Archive by Author | mistransformation

Happy 4 Year Anniversary MisTransformation!

My MisTransformation blog turns 4 years old today.  It was born out of a Strong is the New Skinny challenge that was supposed to last about three or four months (from the end of winter until the end of spring).  That group is now pretty much defunct and here I am still plugging along 4 years later. (I haven’t seen a Facebook post from them since July 2014.)

I know I am not as active with the reviews as I used to be.  I do continue to do new workouts but I don’t blog about each one I complete if I can’t devote enough quality time to the post.  There are workout DVDs I have done such as workouts from PiYo and a few more of the Cathe Ripped with HiiT series but I didn’t blog about them because I would have just given a crappy post.   (NOT that the workouts were crappy because they aren’t but rather that my review post would have been half-arsed.)

A few things I do hope to have the opportunity to review in the coming months are workouts from the 21 Day Fix Extreme program and also the Double Down workout with Amy Dixon and Paul Katami.

I thank each and every one of my followers and visitors for taking time out of your day to view a piece of who I am. I am truly humbled to think that people from all over the world have viewed my blog.  It’s been a great FOUR YEARS!   Here’s to the future!

Fouryears

Amy Dixon’s Breathless Body 4: GOING STRONG Workout DVD Review

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Mistransformation is a fan of Amy Dixon and her Breathless Body series.  I have reviewed all prior Breathless Body installments on my blog and will post links to them after my review.

Amy Dixon is a top notch instructor and you know you are getting quality with her workouts. I became a fan of Amy’s following her workouts on the now defunct Exercise TV.  Her workouts on there were always cutting edge and thorough.

The Breathless Body 4: GOING STRONG installment offers something that the other Breathless Body workouts have not. This volume incorporates weight into the workout.  You will need a set of at least two weights (I pulled out a couple).  Amy recommends 5 to 10 pounds for your lighter set and 10 to 20 pounds for your heavier set.  You will know what works for your body.  There are two modifiers:  One that demonstrates an easier way to do the movement and one that demonstrates how to make the movement harder.  Amy’s demonstrations are for the middle of the road people.  You can go back and forth between levels throughout the workout.

Breathless Body 4: GOING STRONG is 8 rounds long. Each of the rounds contains 2 strength circuits of the same movement.  In the first circuit you use your lighter weight and work for 45 seconds with 15 seconds to rest (really to grab your heavier weight) and then for the second circuit you use your heavier weight and work for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds.

After the strength portion of this round you then move on to the High Intensity Intervals.  These are circuits of 15 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest.  These movements are usually plyometric/dynamic in nature designed to get you “breathless.”

At the end of all 8 rounds of strength and cardio Amy throws in a metabolic finisher of all the Hiit circuit movements done for 15 seconds each (no rest between) for a total of 2 minutes.

After that, you may think you are done.  Surprise! You aren’t.  Now you have 5 minutes of ab/core work to do! In the ab/core segment there are 5 moves done for 1 minute each.

Now you have completed the workout and can complete the very thorough stretch/cool down segment (which some people try to skimp out on).

I would give Breathless Body 4: GOING STRONG 5 out of 5 stars.  It’s tough but there is no dread. The strength portion keeps your heart rate up throughout the workout and the HiiT segments are short little bursts that kick it up a notch and leave you breathless.  I’m so glad that Amy continued with the Breathless Body series and gave us something fresh by adding weights to the mix. I remember completing the original Breathless Body workout; I was so blown away by it.  At the time we didn’t have a lot of workouts kicking our booty at this level and now the market is flooded with them.  It’s good to stick with the tried and true.  You know you’re getting something good with Amy.

Also, if you haven’t already heard, Amy also has a new workout DVD out that she completed with Paul Katami co-leading (Double Down).  You may remember Mistransformation is a fan of Paul Katami’s as well and I’m hoping to offer a review of this workout DVD in the near future!  How exciting is that!

MY OTHER BREATHLESS BODY REVIEWS: 

Breathless Body:

https://mistransformation.wordpress.com/2011/05/21/breathless-body-amy-dixon/

Breathless Body 2: The Edge 

https://mistransformation.wordpress.com/2012/06/03/amy-dixon-breathless-body-2-the-edge-workout-dvd-review/

Breathless Body 3: HiiT It Big: 

https://mistransformation.wordpress.com/2014/04/06/amy-dixons-breathless-body-3-hiit-it-big-workout-dvd-review/

Daily Burn Black Fire by Bob Harper (w/ Anja Garcia) Workout Program Review

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Just when I thought Daily Burn couldn’t get any better they went and pulled out the big gun! That big gun is none other than Bob Harper.  Everyone knows who Bob Harper is from The Biggest Loser to his own workout DVDs and books.

