Archive for the Review Category

Body Beast-Beast Up: Legs w/ Sagi Kalev Workout Review

Posted in Health/Fitness, Review with tags , , , , , on June 11, 2016 by mistransformation

Beastup

If you are a member of Beachbody OnDemand you probably know by now that Sagi Kalev released two new workouts from the Body Beast program. They are exclusive to Beachbody OnDemand.  If you have done them already, you know they are killer and if you haven’t done them already, you are in for a treat.

For this workout you are going to need a large variety of dumbbells and if you have one an EZ curl bar.  If you don’t have an EZ curl bar you can always modify and this workout does have a modifier.  You will also need a bench and if you don’t have one, I’m sure you can figure out how to improvise.

The workout is 45 minutes long.

Beast Up: Legs starts out with a thorough warm up.  This is something I felt was lacking in the Hammer workouts but this has a five minute warm up.

Parallel Squats: Rep Counts:  12 – 10 – 8 – 6 -6 – 8  –  You want to start off with a lighter weight then move to medium and on to heavy.  For the 6 rep count you use a super heavy weight for both 6 counts and then go back down to heavy.

Split Squat w/ EZ Curl Bar: (Left then Right) – 7 reps for 7 sets with a 10 count hold at the bottom between sets.  The hold is your rest.  Complete all on left first and then move to the right.  You may keep the same weight throughout.  Make sure it isn’t that heavy.  This one sneaks up on you.

Superset:   You do both moves before decreasing in the rep count.

Partial Sumo:  Rep Counts:  12 – 10 – 8   (Partial because you do not come up all the way)

Bulgarian Split Squat:  Rep Counts:  12 – 10 – 8

You want to start with lighter weight for the 12 reps – medium for the 10 and heavy for the 8 reps.

(end of superset)

Single Leg Deadlift: (Left then Right) – 7 reps for 7 sets with a 10 second hold at the top between sets.   Complete all on left first and then move to the right. You may keep the same weight for all 7 sets.  Oh yeah, this one is a motherchucker!

Glute Bridge with Calf Raise: 60 secs –  45 Secs – 30 Secs  – Starting with lighter weight for the 60 seconds, medium for 45 seconds and heavy for 30 seconds.  Sagi calls this a superset but the move is really one continuous move in my opinion.  You just fluidly do a calf raise after each bridge.

There is a nice stretch at the end to get the nooks and crannies you just worked.

As you can see there aren’t a lot of moves.  You get a lot of rest periods not only between movements but also between sets – especially when moving up to the super heavy weight.  I think the rest periods help the workout go by fast.

I give this workout 5 out of 5 stars because it really gets the job done.

 

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The Master’s Hammer & Chisel-Iso Strength Chisel w/ Autumn Calabrese Workout Review

Posted in Health/Fitness, Review, Workout review with tags , , , on April 1, 2016 by mistransformation

IsostrengthChisel

Today might be April Fool’s Day but Iso Strength Chisel is no joke!

For this workout you will need a few sets of dumbbells. A moderate weight is good and you will also need a lighter dumbbell for the last move.  You will also need a bench, a pullup bar and a band (if you need to modify).

The rep count for this workout is the same for each move.  You do a set of 10 reps and after you release the 10th rep you hold the next rep for 10 seconds and start back up for 10 more reps.  You do not get a rest after the iso hold.   You do three sets of this total.  I call it 10 x 10 x 3 for shorthand.   As per usual, if you do a move on one side, you do the total number of sets on that side before you move on to the other side.   There is a quick stretch between moves.

The moves (after Autumn’s typical warm up for her Chisel workouts):

Sumo squat

Full range pushups

Bulgarian split squat (L/R)

Pullups or use the band w/ attachment to modify

Step up with side hold (L/R)

One-arm row on bench (L/R)

Sit-up C-curve hold (w/ light dumbbell)

Lateral raises

The workout ends with a stretch for the lateral raises and then a quick inhale stretch and that’s it.  That is always disappointing to me but I just went on to do my own stretch after the workout.

