Posts Tagged ‘richard simmons’

Richard Simmons’ Day by Day

In the early 1990s, back when Richard Simmons was regularly on QVC and Deal-a-Meal was THE way to lose weight, he released a series of motivational videos called Day by Day.

Day by Day was a 12 volume set. Each video consisted of 30 to 31 five minute video clips of Richard Simmons giving weight loss tips, sharing success stories, or just being Richard with crazy antics and the occasional crying spell.

(picture blatantly stolen from an eBay auction)

I got volume one off of QVC, but I didn’t sign up for the full set. I was still a kid, and while I was able to talk my mom into buying one of them for me, I couldn’t convince her to get me all 12.

Well, I didn’t lose weight in the early 90s. At all. I did exercise, so I had that going for me, but the weight loss just wasn’t happening. In the late 90s, after the internet came about and eBay appeared on the scene, I was able to buy volumes 2 thru 12, completing my set.

And then, they more or less went into storage for the next fourteen years. I think I did watch through them all once, but… that was about it.

Until now. A few months ago, I got my Garbage Pail Kids out of storage at my parents’ house. While digging through my childhood, I found a box containing these twelve tapes.

It was like opening a time machine. I am currently in the process of transferring them all on to my computer.

I upload one to YouTube, which you can see below.

I don’t see myself uploading all of them (even though I would love to) because I don’t have the copyright to them. These are not available anywhere. But if Richard Simmons gave me permission to upload them, I’d happily upload all 365 of his motivational clips.

I may upload a few, here and there, as they strike me particularly motivating.

There is one thing I’ve discovered, though. These video clips ARE like a time machine; it’s a look back at the fitness and healthy living views of the early 90s. One of the first clips is about the evils of fat. Well, as we now know, fat isn’t evil.

It’s funny; Richard suggests eating “lite” versions of mayo, cheese, and other fatty foods, because it’s better for you. This isn’t something I see him suggesting now.

I don’t blame Richard. Everyone in the 90s believed fat made us fat.

And occasionally, The Biggest Loser still does. During the last season (worst season ever, also), they had a cooking challenge, and some of the contestants from a previous season were the judge. They were VERY harsh to Buddy because he used a TEASPOON of real mayonnaise. He said he wanted the flavor, and he’d rather use a smaller amount of the full-fat version. Oh, these previous contestant judges ripped him a new one. They actually stated that a fat-free mayo would be better.

The fat-free, chemical-filled version is better than the one made out of oil and eggs. Riiiight.

So yes, watch The Biggest Loser for motivation. Do NOT watch it for any kind of healthy living tips. Heck, just watch it for the trainwreck. That, sadly, is all the show is good for. The glory days of Ali Vincent and Tara Costa are long gone. (Oh, and I say the show should try to up their viewership next season by bringing Tara on as a female trainer, if they can’t persuade Jillian to come back.)

Wow. I ended up in a totally different place than I meant to. Oh well.

Richard Simmons’ Day by Day series was incredible. I wish he’d release another version, or heck, even release this version on DVD. I’d buy it in a heartbeat.

He’s made fun of because he is an easy target, but I truly believe that Richard Simmons wants the best from people. And one thing he is good at is motivating.

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Match-Up #6 – Broadway Dancing vs. Fighting?

I am slowly catching up on my brackets! I’m also VERY close to getting to post a new pound lost, but today was not the day, so instead, I shall tell of the matchup between Richard Simmons’ Broadway Sweat and Fat Burning Kickboxing Workout for Dummies.

I’ve shared my fondness of Richard Simmons before, but somehow, this was a workout video that I had in my collection that I had never done. It came out in the early 2000s, well after the Sweatin’ phase, and I suppose that is why I ended up never having done it.

This video honestly had one of the most fun “sets” I’ve ever seen on an exercise video. Usually, exercise videos are set in some very oddly decorated room, like a cross between a waiting room, an abandoned warehouse, and a vase storage facility. (Seriously – pay attention to how many vases you see sitting in the background of exercise videos. You’ll be amazed.)

This one was on a stage, complete with curtains and lights, and for every Broadway song, they changed the set decorations. The songs ranged from “Ease on Down the Road” from The Wiz and Tomorrow from “Annie.” There were some songs that I didn’t know, but they were all plenty of fun.

The other video was Fat Burning Kickboxing Workout for Dummies, once again starring the blonde British kickboxer Keli Roberts.

This one was not as strenuous as her 10 Minute Solutions workout. It was a tough workout, but again, I miss the participants. I like Keli, but I still want to see other people working out in the background. It consisted of several rounds of increasingly complex kickboxing patterns.