I have to admit when Daily Burn released Black Fire at the end of 2014 I was at the tail end of my Live to Fail rotation.  I viewed Black Fire and I was afraid.  It looked tough.  It looked intense.  And I have to tell you that it is ALL THAT and more!

Black Fire is a 60 day program that utilizes scoring in their high intensity workouts (although 2 do not).  This is what pushes you and motivates you.  It allows you to see how strong and fit you are becoming because at the end you will enter your score into the computer and it will track it for you (a nice feature of Daily Burn).  Black Fire uses very little equipment.  Bob will recommend dumbbell weights for men and women and you will also need a box, a medicine ball and a dowel.  I’m sure you could modify if you didn’t have these things.

Black Fire has 12 workouts total (and rest/recovery workouts if you follow their calendar) that include:

  • Bodyweight Tabata: In this workout you will go through four body-weight moves, eight rounds per move. 20 seconds of work; 10 seconds of rest.  You will get a minute of rest between tabatas.  Write down the lowest score for each move and at the end you will add up all of the lowest scores of the 4 moves and that is your final score.
  • Weighted Tabata: Like Bodyweight Tabata you will have four moves, eight rounds each for 20 seconds on, and 10 seconds rest.  The difference here is that this workout is weighted.  Let me tell you this weighted tabata is NO JOKE! Scoring is the same as the bodyweight tabata.
  • Sweet 16:   This workout has 2 moves (8 rounds each).  That’s it.  Two moves.  Easy peasy right?  WRONG!  The moves are a long jump and no wall balls (this requires a medicine ball that you throw up in the air and squat catch and release into the air repeatedly).  The goal is to get 16 reps in the allotted time.   If you do, you get one point for that round.  At the end you add up all your points for your final score.  There is no rest in this workout, however, if you finish all your reps before the end of the allotted time you can rest.
  • OTM Air Force Style: In order to get a point in this workout you need to do 12 reps in one minute.  If you finish all the reps before the end of the minute, you can rest.  At the top of each minute you do 4 burpees.  That is what OTM means – ON THE MINUTE.  You need dumbbells & a dowel (for an overhead squat). This workout is the hardest even though it isn’t touted as such.  You could use this workout for a leg day, it is very leg/butt intensive.
  • Cyclone 15: This workout has 3 different movements in a round. – V-ups, dumbbell swing and the goblet squat.  You get one point every time you complete the amount of reps Bob has allotted for each movement. The faster you go the more rounds you complete. You will need one dumbbell.
  • Strategic Endurance: If you follow the Daily Burn calendar this will be your first workout of the series.  In this workout you have three movements that you complete for 2 minutes each.  You have to complete three rounds.  The movements are burpee to box run to burpee, dips and situps.  You count all of your reps and at the end add them all up for the final score.
  • Triplet Ladder: This is my favorite of all of the Black Fire workouts.  It has a dumbbell snatch in it and I love dumbbell snatches.  I can complete this workout barefoot.  In this workout you make your way up the ladder by completing a rep for each movement and then increasing the rep count the next time you get back to that movement.  You keep going until 15 minutes is complete.  You can have your own rest time in there but you may not get as many rounds. Your score is the amount of rounds you make it through.
  • Power 10: This is touted as being one of the hardest of Black Fire.  Certainly not the easiest by far (none of them are easy) but I also don’t think it is the hardest.  This workout has four rounds of 10 exercises that you cycle through 30 seconds each and there is no allotted rest time. You are able to get a rest though in the way that the workout is set up.  You score with your lowest number completed.  If you get to the end of a movement and you hit that low number already any extra time remaining you may use as a rest.  For scoring you add up all of your lowest numbers of each exercise for the 4 rounds.
  • ABC 1: Anja Garcia whom we all know from the Inferno programs leads this workout.  A – Agility; B – Balance; and C – Core.  There are 5 rounds of 4 moves done for 30 seconds with 15 seconds of rest.  You get a full minute to rest between moves. These moves are bodyweight intensive.   Scoring is your lowest number for a round of each movement. You will add up all 4 of the lowest numbers for you final score.
  • ABC 2: This is set up just like ABC1 but with 5 moves that are different from ABC 1.  And these moves are a bit more challenging that ABC 1.
  • Gymnastics Strength 1: Utilizing her gymnastics experience, Anja leads these workouts too.  This workout has two rounds of six exercises each for one minute.  There is NO SCORING for the gymnastics workouts. I found that Gymnastics Strength 1 was more challenging that #2.
  • Gymnastics Strength 2: This is set up like GS1 except there are 5 moves instead of 6.  I thought GS2 was kind of fun. Again, no scoring.

