I am only reviewing Volume 1, but unlike some of her previous videos, both Volumes 1 and 2 here contain work for all the parts of the body (as opposed to half on Vol. 1 and the rest on Vol. 2). It's a 50-minute workout that just breezes by because you only spend about 5-10 minutes on each body part.
Reminiscent of Sculpture's format and Triple Threat's outdoor setting, this is a solid signature Margaret workout. For the most part, I felt that she really whittled things down to provide the most efficient and effective work possible per muscle group. I.e. the hamstring work, done on your back with lifting one leg at a time, really fried me despite being so short in time length! The shoulder work, as always, fried my shoulders quickly also. The chest work consists of lots of pushups. The inner thigh work has you squeezing a playground ball between your legs, but that was one of the few cases where I didn't feel like I really worked the muscle. She does improve on the intensity of previous ab sections, by combining the crunch with the lower-ab roll-up. Quad work, done as you half-sit/half lie on the ground, is also not that intense, but outer thigh work on your side certainly is. Lying tricep extensions were adequately tough.
You don't absolutely need the ball, it's mostly for helping you stay in alignment. I didn't find that my med ball worked that well. It's like she's using a stability ball that's only 3 feet in diameter. Leg weights definitely help out on intensity, especially since the segments are so brief.
A valuable addition for Margaret Richard fans--another efficient, low-weight/high-rep full-body workout. Might be too mellow for others and more for maintenance rather than strength gains. The music is the same semi-Muzak as on her previous videos, which will bother some. I don't mind, I just pretend I'm hanging out on a mellow fall afternoon with Margaret in the woods, only we happen to be working some muscles. :)
As usual, calm, mellow and wryly humorous. She cuts down on the long-winded explanations that dragged down Triple Threat a bit. She always strikes me as a "matron" of the exercise industry--a graceful duchess of workouts. She does that swaying dancing thing while standing up for bicep curls.
This is a supplementary review of Vol 2 to go with my review of Vol. 1.
Here, Margaret is now by a running brook. There is a fall breeze that occasionally
ruffles her hair ("tropical breeze," she jokes).
As with Vol. 1, you get a brief, efficient and often very effective session for
chest, triceps, biceps, shoulders/back, calves, hamstrings, inner and outer thighs,
glutes, abs, and quads. The exercises are different for each body part than in Vol.
For chest, you do flies. To intensity the work, she has you do several reps between
the full range of motion. For triceps, she does a move I've never seen before: sort
of a tricep pushup but with knees bent and your upper body moving forward and back.
It certainly seems to work! Hammer curls and traditional bicep curls, again with
the less-than-full range of motion to intensify. As always, Margaret gently tortures
us with the traditional outer thigh raises using leg weights. She actually has a
wicked smile while doing this! Inner thigh lifts are brief,but you get bonus work
for those during the glute pelvic lifts using the ball. You also get a little extra
shoulder work by doing front raises while actually doing squats for the quads.
Margaret is one of those instructors that somehow gives me zero dread factor while
getting a good low-weight/high rep workout. It's like having an afternoon siesta
in a sunny glade, but you're working out. The music here is ever so slightly jazzier
than in Vol. 1, sort of New Age/soft jazz/easy listening. If you are a Margaret
fan, I think this is a fine addition to your collection. And maybe even if you're
One of the best things about Margaret is that she really seems to be thoroughly
enjoying working out and exudes a real warmth and professionalism. She is totally
at ease in front of the camera and makes you feel like you're having a one-on-one
weight session in her backyard with her. She gives excellent form tips using good
visualizations ("your shoulder is an anchor") and makes some cute jokes
without going overboard.
The Good N Strong DVD is comprised of Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 both 55 minute total body workouts. The DVD is chaptered.
This is a nice lighter intensity total body workout compared to Sculpture or Triple Threat. That doesn't mean you won't feel it though. Margaret is alone on this DVD workout. Margaret also incorporates the use of a small squishy ball to work the abs and lower body. It is a nice change of pace to use the squishy ball for abs and lower body.
Both workouts were taped outdoors possibly Margaret's backyard. Very nice nature setting. The music is Jazzy appropriate nothing fancy extraordinaire.
Volume One contains:
Volume Two contains:
Another nice total body weight workout with nice relaxing outdoor scenery. The workout flowed well and was effective. The scenery in this DVD looks the same as on her PBS shows.
Margaret is very pleasant with a dancers flare.
August 21, 2008