PeakFit Challenge: Cardio Strength 1

Michelle Dozois
Year Released: 2011

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights) , Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance , Total Body Workouts

This is one of the 10 workouts in Michelle’s Peak Challenge set (and this is one of the two workouts that was sold by itself as well). This is one TOUGH advanced workout that alternates functional style strength exercises with mixed intensity cardio. The other reviewers already gave good breakdowns and the Ascent/Climb/Peak Intensity/Basecamp structure, so I’ll just give my opinions.

I really enjoy Michelle and was looking forward to these super intense workouts…once I worked up my endurance and thought I could handle them! Well I am at that point now, finally able to tackle some advanced workouts. And it was worth the wait! This workout was tough (did I mention that?) and I really enjoyed the functional strength and high energy cardio. The music was very fun and carefully synchronized for each of the Ascent/Climb/Peak Intensity/Basecamp and to each exercise. The basecamp and ascent are strength oriented, Michelle used a light pair and a heavy pair of dumbbells (she didn’t offer what poundage she was using, but I used my 4, 6, 8, and 10# pairs as appropriate-you can’t go too heavy due to the functional style). The functional work was reminiscent of Tracie Long’s TLT series. I also thought the strength was heavy on the shoulders (but did hit all the muscle groups) and on the whole, more taxing on the upper body than the lower body. The core was not often hit directly but was constantly engaged with all of the twisting moves. There was some strength work for the legs but the real work came in with the cardio and plyo jumps. The climb was pretty darn intense itself with lots of jumps and also some kickboxing, and the peak intensity was all out, full effort plyometric-style work, but it only lasted for about 8-16 reps of jumps, and then it was back to basecamp! Michelle spent about the first half of basecamp as a breather and then jumped back into strength for the second half.

My only real complaint about this workout is that there is NO warm up, it just jumps right into the basecamp with weighted work! I was unimpressed with Michelle for not including a basic warmup. So I just went through the first few exercises unweighted. Likewise, while I love a long-ish stretch in workouts of about 6-7 minutes, the stretch was about 9 minutes and was just pretty long (wish she had spent some of that time on the warmup!) But the long stretch is a minor complaint. Everything else was just so well organized.

I just loved, loved, loved the combination of functional strength and drill-style cardio and plyometrics. My I am high intermediate/low advanced and this workout was hard but doable for me. It really challenged me and kept my heart rate up the entire time. Definitely a keeper for my collection, and I plan to get a lot out of this workout. You can always increase the intensity by upping the poundage or putting more energy into the cardio. Overall grade A!

Instructor Comments:
I have always been a big fan of Michelle’s, I think she is one of my favorite instructors. I have two of her Your Best Body workouts and her Ultimate Workout, and this is a step up from them-but her instruction style stays consistent. She is encouraging but not chatty, and constantly gives good form pointers and points out modifications. She readily admits that she is struggling too and you really feel like she’s working out with you and not just barking out orders.

Emily B.