Video Fitness

High Voltage

Margaret Richard

High Voltage was shot in 1993 and is available as part of The Classics four workout, two DVD set. It's shot outdoors on a wooden deck at a marina. Margaret has two young, male and female background exercisers who have appeared with her before.

This is a 60 minute workout that you can split into two half-hours if you prefer. I normally donít like long workouts, but this one flew by, as do most of Margaretís workouts, at least for me.

Margaret is known for her killer floorwork that sets your butt and thighs on fire and this was no exception. How could she possibly make those outer thighs work harder? By adding, literally, a twist. Yikes! I have to say that my legs and butt have never looked better since I've been doing Margaretís DVDs. The Firmís fannylifter never gave me these results.

The standing quad work was painful but effective. Squats and pulsing squats, the sets were varied with heel raises. As MR says, "Working the quadriceps is one of life's special delights!" I can see more definition in my thighs.

She did a long segment for calves, an area neglected by most instructors. My skinny calves have actually gained a little bit more shape.

Upper body had endless pushups so I sat part of that out. She varied the set by having you do two pushups, then stretch back into childís pose, then resume and repeat. This woman is a pushup machine.

Triceps work was tough as always. My excuse for not completing it was that the blood was rushing down my arms making them numb. She seems fond of having us hold the weights behind our backs and then lift them, sort of running them up and down the lower back and butt. This after having lifted them in every possible way before to pre-exhaust them. Oww!

Two minor complaints:

1. I didn't like her ab work. It's strictly crunches, and mostly works the upper abs. I do planks or lower hip lifts instead. She did weighted oblique side bends, which I skipped, since I never use weights for abs.

2. There was minimal stretching between chapters and the final stretch was a bit dancy and didn't stretch my legs enough.

I continue to add to my Margaret Richard DVD collection and always look forward to working out, instead of dreading it. There is a reason this woman has been a fitness queen for decades and, fortunately for us, shows no sign of stopping.

Instructor comments: Margaret's personality is impish and engaging, and sheíll make silly jokes or tap her foot to the music, while you are struggling just to breathe and keep up. Someone once described her style as "killing you softly." She gives form pointers constantly, which keeps you focused. Margaret has a couple of wardrobe changes, and they are very bright colors, for you fitness fashion mavens. I wasn't distracted by the clothes, but rather by her amazing arms! I'm guessing she was in her late 40s at this time, too. It was pretty funny to see the 20-something guy using 3 lbs. for arms while Margie was using 8s. His arms looked flabby by comparison.

videofit

8-20-08



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