Targeted Sports Training: RunningUnknown, Carey Bond, Blair French
Year Released: 1999
Categories: Sports Specific Training , Strength Training (Total Body)
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This is a solid intermediate-level workout designed primarily to strengthen muscles used in running and also to promote "power" in those muscles. You alternate the lower body exercises with upper body, such as pushups, so you get a very balanced workout. There is also a long stretch segment -- I think it's 30 minutes -- making it even better. The exercises related to running are variations of lunges and squats, but they are done differently than what we're used to, which I think makes it very interesting. For example, you'll lunge back (dip) and then push up quickly to build power in the muscle. The entire tape is about an hour and 40 minutes, and includes a segment on working out in a gym, plus an interview with a triathlete (Ray Browning). The actual workout, including the stretch section, is around an hour and 20 minutes. The workout is shot outdoors in a very nice, relaxing setting. I found this tape to be very pleasant and enjoyed doing it, but not one I'm going to keep. I'd really like to see an advanced workout in the same format, but with more intense exercises. I'm not a runner, but I think this is great, and would definitely buy a more advanced version. Grade A+.
The two instructors, Carey Bond and Blair French, work very well together. They alternate teaching sets of exercises. You'll recognize Carey from The Body Bar series of tapes.
I bought Targeted Sports Training: Running a little while after I started running, based on another review. I was hoping to get a workout that would help me work on specific strength and flexibility exercises that would help me become a better runner and reduce my risk of injury. That is the purpose of this video.
The setting of the video is in a park in front of a lake in Vancouver, British Columbia. The scenery is absolutely beautiful. My main complaint about the tape is the music during the drills section--it is probably the most monotonous music I have ever heard on a video (and I have LOTS). The tape is so good, though, that I am able to overlook that. The music during the stretch section is a little bit better.
This tape has a strength section, a long (22 minute) stretch, and a (fairly short) demonstration of sports-specific exercises that you can do in the gym on machines. Most of the tape is focused on the at-home exercises, so you do not have to have access to a gym to benefit from this video. The strength section intensity is low intermediate. It does not use weights. If you are used to using heavy weights, you will probably not feel much of a muscle burn. If, however, you look at this section more as "drills" that will improve your balance, rhythm and running stride, you will benefit from it. The work is mostly for the lower body. There are lots of unique variations on lunges, squats, and core strength moves (and a short ab section) that focus specifically on improving your running. There are two short sets of pushups as well. There is a short, yoga-ish warmup, and a brief, yoga-like stretch at the end. This section is 48 minutes long.
The next section, my favorite, is the stretch section. It is 22 minutes long. The instructors do great stretches for the back, the upper body, the hip flexors, quads, hamstrings, the piriformis muscle, the calves--almost all of the muscles you need to stretch after running. They hold the stretches for a nice, long time, and repeat different stretches for the same muscle groups. This section is FANTASTIC! This is a wonderful, thorough stretch to do after a run. My one complaint on this section--they include a reclining spinal twist at the end of the workout, but there are no other stretches that specifically target the iliotibial band. This stretch needs to be added, IMHO.
The section on the gym exercises is fairly short, and is not a follow-along workout. It is informative, though. I watched it once. There is also a section on running tips that is helpful for beginners (or to remind more experienced runners of proper technique).
All in all, I recommend this video for anyone starting a running program, or for fitness runners. I'm not sure how beneficial it would be for advanced runners. The stretch at the end, however, would be good for anyone. That alone is worth the price of the video.
Both instructors are very down-to-earth and likeable. Their attention to form is excellent. Both instructors explain what each exercise or stretch is for, and which muscle group or groups it is targeting. They take turns showing the modifications for pushups and stabilization moves. They are both very fit-looking. They have an excellent rapport with each other. Great instruction!