This season of Real Housewives of Atlanta has been one big battle of the booties, with Southern belle Phaedra Parks and “Detroit Barbie” Kenya Moore going head to head (er, cheeks to cheeks?) while plotting the release of dueling butt-shaping workout DVDs.
It all started innocently enough: Phaedra invited Kenya to work on Donkey Booty, but after the ladies couldn’t agree on contract terms — see Phaedra’s version of those events here, and Kenya’s here — Kenya announced that she’d be releasing her own DVD, titled Stallion Booty.
Now both booty workouts have hit the market. Phaedra and her husband, Apollo Nida, settled on the name Phine Body for their duo of 60 minute DVDs (sold separately for $12.95 each), which includes “Donkey Booty Volume I: lower body & core training” and “Donkey Booty Extreme Volume II: complete body sculpting.”
Kenya Moore: Booty Boot Camp ($16.99), which was released last week, includes three 20-minute workouts with varying levels of difficulty — all aimed to help you “get the round stallion booty you’ve always wanted” — as well as extra workouts for your abs.
How do these booty DVDs stack up against each other? I gave them a try to find out.
Phaedra might have accused Kenya of having a fake butt, but as Kenya tweeted, “You can’t Photoshop my abs in live video u can c who has the six-pack & who swallowed 1 whole #rhoa I work hard 4 this body can’t fake that.” Burn!
On the DVD, Kenya and her crew of 5 women show us exactly what they’re working with, wearing midriff-exposing Spandex. Meanwhile, Phaedra, who, to be fair, never said she was doing an ab workout (and who is currently expecting her second child), opts for a one-piece ensemble to cover up. Now, when it comes to sets, Phaedra wins hands down. As she works out, we see a shimmering pool and a killer view in the background. Kenya’s backdrop looks more like an infomercial for mail-order diet pills. But you’re not buying a workout DVD to see the view…
If we’re judging a book by its cover: Kenya takes this round.
THE “HOUSEWIVES” PERSONALITY
Fans of Phaedra’s signature Southern charm will get a kick out of Phine Body right from the start. Parks kicks off her 8-minute warm up with dance moves that look like something you’d see at her family reunion, and she constantly reminds us, “We are sexy soldiers, so put your style in it!”
It’s hard to take Phaedra seriously as she throws in random statements like, “Everything is on the eight count, and I’m not a mathematician, so I’ll count it as I like and you’ll catch up,” — after the warm up, a count ticker for reps appears — and “We’re not going to spin until we fall out, because I’m a mortician too, so I might get excited and bury you.” On the plus side, there is plenty of comedy, and I hear laughing is good for your abs.
Kenya brings the Miss USA pep to her video, but there is no Gone With the Wind twirling or any other real traces of her Real Housewife persona, which is probably a good thing.
If you’re looking for the DVD with the most Housewives personality, Phaedra takes the cake.
THE INSTRUCTORS and CORE WORKOUTS
The heart of the Phine Body workouts takes a more serious tone, as Apollo — who recently became a certified trainer — enters the picture to lead the instruction. Sadly, Phaedra’s funny commentary pretty much ends here, save for the occasional chiming in to give new names to moves like squats (“Booty Drop”) and “duck walks” (“Funky Donkey”). The exercises that Apollo walks us through are standard, which means you probably already learned most of them in high school gym class. They consist mainly of different variations of standing squats and lunges, and once you get through the reps, you repeat the entire routine. It all starts to feel a bit redundant, especially with the annoying techno song looped in the background for the entire video. Volume 1 felt a little too easy, but Volume 2 packed a better punch in terms of intensity, incorporating various everyday home items — like a chair, a milk jug and canned goods — for use as weights and resistance tools.
Kenya’s best move? She makes her introductions and then steps back to let a pro take the lead. Booty Boot Camp taps Nikki Veal, who MTV viewers might recognized as a Made coach. Save for a few “signature moves” (see next section), Kenya primarily leaves the heavy lifting to Veal, a decision that gives the entire workout a professional feel. The warm-up uses dance-like moves and a play on the salsa step, making its much more straightforward (though less entertaining) than Phaedra’s DVD. The core workout begins with Veal in the driver’s seat, and includes leg lifts and other glut-burning exercises, all to the beat of better booty shaking music. Although sets are repeated in this video, the exercise routine wasn’t redundant, and it didn’t take me as long to feel the burn as it did with Phine Body. I also liked that the more difficult workouts were included on the same DVD, so I didn’t have to switch to a second volume to get additional exercises.
Apollo doesn’t completely fail as an instructor, but compared to a workout lead by a seasoned trainer, Phine Body feels a little amateurish: Kenya’s Booty Boot Camp wins this round.
THE ORIGINAL MOVES
Neither of these DVDs offer new or groundbreaking routines, but they do give us a few spirited spins on the traditional workout.
Remember the episode of Real Housewives when Phaedra revealed that she and Apollo came up with the choreography themselves? A few minutes into the Phine Body warm-ups, I believed her. Bouncy marching and hip swinging moves transition into throwing your hands in the air and rotating them while simultaneously shaking your hips (a move called the “Tornado”). And then there are exercises like “The Disco Lady,” which Phaedra says is “easy to do, like your aunt at a picnic,” and the “Cowgirl Dance,” which reminded me of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’s infamous “Jump On it” scene. Phaedra even throws in the infamous “Kid ‘N Play dance” from House Party.
On the other hand, Kenya’s signature moves look more like something she should have tried when she was trying to hang on to her ex, Walter. The “Booty Pop” calls for getting down on all fours and pushing up one booty cheek at a time (see a demonstration of the semi-NSFW move here), and the “Stallion Giddy-Up” makes the ladies look like they are doing some kind of mime porno. On the plus side, men will appreciate all the booty close-ups during these moments. Heck, they even made Anderson Cooper blush. The sultry moves feel a bit like bachelorette party ridiculousness, but luckily they’re few and far between as Kenya rotates out of leading the workout and once again leaves it to her pro.
Phaedra’s moves may be less original, but at least they didn’t make me feel like I was doing something my mother would be ashamed of, so Ms. Parks wins this one.
Whose DVD would you try? Cast your vote in the poll below!
Follow Nakisha on Twitter: @Nakisha