Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Lotte Berk Method?
The Lotte Berk Method is an exercise method that originated in London almost 50 years ago by a famous German dancer. It got its start as an exercise for women to strengthen their spines and core. But, people noticed how beautiful their bodies were becoming and it soon grew in popularity with the movie stars and stage people like dancers.
Lydia Bach brought it to the U.S. and further refined the method to make it a single, all encompassing exercise for women that basically does it all: strength, endurance, cardio, body sculpting, weight loss, and flexibility. The end goal is to develop a dancer's body.
How are the Lotte Berk Method DVDs designed, why are there 4 of them?
Ms. Bach designed the DVDs to exercise every area of the body.
The first disc, "Basic Essentials", is designed to begin the program. When starting, you exercise only to that one DVD until you have mastered it. Then you will move on to the other 3 DVDs and pretty much ignore this beginner one.
By rotating through the other 3 DVDs, you will essentially exercise, strengthen, and tone your entire body. All exercises are designed to be totally safe to perform at home even though there is not an instructor present.
Each DVD is roughly 30 minutes in length. So the person has the option of doing a single 30-minute workout, or by using 2 DVDs, a full hour workout.
The Lotte Berk Method meshes critical stretching movements with strength movements for the beautiful feminine body.
Should I exercise in front of a mirror?
In the beginning, yes, exercising in front of a mirror would be helpful. The results from the Lotte Berk Method arise from precision. You need to be in exactly the right position and move at the same angles as the instructors on the DVD. The closer you come, the greater the results.
After you have mastered the movements, you will no longer need a mirror.
Do I need any specialized equipment at home to work out to the DVDs?
No. All of the exercises are designed to be performed in the home. Even though the instructors sometimes use a ballet bar, you could easily use a piece of furniture. The only exception is the upper body exercise which is best used with dumbbells. (You could use soup cans to start).
We recommend neoprene coated hex dumbbells. They are colorful, soft, won't scratch floors, don't require gloves, and won't roll away. You could start off with two 2 lb. dumbbells and work your way up.
The other item may be a decent foam mat. There are a number of exercises performed on the floor for both strengthening and stretching.
How many times a week should I exercise using the DVDs?
About 3 times per week for either 30 minutes (one DVD) or 60 minutes (2 DVDs) would be optimal.
How can one DVD be for both beginners and advanced exercisers?
That's because we use 3 instructors on each DVD. The narrator is the middle position in intensity. The instructor in the back right hand side of the screen is the modified position (for beginners). The instructor in the back left is for the more advanced exerciser.
So, depending upon your fitness level, you will listen to the narration, and follow the instructor that is demonstrating your particular level.
I think I'm in pretty good shape, will the DVD exercises be intense enough for me.
Yes, from all the feedback we get. If you follow the instructor in the back left, you will be challenged. If not, each DVD has a special bonus section with an even more intense version of the exercise.
Is it safe to exercise every day?
There will not be any injury to your body if you exercise every day. However, science has shown that ideally, muscles require 48 hours of rest between workout to repair fully and to gain optimal results.
How is Lotte Berk Method different from Pilates, yoga and calisthenics?
Typically, yoga provides mind/body, stretching and balance training; Lotte Berk Method provides all of these, plus body sculpting.
The origins of Pilates was to strengthen the spine, many of the mat Pilates exercises have drifted away from this key principle, Lotte Berk Method adheres to that principle of a strong and shapely mid-section.
Calisthenics originated as a man's exercise, and was used in early military and sports training. Lotte Berk Method was originated to be a woman's exercise.
Pilates and yoga are usually a milder form of exercise, but the mind/body connection and flexibility gained with these techniques are a tremendous preparation for graduating to the Lotte Berk Method. Mostly, our work is two-fold: strengthen and tone the muscles in order to give the best shape, then stretch them out to give long, supple, and healthy muscles.
Is Lotte Berk Method cardio/aerobic?
Lotte Berk Method is not a high impact aerobic exercise. It will raise your heart rate, make you breathe deeply, and sweat - so yes, it's aerobic. Are you going to impact the joints? No. The stronger you become the more cardiovascular the Lotte Berk Method will be for you.
Do I need to complement Lotte Berk Method with another exercise?
No. Just look to the founder of the Lotte Berk Method for the answer to this question. Lydia Bach is lithe, strong, feminine, and flexible with a high, round seat and curvaceous waistline. She practices only the Lotte Berk Method (augmented with racquet sports) and has done so most of her adult life.
Lotte Berk Method provides all the components of total fitness and total body exercise. If you rotate all 4 DVDs, you will work your entire body.
With that said, on days in between your Lotte Berk Method workouts, you could augment with other forms of cardiovascular exercise. Swimming and elliptical trainers are popular ways to gain cardiovascular benefit without injuring your joints in the long run.
Will my metabolic rate increase and will I lose weight from practicing this Method?
Yes. It based on the principal that adding more flexible lean muscle that beautify women, will also burn fat. The added muscle will consume calories even when you are sleeping!
We've helped thousands of women drop extra weight (without dieting) and witness their best bodies emerge by practicing the Lotte Berk Method regularly. Metabolism increases when you build muscle density in the larges muscle groups (thighs and seat), and our exercises are demanding in those areas. We named one of our videos "Muscle Eats Fat" because that's exactly what it does.
I have back problems; is this method safe for me?
If you've had an injury you need a diagnosis from your doctor and permission to do any exercise technique. That aside, The Lotte Berk Method is famous for relieving back problems.
In the mid-seventies Ms. Bach put together a Vogue article with the renowned Rusk Institute. She demonstrated orthopedic abdominal exercise, correct sleeping posture and stretching exercises that benefit the lower back. She wore a white body-suit which revealed the plus side of the Lotte Berk Method exercises - a healthy back and a great-looking figure.
We are rehabilitative exercises spiced up. While relieving tight, weak muscles you get a great waistline and a high, round seat area.