This week flew by for me. And for that, I am grateful. Before I get into my DVD review, let me quickly express how F-ING STOKED I am that my gym is offering BodyPump classes next week! I've been reading about these classes on other blogs for a while now and may/may not have squealed when I saw the BP logo on the 24 Hour Fitness class schedule. Looks like it's replacing 24 S.E.T. and is gonna be offered Sat./Sun, mornings. So, so perfect. I've heard that you're completely sore and busted after the first class, but being the sadist that I am, I still can not wait!
Alright, alright. On to review schtuff. I know it's been out for a while, but this week, I finally got around to trying out:
The Biggest Loser: Last Chance Workout.
I'll cut to the chase... Keeper? Yes! Time for the breakdown:
Starts with a general warm-up, complete with Jillian's mix of dynamic stretching and light cardio. The case says 5 minutes, but it's actually closer to 8.
Last Chance Workout:
This is a 25-minute session that acts as the bulk of the DVD. Basically, you alternate between high-intensity cardio moves and strength training moves, each move lasting around 30 seconds.
Some of the moves I recognized from various other DVDs I've done in the past (including Jillian's), but there was still some new stuff like Scissor Jumping Jacks and Staggering Push-ups. Buh. Regular jumping jacks are not my favorite, so having to cross my legs in the middle just about killed me. The Staggering Push-ups involved constantly alternating the position of each hand. Again, buh. I'm a push-up wuss though, so these were tough for me.
Also in the mix were some mountain climbers, in-and-outs (a.k.a. plank or squat thrusts), plank jacks, dumbbell rows, flys, tricep kickbacks and extensions, lunges with weights, side and front kicks, hooks/jabs/uppercuts, side squats with weights, deadlifts, bicep curls, jump rope (including one-legged jump rope, which of course killed me) and lateral raises. Those certainly weren't listed in order and I'm sure I left out a handful of others, but those are the majority of the moves.
I did ok my first time through. Definitely broke out a sweat and had some lingering soreness over the following couple of days. Since it is a shorter workout and because each move is performed for around 30 seconds, increase your weight during the strength moves and go for full-intensity during the cardio sets. I did a pretty good job of changing out my weights, but I probably could've pushed a bit harder during cardio.
I gotta say, Jillian flat out annoyed me during this workout. Too much yelling, talking down to/making fun of the contestants and not enough instruction. There were a lot of moves where she would just say "Ok, time for X," and wouldn't describe the move or what kind of form to have until the interval was nearly over, if she described it all, so I really had to stop and look at what people were doing and follow along the best I could. Following along is tricky too, because most of the contestants aren't in sync at all. I tried to follow along with Tara or Sione, but even with them, my timing got off. Not a huge deal, but pretty annoying during the first try.
Upper Body Sculpt:
This is a 10 minute workout. Pretty standard; rows, shoulder presses, push-ups, etc. Again, keep the weight up and you'll feel a damn good burn. New-ish move that killed me? Plank Renegades/Rows. Now, if you've done level 3 of 30 Day Shred or one of Jackie Warner's workouts, you'll recognize this move. But the twist? No alternating arms; you stay on the same side for each rep. Maybe it was just me, but not being able to alternate sides destroyed me. I actually got kind of upset with myself because I couldn't stay off of my knees the whole time. Tough stuff!
Another killer? Plank Flys Yep, get into plank on your weights and raise one arm out to the side. And as with the plank rows, you had to stay on the same side; no alternating arms. Owie. There were also some bicep curls and tricep dips thrown into the mix, so I was pleased with the variety of moves, given the amount of time.
Lower Body Tone:
This workout is also 10 minutes and quite effective. Though it's a standard mix of lunges and squats, the use of added weights and steady pace kept me sweatin' & burnin'.
Move that made me whimper? Jump squats WITH overhead presses! This is a balls-out move that Jillian closes with. Jump squats are one thing, but when you have to push weight up over your head while you're in the air? Well, hot damn.
Jillian's instruction during the upper and lower body segments is MUCH better, as is the pace of the contestants. Everything seemed much more focused and Jillian's teaching style seemed to mirror that of her own non-BL workout DVDs.
Nice 5 minute cool down. I liked that the format of the BL workouts kinda "forced" Jillian into taking more time with cooling down and stretching; the cool down segments in her own DVDs always seems too short and a bit rushed to me.
I did the 25 minute workout only on the first day. On the second day, I ran a warm-up mile and did the two 10-minute workouts. Honestly, I don't think I could hang if I did all three workouts back-to-back... Since the 25 minute session has a lot of strength moves built in, my muscles would fatigue and burn out pretty quick into the upper/lower body segments. I might give it a shot some day, but for now, I'm digging the idea of breaking them up into quick, effective workouts for when I'm short on time, but still want to feel like a tough bad-ass.
That's all for today. Have a great weekend, everyone!