Core Secrets Accelerated Core Training
Solid 45min intermediate core workout using the stability ball and 1 set of dumbbells. A huge variety of exercises, 36 total, most done for 8 reps, every single exercise uses the ball. Includes upper & lower body moves but not enough weight/reps to build substantial strength/endurance. Focus is on core & ab moves using weights & ball. Actual core toning times in at 34 minute.
I found I needed 3 different sets of weights to challenge the different muscle groups.
All in all it's a good intermediate core-focused workout that uses the ball in every possible way. There's a lot of variety in the exercises but not too many reps. The music is good & motivating, the coaching is excellent. I like this workout - I think I'll plan to do this workout on a day late in the week once I've done my heavy weight-training sessions earlier in the week. I can see using this workout or Michael Olajide's Killer Abs & Back or FitPrime's Core Foundations to get extra core training in without wilting on the leg/arm exercises because I've already worked them previously.
This workout is filmed in a bright airy studio with a blue floormat on the hardwood floor, light-colored walls and large deco windows with a viewscape of what looks like a sunny Tuscan village on a hillside. Four ladies are in the workout and all are sleek & strong. One exerciser always shows the modfications. They workout on the silver/grey Core Secrets 65cm ball and it looks like they are using 5 or 8lb dumbbells. Some of the balls don't look like they're inflated all the way, Gunnar's is quite squished - is that cheating? I used my 55cm ball (which worked great) and 8-12lb dumbbells.
Gunnar is the only one dressed in a baggy polo shirt (?) with the uniform black yoga pants. Gunnar, show your stuff with a snug tank or sports shirt Dude! Gunnar coaches throughout with form pointers & helpful instructions, some motivational comments. Very matter-of-fact, not too gushy - some might find his style a bit dry.
The production quality is excellent, filmed well with different camera angles to show detail, mostly front-on camera work. Great sound & picture quality. I've heard that the production quality is as good as the Winsor Pilates series. It's as good as the Tamilee "I Want Those" series and any Cathe workout.
The music is loud pop instrumental music throughout, sometimes a jazzy pulsating instrumental piece. There is one 6min workout tune that is definitely vintage Dynamix. I was vaguely reminded of the way the old FIRMs were choreographed to the music as sometimes the music in this workout would wane or come up in tune to the exercise. In the credits at the end it says music by Daveed & Dynamix.
There is a DVD shuffle feature which apparently re-sequences the 6 different blocks of exercises so the workout seems different & fresh. See breakdown below.
Also they give thanks to Linda Shelton & Keli Roberts in the credits at the end, I'm curious how they might have contributed to this workout.
4min warm-up using the ball
34min toning/core exercises (25 diff exercises) done in 6 sections of 4 exercises totaling 4-6min each section
7min cool-down with the ball
The breakdown of the exact exercises:
NOTE: All exercises are done for 8 reps unless otherwise indicated.
WARM-UP - bouncing, torso stretches, arm stretches.
squat with ball overhead/to floor
split squat w/ball overhead
push-ups on ball (TOUGH!)
dumbbell clean & press
oblique crunch on ball (16 reps)
seated leg extensions
one-arm lateral raise
weighted crunches on ball (16)
lower body hyperextensions (12)
upper body hyperextensions (12)
plank leg lifts on ball (16)
seated side twists (16)
hamstring bridge rollouts (12)
one-legged hamstring lift
lying tricep extensions (16)
lower ab twists (12)
bicep curls (12)
bent-over lateral raise (12)
dumbbell front raises
hip raises (12)
lying ball pass
center lying ball thrusts
seated torso twist
hip flexor stretch
kneeling chest/forearm stretch
sprawl stretch over ball
hurdle/hamstring stretch on ball
This is a nice intermediate stability ball workout. It is one of the original 3 Core Secrets workouts that comes with the infomercial kit and ball. It was my favorite workout of those 3 and the only one I kept. I may not keep it indefinitely though.
It definitely focuses on the core more than his other long workout (Full Body Challenge), but it is not nearly as tough as other core workouts (like Core Foundations or Core Synergistics.) Most of the core work comes with full body movements or stabilizing yourself on the ball, instead of more difficult planks and pikes. To make this workout work for me I have to make some modifications.
~ First, I do some planks to pre-fatigue my core.
~ I use a medicine ball for all the leg moves. This modification was born out of not having enough room in my basement to raise the stability ball over my head, and it works really well. Most of the leg moves are legs and squats and have some twisting in them which works the core.
~ I use as heavy weights as possible. There are some (but not many) upper body exercises, and I try to get as much as I can out of each rep.
~ I place my body on the ball to challenge myself as much as possible. I also either lift one leg while sitting, or sometimes even try to lift both legs.
