Press Reviews

Pilates Pro April 2009

Pilates Pro April 2009

By Nicole Rogers
Jennifer Kries—Pilates educator, owner of the Hot Body Cool Mind studio in Philadelphia, and arguably first to bring Pilates to the masses with her award-winning “The Method” videos—is back with an ambitious new series of five Pilates DVDs. The Pilates Method Master Trainer Series covers Joseph Pilates’ classical series on the Mat, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair and Barrel, with one piece of equipment covered on each DVD, as well as a segment on the magic circle and a “sculpting” section using hand weights.

Each DVD has sections focusing on beginner, intermediate and advanced work, complete with safety features, cueing, anatomical references and modifications. There is also an interesting interview with Kries, and an FAQ section of sorts in which Kries explains what Pilates is, who can do Pilates, etc. The complete series contains close to 11 hours of instruction.

I really enjoyed the series as a sort of encyclopedic documentation of the classical method. I write this knowing that there are slight variations on what people consider the “classical method.” But the viewer is in good hands with Kries, a student of Eve Gentry, Romana Kryzanowska and Ron Fletcher.

As the DVD states, the series is suitable (and excellent) for the Pilates devotee, teacher-in-training or Pilates professional, but especially, in my view, those thinking of enrolling in a teacher-training program and those who have just finished their teacher training. It is such an asset to be able to see and reference all of the exercises in one place. The series would certainly be a great reference during the training process as well, provided that it wouldn’t be confusing, as some small details would likely be contradictory to various programs (unless of course you are training with Kries).

As someone who has been teaching for several years, I found the series to be an insightful review – refreshing my memory of a few exercises I rarely teach and giving me new cues and hands-on techniques I hadn’t seen or heard before. Like any art, the masters make it look so easy. Kries’ cues and phrasing are spare and precise, something I always aspire to. This DVD was a great way to invigorate my own teaching, and learn from a master teacher, without leaving my living room.

As much as I like the series, it is worth noting that these DVDs are among the most expensive I have seen. But, while “The Master Trainer Series” is not intended to replace an actual teacher training course, the series does represent Kries’s complete official teacher-training intensive course, a $4,500 value.

The Pilates Method Master Trainer Series is available through Jennifer Kries’s online store. Prices range from $79.95 to $99 per DVD, or $399 for the set of five (plus shipping and handling).

Nicole Rogers is a Pilates instructor and writer. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.


Dr. Fitness February, 2007

Dr. Fitness February, 2007

Dr. Fitness Gives Thumbs Up To Lisa Drayer’s New Book, Jennifer Kries’ Pilates Workout, and Jones Soda!!!!

The Fat Guy and I had to work a little harder last night since we had three cool guests rather than our normal two. Our first guest Gregg Todd, is blogging about his weight loss journey and everything along the way….the losses, the gaines, the plateaus, cool new food products he may enjoy, interesting articles. I love these blogs because I really do think they help people lose weight by staying connect with other people and accountable to other people. We talked to him last night and thought you might enjoy what he had to say….especially about his pet goat!!!!! Hey, He lives in Tennebama(Somewhere close to Tennessee and Alabama)

Registered Dietician and Hottie, Lisa Drayer, author of “Strong, Slim, And 30,” a wonderful new read and great resource of information, was our second guest and she did not disappoint with great practical tips from her new book especially about how what we eat affects our skin complexion. Check out her web site at for more information about contacting her as well.

Our last guest was the most surprising, in a very good way, America’s #1 Pilates instructor, Jennifer Kries joined us and after watching her DVD’s, I know why she’s #1. They are awesome and never watch DVD’s to exercise. She has a bunch of them and I love how she incorporates the asian influence of healing and well-being into them. The DVD’s are done in high quality with multiple camera angles to make them moving along, visually appealing, and it doesn’t hurt that Jennifer is quite easy on the eyes!!!!!You will learn a lot like I did and will keep popping them back into the DVD player. She has a Hot Body Cool Mind Series plus many others but this is the one I checked out. Also check out her web site for more info and if you live in Philadelphia, she has a private studio there called Hot Body Cool Mind, The Studio. So eat go there work out and grab a philly cheese steak on the way out!!!!!