So who is the winner?

I’ll admit to being surprised. Broadway Sweat! I’m going to say it’s probably due to the length of the video (Broadway Sweat was about 20 minutes longer), but there you go. Another of Richard’s videos is moving into the next round of the bracket!

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Match-up #3 – “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to” vs. “Tough kickboxing lady made me cry”

I did this match-up a few days ago, but I’ve gotten a bit behind on my posting. Also, I had a thought. I probably shouldn’t share my actual calorie burns on each workout, or it may make it a little too easy to pick the winner when we get down to the final games. So, I’m just going to talk about what each workout was like and declare a winner.

This matchup was between Richard Simmons’ Sweatin’ to the Oldies and 10 Minute Solution: Kickbox Bootcamp. The name of the match-up refers to the first song during the cardio portion of Sweatin’ 1 (It’s My Party” and the second refers to the fact that Kickbox Bootcamp was a HARD workout. It didn’t really make me cry, but it certainly made me burn, in a good way.

Let’s start off with Sweatin’ to the Oldies.

This is the first workout video that Richard Simmons released, and I’ve had it for years. Suffice it to say, I know every move of this workout by heart.

Most of Richard’s workouts have a theme, and the theme of this one is high school prom. It’s a fairly short video, but it still got my heart rate up, and to be honest, I even felt like I’d gotten a workout in. I’ll admit – it felt like a light workout, but hey, on days when time is short, this video is awesome.

This match-up also featured a kickboxing workout. The 10 Minute Solutions videos consist of several 10 minute workouts, and as I said when I announced the rules of this game, if it was a video where you could select one or more workouts, I was going to do them all. That means this workout was effectively a 50 minute workout.

Hosted by Keli Roberts, this was a TOUGH workout. It was a blast for me; I have a background in taekwondo, and a lot of the moves felt very familiar to me. Keli was a great instructor. My only complaint – I didn’t like only have an instructor. I prefer having some fellow athletes working out in the video, but this seems to be the trend for 10 Minute Solutions videos.

One comment – holy crap, this was tough. There were several moves that my 360+ pound body just could not do. Rather than sit by and wait it out, however, I made modifications.

After finishing this workout, I was DRENCHED. And that was with me doing modifications.

Winner? Keli Roberts’ 10 Minute Solutions: Kickbox Bootcamp. No question. Sorry Richard. Kickbox Bootcamp beat us both. But hey Richard, your Sweatin’ 2 video made it to the field of 32, and you have several more videos left in the overall bracket. You still have plenty of opportunities to advance.

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Match #2: Working out in a diner vs. Battling zombies

The bracket is still chugging along nicely. I am SO glad I did this, because it has encouraged me to work out more. After work today, my allergies were so severe (have never had them before, but apparently, a super warm winter and super early summer are combining to make one of the worst allergy seasons everywhere), that I wanted to just crash. However, I did not, and I still worked out. Yay me!

This match-up was between Sweatin’ to the Oldies 2 and Crunch: Cardio Dance Blast. Let me first recap Sweatin’ 2, which I did yesterday.

I’ve had the Sweatin’ tapes for a while. I think so highly of Richard Simmons, most people think I am about to make fun of him when I make that statement. I’m not. I think he is an amazing human being, and I credit him with being the reason I am not diabetic today. I’ve been obese my entire life. I hated PE with a passion. (In my school, PE just meant Laugh at the Fat Kid Try to Work Out Class, Including the Gym Teacher. [I still hate you, Coach C.] That’s a post for another day.) So while I didn’t have the eating down, at all, I at least had Richard Simmons and his Sweatin’ tapes to provide me with physical activity. I did them at least 3-4 times a week, from pretty much 8th grade through college. Seriously.

I firmly believe THAT is why I didn’t weigh 500 pounds and why I don’t have diabetes today. So for that, thank you Richard.

This was a 55 minute workout, including 25 minutes of low-impact aerobics, a song devoted to very light toning, and one song for ab work. Richard’s tapes always include a dynamic warm-up and cool down at the end. He knows his stuff. And in typical Richard style, it was set in a 50s diner.

Yes, it’s cheesy. But you know what? Muscle memory from 10-20 years ago kicked in, and I had an absolute blast!

One final thing I want to say very quickly about Sweatin’ 2. There is a dancer in this tape and Sweatin’ to the Oldies 3 named Aaron McAllister. He had already lost a significant amount of weight in Sweatin’ 2 and had lost even more by Sweatin’ 3. He’s a young guy (20ish in the videos, I guess?) and to my 13-year-old self when I started working out, he gave me hope. He was a fat man who had lost weight.

