Michelle Dozois and Tracy York
This is a circuit workout that *looks* like a lot of fun, but I just couldn't have much fun with it. You alternate 5 step routines with 5 strength segments. The step combos are interesting and the music is pretty good, but the teaching leaves something to be desired. I've done it halfway through a few times, and then when Michelle starts teaching combo #4, I just lose any interest in trying to figure it out. The combos aren't overly complex -- I'd call them higher-intermediate for complexity -- but the instructors just don't seem to have that knack for teaching that some do. This is more noticeable with Michelle's combos. Also, some of the transitions are awkward, so that has a lot to do with it.
The strength segments are "okay." They include some unique moves which is good. But the segments are too short and use too light of a weight to be of much real benefit. They move pretty quickly, so you can't easily use heavier weights.
I still may give this another try sometime because I want to like it, but I really don't think this will be on my shelf for too long. Grade B+.
Breakthru Body Blast is a circuit tape consisting of five segments. Each segment features four minutes of cardio, a minute interval, a minute recovery and three minutes of weight work. What sets this tape apart from other circuit tapes is the choreography of the cardio portions; they're actually mini step combos that are fairly complicated, not focused on pure athletic moves. I've been in search of a circuit tape with dancy cardio intervals for quite a while and have not found one until I found this.
For a choreo lover, the intervals are fairly easy to learn, but don't expect master cueing. I actually like the fact that they do it once and expect you to jump right in; I know that will keep it from being boring later. I also like the way they preview the whole combo within the first 45 seconds and then you go back through and tighten it up, so you're always doing something new, not repeating something until you get it.
The weight work is unique, with many moves you haven't seen before. One move has you grasping a dumbbell from either end and taking it down to your knee and then up to opposite side (think Saturday Night Fever with two hands). I could feel this working my obliques. You also do pushups, plies, lots of arm work and dips. The video ends with some core work and stretching.
I really enjoyed this video and will be using it in my circuit rotation weeks.
Instructors are comfortable with the camera and pleasant. They won me over right away.
Attire: one piece lycra
Set: floor is gray color with a wide black edge, the back wall has what seems Aluminum poles as deco.
Music: techno, drum music recognisable tunes
Fitness Level: Since step segments are intermediate choreography,,, I believe Beginners will be challenged, ... Intermediate and Advanced will do well.... This is a tough tape!!
Workout Type: Circuit Training, that is Muscle Training with step aerobic intervals in between.
Equipment: A long step, Hand weights for those who want can use a Barbell
Workout Length: 53 min 30 sec by my watch.
Efectiveness: This tape will get your HR going and your progress will be what you put into it.
Instruction: These girls are motivating, their cueing is good, they have the vitality and stamina that seems endless.... They draw you in.
Presentation: They keep you motivated, ( I can't imagine this tape not keeping everyones interest!)
Warmup: 5 min.
Begin breakdown of 1st. combo: marches, taps, box step, mambo chacha, then turn, ham step out and lunge.
at 1.15min. V-step on step
at 3.40 min. straddle squat
The Workout begins: at 5 min.
Interval - 1 min. = 2 step accross then diagonal to other side of step, jump up & straddle
Recover - two lunges per side then Tracy does fast turn, while others do double pause.
at 8 min. - Rocking horse - hop forward then back and triple.
at 11 min. 3 lunge and 1 row.
12 rear deltoid one arm then 8 lat rows one arm
everything other side.
at 14 min. Michele introduces combo 2:
knee lifts, diagonal on floor, scissor hops, side leg extention
You can add hop if you want.
repeat combo 2 several times.
at 17 min - Interval - Combo 3: step, kick and heel then hop on either side of step
called straddle hop
at 18.30 min. - recovery combo 2 several times
at 20 min. double arm Row one weight and lift to corner 8 x
alternate punches w/ dumbbells while 8 biceps then 2 dumbbell biceps or one heavy weight
repeat row and lift, punches, biceps
at 23 min. Combo 4: double kicks then turn step, tap up and down
run around step, pendulum combo
at 26.10 min. Combo 5: single alternating lunges off box one foot off end.
1 min recovery - Combo 4
at 29min. Step side to side as wide as possible then
hop side to side , add a forward kick.
static pliees, then add frontal lifts in pliee position
upright rows then side delts
Combo 6 : Michele marches , 2 turn steps (horseshoe) 2 basics
2 step knees on top of step then straddle dismount and step hop, cross
Interval - (1 min. duration) pony forward and back over the top then chassee and chassee.
at 36 min. says pick up intensity and do 10 times.
at 37 min. recovery Combo 6
at 38 min. Interval - 10 pushups over step then hold and squeeze (body diagonal to floor)
Abs - 2 legged knees in and extend
at 40 min. triceps dips off step
Tracy leads - double knee and scissor back, basic lunge (optional add turn)
at 42.40 min. add knee straddle
at 44 min. taps on box then (something she calls the bow and arrow)
lunge accross behind, 2 knee ups
at 47 min. mats and weights.
