Video Fitness

Sculpture:Upper Body

Margaret Richard

If you want your upper body muscles to be thoroughly worked to the level of fatigue (and possibly beyond!), then this workout for you.It is simply FANTASTIC! Based on the "Body Electric" TV series which airs on your local PBS station (if you're lucky). It's a 60 minute workout, lead by Margaret Richard, host of the TV show. Although the total workout is 60 minutes, it can be split into two 30-minute segments if time is a problem. The video actually cues you when to stop the tape for a 30-minute workout. Bear in mind, the focus on this tape is "sculpting" the muscles and building endurance as opposed to increasing strength. You'll do more repetitions with lighter weights. It looks like Margaret is using 2lb dumbells. I used 3-6lbs, depending on the muscle being worked.It starts with a warmup focusing on the upper body which uses a towel in creative ways. I was really glad to see a warmup of an upper-body-focused tape which actually focused on the upper body. You will actually begin to feel your muscles working here.

The video consists of 12 segments: pectorals, triceps, biceps, pectorals again, triceps and biceps again. At this point, you'll be instructed to stop for a shorter workout. The next segment consists of delt work, back/lats, deltoids again, back/lats (again), and a set of abs. The video ends with a nice cool down stretch.

The first set of pectorals consists of pushup moves. Margaret starts the pushups full form and cues you to do the same if your fitness level allows, then lowers to her knees for a pushup/pec stretch combo move. She usually executes excellent form, however during the pushups, her elbows seemed a little too "locked" to me.

Throughout all segents of the video, she does a "power pulse" movement, where she pulses in the contraction two times, then relaxes for one repetition. YOUCH! The first tricep segment is a TOUGH French press set using light dumbells overhead. For the second set of pecs, she does them on the floor using dumbells for chest flyes and and overhead movement which I really didn't feel much in my pecs. Next, there were triceps again. She did a move similar to an upright row, but behind the back. I felt this a lot more in my posterior delts than the triceps, however. She also does triceps kickbacks, which were intense! She does shoulder presses and other traditional delt moves and good back/lats sets, first seated, then standing for the second set.

I was a little disappointed with the ab work, however. Not very challenging, and she didn't incorporate moves for the lower part of the abs.

All in all, a SUPERB workout. I would definitely recommend this tape to the Hall of Fame, but I'm afraid I'll probably be the only one to review it since Margaret Richard isn't well known like Cathe or The FIRM. Anyone, regardless of their fitness level will be challenged by this workout provided they use a sufficient amount of weight. Each individual muscle group is cued on the tape, so that particular exercise could be easily found if you only wanted to work one muscle group as an add-on to another workout. I only wish she would've separated the two 30-minutes segements into pushing (i.e. chest, shoulders, triceps) and pulling (i.e. back, biceps, abs) muscles like Cathe Freidrich does in her videos so that you could train on consecutive days in this way.

Good cueing from Margaret



Workout Type: Upper Body Weightwork

Workout Length: warmup - 4 min . Upper Body work 23 min + 16min. + Abs 4.20 min. + cooldown 4min. = Total 51.20 min.
After 27 min. a sign comes up on your tv screen and says "Break Here for a Shorter Workout"

Fitness Level: Advanced, Intermediate or Beginners... Her moves are slow enough to allow Beginners to keep up, Intermediate and Advanced can add weights to add intensity.

Equipment: chair, dumbells, mat

Set: 3 Louver windows, 4 large potted plants, Looks like a room. Blue carpet.

Attire: One piece black leotard with strings at shoulders.

Cast: Margaret that is, one on one!

Effectiveness: I enjoyed her style. and my muscles felt it afterwards... but then I heavied up!

Music: Jazzy with a beat.

Presentation: This workout flows, she doesn't rush you from one move to the next but it progresses well.
She also adds quick stretches here and there after the different muscle groups.

Warm up: 4 min. Using a towel for all the arm warm up work. If you thought the towel stretches felt good on your legs... wait till you try this! (I loved it!)

The Workout:

Pecs - Pushups - depends on fitness level - which variation you prefer.
18x then stretch back onto knees
4 2-count then 2-count back.
then 3 down and once back 3x
alternate one and one 4x
then 10 normal

Triceps - French Press 16x
alternate - 4x per arm
double arm 7x
2 weights in one arm 14x per arm
two arms - bring to top 10x then 2-count pulse at top.
alternate 4x per arm
both arms - pulses at top 14x

