Ageless with Kathy Smith Staying Strong

Kathy Smith
Year Released: 2011

Categories: Athletic Stretch , Total Body Workouts

Disclosure: I received a copy of Ageless with Kathy Smith Staying Strong from Acacia for posting on their blog.

Basics about me: lifetime high beginner, lower intermediate. I work out because I know I should and I enjoy it, generally, while doing it. I am not one that says, Oh, yeah, I am going to work out today!!!!
I have never taken a class, just DVDs. I donít do Pilates/yoga. I am a cardio girl. Weights are boring and tedious in my teeny tiny world.
I love me some Kathy Smith, whooping, no whooping, by herself, with a crowd, whatever.

On with the review. If you are a bottom line kind of person, I liked it just fine. Nothing that will shake your world, but very efficient.

Setting: Industrial, very light and open. Light-colored concrete floor, floor to ceiling windows with sheer drapes, neutral couches/chairs/credenza-type furniture. There is a stripe pattern to the wall, neutrals. For a color pop there are glass vases of various colors/shapes/sizes placed on the credenzas. Very nice, clean look. For the most part, the camera is on Kathy. Sometimes it seems as if she is looking to her left, but that could just be me.
Kathy is wearing a blue tank top with blue pants. She stands out very nicely from the background. You can see the moves, she doesnít blend in with the background. One problem I always have with Kathy, though, are those fabulous legs. Sometimes when I see the way her legs look, where they are in relation to other body parts in a move, my stumpy little legs and stumpy little arms donít stretch/extend as far as hers and I wonder if my position is how it should be. I find that on all of her workouts, but I do them anyway. .
She is alone. There is not one whoop. There is no modifier. While she oftentimes tells you a modification, even shows it, it is generally after you have been doing it the no modified way. I prefer to have the modifications discussed as the move is introduced.

Kathy talks the whole time, but it is on point. She explains what she is doing and where you should be feeling it for the most part. She generally does one side, then the other.

Kathy is Kathy. Charming, articulate, sometimes a little goofy, always encouraging.
You will need light weights. She uses 5 and 8 pounders, the best that I could tell. You will need a mat/towel to lay on and you will need a chair. A chair is not mentioned on the box, but she uses a chair a lot.

The workout: Keep in mind, I donít usually know the correct name for a move, so I will describe it the best I can. I didnít keep up with counts, but Kathy is generally even on counts.
It is broken up into four 15-minute segments. It is chaptered. There is a bonus 12-minute stretch at the end.
If you press ďplay workout,Ē it will give you the intro so donít do what I did and watch the intro and then have to watch it again. There is not a long intro showing other Acacia workouts like some of the Acacia DVDs annoyingly have. There is a brief blip of the logo and then straight to Kathy.

There is no warm up, per se. Before each segment you do like an active warm up of the body parts you will be working, but it just goes directly into the workout for the most part. If you are one that needs a longer warm up or a more formalized warm up, you may want to do it on your own. Between sets for each exercise, she has you stretch a bit. It is really nice to take that moment in the middle to do that.

When you play the whole workout the first segment that pops up is arms. Again, in general terms there is weight work (she tells you to use what is comfortable, then tells you on some of the moves you may want to double up the weights). After arm weight work, you go to various plank positions and then triceps work. Nothing earthshaking or new, but a good little workout.

Next is legs. Again, an active warm up, but not overly long, just a couple of sets of something. You start with lunge variations to squat variations. Then she has you do some side to side work, like modified ice skaters. She will make some of the variations plyo, and then add in some balance work. Got to say, she is not overly steady in the balance work herself.
Then she does back lunges/dips, again, changing them up somewhat but working with the basic theme of dips. Then she goes to plies, again, variations on the theme.
Then you go to the floor/mat. Lay on your back, put feet on the chair and press up. Again, same basics but with a couple of variations.

Next is glutes. You start off on the floor. Here is where my lack of workout vocabulary will show. You do pelvic lifts with, you got it, variations. Then you go to clam shells. Then you get on all fours, placing a weight in the crease of your knee/thigh and then lift.
Then you are up off the floor and doing a dip series, and again, various permutations of said dips.

Core is where the workout ends. You start off on all fours. She basically just has you introduce yourself to your transverse muscles as a warm up. Then you do the opposite arm-leg hold out thingie, which I am sure has a lyrical name in the real world, but not in mine. Then you go to elbow planks with, say it all together now, variations. Then you go to cobra (I know because Kathy told me so) and from there do various moves from flat on the floor, ending up in childís pose (again, according to Kathy). Next up is modified crunches, my term. You spend a lot of time in a V-position and she has you do, need I say it, various moves in this position. Sometimes your head is high, sometimes it is low. Then you will go flat on your back, raise legs into a 90-degree angle and do a couple of things, eventually moving into cycling, again, with variations. From flat on your back you will move to side planks, various moves.

When you are finishing up the core, she takes you through some nice little stretches in a seated position. It really feels good. She then emphasizes how you should be mindful of your core all day, with all movement.

After the core segment you will immediately go into the bonus stretch segment. It is not a floor stretch. You will need a chair. What a lovely little 12 minutes. You do a seated lower body stretch, then upper body stretch. You will then stand up and do a quad stretch, calf stretch, then hip flexor stretch. Still standing, she will take you through a nice little full body stretch. I like this stretch segment because it is all standing. Sometimes when I want to do a stretch with a DVD I donít because I just donít want to get on the floor. This gave me a DOH moment when I realized, hey, stretches donít have to be on the floor to be effective.

Overall, I liked this just fine. I am not a weights person so while I know I should do it often, I probably wonít do it as much as I should.
I would not call this a beginner workout just because it seems as if it is assumed you can do all those plank/pushup variations with only mentions of possible modifications, as well as all the modified crunch work. I would have liked to have had a warm up chapter just because I like a warm up chapter. But if she had to choose just one, a warm up or a stretch, I am glad she chose stretch. I am also really glad there is not a warm up in every chapter, which when you play a workout straight through can kind of kill the workout.