Year Released: 2003
Categories: Pilates/Core Strength
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I have mixed feelings about this workout – there were things I liked about it but it wasn’t what I was expecting. The workout consists of six “movement cycles” which are used to make up four different workouts. The movement cycles are:
Movement Cycle One 14 minutes Stretch/warm-up
Movement Cycle Two 18 minutes Beginner
Movement Cycle Three 24 minutes Intermediate
Movement Cycle Four 15 minutes Advanced
Movement Cycle Four Challenge 16 minutes Advanced Challenge
Movement Cycle Five 14 minutes Abs, stretch, relax
You can just go to the Movement Cycle option on the DVD menu and do or skip each of the cycles.
The pre-programmed workouts are as follows:
Restore – Level 1 – Cycles 1 and 5 – 30 minutes
Explore – Level 2 – Cycles 1, 2 and 5 – 48 minutes
Empower – Level 3 – Cycles 1, 3 and 5 – 55 minutes
Transcend – Level 4 - Cycles 1, 4, 4 Challenge and 5 – 60 minutes
I’ve only done this once and just started with the Movement Cycles menu. I did cycles 1, 2, 3 and 5 for a 70-minute workout. Each cycle is about half-standing work and half floor work. The standing work is moving tai chi sequences using a light medicine ball (I used my 3 lb Oof Ball), some balance work also using the ball and then a yoga pose. Each sequence is repeated twice. The floor work is bridge work and then side planks and some yoga. Each cycle does basically these same moves but in a more challenging way. The last cycle is abs, some stretching and corpse pose.
Although the fourth cycles looked like they would have some aerobic elements to them and are more high impact, the sections I did were not aerobic. I meant to wear my heart rate monitor but I forgot to put it on until I was well into the second cycle. I’m sure, however, that I was not in my target heart rate zone at all. I was a little heated but not much.
I would consider this more of a power alternative movement workout because it incorporates tai chi, yoga, pilates and some kickboxing (in the fourth cycle). Because you are using the ball a lot in the standing parts, your shoulders really get worked but it’s definitely not a strength workout.
The production quality of this workout is OK as far as setting and photography but the sound is definitely a problem. Overall the sound is low compared to other workouts, but it varies a lot. Sometimes it’s really loud and other times I could barely hear it. The music is fairly soft, instrumental, maybe a little jazzy but mostly just there.
I’ll probably do this workout a few more times before I pass final judgment but it’s not a workout I’ll do when I really want to sweat. Cathe’s Intensity Series is still at the top of the list for that kind of workout.
Steve Lopez is OK as an instructor. His cueing isn’t great but it’s not horrible either. The movements are mostly simple enough that they’re easy to pick up even if he didn’t cue something too well.