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Diamond Dallas Page put out a book on Yoga for Regular Guys in 2005. Following this, in 2006, he put out a set of YRG DVDs: these come with 3 disks: "The 20 Minute Workout," the 40-minute "Fat Burner" workout, and the 60-minute "Fat Burner Plus." Each DVD has exactly the same extra: a demonstration of modifications and "keys to success," guidance on the heart monitor and isokinetics, an inspirational segment, and some testimonies by fans of Yoga for Regular Guys. These are not available through Amazon.com, but they are available through DDP's own website. The whole idea of YRG is to give a strong low-impact workout to regular people, especially men. The DVDs are much easier to follow than the book.
The workouts are performed in a room with red brick walls. DDP and his "Yoga Doc" Craig Aaron lead 6 other people though the workouts. These people are 3 men and 3 "yoga babes": the babes wear skimpier clothing than the men. In the shortest workout, the participants do a fair amount of talking back and yelling out along with DDP -- saying "Touchdown!" and "Superstar!" when doing a couple of positions for example. There's less of this in the "Fat Burner" workout and in the "Fat Burner Plus" they are pretty quiet, because their energy is going on the workout. There's pleasant blue-flavored electric guitar music in the background of most of the DVDs. Aaron and DDP do all the talking in the studio: there's no voice-over.
DDP makes his mark on yoga by giving his own names to traditional postures: "Road Warrior," "Happy Porn Star," and "Catcher," for example. He emphasizes keeping muscles engaged (isokinetic) for most postures, and he does more yoga push ups that you find on most yoga DVDs. He also does more lunging positions that work on the quads than you find in other yoga DVDs. Finally, he suggests using a wrist-ban heart monitor and checking your heart rate while working out. I didn't get a heart monitor and I wasn't convinced of their necessity: you can generally tell when you need to take a break because your muscles give out.
I found the workouts to be well designed. After doing each of them a few times, I noticed that they did help with flexibility as well as build strength. Being a philosophy professor, I don't think I fully qualify as a "regular guy," and being a yoga fan, I didn't need to be told that yoga isn't for sissies. The use of the yoga babes, especially with the camera looking down their bikini tops, seemed a little crass, but you'll find that when you are following the DVDs, you don't actually look at the screen much. I liked the energy level of the group, and I also liked the humor, which you don't often find in other yoga DVDs. I would have liked him to allow a bit more time for relaxation at the end of each workout, rather than just giving people the option of pressing "pause" on their DVDs, since if you have to get up to press pause, your relaxation is basically over anyway.
There was one mistake in the Fat Burner Plus: they do a "bent-knee triangle" on one side, but don't repeat it on the other side a little later. So one side gets slightly more of a workout than the other. But that's a minor slip up. DDP is good at explaining modifications for people who find some of these postures demanding, and that is bound to happen for most people, at least when they are starting out.
So overall, this DVD package is good, and is especially good for men who are a bit dubious about yoga. This should help to convert them about its value. Even those who are already familiar with yoga might find these DVDs worth checking out for their change of style.
Link: Yoga For Regular Guys Webpage
© 2007 Christian Perring. All rights reserved.
Christian Perring, Ph.D., is Academic Chair of the Arts & Humanities Division and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island. He is also editor of Metapsychology Online Reviews. His main research is on philosophical issues in medicine, psychiatry and psychology.