Video Fitness

Triple Threat

Margaret Richard

First of all, you're outdoors, it's fall and the colors are lovely. Margaret is working out on a wooden platform in some park; the sun must have been behind some thin clouds, but it was still lovely. She's wearing a dark green top and long dark green pants, black shoes. The music is light, cheery, sort of soft jazz (my best guess). I sort of missed the Spanish-flavored music of Fitness Becomes You, but this was nice.

I've only done the Lower Body segments, so I'll give you my impressions, quickly, roughly, but hope this helps. Here goes:
I started with Segment #4: I wore 2.5# ankle weights...oh dear!
Quads: these are similar to the ones Debbie Seibers does in Shape It Up, and just as much leg burners. My quads were screaming.
Glutes: pelvic tilts with knees shoulder-width apart; you can hold an 8# dumbell as MR and I did.
Segment #5:
Hamstrings: table position and endless lifts on one side...
Glutes: more pelvic lifts with knees and ankles together...whew!
Hamstrings: kill the other leg.
Segment #6:
Hamstrings: MR has you do something that reminded me of something from Cathe's ME and my glutes were on fire! You do one side...
Quads: plie squats and the lady made me realize how the quads figure in this one:)
Hamstrings: the other side. So both cheeks are really hurting...
Then I backed up and checked out Segment #1: No ankle weights...MR explains why.
Abs: crunches...nothing really new here..
Outer thighs: leg've seen these before and they're still not fun. You do one leg...then
Inner thighs: you do the other leg (you don't change your body position around). Karen Voight did something similar in GWW.
Segment #2: No ankle weights, see #1.
More abs.
Outer thighs: the other leg...
Inner thighs: the other leg...
Segment #3: You can wear ankle weights now.
Abs: I don't really recall these too well, but I think they were tougher with the ankle wts. on.
Inner thighs: remember the inner thigh work (lying on your back) from SS's Tone It Up??? Well, here they are again...still tough.
Outer thighs...why can't I remember them...maybe I don't want to:)

Now I've only done these just this evening and I expect to be in agony tomorrow (keep trying to stretch muscles out, to ease the stiffness already coming on), which is okay...I love Margaret, she is so comfortable to workout with. She has lovely music and settings and her choice and blend of exercises intrigues me. She doesn't work one area to death...keeps it moving around. Before you know it, you've been working out the full hour! Her little comments are esp. endearing to me...the kinds of things I'd say myself I guess:).
I can see myself using this one quite a bit, along with Fitness Becomes You. The little chunks or segments of exercises can fit into any schedule (you may have to work one leg one day, the other the next???) and then add on some cardio and stretching...and voila! a nice workout session for the evening (in my case:)). Enjoy!

Instructor comments: Margaret is low-keyed and lady-like and it's so nice outside...but she knows how to get you in touch with whatever muscle group she has you working to agony! I really like her little aside comments (my fav is still the bit about tapping her foot to the music...another workout:)). Of all the instructors I've worked out with, I think I'd be most comfortable with Margaret.

Lydia Jasper

7 Feb. 2005

There were so many characteristics that I enjoyed about this video, but sadly, I couldnít figure out how to make them work together. For me, the question was not merely whether the workout was best categorized as building strength, increasing endurance, or promoting functional fitness, but whether it was effective for accomplishing any of those goals. Despite its many assets in all three respects, there were too many important drawbacks to overlook with respect to each of these goals.

