Friday, February 19, 2010

Power circuits, indeed.

Alrighty. It's FRIDAY! It wasn't a particularly hectic week, things just moved along rather quickly. I'll get to food pics in a later post because I have some new DVD feedback I want to get out of the way first!

This morning, I wasn't really in a running mood, but I was still excited to try my new Jackie Warner Power Circuit Training DVD.

I set up my dumbbells, popped in the DVD and selected the 40-minute Total Body Circuit. My overall reaction: This is a great strength training workout! It reminded of Jillian Michaels' No More Trouble Zones, only a bit more intense and WAAAAAY faster. When I do No More Trouble Zones, the whole workout seems to draaaaag out forever, which is exactly why I don't do it very often.

Jackie's DVD on the other hand moves through each interval like clockwork. In fact, that's probably the biggest con for me... I like that the 40 minutes flies by, but she moves through the reps a little too fast for me. None of the moves are particularly complicated, but I still would like a few extra seconds to make sure my form is right (especially since she's constantly blabbing about how important form is throughout the whole workout) and also to adjust my weights.

The reviews on Amazon led me to believe that there would be a good amount of cardio (I was expecting some plyometrics), but there wasn't any at all. I think because you do a lot of reps so quickly, your heart rate does get raised a bit to where it feels like you just did a bit of cardio, but the moves themselves are all centered around resistance and strength training.

I used my 5 pound dumbbells most of the time, but tried to switch to my 10 pound set when I could. That was probably another part that kinda irritated me- trying to determine which weight to use to get the best results. Since it was my first time going through everything though, that lack of knowledge was to be expected. That said, I think I need a pair of 8 pound weights. Sometimes the 5's felt a bit too light, but the 10's were too heavy. There was also a circuit with deadlifts where I wanted to use my super-heavy set (I think they're 15 or 20 pounds?), but of course, didn't have time to grab them from the other room.

The format of each circuit is like this: One minute each of three different moves, then you close with a "Power" mini circuit, where you repeat all three moves back-to-back, quickly and with less reps.

She breaks it down into lower body (think various squats and lunges), then moves into upper body (working biceps, triceps and shoulders) and then the last 3 circuits each focus on abs (upper, lower and obliques). I HATED the ab circuits, but I know I'll love the results if I keep up with them. Her goal is to fatigue all of your muscles a bit and my abs were pretty much dead by the end of it.

Despite moving through everything too fast, I'm definitely happy to have this DVD in my collection. I like having a strength training workout that goes by quickly because, as we all know, I just don't like strength/resistance workouts. I love what they do for my body though, so I'm glad I have a new one that I don't hate and will actually be motivated to do more often. I think I'll get more out of it once I have some 8 pound weights and become more familiar with the format.

There's also four individual 15 minute workouts that each focus on upper body, lower body, abs and total body. I'm thinking on Sunday, when I have more time (and if I'm not incredibly sore still), I'll go though each circuit individually to see how it differs from doing the condensed 40 minute version.

I worked up a good sweat and when it was over, I suddenly became aware of how much I worked my arms and my abs. In fact, when I looked in the mirror, I pretty much expected to see a new six pack because the ab circuit seemed so brutal. I dunno, maybe I'm just a wuss in that regard. I did feel strong and buff afterward too, which led to a much-needed positive body mood.

All in all, I'm pleased with Jackie as a trainer and am looking forward to getting more toned and cut by adding this DVD into my regular rotation. Score!

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