Archive for May, 2011

Peak 10 Workout DVDs

Posted in Health/Fitness on May 22, 2011 by mistransformation

First off I do not have the Peak Fit Challenge system.  I have the precursor to that and the first two workout videos that developed into that system.  These workouts actually do come with the system but they were re-recorded with a few new background people.  You may see the infomercial on tv for this system now and that is why I wanted to go back and review these even though I have had them since last fall.  These are advanced workouts.

Peak 10 started as two videos Cardio Strength and Cardio Interval Burn – my favorite of these two is Cardio Strength.  I always feel super worked out after completing this one!  I will review that one first.

PEAK 10 – CARDIO STRENGTH:  The workout is 59 minutes long there are 5 sets of 10 minute circuits (the warm up starts right up in the circuit) with different levels within the circuit- basecamp is sort of just catching your breath and getting ready – assent in this one is the strength work and you will need a set of light and a set of heavy weights.  After you complete this you go into the Climb segment which is cardio.  It’s a higher level and some of the moves are high impact.  After the climb you go into the peak which is 15 seconds of one type of plymetric movement – intended to go all out.  Then you start back at basecamp and complete all of these intervals on the other side before moving into another new 10 minute circuit.  The video is designed that you do not have to do the whole hour, you can break it up for as long or as short as you want but Michelle recommends that you always do the warmup and the cool down no matter how long you set it up for.  The cool down is thorough.  I am usually sweating buckets by the end of this one.

PEAK 10 – CARDIO INTERVAL BURN:  This workout is 65 minutes long.   This is set up like the Cardio Strength except it is pure cardio and you do not use any dumbbells.  It also doesn’t feel as intense as the strength video but is still very good.  It has the base, assent, climb and peak.  The assent in this workout is lower impact aerobic moves then the climb is the higher impact more complicated aerobic movements.  The peaks in this video are for 30 seconds long.  Then you repeat on the other side before going to another 10 minute round.  You can also set it up to go as long or as short as you want but doing the warm up and cool down whenever you do this video.

I was really happy to see Michelle Dozios have great success with these videos.  This was her first time with DVDs at the advanced level.  I had done her intermediate level workouts years ago and have always liked her as an instructor.  These workouts really kicked butt and I hope to get some of the other workouts from the Peak Fit system in the future.

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Kettlebell Bombshell Workout DVD

Posted in Health/Fitness on May 21, 2011 by mistransformation

I was really excited to try this workout.  I saw it at Border’s store and had a 50% off coupon so I took a shot.  Boy was I disappointed.  I guess I forgot at the time I bought it that the reviews I had read on this before said it was for a beginner.  I have been using kettlebells for over a year now and this was just not at the level that I have worked up to.

There are 4 sections to this workout – an instructional segment, lower body segment, upper body segment and then total body.  They are roughly 20 mins each.  There is no warmup or cool down so you would have to do your own.

This workout may be good for a beginner since she has an instructional portion to this workout but I was really disappointed that the workout segments weren’t more intense and that there were really long breaks between the exercises.  I did fast forward some of these breaks.  An option would be to jump rope through the breaks (30 seconds, 60 seconds and 120 seconds) or do kettlebell swings through the breaks.  That way you would keep your heart rate up – I just feel that if I spend this kind of money on a workout that I shouldn’t have to do this but since I have spent the money this is what I will have to do to have a more intense workout.

The production of this workout is pretty generic.  I was expecting more with the cutesy cover and back cover of the DVD.  If the workout had been more intense I could have overlooked that.  I liked Lisa though and if she came out with something more intense and more advanced I would at that time reconsider another one of her workouts.

Breathless Body – Amy Dixon

Posted in Health/Fitness on May 21, 2011 by mistransformation

ALL I CAN SAY IS WOW!!!!

I just finished Breathless Body for the first time and am still cooling down even as I sit down to breakfast and a protein shake. My body felt like an inferno by the time I was done.  Amy does the tabata drills of 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest drills with one movement throughout each tabata drill but you have a choice in which level you want to do. I alternated between Intermediate and Advanced in most of the drills.

