Streamlined Strength

Petra Kolber
Year Released: 2006

Categories: Total Body Workouts

Full disclosure: I received a free review copy of this workout.

Recently, I have been drawn to strength workouts that use bands and/or a medicine ball. This workout uses both and I like Petra Kolber, so I decided to try it. It is a long workout, around 80 minutes, but you can choose sections from the menu to do. I wish that you could program the sections you want ahead of time, but that's a minor quibble. It's easy to use the menu system.

The sections include:

> Warm-up: I generally don't like warm ups, but I do them because I should - sort of like a kid eating their veggies. But, I liked this warm up. It uses the medicine ball and I felt engaged from the beginning.

> Upper Body: This section includes all the upper body muscles without overworking any specfic body part. She uses the step (I used my high step) and both a light band and a heavier band and the medicine ball.

> Lower Body: This section has traditional lower body exercises, like lunges and squats and yet has a functional fitness feel with balance challenges and some work done on the step and floor. I used my heavy band and the ball and the step.

> Total Body: This includes compound exercises with both upper body and lower body working at the same time, much of the time. It ends with a push up/plank series.

> Core: Exercises in this section include moves with a yoga and/or pilates feel and traditional core work. It is short, but effective. It calls for using the medicine ball briefly.

> Stretch: This section is longer than in a lot of rushed workouts, but could have been longer. It felt good though.

This is a well-planned traditional strength workout with a functional feel. I thought the segments flowed and enjoyed the band work. There are some options given in an inset window for doing more traditional work with a dumbbell. It didn't look as fun as the band work to me.

Petra is her normal encouraging self. She gives a lot of form pointers. The modifier is pretty good and gives good options for many of the moves. Throughout the workout, Petra encourages you to work at your own level. I would classify this workout as intermediate. It isn't beginner and it isn't advanced, so what's left? She does give you options throughout the workout for easier modifications and for working harder, so I would classify it as having a wide intermediate range. You can get out of it what you put into it.

Instructor Comments:
I love Petra as an instructor, even when I don't like her workout. She is really good at cueing, describing what she wants you to do, and making you feel like whatever you have done is perfect, just right.

Laura S.