The newest thing about Lean Routine, Jane Fonda’s 12th exercise video, is its look. Gone is the clean, bare studio set of earlier productions. This tape was filmed on a glittery ”rooftop,” which makes a curious setting for an aerobic dance class — ”cha-cha left, two, three, f…whoaaa.” Gone are Fonda’s quietly attired classmates, who’ve been replaced by what appears to be the cast of Godspell. Jane herself is transformed by a Barbarella-blond mane tousled out to there, and she’s sporting a come-hither black lace number and — no lie — little black boots.
The wacky, tacky, new-improved veneer aside, Fonda remains the consummate fitness professional. This tape’s not her most inspired effort, but it doesn’t disappoint. Lean Routine is an entertaining aerobic dance class with a nifty twist — it’s appropriate for any fitness level. Beginners do only the first 20 minutes of the video. Those at the intermediate level are directed to fast-forward to the final 40 minutes, and those ready for an advanced workout do all 60 minutes. Another nice touch: Half of Fonda’s class demonstrates high-impact moves while the other half does less strenuous low-impact modifications.
Fonda is, as always, a pleasure to watch, fit and graceful, offering instruction with a minimum of gung-ho chatter. It’s easy to work up a sweat over this tape. B+