Archive for the Workout review Category

Most Notable from 2016

Posted in Health/Fitness, Workout review with tags , , , , , , , on December 27, 2016 by mistransformation

2016-2017

At the end of previous years I have done a “best of” post.  Since I didn’t do many reviews or blog posts at all this year, I’m just going to tell you the awesome things that I did discover this year.

  1. Grokker – A streaming workout/yoga/lifestyle website (can also find on Roku) that you pay a monthly subscription for.  They do have free workouts but most of them you can already find on Youtube.  A year ago January 2016 was when I first signed up for Grokker. They offered me a New Year trial for around $1.00 and I tried it and loved it.  I maintained my subscription until about July when I noticed I wasn’t utilizing it as much as I had been. That doesn’t mean it got any less great however.  There are a variety of workouts at different levels and as I mentioned before some awesome yoga practices.
  2. Les Mills On Demand – I’ve known about LMOD for sometime now but it wasn’t until about October/November that they offered a free one month trial that I took a bite.  WOW!  I would have to say that this is probably my favorite find of the year.  I love the BodyCombat, BodyPump BodyAttack and CXWORX workouts so far and have gone through just about all of them.  I love how they are set to music tracks and that is what sets it apart from a lot of other workout systems.  The music just gets to you and keeps you going. I also love the trainers.  They also offer GRIT workouts that are intense and utilize HIIT, Sh’bam dance fitness and BodyBalance/BodyFlow (think yoga/pilates).  The only complaint I do have about this is that I don’t feel that they give new workouts often enough and then I’ve done them all and I’m the type of person that wants fresh.  I still have a lot of GRIT workouts to keep me busy well into next year though.
  3. DailyBurn – DailyBurn has changed from my previous reviews on this site.  I am going to guess that they were sold because they are no longer in California and operate in New York City now.  They still have the old programs but they do not put those out that often anymore.  What they do have to offer is DailyBurn 365 and give you a fresh workout everyday, thus DailyBurn 365.  The intensity of those workouts is from beginner to medium so for those wanting a BlackFire degree of intensity, you may be disappointed.  Every day they rotate trainers and I’m finding that I really like each one and also like the host J.D.  One new program they did just release in December is a Spartan training workout.  It looks intense and right up there with BlackFire.  I’m looking forward to digging into that for 2017.  There are also a couple of Men’s Health and Women’s Health workout systems that were added between the time I let my subscription lapse and when I picked it back up again at the end of this year when they offered me a month to go back for seventy-five cents.
  4. BeachBody On Demand – and then there is BOD.  I still maintain my subscription to BOD but with all of the other workouts above, I have been using it less. They continue to offer new workouts and workout systems and have released to On Demand favorites like 21 Day Fix Extreme and Insanity Max 30 along with Focus T25 and The Master’s Hammer and Chisel.  They also give sneak peaks to new systems like Core de Force and Country Heat.  Considering they are constantly updating, I’m going to maintain my subscription for now.

There you go for 2016. If you have any questions about the above streaming workout brands, let me know.  If you haven’t already discovered any of these, I hope I gave you some new options for 2017.

Advertisements

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.

 

The Master’s Hammer & Chisel – Total Body Hammer w/ Sagi Kalev

Posted in Health/Fitness, Review of Product, Workout review with tags , , , on March 13, 2016 by mistransformation

HammerPowerMH&CSK

One of the first sneak peaks we had was Autumn’s Total Body Chisel and now on Beachbody OnDemand we got to taste Sagi’s Total Body Hammer. This is a nice simple set up of basic lifting exercises done in a pyramid format that packs a bit of a punch.

You will need a couple of sets of dumbbells tailored to your needs, a pullup bar or a band if you don’t have one, a bench or a ball if you don’t have a bench.  You can also do the chest exercises on the floor.

The warm up is the same warm up that Sagi does in most of his other Hammer workouts.

There are three rounds total with three separate exercises.  Each round is completed two times.   Each exercise is completed in a pyramid format of 10 reps, 8 reps and then 6 reps. You complete all 3 pyramids before going on to the next exercise.   The second set really allows you to go up in weight if you didn’t get it right the first time (perhaps go down too).

Round One 

Bench Press (10/8/6 reps)

Squat (10/8/6 reps)

Reverse Grip Row (10/8/6 reps)

(remember I said you do this again)

Round Two 

Incline Flys (10/8/6 reps)

Reverse Lunge (you do one leg and get the opposite leg on set two) (10/8/6 reps)

Wide pullups or wide band pulls (10/8/6 reps)

Repeat

Round Three 

Seated Military Press

Split Squat (you do one leg and get the opposite leg on set two) (10/8/6 reps)

Posterior Delt Fly (one arm at a time, getting the other arm on set 2) (10/8/6 reps)

Repeat 

I felt that Sagi’s cool down while still only 3 minutes long, was a bit more thorough than most of Autumn’s which sometimes aren’t even 2 minutes long.

When you get your correct weights, I really feel that this workout can get you winded and by the end you will feel like you got a great workout.  One thing I didn’t like was Sagi picking on the gentleman in the video because of his weight selection.  We all can’t press 70 pounds like Sagi.  I know that’s his Beast persona but I worry someone may go too heavy and rip their shoulder.  So keep that in mind. We aren’t all professional bodybuilders.

Solid 4 out of 5 stars.

SagiMHAC

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-15 Min. Leg Hammer w/ Sagi Kalev

Posted in Health/Fitness, Workout review with tags , , , , , on February 23, 2016 by mistransformation

SagiMHAC

This workout is approximately 20 minutes in length when you factor in the warm up and cool down (which are really short).

You will need a medicine ball or dumbbell for this workout.

Description of workout from Beachbody:  15 minutes is all you need to fire up your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves for maximum strength and power.

Warm up moves:

Squat ball drop/pick up

Alternating front lunge with ball push out

Side to side lunge squat

Burpee w/ ball

For the workout there are 6 moves (some are done right and left).   Each move is done for a minute at different tempos:  Slow (4 count), medium (2 count) and fast (as fast as you can). You switch tempos at the 20 second mark of each minute interval.

The workout moves:

Squat press

Side lunge (right/left)

Reverse lunge (right/left)

Sumo twist -this is done in an isolation hold moving the ball from left to right knee.

Deadlift crunch – this is a one-legged deadlift and the “crunch” is coming up on one leg with a knee lift.  I found it difficult to go fast in this move and maintain good balance.  (right/left)

Step up press – this is a backwards lunge coming up to the knee raise while also lifting the ball over your head. You don’t need a step or bench for this.  Again, I found this move hard to maintain good balance while doing the move as fast as you can.  (right/left)

Short 2 minute cool down.

I love the tempo changes for this workout.  It really got my heart rate up.  I really liked this workout and wished it was about another 15 minutes in length.  I was just getting into the groove and then it was over.  Great add-on to other workouts though.  I’d give this workout 3 3/4 stars out of 5 because of the length, because of the short stretch at the end and because the really fast movements were awkward with some of the movements even though the tempo changes are what I love about this workout.

 

 

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

Hammer&Chisel3

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