Monday, January 28, 2013

Review: Amy Dixon's Breathless Body 2: The Edge

I'm not even going to verify how long it's been since my last post; let's just agree that it's been too long and move on, shall we?

Inspiration for posts has obviously been lacking, but I'm happy to say that that changed over the weekend, thanks to a new DVD workout.

This workout acts as a sequel to Breathless Body: The Ultimate Calorie Burn, which I haven't tried yet, but fully intend to (at the time I ordered The Edge, Ultimate Calorie Burn was out of stock).

What's so beautiful about The Edge? Quite a few things, my friends, quite a few things.

NO EQUIPMENT! Yep, that's right. All you need is a bit of space and a good attitude.

Dudes welcome. I'll spare my rant on the importance of gender neutrality in the fitness industry for another day and simply say this: Guys, don't let the image of a gal in pink put you off; you'll benefit from fast-paced body-weight cardio routines too! In fact, there's even a guy present in the video, performing the advanced moves, making the workout more inclusive.

Great for ALL fitness levels! Many of the DVDs I use tend to be for those who are already at an intermediate-to-advanced fitness level. But The Edge provides modifications for all three levels of fitness, so beginners can definitely join in on the fun.

The workout itself works in rounds. For each round, you perform three moves. Each move is performed for 30 seconds, followed by 15 seconds of recovery; you then repeat the sequence two more times for a total of three sets per round.

Before each round, Amy gives you a quick explanation of which moves will be performed, including the beginner, intermediate and advanced versions. There's a different exerciser performing each modification, making it easy to follow along to your preferred fitness level. What I love about multi-level modifications is that I could try the advanced moves when I wanted to push myself or mix in the beginner/intermediate moves when I needed a bit of recovery, without coming to a complete stop.

Most of the moves are plyometric in nature, but remember, if high intensity jumping isn't your thing, refer to the beginner and intermediate modifiers for safer alternatives. Think tuck jumps, squat thrusts, single-leg hops, split lunges and variations on jumping jacks. Twelve different moves may not sound like much, but the goal is to push yourself during each of those 30 second intervals; once you start repeating the sets, the recovery time seems shorter and shorter!

There are four rounds plus an extra round called "The Finisher". During the finishing round, you perform ALL of the previously completed moves, 30 seconds each, WITHOUT any breaks in between. It makes for a tough six minutes, but finishing strong is always the way to go.

Including warm-up and cool-down, the entire workout is just shy of 55 minutes, but trust me- the time flies by thanks to the interval format.

I'm always hesitant when trying a new DVD for the first time because I wonder if I'll fall behind trying to keep up with complicated choreography and poor cues. NOT the case with The Edge. Amy's instruction and cuing is some of the best I've seen so far! None of the moves are too complicated, so you can count on getting an intense, sweaty workout the first time through.

The Edge has quickly become my new favorite cardio workout; I'm looking forward to taking a break from the treadmill! It's simple to follow, provides different modifications to keep you moving (and motivated!), goes by fast, and leaves you with a rush of endorphins (and puddles of sweat) to make you feel just plain awesome when it's over. I'm officially an Amy Dixon fan now and look forward to trying her other releases.