8 deadlifts with dumbbells (I used my barbell)
arm extentions then lift up then alternate.
at 51 min. Stretches
at 53.30 min End
Some of the moves I had a hard time describing, (that's a first!) but It's a fun fun tape...
Total Rating: It is exhausting!! I have to give it a high rating 10 out of a possible 10 points... It is what it advertises itself to be: an Intense Circuit Training tape !!!
I loved it!!!
Lucy aka Sunshine
I recently acquired this video through
the VF Exchange, previewed it once
and did the workout once so far. I liked
it immediately! It is a favorite of mine,
although not as high at the top of my
favorites list as Rock Steady Step, Step
Works or Imax 2.
One of the things I really like is the step
choreography. It's fun, on the complex
side but doable if you're not seriously
choreographically challenged, and
isn't broken down very much so it
shouldn't get boring once you know
the workout. The second thing I like
about it is the music -- instrumental
versions of several recognizable
songs. I recall hearing "Love
Rollercoaster" (same version as in one
of the Pure Strength videos and Step
This Way), "Jungle Boogie," "Smooth,"
and "Superstition." The music is plenty
loud enough on the video, too; just the
right volume for you to hear it well, but
not so loud that you can't hear the
Speaking of cueing, I think it's pretty
decent in this one. Michelle and
Tracy's cueing skills aren't quite as
good as Cathe's or Seasun's, IMO, but
Michelle's cueing in particular is much
better in this video than the only other
cardio video of hers I tried -- Crunch
Step & Sweat.
As far as the strength work goes, many
of the moves are unique and
interesting; however, it's one of the
less appealing features of the workout
for me. It's nice to have it in there as a
little extra bonus, but I appreciate this
workout more for its cardio side.
The workout includes a little bit of ab/
core work as well, which is nice. If
you're looking for a video with fun step
choreography that incorporates cardio,
strength and abs with a focus on the
cardio, this is a good one to try. I think
it would be a little tough for beginners,
but something to work up to. It's a
good, solid intermediate workout that's
still challenging enough for advanced
exercisers who want a workout that's
not cranked up to maximum intensity.
Relaxed, natural teaching style. Might
be a bit chatty for some tastes, but the
chatter is related to the workout and
cueing. Michelle's cueing is actually
pretty good in this one.
I bought this in the two-pack at Ross, so my copy is actually called “Work It Off Cardio Sculpt”, but it’s the exact same workout as the originally title. This is a circuit workout with Tracy, Michelle, and one background exerciser. The set is kind of dark and futuristic looking, but they are well lit and there is no problem seeing the moves.
They do a series of combinations: they do cardio moves to bring up your heart rate, then they do an interval of more intense cardio moves, then they go back to the original cardio moves as a way of bringing the heart rate back down, and then they end with a series of strength moves, most with light weights. The pace of the workout is quick, so either plan on having a “light” workout the first time as you figure out what you are doing or preview it to get an idea ahead of time. The workout is about an hour.
Michelle and Tracy interact with each other a lot and swap off leading the segments. They are fun and seem to be enjoying the process. The music is really good and helps to drive the pace of the workout. I had heard this workout has an extremely high “fun factor” and I have to agree. It is fun and seems to flow well. They cue pretty well, Tracy is better at is than Michelle, but I caught onto the moves fairly easily – not a natural thing for me to do. I did recognize some of the moves from their other workouts, so being familiar with their workouts helps.
Because of the pace, I believe this workout would NOT be good for beginners. You need to have a clue about how to move around your step and the form you should have in the strength segments. There are few form pointers along the way, although they do instruct the moves you are doing well.
I had a hard time coming up with the weight I should be using. They said that the beginning to use 3-8 pound weights, so I naturally assumed I should be using eight pounders. (smile) I found those were a bit heavy for the pace of the moves, so I dropped down to five pounders. They do push-ups and tricep dips and I found myself grabbing too heavy a weight for the pace of those as well. (Because of hand and wrist issues, I substitute weighted moves for these particular exercises.) So, be prepared to play with the weight you are using.
I have a MAJOR bias that impacts my long-term interaction with this workout. I generally do NOT like circuit workouts. My general preference is to do EITHER strength or cardio and don’t see much sense in mixing the two (this is a personal preference, not a comment on what anyone else should be doing). The fact that I’m trying to figure out how to fit this into my workout pattern demonstrates how much fun I actually had with it.
They are so much fun in this workout.
September 21, 2004