I have numerous Kathy Smith videos from the eighties and was hesitant to try a newer one, but I was very impressed with the positive mini-reviews. I like this tape alot, but it's no way like MIS or BodyMax (weight work). Kathy notes you can use heavier weights, but that method on this tape is very hard to follow. For the 20 minute upper body segment, I just use 6-10 lbs. and can keep up with her. The concentration curls with 10 lbs. were tough for me, and I had to "cheat" a little. Kathy does vocalize a little "loudly" on this tape, and runs quite a bit, getting an aerobics workout while teaching. The 20 minutes of lower body is standing legwork and you can use ankleweights (I use 5 lbs.) and handweights. The abwork is about 7 minutes, but I really felt it. A big plus for me is that Michael Carson is one of the background exercisers (I really love him on the Lethal Series). And Robin is back too (she has her fans, but I am not one of them). Because this tape covers all body parts (even calves), I recommend it for a total body workout on lighter days.
This video was a pleasant surprise. I have a few of Kathy Smith's videos and have found them to be pretty boring, except for Aerobox. This video, however, is quite fun to use. There are 2 separate 20-minute workouts, one for the upper body and one for the lower body. There is also a 7-minute abs and back stabilization work at the end. There is no warmup, but I usually do aerobics beforehand, so it's not a problem. The set is industrial looking, but quite bright. The video has 2 "tracks". The background exercisers for track one is on your right. They use lower weight, more and do more reps ( usually one long set of 28 reps, 12 at normal speed, and 4 with pulses, then back to 12 reps at normal speed). Track two exercisers are on the left and use heavier weight, fewer reps (usually 2 sets with a rest while track one is doing the pulsing reps). Kathy follows track one throughout the video.
For upper body, she works opposing muscle groups each time. There are single-arm bent rows (2 sets), pushups (2 sets of 16. You do the first set with arms shoulder width, the second set with arms wide apart. I did them on my toes and can really feel the second set.), chest flies (2 sets), deadlift (1 set), 3 different sets of other back exercises, bicep curls (2 sets), tricep dips (1 long set), tricep kickbacks (1 set), and french press (1 set). The video ends with one set of military press and one set of lateral raises. So far I've done this portion of the video 4 times, 3 times following track 2, and once following track one. You can go pretty heavy on the weight since there are only 2 sets and the rest periods are pretty reasonable (about 20-30 seconds between sets). I usually use 19-lb dumbbells for the back, biceps and chest flies, and 15-lb dumbbells for shoulder work.
The lower body section has lots of squats, dips, plies, outer thighs work, leg shootouts, and some table work. I used my 5-lb ankle weights and my 2 19-lb dumbbells and had a very good workout. However, it's definitely not as tough as Tough Tape in terms of lower body work.
The abs and back section was quite good. There are too few videos on the market that works both your abs and back at the same time.
All in all, this video is great when you want to do some weight work in a short amount of time.
Instructor comments: Much more perky and motivating than in her other videos. She moved around a lot and whooped a bit, but isn't annoying (at least to me).
I am always looking for more strength training videos to add to my collection. When this tape came out, I had to have it. I use it as an add on to other tapes. The upper body and lower body sections are separate so they can be done on different days which I like. I have used the upper body section more than the total tape and will probably continue to do it that way. I like the upper body part since there is a track that I can follow for heavier weights. The one thing I don't like is that it's sort of hard to follow that group. The tape doesn't show what they are doing during the rest. I would like to see what kind of stretches they are doing. The one other thing that bugs me is a problem I've found with many other strength tapes. They rush through the bicep curls. Since the participants are typically using lighter weights, this exercise seems to get rushed. I use heavy weights and tend to fall behind the reps they are performing. I find that I have to pause the tape which is not a big deal but again, I'd rather just follow along completely and not have to hit the pause button alot. Small problem but annoying to me. Overall, this is a decent tape. It would be better if there was a third set for each muscle group and Kathy wasn't so "spirited".
Instructor comments: Wow! Kathy borders on obnoxious in this one. She is way too energetic and runs around stopping by some of the exercisers to work with them and chatting. The way she counts too is so loud. I wish I could describe it. It really turned me off when I previewed the tape.
