Friday, November 26, 2010

10 lb. Slimdown - Upper

I will never learn.  I thought I had done the lower portion of this workout, and the description says that it works your arms, bis, tris, etc. and I thought well good, because I am TIRED and I don't want to work out ANYWAY, so I'll just do an UPPER BODY workout.  Then, of course, it's Chris Freytag and she is always doubling up, so you do hammer curls but you also do lunges and then you stand on one damned leg to do your tricep curls.  But it was great, the power cardio things in the middle of the circuits (there are three, you do them twice) seemed short.  Effective, but short.  One of them, for example, is to start out with low impact jumping jacks, then go to big jumping jacks, and then power jumping jacks, where you clap your hands over your head when your feet are open and then touch the floor when they are closed.  It was, dare I say it, fun?  Chris Freytag really makes it work, for me.  I'll say it again, I think a certain TV TRAINER could learn a lot by not being so evil and demented.

This was the third 10 lb. Slimdown workout I did and I think they are all great but today it dawned on me, it would be really great to do three of them.  That would be a great weekly workout, say, to do the upper body, lower body and core.  Or either the upper or lower, with the core and the Blast! one.  If this wasn't available for free on Exercise TV, this might be a DVD that I would buy.  I really like the trainer, I can't even remember what the music is like, and she is all by herself for all of them!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

10 lb. Slimdown - Core

Chris Freytag is the trainer for all of these, apparently, she has a DVD.

My core is non-existent but I still think this was haaaaard.  It's three circuits again, I guess maybe they all are - we shall see!  She just does a 20 second breath in between the circuits and it doesn't feel like enough.  I was in a hurry but if I had some extra time, I might consider pausing it a little bit and maybe taking 60 seconds.  For God's sake.

In the circuits, you do:

  • a standing knee lift, where you reach down to the opposite knee and then up and away, you do 8 reps slowly and 16 fast
  • a half-boat into a full-boat (ouch!)
  • bicycle crunches, only instead of crunching up your head, you lift your weights up and down, pushing out from your chest.  I used 5 lb. weights but you could use whatever you want, obviously.  
  • crunches, where you hold a weight in each hand and bend your elbows at a 90 degree angle.  You crunch in with the weights and then lay your head down and pull the weights behind your head.  I am still hurting from this!  
  • circular crunches
  • side plank lifts
  • isometric holds in the plank position, with alternating leg lifts, 8 each, twice.  GOOD LORD.
Here's what else you do but I failed at, today:

  • Mountain Climbers.  I'm just bad with them - I feel like I am too short or too fat or something and I can never make my legs go in as far as I feel like I should.  I did do them, just not well.  
  • I don't even know what to call this one - You're on all fours and you go up into a plank position and then you HOP your back foot to your opposite hand and repeat repeat.  Veronica came up the stairs and it was the last exercise and I just couldn't do it.  Am lame.  I will try next time.  My report is that it LOOKS HARD.  I did my 79 pushups before my workout today and I am too shaky, I guess.  
These are excellent workouts.  They're hard and I should probably do two at a time but I can't right now.  I recommend YOU do it, though, ha!  

Monday, November 15, 2010

Yoga Body Burn Abs

The last of the 10 minute workouts!  I'm sad to see them go, it dawned on me today when I did the longer workout what a wussy I have turned into.  It will be good to do some longer workouts, without a break.

So, this is good, it's like every yoga move you can think of that focuses on your abs, and maybe some Pilates moves thrown in.

Denise Austin is the trainer and although I personally have some trouble getting used to her as a Yogi, she is excellent.  It's not for yoga beginners, you should at least be familiar with the moves because it goes pretty fast, as do all the short workouts.

10 lb. Slimdown Blast

I still have one more 10 minute workout to do and I'm going to do it next but I wanted to do a longer workout today while I had time, so I started the 10 lb. Workouts.  I was VERY pleased with this, although I found it really hard.  It's Chris Freytag, who I like a lot.  She is very positive without being too fakety fake.  She says, like, "four more!  Because you CAN!" and she says "Yes, you CAN!" and it's not annoying, I think, well I guess I CAN if she SAYS SO!

