Last updated: Mar 01, 2006
Our rating: 3 hearts

The workout: The BodyRev is an oblong disc with swiveling handles and removable weights (from 4 1/2 to 9 pounds). During the 60-minute class, you rotate it in a hand-cycling motion while doing basic moves like lunges, kicks, squats, and ab work.

The claim: This gadget promises to trim and tone your whole body, get your heart revving, and burn off an average of two dress sizes in 3 weeks.

Reality check: This piece of equipment really does add intensity and provide a challenging upper-body workout, our tester says, adding that she left most classes feeling invigorated and satisfied. After 6 weeks, she'd noticeably strengthened her upper body (especially her shoulders and biceps) and abs—although, despite the lunges and squats, her lower body felt neglected.

Expert take: Sure, using your arms so vigorously will raise your heart rate quickly. But it won't equal the calorie burn of an aerobic workout that equally focuses on your lower body, bringing far more muscles into play. As for the two dress sizes in 3 weeks, don't bet on it.

Is it love? Our tester isn't willing to stop seeing other exercises just yet. Still, she thinks it might be just the upper-body-strength partner she needs for her half-marathon training later this year.

The bottom line: It's not the total-body love affair most women desire. But it can add needed upper-body strength and endurance for walkers, runners, or cyclists.

BodyRev Fitness System (including device, BodyRev Essentials DVD or video, meal plan, training calendar, and printed guide), $99.90; 800-738-4543 or to order.