I consider myself an intermediate to low-advanced exerciser. I can do Interval Max and Intense Moves all the way through, but I modify some of the moves to the middle level so keep that in mind when reading my review.
Interval Express is my favorite Mindy video since Slammin' Sports Cardio. It's different than Slammin' Sports Cardio in that she doesn't use sport themes for the intervals. Instead, she varies the interval work; switching between straight intervals on the step with a few intervals thrown in that use a 6# medicine ball. She also does a couple of hi/lo intervals at the end (one jumping lunge segment that uses the ball) and adds on some push ups and ab work.
The set is the same one used in all the new CIA videos, the Treadmoves videos, and Urban Rebounding Volume 2. Mindy's wearing a nice blue top that matches the blue accents of the set. She has two background exercisers; one demonstrates the easier (if you want to call them that!) intervals.
The video starts with a 7-minute warm up using the step. She cues pretty well in this video, but as even she admits...good cuing is not her forte. The warm up is straight forward; interesting but not too complicated. She uses a 4# ball for the last couple minutes of the warm up to do some great core/balancing moves. No stretch in this warm up...I like that, but some might find it lacking.
Next she moves into the interval work. Lots of variety, no time to get bored. The intervals are anywhere from 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. All but two got me into (well into, I might add!) my interval heart rate zone. My favorites are the football-style drills she does using a vertical step. WOW!
Mindy first incorporates the 6# ball after about 4 or 5 intervals (could be more) without the ball. She does a great squat combo. I was surprised at how high my heart rate went when I did all the jumps that she did with the ball! She also does a one legged squat segment with the ball that was pretty tough for me since I worked my legs at the gym the day before. I had to take a couple of rests during that one. The only thing I absolutely could not do in this video was the segment with the jumping lunges using the ball. Those are just too unweildy for me...I stuck to the slow lunges that were demonstrated by one of the background exercisers. Thank goodness for the slower version!
After 30 minutes or so, Mindy puts the step on the vertical and adds more intervals. I clocked the interval work at about 49 minutes; the hi/lo segments seemed a little out of place, but other than that it's a solid interval workout. The total workout is about 61 minutes. I didn't get too much out of the bit she added on to the end, but it was a great way to cool down. She does some planks and push ups on the ball (not enough to call it an upper body workout, IMHO), some very different ab work using the ball, then it's over! Again, very little stretching at the end; you might want to add a more thorough stretch.
This video is great! I give it an A+. I've done it twice now, which given the number of videos I own, is a lot. I usually do my interval workout at the gym so when I get a chance to do one at home I always reach for Mindy. I had the privilege of meeting her at Fact Fest in Chicago, and I can tell you that she is every bit as sincere in person as she comes across in her videos. She really wants to give us the workout we want.
In my book, Mindy Mylrea is the Queen of Interval Training!!
Mindy is one of the warmest, most engaging instructors out there. She has a great sense of humor, but one shouldn't be fooled by her light-hearted nature...she's a big,bad drill sergeant at heart!
Mindy's enthusiasm is contagious. I find myself working as hard as I can just to please her, and I feel like a kid the whole time!
There's a warm-up in this one (usually there aren't), but no stretch. You use a medicine ball (she used 4-6 lbs, I used 5), which can be awkward if you're not used to it. Then you start the workout. It's basically intervals, which are pretty tough and move quickly. At first, she does more choreography than usual so I was off, but it's something that can be picked up by the 2nd workout. She does a few sections with the ball, like lunges and squats. Then, there's a short hi/lo section and some ball moves and abs. The stretch at the end was minimal so you may want to do your own.
Overall, I liked this tape and think I'll like it more the next time I do it. I wasn't really into using the medicine ball except for some of the leg and ab work. It just felt awkward during some of the moves. I really felt nothing in the upper body. But I think this is a great workout!
Mindy has a unique personality- some dislike it, but I do- she jokes around and seems natural, not scripted. Her cueing could be better, but the combos aren't too hard, so you catch on.
The first time I did this video, I wasn't that happy. I didn't like the medicine ball moves and thought it moved too slowly.
Now for the review after I did it a 2nd time:
There's a warmup, but no stretch. You start your intervals, and after a segment, you do some leg work like lunges or squats of the bench, then do more cardio. It all moves fast enough that you're HR is up. Sometimes I had to pause the VCR to rest.
You do some moves with a medicine ball but I really didn't use it for all of them. It was just awkward at times.
There's a short hi/lo section which is a nice ending. The cardio/intervals/hilo comes in around 50 mins, so it's a good workout. You do a plank move, a few pushups and a little abwork. Not much though- you work your legs more than anything in this tape. The stretch was not good at all- very short.
Overall, I like this tape a lot. If you like Mindy, try it. I wish it had more stretching though!
I like Mindy- she's natural, fun and motivating. She's not reading a script; she's being herself, just joking around which makes it more fun.