This workout is three circuits that all have strength training type work on one body group, followed by 30 seconds of a blast! of cardio and then a 20 second active recovery period.  So the first circuit is squats (I used 5 lb. weights, if you used, like 10 lb. weights, I think it would get complicated doing the faster reps, but you could always stick with the slower rep), the second circuit is lunges and deadlifts and the third circuit is arms and chest and back.  Of course, you are working the upper body with the lower and the lower with the upper, but the focus is on the first listed part.  In between you do fast jogs, kicks, etc.

It was hard - in the last part you do a side plank with weight lifting and you could it with a) your whole body on the floor, b) your knees on the floor, or c) just your feet on the floor and I opted for a) although I should have done b) and I probably could have done c) if I had just concentrated.  But I was so tired and afraid of what was to come after the first rounds I was scared.  Lame!  But I'll do b) the next time and c) the time after that.

Verrry good workout, it makes me look forward to the other 10 lb. Workouts, kind of.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Strength Training

Holly Perkins is the trainer for this, she is a trainer from way back, I really like her.  This was a good workout but I guess I am fading because I thought it was hard.  You just need weights (optional) and a mat, which is nice.  I'm still mad about needing that stupid exercise ball for the workout earlier in the week.  Let it go, Joanne!

So.  You do giant 'sumo' squats, with weights, hip raises with alternating legs, some ab work, it's pretty varied.  She talks a lot about the point of the workout, which is to strengthen your muscles for running and walking, so you work muscles that will propel you forward.  It was interesting and immediately useful, which I like.

That's it for today - I think I am almost through with the 10 minute workouts, so it's time to mix it up.  I'm looking forward to it, I feel like I'm accountable to my friend Almeda for my pushups and this blog for the exercise tv workouts.  Whatever works - at this stage we are like three weeks away from moving and like six weeks away from Christmas and Oh Lord, I am glad to have just working out to think about.

Sexy Legs

I guess the whole title is Six Steps to Sexy Legs, Jessica Smith (she's a certified wellcoach, whatever that is) is the trainer and it's good, if kind of basic.  Actually, I guess she does kind of mix it up, in that if you do lunges, you do them on an angle, so that you're working different parts of your legs.  She does a Pilates move at the end called The Frog and what is up, Pilates people?  All of those exercises feel impossible but then you can somehow do them.  She also does some stretching at the end, which I appreciate.

10 Minute Pilates - ABS

OK!  So Nicole Stewart is the trainer for this video, and she was for the Pilates legs video I did the other day.  She's great, very positive and she looks fantastic, she talks a lot about the benefits of Pilates, which is nice to hear.  She does a good job of explaining the breathing, I think it would be hard to just jump into a Pilates workout, of any kind, without someone talking about how important that inhale/exhale thing is.

So it's a hard ab workout, in my opinion, but it's do-able.  It is marked for Beginners, so maybe that's it.  She does do some advanced moves.  For example, there's one move where you are lying on your back, stretched out, arms overhead, and you peel yourself off the floor and up to where you are now pointing past your (flexed!) feet.  After several reps, she adds that you can make it harder by putting your hands behind your ears and your elbows bent, if you want.  I am here to tell you that that IS harder, I literally couldn't do it.

My abs are a mess and I forget if I mentioned but I sometimes have, like, charlie horses, in them?  It's painful and was scary when it first started happening - it feels like what I imagine this one scene in Alien is like, even though I've never seen that movie.  Like the muscles are twisting and wrapping around each other, getting fatter and fatter and choking my innards.  Like I say, it's not scary anymore, now that I know what it is, I just treat it like a charlie horse and try to breathe it away. ANYWAY, this is all to say that I find a Pilates workout is more controlled and I am less likely to get one of these muscle spasms, which makes me like it.  It is freaking hard, which I don't like but what is the point, I keep asking myself?  It's called WORKING out, not SITTING AROUND out.  Or RESTING out.  I could see doing a few - three?  four?  of these 10 minute Pilates workouts and having it be a good representation of a Pilates workout.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Legs Slim and Tone

I am not positive of the name of this workout, but it's a ten minute Pilates leg workout and my LORD.  Pilates is hard, and every time I do it, I think WOW, I am never doing this again!  I told my sister, it seems like you're not doing anything - like WHY would it be so hard to make a circle with my leg?  But it is.  It burns the hell out of my legs.  It's a great, positive, workout, I like the trainer but am too distracted to remember her name.  She has red hair and ... great legs, ha!  It was my third short workout today and it was plenty.

