Archive by Author | mistransformation

Amy Dixon’s Breathless Body 3: HIIT It Big Workout DVD Review

I am finally moved and settled into my new apartment and what better workout DVD to review than one titled:  HIIT It Big! 

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This is Amy’s third installment in her Breathless Body series.  I have reviewed the other two previously on my blog and I have enjoyed both of the others.  The first being my favorite.  This new installment DID NOT disappoint. 

No equipment needed for this workout. 

If you are looking for a mindless cardio workout where you don’t have to follow any routine or learn a lot of moves to complete the workout, then HIIT It Big is the workout DVD for you. 

This workout has 8 different circuits of moves.  Those moves are completed in sets of four using a 40 seconds of work, 20 seconds of rest format.  After each circuit you get additional rest as Amy demonstrates what the new movement will be.  This workout has modifiers for both easier AND more challenging levels.  You can switch back and forth to suit your needs within each circuit.  I mostly stayed at the intermediate level but did go to advanced on a few and even had to drop back for the easier level.  The movements include plyometric (i.e., Scorpion jumps, chug jumps and squat pistol jumps) and bodyweight on the floor moves (i.e., tuck jump jacks and burpee mogels).  There is also a kickbox move circuit. 

After all eight circuits are complete, Amy then throws you for a loop and combines all of the movements completed at 30 seconds each with NO REST in between.  This is what Amy calls:  The Finisher.

BUT you aren’t finished.  Amy gives you 8 minutes of core:  4 challenging ab/core moves performed for a minute each. 

The cooldown/stretch is 3 minutes.  I really felt that this should have been a little longer.  At least 5 minutes.  I really felt that the warm up (4 minutes) and cooldown were both a little short on time. 

3 1/2 stars out of 5.  I liked this 3rd installment of Breathless Body better than Amy’s second offering but I still don’t think it lived up to the original. 

Moving

I am in the process of moving to a new apartment.  I’m not sure if I’ll get any new posts in until I get settled in by April 1st.  I have a lot of work to do between now and then packing.  Such a daunting task.

Thanks for your understanding.

Happy 3rd Anniversary Mistransformation!

Well, here we are at the third anniversary of my blog.   What began as a challenge that was supposed to last for only a few months has become a full time hobby for me.

I have to be honest.  I almost didn’t remember to post for my anniversary.  I knew it was coming up but I thought it was in the beginning of March.  Last night I decided to check to see when the specific date was and was shocked to find out that the anniversary date was actually at the end of February.  I was hoping to be a bit more prepared.

Over the past three years I have gained a handful of followers and I thank those that have been dedicated to reading my posts and promoting them to others (Fitness Blogger Buddies).

Most of the interest in my blog comes from searches through the internet.  I am able to view that in my dashboard statistics.  A lot of people are interested in reading about a certain workout DVD or trainer and search them on the internet and it leads them to my blog.  One of the most popular reads on my blog are my reviews of The Butt Bible (Pauline Nordin).  Even though I wrote about those back in 2011, they are still a popular search/read.

In my Mistransformation blog I hope to give no frills reviews to workout DVDs.  While I am pretty easy to please, I don’t try to sugar coat my reviews just because they are popular.  If there is a blaring problem I do try to point that out.

Thank you again for reading my blog and here’s to working on a 4th anniversary.

Scott Cole Discover Tai Chi For Fitness Workout DVD Review

ScottColeTaiChi

Okay, I found a new love and that love is Scott Cole (he’s really hot for his age – over 50).  At a recent stop to my local library I found Discover Tai Chi in the Fitness section of the library.  Scott has quite a few tai chi DVDs on the market  but this is my first tai chi experience with him.

My dablings in tai chi are minimal.  A few workouts that I own use it as a cool down at the end of a workout.  I always felt the calming effects and thought it might be enjoyable so one day I tried a different  tai chi DVD from the library about a year ago.  I gave up quickly when I just could not follow along with the guy leading it.  I did not have any problems following along with Scott at all.  Scott’s demeanor is very soft, calm and gentle.

This tai chi DVD has Five different 10 minute segments:  Balance; Strength; Mobility; Flexibility; and Stress Reduction.  I would say the first three segments (Balance, Strength and Mobility) focus the most on tai chi whereas Flexibility and Stress Reduction have a little yoga thrown in as well. The Stress Reduction portion uses a chair.

In some of the segments you will hear Scott talk about qigong and how it relates and differs from tai chi.  I have only dabbled in quigong but would like to learn more about this in the future as well.

This DVD contains bonus segments including a short position review tutorial which may be helpful if you have no prior experience with tai chi.  I didn’t view this tutorial until after I completed the entire DVD.

