Simply EnduranceGin Miller
Year Released: 2003
Categories: Total Body Workouts
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Type: Strength – endurance
Length: approx 60 minutes
Set: Wood floor, small props which were not distracting
Background exercisers: none
Music: pleasant instrumental
I was wanting to really love this workout but I merely like it. The entire workout is voiced over by Gin, so you see her and hear her, but its like her personality has all been sucked out. Its dry as dust. That’s so disappointing for me, as I am a HUGE fan of Gin Miller and its her terrific personality that makes her workouts so much fun to do.
So, once I got past that disappointment, I was able to focus on the workout, and its much tougher than I expected it to be. I was able to go heavier on the weight than I typically do for endurance workouts. Gin alternates lower body with upper body and also combines them both in compound moves. For the lower body, she will start with 1/3 range of motion, then 2/3 then all the way down. The pace is slow for the lower body work, and because you are often holding the move, it really burns. She includes all the traditional moves: squats, lunges, lunges off the step, lunges with a knee up and then extend the leeg and hold in a balance move. I hate balance moves, so I skip these. One interesting twist she does with what is normally a floor work move (glute raise with straight leg) she does bent over at a 90 degree angle and extends the leg out to the back, alternating raises with pulses at the top of the move. She does this last, when your legs are already fatigued, and it REALLY targets the glutes. Instead of leaning onto a 12” platform (fanny lifter would be perfect), she sets 2 dumbbells on the step vertically (on their heads) and grips the bell end so that her body is at a 90 degree bend. It looked unstable to me, but actually worked well.
The upper body work is quite thorough. Pushups start the chest work. Then there are bent over rows while doing deadlifts (“hip hinges”), lots of shoulder work (military press, side raises, bent over flyes) tricep dips and kickbacks, hammer curls and bicep curls. I was able to use 8# for military press and delt raises, I usually use 10-12. She does approx 20 reps for each set, sometimes breaking it up into smaller chunks, as for delt raises. This allowed me to up the weight some. The time went by quickly, and I was huffing and puffing in a way I usually only do for cardio. I think this would be a nice calorie burner as well as solid endurance workout.
My only other disappointment with this workout is the questionable chaptering. There is a warmup, part 1, part 2 and cooldown. There is no logical reason why this is so. Part 2 starts with the set of lunges for the other leg. ????? Why not a chapter per body part?
There were no premixes of any sort. I am SOOO spoiled by Cathe and Karen Voight.
This is a good workout that I will do ever so often, but will never be a favorite.
I love Gin Miller! She is the best.....
This is one of a set of two "Simplies", the other being Simply Strong. Endurance is billed is "Low Weights, High Reps, No Rest", a la Firm and Slim Series vids.
I have posted elsewhere about my enthusiasm for Simply Strong, and I feel the same way about Simply Endurance.
As a general run-down of the routine, this workout starts with a standing warmup of low intensity. Then throughout the routine Gin will switch focus between upper body moves and lower body moves, such as pushups followed by squats, or lunges followed by shoulder presses.
True to her promise, the workout takes no breaks and the reps are high, averaging at least 14-20 for each movement.
This routine had some interesting and unusual movements that I liked but might not be comfortable for everyone. The example that comes to mind is a set of step up movements akin to Firm Tall Box presses (in fact I used my tall box for this workout and adjusted the height throughout)
--then when you are standing on the tall box, you start doing flys AND balancing on one leg and extending the lower leg out and back. This is great because it challenges your core stability and your balance...but might feel very unsafe for some.
This workout also features a new and improved form of glute torture called "skaters", the positioning of which left me staring helplessly as the sweat rolled down my nose and dripped off the end of it, only to crash on the top of my step and form a little pool.
Another cool move is an ab movement found here and in Strong which involves reclining on the floor, leaning back against the bench and then raising one leg turned externally. It works the inner thigh and abs--it's great!
Gin does offer three kinds of modifications to suit different intensity levels, and gives great form pointers throughout. One of the things I love best is her constant admonition to hold the pelvic floor, a little extra that I am accustomed to from my yoga practice, and that is a great addition here to helping me keep my overall form in focus. She also gives a similar attention to holding the pelvic bowl the right way and holding the abs in--great for keeping form strong.
I have posted on the Forum that I think Simply Strong is a great supplemental workout for those doing yoga, and I feel the same way about Endurance. Between the balancing, the pelvic floor holds, the ab work that focuses on the Psoas muscle as much as the abs, the attention paid to holding one's "pelvic bowl" tucked and the flat out yoga-inspired cool down, I truly believe Miller must have a yoga practice of her own.
I only have one quibble with this vid and it shallow and stupid, so disregard it: Gin's long fake hairpiece in this vid is most unfortunate to see. Her pretend braids are hidden under a blue kerchief for the workout, and it does not work for her, no way, no how.
Other than that? I love this vid and I also love Simply Strong. 5 thousand stars from me!
Gin is, as she has always been in my experience, a great cuer, very motivating and funny.
I really liked this tape. When I first previewed I thought it would be easy but I was sweating 10 minutes in and the work-out was sufficiently tough to earn a place in my rotation for January.
Odd Thing About this Video -- Gin performs all the exercises with a smile on her face, NO speaking. All instruction was done via voiceover. It is a little disconcerting for me. It also take some of Gin's personality away.
Music: Nothing new here, standard pre-mixes that I have heard on other Gin's and Cathe's.
Warm-up is pretty straightforward, marches, taps, different arm movements.
Video is divided into 2 Segments, I don't think it is equally divided where you could do each part on different days; but it is only 50+ minutes so it is not a time killer.
Push-ups and Squats segment - you do 3 sets of push-ups and 3 sets of squats. This is the format the video follows. You rest one body part while you work another then go right back. The push-ups are done on the edge of the step bench and were pretty tough.
Next pair of exercises is Tricep Dips with Leg Kicks. This was kind of interesting, you do a set of dips then hold arm position while you do quadricep extensions with each leg.
Alternated with one leg hip-hinges (deadlifts) and dead rows.
Lunge on right leg with bicep curls (compound move)
End of Segment 1
Lunges on left leg with hammer curl (compound move)
Lunges down from step with knee ups and leg extensions as part of lunge
Lateral lifts - standing on one leg for balance
Hip Hinges (deadlifts)
Then she does what she calls a "skater move". This was new to me. You lean over the step, using dumbbells to give you six inches of added height away from step and then do leg lifts to the rear. It is hard to explain but my glutes were SCREAMING.
Then she does some inner thigh work combined with ab work that was also new to me. You sit in front of your step bench leaning against it. You straighten one leg and do leg lifts. I definitely felt this in my inner thigh. Well, then you lift one arm then both arms such that your abs are having to stabilize you. I felt my abs.
Ab section - you do some sitting ab work on the step. I didn't feel this too much but I might not have gotten the form right.
Ab floor work - she does a bicycle routine with oblique work and then does some hip lifts from an all fours position that I surprisingly felt in my abs.
Good stretches. Nothing too unique or weird.
I really liked this tape. It took me a few minutes to get past the voiceover thing but you only notice it when you are doing squats and looking straight at the TV.