30 Minutes to Fitness: Muscle Definition

Kelly Coffey-Meyer
Year Released: 2009

Categories: Abs/Core , Lower Body Strength , Total Body Workouts, Upper Body Strength

Muscle Definition is a new DVD in instructor Kelly Coffey-Meyer's 30 Minutes to Fitness series. It is sort of like a cross between an earlier DVD in this same series, 30 Minutes to Fitness Weights, and one of Kelly's older workouts, NYC: New You Coming. As with 30M2F Weights, Kelly presents full-body muscle-building and sculpting moves, putting her own unique twist on many traditional weight-lifting exercises. In 30M2F Weights, Kelly offered several different "active rest" options, but for this DVD, as in NYC, she uses the "rest" periods to focus on leg work (unlike in NYC, however, Kelly uses weights throughout for Muscle Definition, including for the lower body work). In her brief Introduction, Kelly states that she will be using 8 lbs. for shoulders and triceps and 12 lbs. for back, biceps, and chest; the DVD case additionally recommends 5 and 7 lbs. for Beginners, 7 and 10 lbs. for Intermediates, and 8 and 12 lbs. for Advanced. I generally consider myself to be intermediate, but because of Kelly's unique take on the exercises and the fact that many of the moves were a bit more dynamic, I preferred to go a little lighter than usual, sticking with my 5-lb. dumbbells for much of the workouts.

The Main Menu offers the following options:

Workout One
Workout Two
Individual Muscle Mixes
Music On/Off (not sure why you'd want to turn it off; it included fun 70s hits such as "You Should be Dancing" and "Saturdays in the Park")

One minor downside of this DVD is that both workouts are actually a bit longer than 30 minutes, something that is NOT true of the other workouts in Kelly's 30 Minutes to Fitness series. Workout #1, which includes a 4.5-minute warm-up and a final stretch of just under 2 minutes, is 41 minutes long. Workout #2, which does NOT include a warm-up but does include a slightly longer (3.5 minutes) stretch, is 34.5 minutes long; if you want to go back and add the warm-up from the first workout, you'll need to select that workout from the Main Menu, go back to the Menu once the warm-up is over, and then proceed to select Workout #2. Kelly tends to perform an exercise, completing 1-2 sets; insert a lower body move as "rest"; and then repeat the entire sequence once. Her moves are innovative: examples include a one-armed kettlebell-like swing, a one-legged deadlift/lunge combination, a "scarecrow" overhead raise to work the rotator cuff, a one-armed row with elbow rotation, a tricep extension performed across the body, and a chest flie with rotation towards knees. (Note: A full list of the exercises can be found on Kelly's web site.) The separate 8-minute Abdominals chapter utilizes high reps (25-50) and includes hip lifts, reverse crunch, full sit-ups, crunches, walking the legs, reclining twist, and plank with knee twist.

[If you want a full breakdown of the exercises included, there are several resources: 1) Advanced Workouts DVDs offers breakdowns for Workouts 1 and 2 plus a clip of DVD, http://advancedworkouts.com/keco30tofimu.html, 2) Kelly's own web site provides detailed workout sheets listing ALL of the exercises for all of the workouts (including premixes) and allowing you to track your weight totals, http://www.coffeyfit.com/catalog/CoffeyFit_MuscleDefinitionWorkoutSheets.pdf.]

Also on this DVD are a number of Pre-Mixes as well as individual muscle group breakdowns. The Pre-Mixes are as follows:

Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps (58m): warm-up, two sets per body part, abs, and stretch
Chest and Back (38m): warm-up, two sets per body part, abs, and stretch
Full Body Compendium (77m): warm-up, both workouts combined, stretch
"N.Y.C. Two" Mix (85m): warm-up, both workouts combined, abs, stretch

Two notes about the above. First, the third Pre-Mix has "abs" listed in its on-screen menu, but there are actually NO abs included in this mix (which is what makes it different from the fourth Pre-Mix). Second, there is no "Lower Body Trimming" Pre-Mix as suggested on the DVD case. There are, however, a number of Individual Muscle Mixes as described below:

All Chest Mix - 7 minutes
All Back Mix - 14 minutes
All Shoulder Mix - 10 minutes
All Leg Mix - 11 minutes
All Bicep Mix - 11 minutes
All Tricep Mix - 15 minutes

Some might not feel this is enough lower body work, but that is consistent with Kelly's style. I do think she tends to place a bit too much emphasis on the triceps, which I think is born out by the time breakdown above; this smaller muscle group shouldn't need quite as much work. Overall, however, I have few complaints about this DVD. I love Kelly's enthusiasm as well as her approach to exercise--she always seems to find ways to make the moves feel fresh, new, and varied. I have already gotten a lot of use out of her 30 Minutes to Fitness Weights DVD, and I know that I will get a lot of use out of this one as well.

Instructor Comments:
Kelly is one of my favorite instructors; I find her extremely likable and real. Oddly, she seemed a bit off in this DVD, particularly during the first workout--it was a fairly subtle thing, but to me she was more low-key than usual, almost if she was feeling a bit under-the-weather. Here she works out out with two background exercisers, Lauren, who shows modifications as usual, and Samantha, who replaces Chris.

Beth C (aka toaster)