Give me Ten Core

I thought this was going to be an ab workout but it was more frickin fracken cardio.  It's probably better, I just did the 13 minutes of Denise Austin, but this is a crazy way to workout.  I was all getting into my head to do an intense ab workout and instead I'm jumping around like a fool!

Amy Dixon is the trainer on this one and she is VERY INTENSE.  Her HAIR IS UP and SEVERE.  She and her lackeys are WEARING BLACK.  The music is VERY FAST and POUNDING.  But it's great, I have to say.  Again, not much of a warmup or cool down but ten minutes, well, probably 11, of great cardio moves.  It's hard, I wouldn't recommend it for a beginner or if you haven't done much high impact aerobics, or dance moves.  But it's super fun and hard and sweaty and I enjoyed it.

Cardio Fat Blast

This is a ten minute workout that's really 13 minutes.  I don't know, either.  Anyways, Denise Austin is the trainer and I happen to really like her.  She has been doing this for a LONG TIME, like since I was in high school or something.  She can be annoying to some, I'm sure, as she is VERY PEPPY and HAPPY, but I just find her really sincere and likable.  Likable?  Is that right?  I mean like-able.  That looks like likable to me but whatever.

So!  The workout!  It's a lot of great cardio moves after a short warmup.  They are not going to spend a lot of time on a warmup on a short workout, so you're better off if you go into it a little bit warm.  She does a great progressive type thing, where you start out doing lunges, for example, and then add big arms and then add a hop to them.  You could also do just the first thing, I suppose, if you are a beginner.

It's short but intense, there are two girls behind her, but they don't say a peep.  She basically never stops talking, reminders about "zipping up" your abs, keeping good posture, etc.  I like it, I think it's a good short cardio workout.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Bootylicious Buns TWO

Oh good Lord.  Not only is this called BOOTYlicious BUNS, but I found out right before it started that, according to Exercise TV, it's the Year of the Tush!  Tush is actually among my favorite words for ass.  When I was little my mom used to say HINEY which still kind of mortifies me.  Anyways.

Stephanie Vitorino is the leader and she right away would like to thank you for making Bootylicious Buns such a success that she had to make TWO of them.  Hoo boy.  Whatever, she looks great and this is a super hard, enjoyable workout.  You only need a mat, you do squats, leg lifts, the usual, up until you do this damned inverted kick which was SUPER HARD.  First, you are lying on your side and you do what she calls a "clam", so your legs are bent, stacked on top of one another, and then you open and close.  This is not a hard exercise, unless you REALLY think about your glutes.

You know, ever since I started working out at home, it's been hard for me to do things hard enough to count.  In the gym, I am used to trainers or teachers calling me out on b.s. and saying I KNOW you can lift more weight than that, etc.  I used to take a class in NYC called Killer Body Sculpt and the teacher would, after a while, just come around and replace your weights with heavier ones, once she felt like you needed it.  Anyways, a lot of these leaders, like this one and Chris Freytag, talk about doing things right, and not cheating yourself.  It's a good reminder to me - as long as I'm working out, why not just do it hard enough?  Who am I kidding?  Who is benefiting if I don't do the exercises the way that I should?  NO ONE.  So.  Anyways, I like a trainer that does that, that talks about not cheating yourself and this woman does.

It was hard, I had to take a wee break with those damned inverted kicks.  Oh!  I meant to say, so you do the clams and then you do the inverted kicks and then you do them together, but Stephanie wants to SPICE it up so she calls this move the BOOM BOOM POW.  Maybe this makes some people feel better about it, but I am not one of them.  Still, an A+ workout, as far as I'm concerned.

Arms with Attitude

I somewhat hated this workout.  Kathy Kaehler is the leader and you're supposed to do every exercise for one minute, but it's SO lame the way that she does it - she has a stopwatch or something and she's always checking it.  We can't get a big timer that she can look at in a monitor, Exercise TV?  It's very awkward, she has to reset it 10 times, for Pete's sake.

PLUS all you need for this TEN minute workout is weights, a chair, and an exercise ball.  The hecka?  No one wants to get all that crap together for a TEN minute workout!  As it is, I don't have an exercise ball anymore, so I just made do, which wasn't hard.  Not that Kathy mentioned that you could POSSIBLY do this workout with all this crap.  You only used the chair once, for tricep dips.  Lame.