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I have to disclose that I have not followed the Daily Burn schedule.  I have been cherry picking which workouts I want to do each day depending on my energy level.  I have to be honest, it took me a while to work myself into Black Fire. I started with Sweet 16 and really enjoyed it, then I tried the Triplet Ladder since I like “ladder” workouts and was familiar with how they are set up. Incidentally it wasn’t until I joined a Black Fire/Inferno group on Facebook that I was able to motivate myself to keep going with the workouts.  After joining the group, I found a lot of folks in the group aren’t following the calendar either and are creating their own programs. Some are combining Black Fire with Inferno.  (Shout out to the Black Fire & Inferno Fitness Challenge Group on Facebook.)

I think Black Fire should be renamed Butt Fire.  A lot of the workouts are squat intensive and I can tell after about a month of doing these workouts that my butt has already lifted a little.

Daily Burn really has a winner here with Black Fire, Bob Harper and Anja Garcia!  I would rate the workouts in this program 5 stars for sure.  Ten if I could.  Black Fire is SOLID!

DailyBurn

Cathe RIPPED w/ HiiT: LIFT IT HIT IT Legs Workout DVD Review

CatheLIHILegsWhile this is only my second review from Cathe’s new Ripped w/ HiiT series, Lift It Hit It Legs was the fourth I have completed from the series.  Out of all four this is my favorite (I will review the others in the future).

Lift It Hit It Legs is based on a technique called contrast training. With this type of training you will do a strength based movement and then a corresponding plyometric movement (blasts) that works the same part of your legs, i.e., if you do a plie’ squat the corresponding plyometric movement is a plie’ jack.  Cathe says this is supposed to kickstart muscle growth by shocking your muscles.  Shock it does.

This workout is roughly only 40 minutes in length (without the bonus abs) but it is brutal!  Anyone who works legs weighted without adding in any plyometric movements knows that your heart rate goes up to cardio levels.  Add in the plyometric movements and this is a nonstop cardio fest.

Cathe uses heavy weights for this series not limited to dumbbells (both) 25#, 20#, 15#  plus singles of 40#, 35#, 12# and a 10#.  Cathe will tell you what weight she uses for each movement.  One of the Plyo moves is weighted (explosive side lunge).

The movement lineup:

Strength/Plyo

Squats/Squat Digs

Plie’ Squats/Plie’ Jacks

Static Lunge/Split Jump – Right

Static Lunge/Split Jump – Left

Squats (using heavier weights)/Pop Squats

Plie’ Squats/Narrow Plie’ Touchdown Jacks

Wood Chop Side Lunges (L/R)/Explosive Side Lunges w/ 12# weight

Crossback Lunges (L/R) – Lateral Skates

Low Pulse Lunges/Power Circle Scissor Jumps

Dead Lift (regular stance)/Snow Angle Jacks

Dead Lift (wide stance)/Frog Jumps with a Quarter Turn

Walking Lunges/Scissor Scissor Wide Tuck Jumps

Nice thorough cool down and relaxing stretch to end it.

This workout contains the same Bonus Abs 1 and 2 as the Low Impact workout DVD (the other 2 I did also had them). 

Cathe gives some great premixes to satisfy even her most finicky fans:

All Strength

All Blast

Scrambler 1 or 2

Strength + Blasts (3 rounds 4 Strength moves/4 Blast moves)

Strength + Blast + Abs – this is sequences as usual with an ab move from the bonus abs thrown in after all plyo movements so you would have a strength move, a plyo move and an ab move.

Lower Body plus Bonus Abs 1 – (same as regular mix but followed by the bonus abs 1)

Lower Body plus Bonus Abs 2 – (same as regular mix but followed by the bonus abs 2)

I must say I really felt invigorated after this workout. Not only was I sweating profusely but I felt like my body heated up from the inside out. It was tough but it was a good kind of tough.

This is the Cathe we all know and love.  I give this workout a solid 5 out of 5!

Cathe Ripped with HiiT Low Impact HiiT Workout DVD Review

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What better way to start the New Year on my blog than with a review from one of Cathe Friedrich’s new workout DVD series Ripped with HiiT.  My first review from that series will be Low Impact.

It was over the Christmas holiday and I was staying at my parents’ house.  I always continue to workout at their place but I have a lot less equipment than what I have at home so my options are limited.  I also feel bad to do a lot of jumping at their house because my mom says it sounds like I’m coming through the ceiling.  Oopsie!  This Low Impact HiiT workout was just the thing for my holiday stay with the folks.

