Friday, December 31, 2010

Action Sports Diesel

Um.  This was hard.  I am still a little shaky.  I went out last night and drank some wine and I was DRAGGING as a result.  I was thinking, maybe I shouldn't drink wine if it's going to make these workouts so much harder.  Then I thought maybe I shouldn't work out if I am going to drink wine, which is just the way that I think, ha!

I liked the trainer, I don't know who she was but she was from "Crunch!  In San Fransisco!  And she loved to workout!  And you should love it too!"  You get the picture.  She had some fine looking people behind her working out, the same ones from the last crunch video that I did.

This was like the 30 Day Shred, or the Cardio Sculpt workout that Chris Freytag does but a little more intense.  I used two pounds of weights and sometimes three, which was fine by me.  I could get to a point where five would be fine, I'm sure, but it wasn't today.  It's a bunch of SHORT circuits, cardio and strength.  She talks about form a lot and she is perky but not annoyingly so.  Not annoying to me, anyway.

I like these Crunch workouts and it's a good thing, because it looks like there are several more to come!  I hope nothing changes after the new year, but we'll see.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Action Sports Chisel - Arms and Shoulders

We've started the Crunch workouts, which is exciting because I've heard good things about them and also because it means the Biggest Loser workouts are over.  I might check again later to see if there is a 30 Day Shred, or maybe there is a Jillian Michaels channel, but my guess is that we haven't seen the last of Jillian (insert evil laugh, talk about jeans and tank tops and how she wants you to feel like you're going to DIE!).

I think this is what it's called, above.  I guess there is an Action Sports category, so this is chisel, and this is the arms and shoulders part but of course you work legs and butt, too.  I wonder sometimes what it would be like if some dumb trainer did an arms workout with just arms, like if you just stood there and worked on your arms.  Ha, she'd be LAUGHED off the CHANNEL!

I can't find my damned five pound weights and my two pound weights were downstairs when I could fit this workout in upstairs, so I did it without weights but I'm glad I did.  It was a pretty challenging workout and I found that without holding weights, I was really thinking about my form, especially on working triceps.  So I might use like three pounds of weight next time, especially on triceps, I seem to lose my form easily with heavier weights.

The trainer was fine, she is VERY concerned with FUN and FUNKINESS (not the smelly kind, the dancing kind) and that's always nice.  She did talk a LOT about tank tops but whatever, what can you do?  I guess if you are working specifically on your arms and shoulders, maybe you automatically care about what they look like in a tank top.  And I like my arms to look good, I just - that Jillian has turned me off on threats about clothes forever.

So it's like 25 minutes long, you do circuits and build on them, the music is good, and you end with pushups and planks which I am proud to say I did on my toes.  I am looking forward to the rest of the workouts, it looks like there are several.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Last Chance Workout

Ugh.  Rotten old Jillian Michaels and her Last Chance Workout.  It's 29 minutes long and there are many 'stars' from the TV show working out, too.  That Tara, who did the last workout I did, is there and some other people - some are obviously in the middle of the show and they do modified moves.

There are SIX (!) circuits, but they are short.  It's similar to the 30 Day Shred in that you do cardio and strength, but no abs.  For cardio, you do jumping jacks, with variations, like scissor kicks, jumping rope, with variations, and jogging in place, also with variations.  For strength, it's pretty straightforward.  I still haven't found my five pound weights, so I did this with two pounds and it was easy.  You work the regulars - legs, back, chest, arms, shoulders.  Also for the HARD cardio, you do those damned mountain climbers and prone jacks and then a move that does both of them.  Before the last circuit, Lovely Jillian tells you, "this is going to SUCK!".  I think of some of the other trainers I've seen, like Chris Freytag, who says "YES you can!" and Jillian just compares so badly.  She's always talking about getting good shoulders, so you can look good in a TANK TOP.  Aim high, Jillian.

BUT all that aside, she does talk about form a lot and she talks about doing the most with the moves, both of which I appreciate.  I enjoyed the workout and I would do it again.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Core Circuit Workout

Paul Vincent is the trainer on this 10 minute workout.  You do 3 sets that are exactly the same, so while it's kind of monotonous, it's effective.  It's hard to make an ab workout anything but an ab workout.

