Sunday, January 30, 2011

Body By Bethenny

I've been waiting to do this workout for a while, I finally found it today because I'm getting close to the end (!) and it's filed under Yoga & Pilates.  It was excellent, I really enjoyed it but it's hard.  Or maybe just hard for me. Unfortunately, in yoga, you have to do a lot of downward facing dog poses and it gives me a birds eye view of my thighs.  Ugh.  We still have a ways to go, is what I'm saying!

So anyway it's good - maybe it's Bethenny's trainer that guides it?  Bethenny is there, doing it, and showing modifications but the woman that runs it is very good.  I didn't catch her name, Anthony was hooting and hollering during all of it and I was thinking "how relaxing yoga is!".  So you do about 35 minutes of yoga, just general moves, it's pretty challenging but Bethenny shows some modifications and they talk quite a bit about how it's not a contest, there is no ego in yoga, if you need to rest, you can rest.  My kind of workout, ha!

After the yoga, you do about 20 minutes of strength training.  Again, basic, but really enjoyable and of course they both look GREAT which is a good motivator, to me.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Lost Weight In Eight, Yoga Sculpt

This is part of the Lose Weight in Eight series and I loved it.  I *started* to do this other one, ugh, what was it called?  Activate?  Some nonsense.  It started out with a workout and it included this weird knee circle that Jillian Michaels does and I thought that it didn't bode well for this dude who leads the workout.  He didn't seem to care about your knees anyway.  But he was all "if you are willing to do UNCONVENTIONAL exercises, we can WORK YOU OUT" or whatever and I was game.  And it's funny that I was game, because we started out with ANIMAL exercises.  The first was called "The Bear" and you kind of walked on your hands and feet, while bent over, parallel to the floor.  Mmmmkay.  I didn't love it but I did it.  THEN he did THE CRAB!  The CRAB!  Like from grade school?  And I was all, um, are we playing DODGEBALL next?  So I stopped.

I was so glad I did, this yoga workout was just what I needed.  I'm EXTRA tired today because there was a kid awake and noisy in this house until 11:45, then another one woke up from 12:30 til 2:00, then the last one woke up at 5:45.  So.  We're tired, is what I'm saying.  Anyways, it's great, it's 8 moves, that you do three times.  You do (this is not in order) 1) a tree pose, while lifting weights for a bicep curl, 2) a plank pushup, into child's pose, 3) a plank position and lift your weights up to your shoulders, one by one 4) a cobra pose, and you push your hands out in front of you and then pull them back along your body, 5) a warrior pose, while lifting weights, 6) a lunge (I can't think of the yoga name) and you lift your knee up, 8) a triangle pose and you hold weights in both hands, dropping one arm along your leg and pushing the other up to the ceiling.  I guess that's it, you do them three times, it's hard and feels great when you're done.  She makes modifications for all of the poses, too, which is perfect.

The trainer, Kathy Faulstich, makes a good point - she said when you feel like you are getting tired and fatigued, that's what it feels like to get stronger.  You should be PROUD, she said, to feel that feeling.  And I was.  :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Lose Weight in Eight, Athletic Conditioning Workout

Paul Vincent is the trainer for this workout, and he's super pleasant.  His model, Gina, is a woman who has lost like 60 pounds, and has 20 more to lose.  She's great, not just because she's not Brooklyn Decker, but because she is still on the road to whatever her ideal is, and she can still really work out hard.

It's a hard workout - I had to modify some of it, but if I'm being honest I could have done it all.  I'm just tired.  And have lost the will to live, let alone work out, but that's probably for a different blog entirely, ha!

It's eight moves but you do them three times and you do them for what feels like a long time.  Let me see if I can remember.  The girls were awake while I did it so it's been sort of scattered for me.   You do 1) jumping lunges, 2) crunches and rolls, where you do five crunches and then put up your legs and arms and roll over twice, without dropping your legs or arms.  3) a superman move, 4) a bridge move 5) pushups with a side opening in between, 6) plank pushups, (modification - the real move was a plank position, then you cross your legs from one side to the other, which, well, forget it) 7) this move where you put your arms out to either side and push them up so your hands are above your head, and then pull them back down, the whole time pushing your elbows back, as if your arms were sliding along a wall behind you. It's harder than it sounds.  8) I forgot, the first move is a kettlebell throw, where you hold a weight and squat down and then come up, throwing the weight above your head.

