Building Strength

Susan Powter
Year Released: 1994

Categories: Total Body Workouts

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To my knowledge, this is the only strength training video that Susan Powter has put out. It is quite good actually, it is best for beginner/intermediate levels, but for someone who has been lifting weights for a few years like myself, one can still get a good workout with this using heavier weights.

Susan is joined by 6 of her friends all shapes and sizes ready to pump iron. They all use one pair of dumbells, which appear to
be in the range of 1-5 lbs, Penny doesn't use weights at all. All of the exercises are done in a 2-2 count and there are 3 sets of 10 reps for most of them, a few there are only 2 sets.

After a simple warmup, step touches, knee lifts, hamstring curls, heel digs all with incorporating arm movements, you begin with lower body work which
is rather simple. The first exercise is squats, which are done unweighted, I used a pair of 12lb dumbells for these. Next are seated leg extensions, done with or without ankle weights, I did feel these, maybe the slower count made the difference. Then you stand up again and while holding on to a chair you do hamstring curls, rounding out the leg work is more leg extensions but lifting your leg to the rear while the knee is bent slightly. A brief
stretch follows.

The upper body section is next and
is covered well. You start out with shoulders by doing military presses with palms out and upright rows. These 2 exercises are alternated with one another, these are the only 2 exercises performed in that manner. Next you will do rear delt raises, I did 2 sets of these and 1 set of double arm rows
for a little extra variety. Then it's time for chest, first you will do bench presses, then pec flies. Penny demonstrates a wall pushup as a modification here. Biceps follow, with 3 sets of traditional bicep curls, I did
a set of hammer curls in the middle again just to change it up a bit. You finish out the upper body session with tricep kickbacks. Susan has you stretch briefly after each exercise so there is no stretch following this segment. Instead you lie on the floor for a brief meditation and Susan talks to you while doing this. There is no ab work in this video either which is fine.

Overall, I got a decent workout with this video, I used dumbells ranging from 5-10 lbs for the upper body. I think this will be a good workout for days I don't feel like going all out, but will still feel like I am doing something. I would definitely recommend this for beginners and intermediates, advanced could use it as well with heavier weights
but they might find it a touch boring. Personally I did not, I
enjoyed it. The music is a little
more upbeat than in some of her other videos, it suited it well.

Instructor Comments:
I personally like Susan, some people find her annoying but I don't mind her at all. She is a little more subdued in this video than I have seen in others. But
she is motivating, encouraging and
always reminds you to breathe and modify when necessary. She is good
about emphasizing the importance of perfect form too.

Tara W