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Top 5 Strength Training Videos

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Updated June 15, 2007

If you're tired of the gym, you might want to join the millions of people who've discovered the wonderful world of exercise videos. Working out at home is convenient because you can do it whenever you want. But, buying a quality video that meets your needs isn't always easy. There's nothing worse than dropping $20 on a video only to find that it doesn't deliver. Below are the top five strength training videos, whether you want to slim down, bulk up or just build a stronger body.

1. Cathe Friedrich's Pure Strength Series

This video series includes three tapes: Back, Biceps & Abs; Strong Legs & Abs; and Chest, Shoulders & Triceps. The focus is on building strong, lean muscles, so you'll need heavy dumbbells, a barbell set and a weight bench or step. This series is for intermediate and advanced exercisers.

2. Cathe Friedrich's Slow & Heavy Series

Like the P.S. series, this one is for muscle-building, but it's much harder. The series includes Legs & Shoulders, Triceps & Biceps, and Chest & Back. Your muscles will get a killer workout with the slow, 8-count format Cathe employs. This workout requires dumbbells, a barbell set, and a weight bench/step. You'll be a mass of quivering flesh when you're finished. NOT for beginners.

3. Cathe Friedrich's Muscle Max Total Body Workout

You might think I favor Cathe Friedrich's strength training videos...and you'd be right. Part of her Hardcore Series, Muscle Max is a fast-paced, dynamic workout for the entire body. This workout includes a variety of moves with different types of equipment like dumbbells, barbells, bands and an exercise ball. Definitely for more advanced exercisers.

4. Karen Voight's Great Weighted Workout

Unlike the videos listed above, this workout focuses more on muscular endurance and toning, rather than building muscle mass. It includes a standing upper body workout with light dumbbells, followed by a lower body routine done mostly on the floor with ankle weights and optional Green Genie Balls. The ab workout at the end is also a killer, bringing the total workout time to around 85 minutes.

5. Firm Strength

This video incorporates both strength training moves and aerobic segments for a nice, full-body workout. The strength training moves include classics like lat rows, squats, and lunges. I didn't find the aerobic portions to be terribly 'aerobic,' but more like a welcome rest between sets.

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