Keli Roberts (WHFN)
Women's Health & Fitness Network Lean is part of the FitPrime series, and is a fusion workout featuring 5 minutes of Pilates, 21 minutes of cardio, 6 minutes of yoga, and 11 minutes of weights. As in all the WHFN workouts, the production quality is excellent, the colors are bright and vibrant, and the sound is perfect! The music in Lean is especially motivating and uplifting!
Keli Roberts leads and she shines in this, achieving the perfect balance of grace and athleticism. She gives excellent form pointers throughout, and background exercisers are shown intermittently using common household items as substitutes. Also, a couple of background exercisers are shown doing modifications throughout.
Keli, dressed in black and looking quite buff in the upper body, starts with a fun, energetic and dynamic warm up featuring side to side movements and some unique arm movements such as "slicing" the arms. The music draws you right in!
Core work is next, and Keli puts the yoga block behind her head to use as a prop, and her feet are on the high step as she does rope climbs, crunches, and a bike maneuver. I enjoyed holding onto the block because it kept me in the upper part of the crunch without feeling like it was straining my neck, which is what it was designed to do. The reps were slow enough to really feel the work, and the music in this segment is wonderful!
Cardio is next and the movements are flowing and graceful, with yet another great tune! Watch Tamela for really graceful variations on Keli's more athletic-type moves - the camera shows her a lot during the workout. In the second cardio segment which follows, Tamela appears to stay on one leg while Keli switches legs, but other than that it's a fun, motivating segment, which starts with Tai Chi breathing. To make these two segments more intense, either do them again or increase arm and leg movements.
Dips are next, using the balance stick and one heavy weight, which is used for one arm shoulder presses in between. You can lose the stick if you have very good balance, and increase the weight, but be careful because this will really increase the balance challenge! She then does one-legged squats with no weight, and again to increase intensity lose the stick and add some dumbbells.
Cardio is next, using what Keli calls a "choo-choo", which is a sideways mambo next to the high step. Following the choo-choo's are wide V steps around the step, and she does a neat variation on calf raises in between. The music will be familiar from the Tri Trainer series!
One hand on the high step push-ups are next, followed by triceps push-ups. Lose the box to increase the intensity on the triceps push-ups. We then lean over the step or box to do triceps kickbacks with weight. I used two five pound dumbbells and really felt these!
Following these are side lunges like Tracie does in the Yorktowns, keeping the static leg straight. It's a great functional fitness move that doesn't require a great deal of weight to work! Shoulder work with dumbbells is done in between, so you want to grab your shoulder weights for the lunges. There's a significant balance challenge involved in this one!
Then we're back to cardio using the stick, and to increase the intensity here pick up a light body bar - I'd suggest no more than 6 pounds. Keli does grapevines and hamstring curls and it's a fun segment!
Leg press with a dip back using the same leg follows, and this is a REAL balance challenge! Be careful with the weight unless you have great core control! I used 2 10# dumbbells and I was sweating by the end of this one!
Cardio again, this time plie slides and "hops" in between which is calf work. Watch Tamela for a unique intensity increase modification! Keli also does mambo cha-cha's and rocking horse moves, and this is the most "dancy" part of the workout.
We conclude with traditional one arm lat rows and squats - go heavy to increase intensity.
The stretch is long and relaxing! The only complaint I have is Lean is only 43 minutes long! I give this one an A minus, and it's a keeper as well!
March 24, 2004