Video Fitness

Nitty Gritty and The Whole Shebang

Jeanne Anne Copleston, Bonnie Greer, and Cindy Thorp

Nitty Gritty and The Whole Shebang, a release by Tracie Long Productions (TLP), features two compilation workouts on one DVD. The workouts are compiled from each of the three original TLP releases, Core Foundations (CF) with Jeanne Anne, or JAC, Functional Strength (FS) with Bonnie Greer, and Dynamic Strength and Power (DSP) with Cindy Thorp. A variety of different equipment is used (stability ball, medicine ball, dumbbells, and rag or paper plate for slide work), and to facilitate the transitions between segments, there are on-screen instructions letting you know which equipment you will need for the upcoming exercises.

Since I believe that I am the first person to review this DVD, I'm going to list the segments for each workout, including the original workout the segment is taken from and the approximate duration. I'll start with The Whole Shebang, since that's the one I tried first.

The Whole Shebang is a 60-minute full body workout. Although weights are used, I felt that there was more of an emphasis on cardio--in fact, I was in my target HR zone for a full 50 minutes of this workout! However, I also experienced DOMS the next day, especially in my inner thighs, upper arms/chest, and upper torso, so the strength work is significant as well; it's probably best classified as an alternate weight training (AWT) workout. Here is the breakdown of the individual chapters:

2m, DSP--active warm-up with medicine ball
4m, CF--stretch with stability ball
5m, FS--cardio on step with medicine ball; includes lunges and squats
2.5m, FS--strength work on stability ball with dumbbells
6m, CF--lower body toning with rag/plate work
4.5m, DSP--intense cardio with medicine ball; includes plyos
3m, DSP--lunges and jumps onto step
3m, FS--cardio with medicine ball; includes "matrix" and lunges
3m, FS--weight work with stability ball: pecs, pullovers, push-ups
4m, CF--cardio with medicine ball: twists, side squats, dips
4.5m, FS--strength work: dips with overhead presses (called "Statue of Liberty" in TLT Strength in Movement) plus dead lifts, lat work
3m, DSP--cardio with medicine ball; more plyo work
3.5m, FS--cardio with medicine ball and step
2.5m, DSP--lunges off step with medicine ball
1m, CF--"seasaw" core work on stability ball
2m, FS--core work with stability ball: circles with ball under forearms plus tucks and pikes with toes on ball
2m, CF--stretch with runner's lunge, side angle pose, triangle pose
4m, FS--final stretch

Nitty Gritty is a 19-minute, core-focused workout. I was a little disappointed that the first two segments of NG were also in TWS, but the remainder of the segments were unique to this workout. JAC's sections in particular were VERY tough; these were advanced moves, and I was unable to complete more than a few reps at times. One final issue is that this workout does not include either a warm-up or a cool-down, but I'm guessing this is because it's meant to be an add-on rather than a stand-alone workout. Here is the breakdown:

4.5m, DSP--intense cardio with medicine ball; includes plyos
2.5m, FS--core work with stability ball: circles with ball under forearms plus tucks and pikes with toes on ball
3m, CF--very tough plank work with stability ball; includes tucks and leg raises
3m, FS--side planks and "walks" (no equipment)
6m, CF--planks on floor and side planks both with and without the stability ball

With all of the equipment/instructor changes, I found that both workouts went by very quickly. Since much of NG was beyond my level (I do mostly intermediate to advanced workouts, but I'm probably an intermediate at best in stability ball work), I can see myself using TWS more often, although I hope this workout will help me build up the needed strength to tackle the tougher NG core work. Those who are enjoying Tracie Long's newer TLT videos would probably like these workouts as well, although they should keep in mind the following: 1) the production values for the TLPs aren't as good as the TLTs, 2) all of the TLPs are available on DVD-R only, and 3) compared to the TLTs, the TLPs are tougher, especially since few modifications are shown. If you already own the 3 original TLPs (I only have DSP), picking this one up too might not be necessary for you, although it could still be nice as a change of pace. I definitely enjoy this type of training and am happy I added this DVD to my collection.

Instructor comments: Of the three instructors, I thought JAC and Cindy cued equally well. Both seemed to breeze through the workout without breaking a sweat, with JAC being a bit more silly and Cindy a bit more serious; Cindy in particular has an amazing physique. I found Bonnie's cueing to be surprisingly poor, especially during compound moves (eg, she would fail to cue all aspects of the movement). However, I was still able to follow along okay, although someone who has no prior familiarity with the TLP/TLT workouts might have greater difficulties.

Beth C (aka toaster)

July 31, 2006

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