I enjoyed this workout very much. Many of the exercises are familiar, but they have a slight twist to them to make things seem brand new. Most of the upper body workout uses weights, while about half of the lower body workout uses your own body as resistance. I only did the upper and lower body segments - doing those portions with the warm up and stretch, the workout was about 49 minutes total. My only complaint is that during the aerobic warm up, nobody is keeping time to the music and Kathy's voice sounds quite muffled.
- Warmup (5 min)
- Lower Body Squats (10 min)
- Lower Body Glutes (10 min)
- Upper Body Standing Weight Work (10 min)
- Upper Body Floor Work (10 min)
- Stretch (3 min)
- Abs (7 min)
- Bonus: Stability Ball (approx. 20 min)
Workout Description: In my opinion, this w/o is low-intermediate level in terms of weights, but advanced in terms of balance requirements. (Luckily, Kathy does a great job of explaining the variations for the balance work.)
The lower body work is pretty standard: lots of squats, "low-end" lunges, and un-weighted leg lifts.
The upper body standing weight work, though, was very interesting. Kathy has you cross one leg over the other, lift the crossed leg off the floor (if you're able), and then rotate your torso in the opposite direction while doing: lateral raises with a retraction; overhead presses; biceps curls; and curls with a raise over your head. There are also 2 segments of triceps kick-backs and extensions. This was definitely a new "twist" (no pun intended) -- however I'm not sure that it was as "complete" as the weight work in LWTLW #1.
The upper body floor work was *really* challenging. Except for a set of chest flyes, it all relied on use of your own body weight. There were pushups, fingertip-balanced triceps pushups (which I couldn't even begin to do! she says it will strengthen your wrist...), side planks, etc. I like to have something to work toward, so I *really* liked this section.
The ab work was very well done and well-instructed. There were roll-ups a la Pilates, small crunches, oblique twists, etc. -- all with a great focus on core stability (as opposed to just "pushing through" the reps and using momentum instead of your abs). My favorite was a new exercise where you bend your knees and press against your thighs with your hands *while* pressing your thighs in toward your chest -- a great, and very innvotive, way to work the lower abs.
The extra stability ball section was well instructed and very challenging. Here, too, I will have to work up to Kathy's level. She does a great job of combining strength and balance/core work. You do crunches on the ball, leg lifts on the ball, hamstring strengthening/bridge work, and (wow!), one-legged pikes... As I mention below, this section is in black&white. It's available on DVD by going to the little arrow on the bottom of the menu, clicking that, then on the next page clicking "Bonus", and finally picking the "Stability Ball" segment -- a little counter-intuitive in my opinion!
Set: The w/o is done in Kathy's standard studio -- the same one she used for LWTLW #1 and her Timesaver Cardio w/o. Some well-known b.g. exercisers are present (Robin; Nancy; and Michael) as well as a bunch of new exercisers. Some of them demonstrate modifications throughout the standard w/o. The stability ball section features only Kathy.
Videography: Between each segment of the DVD are black&white clips of Kathy dancing along the beach. The stability ball work is also in b&w. The actual w/o features many "picture-in-picture" segments where Kathy demonstrates proper form against a white background while the w/o goes on in a smaller picture in a corner.
Music: The music is SS-like -- a beat without much tune, and, as others have commented, Kathy is like Debbie in being consistently slightly off-beat.
Chaptering: I really like the thought that Kathy put into the chaptering of the DVD. After seeing so many poorly chaptered DVDs (Firm, for instance!), it is a delight to find someone other than Cathe thinking about how to make the DVD format unusual and very modifiable. Each segment can be done on its own, or the DVD can be programmed to do the segments in any order you like.
General Impression: All in all, I thought it was a very good functional fitness workout but it won't take the place of LWTLW #1 or my Cathe strength work. I would be more likely to substitute this for yoga or Lotte Berk.
Kathy is much calmer than in previous videos. This may be due to the Pilates-esque instruction (hold your navel in to your spine; lengthen on the exhale; etc.). As always, though, she gives great form pointers and lots of encouragement. Some may be frustrated by her wandering back to correct her background exercisers' form, or her consistently being slightly off-the-beat.
This is a great workout, particularly on DVD. It consists of a short warm up, a 20 minute lower body workout, a 20 minute upper body workout, a 10 minute ab workout and a 20 minute stability ball workout. The upper and lower body workouts include concluding stretches.
