A few weeks ago, I posted a blog revealing my secret ingredient for weight loss: strength training. What I neglected to include (sorry about that!) was advice on how to get started if it's not something you already do. Allow me to remedy the error and introduce an excellent DVD to help you learn the ropes: Acacia's new Step-by-Step Strength Training With Petra Kolber.

"Wait," you may be saying, "haven't you written about Petra before?" You bet, and I'll tell you why: She's a master at presenting all sorts of exercise with the clarity, simplicity, and friendly supportiveness that every beginner needs.

On this DVD, Petra teaches everything a newbie needs to know about building full-body strength (thereby boosting your metabolism!). The moves are basic—no real creative twists here—but really, that's what you want when you're just starting out.

Petra gives spot-on form tips throughout, using excellent mental images. For example, here's what she says to keep your upper arm in the correct position while doing a tricep kickback: Imagine you're holding a piece of paper between your upper arm and ribcage; as you do the move, don't let it flutter to the floor. So simple, yet so helpful.

Other things to like: Petra takes the time to explain why each move is important, and shows you which specific muscles are being targeted. Plus, one of her backup women (both of whom, by the way, look normal, not like some freakish hard bodies) demonstrates an easier version of each move, so no one gets left behind.

Now if you're a seasoned strength trainer, this isn't the DVD for you—you'll probably feel bored instead of challenged. But it wasn't meant for you anyway.

And hey, if you're looking for other good beginner workout DVDs, check out my past Gear Guide reviews of Yoga: Gentle Vinyasa Flow With Zyrka Landwijt and Cardio for Beginners With Petra Kolber.

Happy sweating, everybody!

Product: Step-by-Step Strength Training With Petra Kolber

Category: DVD

Pros: This is an excellent introduction to strength training, with terrific, easy-to-understand instructions and a super-likeable instructor.

Cons: It won't challenge experienced exercisers.

Cost: $15.49 at Amazon.com (Released on May 4, but you can pre-order)

Extra tip: Your first time through, do the moves without weights, so you can get the form just right.