Sleek Physique (aka Slim Physique)Karen Voight
Year Released: 2002
Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance , Total Body Workouts
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I didn't like this one at the start. I felt the pairings were odd and that I just couldn't get past the bright yellow walls! Given all of that - I still couldn't bring myself to trade it away.
Now, about 6 months after having first acquired this gem in a trade, I'm really glad I couldn't bear to part with it. Karen has this really great, no nonsense personality and she cues great. Sleek Physique is split up into seven - 30 minute workouts. One for each day of the week. The sections are divided like this:
Monday: Cardio and Lower Body strength
Wednesday: Cardio and Abs
Thursday: Upper and Lower body
Friday: Abs and Yoga Strength
Saturday: Cardio and Upper body
Sunday: Yoga Stretch
The workouts are from Burn and Firm and Yoga Focus (I believe). I like that Karen's cardio is athletic and easy for this pretzel-footed gal to follow. I also really like the way it is split up - so that, for those days that I can't decide what to do - I just have to put in this DVD and choose whatever day it happens to be and go. In half an hour I'm done and I feel worked out. That is important to me when I am less than motivated.
Oh - and I love the Sunday yoga workout. It is a great all-around yoga workout without any downward dogs (which I have trouble doing now because of sinus problems).
This is a versatile and extremely useful DVD. It contains the footage from two other Karen Voight workouts, one a circuit workout and the other a yoga workout. On this DVD, the footage has been arranged into daily half-hour or so sections which represent strength work, cardio and two yoga stretches.
I think the strength work is the weakest. I have always found Karenís upper body work sketchy, and circuit workouts are not known for being intense in the weight work. If I were using the DVD as planned for a weekís worth of routines, the strength work here might be a nice recovery week, but otherwise it didnít do anything for me.
The cardio was low-impact and fairly fun. I am a choreography klutz and this felt like it was on the upper limit of my complexity threshold---I stumbled in quite a few places, but I suspect that if I did the workout more often, I might learn the moves. I would say it is about on par complexity-wise with some of Kathy Smithís work.
The yoga sections were both nice. One was a power yoga type of workout, and the other was a very nice athletic stretch. I had been sorry that Karenís Pure and Simple Stretch was not available on DVD and I was happy to find I liked this one just as much.
Overall, this DVD is definitely a keeper.
I won't bother going through the detail on how this DVD is broken down because others before me have done that well. I'll just add my impressions.
Cardio: 3-min warm up, three 5-min sections. Previewing this, I did not think it would keep my attention, or get my hr up. The moves are pretty simple hi/lo, and the music in the first section I wasn't nuts about on first-listen (the second and third sections use music also heard on Cathe's Cardio Kicks and Circuit Max). Thank goodness that first impressions aren't always correct! I really enjoyed each of the cardio sections. Somehow, I was decieved by
my previewing because although I wasn't wearing my hr monitor, I know my hr was definitely in my zone. I was working at a good pace. The music in the first section grew on me, too, and I like it now! I
already love the music from Cardio Kicks and Circuit Max, so that is
just a built-in thumbs-up, there. (It's hard not to pop CM in after the third section!) I did all sections twice through and then the first section a third time, and felt like I got a solid, steady-state cardio workout.I'm sure I will be using this as a tack-on to other cardio workouts. It will work for me as an extended warm up to another full cardio that I normally might think is just a bit too short. Or, I will do it a couple times through for a solid 30-minute routine. I also think it might be fun to do all of the hi/lo and then do the 3 step portions from Circuit Training.
Strength, upper:The upper body strength consists of two 4+ min sections, one standing, (biceps, shoulders, triceps) one on the floor (triceps, chest, back). There isn't enough work here for a solid day's upper body weights. The weights used are light, and the standing portion is a superset with no break,so it really wasn't designed for heavier weights. The floorwork is a set of pushups and then some chest flies and some back extensions (not sure of the name) when you are lying down face up, take the dumbbell over your head with both hands straight-armed, and pull it back (over your head) toward your chest. Some of the chest work -the last bit, with little chest squuzes- really gave me a little burn there for a minute.
Strength, lower: The lower body strength routine is one 9 minute set of one leg squats (Karen-style, so they're a little different) and some standing hamstring work as well. This section used no weights, and the hallmark of this section IMO was the graceful ballet-type movements Karen used for one exercise set. In this section, unless your form and balance are perfect, I think most people won't feel that they got a good workout. I fall into this category. I have balance, but some of these moves require very rigid ballerina-type balance, and my
balance is of the more... human variety! She is so graceful.
I guess I could add these to other upper and lower body workout, but realistically, I will not. I really
think they will work best as a circuit, with the cardio potions, as used in Burn & Firm. Unless I program my DVD to do the Burn & Firm circuit workout, I don't see these falling into my rotation. If you wanted to do weight day before or after using these sections I think it would be no problem
if your body is already conditioned by weights. I would not do a weight day before or after this as a
Abs: The abs are okay, they are fine, but they are not Karen's best. I wouldn't mind (and I actually
don't, there is a lot to like here without great abs or strength work) but I usually love Karen's ab work,
and having *any* Karen ab routine which is not great makes me wonder why it isn't better.
Yoga: I've only yet done the stretch workout, and I liked it alot. It was a good amount of time. The lighting was muted, which tends to bother me in tapes, but it didn't bother me too much here. So I know that it will bother me even less the next time.The set is the same as used for the rest of the sections on the DVD but instead of using yoga mats, Karen and Cathy are doing the routine on this gorgeous rug. Anyway, the routine seems to me to be a blend of yoga and athletic stretch (some of the stretches brought to mind Tamilee's half-hour stretch program). The music is chanty, a similar style soundtrack to the one used on Ali McGraw's Yoga Mind and Body. At least that is how I would describe it. It's meditative and easy to stretch to.
The other yoga workout that comes on this DVD I have not done yet, but it has gotten very good reviews on the forum (I believe it is called 'yoga strength' while the one I reviewed is the 'yoga stretch'). I wanted to post this now though, because it is a brand new DVD and I know there are folks who would like a little more info about the DVD now.
KV is straight-forward and no nonsense. Her form is excellent and she moves very gracefully.
Sleek Physique contains all the footage from two of karen's newest workout videos: Burn and Firm (a circuit workout) and Yoga Focus.
Sleek Physique, I am pretty sure, is only available in DVD format.
There are seven preprogrammed workouts on this dvd-- one for every day of the week. I just cannot imagine myself using the DVD this way. The 3 cardio segments only total 15 minutes (plus a warm up and cool down) and the strength sections are not that long either. All together, however, they make an excellent circuit workout (a la Burn and Firm). You will have to program it yourself, though.
The cardio segments are low impact. The choreography is fairly basic. Depspite this, they manage to hold your attention. They are short (each segment is 5 minutes long)and fun. As for the strenght work, Karen manages to fatigue your upper body quite nicely using lighter weights and faster reps. Her strength exercises are always a little different than most that I encounter in other videos. The lower body is very different than most. She has you do some squats, then some standing mambo lunge sort of things, and then deadlifts without weights. The deadlifts will be challenging if you perform them with one leg. I think a lot of people might not be thrilled with the lower body section, but I like it ok. The abdominal sequence has a mix of traditional and non traditional moves. I did not find it as challenging as the ab work on her Cardio Strength DVD. There is an abdominal sequence in the Yoga Strength section that is very challenging, so you can add that on. All in all, as a circuit workout, it is not the hardest, but it is a very easy one for which to get motivated. It takes 45 minutes from warm up to cool down. The music is nice (you may recognize it from Circuit Max and Cardio Kicks). If you have to do a killer workout every day, this is not the video for you.
I wish I felt more qualified to describe the Yoga sections. I liked them, but I am no Yoga expert. She held the poses for a while, so I would say this is too slow to qualify for Power Yoga. I did feel this workout in my legs.This workout was a half an hour long.
The Yoga stretch routine was relaxing, about twenty minutes long. I do not htink that you would have to be familiar with Yoga to do it. I do think some familiarity with Yoga will help you with the strength routine.
The picture is crystal-clear. this DVD looks better than her Ultimate Circuit Training DVD (not to mention she traded in the red barn set for an airier yellow set)
This DVD has been the bargain of the year.
I like Karen's professional style. No cutesy remarks, but no trying to turn fitness into rocket science either. She has a pleasing voice.
Sleek Physique DVD contains all footage from the following two VHS workouts:
- Burn and Firm
- Yoga Focus
I got this DVD at Tarjay for $9.99.
I'd have been bummed if I'd paid
the $25 from her site.
I have some likes and dislikes about this workout. My favorite part is the yoga relaxation. It is now my favorite stretch. At 20 minutes it isn't too long and it feels really good. It is all done on the floor (no dreaded sun salutations - eeewwww). The music is serene and Karen cues well. I have been doing it almost every day.
I do not like the yoga strength section. It's a wrist-killer that I could not finish. I hate sun salutations - eeewwww. I feel it is too advanced and probably won't try it again.
The three 5 minute cardio sections are nice. They can be made low impact and for once I am able to follow Karen's (not usually great) aerobic cueing.
The upper body sections went too fast for me. I had to go really light to not be worried about hurting myself. So, I was not sore at all the next day.
The lower body work didn't seem very hard. I did it once and have forgotten what the moves are already. Kind of pointless IMHO.
I was able to actually do and finish the ab section. Which must mean it is incredibly easy! I don't usually finish ab stuff unless it is on the resistance ball.
It is a very neat idea to have a
planned workout for each day.
But, I wish there was a
chaptering section where you
could go right to the workout you
want insted of going to a day
and fast forwarding. At least that
is what I have to do with my DVD
Karen is her usual calm
professional self in the DVD.
Her cueing for the aerobic
sections is much better than in
her other workouts.