I watched this workout first and thought it looked pretty easy. They don't use weights during the standing leg routine but she tells you to use them so I started with 5lbs and quickly dropped them and used none. The first part is cardio leg workout doing all standing leg exercises going from one to the other very quickly. She does lots of exercises that are not done in any other tape I have so I got fatigued very quickly and had to take lots of breaks. I found the exercises very effective and challenging. One person does them using the step, one using the ball and Mindy shows different variations. Next is the upperbody work. Mindy uses high repetitions going for endurance and even with 5lb weights I still took lots of breaks. She does your basic upperbody work in this one, one arm rows, up right rows, bicep curls, military presses with some intense pulses at the bottom, & lots of tricep dips. Then she does ab work with one using the ball, one on the step and Mindy on the floor. Her ab work is also very good, not as intense as Cathe F. ab work but still good. I happen to really like this tape and plan on doing it until I can build up enough strength to do it with some weights. This is a very challenging tape, IMHO.
Mindy is a very up beat instructor who likes to joke around. She doesn't have a serious side in this tape and it makes the tape more fun. Some people might think she talks too much but if you tune it out and concentrate on the workout you'll realize how hard this workout is.
Killer Floorwork has half of its name right. It is killer, but there is very little floorwork. It starts with standing leg work, which is the hardest section (about 25 minutes). I am *so* glad when this is over. I'm glad she did this
part first, because I don't think I'd have the strength or energy for it at the end. You do most of the leg work on the bench, and it is extremely tough. She says to use weights if you want, but I am nowhere near ready for that, and I'm an advanced exerciser. I use 3 risers on my bench, because that's what I use with the
FIRM. It might be easier if I went down to 2, but I don't want to start any bad habits that I might not be able to break! This section will have you breathing heavily, and you'll probably get to an anaerobic state with it, like with interval work.
The next section is upper body. I'm glad when it arrives, because that means those dreaded leg exercises are over. Not that the upper body is a walk in the park, by any means! You do many repetitions of various exercises using light weights. It's hard.
Then, it's time to go to the floor for pushups. I'm a pushup-hater, but at this point I'm so drained that I love the thought of going to the floor. The pushup variations, to use the word Dawn used in her review, are brutal. There's no other word for it!
Finally, it's ab/back time. YES! I get to lie down! Her ab work is very good, and she does a lot for the obliques.
One criticism is that for the final stretch, we stand back up. I just want to lie there after the abs and stretch out. I'm so wrung out by the end that getting back up to do the stretch seems like a travesty of justice.
Throughout the workout, you have the option of using a ball for some of the exercises. Several variations are shown, so you don't have to use a ball. It looks like a large children's ball would work, and I think I may get one. The ball
exercises look fun.
Oh, I almost forgot about the balance exercise. I wanted to tell you about this, because it's something you can try right now and it's really neat. During the warmup, she has you stand with your arms out to the side, and then you
lift one knee and balance. No big deal, huh? Well, then she has you close your eyes. Try it! There's a big difference! She says that as we get older, our sense of balance decreases and this is a good exercise to improve it.
My grade for this workout is A+++, but I have a love-hate relationship with it. This is definitely hard work, so much so that I dread parts of it. But then afterward, I feel so relaxed and strong, and I'm glad I did it.
I have to write a review for this video because when I first watched it, I thought it looked easy. Well I was wrong. I am used to doing the Firm with heavy weights and this video challenged me even though they only use a step and light weights and a excercise ball.
She starts with a long warmup and goes into leg work using the step. Its like the tall box work but using the step instead. I felt it right away in my quads and then she has you do more pulsing where you start to feel it in your butt as well. There is one incredible excercise where she has you do a stationary lunge with your back leg on the step and then she has you lean all the way forward and pulse. Ouch! This is a burner as Pam Cauthen would say. Then she has you do zillions of squats. She shows you how to squat against the wall with a ball. I tried it and felt it more in my quads then my buns so I went back to using 10lbs and squatting on the floor. She also does some excercises for skiing moguls. Its a hop squat excercise that really puts the finishing touches on the final lower body excercises.
