Self: Firm Flat Abs Fast! is a sculpting workout that is just shy of 30 minutes in length. On the DVD there is also a bonus cardio workout--at 5 minutes it's really only suitable as a warm-up. You'll need one 3 to 8 pound dumbbell and a stability ball.
This workout is broken up into four chapters, which can be done independently of one another. The first chapter is just classic crunches--very familiar to just about everyone. The second chapter incorporates the stability ball. The first few moves of this chapter aren't for exercisers with low ceilings, but they should be easy to modify. The third chapter is Pilates-inspired ab work. The fourth chapter includes some very graceful yoga-inspired moves. There is also a short cool-down segment at the end. None of the moves in this workout are mindblowingly new or different--they're all good solid well-tested moves packaged into one workout.
Violet Zaki, the instructor, discusses the workout before the warmup (you can fast-forward through that) and then at the end she has a rather long section discussing proper form and diet and how both contribute to better fitness. The diet advice is pretty common sense stuff, but it never hurts to hear it one more time.
The setting is absolutely gorgeous. The workout filmed on the beach at a resort near Puerto Vallarta. You can hear the waves crashing on the beach in the background, which is very calming. As an instructor, Violet is very motivating. She cues well and keeps the patter (and the whooping) to a bare minimum. There are two backup exercisers, one of which is modifying. They are very "normal" looking--trim and fit without being overly lean. Violet looks strong and healthy.
The only thing I've found to give this DVD demerits on are the five or six commercials at the beginning. You can fast foward through them (or hit the Menu button) but still--I paid for my DVD and I don't feel like paying more for it by giving my time to these ads. It's why I only rated this DVD 4 stars. Without the ads, it's a 5 star DVD with beautiful production values and good chaptering.
As a high-intermediate/low-advanced exerciser, I think this one is worth picking up as an add-on or for light days. I can definitely feel it in my abs after I do this workout, but I have yet to experience any DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) from it. I would recommend this workout to just about any level of exerciser--if you do this workout, eat right, and get in regular cardiovascular exercise, you will definitely see results.