Also, it was not very arm-y.  There was only one minute of just arms, the rest were arms and abs, too.  Now, maybe I'm just cranky because I just did an ab workout but it seems to me that arms and back might make more sense.

So. This is the first workout on Exercise TV that I absolutely wouldn't bother with again.

Abs and Back Workout

Amy Dixon leads this 10 minute workout, I guess actually it's almost 11 minutes.  It's hard, I just finished it, but I wanted to write about it and then go to two or three more 10 minute workouts while the girls nap.

It's a great, hard workout.  There's almost no warmup, so I'd do a few stretches and deep breaths before you get started.  I've been doing stuff all day, so I felt warmed up.  You do some ... well - you get on all fours, then you do crunches, by holding out your left arm stretched out in front of you, and your right leg stretched out behind you, then you crunch in in two counts and out in two counts.  She leads you through some "superman" type moves on the floor, including "flying", to work the oblique muscles.  You do a lot of crunches, some regular and then some obliques with your leg crossed over your opposite knee.  You do INCREDIBLY hard (to me) hip lifts (?) where one leg is crossed over the other, and you do a reverse crunch.  YOW.

I have had three c-sections and I don't know if that's it or what, but I get these incredibly painful charlie horses, but in my ab muscles, while I workout.  It stinks but I figure I should do workouts to get rid of them.  Maybe?  I find that if I do everything just right, and really, really concentrate on form, it doesn't happen so much.  As a result, I find these workouts really hard because I can't laze around with them.

She calls it really well, constantly reminding you to think about form and breathing.  Overall I enjoyed it.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

10 Minute Buns and Thighs

I really don't like the word "buns".  Or "booty".  There really is no good choice, right?  I think the best, honestly, would be "ass".  Like "work that ass!".  Or "move your ass!".  Alas, this is Exercise TV and they mostly say "buns" although sometimes they say "booty".  Whatever.

This is an excellent 10 minute workout.  I've started the 10 minute workouts and I would like to do three at a time, but I am running out of time already this morning so I'm hoping I can get two more in today.  This was a nice intro, though.  The trainer is Cindy Whitmarsh, who is listed as a "Top Trainer" at Exercise TV.  She's perfect, she doesn't say much, she's encouraging but not crazy mean (Jillian) and she's not too goofy (Leslie).  She just is there to do the exercises, thankyouverymuch, which is FINE BY ME.

You do a one minute warmup and then nine minutes of squats, and leg lifts and hip raises and it's hard and satisfying.  I am still kind of zinging and I finished it several minutes ago.  Wouldn't it be smart to do this workout before all my walking workouts?  Wouldn't it be nice if I were that smart?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Walking Cardio Sculpt

This is my favorite workout under Walking workouts, but it is the least walk-y of all of them.  It's an excellent workout, I wish I could do it every day but I am a lazy ass.  :)

It's Chris Freytag, who is excellent and cheery but not too cheery.  She is also by herself, which of course I prefer.  The workout is divided into four walking parts and four sculpting parts.  It's almost 50 minutes long.

So you do some marching and out-out-in-ins, some walking up and back, some squats, some jogging, some jump roping, some mambo-ing, some v-steps, ... I feel like I am forgetting something, but basically it's a few minutes of some low impact cardio.  Oh, you do some "skater moves", which are wide steps back behind your opposite foot, and some "power knees", which are knee lifts but you sort of hook-punch your opposite arm while you are raising your knee.

The sculpting parts are divided, so you start with squats and lunges, then go to arms and back, then chest and biceps and then abs.  They're all excellent, I use five pound weights but on some stuff you double up.  You could also do it with no weights, which I actually considered doing today, because it's been so damned long since I've done anything but it was fine.  Today I had already done 65 pushups on my toes so I was thinking of NOT doing the pushups but it was fine - now when I do 16 or 32 pushups as part of a workout, it's like nothing.

She calls it great, she is super easy to follow and she reminds you a lot of the right way to breathe, supporting your lower back with your abs, etc.  She is very motivating and kind and unlike a certain Biggest Loser meany that we will be talking about soon.  She never screams "I want you to feel like you're going to DIE", which is nice.