On cardio work, I am an intermediate to advanced exerciser, depending on my mood and energy level for the day. I enjoy complex choreography and my favorite instructors are Christi Taylor, Kari Anderson, and Marcus Irwin. Before this workout, I hadn’t ever done a workout by Patrick other than a G Force workout during which I stumbled around during his segments (still having fun, mind you…).
This is a cardio stability ball workout. Other than the original ABC workout (which I have not done), I’m not aware of others. I know there have been some workouts CLAIMING to be a cardio ball workout, but I either didn’t agree or just plain couldn’t stand the workout and wouldn’t recommend them. This workout, however, IS a cardio workout and it is fun, fun, fun! Yes, there will be some gushing in this review, because I had such a blast doing this workout.
First, some details about the workout. There is a warm up, four combinations, and a cool down. There is also one short bonus segment in which they make a move you’ve already learned more complex. There is lots and lots of TIFTing (Taking It From the Top – or repeating sections you’ve already done). He repeats sections. He repeats parts of sections in preparation to put them together with what you have just learned. I had no problem with this because I couldn’t have learned the workout the first time through otherwise. But, for those that do not like TIFTing, be forewarned. The music is really good. There are a lot of drums and chanting and it’s done well. You do need some space to go vertically and just a little to go forward and backwards. It would NOT call this workout a space hog though. You also need to watch your vertical space. I am a short person (5’ 4”) with a moderately low ceiling and there was one move during which I could picture a taller person brushing the ceiling with the ball, especially if there is a light fixture hanging down). The set is basic and I thought it was fine.
His cueing was good, except when it wasn’t. He mirror cued, but once in awhile would be in the midst of an intense section and would be very animated and it seemed he’d just forget to mirror cue. Since I was in the midst of the same intense section, I just forged ahead since it was clear what he intended. He does a lot to describe the moves and what he wants. Some moves, he just had to demo. There is one background exerciser, Shelia, and she was integral to the fun of the workout for me. She obviously had so much fun. And, they joked back and forth a lot. He also used her at times to lead. For example, he would demo the move and tell me to watch. Then, Shelia would lead me and then we would join him. Patrick’s enthusiasm is totally infectious during this workout. I laughed and joked back with him and just had such a blast. I would really recommend this workout.
He is fun and innovative and excited and motivating in this workout.
November 18, 2004
This is a fun energetic cardio workout using the stability ball. It's moderate-intensity low impact cardio, nice and long with tons of variety and it's not as complex or hard to learn as you might expect. I think Patrick has broken the barrier with ball cardio workouts - it's very hard to design a workout that gets the heart rate up and doesn't tire the arms.
When I took a ball cardio class at Cardio Classic last March one of the problems I saw with ball cardio is that traditional 'ball' activities don't tend to get your heartrate up - for example, bouncing the ball or throwing it overhead. You have to incorporate some hi-lo moves to get the heart going - and then you rely upon the exerciser being tremendously coordinated to do both activities at once with out getting frustrated - bouncing a ball and running or throwing the ball and jumping for example. And many of the original cardio activities involved holding the ball and swinging it overhead - tiring for the arms and not terribly effective at bringing up the heart rate as the arms have relatively small muscles.
Instead Patrick performs many bouncing moves on the ball with leg movements - so it's much like a dynamic but sustained squat (does that make sense?). Also he does lunging and knee-up moves while touching the ball for support. Dancy moves around the ball, rolling around on the ball (great for the core!). It's a fun workout and pretty tough! I'd say it's moderate intensity cardio which puts it above ABC I for intensity. Just enough TIFTing so you feel like you're accomplishing something but not so much TIFTing that you're bored to tears. Did I mention it's long? 53 minutes, 4 combos and a bonus section that will challenge you.
It's a ball - a lotta fun. Really. Great music, good instruction, great production values. A keeper. I can see myself reaching for this one on days where I don't want to workout, I want to play - but I'll get in a good hour of moderate intensity cardio.
So here's the meat of my review. Patrick works out with one background exerciser, 'Sheila' (in the credits she's the designated "back-up baller").
In the instructional section before the workout Patrick tells you that you need a stability ball that allows you to sit with thighs lower than hips. He recommends wearing leggings or workout pants. I found that you will need about 8 feet lateral space, 5 feet front to back. You'll need 8 feet front to back if you attempt the body rolls shown in the Bonus combo.
The workout is filmed in a dance studio with dark hardwood floors and brick wall along the back, a ballet barre along the wall. Grand piano in corner. Colors are warm, lighting good on Patrick & Sheila. Picture quality is excellent. Patrick & Sheila are wearing bright orange tops, they look very fit.