So to both Aaron and Richard, thank you for giving me a few things I really need during my younger years. (And Aaron, if by some fluke you read this, email me and let me know how you’re doing!)

Now the second workout, the one I did today, was by Crunch and called Cardio Dance Blast.


I go from a day of awesome fun to a day of suck.

This video sucked. Hard.

The trainer was irritating.

The dance moves were poorly cued, needlessly complex, and I spent a LOT of time just trying to catch up. Now granted, I was moving, but I was not doing exactly what they were. I’ll be honest – that’s not really a problem for me. So long as I am moving, I’m happy.


This video was AWFUL!

I did sweat decently, but it was never one I’d do for fun.

So what did I do to entertain myself while I worked out?

Well, thanks to this young lady…

…in her mangled outfit, I imagined that they were a group of survivors who had just narrowly escaped a zombie attack during the upcoming zombie apocalypse. Ving Rhames from Dawn of the Dead is off-screen, and he was making them workout to ensure they weren’t actually zombies.

Yeah, it was that bad. I basically had a zombie fantasy during this 35-minute video.

Oh, another thing that bugged me? She called the dance moves ridiculous names, like the Pop Eye or the Chiquita Banana, which made NO sense at all. And my favorite move she didn’t even name.

I would have called it the Taking a Dump While Participating in Hands Across America.

But that’s just me.

If you want to try this video workout out, it’s available from Netflix Watch Instantly. And maybe you won’t hate it as much as I did. But even if I hated it, I was still moving, so win there.

So, who was the winner?

The calories counts were 347 for Sweatin’ to the Oldies 2 and 235 calories for Crunch: Cardio Dance Blast! Sweatin’ to the Oldies 2 wins and advances to the next round of competition!

My next two workouts are Sweatin’ to the Oldies 1 and 10 Minute Solution: Kickbox Bootcamp.

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Workout Video Review: Sweatin’ to the Oldies

I’ve shared on this blog several times that I have committed to losing this weight gym-free. This does not mean that I am not working out, however. Tina and I both do weight lifting (I will admit – it does help that I have free weights at home), but cardio is a bit tougher.

Sometimes, I just do walk aerobics in the living room while I watch television.

However, a few days ago, I remembered that I had a huge collection of workout videos somewhere in storage. Given how sadly disorganized I am, that could mean my huge stash of workout videos (seriously, probably 50 or more) is in one of three places:
a) The closet in my office that I crammed full when I moved in three years ago and pretty much haven’t touched since
b) In a tote somewhere in my garage that my car will not even fit in
c) In one of fifteen places at my parent’s house, because I never took them when I moved out

Well, after a quick search in the garage, it turns out that the answer is probably all three. However, I did find a tote with several videos in it (and a VCR, thank goodness), and I’ve decided that for the next little bit, I’m going to select one video a week for my cardio.

I’ll share in a blog post about my weight loss journey(s), but I have to say, one man has shown up in my weight loss efforts more than anyone else. This man is mocked, but I honestly believe he has people’s best interests at heart.

That man is Richard Simmons.

And for that reason, I am choosing to do Sweatin’ to the Oldies for my first week doing VHS cardio workouts!

Sweatin’ to the Oldies came out in 1988, and it was pretty revolutionary for its time. It actually had real music, played by an actual on-screen band. The music video was even set at a high school prom (so chosen because Richard Simmons never went to his own prom because he was embarrassed by his then-obesity.)

Even more than that, the people working out in this video covered the spectrum. There were thin people who had never had a weight problem, but even more significantly than that, there were obese people participating.

If you’ve never done a Sweatin’ video, you should probably know that Richard Simmons is always Richard Simmons. Some people are highly irritated by him. If you are one of those people, you will not enjoy this workout.

His first Sweatin’ video (there are five total) is also his shortest. It clocks in at about thirty-nine minutes. It consists of a cardio warm up, upper body and lower body stretching, five aerobic songs, cardio cool down, and a cool down stretch.

My rating: 8/10

I will definitely enjoy doing this video for the next week.

Oh, and my favorite part of Richard’s videos? At the end, all of the dancers get to dance into the camera and show off how much weight they’ve lost.

In other news, don’t forget about the Eat Smart Scales giveaway! It ends on Thursday night!

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12-31-13 - 412.0
1-3-14 - 407.0 (-5.0 pounds total)