Video Fitness

Definition Series: Upper Body

Joyce Vedral

This is a 30 minute video which provides strength training for your chest, shoulder, triceps and biceps. There isn't any back work. It is broken up into two sections, 15 minutes each. It utilizes super sets for every body part that you work, which is 2 exercises per body part without a rest in between the exercises until you are done with the entire set. The sets are pyramids where you start with a lighter weight, do 12 reps, go to a middle poundage, do 10 reps and finally go to the heaviest weight with which you do 8 reps. Then, as if that's not enough, you drop back down to your middle weight and do 10 reps and drop down again to your light weight to do 12 reps. Then is a 15 second rest which feels like a 5 second rest! You do this pyramid for every body part starting with chest then moving on to triceps, shoulders and finally biceps. It is killer! This completes the first 15 minutes.

The second 15 minutes is the same pyramid system, same order of body part training but different exercises for the body parts. This is where it gets really hard. Your muscles are really burning by this time, if you have used reasonably heavy weights. Please note that this is not a tape where you can use the heaviest weight possible. It is a high rep, light to moderate weight type of tape. Also, Joyce moves so quickly from exercise to exercise that you couldn't hoist heavy weights around without hurting yourself. With that said, I use 4 sets of dumbells which are 5,8,10 and 12 lbs and my arms feel like Jello for hours after doing this tape. I like the shorter length of the tape as it makes a great add on tape but also is a decent stand alone tape for upper body training. My muscles have reached failure every time I do this tape which I haven't found with too many others.

However, this is a tape that could be really annoying to some as well. Joyce is working out solo with background music so she is continually talking with her usual, sometimes goofy chatter. She occasionally loses count of the reps but is only off by one or two counts when it happens. Believe me, towards the end of this tape, it is good that she loses count and cuts off a rep or two. Your arms are dying by this time.

Alas,there is one large problem with this tape and I would imagine most people will feel the same way I do which is that she is using very light weights and as a result she performs the reps "way too fast" for someone with heavier weights to keep up and maintain proper form. If only she would have realized that and slowed her pace, this tape could rank right up there with Cory's Get Hard Arms and Shoulders. However, it does have a redeeming quality which is that this is a great workout and one that a person could write down the components of to use on their own since it only requires a couple sets of dumbells and a weight bench or step bench.

Overall, I like this tape. If she would have performed the reps more slowly, I would LOVE this tape which I feel is saying alot since I don't consider myself a big Joyce Vedral fan.

Instructor comments: Joyce does a decent job with instruction of this tape. There were a few times I noticed her demonstrating improper form such as locking out the elbows on tricep extensions and other things. She is pretty chatty throughout the tape but not any worse than in her other tapes.

Joyce Thurman

I really enjoyed this one. Full pyramids all the way. It is a very thorough video. The rep speed is 1 rep per second (unless it's alternating - like alternating shoulder press, then it's 1 rep every 2 seconds).

You need to go lighter than you would on slower tapes, but I've been doing Joyce-speed workouts for 3 weeks now, and my arms are getting nicely shaped. It works for me!

The minimum plan is 15 minutes and you do get a great workout. The max plan is 30 minutes.

The full pyramid is used: 12/8/10/8/12 (12 - lightest, 10 - medium, 8- heavy). You do supersets for each body part.

Flat Chest Flye
Flat Chest Press

Seated overhead french press
Close grip bench press

Reverse overhead lateral raise
Bent over lateral raise

Simultaneous bicep curls
Alternating reverse curls

Then you rest for 15 seconds to go on to the maximum plan as follows:

inclined flye
inclined press

Simultaneous kickback
lying extension

side laterals
alternating shoulder press

simultaneous bicep curl
lying alternating hammer curl

She suggests doing this section one day, and then following it the next day with lower and middle body together.

This toasts your upper body in a nice short time. You don't need to buy the video or dvd - you could get buy with this breakdown or with her book.

Instructor comments: Joyce is pretty funny in this series, and I think she's also pretty encouraging.

Her form is a bit off, but it works for her. I recommend that people doing this don't use her as a form-guru.

Leela Keshavan


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