ē Structure:
Each of the two workouts (vol. 1 is Upper Body, vol. 2 is Lower Body) consists of two 30-minute segments, each of which contains three circuits for the same three body parts (hence the name ďTriple ThreatĒ). This format is ideal for building strength because it allows time for the muscle to recover between sets. At this time the only other workout Iíve found which does this is P90X, and Iíve been looking for more options for the sake of providing greater variety. However, Margaret specializes in endurance training, which isnít the ideal use of this format. Although she uses slightly heavier weights than usual, theyíre still relatively light (8-10lbs.), as they need to be for the number of repetitions that she does without resting (~30 bicep curls just in segment 1, not counting the extra pulsing reps). Iím not sure how well it would work to modify this to use heavier weights with fewer repetitions because of the duration of each set. Another detail to note is that Margaret typically uses different exercises for each segment, so technically the workout isnít really multiple sets separated by exercises for different body parts. Each circuit does revisit the same muscle groups in the same order, though.
ē Exercises:
o Margaret chooses an unusual combination of muscles to group together in each circuit, which I could enjoy for variety despite being puzzled at her selection. For example, part 1 of Upper Body is pectorals, triceps, and biceps, while part 2 of Upper Body is deltoids, back, and obliques. As two 30-minute workouts, this results in an odd rotation. Iíve seen a push-pull split (chest, shoulders, and triceps on one day, and back and biceps on another day), as well as a large-vs.-small muscle group split (chest and back on one day, shoulders and arms on another), but not something like this. Lower Body is somewhat less unconventional, since itís divided into abs, outer thighs, and inner thighs for part 1, leaving quads, glutes, and hamstrings for part 2.
o The workout is also unusual for the variety of exercises that it uses. For example, it includes one long sequence for the rotator cuff, which is often neglected in other videos, plus some static lunges for the hamstrings, which is different for Margaret. There are also lots of standing oblique exercises, but I prefer to work my obliques while lying on the floor. The variety of exercises here does come at a cost: Margaret uses upright rows, rhomboid pinches, and supermans to work the back, where I would have preferred (at least some) standard lat rows and rear delt flyes (and no upright rows) for a safer and more complete workout.
o Some exercises seem to promote functional fitness rather than traditional strength or endurance (e.g. another sequence for the deltoids includes more circular motions). While I enjoy and appreciate these exercises tremendously, Iím uncertain how to incorporate this particular mixture of moves into my exercise regimen. Afterwards, I feel like Iíve almost done some of each type of strength training, but none of them thoroughly.
ē Production quality:
o This has one of the most beautiful sets Iíve seen on a workout video simply because of the lush autumn colors. For this reason alone I was seriously tempted to keep it.
o The sound is extremely quiet, which is suitable for the lovely jazz music in this workout but which means I need to remember to turn down the volume afterward lest I accidentally blast my eardrums with whatever I may play next.

The verdict? In spite of the excellent structure of the workout, itís not optimally suited for building strength. In spite of the wonderful sequences for exercising the shoulders in their full range of motion, it still has too much focus on isolation work to truly promote functional fitness. Its best bet is (unsurprisingly) increasing endurance, but other videos (such as All My Best or Sculpture) meet this goal more effectively. Iíll admit I was very sad to see this one go, but I simply couldnít justify keeping it in my collection at Margaretís prices.

Instructor comments: Margaret is calm, graceful, and pleasant as always, yet in this video she seems somehow distracted, sometimes pausing uncomfortably long to search for words.



Triple Threat is taped outdoors. Its a park like setting. All the leaves on the trees have beautiful colors and some do fall on Margaret and her workout area. Margaret works alone in this workout. The music is appropriate nothing spectacular. Volume One is 60 minutes. Volume Two is 60 minutes.

The DVD includes Vol.1 Upper Body and Vol. 2 Lower Body.

The DVD is also chaptered for easy access to each exercise.

The DVD is chaptered as:

Volume One
Segment One
Rotation 1, 2 and 3

Segment Two
Rotation 1, 2 and 3

Volume Two
Segment One
Rotation 1, 2 and 3

Segment Two
Rotation 1, 2 and 3

Margaret includes a Warm Up and Cool Down.

The exercises covered in Volume One:

Warm Up
Group One:
Pectorals, Triceps, Biceps

Group Two:
Deltoids, Back, Obliques
Cool Down

The exercises covered in Volume Two:

Warm Up
Group One:
Abs, Outer Thighs, Inner Thighs

Group Two:
Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Glutes
Cool Down

By the third rotation you'll be feeling the exercises. She does change the exercises so your not doing the same thing over and over. If I had to compare the intensity in Triple Threat I would compare it to Sculpture.

While it is a longer workout being 60 minutes just for upper body and 60 minutes for lower body. The time goes by fast and there is no dread factor with Margaret. I feel she is very efficient. Both workouts flow well. The scenery in Triple Threat is by far her best ever in any of her workouts.

Instructor comments: Margaret has a friendly and easy going demeanor. She always encourages you to up the weights and to walk for cardio.


August 21, 2008

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