My goal this year is to improve muscle mass and definition using heavier weights, and I hoped Kathy would provide a good basic tape. This one isn't very helpful. For one thing, there's no warm-up (warning to beginners--do some cardio first!) She moves too fast from one set to the next, with not enough time for stretching, changing weights, getting water, etc. The movements are rapid--okay for the lighter weights, but too fast for heavier weights, in my opinion. The way Kathy leaps around doesn't help my concentration, and it's hard to pick out an instructor to follow throughout the routine. With practice, I may be able to adapt this routine to my needs. But it won't become a favorite.
Instructor comments: I have several Kathy Smith tapes and she has been a helpful instructor for the early stages of my fitness program. She usually provides good cues and form instruction.
I thought it was funny that some people have pointed out how hyped up Kathy was in this video--I found her to be more sedated in this one than in previous videos...I mean, for how she usually acts!
I do like Kathy, though, she's very friendly and likeable and she knows her stuff. This workout is pretty good. The upper body section--as with most videos--is not all that, but the lower body workout is a killer, I love it! Trust Kathy to work your legs until you're ready to drop.
I think this is a very good video if you alternate it with another weight workout. Kathy's a bit annoying, but she's alright.
I'm neutral on this one. With some modifications, depending on your goals, this could be an okay addition to a strength video collection. I was disappointed that there was no warm-up, and I think the title "Timesaver" comes from rushing through some of the exercises at breakneck speed. For example, Kathy uses 10 pound weights for bicep curls and I don't see how see how she can go so fast at that weight. Also, she doesn't count down many of the exercises, and I found myself still going long after she was done.
This seems to be a pretty thorough total body workout. I don't care for a lot of the lower body stuff. Holding onto a chair and doing back leg lifts reminds me of my Elaine Powers Figure Salon days. I did the squats, lunges, plie squats and bridgework and fast-forwarded through the rest.
I'm not sure if I'll do this video on a regular basis, but will surely do it occasionally.
Instructor comments: Anyone who gets excited enough doing tricep dips to whoop and howl like a banshee worries me. I think Kathy slugged quite a bit of caffeine before this workout.
There are three sections, an upper body toning using your body weight and hand held weights, a lower body toning segment that you can use weights or just your body weight, and an ab segment. The two first sections are split where the right side of the class uses lighter weights and the left side uses heavier weights. You can choose the light or heavy side to work out with.
Now, I can't say that this video has won me over. I am usually fond of having a few good shorter workout tapes to have round for those days when I'm crunched for time. But I feel that the whole routine was so rushed that the ability to use heavy enough weights to work the muscles with fewer reps was sacrificed. I also was really unhappy with the new Kathy Smith on "speed" not the drug but adrenaline perhaps. I prefered it when she is a little more low key. I am fond of other tapes that I have of hers and was really surprised in this sudden shift of personality. When trying out this video I had to keep the volume a little lower to keep the level of her voice tolerable. I think the video could have been better if she decided to make it two 30 minute segments. But then I guess it might start to run into competition with other tapes like In Shape with Rachel McLish or some of the Firm tapes.
On a positive note: if you are starting out and want a quick work out and like to have a super energy instructor this is for you. I will keep it for a while but, in the long run I may end up trading it, or giving it to a friend who is a beginner exerciser.
Instructor comments: Hyper-active in this tape and her voice, while not my favorite kind, is even worse by the fact that she is yelling and whooping out the counts and moves. She doesn't cue as well in this one, as in other tapes. I feel like she rushed through this, and the workout's quality suffered for it.
I had been working out with weights often before starting school, so I needed something quick and easy to maintain fitness at a basic level. This video fit perfectly, it is quick (20 minutes each) and very straight forward and effective. Kathy Smith covers all of the basics in lower and upper body sections. I really like the glute exercise with feet on the chair, it targeted the muscle well. I especially liked the final ab workout, which was more challenging then some of the ab work she has done in the past.
Instructor comments: I've been a fan of Kathy Smith's for a long time, but I agree with the other comments concerning her loudness. It reminds me of that hyper-enthusiastic attitude aerobic instructors made popular in the 80s, it's annoying. The thing I've always liked about her is that she is low key, gives useful basic information, and shares helpful hints.
