Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Exercise TV, a dream come true

I am addicted to exercise TV. Or I was, for a period of about a week. The addiction is waning now, although it’s possible I can fan the fire back to life. Which was the video that won my heart and got me hooked?

It wasn’t Disco Abs.

It wasn’t Latin Fever.

It wasn’t Zumba Boost,

It wasn’t Learn the Fame Dance.

And though I had high hopes for Hip Hop Cardio, it sure as hell wasn’t that train-wreck, led by the perkiest, most Barbie-like white girl I’ve ever seen, whose aggravating chirps of “Cabbage Patch! Come on! Woo Woo!” nearly drove me to madness.

The Exercise Channel TV show which has one my heart – and Primo’s, too – is …

Bollywood Burn

And, also, its counterpart

Back 2 Bollywood

To select a favorite from between the two is really a Sophie’s Choice. Bollywood Burn was my first, a nearly perfect length at 15 action-packed minutes, and boasts perhaps the best name of any exercise regime ever invented.

“Oh, my legs are hurting!” Primo yelled the first time we tried it/

“Yes,” I panted, just shy of a heart attack, “that’s the burn.”


“Yes, Bollywood BUUUUUUURN!”

We could wile away an hour just repeating the phrase over and over. It’s that pleasing.

The instructor, Hemalayaa, so lovely she gets two “a”s at the end of her name. -- so lovely and graceful, is gorgeous, has a perfect midriff which she is not ashamed to bare, and focuses on sinuous, fluid, belly-dancing type moves.

Back 2 Bollywood, however, has better music, a driving drum beat which galvanizes even my lazy heart, and the instructor Masala Bhangra has got moxy – I love her booming, I-mean-business voice, and the fact that all her dancers wear big, balloon-ey type pants and long tunics, rather than the Lycra biker shorts/ sports bra combo that is so de rigeur in the exercise television world. I like too, that Back 2 Bollywood, while longer at 21 minutes, has a timer in the corner of the screen, is more cardio-heavy, with lots of jumping, traveling moves that remind me of African dance. And perhaps my favorite part is that Masala Bhangra incites us participants to shout cries of Boolabooley!” I LOVE shouting shit when I’m working out, and though its usually expletives, this works just as nicely and is, hopefully, less offensive to my neighbors.

In just 15 minutes, my six year-old and I are transformed into bonafide Bollywood superstars. Pitcher step! Head bobbing! And of course, Bollywood arms waving serpentine-style in front of our faces. Primo enjoyed it so much that afterwards, I pulled up some big Bollywood dance sequences on You Tube to show him. He was astounded.

“Look! It’s the side jump!” Primo exclaimed, ‘That’s our move!”

Yes, I realize that the low commitment of 15 minute workouts means equally low payoff, possibly closer to none, but I don’t mind that because I have this idea that I just need to slowly build momentum, get my foot in the door of exercuse, and then once I do, the famed endorphin rush people talk about will overtake me and soon I’ll be running marathons. Plus, when Bollywood calls, Primo and I will be ready.