Video Fitness

Project: You - Full Body Circuit

Kathy Smith

Full Body Circuit is the longest workout (60 minutes) in the Project You set. Following a 3 minute warm up (no stretch), it alternates 2-4 minutes of cardio with strength intervals. The cardio is basic and low impact modifications are always shown. As is usual in a Kathy workout, the modifier is not hidden and is not necessarily the heaviest or oldest person. Some cardio moves include heel digs (high and low impact), boxer shuffles, speed bags with scissors steps, high knees, mountain climbers, jump ropes, and jacks. No section is relentlessly high impact, rather Kathy alternates high and low impact moves. Probably the second to last section is the most intense. It is a series of jogs, mountain climbers, and fast feet, followed by a grapevine. this sequence is repeated three times. The very last cardio section is a little easier: punches and blocks with a bob and weave. Kathy probably does this to cool you down for the move to the floor to work on chest, back and abs.
The strength moves are fairly basic. For the first few strength sections, Kathy alternates lower and upper body moves. Lower body moves in these sections include squats, dips (some with a balancing move), plies (some that have you drag your leg to meet the other one), and one legged deadlift. Upper body moves include biceps curls-- she has a lot of these sprinkled throughtout the workout--, bent over rows, double armed rows, shoulder press, lateral raises, tricep dips, and French presses.
In the final section, she has you either on the floor or on a stability ball to complete chest presses, flys, spinal extensions and crunches. There are also a couple sets of push ups. Kathy's last lower body move is bridegwork using the ball or a chair: very tough! She finishes it up with some crunches with the ball squeezed between your legs. Some exercisers used a pillow. This one really got me.
This workout is not super advanced, but I found I got a good sweat producing workout. Other circuit workouts that I enjoy include Cathe's Cardio+ Weights and Circuit Max, Keli Robert's Step it Strong, and the FIRM's BSS3 workouts. This one fills a niche because it is the only circuit workout I have that features floor aerobics exclusively.
The set is attractive. I liked the windows that looked out to a pretty view (through blinds, however!). The music the usual instrumental stuff. I liked it OK.
I'll be using this one with some regularity.

Instructor comments: Kathy has great rapport with her crew (on whom is Andre Houle).

Roz

This is the total body routine from the Project You set by Beachbody. It is an hour long and alternates strength sections with cardio sections. Most of the cardio was cribbed from the other tapes: a bit of side to sides, a bit of kickbox punches, toe taps, that sort of thing. The cardio tends to alternate a few reps of low impact, then a few reps of high impact. I enjoyed them.

The strength work is in paired body parts, and you do two sets of 16 for the most part (1 set each, then a second set each). Most of them get a pulse set too at some point. It felt like a well-organized routine and I liked having a recognizable pattern to follow as far as structure went.

This workout felt very long at first, but I got more into it during the second half and the time flew by. The cardio breaks made the workout feel shorter. I was surprised I have been enjoying the cardio in this series so much as I found Kathy's part cardio workouts a bit hard to follow. But Project You so far has been great for me.

The weight work here was a tiny bit on the dull side though. It was fine, and there were only two sets of each so it was not a big deal, but I have strength workouts that to me have a higher fun factor. I felt this way about the other strength work from Project You too :) Fine, but nothing special. I did enjoy the cardio quite a lot, but it is quite similar across the kit so be warned about that :) There are not as many 'different' workouts as you might be thinking.

As far as a final verdict on Full Body Circuit, it was not my favourite workout ever, but it certainly was not terrible. I would do it from time to time, but for regualar use, the fun factor just was not there for me for some reason.

Instructor comments:

Joanna

02/26/05

This is the full circuit workout in the Beachbody Project You set. Let me preface my review, by saying that I really like the whole series, and I also have always liked Kathy's workouts.
The workout is 60 minutes, and there is a timer on the bottom of the screen throughout. Actually, the last 5 minutes are cooldown/stretches. This workout went surprisingly quickly. The cardio intervals are about 2-3 minutes each, and they vary each time. It is all hi/lo (and you can do it all lo impact - there is a modifier) - no step is used. You do not need much room, and the cardio is simple to learn. There are 2 punching intervals, and the rest are marches, knee-ups, runs, grapevines, etc. She repeats the moves, but with only 2 minutes, it doesn't get boring.
The weight sections are in between, and the lifting speed is slow -- kathy says to use a weight that will fatique the muscle in 12 reps - so you can lift heavy. You need weights, and a chair and an optional stability ball. All muscles are covered -- there is very few compound moves (I think she does squats with biceps.) She does chest flies & presses on the floor or the ball, and also does hamstrings and abs either on the floor or ball. The stretch at the end was wonderful (especially the lower body stretches.)
The first time I did this workout, it seemed a little boring - but the next time, when I knew the lifting speed was slower and I adjusted my weights, it flew!
This is a very good and thorough circuit workout - a bit harder that the Prevention 3-2-1 and Shape your Abs, but along those lines in terms of levels. I like the colorful clothes, and even the music was at a good beat (nothing memorable though) I only wish that there was an all-weight premix for it, but it is well-chaptered, and those of you who like to program DVDs can do it. This is a solid intermediate circuit workout.

Instructor comments: Kathy gives good form pointers, and looks, to be having fun, without going "over the top." She doesn't do all of the reps, as sometimes she is walking around correcting/explaining the moves on the different exercisers.

Jo

6/20/06



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