This is my first review and I will just post my experiences on the workouts as I do them. First off,I am VERY impressed with the packaging and booklets included in this program. The whole package consists of 3 cardio workouts on one DVD: Foundations (30 mins. of beginner cardio), Power Push (30 mins. of intermediate level cardio), Long Lean (40 mins. of intermediate level cardio with moderate funky choreography). When I say intermediate level, it means that you can reach this point if you push yourself (there are a lot of options for you to up the intensity of the cardio).You also get 2 strength training workouts and 1 Full Body Circuit on one DVD: Upper Body/Abs (30 mins.) and Lower Body/Abs (30 mins.) and Full Body Circuit (60 mins.) There are a lot of options to make the workouts more intense and harder. The program also includes: Pilates Core (20 mins.) and Yoga Flex (20 mins) on one DVD. Lastly, you get two 30 minute walking workouts called Steady Strides on 1 audio CD.
This is a twelve week program and you are supposed to do one cardio workout and one strength training workout 4x a week. You do both Pilates Core and Yoga Flex 1x a week. Then you do Steady Strides (30 or 60 mins.) or another cardio workout 1x a week. You get a free day every week.
For the 1st day, I did Foundations and Lower Body/Abs. I thought that the Foundation video would be too easy for me, but it actually gave me a pretty decent workout combined with the strength video, so I'm going to stick with Foundation, as recommended, for the next few days of Week 1. The leg workout really targets the thighs and butt, and I didn't even add weights today but can still feel the burn! I can certainly see how you can use this one video to progress throughout the 12 weeks by adding weights and gradually increasing them. I didn't use any weights yesterday (except for the deadlifts), so you can progress by adding weights and increasing the weights for a continued challenge. Later in the day, my ambitious self did a 30-minute walk with the Power Walk CD. I really enjoyed this CD, as it kept me going at a really swift pace and Kathy's tips and motivational comments helped me focus on power walking properly.
On Day 2, I did Foundations and Upper Body/Abs. The Upper Body/Abs video presented a real challenge to me do to the high reps, even though I've been doing P90, Slim Series, etc. on-and-off for some time.
Day 3 went well - I thoroughly enjoyed the Pilates and Yoga videos, even though I normally am not a fan of pilates or yoga. Each of these videos is only 20 minutes long - long enough to feel their benefit (I could really feel my core in Pilates, and Yoga was a great stretch routine), but not so long that this high-paced girl got bored.
Day 4 was Foundation with Upper Body/Abs. Those strength tapes are DIFFICULT due to the high reps, and I know it will take me a few weeks to be able to do all of the reps. with Kathy and the gang! I finally felt like Foundation was getting a bit too easy for me, which is fine, because today was the last day that I need to do it on the program!
The background exercisers are miked so there is interaction between Kathy and the cast. However, I didn't find the cast too chatty.Nothing that should interfere with listening to Kathy's cues or be a distraction.
As for comparing Project YOU to BB's other programs...Well, it's different from Debbie's programs in the sense that Debbie follows the Slim Training technique which incorporates cardio and strength training into the same program. Kathy separates the strength and cardio workouts into two distinct workouts which you do back-to-back (cardio first then strength), totaling a minimum of an hour per workout. I wouldn't necessarily say that this program is easier than Debbie's Slim Series, however. During week 1, I did the basic, beginner cardio workout, and it definitely got me breathing hard! And the leg workout is a killer - more difficult, in my opinion, than Debbie's Firm It Up, and I didn't even add weight to the leg workout yet (except for the dead lifts). I really will have to progress along more in the program and move up to the other cardio workouts, however, to give a full comparison.
I do find the addition of the Pilates/Yoga routine in the middle of the week to be a blessing and a nice change up from both Debbie's and Tony's workouts. The Pilates really gets your core more than anything else I've ever tried, and I think the variety in workouts types is beneficial both mentally and physically. Adding the walking CD also provides variety.
