This disk is part of Sharon mannís The Works box set, but is also available separately. It is only available on DVD. All of the disks in the set are structured the same way: you can select a pre-mixed workout, or you can create your own workout by choosing your own options: pick from one of 4 warmups, 8 choices for your first section, 8 choices for your second section, and 4 cool-downs for a total workout time of about 30 minutes. The segments are all different, and culled from Sharonís TV show so some of the transitions are a bit choppy (for example, entering a yoga section and immediately being confronted with the downward facing dog). Sharon could have benefited from a Firm Parts approach where each new section is preceded by a transitional scene to get you into position. Instead, Sharon will stall you by showing an inspirational quote or somesuch. Bonus sections accessible from the main menu include the pre-mixes, tips and form pointers. The disk also comes with a booklet that suggests other specially balanced combinations
These is a nice variety of options in this tape. There is plain Pilates mat work, as well as Pilates with a band, a ring and a ball. There are also yoga sections on the ball, as well as plain ones, and some functional strength work. Sharon is a reasonably pleasant and thorough instructor, and I applaud her for the sheer variety of workout options on this disk. Her ball work is excellent, and her Pilates is carefully instructed. Sharon also gets bonus points for her rotating group of background exercisers who perform a variety of modifications. She does not always explain the different variants, but one of the guys at back is always doing the most intense possible variation of every move, and the girls on the left perform the moves at beginner and intermediate levels with no equipment
There are some technical quirks to this set that are not impossible to overcome, but are worth mentioning. First of all, you pretty much are stuck with the sections as Sharon has arranged them. For example, you cannot pick 2 sections from group 1 for your workout---you must pick one from group 1, then one from group 2 etc. And while you can quit the warm-up or one of the sections early and press skip to go directly to the next part of the workout, you cannot play the disk in fast forward mode at all. I also felt that some of her workout combinations were deceptive: in the Pilates Core Training section, for example, a good half of the workout is pure Yoga. I felt that since she was marketing this as having all these different kinds of workouts on them, she should have kept the yoga in the yoga section and let us enjoy some pure Pilates.
Overall though, this was a wonderful purchase which offers a huge variety of workouts using various equipment and techniques. I would love to see a sequel that adderses some of the technical problems and gives us even more workout options.
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. (and, yes, that is the same line from my other reviews but it applies to all 3 in this series)
I hate pilates so tend to never use any of trhe combinations that incorporate pilates. I like the fact that I can get a good yoga workout in a half an hour on this disc and use it quite often as a quick yoga workout when I don't havetime for one of my longer tapes.
Like the other two discs, this one also has 4 preprogrammed workouts: mixed yoga, lexible strength, pilates and yoga, and pilates.
There is also stability ball work on here too - so, if you read my review of the body sculpting DVD, you know that is my favorite thing of Sharon's.
All in all - this is a great little disc. I don't use it as much as I used to, as new tapes have come into my collection, but it is nice to know it is there and that I can do it anytime!
February 25, 2004