So, it was a hard but do-able workout.  He's a great trainer, big into form and reminding you of it.  You do the circuits and he tells you when you are in the last ten seconds and you can really pour it on, which I appreciate.  I always feel like you can do ten seconds of anything.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Jillian Michaels - 30 Day Shred

Well, it had to happen, I had to do it.  I used to do this workout all the time but I stopped, I don't know why.

I mean, she's horrible.  At one point, she says about one of her worker-outers, 'look at these abs!  She didn't get these abs without hard work.  And there's not a lot I wouldn't do to have these abs'.  And I'm like, really?  Really, Jillian?  Like what?  She's too hyperbolic and she's just - I mean, I get that it's important to be in shape, I do!  But at this point in my life, I do not care about how my abs look.  And Jillian seems kind of mad about that, to me.  Also, not in this level, but in one of them, she screams, "I want you to feel like you're going to diiiiie!", and come ON!  That is not how I want to feel while I'm working out.  Let's leave that to the Crossfitters, shall we?

Anyway.  The 30 day Shred workout is comprised of a warm up, three circuits of:  three minutes of strength training, two minutes of cardio one minute of abs, and a cool down.  You are supposed to use weights but I suppose you don't have to.  I didn't, today, as I was upstairs and I only had one ten pound weight.  I mean, I did use the weight, sometimes, but like for the chest flys, I couldn't.  I think it's a good workout, I read somewhere on line that someone did the workout but just memorized it so they didn't have to hear Jillian talk and that seems like a good idea.  Because it is good, it's fast, and it feels effective.  I just don't like getting yelled at - not by my kids and not by some mean lady on the tv.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Holy crap this was hard.  I am not a person who does a lot of Pilates, largely because I'm scaaaared because it's haaaaard!  And I'm right.  This class is a mixture of Pilates and Kickboxing, which - ugh.  I am glad I'm blogging all these exercises because there is no way in HELL I would do this otherwise.

The trainer is Viveca Jensen, who is ... British?  Irish?  Who the hell knows.  But she's easy to understand and she was barefoot, which I like as I am often barefoot when I am working out.  I can never find my shoes and I don't have time to look, is why.  Anyways.

It's a short workout - the exercise tv version is 22 minutes.  But you do a good warmup and then the workout is pretty intense and it cuts off like this (snap!) and it's over.  You start with regular boxing moves - jabs, crosses, hooks, with corresponding legs.  Then you start the Pilates part and this is where you have to be tougher than I am to do it all.  For example, you do a leg lift, like to the side, you're lifting your knee up and tapping your toe on the floor for several reps.  THEN, you do the same lift but you don't put your toe down and - I - this is hard.  She is pretty motivating and clear and I could do it okay and THEN you have to hold it for some amount of seconds - 425?  50,000?  Okay, maybe eight, but man.  It feels long.

Like I say, it cut off right away so I just did some cool down type movements and I have to do my situps anyway.  I would totally get this whole workout.  It flies by, because you are so busy doing the punches and lifts.  It would take a while to build up to the 40 minutes of kickboxing, though.  I am weak.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Jillian Michaels - Yoga Meltdown

I was going to skip the Jillian Michael's portion of Exercise TV but I thought that would be bs, in a way, right?  The point is to do them all.  The dance ones I don't feel so bad about not doing, because I really do think they are better in a class environment but I know that the JM workouts are good, I just don't like her.  So I did the Yoga Meltdown, which I had heard good things about.  It's 37 minutes long and it's challenging, but doable and she never mentions tank tops or jeans once!  Win win win!

Anthony had sort of a breakdown during the workout but this is a fun thing about Comcast on demand stuff - if you start it on one tv, you can resume it on another.  So I started the workout upstairs in my room (which has hardwood floors so I didn't need a mat) and then I finished later, after Mike took Anthony out for a shake and an attitude adjustment (which worked!) and I got Veronica up from her nap and then went downstairs, got out my yoga mat (because it's carpeted) and finished the workout.

I am soooore in my arms and shoulders and I am very glad that I've done that pushup challenge, because I felt very strong during the plank stuff and there is a LOT of plank stuff.  Like a LOT a LOT.  It's pretty simple, but you would have had to have done yoga before and be familiar with the terms and poses.  Jillian has you "rep it out" when you start a pose.  For example, you do Warrior 1, and then you "rep it out" by doing sort of a lunge within the pose.  You do several reps and then you hold the pose for 15 seconds.  Like I say, it's challenging but doable and I could totally see doing this workout once or twice a week, even with the Evil Jillian at the helm. She looks great and is very pleasant doing this.  For once!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Kickboxing, Booty and Core

KBC - Kickboxing, Booty and Core is the second kickboxing workout I've done today.  I'm sick of it!  This is another small-world moment.  I think this trainer, Natalie, is on of the workout models that mean old Jillian Michaels uses in the 30 Day Shred.  She is a tall, gorgeous person.  Let's find a picture.