The lower body workout is very balance oriented, and works in a lot of one-legged squats. The standing glute work was also very effective. I found the twisted stance during the upper body work rather challenging, and could really feel my stabilizer muscles in my legs working.
The bonus stability ball workout is really great -- the hardest workout I've ever gotten on a stability ball!
The DVD includes a "create your own workout" utility, where you can very easily program the DVD the way you want it.
There are a few downsides. The opening screens for the DVD are rather foolishly arranged, and it's difficult to find (or get to) the workout blender and the stability ball workout. Of course, once you know where everything is, it's not so bad, but it's an odd arrangement. The music is very bland, and Kathy does have a few rhythm issues! There's no choreography though, so again this is more of an annoyance than anything else. It certainly doesn't stand in the way of the workout.
Overall it's a great workout!
Kathy is energetic but not hyper in this workout. She does have a few rhythm issues, but since there's no choreography involved it doesn't matter that much. She offers good form tips during many of the exercises.
This review only covers the stability ball portion of the DVD workout. This is a tough workout! It contains moves which challenge your balance and work your abdominal and back muscles. Kathy does various moves with her shoulders supported on the ball, others lying prone on the ball, and still more with the ball between her legs while lying on her back. There are planks and pushups on the ball, regular crunches on the ball, roll-ins and more. She gives good form pointers (keep you hips lifted, press you inner thighs together, etc.) throughout each move.
I have only done this workout once, and it was tough for a couple of reasons. First of all, the moves are intense. I think this far exceeds Cathe's stability ball work in the Intensity series. In addition, the workout is put together at a very quick pace. I know this will be good when I know the routine better, but it was frustrating doing it the first time through. No way could I keep up with her pace!
One little complaint is that Kathy seems to hold certain positions longer on one side than the other, and is perhaps not even with counts. I'll have to see whether this is a bigger problem as I get more used to the workout.
All in all, a very tough workout for the core muscles. I liked it a lot!
Kathy Smith is extremely fit in this workout. She does not screech or act hyper as she did in the first LWTLW video. In the stability ball workout she is just doing a voice over while we watch her on a beach.
This workout is a follow-up to Kathyís earlier Timesaver Weights release, but it is very different in structure and feel. There are two 20-minute workouts (plus a bonus ball workout) but the format is the only similarity. As far as the exercises go, Kathy uses some kind of odd core twists and such for added challenge. These did not entirely work for me---even Kathy had to pause mid-set to adjust her posture, and I just felt these twist things were a needless complication.
Anyway, the warm-up is fairly standard stuff, marches and toe touches with arm motions etc. nothing fancy. Then we have a standing leg section that involves regular squats and one-leg squats with some balance work. You do the regular squats, then a longish set all on the right set, then repeat on the left. Then there is a section with a chair where you do extensions to varying tempo. There is a short lower body stretch too.
The upper body section was the really weird one. You do one set each of two shoulder exercises, one biceps exercise and one for triceps. First you do it while balancing on one leg and twisting to the right, then you repeat it while twisting to the left. The twist part was weird and distracted me from the weight work so I quickly abandoned it. Then you do one set of one-arm rows, and a set of chest presses. Then you move to the floor for a push-up and body weight sequence and a short stretch.
The dvd version has a bonus ball workout which I have not done and which is also 20 minutes. There have been a lot of reports on the forum about people having trouble accessing it. Basically, you need to move the cursor in the main menu onto the little arrow beside the resume button to page up to the next screen.
My overall verdict on this dvd is that it is just okay. There are much better choices out there. Kathy is a competent instructor but I personally tend to prefer a higher-rep approach and the twisty stuff was just goofy. Iíll keep this dvd so as not to break up my set, but I doubt I will use it very frequently.
Although a lot of people don't like this workout because of Kathy Smith's "whooping", it is still a darned good workout. I always get sore the next day after doing the arms section. I usually do all the reps with ten pound weights to really exhaust the muscles, but you have all sorts of modifications, plus the two track system to use. The legs section is also intense if you add ankle weights.
I could care less about the whooping. My problem is constantly pausing the video to have to rush to get to the weight bench and to the chair, standing up, sitting down, lying down, etc. That and I wish the DVD had a good warmup and cooldown.
All in all, a good workout though.
This is the workout that Kathy Smith has the most "whoop" factor in. She is loud, all over the place, etc. That being said, she still cues and is professional.