This video is just what it claims to be--two weight workouts, one upper body workout and one lower body workout. You can do them separately or together. It is supposed to be adaptable to all levels depending on the weight that is used. As others have mentioned, for the upper body work half of the class uses heavy weights and few reps, and the other half uses lighter weights with more reps. While this sounded like a great idea to me, I don't feel that it translates well to the video. It is difficult to see what the people lifting heavy weights are doing, and what kind of stretches they are using. This won't be a problem for those used to lifting, but for newer folks this will be confusing. Also, the reps go *way* too fast to use heavier weights for the number of sets that are done. I like the way the exercises are sequenced, though. Kathy does supersets, and she works opposing muscle groups back to back (i.e., biceps then triceps). I do prefer the lower body workout. Beginning exercisers do not have to use weights, and more advanced exercisers can use hand weights and ankle weights. I used my barbell. You can leave the ankle weights on throughout the entire lower body workout, which I liked. Kathy is slightly more sedate during the lower body section. Again, some of the reps are done too quickly to use really heavy weights, and if I used weights that allowed me to keep pace with the video, I found that my muscles didn't fatigue effectively. I did like the change of pace of doing standing leg work with ankle weights (kind of reminded me of Firm 4). The abwork is standard--nothing special, but OK. I always like it when back work is included in videos. And you will have to stretch some on your own when you're finished, although Kathy does include some stretching after working each muscle group. I really can't say for sure whether I recommend this video or not. I'd say that the target group would be intermediates. There are not enough form pointers for beginners, and it's difficult to use heavy enough weight to challenge the advanced. I haven't decided whether to keep this one or not. If I have less than an hour to get in a total body workout, I'd rather do Firm 4 or Firm 6.
Instructor comments: Is this really Kathy Smith? Now, I don't mind some enthusiasm from a video instructor, but in this one Kathy seems like she has forgotten to take her lithium. Also, she gives very little pointers on form. I find this a bit disconcerting for a video that is supposed to be adaptable for beginners. Kathy runs around during some of the upper body work, and she continues to do the reps (with sloppy form, I might add). I really wish that Kathy had included a warm up. She does mention to be sure and warm up before doing the workout, but I'm sure that advice will often be ignored. It's a lot more likely that people will do an appropriate warm up and cool down if it's included in the video.
I like this one, it's fast after a cardio workout. I don't like the lower body workout quite as much as the upper body. But, during the upper body, she's no nonsense and you get it done. I actually saw results after a week - my arms changing and really feeling my back and abs.
Instructor comments: I usually don't like Kathy Smith I find she doesn't go with the music in some of her other videos, but I do like this one.
Overall, I just did not like the setup of this video. There are people all over the place, background is OK, but with Kathy going around from one place to another it is not a pleasant workout experience.
Instructor comments: I have many of Kathy's video workouts and have used them for years. I found her thorough and easy to follow. This tape is a disaster to me. She is too hyper, jumps around making it hard to concentrate on the one group you are supposed to be following. I think it is confusing and allows little time to recover between sets. I like Kathy a lot but in her recent tapes she is way too hyper making it hard to concentrate on the workout itself.
I agree with all the good comments on this video so I won't repeat them. I am a busy mom of a toddler and this workout fits in quite nicely. I lift weights 3 times a week so I feel competent at an intermediate level- and this workout was still challenging enough for me. Because you can change the reps and weights this video would be good for all levels. I just add ankle weights to the lower body and abs workout. All of the really buff people in this video make me work out harder so I can look like them someday, and the men are really nice to look at too.:)
Instructor comments: This was the first Kathy video I have bought, and I loved her energy. Yes she was loud but I felt it helped me get through thr reps and finish the workout. She is a great motivator.
I bought this video today and couldn't wait to try it out. This is a great strength training video- definitely the best! I can't wait to do it again. Kathy really did the basic moves that tone and sculpt ALL your muscle groups. Aterwards I was really pumped up and felt like I got a super work-out. I also loved how you can progress when you're ready to a even more intense work-out. Being a mother of 2 young ones I love how it's only 40 minutes total so it's easy to fit into your day. She suggests doing it twice a week.....I will look forward to those days with pleasure.....
Instructor comments: This is the first video I 've worked out to by Kathy. She was a little annoying with the random noises she'd make but she did keep me going and motivated.
