Lift Higher

Tracie Long
Year Released: 2010

Categories: Lower Body Strength

This is Volume 1 in Tracie Long Fitnessí Focus Series.

Iím reviewing this workout after it three times.

General workout breakdown: PeakFitness, AlisonCooks, and DeniseR have already described this workout well, so thereís not much I can think of to add.
The total workout time is just a hair over 30 min. Each chapter really is almost exactly 10 min.
The standing exercises in Chapter 1 are nothing too fancy, just a lot of tried and true moves. Chapter 2 is kind of a ďbest ofĒ Tracieís ragwork; I think this is one of her most varied rag segments, moving the leg in various directions. Normally Iím not the biggest fan of floorwork like in Chapter 3, other than what you find in a Pilates workout and bridgework, but I donít mind the moves here, mainly because Tracie mixes things up and doesnít do anything for too long.

Level: Iíd recommend this to intermediate through intermediate / advanced exercisers, although this can also be appropriate for lower intermediate and even beginner / intermediate exercisers (who can use lighter or no weights).
Normally Iím at the int. / adv. level. When Iím at that level, I find itís not exactly a super duper challenge on its own, but it leaves me feeling worked out without feeling wiped out, and some days I need that. Currently, however, Iím working my way back up to fully intermediate, and this was a doable level of challenge workout at that lower intermediate level.

Class: Tracie alone, instructing live.

Music: upbeat instrumental music.

Set: bright interior space (part of Tracieís fitness studio, I believe) with a brick wall, windows covered with white blinds with cutouts, and exercise equipment tastefully arranged around the space.

Production: clear picture, mostly helpful camera angles, although sometimes I saw just feet when I also wanted to see Tracieís arms, for example. While some people have complained about the sound issues on the earlier Focus series workouts, I canít say Iím one of them. There are some fluctuations in sound level from song to song, and sometimes Tracieís microphone picks up some static as she shifts position, but thatís all Iíve noticed.

Equipment: Youíll need a pair of medium to heavy dumbbells (I used 10s), 2 rags (substitute: gliding discs, paper or disposable plastic plates, furniture moving discs), a pair of ankle weights, and perhaps also a mat (depending upon your flooring).

Space Requirements: Tracie works out on puzzle mats; it looks like her set-up is identical to mine: 12 2í x 2í mats, giving an area of 8í wide by 6í deep. Neither she nor I came close to using all of that space.

Comments: This may be my favorite workout from the Focus series because it is the one that is the most, well, focused. This workout is pretty well rounded in terms of lower body work; Tracie hits the glutes, hamstrings, quads, inner thighs, you name it.

Do you have around an hour to work out, both Lift Higher and Power Up, and a desire to feel that burn, baby, burn? Do you also have two DVD players hooked up to your TV (or, alternately, your regular player and TV plus something like a laptop with a DVD player) and room to leave your step out while you still have plenty of space to do squats and lunges? Have I got a ďFranken-workoutĒ suggestion for you: After a warm-up on your own (although Iíve toyed with the idea of using the lone all lower body segment from Kick Back as the warm-upÖ), alternate a Lift Higher segment with the two cardio segments from Power Up (so do something like Lift Higher #1, Power Up #1, Lift Higher #2, Power Up #2, and Lift Higher #3). If you only have one player or just donít want to bother with the switching back and forth, an alternative is to do one, then follow it up with the other; I recommend Lift Higher followed by Power Up because I prefer to do my strength first, but if youíre a cardio first type of person do the opposite. Youíll get a pretty darn well-balanced lower body workout that will work your body from various angles plus increase your strength and especially endurance while also raising your heart rate and working on your range of motion. Note: I donít want to suggest that you have to pair these two workouts together in one session in order to get an effective workout, nor do I mean to imply that if you donít have that much time, desire, or ability to do more than one of these that youíre missing out or not working out how you should be. This is simply a suggestion from my attempts to figure out how to use these workouts in my own rotations. (I also realize this is a pricey workout recommendation, since each of these workouts retail for about $17 apiece, meaning thatís a $35/hour session! Even Cathe doesnít charge that much for an hour+ lower body workout DVD these daysÖ So please do not feel compelled to wreck this monthís family budget just to get these two workouts for this purpose. There are plenty of other options out there, probably many of them a heck of a lot cheaper. But if you already have these and donít know how to use them, I hope this helps!)

This workout is different from Tracieís new Figure:30 series. The idea is similar: all three are around 30 minutes and focus on the lower body, using a combination of standing exercises, both traditional gym style moves and more functional balance-oriented moves and floorwork, and Tracie uses minimal equipment: a pair or two of dumbbells, ankle weights, and maybe some rags. But Lift Higher is a complete lower body workout whereas the Figure:30s have the area of focus, one on the Hips and one on the Butt (as things stand Tracie doesnít have a Figure:30 for the hamstrings or quadriceps).

Instructor Comments:
Tracie is, as always, a true fitness professional. She focuses on cuing the working, with some encouragement and some nice form tips from time to time and no extraneous chatter. Tracie mirror cues, meaning when she says ďrightĒ she means the viewerís, not her own. I still wish sheíd be just a wee bit more descriptive in parts; I feel like even after Iíve done the workout a few times I still need to watch her closely to make sure Iím getting all the movements in an exercise or make sure I catch the transition to the next move or am on the proper side.