I’m a high intermediate exerciser and a big fan of circuit type workouts and AWT. This is one of the best in my collection! In just over 60 minutes, Patrick works all muscle groups and my heart rate stays high throughout. (The last time I did this DVD, my heart rate was in my target HRZ for over 40 minutes.) The cardio sections use basic choreography and most incorporate the step. There are some high impact moves (jumps, jacks, etc). I really enjoy the cardio intervals – I find them fun and intense, but they don’t drain me too much either. I think the strength stuff is very well balanced… there is a lot of shoulder work, but also great back/lat work, lots of core and balance integration, and a variety of exercises for all major muscle groups. I generally use 5, 10, and 15 lb dumbbells.
The warm-up is done on the floor behind the step. There are push-ups in the warm-up that I always need to psych myself up for, especially since they come so early (the first set of 8 is just about at the 3 minute mark, followed by another set of 8 near the end of the 6 minute warm-up.) They are done from the toes, with one hand on the step. There’s also a squat thrust exercise called a “frog” that really gets my heart pumping. With the exception of a brief child pose series at the end of the warm-up, there are no stretches included here.
The cardio/weight section is divided into two parts and runs about 50 minutes. Part One is all standing. The legs are worked with a variety of lunges and squats on and off the step, often with an upper body exercise at the same time (emphasis in this section is on biceps, triceps, and shoulders.) Patrick also includes quite a few balance challenges and I find my core is definitely working hard throughout.
In between Part One & Two, there is a brief break where the perceived exertion chart is shown on the screen… great time for a sip of water!
Part Two includes exercises where you lay on the step, as well as more cardio and weight intervals. There’s also more core work, including some great standing core moves near the end of the workout. The upper body emphasis here is on chest and back, with some biceps, triceps, and shoulders thrown in for good measure! There’s a super tough (at least for me!) series done in plank position that includes stepping up & down on the step while you hold plank, and then jacking the legs onto the step. In between, you do rows in plank too! I sometimes need to take a mini-break to make it through this part.
The ending stretch segment includes stretches for the hamstrings, sides of the body, shoulders, and hips. It’s not quite enough for me, but then again I always add extra stretching to the end of my workouts.
Overall – definitely one of my favorites. I can’t wait for the sequel! I’ve also used my BOSU in place of the step for this workout, and with a little creativity I find it adapts very well.
I like Patrick a lot! He’s enthusiastic and cheerful, encourages you to do your best, and makes me smile. (During the basketball shuffles, I love it when he quips: “I want to make everything funky… that’s why I wasn’t on the basketball team.”)
He does repeat some phrases quite a bit in this workout… “Oh my gosh!” and “you know what comes next, right?” but this doesn’t bother me.
September 20, 2008