The upper body exercises uses light weights with a lot of reps which is so different from the Firm and yet you still feel the burn. Lat rows, upright rows, overhead presses, biceps and then tricep dips using the step. she shows you how to do other excercises like one arm french press and then some final set of pushups that really kill. She does at least 4 sets of pushups with different variations. This is the best pushups excercises I have seen in an excercise video. She shows you how to use the body ball for pushups and I liked this one right away. She also does this very hard hover pushup which she calls, "bitchin" and boy is it ever tough! I could barely do it.
She finishes off with a great ab section which you can really feel and a great standing cool down with no music which I found weird at first but then really appreciate the quiet of it.
The video quality is so so for the high price of the video. Nothing like the Firms. It's like taking a gym class home with you. Nothing fancy, no sexy appealing clothes, no sexy breathy " talking". Just an excellent instructor giving you an excellent workout with a great humorous personality. I give this workout an A . It would be an A+ if it was a better video quality
The video includes the instructor, Mindy Mylrea (MM), and two other exercisers. The warm-up is varied and thorough. It includes some unique moves such as one that involves rolling forward through the feet, and another where you hold one leg up and close your eyes, in order to improve balance. The warm-up lasts a little over 7 minutes, which for me is about perfect. The sculpting moves begin with a series of leg exercises. The basic idea for all of them is that one leg stays on the bench and the other leg moves in some way (e.g., lunges back or kicks away from the body). The number of reps per leg is about 30 or so. MM suggests using weights, but neither she nor any of the exercises do so. To me that's a negative feature of this video -- I think it's useful to be able to see exactly how the teacher holds the weights. At one point she says, "If you're using weights, which I'd like you to…", and I couldn't helping wondering why she wasn't using them. After 15 minutes or so of these moves, everyone does more than 5 minutes of squats. Next, the exercisers work on the upper body, starting with lat rows. Now everyone is using weights, which look to be about 3-5 lbs. Next are rows (about 48), then deltoid presses (about 40), military presses (lots; you get the idea), some calf exercises, bicep curls, forearm work, and tricep dips (using the step). Now, about 35 minutes into the workout, the exercisers move to the floor. What follows is an excellent series of push-ups -- MM uses interesting variations on the basic move and gives great pointers on form. The push-up that includes a push-forward component is really challenging -- I loved it. The final part of the workout is for the abdominals. This sequence lasts about 8 minutes and includes a couple of Keli Roberts-like moves (and that's a very good thing). Next come lower back exercises, and finally the cool-down, which is solid but not particularly relaxing.
I wanted to like this video. I've become convinced from the discussions on the Forum that it can be useful to alternate heavy-weight, low-rep days with light-weight, many-rep days. I also thought the video might be perfect for taking on trips to visit family and friends; many people I visit own a step and a pair of dumbbells but few own the total set of equipment that's needed to do one of the later FIRMs, for instance. And I did like the warm-up, the push-ups, and the abdominal sequence. But here's what I didn't like: First, I didn't enjoy doing upper-body work with such light weights. As I said, I do see the benefits of the low weight/high reps formula, but there are high reps and then there are high reps! -- 40-some exercises per side is just too many for me. Second, and this is the more serious criticism, this workout hurt my knees, and badly. The day after doing it I could hardly walk down stairs. I'm not saying this will happen to everyone, but I couldn't write a thorough review without mentioning that it happened to me. I think the trouble comes from all that legwork on the step, which requires the supporting leg to hold all one's bodyweight for 30 or more reps (my step was set at 8" and I used 4-lb dumbbells). Maybe I'm generally vulnerable to knee trouble because I run. Maybe my form was off in some way. However, aerobic step videos and FIRM workouts never hurt my knees (for the latter I use a 14" bench and 20-lb dumbbells), but this workout did. So, I won't be doing this whole tape again, but I will use the parts I like to fill out my workout on my running days.
The music is no better and no worse than on most other exercise videos. The production quality on a scale of 1-5 is about a 3 -- not as good as The FIRM, but better, say, than Cathe Friederich's Cardio Step Challenge. The only equipment you need is a bench and some light dumbbells; a strange spiky ball is used for some of the exercises but it's optional.
