The Look: Cardio BootcampMichelle Parker
Year Released: 2007
Categories: Strength Training (Total Body)
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I bought the Look workouts for about $6 each at cduniverse.com. I had no idea what they were, but sometimes these rather obscure kinds of workouts can be pretty good (like the Body Sculpture workouts from Australia).
I tried the "advanced" portion of Cardio Boot Camp. It's only about half an hour long. (There is a "beginner" half-hour workout as well).
The set is plain, not unlike one of the new SCW workouts. White wall, some gym equipment scattered about, and a lone instructor.
The first thing I noticed, and it will turn many VFers off, is the music. Not only is it a generic, repetitive sort of "jazzy" Muzak, but it is COMPLETELY off-beat to what she is doing. I would have rather had no music at all - it was nothing but distracting. Often I ca deal with off-the-beat music (like in GI Jabb) but this was so clearly overlaid over the workout without any thought at all that it was hard to ignore.
The second off-putting thing was a very slight, but noticeable "staticky" feel to the video quality. Kind of like when you are watching an online video and there is just a bit of lag time in the movement. Her voice also has an echo-ey quality, again, not unlike the so-so sound quality of SCW videos.
All that said, the workout itself is not bad at all. It's nothing spectacular or new, but it provides a decent half-hour circuit workout. Michelle actually does some pretty advanced moves, like side-to-side ski jumps, jump squats, and lunges side to side with front jabs. These are all very short bursts of cardio interspersed with short compound weight segments. The first weight segment, where you squat to one side, then lunge back while doing military press, felt a little awkward mechanically. You also do slow standing bent over rows with leg lift. After just 20 minutes, you go to the floor for pushup and abwork, which includes lots of oblique work and planks. There is little if any bicep/tricep work.
The DVD has a French-language option. I think Michelle might be Canadian. I wasn't overly wowed by this workout but I didn't finish it thinking I'd totally wasted my time, either.
She is not a bad instructor at all. Low-key, friendly, like a mellow personal trainer. There was nothing strikingly bad, or outstanding, about her instruction here.