Ripped with Hiit – Low Impact HiiT has two separate 30 minute HiiT workouts.  You can do them each separately or combine them for a 50+ minute @$$ whooping.  There are also two separate 10 minute bonus ab workouts.  The bonus abs show up on other Ripped with HiiT workouts as well (Bonus Abs One has some standing abs while Bonus Abs Two is all on the floor).

HiiT One:   The only thing that you will need for this is a mat and Dixie cups (I forgo them but still get a great workout).  This workout is drill after drill of non-weighted dynamic movements. These are pretty random, non-times HiiT sequences meaning the rests aren’t a preset time.  Cathe also doesn’t time the work she counts reps and then repeats each movement.  These movements contain light lifts but no jumping.

HiiT Two:  This workout is set up a lot like HiiT One but with different dynamic movements and this HiiT also utilizes light weights (8 lb dumbbells are good).  Sometimes you will only need 1 of the dumbbells.   Out of the two I preferred HiiT One but both are great workouts and have a low dread factor.

As per usual, Cathe proves that low impact doesn’t necessarily mean low intensity and you can keep your mama happy at the same time.  It is also great for people who have joint issues.

Cathe rarely disappoints and continues to give us quality workouts.  I give this one 4-and-a-half out of 5 stars.

And the Winner Is! Best of 2014! Inferno HR from DailyBurn

Inferno HR

At the end of every year I name what I think was the best workout system or workout DVD that I reviewed that year.  This year I have to go with DailyBurn’s Inferno HR workout program led by Anja Garcia. 

Right before I engaged in this program my workouts had become stale.  They felt like a chore and I was just uninspired.  DailyBurn Inferno HR brought back the excitement and endorphins that I had enjoyed previously.

See my review from June 29, 2014:

DailyBurn’s Inferno HR is one of their latest program offerings. I reviewed DailyBurn previously on my blog (see here:  https://mistransformation.wordpress.com/2012/12/16/review-of-dailyburn-personalized-fitness-websiteservice/ ) and mentioned the classic Inferno program and how much I liked it.  I like that the women in the workouts aren’t merely there for T&A.  Women are the leaders and the trainers.  It’s nice to watch the boys struggle with this one.

In this latest program, Inferno HR turns up the heat and then some.  Once I completed the first HR workout the endorphins kicked in big time.  It was a rush I had been missing.  Boy am I glad to be back at DailyBurn!

Inferno HR is led by Anja Garcia.  Who else but Anja could bring us something this intense?  Inferno HR is designed to be used with a HeartRate monitor that you can purchase through DB and link it to an app that monitors you while working out. You use your computer/roku, etc. to do your workout and then you are monitored on another device such as your tablet or smart phone.  It looks like a really cool feature and the market isn’t exactly flooded with programs such as this.  I did not use the HeartRate monitor feature myself, but sort of judged how I felt on my own and even took my heart rate manually when possible.  I know this wasn’t as accurate but I wanted to see how I liked the program before I invested in it.  If I do another round, I may buy the monitor.

In Inferno HR there are 4 separate workouts and they are all structured differently.  That is why I liked this program so much.  You were getting something different with each workout.  It wasn’t the same mundane thing all the time.

The zones described below are where your heart rate is.  Zones 0/1 being the lowest and zones 4/5 being the highest.  Zone 5 is the max.

Body Blast  – Two exercises 30 seconds of work/30 seconds of rest each maintaining zone 4 – then combining the moves for 1 minute doing 4 reps each move working to zone 5.   (41:45 total time

  Metcon Challenge Three blocks of exercises maintaining zone 4 then 1 minute of Core work in zone 3 and a 1 minute zone 5 cardio challenge.  (52:32 total time)

Tabata POC – Tabata round is one exercise 8 times through with 20 seconds of work/10 seconds of rest working to zone 5 – –  5 exercises 50 seconds of work/10 seconds of rest times through maintaining zone 4– repeating protocol with new exercises.   (51:21 total time)

Build & Burn – Four blocks of  3 rounds of exercises maintaining zone 4 the whole time. (54:06 total time)

You get three active rest days per week total including mobility, yoga and foam rolling.

Anja is a great trainer and likens the workouts to being like your own video game when you can view your heart rate while you are working out to stay in your zone.

After completing the first round of HR I was able to fit back into a pair of my jeans after gaining a bit of winter weight.  I am following this with a round of Classic Inferno and am continuing to get a bit leaner and feeling strong.  I cannot wait to get back to another round of HR.    If these Inferno workouts do not sound like your cup of tea, DailyBurn offers many more programs from True Beginner to Kettlebells, to Tactical Training, Dance and Yoga.  At $10 a month, DailyBurn is a bargain.

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 25,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 9 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.