This workout is a butt burner for sure. I’m sure I’ll remember the Bulgarian split squat tomorrow.

The moves weren’t really innovative and there are other workouts with iso holds but not having any rest between sets was really fatiguing.  I’m sure this is the technique that leads to being chiseled.

I’d give the workout 3 3/4 stars out of 5.  The lack of stretch at the end really disappoints me.

 

ICE: Metabolic Total Body w/ Cathe Friedrich Workout DVD Review

Posted in Cathe, Health/Fitness, Review, Workout DVDs, Workout review with tags , , on March 10, 2016 by mistransformation

 

CatheICEMetabolic

Cathe’s latest workout series is ICE.  This stands for Intermediate Conditioning Extreme.  This series is targeted towards the intermediate level exerciser but from what I’ve seen of it, I think that someone at an advanced level would be satisfied as well.

My first review from the series is with the Metabolic Total Body workout. As with most other Cathe workouts you get a lot of bang for your buck.  You get a thorough warm up and cool down, the “regular” workout and a few bonuses as well.  Cathe also gives us many premix choices and even mishmosh mixes.

The Regular Workout  – definitely have a few sets of dumbbells here.  Cathe uses everything from 5s to 15s.  I tried to be a hero the first time out and go heavy but Cathe does high repetitions and moves quickly so I suggest trying the weight level she uses until you find what works for you (maybe you go lighter or maybe you go heavier).  Cathe does mostly compound moves and your heart rate will go up without jumping.

Warm Up – 6:36
Workout – 36:58
Cool Down – 4:19
Total – 47:53

The moves:

Crossback Lunge with Overhead Press

Squat Press

Plie Squat/Upright Row

Front Lunge/Back Row/Fly

Front Swing with Abduction

Lunge Curl and Press

Front Swing with Abduction

Deadlift to Squat

Single Leg Deadlift with Front Raises

Deadrows/Upright Rows/Shrugs

Back Lunge with Rows

Side Lunge Abductions (no weights)

Front Lunge with Figure 8 Row Arms and Elbow to Knee (no weights)

Pushups

Squat, Curl, Press with Tricep Extension

Squat Curl

Lunge Kick Lunge Stand (you do this in the warm up but this time with light weights)

Static Lunge with Tricep Extension

Sumo Squat with Bicep Curl

Dynamic Front Lunge Raises

Rear Lunge, Curl to Press

Front Raise with Rear Delt Pull to Lateral Raise

Squat Twists

Squat Jab

Controlled Slow Elbow to Knee (like a yoga prayer twist)

Stretch

As you can see, this is a lot of great compound movements.  Your butt is going to get a great workout in this one.

The Bonus workouts are:

MUSCLE MELTDOWN – CHEST 
Total Workout – 15:29

Cathe does three sets of pushups, flat chest presses, flat chest flys and then incline presses and flys.  Again, the first time I tried to be a hero and go super heavy but when Cathe said we had 2 more sets of this I just about cried.  My chest was spent on the first set when I went super heavy.  I wondered why she was only using 12 pound dumbbells.

BLIZZARD BLAST
Total Workout – 12:21

Dynamic blast exercises (jumping) mixed with Compound weight movements

This is a nice little HiiT type workout weighted and unweighted.  You better be prepared to do a LOT of air jacks.

ICY CORE 1
Total Workout – 11:00

Cathe is the Queen of Core.  With moves like:  Lying up and overs; Leg chasers; Slow bike maneuvers and Full body breast strokes. Cathe sure can pack a lot of punch in a short time and your abs/core burns in no time.

I like to use the bonuses as one total workout added together.  They are also great for add-ons or for short workouts if you are pressed for time.

Even though this series is targeted towards the intermediate level, I felt challenged just by upping the weight when I needed to.  You really can cater to your own needs.  Probably not great for a beginner, however.

