Friday, March 30, 2018

Sahra Esmonde-White Essentrics Body Sculpting Series - Review

Essentrics Body Sculpting Series is lead by Sahra Esmode-White.  There are three workouts on one DVD.  Sahra states that each workout is a total body workout but each workout has a particular emphasis.
The workouts are:
  • Ultimate Leg Sculptor
  • Ab Flattening & Waist Shaping
  • Arm Blast & Posture Boost

Ultimate Leg Sculptor workout includes standing and mat work. After the warm up, Sahra takes you through a series of Essentric trademark exercises which included lunge reaches (simulated elastic pull downs) and figure 8s. A plies series follow. This puts you at the 9 minute mark of the workout.
You then move to the floor for a series of table top leg exercises.  Donkey kicks, leg lifts, hamstring curls, leg pumps and side kicks are the exercises.  There is also lying side leg work. In this section, Sahra alternates working the outer and inner thigh and glute area using traditional Essentrics lengthening exercises.  The workout concludes with seated stretches for the quad, hip, glute and groin area.

Ab Flattening and Waist Shaping.  The workout starts with an upbeat warm up.  Sahra moves into waist work.  Going around the beach ball, windshield wipers, and side lunge waist sweep reaches are  the exercises Sahra uses to work the waist.  Sahra also includes a series of plies with side reaches to further work the waist and the legs.  Sahra then takes you down to the floor for some traditional ab work. In this part of the workout, you are working upper and lower abdominal and obliques.  There is a series of lying side waist exercises that also include inner thigh work.   Sahra works at a slower tempo to increase resistance.  This workout concludes with an extended stretch performed in the prone and seated positions for the back and core.

Arm Blast & Posture Boost workout is broken up into two segments.  Segment one is standing and segment two is barre.  Sahra starts off with an Essentrics style warm-up.   Exercises to follow include spine and posture stretches, shoulder blast, arm series 1, kicks, waist side work, and arm series 2.  Next come the barre series. This segment uses a chair. The exercises in this segment include:  hamstring and hip stretches, row the boat, spine twist, quad and lower back stretches.

All three workouts are filmed on a beach in Jamaica making for a very scenic set. The music is a selection of upbeat tempos.  I enjoyed these workouts and found a few of the exercises quite challenging.

Ultimate Leg Sculptor –  4 stars
Ab Flattening & Waist Shaping – 3 & 3/4 stars
Arm Blast & Posture Boost - 4 & 1/4 stars

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Autumn Calabrese A Little Obsessed - Thoughts

 A Little Obsessed is a 5 Day program that is touted as an intro to the longer 80-Day Obsession program. Both programs were created by Autumn Calabrese.

A Little Obsessed consist of five 30-minute workout. The workouts are:
Day 1:  Total Body Core
Day 2:  Booty
Day 3:  AAA
Day 4:  Cardio Core
Day 5:  Legs

These are on-demand workouts. The whole system comes online including program material (nutrition plan, tracker sheets, workout calendar and a spotify playlist). None of the workouts have music. Autumn tells you to download the spotify playlist.
Also, none of the workouts had a timer, countdown clock or subtitles.  I am used to that with BeachBody workouts and I missed that.

The warm ups are the same for each workout. The workouts have a beginner modifier.

In Day 1:  Total Body Core, there are 10 exercises. You do all 10 exercises for 15 reps per exercises.  Then you repeat all 10 exercises for a second set.  The exercises are a combination of total body exercises and core abdominal exercises.  This workout uses dumbbells and resistance loops.

In Day 2:  Booty, there are 8 exercises.  You do two exercises for 15 reps and then you repeat the exercises before moving to the next group of two exercises. This workout uses resistance loops and dumbbells. 

In Day 3:  AAA, you are working your arms, abs, and your backside.  It is pretty much a total body workout.  Discs sliders, resistance loops and dumbbells are on the equipment list.  There are 9 exercises. You do 3 exercises back to back and then repeat the 3 exercises before moving to the next group of 3.  In this workout, Autumn emphasizes working the negative.

In Day 4:  Cardio Core.  You are mixing cardio exercises and core exercises.  There are six rounds. In each round you are doing two cardio exercises (one of moderate intensity and one of high-intensity) for 30 seconds for three rounds and one core exercises performed for 10 reps.  Resistance loops and disc sliders are used in this workout.

In Day 5: Legs. There are 9 exercises. You perform 3 exercises back to back  and then repeat before moving on to the next group of 3.  Each exercise is perform for 15 reps.  Dumbbells and disc sliders are used in this workout.

Total Body Core - 3 & 1/4 stars
Booty - 3 stars
AAA - 3 stars
Cardio Core - 3 & 3/4 stars
Legs - 4 stars

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Tracie Long Grand Total Vol 1 Going Strong - Thoughts

Grand Total Vol 1 Going Strong is a 45-minute metabolic sculpting workout.  The workout is divided up into 8 chapters. Some of the chapters are interval based
The chapters are:
  1. Warm up
  2. Power Step
  3. Split Squats
  4. Fast Cardio
  5. Squats
  6. Upper Body
  7. Floor Work
  8. Stretch
This workout uses a club step and dumbbells.
The workout starts with about a two minute stretching -slightly dynamic warm up.   The power step segment is one of your intervals. Tracie mixes power step work with weight work. Some of the exercises are power jumps, plank burpees, dead lift row, split jump squats, and side squats.
The split squat segment is mostly strength training. You are doing a series split squats along with push up step outs, french press, brake squats and plank work.