I've had this one around for a long time, and it has
been languishing in a corner on my bottom shelf. In a
fit of industriousness, I pulled it out tonight and
now, I am sorry I avoided it. This is another solid
workout from Kathy. After a lengthy plug for her other
tapes and products, she presents two twenty-minute
workouts, for upper and lower body respectively. There
is a bonus ab section at the end. Each workout has
options (with their own special cueing) for those
using heavier weights versus lighter weights.
The upper body section was a lot of fun. Kathy rotates
opposing body parts, pairing chest and back, biceps
and triceps, then tacking on shoulders at the end. For
each exercise, she does first regular reps, then
pulsing reps, then regular reps again. Even using
relatively lighter weights, I felt these. She also
tells you when to use your heavier weights and when to
jump back down to lighter ones. This workout just flew
The lower body section felt a lot slower. It seemed to
have far more body parts in it than standard workouts.
For example, Kathy classifies upper and lower things
as separate, with calves, hamstrings, buttocks and
legs in a general sense all getting separate sets with
roughly equal numbers of reps. Perhaps recognizing
that this might feel tedious, she frequently says we
are almost done the workout, which only made me more
impatient as it never seemed to be true. She would say
"after this, we are almost done" and then launch into
a lengthy round of numerous moves to target some part
of the muscle I hadn't thought of. It was thorough,
I'll give her that. And it was only 20 minutes. But it
felt like forever!
Kathy cues well and offers several multi-part moves
that up the interest level (such as a side
squat-sweep-plie combo). She has an easy rapport with
the class, whom she addresses from time to time, and
she periodically wanders among them to offer form
pointers. She shrieks a little more than usual in this
tape, generally before she offers a motivational "good
for you" after finishing a long set. I could see that
getting a bit annoying, but in a workout so short, I
am more inclined to forgive quirks like that.
I did the whole tape at once and feel I got a decent
workout. In the future, I could see myself using the
upper body workout more often. It is a pain to cue the
tape to the lower body section for an add-on,
especially with so many other quickie lower body tapes
available (Quick Fix and Tamilee's I Want Those. tapes
come to mind). Overall though, a solid tape and a
Yes, this workout is loud. Kathy does quite a bit of whooping. I look past
this, however, because I really do believe it is one of the best strength
workout you can get in such a short time.
I will say I use the upper body section more often than the lower body
segment. I usually use this in conjunction with a cardio tape which also
serves as my warm up. The tape lacks a warm up.
She does about 2 different exercises for each body part, supersetting (using
the push/pull method) to save time. She starts with back/chest, moves on to
biceps/triceps (okay, I guess it is more pull/push) and finishes up upper
body with shoulders. I do feel there could be more shoulder work-- she just
does one set each of military raises and side raises.
The lower body workout does not feel as thorough to me. I guess it does not
appeal to me as much because I already have a twenty minute lower body
program (MIS) that is very thorough. Still, I have done it more than a few
times. I like the plies and it has a decent number of squats and lunges. It
also has some less traditional squat and lunge variations. For instance, she
has you do a one legged suat and then sweep yur leg out to the side. I did
not feel this was particularly beneficial.
Kathy finishes up with some ab and back work. One thing I have noticed
about Kathy is that she has always included lower back work when she works
abs. This section is seven minutes and includes crunch variations and some
planks. It is a decent ab workout. I often use it by itself. I guess I
like the short length of it.
For an inexpensive tape that is widely available, you could do a lot worse.
(Next time I'll put in all the important things, like my name and date, before I hit the submit button!)
Save your money; see if you can rent this out instead.
I hate to say that about a Kathy Smith tape, because others I have and enjoy, especially Power Step and Kickboxing Workout, she's a bit enthusiastic but not overly hyper.
There are several things that grate me on this tape (and I'll talk mostly about the upper body section, since that's where most of the problems are). She's constantly whooping it up, she endlessly runs to people, the reps are too fast for the heavy weights/2nd track, and the set is uninspiring.
Whooping - I can't do any of the Crunch tapes nor Donna Richardson\'s Donna-Mite AT ALL. This is my biggest gripe about any tape. A bit of whooping I can deal with; anything beyond that, and the tape collects dust.
