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Tracy Frank, Published February 26 2014

Workout video tough, effective

FARGO – “Women’s Health the Next Fitness Star Power Sculpt Series” with Stacie Clark is an effective exercise DVD that combines cardio and strength workouts in minimal time.

I had a chance to try the DVD for free, and I was impressed that I really felt like I got a total-body workout in just 15 minutes.

The “Power Sculpt Series” includes four workouts on two DVDs.

The 10-minute “Belly Melt” targets the core in 10 60-second exercises. There are a lot of crunch and plank variations in this workout, and they are killer. My abs were definitely sore. Since it was only 10 minutes, it was over before I was really dying for it to be done. Clark uses a mat and medicine ball in this workout, but it can be done without either.

The 15-minute “Speed Shred” is my favorite of the four workouts. It’s hard – really hard – but it’s also effective. And it’s easy to fit in 15 minutes of fitness no matter what my schedule for the day.

No equipment is needed for the “Speed Shred,” which combines 15 bodyweight exercises.

The 20-minute “Metabolic Boost” uses timed interval sets that combine strength and cardio with breaks in between the sets.

This one felt like high-intensity interval training and reminded me of Jillian Michaels’ workouts. I really liked the breaks between sets to take a drink and catch my breath.

The 30-minute “Total-Body Blast” also combines strength and cardio, alternating between upper- and lower-body moves with breaks in between the sets.

Clark uses hand-weights with both the 20- and 30-minute workouts.

She incorporates a lot of moves I’ve never seen in workout DVDs before and has new twists on moves I’ve done over and over again. I like that she demonstrates the moves during the breaks so you don’t have to waste workout time listening to the explanations once you’ve gotten the hang of the moves.

There are two other people doing the exercises with Clark, one demonstrating a beginner modification and one demonstrating more advanced techniques.

I also like that Clark and her assistants seemed winded in between some of the harder sets. Often when doing workout DVDs I wonder how effective the moves actually are for people who are already in great shape.

“This is the real deal,” she said during one of the workouts. “You can’t buy this. You earn it.”

Clark is a certified athletic trainer who used to be a fashion director. The 40-year-old mother of two won Women’s Health Magazine’s Next Fitness Star competition. She was among five trainers chosen from thousands of submissions to compete. She was named the winner on the Today Show last summer. Among the prizes, were starring in her own DVD series and being featured in the Jan/Feb issue of the magazine.

The DVD came out in January and sells for $27.95 at www.thenextfitness

star.com.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tracy Frank at (701) 241-5526