Strong Body, Ageless BodyErin O'Brien
Year Released: 2007
Categories: Total Body Workouts
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Set: The workout was filmed in Erin's home overlooking a deck outside, creating a more "personal effect". The flashy photography (from color to black & white) increases the visual aspect.
Music: The music uses a strong instrumental beat that works well with weight training.
This 45 minute total body weight training workout will tone and define your muscles while enhancing strength gains. It's a no frills, straight forward approach to using weights. (you are one on one with Erin so it's like a personal training session!)
The workout is chaptered as follows:
*Shoulders & Lower Body
*Biceps & Squat
*Triceps & Reverse Lunge
*Lat Row & Externally Rotated Squat
*Stretch It Out
Beginners will find the clear instructions useful for learning proper form. (intermediate/advanced participants can increase the weight to add intensity) Another unique feature for more int/advanced students is the inset in the corner of the screen where you'll see Erin demonstrate more challenging versions of the exercise.
The upper body work utilizes several sets of common exercises. (Lateral raises work the shoulders, curls define the biceps, overhead extensions tone the triceps and lat rows train the back) The legs are shaped with several versions of squats and lunges (very basic but essential moves for the lower body).
The floor work begins with lower back training. It continues with pec flyes to strengthen the chest. Erin also includes glute squeezes that work the buttocks and hamstrings. She also demonstrates outer & inner thigh exercises to fully hit all areas of the lower body. Core work follows to finish this total body workout. Erin concludes the session with a few great stretches.
This efficient workout is great for all levels. You'll hit each upper body part with 3 sets and the lower body training is enhanced with floor work. Abdominal training is also included to ensure a strong mid section. It's not complicated, moves along at a steady pace & hits all areas of the body in just under 45 minutes!
This was a really very nice, solid weight workout that flew by. Erin is mellow but certainly has personality. She works out alone in a nice-looking suburban home, next to a credenza with family photos and artwork above a piano and light filtering through the sliding door behind her.
Music was pleasant and jazzy and didn't feel out of rhythm.
The first 20 minutes of the workout consist of lower-body sets alternating with upper body sets. For instance, you might do bicep curls, then plie squats, then repeat the cycle twice more. Each time, a mini-Erin appears in the upper part of the screen to show modified, often more advanced versions (usually slower reps, faster pulses, etc. I found these excellent options for getting more advanced or simply adding variety). IIRC, you also do tricep extensions alternating with squats and bent over rows alternating with lunges, and shoulder work alternating with 'turned out' squats -- halfway between straight squats and plies. I may be mixing up the upper body and lower body pairings, but more or less that's the deal.
The second 20 minutes takes you to the floor for lying chest flies and butt squeezes with your hips lifted off the floor. You also do inner thigh work with the legs elevated, and lie on your side to do leg pulses and Pilates-like circles. There are also lower ab lifts and upper ab crunches.
I didn't feel wiped out or thoroughly pumped up, but I felt like I got a solid toning workout overall.
She uses the same pair of weights the whole time, which always kind of bothers me in a full body weight workout. They are either 9 or 6 lbs -- I can't tell!
Erin made me think of Joyce Vedral after a vat of soothing chamomile tea. She is soft-spoken but enthusiastic to the point of near-goofiness. She tends to ask rhetorical questions to you, the viewer, then answer herself. "Feel that? Feel that? ...Yeah, I feel it!" Sometimes she'll assure you, the invisible trainee, "YOu're okay. You're fine." Sometimes she emits potentially R-rated-sounding little moans. Yet, somehow, she manages not to get on my nerves.
She could easily have annoyed me, with her quirky mannerisms and oohs and aahhs, but somehow she didn't -- she's too endearingly sincerely enthusiastic, and offers a lot of helpful tips on form as you're working out. Her personality and style may not be my absolute favorite but I like her competence.