Monday, April 25, 2011

A Love Letter to Denise Austin

 I have an embarrassing confession....I am completely obsessed with Denise Austin. For those of you who don't know who Denise Austin is, let me introduce you....
Denise Austin

 Since the 80's, Denise has been making workout videos and appearing on TV as a fitness expert.
I first became aware of her glorious presence on planet earth when I accidentally borrowed one of her DVDs from the library. The DVD was Burn Fat Fast Cardio Blast and it changed my life forever.

I don't normally do workout DVDs, but something told me this one would be different.
At first I hated Denise......she teaches aerobics like a coked up cheerleader, constantly shouting out stupid shit like "YOU'LL LOOK GREAT IN A BIKINI!" and "STRONG BODIES!"at the most annoying moments.

I only planned on doing the workout DVD once, but for some reason it kept calling to me and I ended up using it nearly every day for two straight weeks! The DVD features a five minute warm-up, four ten minute cardio workouts (kickboxing, interval training, retro aerobics and latin dance) and a five minute cool-down and stretch. I would tell myself that I would only do one ten minute workout but usually ended up doing three or four - she is that awesome! The workouts are varied, easy to follow and fun and Denise shouts things at you the whole time, like "squeeze that rear end! If you don't, no one else will!" and "c'mon! Get in the BEST shape of yoooour life!"

In fact, Denise never shuts up. Many people find this irritating, as I was horrified to discover when I read some of her DVD reviews on Amazon. I too found this annoying at first, but she grew on me and I found myself looking forward each day to the time that Denise and I would spend together. In no time I was even mumbling some of Denise's favorite lines like "you've burned fat! you've burned calories!" while I prepared myself a post-workout sandwich.

It wasn't long before I developed an unhealthy curiosity about Denise and I ventured onto YouTube in search of more information. I found many videos of her from the early 80's and was confused by the fact that she appeared to be the same age then as she is now. I was even more shocked to find out that she is in her mid 50's, when I had guessed her to be around 30. But the most shocking part of it all was the discovery that I was not alone in my Denise Austin obsession - there were countless others out there, too, most of them with YouTube channels dedicated solely to posting videos of Denise, some in slow motion set to masturbation music. For every Denise Austin video on YouTube, there are endless perverted comments from sad, horny men, which I read with abject horror and disgust. Here is an offensive sampling of the typical comments:

mmmmhmmmm, oh yeah, work it. work it. I'm getting sweaty all over. my inner thigh is so toned now. and so is my forearm.

I'd do things to her I wouldnt do to a farm animal.

I'd love to sniff her feet after they're all sweaty and been in socks all day!!

Oh my God those thighs in high quality make me hard enough to cut diamonds.

Those tips really help me "excercise". ;) 

to see the power in those sexy thighs as she is thrusting her hips i can't do any thing but have an explosion so intense i get a little dizzy sometimes 

denise was responsible for a 10% spike in tissue sales all over the country..

Anyhow, you get the idea. This is what 98% of the comments are like on any Denise video. Just go on YouTube and look if you don't believe me. Some of the comments are valid, particularly for the 80's videos where Denise is clad in a bikini and repeatedly spreading her legs, but the leering comments are also present on many of the more recent videos which have absolutely nothing remotely sexual about them. I tried to find a Denise Austin YouTube video that had at least one normal, non-pervo comment and it was hopeless! I was baffled by this, yet felt a strange sympathy for these creepers since I, too, was inexplicably drawn to Denise, although for different reasons....

Next, I ordered Denise's book "Get Energy" from the Library and read it cover to cover like a twelve year old reads a Tiger Beat magazine. She gives some good snack suggestions, like rice cakes with peanut butter and sliced bananas or Ryvita crackers with cottage cheese and tomatoes. I tried both these snacks and found them to be quick and satisfying. I also liked that she advocated taking small stretch and breathing breaks throughout the day. Her book includes pictures of her doing various stretches in what is presumably her living room, revealing that she has horrid taste in furniture and decor - its all very floral and busy.

What I like about Denise is that she is completely different from all those other fitness wack jobs out there, such as Jillian Micheals, who has the persona of a super-serious corpse. Denise is bubbly in a refreshing, authentic way because unlike all the other fitness nitwits on TV, she knows that exercise was not meant to be serious. Colon cancer is serious, exercise should be light and fun. Denise tells me that an effective 20 minute a day exercise routine is all I need to stay fit and that calorie counting is for losers. I like that. I like it so much that I bought seven of Denise's DVDs.

Here are my top three:

Quick Burn Cardio is by far the most challenging of all my Denise DVDs. Each workout is only 20 minutes, yet it is intense enough that you really feel like you've done your exercise for the day. It is heavy on the lunges and squats and there seems to be alot of jumping and bouncing around, so perhaps not great if you have any knee problems.But otherwise a great workout!
Denise shouts out "BLAST THAT FAT! BURN THOSE CALORIES! YOU CAN DO IT!" and it makes me feel like a real winner once I'm done.

Get Fit Daily Dozen is another good one. This DVD consists of five 12 minute workouts (two cardio, upper body strength, lower body strength and stretching).
You can mix and match or just do one of the workouts if your short on time.
This is perfect if you only have 12-15 minutes in the morning before work or if you are tired after a long day but still want to squeeze a quick workout in while the dinner is in the oven. These workouts are energizing and fun and Denise will tell you repeatedly to "burn that butter" and that "you are worth it!"

Boot Camp Total Body Blast is another challenging DVD with two fun workouts. At first I was really scared to do this one since its called "Boot Camp" and Denise is looking pretty tough on the cover, but really it is easier than Quick Burn Cardio. There is a bit of jumping in this one as well, and I am always expecting the people who live below me to come up and murder me when I am doing this one, but it hasn't happened yet.
Perv alert! There is a ten minute stretching segment at the end, where Denise says things like "OOOAAAHH! FEELS SOOOOOO GOOOOOD!" during every stretch.

 Here is a sample Denise workout video that I did this morning.

 So to sum things up, Denise is like a wonderful, magnificent ray of sunshine at the beginning of my day. I never thought I was the kind of person who likes to be told I'm "worth it" and to just "do the best that you can do!" while I am working out, but I guess I am.
I am proud to say I am a big fan of  Denise Austin and I highly recommend her DVDs and books. As Denise would say......ITS WORTH IT!!!!!!

To finish things off, here are my two favourite retro Denise vids, enjoy!: