Video Fitness


Althea Lawton-Thompson

Altheatized Pump Fit is a good little workout. It is fairly short, coming in between 40 and 45 minutes, but it is thorough.

Althea starts with a warmup, she does use some weights in the warmup which surprised me a bit, and I think she would've been better off to have done entirely unweighted moves in the warm-up. Not a big deal, next time I just won't pick up the weights. Her warmup is sort of fun and comfortable and a preview of moves you'll be doing in the next section.

The next section consists of glutes and shoulders. Althea does close-legged squats with side lateral raises, then steps out to each side for wider-stance squats with front raises. I am not a huge fan of compound moves but I found that my glutes and shoulders were both feeling it adequately (normally I feel that one body part tends to get cheated when I do two at once).

Then Althea moves on to back and biceps with bent over rows, rhomboid pinches (which she calls "shrugs"), and a long section of endurance biceps work.

Then it's on to chest and triceps. This is the toughest segment in my opinion, at least for triceps. Ouch! She does a tricep pushup that really puts the hurts to those tris.

She follows with some floorwork for inner thighs and glutes/hams, just your standard inner thigh lifts and then donkey kicks.

Next to the last section is abs, she does some traditioal crunch-style ab moves, traditional obliques, and some planks, followed by some "swimming supermans" on your stomach.

Finally, a nice stretch. Althea has you stretch at the end of each section (with members of her "posse" demonstrating different stretches) as well.

The positives are that the music is good, Althea is personable, the workout is well-sequenced and fairly balanced. Althea allows time for you to stretch between sections but obviously expects you to pause the tape and stretch on your own. The posse demonstrates stretches for whatever couple of body parts you just worked, and you can choose the stretches you need and take the time with the tape paused to do them. I'd rather she had just incorporated time to fully stretch each body part into the workout. I don't like pausing to stretch. But obviously her idea is for you to be able to personalize the stretches you choose and the time you spend on them, which some might really enjoy.

There are not as many compound moves as I expected. Other than the glutes/shoulders section, you are mostly focusing on one body part at a time. I was leery of this workout because I'm not a big compound moves fan, and was glad to see that it isn't really focused on continual compound moves.

I really like Althea's use of tempo changes. She does singles, two up/two down, three up/one down, one up/three down, four up/four down, and mid-range pulses. I LOVE tempo variations, so I was VERY pleased with that aspect of this workout! Her singles are fairly fast, which limits how heavy you can go, unless you want to skip the singles and sub in slower reps.

Also, there is not much time to change weights. The good thing about that is that this workout is UNCOMPLICATED. Just you and one or two sets of light dumbbells. The bad news is, one set of weights just isn't really enough variety to really work the bigger muscles adequately.

Another slight negative is that Althea has form pointers in boxes at the bottom of the screen. I find them a bit distracting, and I don't think they'd be as helpful to a beginner as actual VERBAL form corrections.

I'd call this a solid intermediate workout. It would probably feel like a light day for a hard-core Cathe or Firm fan; but that's OK. A thorough, well-designed workout that isn't necessarily killer level is a very positive thing in my book. There are a few negatives, which I mentioned, but they are minor. The strong positives definitely outweigh them.

I wouldn't characterize this as a perfect workout or a party in a box, but it is a solid intermediate workout with a personable instructor, which is something I don't have a lot of in my collection.

Instructor comments: Althea is friendly, but low key. If you like Cathe's video presence, you will probably like Althea's.

susan p


This workout has already been broken down in detail, so I will just give my impressions. First, I should say that I consider myself to be a solid intermediate when it comes to weight work. I thought that this workout was pretty good for the upper body, but not so great for the lower body. If memory serves me correctly, all of the lower body moves were either 1) compound moves or 2) floorwork. I usually use heavier weights for my lower vs. upper body, so I didn't really "feel" the compound strength moves in my lower body. I am also not a big fan of floorwork -- I wish she had added one or two sections of standing leg work (that would make the video a keeper, IMO). That said, I absolutely love Althea! I enjoyed the music, and the diversity of the class. I also really appreciated the "insets" with form pointers. I think this would be a great video for intermediates who enjoy floorwork, or for those who don't really need a lot of lower body work.

Instructor comments: I really love Althea! She comes across as very warm and personable. She cues well, and does a good job of giving form pointers.

chi-town pear


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