I love Cathe, I love this workout and I surely will come back to it time and time again. I hope to review others in this series soon.

5 out of 5 stars.

The Master’s Hammer & Chisel – 15 Min Glute Chisel w/ Autumn Calabrese

Posted in Health/Fitness, Review, Workout review with tags , , , , on February 26, 2016 by mistransformation

ChiselCardioACMHAC

My last review was on Sagi’s 15 Min Leg Hammer and keeping with the same format my review today is Autumn’s 15 Min Glute Chisel.  If you have done any of Autumn’s other workout systems like 21 Day Fix or 21 Day Fix Extreme, you know that Autumn loves to work the lower body.  Today was no exception.

For this workout you will need a medicine ball or a dumbbell.

Description from Beachbody:  Quickly sculpt a round, firm backside and hard-to-tone inner thighs for a lower body that makes jaws drop.

This workout has 6 different exercises but some of them work on the right and left leg separately.   Each exercise is done for 25 reps.  There are modifications offered.

The movements: 

Sumo jumping jacks while lifting the ball over your head or holding it stationary.

Split squat with ball of the foot or toes on the ball.  This one really burned my glute.  Have to balance with your toes or ball of foot on the ball really made me dig in the heal of my stabilizing leg. This got the butt burning by the end.  (right/left)

Jumping curtsy lunges

Warrior 3 lunges w/ a ball raise (right/left).  This is pretty much what it sounds like if you are familiar with the yoga pose warrior 3 except you are holding a medicine ball and raising it up.

Side lunge with ball pull (right/left).  You keep your foot on the ball and slide it out into a side lunge and to stand back up you drag the ball back in with your foot.  Autumn says this is to work the inner thigh.

Bridge on the ball (right/left).  One foot is on the ball and the other leg straight up in the air.  You lift your pelvis off of the floor.  I found this really challenging because my ball is a lot smaller than theirs is and I didn’t have a great base of support to dig in.

There is a very short less than 2 minute cool down/stretch after completing the movements.

This didn’t have the tempo change excitement that Sagi’s did but the techniques that Autumn offered in this workout really did get my glutes burning.   I like these 15 minute workouts as add-ons to other workouts.   If this workout was longer and offered the same kind of techniques, I’d probably give it five stars but since it’s only 15 minutes, I’m going to give it 3 3/4 stars out of 5.

 

The Master’s Hammer & Chisel-Chisel Power w/ Autumn and Sagi Workout Review

Posted in Health/Fitness, Review, Uncategorized with tags , , , on February 15, 2016 by mistransformation

AutumnandSagiH&C

My last review – Hammer Build Up was Sagi’s workout with Autumn and Chisel Power is Autumn’s workout with Sagi.

Chisel Power is approximately 30 minutes long.  You will need dumbbells, a medicine ball, a bench, chin up bar and bands.  You can modify if you don’t have these items (except I think dumbbells are really crucial but if you’re doing this workout I’m sure you have at least those).

WORKOUT DESCRIPTION from Beachbody OnDemand:  Get ripped from head to toe with hardcore resistance training, isometric holds, and explosive plyometrics.

The pattern for this workout is two related movements with the first being more dynamic with a fast 4 rep count and then a 4 second isometric hold repeating 4 times (I’m going to call these 4x4s).  Then you go into the similar movement but with heavy weights for 10 reps.  Core movements are done for 16 reps and there is no 4 rep count with the isometric hold for these.

The moves:

Ball squat jumps – 4×4

Heavy squat – 10 reps

Lunging Rows – 4×4

Pull-ups or band pulls -10 reps

Hanging knee raises – 16 reps (can modify on the floor)

Ball plyo lunges – right – 4×4

Heavy lunge – right – 10 reps

Ball ply lunges – left – 4×4

Heavy lunge – left – 10 reps

Plyo push-up – 4×4

Heavy bench press – 10 reps (can modify on floor)

Half spider man – 16 reps

This is the halfway point and you get a 60 second break for water, etc.

