Forty & Fabulous is an older Margaret Richard workout from 1992. In only 43 minutes, you get a total body workout. If you love floorwork, this is a great workout to add to your collection, because that section left me whimpering for mercy! The workout was taped in a TV studio in Florida, so the set looks different than her later tapes, with louder colors (but not garish) and an open set. Margaret does the workout with four background exercisers and as usual, gives lots of form pointers through the workout. I’ve never seen her TV shows so I have no idea whether the set is similar to her Body Electric show or not. Margaret wears a black bodysuit that shows off nicely sculpted shoulders and arms. The workout only requires one set of dumbbells and a mat. The floorwork is done without ankle or thigh weights, but you may want to add them to increase intensity, depending on your fitness level. I used 4 to 6 # dumbbells and 5# ankle weights. The music is different from her later tapes—starting out with jazz for the warmup and then switching to rhythm and blues, including some vocals. I enjoyed the change of pace actually.
The workout is structured as follows:
Warmup 3.5 minutes (including “bicycles”! LOL. I haven’t seen those since grade school.)
Standing and Lying Upper Body Toning: 8 minutes total
1. Pushups, done with and without a backstretch. Margaret does them on her knees, 2.5 minutes
2. Triceps: lying French presses with variations. I started with 5# dumbbells and dropped to 4#, 2 minutes
3. Biceps: standing dumbbell curls and curl variations. I used 6# but will go heavier next time; 2 minutes
4. Delts: flyes variations, overhead press; I used 5# and had to drop to 4#, 1.5 minutes
Abdominals: crunches plus other variations, 4 minutes
Lower Body Toning: 23 minutes total (20 minutes floorwork, ending with a 3 minute standing set)
5. Outer Thigh: leg lift variations, long set! Margaret doesn’t use weights, but I used a 5# pair of ankle weights. I’m going to feel this tomorrow. Ouch!
6. Inner Thigh: interesting variations using no weight, but I kept my 5# ankle weights on for the entire set.
7. Hamstrings & Glutes: The right glute is worked first, and then she does bridgework, before finishing with the left glute. She doesn’t use weights, but I bravely (foolishly?) kept my 5# ankle weights on, and I hope I can walk tomorrow. I added dumbbells for the lying bridgework.
8. Quads: Standing squats without weights, including step squats, plies, and stationary work. 3 minutes
Final Stretch: 4 minutes
Total time: 43 minutes
This tape is good considering the time period. If you don’t like a dated look or R&B music, then this might not be the tape for you. Some of the background exercisers have poor form. I wish the upper body section was longer, but she does pack a lot of work into those eight minutes. The floorwork was my favorite part of the workout, and it would be worthwhile doing just for this section. Would I pay $25+ for this tape (new tape cost at her website)? Well, personally I’d buy her other tapes such as Getting Better, Raising the Bar, and Sculpture series first. This is a fair tape though if you love floorwork and can get a copy at a good price. I also think that this would be a great tape to use for traveling, since it doesn’t require much equipment or a large amount of space. Overall, I’d give the tape a B+, but the floorwork rates a definite A.
Margaret Richard is very personable, somewhat chatty, but not annoyingly so. She gave good form pointers throughout the workout and she has great muscle tone for her age. I find her quite motivating to work out with.
May 21, 2002