Michelle McManus – The Lifeplan Workout Review

Classification: E Rating: 3/5

Occasionally a review DVD comes my way that fills me with genuine trepidation. Michelle McManus – The Lifeplan Workout was one such DVD. What on earth did I need with a fitness video featuring super-size Pop Idol has-been Michelle McManus?

Luckily my flatmate had the answer. “You know, you’re getting a bit tubby,” she frowned. “This workout DVD could be exactly what you need.” I looked down at my ever-expanding biscuit-fed belly and had to agree.

And so it was that I improbably found myself embarking on the Michelle McManus fitness programme. Unlike a lot of these self-promoting celebrity workouts (lookout for the Geri Halliwell Workout residing in a bargain bin somewhere near you), McManus at least knows a thing or two about losing weight. Okay, so nobody’s going to accuse the girl of being a stick insect any time soon, but this is somebody who managed to shed over ten stone (down from a colossal 23 stone), which is a pretty impressive feat.

However, it’s worth pointing out that it’s not McManus that’s actually barking the exercise instructions here. Instead, that duty lies with McManus’s relentlessly calm personal trainer – the improbably monikered Dax Moy. Michelle herself looks faintly embarrassed by the whole proceeding and confines herself to the occasional pearl of wisdom (“this exercise is great for big-bottomed girls like myself!”).

To be fair, Moy runs through the workout routines both clearly and safely, and the result is a series of exercises (split into six 15-minute sections) that effectively work every muscle in the body. Some of these feature “props” like medicine balls and dumb-bells, but Moy happily suggests alternatives that work just as well – I found myself launching into a series of punches with a can of tomato soup in my hand, which is a first for me.

For a non fitness junkie like myself, it’s difficult to know exactly what criteria to judge a DVD like this. But the exercises had me aching all over the next day, which is probably a mark of the programme doing some good.

I’m under no illusions – I’m far too lazy to maintain practising these routines every day to experience any noticeable effects. But for anyone who harbours a more motivated resolution to get in shape, then this DVD could be a step in the right direction. Along with the workout routines there’s nutritional advice, and also a Lifeplan booklet which promises to help you achieve your “life goals.” As for me, I’m holding out for a new Lifeplan Workout that involves consuming vast quantities of biscuits.

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