~ I add reps by starting the work while Gunnar is describing the next move. He does this quite a bit in the workout, which would really start to irritate me, if I didn't add my own reps. Luckily it is not too difficult to start while he is talking, since he usually shows you the move right away.
These modifications don't change the workout in general, just make it more challenging for me. It isn't a bother to me because I enjoy working out with Gunnar. Eventually, I will probably move on from this workout, and I would love it if Gunnar made some more challenging workouts with less talk and a few more advanced moves.
For beginners, there is someone showing modifications to make the moves easier, so this workout would be good for anyone new to ball workouts or to someone who is looking for a decent intermediate core workout.
My biggest complaint with the workout are that Gunnar spends too much time explaining the moves (although I know how helpful it is for the audience he is trying to reach). Also, there is not much upper body work. It is enough to make me not want to do another strength routine the following day, but not quite enough for me to feel like it is enough to really count. I ultimately do "count" it, but I wish there was just a bit more work added on. Adding Give Me 20 or the 25 minute workout on to this would actually probably make a more complete routine, but I have gotten rid of these workouts. I will probably use the Quick Fix upper body work as an add-on to this one.
With strength work, I am an intermediate exerciser, who doesnít really want to move up to advanced work. I have really enjoyed getting into workouts on the ball as an alternative to traditional strength training and Pilates. Recently, I have also been getting into shorter full-body workouts so I can get my strength work in. Iím more into cardio, so I try to use videos and instructors that donít discourage me from doing weighted strength workouts.
I received this workout in a trade, mainly because I just wanted to see a Core Secrets workout. I was curious about them. I ended up really enjoying the workout and will be keeping it. Unlike my other ball workouts, this one is not Pilates oriented and includes what I consider more traditional strength moves. He does spend a lot of time explaining the moves, but I just used that time to go ahead and start them and get extra reps in. Given that I did this the first time I did the workout, I imagine I will sneak in more reps as I get more familiar with the workout.
Gunnar works out with several background exercisers. One of them is a modifier and they show her fairly often. She isnít always on the screen though. He gives very good descriptions of the moves and explanations as to how and where you should feel them. Some of this, however, leads to those overly long intros to the moves. There arenít a huge number of moves where you have to support yourself on your hands. This is an issue for me with a number of ball workouts because I have issues with my hands and wrists. There are some, but I could handle them (unlike TLPís Core Foundations and workouts like that one).
Overall, I recommend this workout for people who enjoy ball workouts, but who havenít done the most advanced ball workouts out there. If you have and enjoy those advanced ball workouts, you may find this workout too easy and/or slow paced.
He is engaging and descriptive and motivating and straightforward, yet fun.
May 2, 2005
I had higher hopes for this series. The 'accelerated' video isn't tough if you're an experienced exerciser. The moves are good but he takes too long to set them up. So I get bored and don't feel like I'm getting a good workout. Plus, there aren't enough reps. Good to give you ideas, but not a great workout if you like fast paced workouts.
Others have done a great job breaking down this program so I won't go over all that territory again.
Basically I just want to share how impressed I am with Accelerated Core Training.
I'm a pretty advanced exerciser. I've done Yoga for about 11 years, Pilates for several and have weight training experience since I was in my late 20's (I'm almost 48). I also finished a P90X rotation last year and work with many of Tony Horton's programs as well as Debbie Siebers and a variety of others.
I had gotten interested in Stability ball work because I'm currently studying to be an ACE Certified Personal Trainer. I thought that the ball is something that would be a very useful tool with future clients.
Well, not only do I still feel that way, but have just absolutely fallen in love with it for my own physical fitness.
I've done many other really great ball workouts by Suzanne Deason, Liz Gillies, Gin Miller a 10 minute Solutions program among others.
I have also been intrigued by the Core Secrets infomercials having had a copy of it that I've watched many times.
After reading many excellent and thoughtful reviews here in the VF review section as well as searching thru threads about Core Secrets I decided to order this "Accelerated Core Training" program as well as his longer "Full Body Workout".
This morning I did "A.C.T." and was thoroughly impressed by it. The program was exceptionally well designed and Gunnar does a great job leading the class. His explanations of each move were extremely clear and I like that he had a modifier there to help folks who may not be ready for the more advanced versions of the exercises.
I also like the way he does the exercises in a circuit format so that you are always rotation among different body parts. This makes it possible to give each exercise 100 percent without becoming overly fatigued in one area.
The workout flew by at 45 minutes and while it was challenging I felt strong and energized rather than depleted afterwards. Still, I definitely feel like I got a solid workout in.
So for those looking for a great full body workout, what I would consider a functional fitness workout, then I would highly recommend this!
Gunnar is very easy to follow. He's enthusastic without being over the top. I'm looking forward to doing more workouts of his.