Lashaun Dale, Carey Bond
I bought this video at DCAC; it's part of a series of four new videos from the Body Bar company. It's an hour long and focuses on sports-oriented moves using the Body Bar or a barbell. There are four sections: muscle conditioning, sports simulations, agility, and core strength. After a warmup using the bar, the muscle conditioning segment does sets of compound exercises, for example rowing with the bar while doing lunges, plus a few sets of pushups. Each set has "recovery" reps, done slowly with less range of motion, alternated with "power" reps where you move faster with more range. If you're using a barbell and used to doing heavy weights, you'll probably want to put a couple of plates on your barbell for this segment. Most of the exercises in this segment are pretty easy, I thought, but there are some interesting moves such as holding the bar against your tailbone and bending forward at the hips.
The next segment, sports simulations, is more intense and the most fun part. You simulate various sports movements using the bar or barbell: paddling a kayak, ski jumping, rock climbing, skating, playing tennis (watch out for your lamps!), and a windsurfing exercise where you hold the bar out and lean away from it. These range from pretty easy to fairly hard, such as the windsurfing, and they move rapidly from one exercise to the next so as to raise your heart rate. I wish this segment was longer!
The last two segments are very short. You test your agility by shuffling rapidly around two bars crossed on the floor (I used my barbell crossed with one of my husband's neckties!), first with your feet, then with your hands! Finally there is core strength, where you balance on your forearms while raising your legs, similar to Christi Taylor's SBF video, and some very easy ab exercises where you simply roll back and forth using the bar behind your knees. Even the final stretch makes use of the bar.
Sport Zone has a good mix of both easy and hard exercises. It's ideal for intermediates, or as a "light day" or "change of pace" video for advanced. It's produced by Sherry Catlin and Greg Twombly, uses the new CIA set, and the Musicflex soundtrack from Step Fit and Power Max. I give it an A for not being real "pizazzy", but competent and well-produced.
This is not my favorite Body Bar tape so far. I have Balance, Line and Strength, and The New Body Bar Workout, which I enjoy far more for different reasons. I just ordered Body Bar Step and am looking forward to that. This tape, however, is very frustrating. Just when you find an exercise on it that seems promising, you only do a few reps and move onto the next. You really can't get a "good" workout doing this tape. There is alot of standing around while discussion of the exercise takes place.
In the four sections: muscle conditioning, sports simulations, agility, and core strength, the instructors do mostly compound exercises in sets. Supposedly, one set is easy or recovery and one set is power. The power sets were a waste of time as all you did was push a little faster, a little farther or harder. You would have been better off using heavier weights to do the "power" sections. The majority of exercises are easy and some are awkward as if they said saying "how can we use the body bar next" right before the tape was made. When sports activities such as rock climbing, para-sailing and in-line skating are simulated, they don't perform them long enough to get anything out of them. I would rate this a C. Maybe you would enjoy it on an off day, but I would use Balance, Line and Strength or one of the Method tapes instead as those moves are much more interesting or challenging.
Instructor comments: The male instructor is very pleasant, easy on the eyes and seems to know his stuff. I have seen him on a sport show and I enjoy him very much. His cuing is clear and emphasizes technique. The female instructor seems nervous or unsure of herself at times. Clare Dunphy from Balance, Line and Strength is in the background performing the exercises, but has no speaking role.
I am not sure what to think of this tape. The various
sections are tag-teamed by the very
interesting-looking Carey Bond and Lashaun Dale, who
is extremely cute but looks like she can't QUITE keep
up with Carey. I think that endeared her to me :-) The
first section of the workout was various isolation
exercises, and it was very boring the first time. The
second time, I did some and fast-forwarded through
some. Eventually it might grow on me. I think the only
reason it bored me so much was because the sports
simulation section is VERY fun and I am impatient to
get to it. It is not nearly as long as it should be,
but it is a lot of fun. The skiing moves get the heart
rate up and the climbing move is very clever.
I don't quite have enough space for this tape, so I
don't often do it and was tempted to trade it. But I
really like Lashaun and think I'll keep her for
awhile. This could be a nice add-on tape, I suppose. I
am not quite sure where the whole thing would fit in a
rotation. But it's a nice change of pace.