My Top 5 Picks for the Best Home Workout Trainers

Home workouts. I used to laugh in their face. I felt like nothing could get me results like a workout at the gym. Boy was I wrong.


These days, I only workout at home and wouldn’t have it any other way. While a gym membership was nice when I was in college, it became extremely difficult to make it there once I had an 8-5 pm job. Now I know that nothing beats the convenience of a home workout. Working out at home has brought me to a whole other level of fitness and if you buy the right trainers, I promise you will see results!

So here they…my top 5 picks for the BEST home workout trainers!!

1. Jillian Michaels.

I honestly have a love/hate relationship with Jillian. The Biggest Loser does nothing for me. While I think it is fun to see the drastic before and after photos from the show, I do NOT condone their methods of weight-loss because I think it gives people an unrealistic idea of how much weight is HEALTHY to lose per week. That being said, her home workout DVDs? AWESOME. Literally, my heart rate is up no matter which DVD of hers I choose. She definitely gets the job done. The end result? Killer muscles and awesome endurance. Go Jillian!!

Equipment for most DVDs: Light-medium hand weights, yoga mat

She means business.


  • No More Trouble Zones- fairly advanced
  • Boost Metabolism-fairly advanced
  • 6 Pack in 6 Weeks-all levels
  • 30 Day Shred-all levels
  • Shred It Weights-all levels
  • Yoga Meltdown-All levels (will get your heart rate up!!)

2. Jacki Warner.

I watched her shows Work Out and Intervention and I actually thought she had a slightly better approach than Jillian when it came to weight-loss. Although she is still slightly extreme with her “eating clean” mentality, I feel like her approach to working out is very reasonable. I own Power Circuit Training and think it is very effective. She gives you the option of choosing from a bunch of different 15 minute workouts, which target specific areas of the body, OR a 45 minute total body workout. Kudos Jacki!

Equipment: Light to heavy hand weights


3. The Firm.

I received my first FIRM video for Christmas a couple years ago and I’ve been hooked ever since. They are upbeat, fun, and effective! 

 The only downside of The FIRM videos is they are choreographed and if you have trouble following routines, these might not be the workouts for you. However, if you have any kind of dance or cheering background or even if you take a lot of aerobics classes at the gym, you’ll probably be able to catch on pretty quickly. I can definitely get my heart rate to rise once I’ve mastered the routines. All you need are some light to medium hand weights and you are ready to rock!

Equipment: Light to medium hand weights


  • Total Body Time Crunch
  • Ultimate Fat Burning Workout
  • The 500 Calorie Workout
  • Total Body Makeover

4. Denise Austin.

My love affair with Denise started in high school. When I first started losing weight, she was my go to gal. She is sensible, positive, and a wonderful role model. To this day, I still love her, even IF I only do her workouts when I am looking for a light, quick routine. 

I would highly recommend Denise for all levels of fitness but especially if you are looking for a low impact workout that WILL get you results!! Denise Austin is your girl!

Equipment: depends on the DVD, will usually say on the back.

Isn't she cute? I just love her!!


  • 3 Week Boot Camp
  • Hit the Spot Pilates
  • Pilates for Every Body
  • Yoga Body Burn
  • Fat Burning Dance Mix
  • Body Makeover Mix

5. Billy Blanks.

Say what you will, but I STILL think Billy Blanks provides a kick butt work out. I love the Tae-Bo DvDs; they are intense, easy to follow, and give you something to sweat about. An added bonus? He isn’t TOO annoying like some of the other instructors. He makes you bring it and you can’t ask for much more! Each work out ranges from 45-60 minutes and trust me, that is all you will need!!

Equipment: yourself OR a stretchy band, light hand weights work too


  • Ultimate Tae-Bo (90 minutes of a cardio kick butt sweat session)
  • Tae-Bo Celebrity Fit
  • Billy Blanks Boot Camp

That’s it…my top 5 picks for the best home work out trainers. I know it is intimidating to spend money on a work out DVD that you have never tried before, but when you find a few trainers you like, keep buying their videos, usually they do not disappoint!! 

QUESTION: Do you workout at home? If so, which workouts do you follow?