All the exercises are done by a girl (a very shiny girl, Mike said, is she slathered in baby oil?, ha) on a large exercise ball, which I don't have anymore, so I modified it.  The second set I had Anthony on me and the third set I had Veronica on me, so there was actually a lot of modification going on.  When I couldn't do the modified plank because I had a baby on me, I just did crunches.

I would do this again.  Wouldn't it be smart if I did it like every other day or something?  My core is a MESS, it is practically non existent!  I am trying to do a short abs workout every time I do any on demand workout and so far, so good.  I will let you know if I ever see a change!

30 Day Jump Start - Cardio

I have started the DREADED Biggest Loser workouts.  I have a well documented hatred of Jillian Michaels, but today was my lucky day because it wasn't her doing the workout, but a contestant named. ... Tara?  A pretty blonde.  Anyways, it was just a 10 minute cardio but it was pretty intense.

My problem with the Biggest Loser/Jillian Michaels workouts is that they are pretty artless.  I mean, you do jumping jacks and cross country skiing moves and mountain climbers and jumprope, which I know are good cardio moves, but they are so boring.  Plus the girl was not much of a trainer, necessarily, nor a caller, and she'd say "let's jump rope" and "let's do some jumping jacks".  BORING.  She was very encouraging, which was a plus and she didn't talk about BATHING SUITS like a certain Shmilian Shmichaels and that was also good.

Obviously, it was short and ... I always wonder, does it really count?  But I suppose it's better than nothing and I combined it with an ab workout so it was a little bit more.  I'm sure it would be good in combination with a 30 or 40 minute workout but I am just doing these one at a time.  Plus it's Christmas Eve and I have to get to the grocery store while the girls nap!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Straight to the Core

Elise Gulan is the trainer for this short ab workout, and I guess if you live near Santa Monica, you could maybe go to one of her classes, according to her website.  I do not live near Santa Monica, which makes me very happy at this point, because I couldn't do this whole workout.

It's a Pilates-based ab workout, and it's excellent, it's just - I guess I am such a wreck, abs-wise, that I just can't maintain even the beginning posture for it.  So I did all of it, just sort of modified, with (gasp!) part of my shoulder blades on the ground.  I am hopeful that if I keep doing these workouts, I will get strong enough and not have these terrible cramps in my muscles that I get now.  Or, it could just be that I have had too many c-sections in too short a time and I will never recover.  I don't care - I'm going to keep at it, and see what happens.  I'm just at home, so if I'm writhing around in pain on the floor, I don't care so much as when it happens at the damned Y.  :)

21 Day Makeover - Sculpting

That damned Brooklyn Decker is in this one, too!  Sara Haley is the trainer and she's very good, and I have to say, Brooklyn Decker is pretty quiet, so she didn't bug me too much.

This is part of a workout, which is annoying.  I wonder why they don't just show the whole thing, but I guess it's to get you to buy the DVD's, which ... I'm just never buying another DVD, people.  It's 2011, practically.  It's only 20 minutes long but of course it's hard.  It's all hard, I suppose that's why it's called WORKING out.

Sara does two long sets, involving working one side with lunges, squats, lifts, etc.  You hold dumbbells, I only had two one-pound weights but I bet it's better and more challenging with five.  After you do one set, you do a cardio portion, which involves fast v-steps and lunges, so you're kind of whipping the weights around, I don't know that I'd keep good form with more than five pound weights.

So you work one side, then you do a fast version on the same side, then do it all on the other side.  I actually did right-left, right-left, because I thought that was what we were supposed to do, and then after I found out I was wrong, I kept doing it that way because it was easier on my legs.  Wouldn't Brooklyn be disappointed if she knew!

That's it for the 21 Day Makeover, we'll start something else tomorrow.  I am afraid it's the Biggest Loser workouts, which can only mean ONE thing.  Jillian.  Ahhh!