Endlessly running to people - Why does she run to a couple of different people to check their form or crack a joke or join back in on the reps? IMHO it disrupts the flow of the routine. I don't mind instructors checking posture or form, but isn't that better accomplished at a more measured pace?
I use the 2nd track, which means I use heavier weights than the 1st track. It seems as if this video is geared to the 1st track, which means they can go through the reps a lot faster (and do). A minor gripe, because I can slow it down, but then I feel I''m not getting the benefit of the tape. And why don't they show more of the 2nd track people?
I usually don't notice what a set looks like, simply because I don't care. It's the routine I usually care about. Case in point is the original Abs of Steel video. It's a completely minimalist set (some potted plants and cubed glass on a carpeted floor), but it doesn't bother me because the 3 ab routines are good (challenging).
This isn't the case with this video. Because the rountine didn't grab me, I noticed the set more. It's boring. It looks like it's in some sweatshop or something, and they've squished in as many people into a small space as they possibly could. (Yeah, it's a crowded video.) Plus, every now and then, the camera veers off to the left (I think), and you get to see some big electric fans, no doubt to keep the exercisers from passing out from being too close together. I'm sure they didn't want that showing up on the video - didn't someone edit the upper body section?
IMHO, it's not worth keeping even though the 2nd section (lower body) is bit better than the 1st section. I'd stick with Cory Everson, The Firm, or Cathe F. All in all, a disappointment.
I like Kathy Smith. Usually, she's a bit enthusiastic, which is fine, plus she cues well. But she's too over the top on this one. She must have had too much coffee before she filmed this video.
Wow! I bought this with Peak fat burning thinking it would be an easy starter video. I was sooo wrong. Don't get me wrong I absolutely love the dvd, but Smith really works your upper and lower body. I love feeling that burn the day after a workout, and I definately felt it after doing her video. You have your choice of doing upper body or lower body. Or, you could do them both on the same day. She also includes a 7 minute ab and back routine, but it's too short for me. Don't worry about not having a bench. all you need is a chair and a step.Smith has a 2 track system for heavy lifters and light lifters. She lets you know when it's time for heavy lifters to put your weights down and stretch. Lift Weights is a great video!
Kathy Smith keeps you motivated!
May 24, 2003
This is an older tape, but I felt it deserved another look as it is one of the vew few Kathy strength workouts to make it to dvd. The dvd version is the same as the VHS one except that it includes some basic bonus material (clips of Kathyís other tapes, a link to her website) and of course, chaptering that allows one to choose which section of the workout they want to do. I loved being able to skip directly to upper body, or lower body, or abs. Each section is 20 minutes, except the abs with is just over 5.
Others have already commented on how ďhyperĒ Kathy is in this tape, but her enthusiasm didnít bother me at all. I loved the set-up of this workout so much. You have two choices every time you do the tape: track one or track two. Track 2 is lighter weights: you do a regular set with the heavy-weight users in track 1, then while they rest, you do a pulsing set, then both tracks close off with a third set and you move on to the next exercise. I think itís brilliant---you can use it as a high-rep tape, as a strength builder, or you can mix it up. And the time-efficient workouts are easy to fit into your routine.
If you have dvd, you should be aware of the various options you have in getting this workout into your collection. The upper body section, combined with a lower body section from Kathyís Functionally Fit tape, is available on the Personal Trainer dvd. If upper body is all you are interested in, this might be a good bet as that disk includes a very nice yoga workout and cardio workout on it too. If you want both the upper and lower body sections, you can have them on either the Timesaver Lift Weights to Lose Weight DVD, or the Rules for Fat-Burning DVD. The Rules for Fat-Burning DVD has short cardio routines on it compiled from other Kathy tapes, but it lacks a warm-up and cool-down segment, and it is missing the ab work. The Timesaver DVD has both of those, but no bonus cardio. I started out with the Personal Trainer DVD and was happy with it, then acquired the Timesaver DVD really cheaply at a used bookstore. So I have duplicates of the upper body section, but I donít want to get rid of either disk as each has items the other lacks. If I had not gotten the deal I did on Timesaver, I would have gone with Rules of Fat-Burning, but as it is now, that disk would be superfluous.
I purchased this video last March or April, and have been doing it ever since (7-8 months).
