Women's Health & Fitness Network Crunch Time is part of the KickButt series and contains 5 minutes of Pilates, 9 minutes of cardio, 8 minutes of yoga and 18 minutes of weights. It's approximately 43 minutes long. Tamela Hastie leads dressed in all black and looking more mature and relaxed than in her original Firm Cardio Burn lead. She smiles just enough and gives excellent form pointers and cueing throughout. Her form is perfect. This workout left me feeling energized and relaxed, and I was drenched at the end of it! I'm a high intermediate/low advanced exerciser. It packs a lot into 43 minutes! As with all the WHFN workouts, the production quality is perfect, and the music draws you right in.
The warm up has great music, and consists of rib cage slips with stretches, and plenty of balance work. Don't be deceived simply previewing it - it's more challenging than it looks! Tamela starts the workout by saying "Let's have fun!"
Next is chest and core work. We do slow pec flyes (I used 2 15# weights) alternating with Pilates based core work and traditional crunches, reverse crunches, roll-ups, and V sits. Pay attention to form and Tamela's instruction and you will really feel this work. We also do rib cage pullovers with one weight, incorporating core work into this move.
Cardio is next with light weights - I used 2 5# - and it features side steps with biceps pumps, squats, adductions, and heel digs. It's fun and non-impact!
The next segment is the dips and biceps curls, then arabesque and upright rows from FitPrime Crunch Time. The music is the same. We then do the releves using the balance stick. For the weighted parts I used 2 12# weights and found that to be very challenging! Cardio follows before going on to the other side. It's a kickboxing segment and it contains impact. Tamela does a great job with this! It's really fun and energetic!!
Following the other side for the dips sequence, we do one arm lat rows. My weight for this is 20#'s. We do both sides, then use tree position, balancing on each leg while doing french press. Whoa! This was challenging!!
Leg press is next on the non-dominant leg first, and I used 2 12# weights. We then do crouching Phoenix. If you've never done this, make sure the step is high enough so when you crouch back down you can use it to help with balance. You will really feel this, and it gets your heart rate up as well! This was super-challenging for me! Before going on to the other side we do more cardio.
This segment has some low impact again, and it's fast and slow speed skaters with step touches, knee smashes both to the front and the sides, and roundhouse kicks. Great music and very energetic!! We then do the leg press and crouching Phoenix sequence on the dominant leg.
The next cardio segment is rocks on the tall step and slow box climbs. We then pick up heavy weights again for plie work. I used 2 15# weights. The music and tempo is slow, and it really works the inner thighs if you pay attention to form. We do scapular retraction as well, so of course the upper body is moving too. Isn't it always? That's what I LOVE about these workouts - you work so much together at the same time!
We then do an interesting variation of Good Mornings sweeping one leg back and holding a weight in one hand, while the opposite hand taps the box. We follow these with triceps kickbacks. I had one 12# weight and this was a burner! We do both sides, then move on to yoga. Tamela takes us through many poses, and we end with a relaxing stretch.
I absolutely loved this workout!! I give this one an A +++++ !!
April 2, 2005
This is a decent enough workout. I'd say low intermediate/high beginner.
There was one move i hated - a good morning leading into a tricep kickback.
I also did not like the yoga stuff - mostly because I prefer to do Ravi/Ana or Eoin or Yoga Zone or Ana Forrest. I think I will do that from now on - substitute a short yoga workout on the days I do this workout (and skip the yoga bits in this workout)
The music was good and the workout flew by. Had this been my only WHFN workout though, I wouldn't have wanted any more.
So i'd give it a B.
Tamela is friendly. She's very "athletic looking" with broad shoulders and strong legs.
She used to be very kindergarten-school-teacher-like in her earlier firm days. I was pleased to see she had toned that down.
She did have a habit of making this one overtly serious/dramatic expression that I found kind of distracting, but overall, she's okay.
I so absolutely LOOOOOOVE this workout! It's so awesome, so much fun! I will never do the original FitPrime one with Susan Harris again. This one packed a whole lot more-and in just 43 minutes! Wow! There's more aerobic impact (my favorites are the hopscotch and kickboxing), and it also has more yoga (another favorite section). I could go on and on about this one.
My grade: A+++++++ all the way.
I want to see Tamela in more workouts, specifically an all Pilates workout and all Yoga workout as well. She has really matured, very graceful, so in peace with herself.
Tranisha N. Thomas
This 45 minute workout is a mish-mash of short sequences of exercises with no flow. It's a mish-mash because it goes from some quasi-pilates on the floor to some standing moves using the tall step, to some jumprope moves and moves that are supposed to be kickboxing but aren't really, to some quasi-yoga at the end. Most of the exercise sequences are fairly short. There are several exercises that seem plain strange, like the one where you're supposed to be imitating a bird and balancing on one leg while bending your arms down toward the step and then coming up with your arms outstretched and your one leg in arabesque. There are movements that use both legs and arms together, but most of the time, they feel awkward, like standing leg abduction while leaning over and doing a semi-upright row holding dumbbells.
The workout incorporates some good exercises like triceps overhead presses, inner thigh squats, lat rows, leg presses on the bench, and biceps curls, but I don't feel that the short single sets make for an effective workout overall. It seems like a lot of stuff thrown together haphazardly.
The background exercisers sometimes have much better form than Tamela. Tamela's cueing and instruction is lacking in this workout, too. She does not explain what some of the exercises are for or how to do them properly. At the end of the workout, Tamela does a standing sequence holding a stick, and says that it is a preparation for lotus position. She never explains lotus or how her series is a lotus preparation, and in my opinion, it does not do much of anything.
This workout is okay if you just feel like doing something that doesn't require a lot of energy. The music is good and the production quality is good. I give it a C.
Tamela looks great, and has nice muscle tone. I liked her a lot in WHFN Floor Burn, but in this workout, she does a lot of mugging to the camera, with some unnatural facial expressions, like she's trying to be overly-earnest. Her form isn't always good in this workout.
June 29, 2005