This was my first Margaret Richard and I really enjoyed it a lot. When I first previewed the tape I thought it might be boring but it wasn’t at all! It was more low key than most exercise videos I’ve tried, but that’s okay. Not everything needs to be upbeat. This is perfect for those days when you’re tired and grumpy and don’t feel like working out.
The set is sort of an art gallery look, with fabric draped around large canvases. Music is instrumental, which at first I thought would be boring, but it’s not at all. I recognized some 80’s pop hits as well as some Andrew Lloyd Webber show tunes. Sometimes I found that the exercises seemed to be choreographed to the music, which is something I really appreciate. I love it when instructors really put some effort into integrating the music with their workouts.
I love what Margaret has done with the warm-up and cool-down in both Beauty to the Bone's. She uses slow, graceful movements that are reminiscent of her dance background. This isn't the sort of thing you normally see in workout videos and it's really refreshing.
Margaret always takes a good amount of time to set up the exercise first, so you can make sure you have proper form. Sometimes she uses one of the background exercisers to go into more detail about how the exercise should be done. For most exercises she stretches the muscle immediately afterward instead of waiting until the cool down. She also occasionally reminds you that you can go lighter on the weight if you want to, or go heavier if you need more of a challenge.
Pectorals (floor): pushups from knees with and without back stretch.
Triceps (with chair): kick-backs, dips, French press
Biceps (seated) – 1-arm curls, double arm hammer curl
Delts (seated) – shoulder press, then a different move with elbows bent and pressing inward
Back (standing) – rows with a swing to the front (different)
Calves – staggard raise, then adding a step, then with feet together, then with toes turned out
Outer Thigh – leg lifts with several variations
Inner Thigh – sliding plié (hard to do on carpet; will have to find a modification for this somehow)
Hamstrings – standing curls with variations (I think she messed up here – she doesn’t do exactly the same thing on the left side as she did on the right)
Glutes – 1-leg squats, full squats
Quadriceps – dips (moving and static); this is the only leg section that uses dumbbells. (Margaret says “stick a fork in me” after this and I was laughing right along with her!)
Abs (seated) – I didn’t find this to be very effective. You’ll probably want to add on another tape for abs.
Cooldown – done to “All I ask of You” from Phantom of the Opera – beautiful music.
When I read that the lower body was done standing, I was expecting a lot of squats and lunges which are often hard on my knees. I love how Margaret finds different ways to work these muscle groups. I also appreciated the fact that she kept the squats and lunges really slow so that it isn’t too hard on the knees. If you have knee problems this might be a good workout for you.
I love the way she adds variations to the exercises so it doesn’t get boring. I counted a few times and she usually changes things after about 12-16 reps.
In summary, I really like this workout a lot. It's different from the usual video forumla and I really appreciate that. If you're a variety junkie like me you might want to try this video, or something else from Margaret Richard.
I really like Margaret a lot as an instructor. She is very supportive and friendly. She takes a professional approach most of the time with a big emphasis on form. She does bring in some more personal comments once in awhile, which helped me to relate to her more as a person. I'll definitely try some of her other videos in the future.
Feb. 28, 2004
This is the breakdown for Program B as listed on the DVD Menu:
Although this is described as two 30-minute workouts, there is no real division between the two sections; also, I clocked the warm-up/upper body at 26 minutes and the lower body/abs/cool down at 34 minutes. Margaret works out in a large studio that has various abstract art prints in the background, and there are two background exercisers, Tanya and Stephanie. The music is upbeat and includes instrumental versions of various 70s pop hits (eg, Chicago).
After the 3-minute warm-up (very gentle stretches; doesn't really get your heart rate up), the workout begins with push-ups for the pecs; Margaret does them with knees bent. She blasts the triceps with several different exercises and then does both isolation curls and regular double curls for the biceps. Next comes a really challenging series for the shoulders--Margaret and crew used 5# dumbbells, but I struggled to keep up with 3#! Somehow, she takes a simple combo of 3 different exercises and completely exhausts these muscles. Same goes for back--again, I only was able to use 3# while they used 5#.
Then it's on to lower body, and unlike in Beauty to the Bone Program A, there's no floorwork--it's all done from a standing position, which I found to be a nice change. Margaret and her crew wear ankle weights and begin with a long set of calf raises. They perform leg lifts for the outer thighs and side-to-side slides for the inner thigh. Then it's on to rear lifts for the hams, squats for the glutes, and a single set of lunges for the quads. Finally, the abs work is performed seated in a chair. I thought this was very different and liked the first couple of moves, but I found some of the other moves very difficult to execute properly. The cool down was about 4 minutes and included some very nice stretches.
With the possible exception of the abs work, nothing about these exercises was particularly new and different; they were just straightforward and effective. Margaret was quick to point out that you are building muscle, NOT addressing fat; she encouraged walking/other aerobic activity for fat loss. She also frequently encouraged you to lift heavier weights as needed.
Overall, I really liked this workout. No, there wasn't anything unique about it, but I enjoyed Margaret's low-key personality and her overall style. Also, I found that even though it was an hour long, the workout flew by for me, perhaps because Margaret keeps you moving the entire time. I'm new to Margaret Richard but most definitely a fan. :)
Margaret strikes me as similar in style to Karen Voight, although more smiley and goofy (she is also obviously more buff, and she speaks with a slight southern accent). She offers solid mirror cueing.
Beth C (aka toaster)
June 27, 2008
Beauty To The Bone is comprised of four 30 minute workouts. The DVD is chaptered with easy to access exercises. Both volumes are total body and 60 minutes each. Volume One has floorwork for the lower body and some upper body. Volume Two has standing lower body and the pectorals are worked on the floor and Delts are worked seated.
Volume Two Program A
In this volume Margaret works along with Tanya and Stephanie.
This is an indoor workout. The set has paintings and drapery along the back. The music is comtemporary instrumental. The workout flows well and the pace is good. Another effective workout by Margaret.
Margaret is tough in an elegant way.
August 21, 2008