In fast cardio you are using the top of the step.  In this segment, you are working on and around the step.  The squat segment requires the use of a prop (some type of step, box or chair). You are doing single leg squats from the prop.  You are also doing leg lifts, donkey kicks and rear delt flys.

The upper body work is chest and triceps. For floor work, you are doing side planks, side leg lifts and shootouts and rib cage pullovers with a lower body crunch.   The workout concludes with about a 5 minute stretch.

Some of the segments were tough but I felt each segment had a long lead time. After each segment, Tracie takes you back to the menu where she highlights the next segment. This gave you added rest.  Also, for some of the segments, it seamed as if we were waiting for a certain spot in the music to start. Speaking of the music, it is pretty good and new.  By new, I mean new for Tracie as she tends to reuse quite a bit of her music selections.

 I like this workout quite a bit and thought it flowed well. As usual, Tracie gives great instruction. While I thought the soundtrack was great, I felt the sound was uneven in certain parts. The set was busy and some of the camera angles were a bit out of place. But overall, great vibe and solid workout.

3 & 3/4 stars

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Monthly Rotation March 2018

March 2018 Monthly Rotation

Another month has flown by.
I have a 5K race this month.
Workouts I have plan include:
  • Kelly Coffey-Meyer Cardio Pump and Build and Burn.
  • Autumn's A Little  Obsessed.
  • Michelle Dozois, 
  • a Tracie Long, 
  • Essentrics, and 
  • Body Combat Les Mills On Demand workouts.
I am still working my way through the 3-Week Yoga Retreat workouts.  Did not get very far last month.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Cathe FitSplit Mixed Impact Cardio & Pull Day - Thoughts

The last group of the FitSplit workouts are Mixed Impact Cardio and Pull Day.

Mixed Impact Cardio is your drill based high- low workout.The warm up is around 5 minutes and it is mostly steady state cardio.  The mixed impact portion is around 20 minutes. Cathe combines athletic, kickboxing, plyometrics, and drills moves to make up the mixed impact cardio. Cathe offers lower impact modification tips for some exercises.

Pull Day is your strength workout. The workout uses the drop-sets technique.  Cathe lowers the reps and she moves from set to set.  For most exercises you are doing three sets. You do get a a chance to catch your breath in this workout, more so than the other workouts. Cathe takes time for equipment clean up which gives you more of a rest.  This workout uses dumbbells, a barbell. stability ball and a mat. You are working back, biceps, and hamstring.

There are 3 basic premixes, 5 time-saver premixes, and 4 scrambled premixes. I did Just Mixed Impact Cardio (28:39) and Just Pull Day (39:52).

Mixed Impact Cardio - 4 & 1/4 stars
Pull Day - 3& 1/4  Stars

Cathe FitSplit Shred Cardio & Push Day - Thoughts

Shred Cardio and Push Day are two workouts that come with Cathe's FitSplit series.

Shred Cardio is a step blast workout. The workout starts out with a brisk warm up performed using a step.  Then come the blasts. There are 12 blasts and the blasts vary in intensity. Each blast is a mini drill performed using high intensity moves. You are working on the step, off the step, over the step and around the step. The reps vary but what I found is that for the super high intensity moves you are doing 6 reps per round and most blast had two rounds.

There's lots of jumping but Cathe does show how to modify some moves.  Some of the moves you will see are power 3s, power 15, plyo jacks, squat thrust, wide jumps, and swimmers.

Push Day is the strength workout.  In this workout you are working chest, triceps, shoulders, calves  and quadriceps. The exercises are performed as supersets and for most exercises you are doing three sets.  Cathe reduces the number of reps as you move through the sets.  The workout uses  several sets of dumbbells, a barbell, mat and a step.

This DVD has  3 basic premixes, 6 timesaver premixes, and 4 scrambled premixes.  The workouts I did were Just Shred Cardio (29:01) and Just Push Day (32:02).  Both of these workouts come from the timesaver premixes and both workouts have a warm up and cool down.

Shred Cardio - 3 & 3/4 stars
Push Day - 3 stars

Monday, February 19, 2018

Cathe FitSplit Low Impact Cardio & Metabolic Conditioning - Thoughts

Low Impact Cardio and Metabolic Conditioning were the next set of workouts I did as part of Cathe's FitSplit series.

Low Impact Cardio contains a series of drill based athletic cardio moves. The rep count varies from exercise to exercise but for most exercises you are doing 2 sets - changing the lead side for the second set.  Last half of this workout uses a disc or rag.
I typically don't care for Cathe's low impact workouts but this is by far my favorite of her low impact workouts (well not counting Low Impact Circuit - loved that workout as well).
Metabolic Conditioning is an upper body lower body compound workout. There are some isolation exercises but for the most part Cathe combines exercises so you are working the lower and upper body at the same time. There is quite a bit of plank work and along with dumbbells you are using a gliding device.
 This DVD has three basic premixes, four timesaver premixes, and 4 scrambled premixes.
I did the Just Low Impact Cardio timesaver workout which clocks in at 27:18 and the Just Metabolic Conditioning timesaver workout and that clocked in at 29:53.

Low Impact Cardio - 4 & 1/4 stars
Metabolic Conditioning - - 4 stars