Pilates-For Beginners (Gaiam) (2002)

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Released 27-Jun-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Pilates Main Menu Animation
Multiple Angles
Interviews-Cast-Jillian Hessel
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 72:39
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Ted Landon

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Jillian Hessel
Tara Russell
Ney Fonseca
Case ?
RPI $24.95 Music Benjamin David

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    With all the fuss in the media about overweight adults and even worse, overweight kids, it was quite obvious that a flood of health DVDs was inevitably on the way. Sure they have been around for a while and increased in number more recently but they are all much of the same, usually differing only in instructors and site locations.

    Pilates dates back to 1880 when Joseph Humbertus Pilates was born in Germany. Around 1914, when Joseph was interned in England with other German nationals during World War I, he put his spare time to good use by developing a method of conditioning with specific exercises to strengthen the entire body. There is special emphasis on the abdominal and lower back regions while still promoting flexibility. In addition, he developed various pieces of equipment to support these exercises.

    The instructor on this DVD, Jillian Hessel, was a professional dancer who turned to Pilates when she suffered a back injury 20 years ago. She saw the benefits right away and began apprenticing and later teaching Pilates. She is now a master trainer and certified fitness instructor through ACSM and ACE. Jillian uses her own modified style on this disc which is BEAM (Breathe, Energise, Align, and Move) and she goes into detail about this in one of the extra features.

    This DVD is the first in what will most likely be a long series covering the art of Pilates. It provides a good introduction to the exercise method and uses interesting methods to ensure the DVD will last through several different levels of fitness as your body improves. They accomplish this by providing Jillian and two others (Ney Fonseca and Tara Russell) for each routine with the idea that each of the three performs either Beginner, Medium or Advanced routines. You simply pick your level and concentrate on their exercises and then switch to the next in order each time you watch it.

    There are four main sections on this Pilates for Beginners DVD. They are;

    You can use the "Title" menu on your remote to switch back and forth between the classic mat and workout and modified workout angles.

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Transfer Quality


    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

    The image is clear with soft edges and gets softer the further you look into the background which could be attributed to its original video source. Shadow detail is fine with plenty of sunshine during shooting. There is no film grain and no low level noise.

    The colours were bright and not rendered realistically. Any bold colours such as on the workout mats and sky seemed brighter than they should have been, whilst darker colours such as the mountains, trees and even grass tended to be darker than when I look out the window.

    There were no MPEG artefacts seen. Aliasing is also something that was not noticeable. There are no film artefacts.

    This disc is an RSDL disc but contains no areas where a layer change can be detected. I can only assume that the material has been broken up so that it does not cross over any layer boundaries.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There is only the one audio track on this DVD in the form of an English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack.

    The dialogue was clear and easy to understand at all times. Jillian's counting does get mighty irritating after a while, though.

    Audio sync was not a problem at all with this transfer, and was completely spot on.

    The music was provided by Benjamin Davis and is tranquil and relaxing, which suits the style of this DVD.

    The surround channels were used for the music and were well mixed.

    The subwoofer was not used by this track, nor was it needed.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    The menu design is simple to navigate and provides detailed information for each choice so you know exactly what sections you are after. The main menu contains a brief collection of images taken from the feature and Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.

Beginner's Modified Workout Angle (31:09)

    Concentrates on the Mat Workout using various angles so you can see exactly what it is you are supposed to do. This is the same section that runs when you use the "Title" button as I mentioned at the beginning.

Bonus Pilates B.E.A.M. Fundamentals Tutorial (18:40)

    This is a 20 minute tutorial to give you more in-depth information on the fundamentals and how they prepare you for classic Pilates exercise. They say you use this either before or after the main workout.

Meet Jillian Hessel (9:58)

    As the name suggest you get to hear a short interview from Jillian Hessel and more specifically what B.E.A.M. is all about and how it came about from the original Pilates routines.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    I have been unable to find releases of this DVD in any other regions.


    The video quality of this DVD is typical of a video production transferred to DVD and only contains minimal problems.

    The audio quality is similar to other health DVDs in the market and therefore made no lasting impression on me.

    The extras are satisfactory but keep in mind one of the extras is really part 2 of one of the main features. The B.E.A.M. fundamentals tutorial is an impressive inclusion and will be the section where most will actually start out.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Peter Mellor (read my bio)
Thursday, November 13, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-1600, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Aconda 9381ZW. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationDenon AVR-2802 Dolby EX/DTS ES Discrete
SpeakersWhatmough Classic Series C31 (Mains); C06 (Centre); M10 (Rears); Magnat Vector Needle Sub25A Active SubWoofer

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