Updated: Nov 25, 2019
Karate is beyond a doubt my most recommended way to get in shape and stay in shape. With karate you work cardio, strength, and core. It is fun and dynamic. It’s great for everyone from kids to adults to seniors. With that said, variety is the spice of fitness, and so I occasionally augment my karate training with home workout dvd programs. I am currently part-way through P90X2, and I must say I am underwhelmed thus far. The videos feel like one long infomercial for foam rollers, Beachbody trinkets and secret sauce. I haven’t given up yet though and am still hopeful my opinion turns around. [Editors note. my opinion didn't change.] Excluding P90X2, here are my Top 12 favourite home workout programs.
12. P90x Plus
This is on the list for only 1 reason. Tony Horton is the ultimate trainer. They recommend this program to be used in conjunction with P90X. These workouts sacrifice strength training for balance. Trying to build bicep strength doing curls standing on one leg was a prime example turning me off this program.
11. Power 90
This is the precursor to P90X. The program is just ok. It’s not that I dislike the program, but I wouldn’t go back and do it a second time.
Individually some of the videos were good. Personally I found the workouts disjointed and didn’t satisfy my requirements for a comprehensive home workout regime.
9. Les Mills Combat
This program simply didn’t resonate with me. It does focus on martial arts techniques, but there are simply better programs available.
8. Tony Horton 1-on-1 Series
These videos are truly hit and miss. Some videos such as ‘Chest and Back’ and ‘Just Arms’, I absolutely love! When I mix-and-match my own work-out programs, these often find their way into the mix. Other videos are painfully slow, and not in a good way. The mix of good and bad is why this series rates as low on my list as it does.
This is a fast and furious hard core cardio programming that lives up to it's namesake. The trainer Shaun T is highly motivating. The only downside to this programming is that all the videos are very similar. Well into the routine I'd be heading downstairs to workout wondering what day I'm on but knowing it just didn't matter because they all felt alike.
6. Insanity Asylum 2
This is a great program from Shaun T. I don’t like it as much as Asylum because of the coordination required in some of the quick feet drills. I love exercising my body and mind. High-speed dance steps through a ladder with no practical application leave me underwhelmed and somewhat frustrated at times.
5. GSP Rushfit
Starring MMA legend, Canadian George St. Pierre, you know this must be a great program. It is very good. With its foundation in martial arts training, this is a great cardio routine that again uses one's own body for resistance training. I like this program, but it’s a little slow. Also there are times when GSP lets out a heavy sigh “Wow dis is quite da workout.” But he is (was) the UFC champ and he is dogging it! I am a huge fan of GSP, but I like to see the trainers working to their potential, and GSP caters more to the middle of the fitness pack.
Shaun T nailed it with this one! This program lives up to its namesake. It is absolutely insane. All of the videos are different and all of them leave you lying in a pool of your own sweat by the end.
3. TapOut XT
This is a fantastic mixed martial arts based home workout program! You are throwing punches and kicks. There is a ton of ground work. There is lots of variety in the program. I can’t recommend this one enough.
2. Body Beast
For people who like to lift weights at home and need (or like) the added motivation of home workout dvds, this program is the bomb! The trainer is absolutely hilarious. “Get ready to lose your little chicken legs. It’s time for quadzilla!” The sets are still geared towards higher reps over greater weights, but this suits my type of training just fine.
It’s a classic and still my favourite. This is the one program I’ve done more often than any other. The program balances cardio and resistance training. Tony Horton is the king of home fitness! If I was looking for a fault with this program, all I would mention is Tony teaches bad kicking form on the kenpo routine. That, and at 1.5hrs, the Yoga routine is too long. This aside, if you are looking for a home workout dvd program, P90X is the place to start.
Originally Posted: Jan 16, 2014 [Feb 21, 2018 Note: As we migrate to this new website, some of the most referenced posts from the old site will be moved here, this post included. In the intervening years, since this original post, I have cycled through Body Beast and P90X a few more times. They are time-tested favourites! Also, although not a DVD, I am a fan of the lifting program in "Evolution" a book by Joe Manganiello.]