Sometimes, going to a personal trainer is the right move – especially when you have specific, goal-oriented needs like losing 20 pounds or achieving a personal record in a 10K. But if you're simply looking for new ways to stay fit, your money may be better spent elsewhere, say, on group classes or, the cheapest and most convenient option, a fitness DVD. To cut through the infomercial hype and find a fitness video that is high quality and actually delivers results, we got our hands on the five most popular videos and took them on a weeks-long, intensive test ride. What we found while sweating in our living room: Not all videos are equal, but that's a good thing, since there's a different workout for everyone.
Weider X-Factor ST
Premise: The program cycles through a series of six bodyweight-only exercises back to back (such as burpees, punches, and jabs) before a brief rest, then repeats the high pace with six additional exercises.
Pros: The only equipment you need is your own bodyweight and the pair of rotating push-up stands that come with it.
Problems: Depending on how much you weigh at the start, the eight-week program may not allow you to build as much muscle (if you're lighter) or could be too difficult (if you're heavier).
Perfect for: Anyone looking to get buff on a tight budget. [$39.99; weiderfitness.com]