Video Fitness

4-Day Rotation

Dynamic Donna and two "Donna-Mite" crew members, Jillian and Jennifer (who now stars in CIA's Double Crunch video), rotate through four different workouts, hairstyles, and wardrobe changes. This hour-long video's concept is to give the beginner/intermediate exerciser four different short muscle conditioning workouts, each for a specific area of the body. The sections are each about 10-12 minutes in length, and include a short warm-up, and cool-down. It's a versatile tape that you can combine with other workouts. Let's say your favorite aerobic + toning tape leaves out exercises or doesn't do a good job on your particular trouble spot. Not a problem. Just cue this tape to the workout you need, and you can add it into your routine! You can use dumbbells and/or ankle weights as you get stronger. Or you can do two workouts from this tape one day, the other two the next, or just do the parts you think you need! My problem with this tape is more a matter of personal preference rather than a comment on the value of the workout. When doing strength training, I prefer circuit style or better yet, breaking it up the way the FIRM workouts do with aerobic sprints. But Donna's work here is safe and solid, good for the new exerciser and versatile enough (with weights) to progress with him or her through the intermediate level. Once you've conquered this one, you'll have a good foundation for doing the FIRM with good form. (Gee, did I put enough "F"s in that last sentence??) Grade: A

Melissa Cooper

I get a lot of use out of this particular video. It is divided into 4 15-minute segments, each with emphasis on a different area of the body -- abs, buttocks, hips & thighs, and upper body. By the time you have gone through the whole video, you have worked out the whole body. Hand weights and ankle weights are recommended as needed to keep the workout challenging. There is an individual warm-up and cool down for each section, so you can do just 1 section, or more if you have the time or the desire. I find that with a young infant, I just can't always get in as much of a workout as I would like. This is perfect for those days when I don't have a free moment until the kids are in bed. I can't face a whole hour-long workout (when I could be going to sleep instead), but these 15-minute segments seem less overwhelming. Donna makes it so much fun that I often find myself doing more than 1 section, no matter how tired I feel when I begin. The music has a good, strong beat. Donna and the people working out with her are constantly reminding you of the goal you're working toward (awesome abs, hot hams, etc.). All the moves are low-impact, and done in a slow and controlled manner for maximum safety and effectiveness. I would highly recommend this video also as a tool to fill in weak spots in other video workouts. If I feel I need more abs work, for example, than is in my workout that day, I can go straight the the abs section on this tape. It is probably too easy for advanced exercisers, since there just aren't enough repetitions to challenge them.

Erin Ferragut

I was disappointed in this video because the four workouts were not difficult enough and far too short. I mean, I did know they were 15 minutes each when I bought the tape, but each segment contains a warm-up and cool-down (annoying if you're doing the whole tape at once, or doing one segment after a cardio tape), so you're only exercising the targetted body part for about 8 minutes. I know you can always modify or make exercises more difficult depending on your fitness level, but there wasn't enough time in this video to get enough reps in even if I worked continuously through Donna's breaks. To compare, Cathe Friedrich's ab section at the end of Step Heat is also short but far superior in my opinion. I would recommend this tape to beginners only, and only if they like Donna Richardson's instructional style.


This video is set up in four segments- arm, thighs, butt and abs. You can put them together for a total workout or break them up over the week. Each section is 15-20 minutes long and has its own warm up, cool down and stretch. Donna and her gang seem like they are good friends just having a great time. These are real women, working out, chatting, having fun. This tape is really, I think, great for anyone. For beginners, Donna is a great instructor who really explains correct form to give a solid introduction to resistance training. For intermediates and advanced, this video is a great addition to your workout program. Not enough arms? Segment 1 can fix that! Want a nice leg warm up? Try sections 2 or 3. Need some tough abs today? Four has you covered. For all exercisers, this video gives you real people having a great time working out, without Stepford wives, large budget production numbers or self-absorbed instructors. These are quick solid workouts, filled with great instruction, and solid moves that anyone can fit into their day.


This tape is broken down into 4 sections so that you can do 1 a day. I usually do this video all in one day but it's nice to have when I want to spot train, especially the nice inner thigh workout which I have a hard problem finding in other videos. I also like the abs section which is pretty tough. I get a satisfying burn everytime I do it. At first the upper body was slighty intermediate with 5 lb weights but I increased the weight to 8 lbs and get a great workout. I would definately recommend this video.

Instructor comments: I love Donna Richardson. The first video I had her in was Perfect Balance which I since retired but it made me want to try out her other videos. Her cueing is great as well as her fun attitude. She seems to have fun when she works out. She often makes me smile or laugh while I am working hard. The other 2 girls are also lively. The blonde is very fit and the brunette looks more like a real women like the rest of us which I find comforting.


I am not much of an exercise freak, so when I aw the four day rotation I thought perfect. I saw results in two weeks. I wanted something to rotate out from my Tao-Bo tapes ( I now work out 7 days a week) When I workin out to the oldies I knew it was the one for me. I am not that cooridinated and even I could follow this after one viewing and boy did I sweat. The video just flew by (55minutes) I am looking forward to other fitness tapes by Donna and her crew


As a busy mom of a 2 year old, I found that this video fit in well with my schedule. If I am pressed for time, I can do 1 segment. On days with more time I can add segments. And since there are 4 parts I don't feel bored. As a beginner/inter. a feel like this is a good choice with it being easy to follow and donna's friends look so normal you don't feel intimadated to do this video. overall an A

Instructor comments: she is easy to follow and lets you know ahead of time what to expect next. She is very upbeat.

tiffany k

This is one of my favourite videos because it has so many options. I am an avid parts user: I seldom do a video the whole way through and have a special fondness for videos with several mix and match sections. This video has 4 15-minute segments, 1 each for abs, buttocks, hips/thighs and upper body. You can do all of them, just one or two or any combination. On a time-pressed day you could do one segment then 15 minutes on a stepper or cardio machine for a full workout. You could also pair it with on of those 20-minyte living arts yoga tapes, or with sections from the method pilates tapes. Donna is very motivating and high-energy, and the reps are slow enough that you can use medium-heavy weights. I don't think you'll get huge muscle with this, but two segments a day is a thorough enough strength rotation to see results. After all, when you do a 30-minte strength tape you are not spending more than 15 minutes on any one part anyway. So don't let the length of the segments fool you into thinking you'll get off easy: this video can work for you if you do it properly and choose your weights carefully.

Joanna C

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