Personal Training SystemDenise Austin
Year Released: 2004
Categories: Total Body Workouts
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I love this video! The best part is that you have everything you need for a total body workout! So far I did the lower intensity cardio, which definitely got my heart rate up, and all the upper body segments. I love the strength sections, which are comparable to the i want that body series with tamilee webb. She varies the exercises in each intensity segment, so if you do all 3 together you still get all different exercises. Get the DVD version since you can customize it, even allowing you to turn denise's voice off. I think this is good for all exercise levels, since you can add more weight for a bigger challenge.
I know everyone complains about her, but I really like her fun attitude and upbeat comments "give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done". For the cueing in the the cardio sections its not as bad as some of her other videos, cueing in the strength sections is right on.
Most of the workouts I usually do can be pretty intense. I like Tae Bo, Slim Series, and the Firm. I'm not what you would call a big Denise Austin Fan so I was most surprised when this workout turned out to be a real gem.
Through dvd technology, you are able to mix and match two 20 minute floor cardio workouts, three 10 minute upper body workouts, three 10 minute lower body workouts, a 10 minute abs workout, and a 10 minute stretch. You can also choose a higher or a lower intensity workout that Denise has designed for you.
Now as with most workouts, there is some good news and some bad news but I'm happy to report that in Personal Training System there is a lot more "good" news so I will start there.
The two cardio workouts are good, solid, basic workouts. You have your choice of one cardio workout that is at a higher intensity using light weights in aero/tone intervals. The impact is a mixture of high/low. Some of the moves consists of kickboxing front and back kicks, boxing punches, jumping jacks, basketball drills, and some plyometric moves. The lower intensity cardio is low impact with knee lifts up, grape vines, and side leg lifts. Both cardio workouts do a good job getting your heart rate up in a short amount of time.
The strength training sections for upper and lower body are my favorites. Denise has come up with some different but effective functional fitness exercises. Also her pilates training really shines here. For example, in the higher intensity upper body workout, Denise will have you do a push up (on your toes!!!), turn, lift up your right arm and do a side plank. Then repeat on the other side. Another move she has you do combines an overhead tricep press with another exercise working the shoulders and back. One of my favorits is the slight side lunge combined with an arm coming across your body for a chest press.
In the higher intensity lower body workout there are plie squats, back lunges, kicks, and some standing pilates-like exercises. The lowest intensity workout is fantastic. All the moves are done on the floor and they have a pilates flavor to them. I could really feel the muscles working in my butt and thighs.
The ab work is killer! Again, Denise mixes pilates and more traditional ab work to make this one tough segment.
What I really like about this workout is that Denise successfully combines pilates, yoga, and sports specific moves and it does not feel like one of those forced fusion workouts. All the moves flowed very naturally and smoothly together. I also like that I can make any of the workouts harder or easier. For example, I used a stability ball for some of the chest and upper body segments.
Now for the bad news. The music is not very good. Well actually, it's pretty terrible. So if you are a person that needs music to help motivate you, this will not be the dvd for you. There is a music only option (so you can eliminate Denise's voice) but I wish there was a music off option too. I don't remember there being one. However the music is so soft that you could probably play your own tunes if you wanted.
Denise's cuing is unfortunately what you would expect in one of her workouts and that is bad. Luckily, the moves are basic and easy to pick up so you don't have to depend on her cuing too much. At times it seemed that some of the background exercisers were lost too. Denise has this knack for staying off beat.
Denise's familiar catch phrases are all over this dvd. If things she says like "lets burn some butter" and "we must, we must, we must increase our bust" irratate you, you might not want to get this workout.
Despite the negatives, this workout is a keeper for me. The exercises are fresh and creative and Denise does an excellent job of combining elements of sports specific training, pilates, and yoga.
Denise is her usual perky self. As in many of her workouts, her cuing is pretty bad in the aerobic sections, but she makes up for it in the strength training parts of the workout.
I really enjoyed this video. You can choose a workout based on the intensity level you prefer (high, medium, or low) Or you can customize the DVD to make your own workout. There are 2 cardio options (high or low intensity) that are each 20 minutes long. There are 3 upper body and 3 lower body workouts each 10 minutes long. There is a 10 minute ab workout and a 10 minute stretch. Yesterday I did all 3 upper body workouts, the ab workout, and stretch and felt like I got a great workout and the time flew by.
I have tried the low intensity cardio and 2 of the leg sections and liked them as well.
I like Denise. I know that she is not for everyone, but she keeps me motivated.