Lalo Fuentes
Year Released: 2008

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights)

This was a pretty good workout. The "freeze" concept is that you pause for 2 seconds at the peak of each move to really engage the muscle being worked. All the moves are done at a very deliberate pace to remove any momentum.

There are four sections, with brief intermissions in which you see motivational phrases like "Celebrate Your Body" "Rest" "Commitment", fortune-cookie stuff, and Lalo's voice dispenses some quotable quotes.

Most of the moves in the first half are compound or combined. And most of them involve shoulders and legs. I was rather disappointed that there is no bicep work and very little of anything else besides the shoulders for upper body. Lunge back then stand and do a military press. Squat and press. Squat and deltoid flies, et cetera. There are some shoulder-only moves (front raises, side raises) and leg-only moves, like a one-legged balancing move where you reach down and touch the standing foot, or slow side "kicks" (Lalo tells you you're not supposed to really kick, but do the motion). There is a squat with alternating slow "punches" holding the weights. I found that 5 lbers were heavy enough for this workout. 30 seconds of cardio are interspersed throughout--jacks, jogs and side to side lunges.

The second half repeats a lot of moves. For instance you do a full minute of slow pushups (killer) and later on you will do yet another set. You will also do 2 sets of burpees, 2 sets of the plank move where you go from your elbows to your hands and back again, and 2 sets of bicycles/pilates-style bicycles. You do one set of sitting in a C-curve while alternating lifting your legs so that you can pass one weight underneath each leg continuously. You also do a little work for the triceps by doing a sort of tricep pushup while always in cobra position (your lower body stays on the floor while you raise your upper half into cobra position using your triceps, going up and down rhythmically).

The setting is a gritty warehouse, just Lalo, his shadow and a mysterious locked door behind him. The music is pretty good, techno-house-ambient whatever. (WHen you do the burpees, it briefly turns into heavy metal/industrial, LOL).

People were concerned about the voice-over thing. I didn't like it too much when Gin did it for one workout, even though there were 3 exercisers. Here, I didn't mind it so much. There is no counting of reps, you just keep your eyes on Lalo -- which isn't hard to do. :)I was afraid it would get boring with the slow and deliberate pace of the moves (most are done in reps of 15), but instead it kind of hypnotized me and got me focused on the work. Having Lalo apparently looking you right in the eye is almost too much of a good thing. The guy oozes charisma. He wears a simple white shirt and white sweats.

I like this workout and thought it really helped me to refocus on really feeling each muscle, but the moves can get rather repetitious and you basically nothing but shoulders and some chest, but no back, biceps and very little tris. So it will be something I pull out occasionally, not regularly. It seems to be the first in a series, so we'll see if the next workouts complement this one to make up for the emphasis on shoulders.

Instructor Comments:
Total eye candy. The voiceover was pretty good, with good if repetitious tips and motivational comments. I was a bit leery of the voiceover format but after a while I felt as if Lalo and I were silently working out together, both too intensely focused to speak! :)