Sunday, 31 March 2013

Susan Powter - Burn Fat and Get Fit

Susan Powter is, I understand, famous in the US for her “Stop the Insanity!” fitness infomercials. She published a book of the same name in 1994 and released this – her second workout DVD in the same year.

How to stop Insanity. Step 1: Place hands above ears.

She’s a strange shouty lady but she seems encouraging and enthusiastic in that evangelical way that ex-fat people sometimes have.
However, looking at her website, she appears to have gone full-on batshit crazy recently.

There is a section on the site called “Ask Susan” where people can ask for diet and exercise advice and Powter responds with nonsensical haikus inspired by a Magic 8-ball before being distracted by a shiny piece of paper or something.
Um... right? Thanks, Suse.
The below video is Susan’s attempt to improve your Self Esteem. Or tell you that Self-Esteem doesn’t matter. Or get you to buy her longer Self Esteem video. Or something else. I have absolutely no idea what’s happening here.

Still, back in the mid 90s Susan was on top of her game. She even appeared in an episode of The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air in 1994 which is the nearest thing Americans have to a knighthood.
She was permitted to breathe the same air as this man. She is truly blessed.
‘Burn Fat and Get Fit’ is an interval training workout which Susan is keen to emphasize is suitable for all levels of fitness. She passionately cares that everybody gets moving regardless of current fitness levels. There are frequent reminders to modify the moves so even the rolliest polliest tubs of lards can jog on the spot if we can’t do the step ups, sit on a chair of we can’t do the floor exercises or enthusiastically nod our heads if we are comically stuck in the doorway or something.

She is joined by her two workout buddies Sally and Eric and claims that the workout is being filmed in her own home. In which case, it’s very nice. It could do with a bit more furniture though.
Also, is that ivy growing over your worktop?
Being an ex-fat person, Susan has a photo of her old glum tubby self to show us in the usual “Can you believe I literally used to weigh more than I do now?!?! Crazy, huh?” fashion. As it's a US workout, she is not required by law to stick this on the front of her DVD in greyed out tones otherwise reserved for miserylit as celebs are in the UK.

Susan talks non-stop. Her most used phrase is “Think about it!” which she utters hundreds of times over the course of 54 minutes.
“Knees forward. Think about it!”

“Chest press. Think about it!”
“The energy is in the ham strings. Think about it!”

During the leg strength exercises, she tells us: “This is the sort of strength that gets you out of the house. It gets you from the car to the house”. Thanks, Susan. I was actually already aware what legs are.

The workout includes both aerobic and anaerobic. Is it safe to combine the two? Or is it like mixing matter and anti-matter?
Weirdest Bit
Powter’s scary enthusiasm reaches fever pitch when she congratulates Sally on her breathing. “Listen to Sally breathing, class!” she shouts. I’m not sure if she’s means us at home who have no chance of hearing anything over Powter herself or if she means Eric who’s the only other person in the room. Quite an awkward moment for Eric, if so.

Difficulty Level
Even without modification, the workout is quite doable. You switch between jumping about stuff and stretching stuff and nothing goes on long enough to get really boring. This might be quite similar to the techniques used in Hannah Waterman’s workout a few weeks ago. If I retained any of the information from these workouts longer than the time it takes to write the reviews, I might be fairly knowledgeable on the subject by now.

Would I do this Workout again?
I haven’t decided yet. Maybe I should ask Susan.

No comments:

Post a Comment