Body Electric: Perfect 10 Volumes 1 & 2

Margaret Richard
Year Released: 1994

Categories: Total Body Workouts

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Volume 1

After a dancey warmup came a long series of pushups, never my favorite. There is no way I can ever keep up with her, so I stop and start and keep going until the segment is done.

The biceps seemed a bit easy the first time I did the workout, so I heavied up and felt more worked out this time, but not overworked.
I noticed she made a point of saying, "There is no cheating going on with behind the scenes conditioning. What you see is what we do."

You are never allowed to put your head down when you are working your abs. She even says keep your shoulders off the floor, but that's nearly impossible, at least for me. She had more lower ab work than usual, which I liked.

For the outer thigh floor work, she said to press down on your leg with your hand for more resistance, but I used leg weights, which I now do with almost all of her workouts (except Home Improvement) and started feeling the burn via the pulses toward the end.

Glutes were done lying on the back with variations of hip raises and pulses, some with legs apart, then with knees together, then with knees and feet together, etc.

I skipped the cooldown for Part 1 because I was continuing on to Part 2. I did do the warmup for Part 2, even though I didn't need it, simply because it was kind of fun -- more complicated and dancey.

The calf workout was challenging because for most of the time, you were not allowed to have your heels touch the floor, which nearly put my calves into spasms the first time. This second time it was my balance that I was fighting to maintain because, while the exercisers held onto a chair, I held a pair of five pound dumbbells. I really needed that stretch afterward!

This was the first time I've seen Margaret do standing hamstring curls, and they were tougher than I thought they'd be. I had major cramping and at times reached around to massage my hamstring while I was lifting and pulsing. I paused the workout after this segment to give my legs a longer than usual stretch.

The standing quad work was familiar but seemed tougher than Sculpture lower body. The music was particularly good for this section, building to a crescendo as my pain increased!

Because I have had an ongoing shoulder problem, I tend to go light for any delt work. I did enjoy a slightly different move she threw in -- lateral raises with your palms down, then turn them up at shoulder height and lift arms all the way up, then when your arms are back down at shoulder height, you turn the palms down (holding dumbbells, of course) and lower them all the way down but behind your back. There were additional variations for the delts.

For the back, you hold the weights far forward, palms facing, at chest height, then bring your elbows back. After a series of that, you repeat with palms downward, then do a set of delt flies and pulses. Then repeat all of the above.

The final stretch was her usual artistic arms thing, but she neglected the lower body as she always seems to. After working my legs so hard, I really needed a good, long stretch, so I just did my own.

I did like Volume 1 much better this, the second, time I did it.

I've only done Volume 2 once but liked it immediately. I felt I got a thorough workout.

Dancey warmups again in Volume 2 with Margaret moving around the floor taking up space more than she normally does.

A lot of the music had a Latin flavor and was enjoyable.

Chest presses and flies were pretty standard and next time I will go heavier. I was just grateful there were no pushups this time!

I don't think I've ever seen anyone else do lying triceps the way MR does in most of her workouts. She has you extend your arms back at a 45 degree angle, as if you were doing upper back work, but then hold that angle and raise and lower your hands, so it's tougher, in my opinion, because your triceps can't relax.

Abs were worked while holding your head on a dumbbell while you raised and lowered your upper body for traditional crunches. This one is in All My Best. I hate ab work in general, but I have to admit my abs have definitely gotten stronger. I can almost keep up with her now.

The outer thigh work, which I did with leg weights, really targeted that problem zone between upper, outer hip and thigh. No one works that area like Margaret, in my opinion. Again, she incorporated some slightly different twists on old favorite moves, which I really felt.

Inner thigh work, which I also did with weights, was done on the back, hips resting on your hands, legs straight up in the air, moving them in and out, sometimes crossing one over the other. Then she tweaked it a bit by keeping the heels together while you tried to bring your knees together and bend your legs toward your chest. Hard to explain but I was surprised to feel my inner thighs really working.

She worked biceps and quads in a compound move I've never seen in any of her other workouts, even though it's a standard move for other instructors lunge with biceps curl. Margaret normally just works one muscle group at a time. I happen to like compound moves and wish she'd do more of them.