Someone that likes yoga may like tai chi or on the opposite end someone that doesn’t like yoga may prefer tai chi because of its constant movement.   One thing that I like about tai chi that I also like about yoga is that it takes away my anxiety and calms me.

On another note:  Be sure to visit the bonus section of this DVD to watch Scott practice tai chi shirtless.  You won’t be disappointed.

I almost didn’t pick this DVD up at the library and I’m really glad I did.  I found it very calming and peaceful and hope to try a few more of Scott’s tai chi DVDs in the future.

Four out of Five Stars.

Patrick Goudeau Body Weight Blast Workout DVD Review

BodyWeightBlastPGTwo posts back was my review of Kickbox Burn presented by Patrick Goudeau but lead by Heather Corndorf.  Today’s workout is actually lead by Patrick himself and I forgot how much I love it when Patrick is in the lead of the workouts.  If anyone has “it,” Patrick does.

Some things Patrick advises in his introduction:  View before doing it to note modifications.  He also mentions to use heavy weights.  I think I heard Patrick say they are using 15s.  I used 10s because this was the first time I was completing it and I did not view it before trying it out so I wanted to make sure I could do the workout properly first.  I could definitely go up in weight the next time I did it.   You will also need a mat for this workout.

Body weight blast has 8 Segments.  Each segment is 6 minutes in length.  Each 6 minute segment is broken into:  3 minutes of body weight work.   2 minutes of weights and  1 minute of an all out cardio blast.  There are no rest periods between any segment but between segments when the disc switches to the next segment there is enough time to grab a sip of water.

I have listed the 8 segments below with highlights of what is in each segment.  On this DVD there is an option to build your own workout so if you didn’t want to do all 8 segments you could choose the ones that you did want to do.

Segment 1.  Legs – Butt – Triceps.  Probably one of the most challenging segments for me with the swing through move (an on the floor move where you swing a leg through to the front) and the up/down on the knees to a squat move (I think they call these a grappler move or something).  I have a large butt and some body weight moves are more challenging for me than for others with tiny hineys.

Segment 2.  Back – Core – Biceps.  Body weight: Side plank with a reach.   Weights:  Squats, Rows and Curls.  Cardio:  High Knees

Segment 3. Hamstrings – Butt – Back  – Balance  (a segment I liked) Body weight:  Tap backs to body weight dead lift.  Warrior T balance to knee lift balance.  Weights:  Suitcase dead lifts.  Lunges.   Cardio:  Butt Kickers and Can-Can Kicks (on the floor move).

Segment 4. Pushups – Back – Balance -  Body weight:  A sequence of pushup to tricep pushup, pushup to pike.  Spiderman plank.  Weights:  Row to twist.  Curl to press on knees.  Cardio: Mountain climbers/lateral mountain climbers.

Segment 5. Lunges – Rotation – Obliques (my absolute FAVORITE segment) Body weight:  Lunges around the clock to reverse lunges. Then repeat the series with a rotation.   Weights: Lunges (then with a sequence pace – meaning Patrick adds on)  Cardio: Shuffles to shuffle lunges.

Segment 6. Kicks – Crawls – Pushups -  Planks  The body weight portion was a bit challenging with Step tap kicks to a pushup but then it gets better with bear crawls and a plank moving your hands around the clock.  Weights: I thought this portion was fun.  Squat press to oblique reach (almost like a windmill) and high pulls.  Cardio:  Taps:  Tap dumbbell w/ toes.  Sort of like when people do taps using a step.

Segment 7.  Courtesy Lunge – Side Kicks  – Arms:  A lot of balance and stability but I liked it – Body Weight:  Arm cross to squats w/ the arm crosses  (keeping your arms up for a period of time can really wear them out). Courtesy lunge to kick (balance challenge) to kicks only. Weights:  Side lunges – Courtesy Taps to pulsing curls. Cardio:  Skater hops which are my favorite move.  Patrick was advising that  the skaters don’t count if you don’t touch the floor.  Well I touched the floor alright. I slipped on my area rug and fell and almost went face first into my weights lying on the floor.

Segment 8.  Animal Jumps – (Rainbow Jumps) – Man Makers.  This segment starts out with some jack reaches (sort of like a jack with a cross punch).  Rainbow lunge jumps (a jumping lunge to the side).  A walk forward and back touching the floor leads into animal jumps (lateral jumps with hands on floor).  Weights:   Manmakers:  Builds on this.  Squats to burpee to 2 pushups to rows to curl press – and Patrick builds on this until you do the total Manmaker movement.  Manmakers are something most bodybuilders would be familiar with.   Cardio:  Lateral squat hops to switch lunge jumps to tuck jumps.

