(This review pertains to the DVD edition)
I'm 47 years old and have had trouble being consistent with my workouts for some time. I've been using this DVD for about a month now, and that's about all I can say for my efforts in the fitness area during this time. I haven't been good about getting in my cardio, and I had a lot of leftover Halloween candy that had to be eaten. In spite of myself, I lost two pounds over this period (and not just the Halloween candy pounds--that would bring the total to four) and have noticed muscle development all over, including places where I notice it last, like my chest. Before I did this DVD, I was always suspicious of weight training that didn't require heavy weights. I stand corrected, and I would recommend this DVD to anyone who is trying to get back on the exercise wagon or to anyone who feels time-crunched (doing the complete workout requires about 45 minutes per day) or to anyone who just wants to try something new.
Weight Training Made Easier is a DVD that collects three of Joyce Vedral's videos: Weight Training Made Easier Days 1 and 2 and Workout 101. The chaptering of these videos is fairly simple: the two WTME tapes have chapters for the Introduction, Warm Up, workout for the day's body parts (for Day 1, that's Chest & Triceps and Shoulders & Biceps; for Day 2, that's Back & Lower Body), and workouts for Abs, Hips, and Butt. Workout 101 is just one big chapter. Since the WTME workouts are based on supersets, it wouldn't really be possible to break them down by individual exercise, so I think that the chaptering is adequate. The "Customize Your Workout" feature is the menu.
The videos were produced by Greg Twombley, and CIA fans will recognize the music and the “southwestern” set. Fortunately, Joyce seems to have had control over her wardrobe; she is not attired in silver spandex or army pants.
Workout 101 is a total body workout composed of 12 exercises and one superset. I've only viewed this workout, and I don't think that I'll ever do it. However, if you've never done weight training before, it might be useful.
The WTME workouts are based on three principles: split routine, pyramids, and supersets. Day 1 covers the chest, triceps, shoulders, and biceps, and Day 2 covers the lower body and the back. Both days have different workouts for the abs, hips, and butt.
Supersets are used by pairing exercises for two different body parts and performing one set of each exercise without rest between them. You are allowed 15 seconds of rest between sets, and you pyramid between sets by increasing weight and decreasing reps. Because of the short rest periods, you won't be using a large amount of weight for these exercises.
On Day 1, you'll perform three sets of four supersets for chest and triceps, then three sets of four supersets for shoulders and biceps. The workouts for these body parts total about 25 minutes, and the abs, hips, and butt routine will add another 20 minutes.
On Day 2, you'll perform three sets of six superset for lower body and back and one giant set for the calves (coming to a bit more than 20 minutes), and then twenty minutes of abs, hips, and butt exercises.
The abs, hips, and butt workouts don't use any weights, but do use supersets. You'll do three sets of 15 reps of each exercise.
Both workouts are incredibly efficient, since you spend so little time resting between sets, and because Joyce keeps you moving at a brisk pace. I don't find the pace uncomfortable, but I'm not trying to use heavy weights (I use 3-, 5-, and 8-lb. dumbbells). Joyce says that she usually uses 10-, 15, and 20-lb. dumbbells, so this is definitely not the workout for someone who wants to lift heavy.
The warm-ups on both days are minimal--just some basic stretches. If you've read Joyce's books, that's because the first set of each exercise is the warm-up. Joyce's form occasionally suffers--I suspect that it's because she's using lighter weights than she's used to. She occasionally loses count on the abs, hips, and butt routines, but she has you doing more reps rather than less, so I just call it a bonus.
I have to credit this DVD for the results that I've seen in the last month. Sure, I did the workouts, but they were workouts that I wanted to do. And the shortness of the workouts made it possible for me to do them.
I like Joyce's presentation in this video. She's 57 at the time of filming, and makes no bones about weight training being work. She looks awfully good for 57, but her attitude toward that is terrific: "People say that I'm lucky to have such a great body. I tell them I'm not lucky--I work!" She assures her viewers that "You'll look better than I do." Well, only time will tell on that one, but I find it comforting all the same. Joyce is a native New Yorker, and her accent will tell you that, even if you hadn't read the biography on her web site. She's matter-of-fact, and pulls no punches. I enjoy her persona on her tapes--she cracks me up. And, hey, anyone who would consider bringing her bulldog to a video shoot is probably my kind of exerciser.
4 December 2002
I thought this would be a good dvd purchase, but feel like I wasted my money. I love other Joyce Vedral workouts such as Dynamic Tension, Top Shape It's Now Or Never, and Bone Building Body Shaping. I feel this is one of her worst though.
The workout works chest & shoulders to start first. There is no time to switch weights from heavier chest presses to triceps. She also counts & lifts so fast that by the time I'm on the down move, she's started another rep. I end up only doing half of the reps since I don't want to jerk the weights around. I tried to use my lighter weights (such I do in her high rep/light weight workouts Definition and Fat Burning) but didn't feel like I got a good workout.
The rest of the workout for day 1 consists of biceps/shoulders then floorwork for hip/butt and abs. The day 1 lower body I felt was good. However day 2 had a few repeat exercises saying they did something else. Some of day 2 for hip/butt I couldn't feel did anything & believe she made the exercises up since they aren't in any other weight training videos I've seen by those who are experts, such as Cory Everson's workouts.
The lower body of day 2, other than the floor work section, was good. She also did the back work this day, which I'd prefer to do all upper on the same day.
If you like using lighter weights and want something thorough yet quick, this dvd might be for you.
She goes too fast in this workout for heavy weights. She claims she lifts 10s/15s/20s at home, but she doesn't here and neither can we due to her speed.