Anyways.  You start with some kickboxing moves, then you do some booty moves, then core.  Unfortunately, I didn't get to do the core because the girls woke up, but I don't care much because I am doing my situp challenge anyway.  The kickboxing moves were more cardio-intense in this workout than the last one, but still effective.  The booty moves mostly involved pulses and ... ouch, I guess my giant legs are weak because these are really, really hard for me.  Sigh.  It's all hard.

There's one more kickboxing workout but I don't know if I'll do it today.  That would be a goal, though - to do 60 minutes of kickboxing, that's what I used to do at the gym anyway.  Sometimes I'd be so sore and shaky after a 60 minute boxing class, I could barely hold my after-gym beer, ha!


This was a 20 minute workout, with someone named Phillipe as the trainer.  It was great, it reminded me of boxing classes I used to take at New York Sports Club, my old and favorite gym.  The only problem is that it's SHORT.

So the warmup is like this - NOT A WARMUP AT ALL.  It's hard too.  You do these sort of moving planks, then you do a 'modified pushup'.  I take 'modified' to mean EASIER but this is harder than a pushup, you start on your belly and pushup your whole body and then come back down.  Oy.  Then you do some ... well, they are like mountain climbers, only you jump both feet in and out.  Some superman stretches are next, and then you do this JUMP move, you are squatting down, on the balls of your feet, with your knees spread and then you POP up to standing and back down.  Sheesh.  Warm up before this, is what I'm saying.

The boxing part is fun, you do some combinations, switch sides, then repeat.  So jab, cross, hook, uppercut, then you add in a kick.  THEN you do just kicks in a combination and then go back into an arm combination.  It's a good workout.  Then, just for fun, to COOL DOWN, you do what you did for the warm up.  I have to do another workout, so I can get some more time in today, but I am beat just from that warm up and cool down, ha!

Forgotten Yoga

I was just looking at the blog, figuring out what I would do this afternoon, when I realized I never blogged about the 360 yoga that I did.  Did I?  I haven't seen it but - well, I am crazy so it could be there.  Anyways, in case I didn't say anywhere, I did the 360 Yoga, which was the third of three parts to that workout.  It's good, it's kind of like that Chris Freytag one that I did in that there is very little of the breathing, relaxing stuff that I know and love from yoga classes of the past, but lots of basic moves.  I like Holly Perkins and I like doing yoga - I wish I could do a little bit every day.  This would be a great workout for that, like just a little check in with yoga, or you could do it as part of the whole 360 workout.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Billy Blanks Dance Something and Jackie Warner Total Body

OK so I tried to do this long Billy Blanks, Jr. Workout called Dance Something or Other.  It was 61 minutes long, and as I had just put both girls down for their naps AND because I started tracking points on weight watchers again today, I figured it would be good to build up some activity points.  Also, what the hell?  I should be working out for more than 30 minutes a day.  So.  I tried to do it.

But Maria was yelling MOMMY!  MOMMY!  WAIT I NOT TIRED, MOMMY! over and over and I had to go get her and I just couldn't concentrate.  Plus it was super hard, choreography wise - there was a whole hip hop section and I am just not very funky.  There, now that secret is out.  So anyways, I skipped out of Billy Blanks, Jr., and moved on past "Dance" and "Dance Moves" and went to Jackie Warner.

I like Jackie Warner, mostly but she is kind of a bitch.  All the time she says "My legs are burning, so I KNOW yours are at home!".  What she doesn't add is, "you fatass", but it's implied.  STRONGLY implied.

Also, and this was CRAZY to me, Holly Perkins, who I just did those 360 workouts with, is one of Jackie's model worker-outer-girls in this.  So!  Small world, right?

It's a hard workout and I am not just saying that because I had to do it with two small imbeciles running around and bugging me.  You do circuits of three exercises for each body part (legs, glutes, lower abs, upper abs, chest, back and arms) and then once you've done all three exercises, you do them again, all at once, for a "power burn".  So it's hard, it's just normal weightlifting moves, mostly, but she is interesting and she calls for good form all the way through.  Also, Holly Perkins does the 'harder' moves and she has another girl who does some modifications.