I tried Jones Soda for the first time upon Lee’s(The Fat Guy) request. They are ones who have pictures of actual consumers on their soda. Good Stuff….I tried the Root Beer and Cream Soda. It rocked!!!!!! Yes, Dr. Fitness drinks soda, not often and not a lot but in moderation like I tell all of my listeners and patients. So, if you come across any so-called fitness experts that say they don’t eat chocolate or pizza or drink soda or french fries, just remember, they are full of shit!!!!!! Moderation is the key, my friends!!!!! Stay away from the all or none groups!!!!!

Check out the show June 2007 June 2007

Jennifer Kries: Hot Body Cool Mind — Level 1
(True Mind Media), 2006

What is it?
Nearly 2-1/2 hours’ worth of mix-and-match, mind-body workout segments from Jennifer Kries. Some segments are stand-alone workouts, or you can choose from 7 different combinations. You get a quite a variety here — Qi Gong, Pilates, Yoga and dance.

Who is it for?
Beginning through intermediate exercisers. Although Kries is very thorough in her explanations, it helps if you’re familiar with Yoga, Pilates, and ballet and modern jazz dance terminology. You will need a mat, a sturdy chair and (optional) a Yoga block.

What to expect?
Jennifer Kries has taken the Pilates/ dance-based approach of her Method workout videos and infused it with a mind-spirit focus that enhances the workouts without ever compromising on the physical benefits. On this entry-level DVD, you’ll find 8 segments — a total of 148 minutes of exercise and instruction. There are seven different combinations for whatever you’re looking for — energizing, recharging, flexibility, tone, or a balance of elements. Most of the segments also stand on their own. The DVD starts off with two Qi Gong-type routines — 17 minutes of sitting moves (including a light “hammering” and slapping technique) and 13 minutes of standing moves to awaken your body. Next, Kries introduces you to the “5 Tibetans” — vigorous, Yoga-like moves meant to balance your chakras and tone your body. There’s a 34-minute beginner’s level, classic Pilates routine, a 22-minute flow Yoga segment, and a 21-minute restorative Yin-Yoga segment. And it wouldn’t be a Kries workout without a couple of light cardio dance routines. The Jazz and Ballet sections will tone your lower body while giving your heart rate a little bump. Kries refers frequently to meridians and Traditional Chinese medicine — concepts that may seem a bit strange to Westerners, but which form the basis of highly effective approaches to health and wellbeing in the East. If you are willing to keep an open mind, and open your body and spirit to the routines on this DVD, you’ll find yourself feeling stronger and more energetic in ways you’ve never imagined.

Jennifer Kries’ HOT BODY COOL MIND: THE LIFE FORCE POWER WORKOUT: WAKING ENERGY and her HOT BODY COOL MIND: LEVEL 1 each pack in powerful workouts from a Pilates expert who blends exercise with the healing arts of China, India and Tibet. Flexibility, stamina and relaxation come from calming ‘un-workouts’ which seek to replenish and restore rather than to challenge and force. LEVEL 1 is the first step, introducing a workout with all seven ‘hot”and ‘cool”specialty routines. WALKING ENERGY furthers the cause, with more routines: both are perfect picks for any fitness library. April 2007 April 2007

Hot Body Cool Mind: The Life Force Power Workout-level 1 – ***1/2
(2006) 150 min. DVD: $19.99 (booklet included).

Jennifer Kries is the real deal. Her award-winning The Method series still sets the bar in the instructional fitness genre. In her new series, Hot Body Cool Mind, Kries has combined the disciplines of Pilates, yoga, and dance with a deep appreciation of Eastern philosophy (including the body meridian theory-concerning the energy paths that carry the life force or chi throughout the body-adopted by acupuncturists). After an introduction describing the yin/yang of body wellness (correlating outer and inner health), Kries kicks off the instruction with “The Waking Energy,” an interesting warmup exercise based on elements of Chi-Gong (waking up the body by rubbing her hands together, and slapping, punching, hammering, and massaging her torso-which is meant to be invigorating, not painful). In the next section, Kries shares the secret of “The 5 Tibetans” (five yoga poses that help stimulate the body’s chakras), followed by a fairly standard workout series combining Pilates, Vinyasa yoga, and jazz/ballet moves, before closing with cool down and meditation segments. An accompanying booklet briefly outlines the program and includes helpful tips from Kries. Although some will find the “harness the energy of the universe” chat distracting, Kries’ fitness instruction is still right on target. Offering several workout combination options from the menu, other DVD extras here include a discussion of meridian theory. Highly recommended. [Note: Kries’ companion program Hot Body Cool Mind: