Archive for March, 2013

Magic Power

Posted in Uncategorized on March 21, 2013 by mistransformation

This isn’t going to have anything to do with reviewing a workout DVD or fitness discussion really at all.  This is just something I wanted to write about and since I couldn’t find my notes section on my facebook page I decided to write about it here.   So if you only come here for my fitness related posts – you don’t need to read any further, I won’t be offended.

Last weekend I was fortunate enough to score tickets to see Rik Emmett play with our local Symphony Orchestra.  Right now some of you are probably like – Who is Rik Emmett?  Rik Emmett was the guitarist for the rock group Triumph – their heyday was the late 70s/early 80s – but they happen to have done my favorite song of all time Lay It On the Line.  One staple album I always keep in my Jeep is Triumph Classics – I’ve played the crap out of that one. I had been listening to them since I was a teenager but I never really knew what they looked like.  While they did have a few videos back in the 80s their heyday had been a bit before video killed the radio star.    One day just about a year or two ago I decided to look on YouTube for a video of Lay It On the Line. Much to my surprise I was like, “Wow, that guy is hot.” I had been listening to them for years and the guy had written my favorite song and didn’t really realize that.  Being that this man had written and performed my favorite song of all time, I jumped at the opportunity to see him in action.  I was too young to ever go to a Triumph show back in the day.

The show was magnificent.  It wasn’t a night of Triumph songs, it was the orchestra accompanying Rik who was doing renditions of his favorite “guitar heroes” songs – covers from people like, Clapton, Hendrix and Santana.  He also did a couple of songs of his own – including Magic Power originally done by Triumph and a song that got me through a lot of bad days as a teenager.  At one point at the end of While My Guitar Gently Weeps Rik and the Concert Master Violinist had a dueling guitar/violin segment and that was surely a highlight of the show. (Except when at one point in the show Rik even nodded and sang a few lines to me – I’m going to let myself believe that!)

Rik who mentioned that he just turned 60 recently still had it going on.  He’s still not a bad looking guy and he can STILL play.  I think he probably is even a better guitarist now.  I mean think about it.  If he was in his mid 20s to early 30s during the success of Triumph and has been playing all that time to the age of 60 – he certainly would have perfected his craft even more. He mentioned that he teaches guitar and music business classes at a college where he lives.  Imagine having him as your instructor.   You could totally see the rock star in him just wanting to bust out.  I mean when he plays the guitar, STILL at the age of 60 – he plays it with mofoing passion!  Funny guy too – he told some stories, explained a little about the guitar, talked about the funny faces you make when you play guitar, etc.

I was totally blown away by the show.   I hope to possibly have an opportunity in the future to see a show where he performs mostly Triumph songs.  That would be a real treat.  He’s still pretty active touring around, etc.

Since the show I’ve found a lot of videos of Rik playing his various gigs and he even has a few sit down segments where he talks about guitar solos and how to play things that I don’t even understand.

Below is a video of Lay It On the Line with Rik in his red jumpsuit that he even mentioned at the show.  The boy had it going on back in the day and even though the red jumpsuit is pretty cheesy even for the late 70s/early 80s he wore it well.

Rik Emmett back in the day when he was a little hottie:


Rik Emmett now – not too bad for a 60 year old man – he still set my heart aflutter:


Video of Rik giving guitar lessons on Lay It On the Line:

Cathe XTrain Burn Sets (Disc 3) Workout DVD Review

Posted in Health/Fitness, Motivation/Inspiration, Review of Product, Workout DVDs, Workout review on March 17, 2013 by mistransformation

I originally had a taste of Burn Sets when Burn Sets Bi’s showed up as a Bonus onthe Cardio Legs Blast workout DVD. I really liked the concept.  In fact, I wish that Cathe would create a Burn Sets Legs workout or at least have it as a segment in a DVD.   You will need various sizes of dumbbells for this workout and Cathe also utilizes a strength band and the firewalker (for one of he moves).   As far as weight loads – think 20s, 25s, 30s, 10s and 8s (for the smaller muscle groups).


Burn sets is two separate workouts.  Chest, Back and Shoulders are grouped together (51 minutes) and Bi’s and Tri’s are grouped together (37 minutes).  Depending on your preference in working out muscle groups you can do them separately or do them altogether for a long and thorough workout.

I purchased this because I felt that I wasn’t being totally honest in my upper body workouts and while these moves are classic gym style movements the concept will work you to total failure to give you results.

In each muscle group their are 3 movements where Cathe does 10 reps of the movement for 2 of the sets and on the 3rd set this is to be your failure set and you are to train to failure.  After the three movements, Cathe adds in a burn set of one exercise for that muscle group to really fry and finish your muscle.   Each muscle group is trained before moving on to another muscle group.

After doing this workout DVD 5 times I could really notice a difference in my biceps – they definitely look more pumped up.  I do go heavy in this workout and go up in weight when I feel that I have gotten stronger in a movement.  I do not cheat myself so that I can see results.   For the smaller muscle groups where you can’t go up 5 lbs I do as Cathe suggests and use my weighted gloves to add resistance.

The Bonus workout is the Core #1 which is a great workout that will not only work your core but your hip flexors will be feeling it as well.

While this workout will not be exciting to some people (the music is pretty boring) – if you want to see results in your upper body – this workout will deliver (provided you go heavy).

