Video Fitness

The 12-Minute Total Body Workout

Joyce Vedral

I use this workout when I'm travelling, or recovering from illness or injury. A pair of 3-lb dumbbells are all that is required, because the exerciser is supposed to provide their own "self-created" resistence (ie. really squeezing and flexing the muscle on both the up and down portions of the exercises). I find that it takes quite a bit of discipline to really squeeze the muscles intensely, but it is a very good way to improve the mind-muscle connection. The routine itself consists of working three bodyparts (chest, shoulders, triceps; legs, butt, abs; back, biceps, calves) per day, six days per week (hitting each muscle group twice per week), and only abs and butt the seventh day (three times per week for these problem areas). Two exercises per bodypart are performed, using three sets of 10 reps for upper body and three sets of 10-15 reps for lower body, and resting only 10-15 seconds between sets. Joyce provides different exercises for every day, but I like to pick my two favourites for each bodypart and repeat them on the second workout day (some exercises are just easier for me to perform properly). Also, some of the exercises mimic cable exercises, and I like making sure that I'm working my target muscle against gravity even if squeezing the muscle is supposed to provide most of the resistance. At home, I use 3lbs on triceps and shoulders, and 5lbs on everything else (when I travel, I take only 2lbs, otherwise it gets pretty heavy to carry). It really does make your muscles burn to squeeze them to the max! And unlike some of Joyce's other workouts, this one really does match her claim of taking only 12 minutes per day to perform. She also includes tips and tricks for keeping to your diet and exercise plan when travelling. I find this book very useful, and I think other time-crunched people or those recovering from illness would, too!

Serena Schlueter
Feb.23/99

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