This workout, available on dvd only, has a very interesting premise. You can design your own workout each time you use it by selecting from 4 warm-ups, 8 choices for your first section, 8 choices for your second section and 4 cool-downs. You are limited somewhat by the way these sections are grouped (e.g. the menu does not allow you to pick two choices from the first grouping, although if you have a programmable dvd player you can apparently get around this). And the dvd also does not play in fast forward mode at all, which makes previewing difficult. The sections are all taken from Sharon's tv show and offer a nice variety.
First, the plus: Sharon is a decent and reasonably personable instructor. She has a class working out with her and they show various modifications, which Sharon frequently points out to us. The guy in the back is always doing the hardest variation, and there are people who modify to use no equipment too. There is a really nice variety of activities here, ranging from barbell work to Pilates mat work.
Now, the minusses. Because the disk is compiled of a ton of little sections from the show, some of the transitions are a bit choppy. And Sharon is not always immediately forthcoming about what equipment you'll need for each section---there were a few times I had to scramble to find something at the last minute, and a few times where we went from a section where we did not need shoes directly into one where we did, depending on the section choices you make.
I was also a bit dubious at the relevance of some of the content here. I suppose one could get away with calling Pilates "strength" work, but Sharon has a whole other disk for Pilates in this series so I would have preferred to see different things on this disk. Similarly there seems to be an awful lot of pure cardio here. While I am not denying cardio is important, Sharon does have a whole other disk for that too, and I kind of resented having spots on the strength disk be taken up by things that are not strength work.
As for the little strength work there actually was, it was more the functional kind than any sort of muscle development stuff. Lots of balance moves, things done at funny angles on one leg. If you like that sort of thing, there are some excellent sections of it here. But if you are looking for muscle-building work you will not find it, and if you are hoping to cross-train with only Sharon's 3 The Works tapes, you won't find the right type or amount of muscle-building work here. Sharon clearly prefers cardio and functional strength & core work as an instructor, and that bias is obvious in this disk. If your definition of "Body sculpting" does match Sharon's, and if you are looking for some core and functional work, this would be a good dvd for you. It offers great variety and a sampler of Sharon's cardio style. Just know what you're getting, and don't be fooled by the title.
There is not much more I can say about this DVD than has already been covered on the forum (a lot) and probably here as well. The workout is very unique in that it allows you to build your own workout from the ground up. The cover claims that you can do over a thousand workout combinations from a single disc.
I really like the Sharon Mann "The Works" dvd series. I think they are an amazing idea and, for variety junkies, it is a great way to give yourself a thousand different workouts. The stability ball work on this disc is really great. I think that Sharon is one of themost innovative stability ball instructors out there. I bought this disc for that reason alone. I used to watch In Shape with Sharon Mann and loved what she did there so was really happy to see hat I could get her Stability ball work on a single disc so I could do it whenever I want to.
There are 4 preprogrammed workouts available for if you don't want to choose. They are: Body Sculpt, Cardio knock you out, core training, and athletic training. Alot of the other sections on the disc are equally innovative...but I don't use them that much. I tend to use it on low weight/high rep rotations. There is also a fair bit of Cardio thrown in here too.
As a final note, this is probably my least favorite of The three Works DVDs and I definitely use it the least, but for the stability ball work - I keep it around.
February 25, 2004