Lindsay Brin Pretty Fierce Lean Out – Anaerobic Capacity Cardio DVD Review

Posted in Health/Fitness, Motivation/Inspiration, Review of Product, Workout DVDs, Workout review on March 9, 2013 by mistransformation


Lindsay Brin has two new fitness programs – Pretty Fierce Lean Out and Pretty Fierce Weight Loss – tailored to whether or not you just need to shape and define your body more or maybe you have some serious weight to lose.  These 60 day programs are multi-disc sets (weight loss is 8 discs and lean out is 11 discs).  My review is from the Lean Out program and is the Anaerobic Capacity Cardio DVD only.

My first dealing with Lindsay Brin was a boot camp type of workout.  When I first saw Lindsay I just thought that she was put in the forefront because she is cute and pretty. Looking at her, she appears to be just barely out of her teens so at first I thought what could this little girl possibly offer to me.  I quickly learned that I was totally wrong.  Lindsay is not only in her early 30s, she is a mother of three and totally knows her way around the fitness world.  She is marketed towards “Moms into Fitness” – which I am not a mom but I don’t think that means you cannot do her workouts.

I was really happy to see that Lindsay had released not only one but two new 60 day multi-disc programs.

For the Anaerobic Capacity Cardio workout you will not need any equipment.  It is about 36 minutes in length includes a warm up and a stretch and focuses on HIIE or HIIT training.

While the market seems to be bombarded with HIIT training workouts at the moment this DVD had a couple of things different going for it.  It is set up with 10 movements of 40 seconds work on and 20 seconds of rest and it is intended that you go all out.   A cool feature on this DVD is that you can see the move that you are doing and the moves that are coming up running across the bottom of the screen.  The movement you are currently doing is highlighted and you are able to see what movement is coming up (then you can either dread it or be thankful for the next move).  There is also a “seconds” clock on the lower right hand corner so you know where you are at in your work.  The ten movements are plyometric/dynamic movements intended to get your heart rate up. Lindsay explains she wants you to “gas” your heart and not your muscles.  The type of movements are High Knees – Jack w/ Big Jacks, Mini Suicide Runs, Mountain Climber to High Knees, Double Jump Ropes, Speed Skaters, Switch to Knee Hops R/L, Heel to High Knee Jump Ropes, and finally 2 plank jacks to 2 pike jacks.

After that first round of ten moves you get a one minute break.  You then go into what Lindsay terms the Superfit 60/60 which are moves that are a little higher in intensity and are done for 60 seconds and 60 seconds of rest.  There are only 4 Superfit moves total.  Power Slaloms, Burpee Jack & Tuck, Switch Knee Kicks L/R.

After the 60 second rest, you then do the first ten moves in descending order – 2 pike jacks to plank jacks, Heel to High Knee Jump Rops, Switch Knee Hops R/L, Speed Skaters, etc. These moves are the 40 seconds of work and 20 seconds of rest.

This is a nice quick HIIT workout.  It got me breathless and I enjoyed it.  I liked the Superfit section between the two 40/20 rounds and I like that she did the second set in descending order.

Lindsay is a no holds barred instructor.  She pushes.  She’s a little spit fire.  I hope that I am able to offer more workout reviews from either one of her new programs.

As a heads up I also hear she has pregnancy workout coming out soon.  (NOT THAT I WILL BE NEEDING THAT!)

Paul Katami’s Bootcamp 4x4x2 Workout DVD Review

Posted in Health/Fitness, Motivation/Inspiration, Review of Product, Workout DVDs, Workout review on March 2, 2013 by mistransformation


Paul Katami’s Burn & Build Kettlebell workout DVD was my overall winner in 2011 for best workout DVD of the year.  I love Paul’s style as a workout leader.  Before Bootcamp 4x4x2 I had only done Paul’s kettlebell workout DVDs.  When this was first released I was really excited to try it out but then I read a few reviews on it about it being very plank based exercises and I put off trying it out for a while.  While I don’t mind plank exercises a video with too many of them is hard on my wrists and my hands happen to be my money-maker so I have to be careful in that aspect.  Upon second thought I decided to try it and I’m sorry I didn’t try it sooner.  I didn’t find that there were too many plank exercises.  Paul seemed to segment these moves between others, i.e., doing a move that is plyometric in nature, then a plank based exercise and then another dynamic movement type exercise.

For this workout you will need a few sets of dumbbells.  This workout only has a short warmup to you may want to warm up a bit on your own before this workout. The cool down is sufficient.

This workout is set up in blocks of 4 movements performed for a minute a piece with 15 seconds between movements and 30 seconds between blocks.  Each block is completed twice.  There are 4 total blocks for the original workout but Paul throws in what he calls a bonus block.  If you select the main workout program on the DVD though this “bonus” does play along with the other 4 blocks.

Paul tells you to push yourself in the movements but he also tells you that it is okay to take a few second break if you need to and to tailor it to your own threshold.  He doesn’t have a dedicated modifier in the workout but tells you that it is okay to modify if you need to and I don’t think it would be too hard to come up with a sufficient modifier own your own.

This workout snuck up on me.  While completing it I thought to myself, “This isn’t so bad” but then that night I wound up in bed a lot earlier than usual and definitely slept deeper than usual that night (I have problems sleeping so this is a big thing to note).

While the workout isn’t anything out of the ordinary compared to other advanced circuit type workouts, (think Patrick Goudeau, Cathe, Toby Massenburg) this is a good solid workout and if you love Paul Katami’s style, I don’t think this one will disappoint.

AFTERWARD:  RedPanda reminded me in the comments that this workout has an option on the menu to mix up the workout – that way you may do what was originally block 4 as block 1 and what was originally block 2 as block 4, etc.  That way you wouldn’t know what was coming and it would be a surprise.   These are always added benefits to workout DVDs that make them better than the rest.