Project: You - Upper Body/Abs

Kathy Smith
Year Released: 2005

Categories: Upper Body Strength

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I've been lifting weights in a gym for two decades and decided to try Project: You in an effort to lean out and just to prevent gym burnout. Using my 3 lb. dumbbells, I found this video surprisingly challenging in segments.

It is 30 minutes long and incorporates supersets punctuated with crunches and oblique twists on the ball or mat. It starts with chest (flyes on a stability ball or mat) supersetted with back (single rows standing); compound bicep curls with military press; bent over lateral raises; tricep dips off a chair; standing lateral raises; two varieties of tricep extensions; more dips and pushups (using the ball as a prop or on the floor). Kathy uses single movements and "three-in-ones" utilizing three pulsing movements at the top of a move or three pulses to get to the top of a move.

There is no warmup, it is meant to be done after one of the cardios. There is a nice brief stretch and cooldown.

Background exercisers include a man, members of the PY test group and some regulars from Kathy Smith's past videos. It had a congenial group fitness feeling, the music did not bother me and I found Kathy's cueing to be slightly off at times but in an endearing way - she was working with us.

I would describe this and all of the PY's I've tried to date as all business-straight forward workouts, not for the high intensity crowd. The set is airy and pleasant. I will need to get heavier dumbbells for the chest presses and other exercises, but despite my Barbie-bells my whole upper body is feeling nice and tight from this workout.

Instructor Comments:
I've never been into Kathy Smith videos but I can see why people like her - down to earth, encouraging, to me she projects a "midwest farm girl/All American" aura. I'm not sure of her age, but whatever it is she is in fantastic shape.



I have been pleasantly surprised by this whole set. I normally hate weight training--i know it is good for me but find it boring. I can talk myself into a 1/2 hour though and did for this one. I like this because time goes by fast but you hit all the muscles. 2 sets of core are mixed in which give you a break from arm work and are split up so you can work hard on each. the moves are pretty basic but i enjoyed them. Very good for beginners, intermediates or those who just hate weight lifting. I know for some advanced exercisers 30 minutes would not be enough.

Instructor Comments:
Kathy is great here--calm gives modifications and higher intensity levels. She's motivating and definitely stresses good form



This is one of the weight workouts in the Beachbody Project You Series. It's 30 minutes in length, and is meant to be preceded by one of the 30 minute cardio workouts in the series, so there is no warmup for the upper body workout. There set is clean and bright, and the background people are introduced in the begining. Kathy gives form pointers but does not teach the moves - you should be familiar with how to do upper body exercises, and therefore this wouldn't be appropriate for someone brand new to weight workouts. She works opposing muscles as you go along. The exercises are straight forward and are supersetted - first she does chest flies then lat rows, then goes back to chest presses and rear flies. The other exercises are (not necessarily in this order) - combination bicep-military presses, bicep curls, tricep dips, tricep kickbacks, overhead extensions, pushups and shoulder raises. After a few sets of upper, you do some core work - Kathy calls them "50's" - it's down to the floor for crunches - 10 each center, than obliques. She does 2 sets of these (splits them in different parts of the workout). She also has you lie on your front and do back raises. The counts are slow in the beginning, and then she speeds them up a little and them does a 3-in-one count. The flow of the workout reminds me of her original LWTLW workout (only not as fast), with core added. The stretch at the end is only about a minute and a half. The time goes quickly as you don't stay on one area for a long time. I like this workout and would consider it a solid intermediate (although with light weights is easily adaptable for a knowledgeable beginner.)

Instructor Comments:
I really like Kathy Smith in all of the Project You workouts so far. She corrects the background exercisers forms, and tells us ahead of time which exercise is coming next.



This is the upper body tape from the Project You set by Beachbody. I have already reviewed most of the titles and have very positive feelings about them. I have not loved the strength work in this series though, so I had a bit of trepidation going into this one. I was pleasantly surprised! I found the lower body tape too boring and the total body tape too low rep. This is just right. Each body part is supersetted with one or more others, so you do one set through of chest and back then repeat, core interlude, then one set through of biceps/triceps/shoulders and repeat then have another core interlude. Most exercises get a 2-up-2-down count set, then a 1-2-3 hold, then a regular set. Mostly classic moves here, inlcuding my fav biceps with military press. The time went by really quickly and I enjoyed the workout a lot.

I always try to evaluate whether workouts in a series can stand alone or not. Even if you own the whole set, you might like some workouts and not others, and the ones you do like can be useless if they are overly reliant on the others. So how does this stand as a complete workout? Pretty good on the exercise front, but as it is meant to follow a cardio session, it does not include a warm-up at all. So be warned that you have to do your own warm-up, but other than that I feel this is a well-done and thorough workout with many opportunities to work with someone's routine.

Instructor Comments: