The Method: Cardio Boot Camp

Tracey Mallett
Year Released: 2002

Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance

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She doesn't have a clue to what shes talking about half of the time, her backup dancers have no idea what shes doing, so they just go along with a confused sort of trance blindly following her " mixed martial art's moves" I love the workout, it does do it's job. The toning session could have been more efficient and longer, but all and all it kind of reminds me of what a live session would feel like with a new instructor. It makes you sweat, you feel sore the next day...but I wouldn't recommend it for purchase UNLESS you get bored easily.

Instructor Comments:
annoying. pretentious. and doesn't know the first thing about "bootcamp" but like us following her moves, she gave it her best.



I really have no business liking this workout. It feels unpracticed and haphazard, mixing in bits of martial arts, modern jazz dance, plyometrics, and even some weight training. The cueing is flawed, the warmup and cooldown are insufficient, it’s neither steady-state cardio nor high-intensity interval training, and it’s at best a pseudo-kickboxing workout-- all reasons why I’d typically vote “thumbs-down” for a workout. Yet here I am, publicly admitting that I actually enjoy this workout.

How could that be? Unclassifiable workouts usually irritate me because I feel like they try to do everything but fail on all counts. Tracy’s no martial arts master; she throws in some tai chi because, ahem, “the Chinese believe that when the chi flows smoothly through the body, health and wellness will prevail.” Sounds to me like a high-gloss pretense of borrowing from an ancient discipline without actually having committed to studying or practicing it. She mixes up her “jab” and “cross”, and she intersperses kickboxing sequences with straight-leg kicks in the style of modern jazz dance, as well as with squats, lunges, and speed-skater-hops taken out of an aerobics class. The weights segments are too inconsequential to build strength, increase endurance, or challenge supporting muscles as in true functional-fitness workouts.

And what about that unshakeable feeling that someone just dropped a camera in front of Tracy and her team without any rehearsals or extra film for a second take? The background exercisers often are late to switch to the next move Tracy demands, and she herself doesn’t seem to know how many more repetitions she wants. On more than one occasion, she announces, “One more time!” only to correct herself afterward and request two more reps. There’s no sense of the workout progressing through a carefully planned routine. I don’t know why we pick up weights in the middle segment, or why go down to the floor for 10 push-ups immediately after doing jumping jacks— twice!— and I still can’t tell when each segment is going to end, despite having done the workout multiple times. Tracy talks about doing certain moves to raise the heart rate, and then to lower the heart rate, but her words don’t seem to correspond with what’s actually happening, nor with my expectation that a workout should gradually increase in intensity from the warmup, then decrease to the cooldown. My pulse rises during the plyometric portions and falls when she teaches a routine at half-tempo, in arbitrary cycles that are quite the antithesis of Gin Miller’s carefully timed intervals in Intense Moves.

So how could I possibly like this mess? Well, it’s entertaining. I may not know what’s coming next, but I’m along for the ride and I give it my all. The “grab-bag” style actually feels less intimidating, since the varied moves happen in bursts too short to provoke much anxiety or boredom. I like the longer, choreographed kickboxing sequences that challenge my focus and my stamina. Even though I often dread high-impact, the plyometric jumps here are conveniently spaced out between low-impact segments, and they resemble the deliberate jumps I’d practice in ballet class rather than the constant bounces that annoy me in many hi-lo workouts. The weights segments feel like short interludes that challenge the muscles in a different way before resuming the cardio workout, and they’re not so long that my heart rate plummets too low.

But is this workout for you? Consider yourself forewarned. If you’re willing to jump in to this mishmash of moves, be sure to precede it with your own warmup, especially to prepare your ankles and knees for the high-impact segments. I’d also recommend trying the DVD version so you can reorder the segments (#2, #3, then #1, since #2 starts with some very slow tai chi that doesn’t fit in the middle of a workout, and since #1 has the most impact). I suppose you could also leave your tape cued to the second segment and consider that the starting and ending point of your workout, if you don't mind waiting for the tape to rewind mid-workout. Another option might be to start CBC from the second segment and end with Workout #2 from the New Method Cardio Kick DVD, since that’s the same as CBC #1 but with a short pilates segment tacked on. Keep the remote handy so you can hit the pause button while you insert your own cooldown before hitting the floor for the pilates segment.

Instructor Comments:
Try to watch a clip of any of Tracy Mallett’s workouts to see if you can tolerate her style. She definitely has the potential to be annoying, with a shrill voice and strong British accent, a camera presence that tends toward artifice, disorganized choreography, and confused cueing. For some reason I don’t really mind, perhaps because I don’t take her too seriously when I do her workouts.



Very hodge podge the first segment was most "challenging" - they should be in reverse order. Im sticking with Billy Blanks and Denise Austin!

Instructor Comments:
Jumped into moves without demonstrating first so you chase around doing some very ballistic, unprecise moves...instructor not very precise herself- didn't get her body from this tape. Annoying accent - what does "right here" mean?



Having been to boot camp, I had a very different impression of what to expect from this video! Somehow I don't associate tai chi or dance with "boot camp" at all. I bought this tape based on the boot camp label and I was embarrassed to do some of these moves under the guise of "boot camp." It destroyed the mindset I had prepared at the start of the workout. Boot camp for who? The Joffrey? I got the distinct impression that the instructor had no clue what a boot camp workout is.

Although not as cardio focused, The Crunch Boot Camp tape is superior to this one, and Scott Helveston's tapes are even more challenging. The corny wardrobe and put-on "attitude" on this Method tape don't make it a boot camp workout. It just comes off as silly and pretentious.

As a workout per se -- and as a Method workout in particular -- it's okay and, ultimately no different than the other dance/Pilates tapes in The Method series. But The Method should stick to what they do best: Pilates and dance, and leave the boot camp training (and kickboxing) to someone else.

Kathy Bright


I hesitated to get this tape because I didn't like her in the Jab, Kick and Burn tape. But it was on sale, and videos are so hard to find here that I thought why not. I turned out to be glad to have this tape. It really gets the heart rate up, and I don't like stepping so I have so few cardio options. A lot of the moves in the first section (which is the only one I have done all the way through) are higher impact, but can be easily modified. For example, she does these skate jump things, and I simply did one leg at a time and did not jump. Some of the moves require a lot of floor space such as taking 4 steps and then lifting a leg. Again, this is modifiable: I simply marched in place until it was time to lift the leg, then did so. She alternates cardio moves such as kicks, fast squat and lunge combos and punches with calisthenics such as push-ups. There are several other exercisers. Several women all all dressed the same, and two men are dressed one in an amry-style camoflage shirt and black pants, the other in army pants and a black shirt. For some reason, I found the way they reversed colouts like that really annoying. Also, she seems to get really caught up in a move like kickboxing or smething, then suddenly remember it is a boot camp tape and say something suddenly like "we're really in boot camp now." It is a bit strange, but it is a fun and thorough work out.

Instructor Comments:
I didn't like her much and her first tape, and she does have a very annoying voice. But the workout was good and her body was inspiringly well-toned and impressive.



This video is fun! You have to already have a lot of energy, because it starts right up. The video has 3 sections, that can be done together or separate. The first part and last have bootcamp style moves, but there is a little bit of everything and it flowed well. The 2nd segment has the most kickboxing moves. I really liked that there wasn't any sudden changes. This part had the least of the higher impact. Sometimes one of the guys takes it low, and after working up a sweat, I follow him. There are some plyos thrown in, pushups, jumping jacks, and a move that reminds me of what we called "burpies" in PE. A lot of fun!

If you think you would like this video, but can't take the high impact, I think everything could be modified, expept for maybe the jacks. You could always do short fast squats, when they have a series of bunny jumps, etc.

I recommend this video, so don't let the bad review of her other video put you off, or the impact, which could easily be taken down due to the basic moves. I didn't like that it left out stretches in the end, but that isn't a big deal, since I can do them myself or follow it with a stretching video. That is the only bad thing I can say! I want to get Jab, Kick, & Burn next!

Instructor Comments:
I really liked her! I want to get more videos by her, too. I almost didn't get this video, because of another review of her was so bad. This is the same Tracy that everyone likes to emulate in Kathy Smith's Latin Workout, wearing the white tank over the black. She cued well, and I need good cues. Right when you think you can't take it anymore, she says something encouraging to keep you from giving up. She also says when there is only a few more to go, and I liked that, too. Her abs are awesome!



I thought this was a great video! The cardio sections could have been longer, and the conditioning could have been more intense, but I felt that when the video was really in "the groove", I got a high-impact, intense workout. I only wish that there was less stretching and warming up and more actual aerobics. The video consisted of three different 15 minute workouts, with a warm up and cool down contained in each one, taking away from overall aerobic time. There is, however, some great tai chi within this video, and I definitely love the way they combined two of my favorite things, the burning and energy of kickboxing and the fluid frace of dance together. Although the workout flow isn't the greatest and the boxing moves not original or different, it is still a fun video that I

Instructor Comments:
Tracy seems to be energetic and upbeat, and her toned and fit figure really is an inspiration. She does, however, seem to get annoying at times with her ditziness, but overall she seems to present a good workout, so I'm willing to deal with her flightiness. She at first makes it seem like your doing this really hard difficult task by doing this easy-to-moderate video, but soon, she starts acting like a drill



I was surprised at how much I enjoyed some parts of this video. Unfortunately there is the format. It's divided into three sections, taken for the Method's TV show, and that's the problem. Just when you are in a high energy workout in the first section it's interrupted with a tai chi warm up second section. I find I only like first and third section anyway. What I did like is fun enough that I might use it as a add on too other videos.

One other problem in the second section the outfits grates on my nerves leather leather everywhere. All the biker outfits don't mix with tai chi.

Instructor Comments: