Push & Lift

Rebecca Small
Year Released: 2005

Categories: Total Body Workouts

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I’m reviewing this workout after doing it once or twice.

General workout breakdown: This is a 51-min. Body Pump- / Ripped- / Muscle Endurance-type strength workout, with one body part per song and a fairly high rep / low weight concentration (although you could probably go a little heavier here than on some of the other similar workouts because there’s not a ton of reps). The exercises are done at a decently quick pace, and there’s not a ton of down time between exercises, but the pace never feels rushed. Rebecca usually throws in a quick stretch at the end of each bit. A screen pops up briefly between segments with a graphic announcing the next segment.
*Warm Up (5 min.) begins with stepping side to side with arm reaches and circles before picking up light weights for squats done at different tempos.
*Chest (5 min.) includes push-ups, bench presses, and flyes.
*Back (5 min.) incorporates (Romanian) deadlifts and rows, with combos of the two as well as just deadlifts.
*Squats (5 min.) not surprisingly is mainly squats, with different tempos, although there are some split squats / static lunges, too.
*Shoulders (5.5 min.) has lateral raises, rear flye, a scapular rotation, and shoulder press.
*Biceps (5 min.) features biceps curls at different tempos and/or angles (i.e. all the way, halfway) with some wide-gripped deadlift rows.
*Lunges (5 min.) is all about static lunges, with different tempos.
*Triceps (5 min.) uses seated French presses (or overhead triceps extensions) with tempo variations, triceps push-ups, and lying extensions.
*Abs – Lower Back (4.5 min.) is much more about stabilization than anything else. It starts prone with alternating arm and leg extension and elbow plank with opposite arm and leg hold before moving to the back for lowering & raising bent knees side to side (sometimes called tick tock) and legs extended at 45 degrees with arms circling (kind of like the Pilates double leg stretch but with the lower body stationary).
*Stretching (4.5 min.) begins on the back, releasing legs side to side before stretching the hamstring and outer hip, then moving into a reclined spinal twist. On hands and knees you do a stretch for the front of the shoulder / chest before rounding the lower back. It ends with shoulder rolls and a quick breath.

Level: I’d recommend this to someone who’s an intermediate, maybe an intermediate +, in strength workouts. I agree that you need to have an idea of what you’re doing before you start because there’s not a ton of form instruction. For me this was not as challenging as Cathe Friedrich’s Muscle Endurance or Jari Love’s Ripped series; I personally think it would make a good transition to those videos. I consider myself an int./adv. in strength work, and I found this a good workout that did not leave me feeling anything like I’d been run over by a truck.

Class: Steve, Rebecca’s husband, joins her for the workout; he also wears a mike, but his contributions consists more of groans, apologies for little mess-ups, and little give and takes with Rebecca. One of them faces the viewer while the other faces the side, which helps illustrate form better. Rebecca instructs live.

Music: instrumentals with a beat.

Set: interior room with black back wall.

Production: clear picture and sound. The camera stays put in front of both exercisers, so you see all of them at all time. Rebecca’s voice is clear and louder than the music. I agree this is a no frills production, but I don’t miss the fancy camera angles that plague such things.

Equipment: Rebecca and Steve use a barbell, plates for handweights, a full-sized step with 1 set of risers, and a mat. I just used dumbbells and a mat for my floor. (The step serves as a bench for chest and triceps work only.)

Space Requirements: This workout is definitely compact. You need enough room to do moves like squats and lunges as well lie down plus enough space to keep equipment nearby without tripping over it.

DVD Notes: The main menu asks you to Play All or Select Workout (i.e. segment – the workout is chaptered by song / body part; there’s also an introduction and an “Epilogue,” which basically says the same thing as the intro).
N.B. As has already been pointed out, the U.S. version does not include the music CD or the choreography booklet, making the “Special Edition” not so special! There is a list of the original music on the back in case you want to go look for the songs on iTunes.

Instructor Comments:
Rebecca has such a pleasant, easy-going presence on camera. While she doesn’t give a ton of form instruction, she does give a couple of nice form tips, like rolling her shoulders after each deadlift rep to remind you to keep yours back. She mirror cues in her lovely Australian accent.



This is my first encounter with this Australian instructor who now, according to the DVD cover, resides in Europe. This is a Body Pump type workout, without the really good music. 10 tracks working 1 body part per track, plus a warm-up & cool-down. However, you do legs twice....warm-up, chest, back, squats, shoulders, biceps, lunges, triceps, abs, & cool-down. My kinda workout. I did this about an hour ago and all my body parts are 'talkin' right now. Well, *almost* all of them. I don't think the ab section was adequate.

Nothing new here in the way of exercises...Except the last ab exercise was different and pretty tough, even though that whole section seemed cut short. The music here is similar to Beachbody's Slim Series music. According to the cover, you get a CD with this workout with the intended (good) music only if you are in Europe. Still, I knew this before I ordered, so it's not a problem for me. If music is important for you, however, you probably would be disappointed. I love straight strength workouts (Esp. Body Pump types.) and I'm constantly looking for new ones. This fits the bill for me. 45 min. and you're done. That said, with the lack of good music and the plain set, it's not one I'd be happy doing twice in a week or so. It's more like a once-a-monther for me. It'll fit nicely with my routine. Definitely, a keeper, but like I've said, no bells and whistles, so some might not enjoy it.

Rebecca's husband Steve is working out with her. I enjoyed the banter between them. It's obvious that they like each other. Cute couple.

Instructor Comments:
Rebecca has a lovely Australian accent. She's a good instructor with great form and form pointers and just right amount of personality, IMO.

Robin (Jammin)


I got this Rebecca Small DVD and did it the other day.

I love Jari Love's "Ripped" and was hoping for something similar. "Push & Lift" is an ok workout, but there is a big problem.

Here is the problem: The workout is *supposed* to come with a booklet and a music CD. But, only in Europe!

The US version does not come with these extras. The music in the workout itself is the worst, plain percussion loops. It isn't even loud enough. It is obvious that they did the workout to good music and then added the bad music later. One is supposed to play the CD with good music along with the video.

The missing CD has tunes by Lenny Kravitz, Brian Ferry, Kiss and more.

The site where I purchased this didn't say there was a booklet or CD with the set. It is written on the DVD box. Rebecca ought to have put different case inserts in for the US version. So that one does not feel so disappointed.

Rebecca says a couple times, "I love this song!", or, "This is one of my favorite songs." I'm thinking, "Whaaaa???"

The workout is just ok. A decent warm-up and cool-down. Not enough stretches between exercises. I've never seen Rebecca before. She has a nice personality. Her cueing could be better. She doesn't give many form pointers or instructions. One needs to know how to do the exercises already.

The workout doesn't really flow or get one jazzed, like "Body Pump" or "Ripped". The music stops and then we go to the next exercise. At the start of each new exercise, Rebecca says something like, "Maestro, music please." And one is hoping that the next tune will be better. It isn't!

The set is very dark and the whole thing screams ULTRA LOW BUDGET. I am not usually a music fanatic, but the bad music really is a detriment to this particular workout.

As much as I liked being introduced to a good instructor, Rebecca doesn't make up for this mediocre production.

Instructor Comments:
Nice personality. Nice voice.