Inspired by Tony Horton’s P90X fitness infomercial that promises results in 90 days through muscle confusion, 10-year-old CJ Senter is rolling out his own Workout Kid DVDs aimed at helping fellow young ones get off the couch and get ripped.
CJ, who right now aspires to be a football player, might be one of the youngest entrepreneurs to peddle a pair of exercise videos. Spurred by his football coach to get some exercise outside their team workouts, the Atlanta youngster found at the age of 5 that he gets a kick out of cardio and core workouts. As a result of his enthusiasm, even his parents have become more active.
Working out to get fit can be intimidating and, honestly, boring — especially for pre-teens who think that everything’s “sooo booorrrring.” But with CJ at the head of the class during these 40-minute workouts, he keeps the mood fun with moves named Power Jacks, Shredders, and The Fighter.
Workout Kid videos aim to help kids build strength and confidence, while also providing a slice of empathy for kids who are true beginners or overweight. In the video, a teen named Christopher introduces himself and says he’d like to lose some weight and get fit. Christopher then brings on CJ, who peppers his instruction by encouraging viewers to take water breaks, stretch, focus on technique, and set aside time to warm up and cool down. The Workout Kid videos – one for beginners and a second that’s more advanced – aren’t trying to cater to adults. It’s a workout for kids by kids.
A kid-focused fitness video is not a new concept in the video retail industry. Fueled by First Lady Michelle Obama’s focus to whittle down childhood obesity rates, competition is heating up in this niche. Besides Workout Kid, other companies are jockeying for market share in producing fitness videos just for the younger set. There are scores of them. Beachbody has Tony & The Kids! (another Tony Horton feature), Billy Blanks sells a Tae Bo Kicks, and longtime exercise video maven Denise Austin has a namesake Fit Kids workout. Even Jane Fonda, who launched her debut fitness video in 1982, has a Fun House Fitness video with Swamp Stomp (for kids ages 3 to 7) and Fun House Funk (targeted to children 7 and up).
What’s unique to Workout Kid is that its spokesperson and instructor is a pre-teen, not an adult fitness guru with children in the background as the backdrop. This move will likely draw criticism from parents, however, who may question CJ’s parents’ motives in letting him produce DVDs for sale. Are they exploiting him or supporting his uniqueness and passion for fitness?
For CJ, besides possibly being a running back in the pros someday, his goal is to help others realize that the word “exercise” is not a bad word.