Tracie Long (TLT)
Tracie Long leads "Endurance for Movement", which clocked in at about 28 seconds shy of an hour including stretch. I think this one had the best camera work of the three I've done so far. The set again is in Tracie's own gym and we see the beautiful changing scenery outside. The music seemed a bit louder than SIM or FYC, but that could have been my imagination.
Nancy whom some will recognize from older Firms shows beginner modifications and Linda Marie shows more advanced. Both background exercisers seemed to be visible when I needed them, and Tracie told you before most of the exercises what modification they were going to do. You need various weights, rags or paper plates or something to glide on, and a stability ball.
The warm up uses light weight (Tracie says to use 1 to 3#, I used 3) and we do some short lunges with arm movements. The stretch involves walking planks and plenty of dymanic hamstring stretching. Next come planks and I did them with my elbows on the stability ball and legs straight out in back like Linda Marie, so all my weight was on my elbows on that unstable ball. OUCH!! We move our legs in and out so bear that in mind. Tracie and Nancy do them on the floor.
Next we need the ball for mermaids and frogs. Mermaids here are hands on floor with body over ball and lifting back legs with toes together, and frogs are a progression of this where you bring the soles of your shoes in as you lift your legs. We also do shin rolls where you roll out until either your thighs or shins are on the ball, then rotate stacking your hips, and your feet and hands are off the floor. VERY hard to do!!
The first cardio tune is lunge and kicks progressing to stride jumps and hops on one leg which Linda Marie shows. In between legs we do runs and what Tracie calls "butt kicks". The cardio in this has some impact but it's short so it didn't bother my knees. You could probably do this on a rebounder if you have knee issues with any type of impact.
We then use 3 to 8 pounds (I used 8 and struggled with them) for side lunges moving the weight down to the opposite foot then overhead. It goes from slow to fast so a lighter weight might be better if you have shoulder issues. In between legs we do overhead presses with rotation using both weights.
Next is heavy weights for leg work - I used 10# dumbbells. Tracie takes time to go over the move first. It's a low squat holding weights at your side, then a hike of your hips back to engage the glutes, then you stand. It progresses to a knee lift upon standing. In between we hop on the working leg or Nancy jumps on both feet. BURNING glutes with this one!!
We get out the stability ball again for planks, or you can use no ball as earlier. I tried to do this segment balancing only my elbows on the ball and could not. We lift one leg and bring it into our chests while in full plank. It's much easier for me to do these on the floor. Then we do supermans on the ball.
The next cardio tune is knee kicks to the side, first slow then fast, some jumps, and some hops. It was fun! It had a little kickboxing flavor as well.
Then we get out the rags, paper plates, or gliding discs. First are push-ups with hands on dumbells. You can do them on or off the bells, on your knees, or on your toes, and you also have the option of having your feet on the rags or plates the entire time or not. All three modifications are shown. We rotate up one arm at a time with the bell. Mountain climbers are done on or off the rags. Nancy shows them off. On them you pull one leg in and push the other out while in a full plank. It's harder than it looks!! Then we stretch, and then we pull BOTH legs in. Killer!!
Then we do slow lunges on one leg bringing our knee all the way down, while holding heavy weights. I thought this would bother my knees but it did not. We then go slowly back up. The fastest count is 2 up 2 down, and it's more of a balance and strength issue than a knee issue.
We get out the rags again for push-ups. One hand on and one hand off, and when you go down the hand that's on goes out to the side. We then do a triceps press with one weight on the same side while kneeling on the working side and extending the other leg back. It's fast so be careful with weight.
We then need the stability ball and light weights (no more than 3#) for transverse crunches. The trick to these is to have as little of your body as possible on the ball and tuck your hips as hard as you can otherwise you won't feel them. We use the weights for the same move but with oblique cross-over twists.
Cardio again in what Tracie calls an "Ali shuffle" which is a front-back-front hop while moving to the side, then 2 jumps or squats, then squat and rotate to that side with the torso. In between we do side shuffles and arms open in cobra.