There are eight total tabatas and some of the drills are harder than others. Amy gives you about a minute between each tabata drill to take a break and to explain the movements for each level for the next drill. If you don’t like dancey type floor aerobic this might just be for you. I didn’t find the drills boring because of the one movement only in the tabatas because I did alternate the different levels for some of the drills.

Amy breaks the monotony by trying to make the drills a little fun and having somewhat of a theme – there is Power Jacks, Speed Skaters, Athletic Beach Volleyball (burpee round), Hot Feet, Core Kicks, Ole’ Lunges, Boxer Jumps and Pogo Jumps.  The one drill that is the core kicks was the hardest for me because staying on the ground in mountain climber position is hard on the arms for that many drills.  I just pushed through.  This was one drill that I could only alternate between the lower and middle levels.  I could not do the advanced kick on this one.  Ole’ Lunges and Boxer Jumps were the 2 that got my heart rate up the highest especially when doing the advanced level movement.

There is a thorough warmup and cooldown and the total length of the workout is 55 minutes.

Note:  In the boxer challenge round I added a jump to the up and down punches when I alternated sides (like Turbo Fire) and alternated to the advanced 180 degree jumps with a punch. My heart rate got up to 171 so to do all advanced for that drill probably would have been dangerously high.

If you aren’t breathless during this workout, then you are doing it wrong. You HAVE to go all out and this is your own job and responsibility. You have to push you!

GSP Rushfit – Strength & Endurance Workout DVD (not the whole system)

Posted in Health/Fitness on May 19, 2011 by mistransformation

This is my first DVD out of the GSP Rushfit package.  You do not have to buy the whole package together.  You are able to buy most of them one at a time.  I ventured with the Strength & Endurance first.   You will need moderate dumbbells to challenge yourself.  The workout is 47 minutes including warmup and cooldown.

This workout is led by Erik Owings and has GSP completing the whole workout.  Erik, the trainer, gives tips and motivation throughout.  His personality isn’t over the top or anything it is just straightforward and professional.  Georges is asked by Erik a few times how he is feeling and he will say, “terrible.”  He is an extremely conditioned athlete so I’m not sure if Georges was trying to be humble or not.  The warmup is extremely thorough and is about 11 minutes long.   It is just basic moves performed for a minute each to get the body warmed up for the workout to come.

The workout is five rounds at five minutes each.  In the first  rounds each of the five exercises lasts a minute and Erik encourages you to build in intensity towards the end of the exercise.  By circuit 3 you will be using your dumbbells and I cannot remember whether circuit 3 or circuit 4 starts the 30 second intervals and then repeated for the total of five minutes or not but I will check my DVD and update this information.  Round 4 uses just one dumbbell and Round 5 is done on the floor. 

I felt that there were some new techniques thrown into this workout with the floor pushups, rotating curls, round the world move and single hand twisting floor press.  You will also do some kettlebell inspired moves but using your dumbbell. 

The cooldown/stretch probably could have been a little more thorough.

I would like to try the GSP Rushfit – Explosive Power Training workout next.

Cathe – Intensity

Posted in Health/Fitness on May 16, 2011 by mistransformation

I got this DVD in November of last year when it first came out.  I ordered this DVD for the HiiT workout since I have the other Cathe HiiT DVD and wanted additional variety. I was pleasantly surprised that I liked the step workout as well. It wasn’t too complicated to follow along with but challenging enough to keep you interested.  The step workout has two different segments.  She does the first segment which is pretty tough and then she steps it up a notch higher with the second step segment by adding some power bursts. These step segments are roughly about 25 minutes total (there is a 5 minute warmup on the step beforehand).

After the step segment you go into the high impact HiiT segment and it is about 12 minutes long. After the high impact you go into the low impact HiiT.  I find myself having trouble not jumping during the low impact HiiT (out of habit) though and I absolutely love the air squats at the end to burn the glutes.  The low impact Hiit is about 12 minutes long too.