A thorough cool down/stretch ends this workout.

Okay.  I know that is a lot to digest BUT it really made the time go by quickly.

As far as the format of this workout, it feels very familiar.  Some of Patrick’s other workout DVDs are similar in format.  This workout isn’t as intense as Patrick’s cardio based workouts but I don’t think that is the intention of this workout.  The title is Body Weight Blast after all.  What really makes this workout special is Patrick.  He is a master at sequence and choreography plus his energy and way of making things seem so effortless are what makes him at the top of his game.

4 1/2 out of 5 stars.

New Year! New Rear! Cathe Great Glutes DVD Winner Review

GreatGlutesCathe

You may remember that last year I had my New Year!  New Rear! drawing for Cathe’s Great Glutes DVD.  The winner was Jonelle “FitGirl” Boyd.    She also runs a blog at:  www.succeedatfitness.com.  Please check out her blog.    When I did my drawing I asked that the winner come back here and give me their thoughts on the DVD.  The following is Jonelle “FitGirl’s” review:

From Jonelle “FitGirl” Boyd:

If you’re already a Cathe Friedrich fan, you know that Cathe NEVER disappoints! And this DVD was no exception!

First let me say, I am somewhat of a newbie to Cathe’s workouts. Being the workout dvd queen that I am (I probably have almost any workout DVD that you can think of), of course I had heard of her, Cathe is well known in the fitness community and has TONS of workout DVDs to her credit! I even had a couple of her DVDs (“High Reps” and “Gym Style – Back, Shoulders & Biceps”), but it wasn’t until I bought her Low Impact Series workouts that I really became a fan. I had been doing the Low Impact workouts for a couple of months when I entered Missy’s giveaway and won the “Great Glutes” DVD.

I have to admit, while I was excited about receiving the DVD and getting another Cathe workout to add to my collection, I honestly didn’t think that this was going to be much more than just a whole bunch of squats and lunges. I didn’t expect it to be the whole body workout that it is! Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of squats and lunges, but Cathe uses exercise moves using gliding discs, an exercise ball, dumbbells, loops, and a chair to not only work your glutes and legs, but your arms, shoulders, and core too! It’s an awesome strength workout but it surprised me by giving me a little cardio action, too! My heart was pumping, sweat was forming, and I was definitely feeling the burn! I’ve been doing this workout for a couple of weeks now and every time I finish it, I feel great! A little sore? MOST DEFINITELY! Lol! But that just gives me even more proof that I’ve completed one body changing workout!

Cathe is hardcore, and this is a pretty long workout, around 55 minutes long, so I would definitely rate this at an intermediate to advanced level. But even if you are a beginner, this workout could still be done with some adjustments. Cathe provides some slightly shorter premix workouts and you can always cut back on the amount of reps you choose to do, taking breaks in between exercise segments.

In conclusion, would I recommend this workout? DEFINITELY! It’s a full body workout that while its primary focus is glutes, will work every part of your body and I have no doubt that if done consistently will give you a GREAT BODY!

There you have it from Jonelle “FitGirl” Boyd.  Again, please check out her blog at www.succeedatfitness.com

Thanks to Jonelle for the great review on my blog.

Patrick Goudeau Presents Kickbox Burn Workout DVD Review

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You know you’ve made it when you begin to present fitness DVDs instead of leading them.  Patrick Goudeau isn’t in the forefront of this workout as it is led by newcomer, Heather Corndorf.  While Patrick isn’t the one leading it he does have a huge presence in the video.

This workout starts with Patrick leading the 6 minute warmup.  Patrick then hands over the reins to Heather to lead us in four rounds of kickboxing drills for 40 minutes of high energy kickboxing.    There is a 5 minute cool down to complete this segment of the workout.

The rounds are intense and challenging but not so complex that you can’t “get into them” and give it your all.    The rounds are layered and Heather builds on them as you go along.  You can tell that Heather has led many kickboxing workouts because she is precise and really knows her stuff.  I think you could be fooled that this is her first workout DVD.   This workout will make you feel like a bad-ass.

After the kickboxing portion of this workout, Patrick leads us through 11 minutes of challenging ab work.

I really enjoyed this workout and Heather as the leader. I hope to see more from her in the future.

I would give this 4 out of 5 stars.  This is definitely going to be in my rotation.   Thank you Patrick for presenting Heather to us.

Amy Dixon’s Raise Some Bell Workout DVD Review

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When I saw that Amy Dixon was releasing a new kettlebell workout video I was very excited.  I love Amy and I love kettlebells.  When the first couple of reviews came in I saw nothing but love for this workout.  Then some of the bad reviews started rolling in.  I’ve been working out with kettlebells for about 5 years now and have come to find that just like wine and books there too are kettlebell snobs and some people aren’t going to like any kettlebell workout unless it is traditional kettlebell work.  This workout contains some traditional elements but Amy also steps outside of the box on this one.