42 comments to My Top 5 Picks for the Best Home Workout Trainers

  • Thanks for the advice! I actually do DVD workouts all the time. That’s been my only source of exercise this whole winter! I love Jillian Michaels DVDs too. My fab workout is actually Bodystrikes. It’s an amazing leg/kickboxing workout.

  • GREAT post! How did I miss this one? Where was I?

  • I agree with all but Billy Blanks – only because I’ve never done his. The rest are fantastic. I am on the same page with you re: Jillian. I don’t agree with the methods used in the Biggest Loser and I don’t watch it. I also didn’t agree with Jackie Warner’s methods in her latest show (that I can’t remember the title of right now). But they do have great workouts!

  • Ooh–great review! ‘ve been meaning to try 30 Day Shred, and now I’m convinced :)

  • Thanks for the list. No sure yet which one, but I’m gonna pick up at least one of these very soon. I don’t usually workout at home but once in a while I do and my collection of home workout videos are just that, “videos”. No workout DVDs, no kidding. I don’t even own a VHS anymore so I’d better get to the store for one or two DVDs. It’s nice going in with some recommendations.

  • I’ve always had trouble working out at home! There’s motivation for me to work out around other people, but alone…I get distracted :-)

  • I sometimes do workouts at home, i’ll cruise through exercise on demand and pick one! Back in the day I used to do Tae Bo-haha!
    Thanks for the resources-i’m always giving at home exercise recommendations to my clients!

  • I totally agree with Jillian! I have done her 30 day shred and seen results FAST! The things she says annoy me though so she goes on mute :) I’ve also tried Jackie Warner & Billy Banks and have worked up quite the sweat… I’ll have to try the other two!

  • Great article, i am a big fan of tae bo home workouts and have had some great results with them.

  • Roz

    We have a Wii, and bought the Wii Active workout. It has a 30 day challenge that is made up by Bob Greene. It’s fun, we work up a sweat, and it makes it easy to fit a workout into a busy day.

  • I love Jillian and Jane austin! Great post :)

  • I have been obsessed with Billy Blanks since high school! I used to do his videos (I have them on VHS) every day after school! Since I teach aerobics and run for the majority of my cardio, I don’t do to many workout DVD’s. However, I do love doing yoga at home either on my own or following a download from!

  • Really like Jari Love’s DVDs, and I do like Jillian’s personality in her videos.

    I usually work out at home but follow workouts that my trainer has given me. But I recently tried an iTrain cycling workout and REALLY liked it. I would definitely recommend their tracks!

  • I workout exclusively at home as well. I have the Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred DVD and I’m a big fan. I have only ever completed Level 1 though. I would really like to try some of the other DVDs you mentioned above. Thanks for providing your reviews!!

  • This is a great post! I feel the same about Jillian…and somehow, in her workout videos, she doesn’t seem as brass as she does on tv…
    Its so nice to here workouts at home are just as effective as the gym, because I often wonder to myself if I should be doing more than just a dumb video or treadmill…but truth is, I would much rather work out at home as well….less germs and much cheaper!

  • Great at home workout reviews!!! I find I do better in a gym, just because of space and I just get more motivated there. HOWEVER I do workout at home a few days a week. Before I was pregnant I always did pilates and yoga at home (space). I do my workouts On Demand. I LOVE LOVE LOVE people that are ambitious about workout out at home because that’s how I make my living!

  • I have a YMCA membership, but I do like to supplement my routine with workouts at home. I got Zumba for the Wii for Christmas and I love it! I have a pretty good routine down between that and some Pilates/Power Yoga videos I stream off Netflix. :)

  • I’m so surprised you don’t have Cathe Friedrich on this list. She’s not one with tons of infomercials and glizt and glamour to spread the word so those that follow her are a smaller tight-knit group (like me!). But I’m always stunned tha tso few know her – she could kick ANY of thse at-home workout instructors butts, I’m pretty confident of that. And now, I don’t work for Cathe or anything like that, I’m just a die-hard Cathlete. She is ridiculous – her cardio workouts are awesome but her weight training workouts are second to none. Just my geeky two cents :)

  • I remember Billy Blanks! I used to love him in college!!