Clock lunges are next and Tracie says to get small weights since we will be working small muscles. I used 3#. We do right side first to 12, 1, 2, then 3 o'clock and you can do them with your toes forward, pivoting the back knee, or keeping the back leg straight. All three are shown. We then squat into one hip then the other while raising arms in front, hence the need for lighter weights. We then stand on the working leg and cobra the arms with palms forward, first up then down.
Side lunges are next holding heavy weights (I used 10#) with the working foot on the rag. Medium to heavy weights are next with one leg back, a biceps curl, and then raise arm overhead with palm forward. Progression is to knee up while raising arm overhead. In between we do rows with side rotation.
Abs are last and place a dumbbell in between our feet and do reverse curls, then do chest press holding the bell and progress to lifting one leg while pulling the weight overhead. The stretch incorporates traditional moves and using the stability ball.
This workout is top notch! I think it's the most advanced of the three I've done so far! A++!!
January 8, 2006
This is the first TLT workout that I have
tried, and I really enjoyed it. Tracie focuses
on a lot of core work in this DVD. There are
several variations of planks throughout, and
great work on the balance ball. A lot of the
moves are new to me, and I really appreciate
that. I like getting a workout that I will be
able to grow with. If you are interested in
getting this workout, I suggest that you read
the other reviews for advice on the moves or
check out Tracieís website. You really want
to make sure that you are tucking your pelvis
correctly, and holding yourself properly on
the balance ball. If you do it correctly you
can really feel your body working! This is the
type of workout that will cause you to work
harder as you get stronger and get better
The workout is broken down into
several short segments that will focus on
cardio or weight work. These little segments
will remind some people of the original Firm
work, or the FitPrime/WHFN workouts. But I
think the similarities will end there. For
instance, there are no tall box climbs or
super heavy weights used. The weight work
for this TLT workout is not traditional. You
will use much lighter weight then you would
normally use, but you will still work quite
hard. Itís not gasping for breath hard, but
your muscles will certainly get tired! The
workout really seems to flow well to me. It is
not as choppy and weird as I found the
original FitPrimes, and it seems more difficult
to me than the WHFN workouts.
I think the set is great. I like that there
are only three exercisers, and filming in front
of a window to the bay makes everything
look clean and bright. The music is a little
low, but it didnít bother me at all. While
doing the workout I didnít even think about
music; it didnít seem necessary to me. One
thing I did have trouble with: holding the
dumbbell between my feet during ab work. I
found that it worked much better for me to
hold a medicine ball instead.
I think Tracie does a wonderful job leading this
workout. Her instruction is clear, and she is
motivating. One of the reason I like her so
much is that she is not at all one of those
bouncy cheerleader types.
Tracy (Lulu Belle)
Endurance for Movement (EFM) is one of four new functional fitness workouts from the Tracie Long Training (TLT) group. The concept of functional fitness means that the exercises are designed to mimic the movements you perform in "real" life, often by emphasizing balance and other core-strengthening moves. Tracie describes EFM as an "integrated" workout which uses a stability ball, dumbbells, and "rag" work (see below) to provide full-body strength training as well as cardio benefits. Tracie Long herself leads this video, and as with all of the TLT workouts, she works out with two companions: Nancy, who is showing modified versions of the exercises, and Linda Marie, who does some more challenging moves. There is no chapter menu on the DVD, but it is chaptered, so you can skip around as needed.
This 60-minute workout begins with multi-planar lunges using light weights; there are also arm reaches to the side to stretch your torso. The first time through, I had a little trouble following along, as Tracie does not always cue the next move in advance. Also, the warm-up moves pretty quickly, and I found myself immediately feeling tired. A unique stretch segment consists of walking planks--Tracie calls these "caterpillers"--and hamstring stretches; both felt good, but I wasn't sure if I was maintaining correct form. Next, Tracie moves on to the first segment of core work using the stability ball: lying face-down with the ball under your pelvis, you do mermaids, which involve lifting your legs, and frogs, which involve drawing the heels in. A tough move follows in which you lie with your thighs on the ball and then roll your torso from side-to-side so that your hips stack; very challenging! Then it's back to standing for the first cardio segment, which begins with lunge kicks and progresses to stride jumps. In-between doing the two sides, Tracie includes some higher impact work with fast jogs and butt kicks (Nancy does show a reduced range of motion here, but she still does high impact). Following this, you pick up your weights for the first time (Tracie suggests 3-8 lbs.) for side lunges with rotating overhead presses. Continuing with the heavy lower body work, Tracie does a unique 1-leg squat move in which you raise your heel on 1 leg, squat down on the other, hike your glutes (a variation on good mornings), and then return to standing, progressing to raising the knee on the non-working leg. In-between legs comes some more plyometric work with 1-leg hops. This section ends another different variation on a traditional move: you do a squat with a 1-arm row (palms up), but you keep the shoulder of the opposite arm pinned back the entire time.
