Video Fitness

Defy Gravity

Tamilee Webb

I received a preview VHS version of this video. Tamilee has always been one of my favorite instructors, but I found this workout to be a mixed bag. The first section, Fat Free Cardio, consists of 2 cardio segments. In both segments, Tamilee mixes low impact cardio moves with "power" sections--basically, about 30 seconds of focused toning at a quick pace. Tamilee leads you through several different movement combinations and than goes back and starts the entire routine from the top. This is repeated 2-3 times, sometimes with the power moves, sometimes without. Cardio 1 is 20 minutes long, and although the moves are simple--marches, box steps, mambos--the combinations are often fairly complex, and I had a hard time following along, especially given that Tamilee's cueing was not optimal. Cardio 2 is a bit longer at 25 minutes, and although the choreography was still complicated, I found it slightly easier to follow along here. Again, the moves are pretty simple and include knee lifts and charlestons, but Tamilee's cueing suffers more here, and she is sometimes using the wrong leg at the wrong time. In both segments, the power moves consist of squats, leg lifts, and kicks. Overall, the cardio section provides a good, low impact, low intensity workout which would be best suited to someone who likes going through several repetitions of various combinations.

The second section of this video is called Metabolism Jump Start and is toning/strength focused. This section uses a fitness band (included with the video) and is divided into three segments: lower body, upper body, and abdominals. The 10-minute lower body section may be worth the price of the video alone. It begins with simple side steps with the band around your ankles, and within two minutes, I could really feel the burn in my outer hips. A series of leg lifts from various positions ensures that all of the muscles of your legs are worked in this short, intense sequence, and the "penguin" move finishes off the hip area. The 11-minute upper body segment is performed using the band in a seated position. For each move, Tamilee performs one set slow and then one set fast, first working each arm alone and then both arms together. Again, she makes sure to address every upper body muscle group, including the biceps, triceps, shoulders, chest, and back. This difficulty level of this segment is variable depending on how you hold the band. Finally, Tamilee ends the workout with a 12-minute Pilates-inspired abs segment (without the band). This segment is quite challenging, largely because Tamilee moves very quickly through the movements. She begins with a side plank, moves on to a challenging leg scissors move while on your back, continues with full plank and all fours moves, and then repeats the entire series. This is an intermediate to advanced abs workout which is best suited to those who have prior experience with Pilates or other core-focused work.

I definitely liked the toning section of this workout: the addition of the band helped me to really feel the lower body work, especially in my hips and thighs. However, I found the cardio to be disappointed and am not likely to use this section on a regular basis. If you have liked Tamilee's cardio work in the past, this video might appeal to you, but the main reason to buy this video is for the lower body strength training.

Instructor comments: Tamilee has always been one of my favorite instructors; I like how she's down to earth, matter of fact, and calmly encouraging. She's starting to look a bit older in this video, which I found kind of sad. Also, even though her strength work is still excellent, I was surprised by her poor cueing in the cardio section of this video. Her cardio style here actually reminded me very much of Denise Austin's Blast Away 10 Lbs. video; I expected more from Tamilee.

Beth C (aka toaster)

November 22, 2004

I love workouts with several mix and match sections and this is another goody. The two aerobic sections are around 20+ minutes each and mostly low impact. There are a couple little boo-boos and Tamilee's cueing could have been a little better in spots, but all in all it was not difficult to follow. The sports band is used in a 10-minute lower body workout and a 10-minute upper body workout and I could "feel the burn" - particularly in the lower body segment. The 10-minute abs section is pretty tough, but fun. I also liked both of the bonus sections - a short abdominal core workout and a short yoga/stretch workout. There are lots of different ways to use this workout and I think I will be getting plenty of use out of it. I also wanted to comment on the reviewer who said Tamilee looks older in this workout and it made them feel sad. First of all, Tamilee has a wonderfully fit, toned body. I also know she's in her 40's (at least mid-forties). Hopefully, she WILL start to age - the only other choice is death, so most people would probably choose aging over the alternative. The reviewer may be referring to the fact that bright outdoor lighting seems to be less flattering than what they are able to do in a studio setting, but she still looked great and no different than anyone else would look exercising in the bright sunlight.

Instructor comments: I'm a big fan of Tamilee. She's very pleasant and motivating without pushing too hard or talking too much. I thought the cueing could have been a tad better on the cardio segments, however.



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