    Right now my fave workouts are insanity and brazil butt lift…and after my training for my first race, I want to get ChaLEAN Extreme.

  • Thanks so much for sharing these! I do not currently work out at home, but I very much want to and have been looking for the best workout vids. This is great!

  • I have never done any of these workouts! I’ve been using old beach body ones that my mom used to do!

  • What a great resource! I haven’t worked out at home before, but I’m starting a new job, and my time is going to be tight! These would be excellent resources for me to have on the days I can’t make it to the gym. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • I’m dying to try a Jillian Michaels DVD. I’m so scared of her, but maybe that’s a good thing. I know she can kick my ass!

  • I feel the same about the Biggest Loser. I don’t think it accurately portrays realistic weight loss because how many people have the ability to work out for hours a day with a trainer and have all their meals laid out for them. That said, I too love the Jillian Michaels DVDs. I have 3 of them and am looking to get Shred with Weights.

  • I actually prefer Bob Harper’s workouts over Jillians.

  • I don’t workout at home very often, but when I do, I almost always go with Jillian Michaels…although I recently bought a GoFit kettlebell and have been doing that workout at home and LOVE IT.

  • i tried Jillian’s just last week and it work out pretty good. i love the comfort of working out from home.

  • I love Jillian Michaels- no more trouble zones is probably my favorite!

  • I really love tracy anderson… but i can’t afford her dvds! yikes! I’ll have to check out jillian, thanks!

    ooh and as for the sushi, it’s for sure something you have to have a taste for, i’d suggest going to a really highly rated restaurant and getting a roll that is super popular and unique or just making it at home with all YOUR fav foods in it =) hope that helps!

  • Thanks for sharing these!
    I want to try Jillian and the Firm for sure.

    The only at home workout I do is the Winsor Pilates DVDs

  • I used to love doing workout “tapes” when I was in high school and college! My favorite was the Cindy Crawford one with her trainer, Radu. So random, but it seriously worked wonders.

  • you can almost see up billy’s shorts. hehe

  • Jillian is the only one I own, but I do try out a few things on Exercise tv on occasion. And you’re right- I really don’t enjoy Biggest Loser, but her dvds are awesome sauce. :)

  • I have been looking for a good at home workout video!! Thanks for the suggestions! And good to hear it works, I, like you, was a little skeptical but since moving to Chicago an expensive gym membership along with my working schedule just doesn’t allow me to get to the gym as often as I would like. Love Jackie Warner!!

  • I do workout at home, and I use the Biggest Loser DVD’s, and I do Jillian Michaels DVD’s too. I actually prefer to workout at home, I can’t quite build up the confidence to actually go to a gym.

  • I rarely do at-home workouts but lately I’ve really been curious about the Jillian Michaels 6 week 6 pack one! I also had no idea that Jackie Warner did videos – I’ve seen her show Workout which I definitely find amusing but I bet she could deliver a pretty hard video! Might have to check hers out too! :)

  • Great list! I’ve done Billy Blanks tae-bo videos from the 90s, and it’s a great workout! Plus, all their outfits are so funny and 90s. I usually do online yoga podcasts when I workout at home.

  • Thanks for the question Sam…I actually just added which equipment is needed! Most require light to medium hand weights. If something more special is needed, it is usually specified on the back of the video but I don’t have a lot of equipment at home. I like to keep it simple!

  • I actually haven’t done too many at home workouts besides yoga.
    I got my first yoga video (VHS!) when I was about 10 and I still love it – Yoga Mind & Body with Ali Macgraw. I also like Seane Corn’s Vinyasa Yoga (which is supposed to be intermediate but is actually pretty basic) and Bryan Kest’s Advanced Power Yoga which is really tough.

    What kind of equipment, if any, is required for these DVDs?

  • I’m a big fan of Tank Top Arms, Bikini Belly and Boy Shorts Bottom, but then I also haven’t tried out a lot of different DVDs. Eventually I want to try out Jillian’s 30 day shred… eventually, haha!

  • I just did Billy’s “This is Tae Bo” dvd for the first time yesterday and oh I am feeling it today! I also just ordered a couple of Jillian’s dvds from Amazon and are waiting for them to arrive bc I heard such rave reviews! Great post!

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