Going back to the floor for some additional plank work (using the ball is optional), Tracie alternately lifts each leg, bringing the knee in to work the obliques. Then everyone uses the ball for supermans: without any weights, you squeeze your arms and shoulders straight back, then back and down. Ready for more cardio? This time it's side kicks with jumping jacks in-between; there's also a fun little front lunge/hop sequence. After the cardio, you do your first segment of "rag" work, where you use rags under your limbs (or paper plate if you're working on carpet) to facilitate gliding. Here, you start with push-ups with your hands on dumbbells (this bothers me, so I skipped the dumbbells) and feet on rags (optional), progressing to side plank with dumbbell rotation. Next, everyone puts the rags under their feet for "mountain climbers," where you slowly, then faster, pull one knee at a time in and out to your chest. After a brief stretch, you repeat the exercise pulling BOTH knees in at the same time--this was extremely tough, and I couldn't complete all the reps even when I continued with one knee at a time.
At this point, you are about halfway through the workout (33 minutes), and in my opinion, the hardest part is over! You move back to standing for some additional heavy lower body work: starting in a dip position, you very slowly drag in the leg and raise to standing, lifting your knee and extending your hips. More push-ups follow, this time with one hand on the rang and pushing out to the side, then pushing forward for a nice lat stretch and finishing with tricep kickbacks on one knee. Moving back to the ball, you'll sit with the ball under the small of your back and do transverse crunches, eventually adding light weights to work the obliques. If you tuck your hips hard here, you can really feel these! Now it's time for the final cardio segment, which was fun. Tracie starts with "Ali shuffles," or alternately hopping each foot to the front while moving to the side. Each series ends with optional squat jumps and a lunge with torso rotation. This sequence also includes a side shuffle with cobra arms (ie, squeezing the shoulders behind you) for more posture work. I really enjoyed the next segment as well, which consisted of clock lunges interspersed with push squats and cobra arms. Next comes the only standing rag work: you stand with the rag under one foot, pushing the leg out to a side squat and using the rag as a brake. This segment also includes glute hikes, bicep curls with overhead row, and 1-arm rows with torso rotations.
Finally, you move to the floor for abs work. Tracie holds a dumbbell between her feet for reverse curls; she then switches the dumbbell to her hands for a lat pullover with a 1-leg reverse crunch. After a final set of reverse curls, you're finished with the abs work, and Tracie performs a few traditional stretches on the floor, including a hip flexor stretch. From a kneeling position, she uses the ball for what she calls "two of the best stretches I know," a lat and shoulder stretch--and she's right, these felt great! Moving to a standing position, Tracie uses the ball for some additional hip flexor and hamstring stretches, and you're done. This is an excellent workout, but of the four TLTs, it's my least favorite. It's clearly the hardest of these workouts, with more high impact work and plyometric moves (it's also the one that reminds me the most of Tracie's previous series, Tracie Long Productions; these were tough workouts that even Tracie herself has said were too difficult for the average exerciser). Although the cardio had more impact than I prefer, I really liked virtually all of the strength moves, which I found particularly unique and different here. Also, I loved Tracie's emphasis on posture and use of upper body moves (even when working the lower body) to enhance this.
In summary, I would recommend this workout to high intermediate and above exercisers who enjoy a challenge, like athletic-type moves, and don't mind high impact and plyometric work.
While I don't think Tracie is the best cuer out there, she does mirror-cue, and her form pointers are excellent. I also really like her personality, as she comes across as very real and down-to-earth. She also has the ability to be serious about the workout while still being relaxed and making occasional, non-goofy jokes.
Beth C (aka toaster)
February 6, 2007