Biceps - double arm 10x
alternate 4x per arm
palms facing each other both 7x
with a twist at top 8x
palms facing floor 10x
reg both 5x 2-count pulse at top
palms facing each other - 5x 2-count pulse
reg with twist at bottom 5x 2-count pulse
palms face down - 5x 2-count pulse
alternate palms face down - 10x

at 16min. Pecs 2 - Lay down on back straight arm raise from next to legs up and above head 4x
alternate 5x per arm
pec flies with twist at top 12x
from middle to open - 7x
small pulses 26x

at 19min. Triceps 2 - double arm kickbacks 8x
with 2-count pulse in back 6x
with palms facing back 14x
palms face each other in back pulses 4x
lift arms back then out 6x
then 2-count pulse up 4x
then 2-count pulse out 4x
reg kickbacks 10x
alternate 10x
6 pulse backs

at 23min. Biceps 2
sit in chair - one arm - concentration curls - she uses 2 weights in one hand
12 reg
8 2-count pulse at top
10 reg
other arm

at 27min. Sign comes up Break Here for a Shorter Workout

Deltoids - Frontals - both arms 2-count pulse at top 9x
with palms up same 8x
side delts w/ 2-count at top 8x
to middle open arms to side 2-count at out 8x
side delts 3x
frontals 7x
alternate frontals 5x
with palms up both 6x

at 31min. Back and Lats
sitting in chair, chest on legs , rear delt flies reg 8x
double pulse at top 8x
now bend arm sat elbow 12x
rotate shoulder 8x
open arms bring elbows 8 into back
then with 2-count pulse 12x

at 35min. Deltoids 2 Bench Press move while standing 12x
then with alternating one arm lift 6x
then militaries 8x
one in one up 10x
rotate arms in circle under and up 10x
standing bench presses 8x
then with alternating one arm lift 4x per arm
then militaries 10x

at 39min. Back and Lats 2
standing upright bent rows 10x
then w/ 2-count pulse 6x
then w/ twist palms down 10x
whole move with palms down 8x
then 2-count pulse 5x
Butterflies w/ 2-count pulse at top 8x
standing upright bent rows 5x
then w/ twist palms down 6x
Butterflies w/ 2-count pulse at top 6x

at 43min. ABS

at 47.20 min. Cooldown - 4min.

at 51.20 END

Total Rating: A thorough upper body weight tape, can be split in two days or done in one day. It is very well done... I give it 9 1/2 out of 10 points.

This tape alternates well with Sculpture Lower Body tape.


Instructor comments: Instruction: Margaret wears her hair straight and short in this one. Her usual charismatic smile (well, I like it!)


5 July 2003

Let me start this off by saying that this is the first review I've ever done on a workout so bear with me....

I'm not going to go into detail as to exactly what exercises were done, but suffice it to say, this was ALOT tougher than I originally expected! To give you some background on me, I'm a huge Cathe fan and tend to stick to her style of weight training, using fairly heavy weights. That being said, however, this Margaret Richard workout totally FRIED me! As a matter of fact, by the time I got to the shoulder section, I was barely lifting my 2-lbers!

I like that she kept changing the different types of exercises done for a specific body part. You were never bored...You also could start out with a heavier weight and easily go down to a lighter weight once you "felt the burn" (which, believe me, you definitely did!)

She shows perfect form throughout all the exercises, gives good pointers.

Honestly, my only negative comment about this workout is that it's not on DVD!


Sculpture Upper Body is a GREAT workout! I LOVE it! It is quintessential Margaret Richard, with each and every body part being worked to total fried fatigue, using light weights and high reps. Margaret varies the rhythm of the movements, and changes up the exercises without pausing. The 50 minute workout is divided up into a warmup followed by the individual body parts, pectorals, triceps, biceps, deltoids, lats/back and abdominals. You do each body part once through, and then later on in the workout, Margaret gives you a whole new section of different exercises for each of the body parts. By the time the workout is over, you feel like you have hit every muscle fiber of your arms, shoulders and back. The abdominal workout is nice for good measure, but it's the upper body workout that shines on this tape. I can't really say enough good things about it. Anyone can do this workout and get tremendous benefits. Beginners can start with it, using very light weights or no weights. Advanced people will be shocked at how intense the exercises are, and will feel a burn unlike that felt with heavy weight workouts.

The music is instrumental and nice, but not distracting. Margaret is wonderfully motivating and a pleasure to work out with.

Instructor comments: Margaret is one of the most professional and experienced instructors on video. She is a "mature" woman of a certain age, but is in excellent condition, has a very nice, pleasant personality, and always has impeccable form. She explains each exercise and continuously gives detailed form instruction.

Abbe G

January 12, 2004

I've only done the shortened workout on this video and it's tough butI"m a beginner with weak upper body. I've done this twice so far. she does the pecs, triceps, and biceps then goes through the 3 again with a differnt exercise (start with p ushups and of course french presses for triceps and the tricep kickbacks). she doesn't skip around but does the pecs then the triceps then the biceps then does the same using different moves. the 2nd set is to fatique the muscles but quite frankly mine were fatiqued long before the 1st round ended! there's also a long warmup with a towel that I found bothersome but guess for this type of workout it was necessary to stretch. I shudder to think what it would've felt like doing it cold turkey! the ' short' workout is about 30 min (twice what my usual firm super body sculpt upper body is).I think she does delts in the 2nd half but like i said, haven'te made it there yet! I've wondered about doing just the 1st round in the first part then skipping the 2nd round and going to the 1st round in the 2nd part jsut to work all the parts in 30 minutes (the whole thing is an hour or so). I keep this one cause one day I wanna do it and get through it and see the improvment! I like Margaret's style. she talks but so far isn't irritating or anything to me.

Instructor comments: I like her! Very 'normal' and down to earth. Not too chatty or irritating.



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