I first started doing the upper and lower body workouts all at once, but found it too difficult and too time consuming. Plus I was also trying to get in a 30 minute workout on the treadmill.
So what I do now,is first thing in the morning, I do a 3 minute warm-up on the treadmill, 20 minutes running and a 3 minute cool down.
I then put in Kathi's tape and do either the upper or lower body workout. I alternate the upper and lower every other day, giving me 3 days of upper and 3 of lower. I work out 6 days a week.
I enjoy the workout, but I do find it very fast paced, trust me, by the time I am done, I am exhausted. Maybe, it's too much doing it right after my running on the treadmill, but it allows me to get my workout out of the way in the morning, before my day starts and I do feel pretty good all day long.
I have friends who have also gotten this tape, because of the results they saw with me. But I can honestly say that now, I am getting a little bored with it, and think I will look for other tapes, so I can alternate my routine.
I do however enjoy this tape and would recommend it to others.
She is a little loud and moves through these exercises a little fast, but I guess that would be to keep it at 20 minutes. Also some of her "moaning" is a little too much.
When I first bought this video several years ago, I thought I would only use the upper body portion, as had given up hope on my lower body long ago. However, I've since come to appreciate the value of lower body work, and I've held on to this tape, which is probably the oldest in my current collection.
This video contains a 20-minute upper boyd workout, 20-minute lower body workout, and 7 minute bonus abs section. Kathy moves fairly quickly between the exercises, so it would be helpful to view the entire tape prior to your first workout to become familiarized with it. Also, her cuing is sometimes a little off--she seems to lose track of repetitions--but once you've done the tape a few times, it's easier to follow along.
Kathy uses a "two-track" system, which gives you the option of using either heavy weights, less repetitions or light weights, more repetitions. I usually alternate, and both ways are tough! The upper body portion covers traditional exercises for back, biceps, triceps, and shoulders (in that order). The lower body section utilizes mostly standing moves to work inner and outer thighs and buttocks; it ends with just a few minutes of floor exercises performed on your back. The abs section contains a nice, targeted abs workout with a few unique moves thrown in; plus, it includes several back exercises for additional strength and balance.
Overall, I think this is an excellent workout which would be appropriate for anyone from advanced beginners to more advanced exercisers in need of a quick workout. The combination of short length, varied exercises, and adept instructor is bound to help increase your motivation level. This video has managed to remain a part of my regular rotation for over two years now, and I don't plan to part with it anytime soon.
Some other reviewers have commented that Kathy's style in this video is annoying, with lots of "hooting and hollering." I was prepared to be bothered by this as well, as I don't like overly peppy instructors such as Denise Austin. Although Kathy's frequent woo-hoos did sound a bit silly at times, I found it easy enough to ignore. Also, I appreciated the fact that only Kathy wore a mike, so there is no distracting background noise from her 10 participants.
Beth (aka toaster)
February 2, 2004
I have owned and traded away several Kathy Smith videos of the last few years. I am not a huge fan of her and I really dislike her cardio workouts. But I had heard good things about this one, so I went ahead and bought the DVD. I am very glad I did. This is a great workout, and I think fans of Kathy will be pleased with it. I also have her first Timesaver weight video; the second one is similar in format and style, but she has made some improvements.
The first improvement is that she actually does a warm-up with this one. I always hated that the first one didnít have a warm-up and I was expected to provide my own. She also does better stretching in this video. The first LWTW had very brief stretches in a kind of do your own thing format, but she leads two stretching sessions (one after lower body, one after upper body) that are pretty good. It did bother me, though, that I had to lay down for the lower body stretch and then get back up to do upper body. I think standing lower body stretches would have been more appropriate.
The second improvement is in the exercises. She has altered standard exercises like bicep curls by having you cross your leg over and twist your torso. I donít know if this really makes the exercises more effective but it was a nice change of pace.
The third improvement is in Kathy herself. She is a lot calmer than in some of her other videos. And when she wanders around the class she actually gives good form pointers. In the past I have always felt like she was just walking around so she wouldnít have to do all the work! But this time she seemed to have a purpose in it.
The video consists of a warm up, two lower body sections, two upper body sections and an abs section. I think the sections have been broken down in other reviews so I wonít do it again. I loved the abs section and am feeling it the next day, and I think I will use this video often.