Camera work: some black & white action shots interspersed with direct front-on camera as well as two side cameras. Production was done by a Los Angeles company "Six 14 Productions".
Music: fairly loud club music and African rhythmic tribal music with good beat, can hear cues with no problem. Some vocals. From Power Music.
Patrick is good-humored, jokes "are you guys laughing at me at home? I'll get you later..." Good rapport with Sheila, "did you see Sheila struttin'?" When Collage says his laughter is contagious, it's true! For those who worry about cueing with such a complex workout, Patrick cues well. He'll often demonstrate the next move while you do the original version following Sheila. He'll have you do seated ball bounces while he introduces a move.
And best of all he'll give you hints or clues about how to get onto the correct foot to flow from one combo to the next and go right into that mambo. There are a few points in the 3rd and 4th combination where my heart rate dropped while marching in place but the instructional periods are short. Now that I know how to perform the moves I can go directly to doing them with Patrick instead of marching along with Sheila.
WARM-UP (10 min)
Dynamic stretching to music. First warm-up combo has basic ball bounces, seated toe tap-bounces, arm reaches, cut in half, adds standing warm-up work: grapevines. torso twist holding ball (this move is too fast for me!). Second combo: seated lunges/side reach, strutting around ball, ball bounces. TIFT twice. Dynamic standing stretches, including plie holding ball up & down, ball roll side-to-side stretch. Static stretches - one side reach out to ball, balance while lifting and lowering leg & holding ball, hip flexor stretch with ball overhead. TIFT warm-up combo 1 & 2 one more time.
FLOOR AEROBICS with ball (53 min) 48 min for combos 1-4, 5 min BONUS combo
1st combo: hip hop reach/bounce, seated side toe touches, ball hops side-to-side (TOUGH!), grapevines, kick-ball-change, add turn. TIFT twice.
2nd combo: seated bouncing kicks (really tough on the abs), shuffle knee-repeater around ball, arms & legs out & pick ball up then set it down, seated bounces. Sheila loses her balance once on this one!
More so than in previous workouts, Patrick coaches the more difficult moves in slow-motion, demonstrating key foot placement - while you bounce on the ball to keep your heart rate up. For example, moving from a kick, putting the kicking foot on the floor and pivoting to go into the knee repeater. These 'tricks' to getting on the right foot were very helpful.
TIFT 1st & 2nd combo both sides 3 times: once with directional change, TIFT again, TIFT without transitional seated ball bounces. Rate of perceived exertion check TIFT combo 1 & 2 one more time.
3rd combo: ski side-to-side, stand & lift ball & turn. Sheila apparently turns in the wrong direction or ends on the wrong foot and a cartoon-like "Oops" bubble shows on the screen, funny. (Although I couldn't tell she'd made a mistake!)
Standing ball circles, knee repeaters, mambo side-to-side while bouncing ball. TIFT x2. Add standing turn with plank leaning on ball, TIFT 3rd combo x1. TIFT combo 2 & 3 once. TIFT combo 1, 2 & 3 once.
My heart rate was not as high during the third combo, there was more standing/marching in place while teaching. Now that I've learned the moves I'll go right to them and skip the learning curve.
4th combo: Turn holding ball, knee up, plank leaning on ball, knees up, jog in plank, ball leans side to side, spin and seated ball bounce. Next step: *VERY* complex 'Las Vegas move' - side stretch on ball, mambo up to standing position, seated ball bounce. TIFT 3rd & 4th combos x2. TIFT from the very top, combos 1-4, once then again with NO transitional seated ball bounces (TOUGH!).
Also a lot of teaching, marching in place in combo 4. The teaching sections go quickly, then Patrick doesn't belabor the combo, he immediately puts it together with the other combos.
BONUS combo: for "hardcore ballers" this combo adds another spin to the original combos - Patrick rolls his torso over the ball instead of walking around it (!) This one really requires strong abs. Too fun. TIFT combos 1-4 once.
COOL-DOWN/STRETCH (6 min)
Marching while swinging ball, ball bounce & catch. Arm circles with plie squat. Static overhead arm stretches. Hurdler stretch plie-squat on ball. Stretch forward 'fall' over the ball with legs apart. Static calf & hip flexor stretches. Back rolls leaning & supported on ball.
They are drenched in sweat afterwards! I was too.
There you have it!
Oh one other thing - I saw the preview to Kitchen Sink Conditioning at the beginning of this workout and now I'm really wishing I had ordered it! He has some tough looking core work on this one, it reminds me of TLP's Core Strength. For back rows he puts tubing under his extended foot and pulls - that positions the row so you're upright, who'd have thought of that!