This DVD has two workouts: Aero-Pump and Aero-Kick. Aero-Pump is a strength workout using a bodybar and dumbbells. Itís a fast-and-light workout, and rather ďblah.Ē Aero-Kick is much more fun. Itís 31 minutes including the warmup and cooldown. The choreography (kickboxing) is beginner/intermediate, and the intensity is intermediate. Some of the moves use a fair amount of room. This is fun, but I donít know if Iíd find it quite as fun if it was by anyone other than Silk Manning. The DVD also includes a ďbonusĒ warmup/cooldown from another workout called Aero Tai-Chi. I thought it was horrible. Itís very slow, dancy moves that are not cued. You just follow along. I know some would really like this, but I couldnít stand it. If youíre looking for a short kickboxing workout thatís at an intermediate level, I would recommend this. But donít buy it for the Pump workout (or the warmup/cooldown).
On cardio work, I am an intermediate to advanced exerciser who enjoys with complex choreography at some level. I also enjoy my ďeasierĒ workouts on those mornings I donít feel like thinking that much. After trying many different cardio workouts with varying complexity, I have found that I enjoy many different workouts, but my absolute favorites are those that many complexity lovers on VF would classify as intermediate because the instructor takes awhile to build combinations and/or explains more than the most complex instructors (like Christi, Patrick, or Andre). With strength work, I am an intermediate exerciser, who doesnít really want to move up to advanced work. While I have really enjoyed getting into workouts on the ball and Pilates as an alternative to traditional strength training, I continue to stress weighted strength work because it does such good things for my body.
I agree with Annie on the warm up. I HATED IT! Itís not even worth looking at, much less doing. (Although, you are free to do so on your own copy, of course! (smile)) It made no sense to me and seemed totally pointless. She moved around doing flowing moves that seemed to have no purpose. There was no cueing or explanation. So, be prepared to do your own warm up.
Aero Kick was, in my opinion, the best part of this DVD. Silk Manning is by himself on a fairly plain set. He does three combos that are pretty much drills with kicking and punching. The first combo is just punching. The second combo is punching with two kicks. The third combo is punching, a block, and three kicks. You do move front to back a little, but donít need a lot of space. You donít really move laterally very much. It is an enjoyable and short cardio workout and Iíll use it on days I need a shorter cardio workout and donít feel like much choreography.
Aero Pump is a good for days I want a short, total body strength workout and I donít feel like dragging out a lot of equipment. Silk Manning is again by himself on the same plain set as in Aero Kick. He moves quickly from move to move and I stopped it a few times to catch up on equipment changes and/or position. He does give good form pointers and explanations of what he wants you to do. I liked this workout, but did not love it. There are others I will reach for before this one, but I will do it once in awhile for variety.
He is good at explaining the moves and giving form pointers. He is motivational for me.
August 22, 2005
The Aero-Pump/Kick DVD offers two solid workouts, each about 31 minutes long. The first, Aero-Pump, is full body strength workout which uses a body bar, dumbbells, and a step (I got by with my dumbbells and stool only). Instructor Silk Manning jumps right into the workout (the warm-up is separate; see below) with leg work; using the body body, he performs squats in both wide and close leg positions, starting with slow and then moving to faster sets. Other leg exercises include dead lifts and one-legged squats (with one foot on the step behind you); because Silk does several sets of all moves, you will really feel the work. Silk works the shoulders next, beginning in a standing position and then moving to lying on the step (or the floor) for additional exercises such as chest presses and flies. Returning to a standing position, Silk moves on to the back and then begins the arms work. For the biceps, he does 24s, which are 8 reps of lifting from down to halfway up, 8 reps of lifting from halfway to all the way up, and then 8 full bicep curls; these are tough, and he goes through the entire sequence twice. Next comes triceps work, again performed both in a standing and in a lying position. Silk finishes with a few abs crunches plus some back strengthening moves on the floor. There is no cool-down, but the DVD includes a separate yoga cool-down (see below). Overall, this was a very good, full-body toning workout. Furthermore, since Silk moves very quickly, you also get some cardio benefit, although the fast pace also made it more difficult to change the weights.
Aero-Kick is the cardio kickboxing workout. Silk starts right in with the kicks, performing them at a nice, easy pace. After you spend some time practicing kicking drills, he then moves on to the punches before combining the two. Silk introduced fairly simple kick-punch combinations which followed a simple pattern: perform combo on side 1, step forward and repeat combo on side 2, step forward return to side 1 to repeat combo, and then take a few steps back and repeat the entire sequence starting on the other side. In a few places, Silk adds quick double punches, but these are still very controlled, and he gives you the option of keeping it slower. He includes all four punches (jab, cross, hook, upper) plus front, side, and roundhouse kicks. As with Aero-Pump, there is no warm-up or cool-down for this workout. I enjoyed the simple, easy-to-follow but fun moves, and I definitely worked up a good sweat.
As mentioned, neither of the two workouts above includes a warm-up or cool-down; instead, these are on a separate section of the DVD entitled "Warm-Up/Cool-Down," which includes three 15-minute segments. The first segment is taught by Angela Huang which I would describe as sort of a dancey Tai Chi warm-up. She begins with slower moves, picks of the pace for a short period, and then slows things down again. The second segment is a more traditional warm-up led by Silk. He gets you moving with simple exercises such as side steps, marches, and reaches; once you are warm, he adds some moving and static stretches. The final segment is a bit longer (19 minutes) and performed by Sarah Kane. This is intended as the cool-down, and it consists of a flowing series of yoga stretches performed entirely on the floor (either seated or lying). Although this was a nice stretch segment, the pace seemed to slow to be used as a cool-down for either of the above workouts. Furthermore, Sarah teaches via voiceover, and her instructions were often out of sync with the screen (Angela teaches using voiceover as well, but Silk teaches live).
Overall, I really enjoyed the two main workouts on this DVD, Aero-Pump/Kick, and know that I will use them often; they were short but effective. However, I am more likely to substitute my own warm-up/cool-down than to use the ones included here, although Sarah's segment might find its way into my schedule as an occasional yoga routine.
I wasn't sure what to expect from Silk--he looks kind of scary on the covers of his Khi Bae videos! But he was actually quite down to earth. He's definitely very buff, but he wears normal workout clothes which do not accentuate this. He moves quickly, cues well, and comes across as a friendly, encouraging personal trainer.
Beth C (aka toaster)
September 22, 2005