I look forward to the rest of the Jackie Warner stuff, even if she is kind of mean and implies that you are a fatass.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

360 Workout

I think maybe the Exercise TV options have changed for me, but I'm pressing on.  I think I just started something, right?  And I thought there would be more?  Now it goes from the Crunch workouts to the 360 workouts.  Oh well, this was fine.  Although, (she bragged), today I did TWO workouts.  I was going to do three but come on, who am I?  Bruce Jenner?  Plus I'm hungry.

So, the first workout is the cardio portion.  Holly Perkins is the trainer and she is excellent.  She's by herself, which I always appreciate.  She uses the term 'activate' a lot, meaning when you are lifting a weight, or making a movement, you can activate another muscle and sort of change what gets worked out.  A lot of movements can be made better and more efficient, for example, if you activate your abs.  Sometimes my abs are activated in the form of flopping around as I jump up and down, but that's my own problem.  Or special gift.  Ha!

The cardio is good, but you do some squats and lunges that I appreciate too.  I still haven't found my 5 lb. weights, I'm starting to think I don't want to!  She also talks about 'plyometrics', which is, I guess, the newest thing in jumping around.  It's just jumping from one move to another, right?  Maybe I am missing something.  I appreciate doing it, but boy do you have to be careful with your form.  Like if you are doing a lunge and JUMPING to the opposite leg, you really have to think about your knees.

The second part, speaking of my knees, is Total Tone and it has some cardio, but mostly it's sculpting, with weights.  There was one move that I stopped doing - It was like a jumping curtsy lunge and I felt something hurt in my one knee so I just did regular squats.  And I also slacked off on some of the ab work and just did a bridge, because I'm doing that 200 situp project and today is my day off.

The third part is a yoga part and I should have done it but I was hungry, so I made lunch.  As it is, I didn't get to eat it, since Veronica woke up from her short nap.  I can either work out or eat while they nap, and obviously it's better to work out.

So I'll try to add the yoga in to my next workout, and then I'll be finished with the 360.  This would be an excellent workout if you added up all three, I'm sure.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Don't Gain A Pound - Bootcamp Body Makeover

I think I did all I can do with those Crunch workouts.  There was one stretch one that I'd like to get back to, but all the rest were dancey and I'm not interested.  So I moved on to the "Don't Gain a Pound" section and did the first one, Bootcamp Body Makeover.

Amy Dixon is the trainer, we've seen her before and I really like her.  She talks a lot about form and getting better and being healthier and she, believe it or not, NEVER mentions a tank top!  Imagine that!  I wear tank tops a lot, actually, so I guess that's what bugs me about so many of these bitches talking about it.  I suppose by their rules, I don't DESERVE to wear a tank top but whatevs.

So.  It's a good, but short, workout.  I would think that they are just showing part of a longer workout, but since you warm up and cool down, I don't think that's the case.  Anyway, this is two long circuits of cardio and strength work.  You do a little sequence that she adds on to and then once you have it, you repeat it a few times.  It reminds me of taking Aerobics back in the early 90's in that way.  That's not a complaint, I loved those aerobics classes!

You do some boxing moves, squats, lunges, kicks, pushups, crunches, the usual.  They are all very straightforward workout moves, no yoga or dancing involved.  It's a short but I imagine effective workout and it felt fine for me today, since I started my 200 sit up project today and I feel I have already worked enough, ha!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Crunch - Ass and Abs

OK, first - I did try to do the Crunch - Burlesque and the Crunch - World Wild Dancing Extravaganza, or whatever the hell it was called but the first one was RIDICULOUS.  It was Crunch Los Angeles, natch, and the trainer kept mentioning how SEXY everything was, because they were in LA.  At one point, she said that they were in the greatest, sexiest city - California!  Someone must have waved a map at her because shortly after she giggled and said "L.A.".  Oy.  I still was going to do it, such is my dedication to this blog project, but it was so stupid.  It was not a workout.  I gave up after about 10 minutes.  Then the Dancing thing was just silly and I didn't feel like it was going to be a good workout.

I used to go to some dance classes at my gym - Hip Hop Funk, for example, but it's different at home.  It's harder and I find absolutely no joy in it.  Plus I really hated that dumb girl who didn't know the difference between cities and states.

SO.  I did Ass and Abs, which was the same girl from San Fransisco that we worked out with the other day, she's fine.  It's a hard workout though, I am still sort of sore and shaky.  She does the lower body part first and then you do some ab work - mostly planks and oblique crunches and reverse crunches - there are no regular just crunches anymore, I find.  But I think it's because these really are better workouts to do - they are better for your whole abs and your back.  Still, hard.