I really liked the additional 13 minute boot camp segment and wish that it was longer. For this you will need some moderate weighted dumbbells I use 10 pounds.  You will also need a firewalker band or tie up a stretchie band (that’s what I have) and a mat if on a hard floor.  You will do a plyo drill, then a weight drill then plyo, then weights, etc.  She then uses the firewalker/stretchie band for side steps and then you lie down on the mat and do a side plank hip dip with arm stretch while wearing the stretch band around your thighs.  It really burns out the thighs.  The last segment is 2 rounds of pushups.  I use this Boot Camp a lot to finish up other workouts when I feel that I didn’t quite get as worked out as hoped.  This nails it for sure!  I hope she makes another workout DVD geared towards this and I told her that on Facebook one day.  She said she would see what she could do.

The music on this workout is fun and motivating.  The stretch at the end is very effective. Cathe is her usual cheerful self and has great rapport with her background people.  She also says a lot of funny things during her workouts so pay attention!

Surprise Workout of the Day: Kristi Yamaguchi’s Power Workout

Posted in Health/Fitness on May 14, 2011 by mistransformation

This is a solid Intermediate workout.  It is led by celebrity trainer Erin O’Brien who is married to the hot guy (Plumber Mike) from Desperate Housewives.  I borrowed this from the library when I saw that they had it in stock.  I was curious how it was.  It pleasantly surprised me that I liked this workout. I was afraid it would be boring and have a dread factor as some workout DVDs do that have a “celebrity” with a trainer. I’m an advanced exerciser and felt this would be a solid intermediate workout or a lighter day for me. You will need hand weights and can use 3 to 8 pounds.  I used 8 pounds but probably could have used 10 in a couple of the moves.  You really should try to challenge yourself on the strength segments and I don’t think 3 pounds would do that but that is what was mentioned in the workout and what Kristi used.

The workout is a total of 54 minutes.  There is a warmup and then there are 3 circuits that contain a cardio segment and then a strength segment.  In the cardio segment there is a buildup of the moves and hi/low impact is offered.  If you do the high impact you will get a better and more intense workout.  I was able to get my heart rate up to 150 bpm on the last cardio segment when I pushed it with the lunge jumps.  After you finished all 3 circuits there is a “From the Top” segment.  This is all of the cardio moves put together for a 4 minute segment.  Then there is a 9 minute segment of pecs and abs.  I liked that she put the moves together to work the chest and abs together and not just separate moves for each.  After that segment there is a thorough stretch.

I thought Kristi and Erin had a great rapport.  Erin was very professional and knowledgeable and Kristi was cheerful and didn’t complain a lot.  I liked the buildup on the cardio segments and the strength segments had a few techniques thrown in as well.  I liked the set-up of the workout and the way they separated the circuits and then gave you a “from the top” segment of the cardio.   I’m glad I tried it.

LaloFit Freeze II Workout

Posted in Health/Fitness on May 11, 2011 by mistransformation

I tend to pull the LaloFit Freeze II workout out of my collection when I am not sure what kind of workout I want to do for the day.  This workout is a combination of bodyweight training moves, plyometric moves, light-weight strength training moves, abs, core, booty and balance (actually a lot of moves are for balance). He also gives you 30 second breaks throughout the workout!

It begins with a five minute warmup and then moves into circuits of a variety of moves.  There really isn’t a rhyme or reason to how things are thrown together in this workout – I think that’s why I prefer it at times when I have severe exercise ADD.  Sometimes workouts with too much structure just get boring.  The meat of the workout runs for 42 minutes and towards the end of that he does some ab work does a power move at the end and then you go into an eight minute stretch segment.  Lalo keeps a clock on the screen and also keeps a rep count.  He tells you how long you will do something or how many reps you will do as well.  There is a voiceover track and Lalo executing all of the movements himself with no background help.  His catch “thing” for the workout is the “FREEZE” technique.  He tells you to hold or pause at the bottom of the movement and really feel it.  I really don’t feel that it’s that noticeable but the workout itself is great.  I am usually sweating pretty good by the end.  I would rate it Intermediate/Advanced if you push yourself throughout and don’t dilly-dally.

This is kind of like the male version of the Squeeze workouts (if you are familiar with them) but with added cardio bursts which make this an intense workout.

Lalo’s Latin accent doesn’t hurt either!