Video Fitness

Fitprime Upper Body Burn

Keli Roberts

Women's Health & Fitness Network Upper Body Burn is part of the FitPrime series and contains 7 minutes of Pilates, 13 minutes of cardio, 10 minutes of yoga, and 25 minutes of weights. Keli Roberts leads, dressed in an orange top and black pants, and looking very buff in the upper body! She does a fantastic job leading this fun and challenging workout!

The warm up includes upper body moves and balance segments, and is energetic and fun. As in all the WHFN workouts, the production quality is perfect, the colors are vibrant and alive, and the music draws you right in!

One arm lat rows are next on the non-dominant side, followed by push-ups with your non-dominant hand on the step and the other hand on a yoga block. The segment ends with triceps push-ups using the high step. You can make this as easy or as challenging as you like by decreasing or increasing the weight for lat rows, and moving further away or closer to the step for triceps work. I'm an intermediate/advanced exerciser and I used a 20# weight for lat rows.

4 limb cardio is next, and the emphasis is on upper body moves by doing side front sides with simultaneous side delt raises, squats with biceps pumps, and small side lunges with alternating triceps extensions and biceps curls on the opposite arm. Firm and FitPrime fans will recognize these moves from other workouts.

Back to one arm lat rows with the non-dominant arm and again I used a 20# weight, then we pick up a smaller weight (I used a 5# one) to do two quick side delt raises with the non-dominant arm and one fast one. Push-ups using the step and yoga block follow.

Cardio is next without weights, and we do lift and punch, box steps, hamstring curls and sashe's. Fun!!

Double arm lat row is next and I used two 12# weights. We do biceps curls immediately so keep that in mind when choosing weights. We then do push-ups using the step and yoga block, this time with rotation to the side off the block after each rep. We also do those side lying triceps push-ups putting one hand on the block and using it to push off the other side. If you do them exactly as Keli shows you will really feel the work in the triceps!

Seated shoulder work is next, and I used 2 5# weights. We do slow shoulder press almost overhead, long lever side raises, and then full overhead presses.

We then repeat the double arm lat rows and biceps sequence, this time rotating off the dominant hand in the push-up sequence.

The first one arm lat row sequence follows, using the dominant arm this time. Following this is seated one arm triceps extensions, then back extensions with both arms while leaning over the high step, then we finish with rear delt work.

Next is the second one arm lat row sequence, using the dominant arm. A stretch follows this sequence.

Sun salutations going into a lunge, plank, then down dog, using the step follows. In between sides we do a balance stretch.

Core work consists of Pilates sits, roll ups, then bridge work with the block between the knees and one leg lifted. Very challenging! We finish with crunches.

Pec flyes are next, as are one arm pullovers. I used 2 15# for pecs and one 15# for pullovers. The set is long, but effective!!

Back to core work to do bridge and one leg in the air on the other leg, and that segment finishes with reverse curls, still holding the yoga block between the knees.

We finish with a relaxing stretch.

I loved this one!! A solid A!!

Instructor comments:

March 31, 2005

This is the first WHFN video that I've done; I've been eager to try this, as I really like the uniqueness of the two older FitPrimes that I own (From the Ground Up and Just Right Weights+Cardio+Yoga). This wasn't quite what I expected, and there were some things I didn't like, but overall, I enjoyed this workout. The box describes as being 7 minutes Pilates, 13 minutes of cardio, 10 minutes of yoga, and 25 minutes of weights for a total of 55 minutes, but I clocked it at 56 minutes.

Since Carol has already provided a nice breakdown of the specific exercises, I'll just give the DVD chapter breakdown (accessed when you choose "Select Tune" off the main menu) along with some brief comments:

1) Cardio--Push Circle. This was the warm-up, which was just under 4 minutes and included a lot of moves to open the arms and shoulders as well as some balance work.

2) Weights--ND (non-dominant) Row and Push.

3) Cardio--5 Limb Delts. This was pretty slow, mellow cardio.

4) Weights--ND Row and Sweep.

5) Cardio--Pump and Punch. More energy here.

6) Weights--ND Chest and Tri's. The tricep move was very interesting; you lay on your side and push your body up with your hand on the block--it's sort of a side push-up, and I definitely felt it!

7) Weights--Guns and Delts.

8) Weights--D (dominant) Chest and Tri's.

9) Cardio--Walkin' Stick. The stick wasn't really essential to this segment; it mostly added a bit of flair the the moves.

10) Weights--D Row and Push.

11) Weights--Tris and Delts.

12) Weights--D Row and Sweep.

13) Yoga--Towel Rotation. Here, you sit on your tall box and use a towel to peform some of the stretches, such as cow-face arms (a yoga strap would also work).

14) Yoga--Balance. There is a brief balance segment, but this section consists mainly of modified sun salutations using the tall box.

15) Pilates--Ball Core. There really isn't that much Pilates here, but you do the double leg stretch, rolling like a ball, and bridge as well as some traditional crunches.

16) Weights--Pec Flyes. Lat pullovers are also included here.

17) Pilates--Bridge. This is actually all of the abs moves performed on the second side.

18) Yoga--Pretzel. Actually, I think this final stretch is more like a Pilates move, the Mermaid.

From the above description, you'll see that the non-dominant side of the body is worked first, which I like. However, what I missed from my earlier FitPrime videos is the ND side being worked MORE; that doesn't happen here. Also, I found the sequencing of the exercises to be kind of confusing--ie, the way you perform certain exercises on one side of the body and then do a whole lot of other stuff before finally moving on to the second side of the body. Similarly, I was often confused by Keli's positioning; the mirrors on the set made it even more difficult for me to figure out exactly where I should be.

Okay, those are the things I didn't like, but there was a lot that I did like too. I really appreciated the fact that the weight work was challenging, yet didn't leave me feeling totally wiped out (although I may go a bit heavier next time). Similarly, the cardio was short and fun, yet it did get my HR up enough for at least some minor aerobic benefit. Although I wouldn't exactly call the stetching segments "yoga," you do get in some nice yoga-inspired stretches. Finally, I found that the time really flew by for this workout, and I suspect that I'll have zero dread factor for it in the future.

This is probably not for the hard-core, advanced weights exercise, but it's a nice choice if you're looking for a solid, somewhat unique intermediate workout.

Instructor comments: Keli was a little more subdued than I've sometimes seen here, which I liked. However, I thought her cueing was a bit off--it seemed to be a little late, and I had some trouble following along at times, especially trying to figure out whether I was supposed to be on the ND or D side. Finally, I can see why some people complained about Tamela being a background exerciser--she really DOES constantly mug for the camera!

Beth C (aka toaster)

October 28, 2005

I feel like this very efficiently worked the upper body as promised by the title. All of the WHFN videos that I've done so far seem to work the non-dominant side all the way through and then goes through all of the exercises on the dominant side. Which was kind of confusing for me at first. I also get mildly annoyed at all of the equipment switching going on with WHFN. I do like these workouts though because I get a solid intermediate workout. I pretty much reserve these workouts for days when I'm just not up to hardcore intensity. Even though they are advertised as 'fusion' workouts, so far they've seemed just like non-traditional weight training or pilates to me. I don't think I would ever do a rotation of strictly WHFN videos. I would probably alternate with higher intensity cardio.

I've always loved Keli Roberts' workouts. A lot of the moves she does in this are similar to stuff she's done in other videos; but there is some "Firm" stuff in there that is thrown in.

Instructor comments: Keli was as always a professional and a good instructor. She was more serious and less chatty than usual in this video. I believe all of the WHFN instructors are like this.

Lady D


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