First off, I caution anyone who is considering purchasing any videos from Sara's City workout. These tapes are very low production quality for the price. I remember reading another review where someone commented that CIA videos are bascially a camera set up in a studio. The Sara's City tapes make CIA look like a Firm production. But enough about production....
This would be such a good workout if it just were more polished! The leg work in this tape is especially intense. These exercises really work your legs. I got frustrated with the exceptionally high number of reps however. The problem was Mindy would get to talking or showing a modification and totally lose count of the exercises. For example, in the upper body section starting off with lat rows, you do 58 rows with the right arm! Then when she comes back after talking, you do 30 rows for the left arm. Hmmm...that doesn't seem equal! At some points the girls with her just stop. She lets them keep going and going and going on the same exercise. I felt sorry for them.
I think this tape could be used as a toning tape but not to build muscle. There are way too many reps to ever use heavy weights. My arm was very fatigued after doing 30 reps with only 8 lbs. and I'm used to using 20 lbs.
In closing, if you are looking for a good toning tape with great form instruction, especially for the lower body, this is a good tape, but you need to be able to get past the low production quality and the lack of attention to working both sides equally.
I didn't find this workout as difficult as expected. I did the legwork with 3 lb. dumbells and felt okay. There are tons of squats with the bench, pulses for the hamstrings, leg ups, moves like leg presses. I found the weights a nice challenge and was able to complete it with the weights. The armwork was okay - she does 56 lat rows on one side and about half that on the other - so I balanced it out myself and rewound the tape to do the shoulder work. I used 8 lbs. for the lat work and 5 lbs. for the rest of the arm work. I felt cheated with the tricep work because I didn't like the fact that she had her two partners doing tricep dips forever while she showed tricep work with weights. The push-ups were challenging, but she showed too much instruction in between before moving on to the next set. The ab work was good, a little short, but I felt it. This is not a negative review, but I expected to be wiped out, which I wasn't. I also did this tape following CIA Major League Stepping with Denise Tucker, so I got a complete workout. I recommend it for a non-Firm day and as an alternative to Great Weighted Workout and Body Art Workout.
Instructor comments: Mindy is a talkative, funny and likeable person. She makes the workout fun.
Let me add to the already stated cautions about the quality of Sara City Workout tapes. They are the pits. This tape looks like it was filmed in a hotel gym with a home video camera. The music is also nothing to write home about-it's very bland.
Production quality aside this is a tough workout that's actually mostly standing toning. After a warm-up, Mindy leads a very intense leg section. There are some very unusual exercises here, and it looks very tough.
Did you notice I said looks? Ok, you caught me. I don't do leg toning workouts. My upper body is what I focus on, and the upper body workout in this tape sounded really hard, which is why I bought the tape.
The upper body work, which is right after the standing floor work, is ok. Mindy does lots of lat rows (count 'em so you can do the same number on each side)and then does upright rows. There are lots of reps, but not THAT many. Then you do side lateral lifts and a series of overhead presses and pulses. The overhead pulses were fairly difficult. Then you do biceps. I did that section twice. Then Mindy has you and the background exercisers do tricep dips while she talks about variations. Not real fair. I thought I was going to die during this part.
Then Mindy takes you to the floor for pushups. You do several sets of standard pushups but then you do this hover pushup move that she doesn't explain very well, but it is very very tough.
My feelings about this upper body routine are mixed. Parts of it are quite challenging-the overhead press pulses, the triceps, and part of the pushups. But part of it isn't that hard-the back, the biceps, and most of the shoulder section. The upper body workout is not as good as those in Body Max, MIS, and Cory's GHAS but it's nice for a change of pace.
One sort of strange thing. In the middle of the upper body, Mindy pauses and does some calf work. It seemed a little out of place,
like she remembered she needed to do it and just went ahead and stuck it in the workout.
Instructor comments: Mindy is really wonderful. She is very chatty, but in a warm and funny way.