zoetrope. This is probably why there are no extras on the DVD. We didn’t need extras in 1992. We just sat dumbstruck in front of the magical moving pictures, occasionally shaking the television to see if the tiny people fell out.
Apparently, though, we did know how to make excellent workout videos in 1992. And when I say ‘we’ I mean people other than me obviously. In 1992 I was too busy dying my hair purple and getting drunk on snakebite and black.

Cindy Crawford’s workout is amazing. She introduces us to our trainer Radu Teodorescu at the beginning and tells us “Everyone thinks that I have the perfect body because I model swimsuits”

 I have no idea why anyone would think that.

The workout begins on a beach with Radu giving the instructions off-screen. He sounds like a cross between Steve Zissou and Pepe le Pew. The whole sequence is surreal yet mesmerising.

 Radu also sounds like he’s telling Cindy to move her arms “Upridee, Downbridown”. For which I respect him.

When it switches to the studio, it is a little disappointing to see Radu in person. I prefer him as a disembodied cartoon voiceover. He’s tough with Cindy too. “If he counts too fast, don’t let him rush you” Cindy tells us at one point. In response to this Radu picks up the speed and ensures that Cindy does not get to rest for a second. It’s like the bit where the demanding dance instructor bullies the ingénue ballerina in every ballet movie you’ve ever seen.

“I said, ‘Upridee, Downbridown’ godammit!”

Either that or the whole video is an extended training montage from an inspirational underdog movie . Crawford carries out her workout on top of a building with sirens blaring in the background. Now she’s in a basement! Now she’s on the beach! She’s just a plucky girl trying to pursue her dreams of becoming a supermodel aided only by the cranky French janitor who works in her apartment.

The DVD contains two 40 minute workouts and a 10 minute Jump-Start Mini Workout. The Mini Workout is terribly casual. Cindy wears cut-off jeans and no shoes. Radu is nowhere to be seen. (Or heard.) Maybe this is Cindy’s idea of slacking off when Radu’s nipped out for a coffee and a pain au chocolat.

"Great, he's not here! Time for some sit-ups."
The whole thing is marvellous. It’s been put together and produced with care and attention. Not something I can say about any of the other workout DVDs I have reviewed so far. The hastily cobbled-together shit put out by soap stars and reality tv has-beens is going to look even more slapdash after this. I wish I’d watched this one at the very beginning. I could have hated Nadia’s Latino Dance workout even more than I already did.
Difficulty Level.
This was incredibly difficult and, to be fair, Cindy doesn’t pretend otherwise. There’s no perky whooping here like she’s Jordan or Jessie Wallace or something. This is work. We are not here to enjoy ourselves.

And if doing eight hundred crunches, lunges, sit-ups and the like is the price you have to pay to look like this then so be it.
Disclaimer: Doing Cindy Crawford’s workout video will almost certainly not result in you looking like this.

Best Bit
I could go on about Cindy Crawford’s luscious honeyed golden looks and how she looks like a Disney Princess made flesh and how her smiles probably cure terminally ill children but, you know, I think I may have a bit of a girl-crush on Cindy and I should probably tone it down a bit.

Instead I’ll concentrate on the soundtrack. This is the third DVD in a row which has featured proper songs – rather than anodyne plinky-plonky lift music. It is the first workout DVD, however, which has featured songs I actually want to listen to. Stuff I have on my spotify playlist, no less. More than half of it is by Primal Scream which is an enormous improvement on the Pussycat Dolls.
Would I do this workout again?
I feel like someone who’s been drinking meths out of a brown paper bag their whole life and then been given a bottle of Veuve Clicquot. I had no idea exercise DVDs could be this way. I may just review Cindy Crawford’s Shape your Body every week from now on.

Of course, if I do decide to do that, the exercises will definitely kill me.


  1. I could still remember this. I think my Mom has this. It's a nice start if you are planning to share your body in a way you want to.

  2. Well written! I definitely have seen and tried to analyze the tension between Cindy and Radu. Its disappointing that he's a short hairy guy and not gorgeous. I think Cindys resentful about that. I have been doing this workout on and off since high school and I'm 35. I never get tired of the music and it's always demanding! I do her upper body stuff with 15lb weights now that I'm a more advanced fit girl. Love This video, there hasn't been another one that comes close!

  3. I keep coming back to this workout, too.. I had it on vhs to begin with. You get results with this, that's for sure. Delighted I can still do it, to be honest. Now to keep doing it..