Friday, December 17, 2010

21 Day Makeover - Cardio

Well.  I have been looking and looking for this workout on the Exercise TV site but I can't find it, nor the trainer, so the HELL with it.  I want to post about it before 1) I forget what happened or 2) my arms fall off.  It was HARD.  And to add to the difficulty, the trainer's little model is freaking Brooklyn Decker, the Sports Illustrated Supermodel.  Ugh.  Whatever.  She was all, "this is my favorite part!  My arms are getting toned!" and I thought, bitch, your arms were toned when this workout started.  But whatever, that is my own straightup jealousy so ignore it.

Anyway, this is a VERY intense 30 minute - well, 27 minute cardio workout.  There are three (three?  I think three?) sections.  You do 5, 10, and 15 jumping jacks, then side twists, then squat thrusts and in between you do 30 seconds of jabs and ... maybe 30 seconds, or maybe a minute of jumping rope.  Invisible rope, I mean.  You know what I mean.

The second section is mountain climbers, and ... something else, with the jabs and jumping rope in between.  The third section is jabs, but with dumbbells in your hands (I used 2 lbs.), oh! and these jumps that you do, from side to side, across your mat and back.  It's actually what I forgot that you do in the 2nd section, but you do a single in the 2nd section and a double in the third.  Then you do a square with your body, you jump from one corner of the mat, horizontally to the next, and you make a square.  All this you do in sets of 5, 10 and then 15.

There is a warmup but it's super fast and there is no cooldown.  I suppose Brooklyn and the trainer, whatever her name is, are going to continue on with the awesomely fun workout so they can celebrate their awesomely toned arms.  To which I say, whatever, sweater.

Honestly, it's a good workout - it's just hard as hell and I was trying to do it with my two girls all around my feet, and it was a pain.  I'm looking forward to the other ones, I don't know how many there are but I'm skerred.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

10 lb. Slimdown - Yoga

This was, by far, my favorite of the 10 lb. Slimdown workouts and that's saying something, because I've really liked them all.  It's Vinyasa yoga, which is sometimes called 'flow', so you are moving almost constantly.  The workout is about 22 or 23 minutes long and its a great short yoga workout.  I was thinking yesterday, when I was doing it:  we used to have yoga classes where I worked and they were always 90 minutes long.  Obviously, at one-third the time, it's less yoga and it's a different experience.  I wouldn't do this workout if I was trying to get a whole yoga workout in - like including a deep relaxation at the end.  But I would count this workout as the same as the other 10 lb. Slimdown ones.  It's a good, tough, simple workout.

I wouldn't say it's the most complicated workout in the world, but if you've never done yoga before, you might want to watch it before you do it, or else be prepared to pause it a little bit.  Another thing I miss about doing yoga in a class is that usually the teacher can walk around and gently correct your posture if it needs it.  Form is super important, so I'd say it's a good idea to be familiar with the terms.  You do the normal yoga poses, like Down Dog, a High Plank, Cobra, all the Warriors, Chair Pose, etc., but if those terms don't ring a bell, I'd either look them up or watch the workout first.  \

And now I'm all finished with the 10 lb. Slimdown!  I am FAR from doing this daily, but I am determined to keep blogging about it.  If you're reading and have a comment, leave one.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

10 lb. Slimdown - Lower

I have been a BAD exerciser, but I am hopefully back on track.  I did the Lower part of the 10 lb. slimdown, which thankfully my new cable company also has On Demand.  It is sooo hard, especially after a break.  It's the same drill - three sets, twice each.  Chris Freytag does the usual, lunges and squats of all kinds, but she always includes a higher impact move and she talks throughout in very positive ways, like "because you CAN", which I find myself thinking about throughout the day.  Like I think, "listen to Maria say the same demand for the 1000th time but don't kill her because you CAN".  :)

We are in our new house and we have had a hard first week, the heat went out and the garage door broke, Veronica is not sleeping, it all stinks, BUT I of course feel a million times better today for having worked out at all.  Today is my last day of the 100 pushup challenge and tomorrow I'm starting a 200 situp project.  I really like having something to do every day, I wish it were more, but maybe I'll get there.