Ultimate New York Body Plan is a relatively well-chaptered DVD. The chapters include:
Fitness Test (10 minutes)
Pre-Core Workout (15 minutes)
Core Program (45 minutes)
Upper Body (15 minutes)
Lower Body (15 minutes)
Cool Down Stretch (5 minutes)
In the Introduction, Dave just talks about the different sections of the workout. He encourages you to do the Pre-Core Workout if you find the Fitness Test difficult.
The Fitness Test is basically a mini-workout. It includes several basic movesósquats, push-ups, jumping jacks, punches with dumbbells, squat thrusts, etc. This might be good to combine with the Pre-Core Workout. David talks about good form during both, so beginners might be able to start with these if the Core Program seemed overwhelming.
The Pre-Core workout is a condensed version of the Core Program, which despite what I kept thinking is about the ďcoreĒ region of the body but instead the main program. Itís meant to be cardio-oriented, but I found it too choppy to actually get and keep my heart rate up. It contains two of my pet peevesóab work and push-ups/planks in the middle of cardio moves. That pretty much killed it for me.
Anyway, it has quite a variety of moves. Jumping jacks with dumbbells, punches with dumbbells, jogs, pushups on the stability ball, squat thrusts on the medicine ball, lunges with kicks, etc. He seems to try to mix cardio and sculpting, but as I mentioned, it seems too chopped to really accomplish either goal.
The Upper Body segment didnít really have its own warm-up or cool-down, nor did the Lower Body segment. The upper body segment was more ab-focused, with several crunch and plank variations, as well as some shoulder and tricep work using dumbbells, leaning forward on the stability ball. The lower body segment doesnít use dumbbells. You do inner and outer thigh lifts with variations using a medicine ball, plus sissy squats, lunge variations, pelvic lifts with your feet on the stability ball, and so forth.
The stretch is nothing new, just basic stretches.
The good thing about this workout is that it uses very little equipment. Itís also well-chaptered so you could mix and match easily. Individual exercises arenít chaptered, but the chapters that are included are logical; any more just wouldnít make sense. David is encouraging, and his background exercises look like regular people, instead of fitness models. They do show good form and some modifications, but donít seem super human. He doesnít really chat with them much, but they looked like they were enjoying themselves.
All in all Iím glad I just borrowed this instead of buying it. I didnít like how choppy the workout was. I didnít really feel worked out in any particular way. It felt me wanting more cardio and more strength training. Iím a fan of athletic cardio, simple weight work, and high rep, low weight workouts, but this didnít fill my desire for any of those. If youíre looking for any of those types of workouts, I think there are plenty of better options.
David is a very fit-looking guy. His physique does actually inspire me, rather than intimidate me, as some instructorsí overly toned bodies can do. Contrary to what Iíve read, he didnít seem full of himself in this workout. He did occasionally say things like if you keep doing this workout, your butt will be higher and tighter, or ďDonít forget sexy!Ē but these types of comments were minimal. Overall I found him to be pretty encouraging. He did keep talking about how hard the workout was, or how particular moves were challenging, but for the most part he just cued the next move and commented on proper form.
May 31, 2005
Itís too bad I didnít keep this DVD long enough to write a full review on it, since I think it provides a great example of a workout I really wanted to like but couldnít. Billed as functional fitness, UNYBP uses a stability ball, a medicine ball, and light weights to challenge the core and to work supporting muscles in different planes of motion, all of which I enjoy and appreciate. Unfortunately, I couldnít figure out the purpose of the exercise sequencing, which I found terribly disjointed and choppy. Exercises that I liked (such as a front shoulder raise while lying prone on the ball) were spliced clumsily in between others requiring different equipment or using different muscles, for reasons I couldnít discern. Even if each exercise had been chaptered separately, it would have been way too much work to be worthwhile for me to program my own workout sequencing all of the exercises more sensibly. The workout also surprised me by mixing in some cardio intervals rather than focusing just on strength exercises, a surprise which I didnít welcome because my ankles and knees werenít warm enough for the high impact. I think it would have been more effective for the workout to focus on achieving one goal at a time, instead of trying to do everything at once.