Delt work wasn't as excruciating as it might have been, but I was going very light and could easily modify next time. She added old style upright rows, with her hands and elbows way up. I modified, not lifting higher than my shoulders.

Calf work was tough, with endless pulses the last third where you couldn't even put your heels on the floor. Spasm time!

Margaret tweaked her signature floorwork moves in a way that worked the muscles differently than in her other workouts. Example: On all fours, you raise one leg out behind you, but instead of keeping it parallel to the floor, you lower it so it nearly touches the floor, then raise, lower and pulse very slightly from that angle, as well as doing hamstring curls while holding your thigh at a 45 degree angle. There were also long static holds. My glutes were stressed in a different way by that simple shift.

She did standard bridge work for glutes.

A few times, she demonstrated proper form on a background exerciser, which stopped the action for a few seconds. This would be a good workout for someone new to Margaret who might need those pointers, but it annoyed me.

I didn't care for the cool downs and stretches. I do like the fact that Margaret always stretches the neck, which other instructors neglect. My neck is always tight and needs it. She never stretches the legs and hips enough which is surprising considering how tough her lower body work always is.

This workout would be good for beginners or intermediates. Beginners because of the form pointers, although they might get discouraged by standing quad and hamstring work, some of Margaret's tougher lower body, in my opinion. You can intensify most of the moves by adding or increasing weights.

Instructor Comments:
The workout is from 1993 and the "10" in the title refers to her ten years, at that point, of being on TV. Margaret was working the permed big hair look! The colors of the sets and the other exerciser's costumes (three women, one guy) kind of reminded me of the older Firms. If you don't like a retro look, you might be turned off. Margaret is more chatty and perky than usual and seems to be having a lot of fun while everyone else suffers!



I believe this workout Perfect 10 was done in celebrating 10 years as PBS-TV Fitness Leader. These workouts are patterned after her popular PBS-TV show "Body Electic".

This workout has two total body workouts Volume One and Volume Two. The DVD is fully chaptered. It can also be done as Four 30 minute workouts since they each have a separate warm up and cool down. The year for these is 1994.

Margaret is very lively and varied in her warm ups on both Volumes One and Two. She includes knees up, grapevines, side to sides. It was like a mini light cardio routine. I've never viewed any cardio routine by her but this comes closest to a Margaret Cardio Routine. I usually warm up to something else before a Margaret Strength. I don't usually like her warm ups but this was very refreshing and new. I won't be skipping these warm ups.

Margaret and the women exercisers are wearing leotards so keep that in mind. They are not shiny just colorful and didn't bother me. The workouts flowed nicely and were paced well. Margaret always gets the job done with a smile.



Program A Program B

Warm Up Warm Up

Pectorals Calves

Biceps Hamstrings

Triceps Quadriceps

Abs Deltoids

Outer Thighs Back

(Margaret includes Inner Thighs during the Gluteal section)

Cool Down Cool Down


The set has large windows with white blinds and light gray wood trim. There are flower arrangements and a palm tree in a pot. The floor is carpeted in a light color. The walls are a light beige. The set looks nice, bright and airy.


A Jazz mix with other non vocals unknown to me. There is only one vocal also unknown to me. It was typical Margaret music.


Light dumbbells, mat and chair for Calve work.


Jane, Joe Hodges, Bernice Cox and Cathy Doolin.



Program A Program B

Warm Up Warm Up

Pectorals Biceps/Quads

Triceps Deltoids/Back

Abs Calves

Outer Thighs Hamstrings

Inner Thighs Gluteals

Cool Down Cool Down


The Set is the same as Volume One.


The music is the same type as Volume One.


A Stick is used for balance while doing Calve work. A mat and light dumbbells.


Bernice Cox, Jovos Burnette, Cathy Doolin and Joe Hodges.


I found both of these workouts to have been done very well. I was especially surprised by the different warm ups. In both workouts Margaret works you hard with a smile. If you already have a Margaret there is no need to have every single workout in her collection. But I'm glad to have this for the variety it offers. I actually get alot of use out of Margaret's workouts when I'm burned out on Cathe or Jari.

Instructor Comments:
Margaret is very friendly and encouraging. She is very lively and gives lots of form pointers.