Ball sumo squat plyos – 4×4

Heavy sumo squat – 10 reps (can use 1 dumbbell or 2)

Ball push press – 4×4

Heavy military press – 10 reps

Seated ball toe taps – 16 reps (more like ball leg raises – seated you hold the ball between your feet and raise and lower)

Ball knee drivers on step – left – 4×4

Heavy step up – left – 10 reps

Ball knee drivers on step – right – 4×4

Heavy step up – right – 10 reps

Bicep curls – 4×4 – (use lighter weights – isolation hold is in the middle)

Heavy bicep curls – 10 reps

Triceps kickbacks – 4×4 – (use lighter weight)

Heavy triceps kickbacks – 10 reps

Very short cool down stretch once again – less than two minutes. You’ll definitely want to do some additional stretching on your own.

I liked the 4×4 pattern with the isolation hold.  That is sort of the kick I look for in workouts.  The workout was short though I would have liked about an additional 10 minutes.

I’d give this workout 4 1/4 stars out of 5.

 

The Master’s Hammer & Chisel – Hammer Build Up w/ Sagi & Autumn Workout Review

Posted in Health/Fitness, Review, Workout review with tags , , , , on February 9, 2016 by mistransformation

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This is the first workout from Hammer & Chisel that I have done that has both Sagi and Autumn in it.  This is Sagi’s workout; however, Autumn is the one visually demonstrating the moves while Sagi also demonstrates and gives vocal cues. There are no other back up people in this one.

The description from Beachbody:  Five exercises work five muscle groups to hammer muscular definition, strength, and stamina.

Equipment:  Bench, dumbbells, medicine ball, resistance band, chin-up bar.  Most of these have modifications of you do not have them.

Hammer Build Up is a total body workout with 5 movements for each body part (some of them count left and right as one movement).   Most of the moves are done for 30 seconds each (+/-) but on some moves where there is a left and right side you do the move 15 seconds each (there are exceptions to this, however).  The total time for the workout is a little over 30 minutes in length.

Sagi’s typical warm up starts us off which seemed a bit shorter this go round.

Round One: Legs/Butt 

Squat with medicine ball (or dumbbells)

Lunge R/L with medicine ball (or dumbbells)

Step up R/L with dumbbells (bench or modification on the floor is shown)

Round Two:  Back 

Chin up (or use bands for modification)

Reverse grip row

Pullover

Reverse fly

Round Three:  Chest 

Push up w/ ball R/L

Bench Fly

Feet on med ball with push up (this was only 24 seconds probably because it is hard)

Incline press (or modify on floor if you don’t have a bench)

Round Four:  Shoulders 

Military press with med ball (or dumbbells)

Lateral raise

Upright row

Anterior raise with med ball (or weight)

Round Five:  Biceps 

Standing curls

Hammer curls

Concentration curls R/L

Rotation curl sitting on bench or modifying standing

Round Six:  Triceps 

Dips off of bench or on floor to modify

Kick backs R/L (30 seconds each side)

Skull crushers

Round Seven: Abs 

Ball plank hold (hands on ball)

Ball mountain climbers (can go slow – your hands are on the ball)

Windshield wipers holding ball R/L 30 seconds each side *I chose not to hold the ball w/ my feet

There is a short cool down/stretch at less than two minutes long which of course if you read my reviews never makes me happy but I did some additional stretching on my own.

I liked that this workout had both Sagi and Autumn in it and you could see how they relate to each other rather than having them in separate workouts.  I also liked that this was a full body workout that hit on every muscle group.  It was also great that it got me to bring my med ball back into commission.  I did, however, feel like this was similar to a lot of other strength workouts on the market and nothing really popped out at me with it.  I understand though that this is part of a package and one of the pieces of the puzzle that makes up The Master’s Hammer & Chisel.

