Richard Simmons is always parodied, but say what you want about the man, he makes fun, effective workouts. My favorite thing about his workouts is that they feature REAL music. It's classic, recognizable, fun music. My next favorite thing would have to be the dancing. It isn't complicated, but it is a total body workout. You may be shaking your butt and waving your arms in the air while stomping in place- all at the same time! My arms sometimes get sore from his DVD's because he does make sure that you use all your muscles. The intensity level is all up to you. Sometimes I just kind of go through the motions and other times I go all out and really get into it. It depends on how I feel that day.
But maybe the thing that makes Richard Simmons videos so successful are his workout buddies. The people on his DVD are all shapes and sizes. They are not all fit and young- some are very obese, older, and still out there shaking all they got! This motivates me to keep going. If the 70-year-old man can do it, I have no excuse.
I recommend this to anyone who wants a good, fun, effective cardio workout. I want to add that it is easily modified to be low or high impact, so if you have bad knees or something, just don't do the moves as exaggerated as he does. Really, his DVD's work well for everyone, but his best is definitely the "Party Off The Pounds" DVD.