- In week one, they did the Vicky Binns work out
- In week two, it was the Kym Ryder work out
- In week three, it was the Angela Griffin work out
- In week four, it was the Beverley Callard work out
- In week five, it was the Debbie Rush work out
- In week six, it was Tina O'Brien, Lucy-Jo Hudson and Angela Griffin
- In week seven, it was Salsacise with Tracy Shaw
"All this week, we’ve had the privilege of working out with Fat Brenda’s new workout DVD, Fat Brenda’s Big Fat Workout, seven days ahead of its release date of today, 1 April. Fat Brenda is best known for her work on Coronation Street, where she’s provided her skills for the switchboard at Street Cars, sharing her colourful personality with scores of punters over the years.
It’s recommended that you start slow with her DVD, as some of the sections are very intense – in fact, despite having worked out with stars for almost two months now, to begin with we found it hard to keep up with the action.
Even the warm-up was strenuous, as we employed one of her signature moves: guarding the biscuit tin. (Bear in mind you need two people for this one.) The ‘snatcher’ or ‘Steve’ stands one side of the room, while the ‘guarder’ or ‘Brenda’ is the other. Circling your arms in front of you, the guarder must spin in a circle, protecting the biscuit tin (don’t forget you need a real biscuit tin for this), while the snatcher runs from one end of the room to the other, attempting to grab the treats. Obviously this is a fitness regime and not a party game, so there’s no ‘winner’, but each round is ended when you both take a biscuit from the tin and eat it. Then reset positions and start again. This takes around ten minutes.
Next up is core strength, a series of exercises involving your stomach muscles. You need to make up three or four packets of jelly in advance, and set them into small bowls for this. Our favourite move was the press up over the jelly bowl – Fat Brenda ensures you work out properly by getting you to grab a mouthful of jelly on every dip to make sure you have proper form and go low enough. You also need a circular mould for the jelly to create a sort of Swiss Ball for some of the exercises, but we couldn’t find the correct sort - please note the retail release comes with various items of equipment like that in the ‘deluxe’ package. This section is another ten minutes.
The arms routine was the most challenging, involving a series of bicep curls which you can adjust to your own level of strength. Seated at a table, with your elbow resting on the surface, you have to extend your arm and firmly grasp a cake, lifting it to your mouth and returning to grab the next one. We enjoyed this one because it was fully customisable – you’re advised to start with fairy cakes, but as you progress you can work your way all the way to heavier ones like fruit cakes. With minor adjustments, it can also be used to tone the triceps and get rid of those wobbly bingo wings – perfect for a night out at the Mecca hall with the girls on a Friday night.
Cardio boxing is another exercise which needs a partner. You also need alcoholic beverages, but the type is up to you – Brenda recommends slimline gin and tonic if you’re trying to lose weight, but in the video she uses pints of lager. Both people take a drink and then try to swing at each other – Brenda suggests imagining that your opponent is ‘that slapper from down the Dog & Gun’, but you’ll need to come up with your own motivation. Brenda employs moves like ‘the taunt’, ‘the stumble’, ‘the fall over and roll back up again’, and finally ‘the chunder’, although this is advanced and we only managed to pull it off once.
The final cooldown section was lots of fun – by this point you may be very near to losing consciousness from the G&Ts, so just allow yourself to get lost in the moment. Handbags are optional but we found it was helpful to have a focal point. As the cooldown music plays - Mika’s ‘Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)’ - sway back and forth with your eyes closed, moving in a circular fashion around the bag. Wave your hands around as you do so, just to release the final parts of the tension. If you like, you can even call out Brenda’s motivational phrases like ‘I piggin’ love this song!’, ‘I’m gonna hurl!’, ‘I’m sorry for being such a cow, Steve…’, and ‘Ugh, why did I eat all that cake?’.
It’s entirely down to you whether you eat the kebab at the finale, but we wanted to do the whole thing properly to get the real Fat Brenda experience.
We enjoyed our workout with Fat Brenda, and would definitely recommend it to anyone who doesn’t want to do the more traditional fitness plans. Fun, imaginative, and a great workout for your digestive system!
To find out more about our podcast, search for Conversation Street on iTunes, or go to conversationstreet.podbean.com. If you want to follow Gemma’s blog, all about her fitness journey, and her love of food and fashion, head to www.foodfashfit.com
Follow Fat Brenda on twitter @FatBrenda
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