Workouts for Women Circuit ShapingJoni Hyde
Year Released: 2004
Categories: Strength Training (Total Body)
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This dvd is based on the book of the same name, and features 10 circuits which follow the same general format and style.
Each circuit commences with a two-minute cardio move to warm you up, and then nine strength moves. Each move is done for one set of approximately 15 reps. There are no rests. Most of the exercises use hand weights, although some use a step and ankle weights too. Joni coaches one on one, and her style is very smooth without excessive pauses for instruction. It's pretty much a 'watch and copy' approach, and it works because these are all basic, uncomplicated exercises.
I'm not sure one circuit on its own is enough for a complete workout, but you can repeat the circuit up to 4 times, or do it once and then return to the menu and select another one. The menu screen also tells you what equipment you will need for the circuit, which is very handy. A booklet insert has this same information.
The only real 'flaw' in the workout is that the repeat option doesn't filter out the warm-up. It is a straight repeat of the whole mini-workout, and unless you want to fast-forward through the it, you'll have to do it again with each 'round' of the circuit. There is no cool-down either, although Joni Hyde does have a free stretch routine posted on her website.
Overall though, I am really happy with this dvd. The ten complete routines gives a bit of variety to what is really fairly standard strength work, and I really like circuit-style workouts. Lately, I have had a really short attention span for strength work, and I just can't handle long, endless sets.
I also like that the circuits are not endless. It's just nine exercises, so the time goes by really quickly and it's easy to persuade yourself to stick around for another run through. I always choose the maxiumum of four repeats, and tell myself I can stop at any time. I generally make it through 2 or 3 sets at least, depending on what else I've done that day.
This is just the dvd I need right now. It is definitely on the beginner/intermediate spectrum and I doubt you could get a hard-core workout from just nine exercises, no matter how many times you repeat them. But if you just want to tone up a little and are not concerned with lifting heavy weights, it is a good choice. If you like circuit workouts and/or have a short attention span, you will also like this one. For me, it is just right I need right now.
Joni is pleasant and professional. She has a very casual, personal trainer type of attitude well-suited for this sort of video.
Background exercisers: None. Joni works one on one.
Set: Looks like the front room of a house. Joni is positioned on a neutral rug over a well polished wooden floor. A window with drawn blinds is behind her. It is a light colored, pleasant background.
Music: Instrumental workout music.
Equipment: Dumbbells, ankle weights, chair, studio sized step
DVD features: There are ten workouts of about 12 minutes each. The menu allows you to select one workout and repeat it one, two, or three times.
Production: Since this workout will be unfamiliar to a lot of people, I will comment that the focus is clear, editing is good, and the photography is appropriately framed to show the exercises.
Workouts for Women Circuit Shaping provides ten complete body mini workouts. Each circuit starts with a two minute very basic warmup and has exercises for the triceps, biceps, abs, back, and floor leg work. An example of the exercises from the first circuit:
1. Warmup – step touches
2. Narrow squats
3. Straight arm lateral raises
4. Half up bicep curls
5. tricep lift
6. Seated bent over rear fly
7. Mule Kicks
8. Inner thigh pull in
9. Wide grip push-ups
10. Knee up crunches
There is little repetition of exercises among the circuits. The package claims that there are 90 different exercises, and that looks correct to me.
As represented, the exercises are at a beginner to intermediate level. Because there are not many form pointers, I would not recommend it for total beginners, although the demonstration of form is very good. I also would not recommend it to advanced exercisers. However I find that, because all reps are even numbered and even paced, with no pulses, it's very easy to substitute exercises to up the intensity. You can, for example, do a double arm triceps kickback while she does a one arm kickback, and do another triceps exercises while she does the other arm. You can add weights to unweighted exercises.
I would like it if the warmups were chaptered separately. They are extremely basic, step touches, A steps, etc, and I would prefer not to fast forward through them when I repeat the circuit. My only other problem is equipment based - my leg weights have a buckle and I have to pause the dvd to put them on at that point in the workout.
I do these workouts occasionally, sometimes doing two of the circuits, repeating them twice, for about a 40 workout. It fills a niche for me, when I want a quick tuneup, or just want something different.
Joni very low key. She does make at least one motivational comment in each warmup. These sound like something you would read inside a greeting card and are less motivational (for me) than intended. Other than that, she does not chat, just cues the moves. Her form is good and the packaging states that she is an American College of Sports Medicine Health/Fitness Instructor.