Boston's Fitness DVD Stars

You may already take their classes, and now you can bring their workouts home.

best fitness dvdsFrom left, Lisa Johnson, David Magone, and Zayna Gold. (Photo by Henrique Plantikow)


The DVD: Body Physica: Intense

40 minutes; $20,


The Star: Lisa Johnson, a Harvard alum, owns Modern Pilates in Coolidge Corner and has more than 22,000 Twitter followers.

The Workout: The DVD is split into four 10-minute workouts. The “Sweatfest” portion lives up to its name, blending box squats with mountain climbers and other metabolism-boosting moves in high-intensity intervals.

The Experience: Barely noticeable music ensures that all focus is on Johnson, her two helpers, and the task at hand. Johnson’s voice retains its pep even when she’s working hard.

The Morning After: Pain. All. Over. Body.

The Verdict: A must-buy. Johnson offers clear instructions and sweats right along with you. Be sure to have a towel (or two) handy.

 The DVD: PranaVayu Yoga

70 minutes; $25,

The Star: David Magone teaches his own yoga blend, PranaVayu, at tony gyms Exhale Spa and the Sports Club/LA.

The Workout: Easy postures (downward dog) and more-challenging poses (bird of paradise and peacock variations) are combined with deep stretching. The workout ends with deep meditation.

The Experience: Filmed at the Sports Club/LA, this artistic black-and-white DVD features soothing, spa-like music.

The Morning After: Aches in the abs, shoulders, upper back, and butt.

The Verdict: This is the most stylistic and highest-quality video of the three, but the intermediate to advanced moves might be too challenging for beginners.


The DVD: Boston Body Barre

60 minutes; $20,

The Star: Zayna Gold, a Pilates instructor for 30 years, co-owns five Boston-area fitness studios with her husband, Clark.

The Workout: The warmup is followed by a barre session, and just when your legs are shaking uncontrollably from pliés and tucks, the cardio kicks in (in the form of leg lifts). The final two exercises target the arms, abs, and butt.

The Experience: Mind-numbing techno keeps the beat as you follow the movements of Gold and her four perma-smile participants.

The Morning After: Feel the burn in the inner thighs, triceps, and parts of your mid-section you didn’t even know existed.

The Verdict: The bouncing people behind Gold can be distracting. You may want to take her class before investing in this DVD.