KETTLEBELL 101:  Amy gives a brief tuturial and explains and demonstrates some of the moves that will be in the workout.  Please play this before starting the workout.

The RAISE SOME BELL Workout:  This workout is 40 minutes.  It has a warm up and a cool down.  A few minutes into the warm up when Amy said: grab your kettlebell I was worried.  I thought, “Amy, but I’m not warmed up yet!”  Thankfully she grabbed the kettlebell and continued warming up with it.  I felt better about the warm up after that.   The cool down contains some great stretches but I felt that maybe it should have been a minute or two longer.

A few things:  If you don’t have any kettlebell experience this one is not for you EVEN if you are an advanced exerciser.  Please don’t start working out with kettlebells with Raise Some Bell.  Please get a beginner kettlebell DVD and learn proper form first.  A few are:   Sara Lurie of Iron Core fame (she was one of my first) or get another one that has a really good tutorial.  Paul Katami’s tutorials are very thorough as are Lauren Brooks’.  Amy’s  Kettlebell 101 is short.  She does demonstrate a few moves but she misses explaining the hip hinge for the swing (this is very beginner) and arcing the bell on the snatch. You know these things after you’ve worked out for a while with them but I just want people to learn proper beginner form first!

I went lighter than normal on this one.  I usually swing 25 up to 35 pounds.  I used 15 lbs on Raise Some Bell.  Amy moves very quickly.  You may even have to go lighter than this your first time through or move at a slower pace than Amy does.  In fact I recommend it until you get the feel of this workout.

There is a move in this workout that is a little scary.  It is called the Rainbow.  I’ve done similar unconventional swing work in other workout videos where you swing the kettlebell in a nontraditional way but this was the first Rainbow swing for me.  Definitely DO NOT go heavy on the Rainbow move or you may hurt your rotator cuff or tear a muscle in your lower back.    Also, you need high ceilings to do this move because you are swinging it over your head and turning front to back.  Amy mentions that you can do this without the bell if you are not comfortable with this move.

This workout has a modifier (girl to the left).  Please follow her if you are unsure that you can complete a movement with proper form.

Please note that I’m not saying this workout is bad because I really liked it.  I am just keeping it real and trying to keep my followers safe. 

CORE segment:  There is a short core segment in this workout.  It is about 7 minutes long.  Amy starts with some standing moves: curtsey chops to standing Russian twists and chops to combining the twists and the chops.  This segment ends of the floor with a modified Turkish get up.  It’s a nice short core segment.

I would give this workout 3 and a half out of five stars.     I love Amy.  I love her energy and I love what she brings to fitness.

 

Best of 2013 ….and the winner is…..

FitnessBlender

www.fitnessblender.com

MISTRANSFORMATION 2013 BEST OF WINNER:  FITNESSBLENDER.COM

I discovered FitnessBlender.com in the spring.  I meant to blog about it then but kept putting it off.  The site is great.  The variety of workouts is great.  There are workouts for all levels.  It is really a one stop shop AND the best thing about it is:  It’s free!  With all that it has to offer you really cannot find an excuse not to workout.

When I sat down to pick my Best of 2013 post I just couldn’t come up with a DVD I reviewed that really knocked me out as “the best of.”  There were great workouts for sure but a lot of it was the same old, same old, i.e., different moves but the same format.    The ones that did strike me as different just weren’t something that would appeal to the masses (Michelle Dozios’ BodyFit 360 – great advanced level barefoot fusion workout but I don’t think a lot of men would want to workout to that).

FitnessBlender.com workouts include:  Kickboxing; barre; kettlebell; cardio; hiit; low impact; pilates; yoga inspired; warm ups/cool down/stretch; lower body; upper body; weights including high reps and lower reps; 1000 calorie; bodyweight and they just included sandbag workouts.   You can find workouts for the beginner through advanced level (one of the kettlebell workouts kicked my butt!).

Kelli and Daniel (the creators of FitnessBlender.com and the trainers) are great to workout with and very knowledgeable about fitness.  They also happen to be husband and wife.   In addition to the workouts, there are different programs available for purchase on the site (these cost a small fee).

Please peruse this little gem.  You just might find something that you like!

www.fitnessblender.com

Please find them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.  I would like to link to that but I’m not that inept on my blog.  Facebook Page:  FitnessBlender.com    Twitter:  @FitnessBlender
Pinterest:  FitnessBlender.com