That being said, I will give this workout 3 3/4 stars out of 5.

Hammer&CHiselMaxHammerStrength

 

22 Minute Hard Corps Cardio 1 w/ Tony Horton Workout Review

Posted in Health/Fitness, Motivation/Inspiration, Review, Workout review with tags , , , on February 7, 2016 by mistransformation

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While Beachbody aficionados have known that Tony Horton’s latest program will be released in March 2016 since about fall of 2015 (some probably earlier), we didn’t know until about a week ago that there would be a Challenge du Jour sneak peak of the program offered on the day of the “Big Game” on Beachbody OnDemand.  (We can’t publicly mention the S.B. publicly because we’d have to pay.)  As soon as it was announced, I knew what my workout was going to be Sunday morning.

A Description of the 22 Minute Hard Corp program from Beachbody:  “22 MINUTE HARD CORPS is a no-nonsense, boot camp style workout program designed to get you epic results in 8 weeks. Created by legendary trainer Tony Horton, 22 MINUTE HARD CORPS works your whole body with moves that are tough enough to challenge you, but are straightforward enough for you to do on Day 1. #GETSOME and GET DONE!”

If you would like to see more on this program visit:  https://www.beachbody.com/product/fitness_programs/22-minute-hard-corps-workout.do?code=SOCIAL_22HC_FB

Note: I am not a Beachbody “coach” so I’m not trying to sell you anything.  I just like the Beachbody workouts and really dig Tony Horton.

Today’s sneak peak workout was Cardio 1 from the program.  This workout is 22 minutes in length (hence the 22 Minute Hard Corps name).  It has no warm up (I am going to assume Tony offers some kind of warm up with the complete program since he mentioned doing the “cold start warm up.”  He offered one in his P90x3 program). You do not need any equipment except a towel, a drink and a jump mat if you prefer.

This workout is 3 rounds of the same moves.  In each round the reps for the movement will either go up or go down and I’m not really sure of Tony’s rhyme or reason for choosing the amount of reps he did so I cannot explain that to you.  You get a 22 second rest between each round.

The workout is done outside and with military vets working out and demonstrating the movements in the background.  Who doesn’t love military vets?

The movements: (I will put reps for each round 1. 2. and 3.)

T-Jacks – like jumping jacks but with arms in a T for Tony – 1. 50 2. 40 3. 30

Bear Crawls – you know this move – each hand/foot movement is 1 rep.  1. 20 2. 25 3. 30

Lateral Shuffle – another familiar movement w/ 2 hops in between – 1. 30 2. 25 3. 20

Forward Lunge Twist – Lunge with arms in opposite direction of knee – 1. 10 2. 16 3. 20

Basic Burpee – no pushup and half-time modification offered – 1. 25 2. 20 3. 15

A-Skips-Skipping in place. Tony is big on the opposite elbow going back- 1. 30 2. 40 3. 50

Run Lunge Squat-This is a lunge to a squat with run arms in the lunge – 1. 30 2. 40 3. 50

After the break, there is time left so Tony adds in the Bear Crawl/Burpee Burnout.  This is 22 Bear Crawls and 22 Burpees done w/ no rest in between.  I think ending with the burpees is killer for the ending. My blood was pumping.

There is a 2 minute cool down/stretch at the end to keep it within the 22 minute time frame.  Although I like a longer cool down/stretch it felt sufficient for this particular workout with the 22 minute time frame.

I really liked this workout. I felt I got a good workout in a short amount of time.  Since this was only Cardio 1, I’m a little afraid of what Cardio 2 may have in store.  This wasn’t the toughest cardio workout ever BUT it packed a lot of punch and I’m looking forward to the release of the program and more sneak peaks OnDemand.

I will give this workout 4 1/2 stars out of 5.

Everything Tony Horton touches turns to gold.

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