Like P90, Kathy program splits up the cardio/strength workouts. In that sense, the two are similar. But Kathy further separates her strength training into lower body/abs and upper body/abs workouts. I think this is PARTICULARLY helpful for women, because the lower body workout really focuses on areas that women traditionally have problems with - butt, back of thighs, inner and outer thighs. My big complaint about P90 was that Tony seems to gear his workouts more towards men - focusing on building up the upper body with very little lower body work.
Compared to P90X, well, we all know that P90X is definitely more difficult than the Project:You program. However, I also think that this workout might be a little more effective for women whose goals are to lose weight and tone and firm the lower body.
Kathy Smith is very professional and cues excellently in this video series. She is more mellow and subdued than in her previous videos.
January 18, 2005
Project: You! Is the latest comprehensive exercise/fitness system released by Beachbody. It is a very nicely produced set that can probably be enjoyed by people of all levels. As someone who prefers advanced workouts, I would NOT choose to use all of these workouts, but there are definitely some parts that I enjoy. I would especially recommend this to someone who is new to exercising at home. It includes all aspects of working out - cardio/strength/flexibility - and is well taught so a beginner shouldn’t be confused by the moves.
The set includes:
~ Steady Strides CD. Two 30 minute audio walking workouts. I have not tried these yet, but listened to parts and it seems like a fast paced walk, and I will probably be using these on occasion.
~ Foundations Cardio workout. A beginner level 30 minute workout which introduces moves used in other cardio workouts. Many will outgrow this, but might want to use for light days.
~ Power Push - 30 minute cardio workout, that on preview looked very similar to Foundations, with a bit more intensity from some added interval bursts.
~ Long Lean - 40 minute cardio workout. Looks like it has a similar moves, but a slightly longer steady state cardio.
~ Upper Body/Abs - 30 minute strength workout using light weights. I have enjoyed this workout when short on time. I probably wouldn’t use it in a long rotation however.
~ Lower Body/Abs - similar to above, but with lower body moves. Includes some no weight moves that can be effective.
~ Full Body Circuit - A nice 60 minutes Circuit workout that alternates cardio sections with heavier weight segments. This is the reason I purchased the set, and I am pleased with this workout. Because I wanted a more intense workout, I had to extend the intensity blasts. However, this was easy to do, and made the workout effective for me. The strength work is complete and effective also, when used with heavy weights.
~ Pilates Core - A very nice 20 minute pilates workout that focuses on moves that work your abs. This workout was more difficult than I thought it would be, and I think total beginners might struggle a bit with a few moves.
~ Yoga Flex - A 20 minute yoga stretch workout. This didn’t feel like a good flowing yoga workout to me. But when I think of it as an athletic stretch routine, I appreciate it more.
~ Project: You! Literature. I don’t really pay much attention to these extras. I did notice that the Nutrition Guide and Journal looked very nice and useful.
The DVD version includes 3 dvds: Cardio Workouts, Strength Workouts and Pilates/Yoga. I was disappointed that they all came in one case, because I knew I would not be using the cardio workouts. Besides that, I was happy with the package.
Different levels are shown for most of the workouts, which is a nice feature. The strength workouts use a Stability ball, but it is not required, because not everyone in the cast uses them. A nice surprise with this series is that Andre Houle (a favorite instructor of mine) is a background exercises in the strength workouts.
Overall, I think this a very nice system that I would have been thrilled to own when I first started working out at home. I will only use bits and pieces of it, but I do not regret the purchase.
I am impressed with this whole system. It comes with the 3 cardio (each progressively harder), 1 alternate (pilates and yoga) and 3 weight training (upper, lower, and full). The system comes with a calendar, a food journal and Kathy's tips to losing weight. This is the PERFECT system for beginners because it is easy enough to do BUT allows you to progress to another level (so many systems don't..so you're stuck at same level). I thought this would be too easy for me as I consider myself a low-mid intermediate but it is just right!! I don't think I'll do the recommended 12 weeks only because I can't do just 1 workout for more than a month. But I can mix this in with my turbo jam set.
Kathy is great in these. She gives lower and higher intensity modifications. She stresses good form and often adjusts background exercisers. She is calm--no whooping but is motivating