WillPower and GraceStacey Lei Krauss
Year Released: 2005
Categories: Total Body Workouts
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I just did this workout for the first time today. What a deceptively challenging workout. I was bathed in sweat. This is a barefoot workout - kind of along the lines of Reach mixed with Core Syn, yoga and stretch. She starts out with some dynamic stretches. One of the first moves was where you had your hands on your hips and rotated your body in a circle but she did it quite fast and even says you might get dizzy (which I did but only for a second). She does runners stretch, extended triangle pose, forward bends (seated and standing), pigeon, tree, Warrior 3 and seated twisting pose. There is about 15 minutes of warmup, 20 minutes of cardio, 10 minutes of stretching and the last 20 minutes is core. This is a no-crunch workout. It's more balancing and stabilizing moves. There was plank work and diamond pushups. She says you should be able to do plank for at least a minute and if you can do that, you should work your way up to 3 minutes. There were lots of lunges, curtsy lunges, alternating side lunges. For the cardio, she did some plyo jumps. It wasn't your standard cardio but it definitely got my heartrate up. At the end of the core work she does bridges and tells you to squeeze your knees together - it seemed like it was never going to end. I have to say I'm completely sore at this moment all through my core, legs and glutes. The workout ends after the core work. There is no stretch after that although I could have used more of a stretch after the bridge work which I did on my own.
I burned 262 calories for about 65 minutes (a little more than when I do Reach).
This one's a keeper for me.
The only thing that bugged me a little was the doorags they wore on their heads. I liked Stacei Lei as an instructor. She has a pleasant voice and is constantly telling you to engage your core. She has about 3-4 background exercisers. She says there are three levels to this workout - Levels 1, 2 and 3 and she has exercisers to do whatever level you're at. She does Level 3.
Warmup: approximately 15 minutes. Free flowing swings and twists begin to warmup the entire body. The warmup has a cardio effect as well. Side lunges move into forward lunges that move back and forth. All the moves in this segment are unique. Various methods of training, such as pilates and yoga, are used to stretch and prepare the body for the more advanced cardio moves.
Cardio: approximately 17 minutes. 3 levels of difficulty are always shown. Stacey will begin with level 1, then proceed to level 2 and then kick it up a notch at level 3. (this is a great way to monitor your progress with this workout) This segment demonstrates how function meets strength!! Stacey begins with a functional lunge move that really begins to bring the heart rate up. Yoga, balance training, plyometrics and calisthenics are used throughout. This segment was fun and challenging. Stacey runs through an entire sequence on one side before repeating it to the other side. (prepare for delayed onset muscle soreness the next day in the thighs as Stacey includes lots of lunge variations)
Cooldown/Stretch: approximately 10 minutes. Great stretches to good music slows you down and prepares you for the core segment. Great hip openers in this segment!
Core: approximately 25 minutes of tough core training. Balance work, planks, traditional and non tradional ab work trains the entire core/mid section. This segment is deceivingly tough.
This is a well produced workout that is done entirely in bare feet. The dvd is chaptered so you can easily go to any segment of your choosing. I found the workout to be fun and challenging in a new and unique way. I've never done "barefoot" training but enjoyed it. I hope Stacey puts out more workouts. I really enjoyed her personality and teaching style.
Stacey has a pleasant personality and has a warm stage presence.
The workout is 65 minutes long, led by
Stacey Lei Krauss. Typical CIA background -
there is a large primary-colored shape in the
background. It uses no weights (just a yoga
mat for the core section) and everyone is
barefoot. Also, I am an advanced exeriser,
but I always have room to grow!
Broken into 3 distinct segments:
Section I - Warm up. Approx. 15 minutes - runner's lunge, triangle, twists, some ankle stretches - very thorough, I thought. She says that this workout will strengthen your feet since your toes are gripping the floor. I was VERY warmed up and already sweating after the warm up. The warm up had Stacey and two background exercisers, and they showed three levels of the moves, where appropriate. Stacey has a nice voice and presence, and I liked her. There is not a lot of interaction with the background exercisers, as I recall.
Section II - Cardio. Approx. 17 minutes. ALL squat and lunge variations, using no weights, with balance moves added for difficulty (e.g., curtsey lunge swinging forward into a front kick, back lunge bringing the back leg forward and up into tree pose). Some of the balance poses are increased in difficulty by adding swinging arm movements. There are some plyo squats, but you can easily modify to make them low impact. Stacy very clearly tells beginners which background exerciser to follow. Stacey does all the exercises on the right side first, then the left. I was kind of hoping she might forget to do the left side - this was a tough segment and my legs were feeling it. There are four background exercisers in this segment, all dressed like Stacey (which I thought was cute - she's dressed like she is on the cover of the video.) The background exercisers show modifications, and Stacey refers to them often. The music was club-like (although I haven't been to a club for a while), but not obnoxious or overpowering. No vocals and no tunes I recognized.
Section III - Cool down. Approx. 10 minutes. She holds the stretches for a nice amount of time, I thought - really lets you relax into a hip opening pose. You squat and round your back, do side to side lunges, runner's lunge, sit and bend forward at the hip and reach for your toes, etc. The music was soothing for this segment.
Section IV - Core. Approx. 25 minutes. Starts with a very long superman - she really guides you step by step through the pose, starting stretched out face down on the mat, then slowly tensing and stretching your arms, tensing your buttocks, drawing in your belly to create a "mouse hole" to protect your back - all before you ever raise your arms or legs off the mat. I thought her instruction was terrific. Followed by plank variations, then that exercise (sorry - can't recall the name) where you're on all fours and stretch one arm out in front and raise the opposite leg to the back. Then she guides you step by step through dead bug. She said, "Remember, the key to this exercise is the journey of going through it, so take your time with each step." I liked that idea - it's not all about just getting to the final position. She ended with the longest bridge pose I've ever seen - like, 4 solid minutes or more. I couldn't hold it for the whole time - my buttocks were already feeling it from the lunges and squats earlier. I can't believe the core section was 25 minutes long - it really flew by.
This makes a nice workout all together, or is easily broken into add on segments (chaptered at each section and the cardio section is broken into a few chapters as well).
Stacey has a nice voice and presence, and I liked her. She gave great instruction on form and safety and often mentioned the modifiers.