PINK Fitness Workout ProgramDebbie Millet
Year Released: 2008
Categories: Total Body Workouts
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I am enjoying the P.I.N.K. Fitness program, a series of 12 exercise workouts put out by Weider that are unlike any program I've ever done. It's an intermediate-level program that uses moderate reps of powerlifts with an unweighted barbell for strength & cardio gains. And it trains you over 2-3 months to perform Olympic-style lifts. I am maintaining an intermediate fitness level working out only 20 minutes 4 days a week. My back, shoulders & legs are stronger than I can ever remember and my pants are looser. It is fun yet challenging and best of all, the only equipment it requires is an unweighted barbell.
P.I.N.K. fitness is a program developed by Debbie Millet, a "regular gal" who at 40 years old discovered Olympic weightlifting and went on to place in the national competitions a year later. She worked with Weider to produce an infomercial set that contains a 4+1/2 foot barbell, some rubber barbell plates, barbell stands (to prop the barbell up 10 inches off the floor), 12 workouts (20 min each) on 4 DVDs, a bonus 10-min workout DVD & a 26-page exercise & nutrition guidebook. Originally the kit sold for $99 + $14.95 S&H (+Calif sales tax) without the barbell plates & stands. Now it is selling for $120 + $14.95 S&H, including the plates & stands.
The workouts are less than 15 minutes long and consist of 6-7 exercises, you do 10 reps of each then repeat the circuit two more times - 3 sets of 10 reps of each exercise. The first three workouts feature exercises such as partial squats, squats using a chair or barbell as a pole for support, clean & snatch grip presses, upright rows and good mornings. I didn't feel these workouts were extremely challenging but they did train me on the form that is needed for the more complicated moves, the snatch grip drops, hang pulls, full pulls, power snatches & overhead squats. The workouts progress and you learn more exercises that prepare you for the Olympic lifts - next you do front squats, back squats, good mornings, clean grip presses, and so on.
The first six workouts are filmed in a studio/sunny corner of the living room type set. The later workouts are filmed in an studio exercise gym setting. Debbie has three background exercisers around her and she begins each workout introducing the everchanging participants. Some are very inspiring, have lost weight or gone on to compete - some are professional lifters and all have very good form. She always includes a beginner in the group and coaches them on proper form so you can follow the "newbie" if you wish. All wear modest exercise outfits in basic colors - exercise shorts or capris and an exercise tank or sport top, a few sport bra type tops. Nobody is dangling out of a skimpy outfit. In the earlier workouts the routines are done just with an unweighted 5-lb barbell (4+1/2 feet long). Later they add up to 20 lbs of plates to the bar.
Debbie previews any new moves that are featured in the day's workout then starts into the routine. There are no warm-ups & cool-downs/stretches. In workout #1 Debbie shows two warm-up moves she recommends - hamstring stretches while bent over with hands on floor, then side to side. For the remaining 11 workouts she tells you to warm up & cool down on your own.
For each workout she leads you through the 6 or 7 exercises, 10 reps of each. Then she repeats the circuit twice. On the second & third circuit she adds extra instruction or has you perform the move more quickly "explosively" to prepare you for Olympic lifts. Amazingly, the entire workout (all three circuits) often only takes 12-15 minutes. And they do get your heart rate up! Especially the shrug jumps and squats. Everytime I start a workout I think "this will be too short, I should do this entire workout twice" but then I am pushing pretty hard just to finish the workout all the way through.
As she goes through the routine Debbie will turn sideways to demonstrate while the background exercisers continue their count, or she will turn around and give form pointers to the background exercisers and comment on their form. Debbie tends to stay face-forward for the last circuit and perform each rep all the way through. The last two circuits are done at a faster pace, with less instruction/set-up. The last two circuits always get my heart rate up!
So for example, workout #5 you do 10 reps each of:
1) squats (supported holding onto a barbell as a prop)
2) Olympic back squat (very low to ground)
3) explosive toe raises
4) barbell curls (unweighted barbell)
5) overhead press (unweighted barbell, using a snatch grip)
6) good mornings
Then you repeat the circuit twice more.
For workout #11 you do 10 reps each of:
1) partial squat (snatch grip, controlled reps)
2) hang pulls (snatch grip,controlled reps)
3) jump shrugs below knees (snatch grip, explosive)
4) jump full pull (snatch grip, explosive)
5) hang power snatch (explosive)
6) power snatch (explosive)
7) overhead squats (controlled reps)
Debbie's cueing is good, she is genuine and enthusiastic but not hyper. She and the background exercisers seem to be out of sync with one another sometimes and the music a good portion of the time, I'm wondering if the music was added later. So if having music synced to the exercises is important to you, you're going to hate this series.
The music is jazzy/soft rock instrumental and it's a little softer when Debbie is instructing, with the volume turned up a bit during the workout moves. Sometimes I really notice a good beat and rhythmic section that motivates me during a move, most of the time it's just background music.
There are on-screen captions that shows the "rotation" (first circuit, second or third) the exercise move & then a counter in the right corner that counts up 1-10 through the reps.
At the end of each workout Debbie sends the class off the set ("good job you guys! go get a drink of water, well done") then she turns to the camera to give a short motivational pep talk. I found some of her helpful hints useful - she asks you to take the same self-discipline you have for exercising and apply it to one non-fitness thing in your life. For example, do one thing you know you should do or DON'T do one thing you know you shouldn't, just for today. She introduces her Olympic coach in one segment and he talks about how if you don't write down your goals, they're just dreams.
The exericse/nutrition guide has testimonials, information about the program, breakdowns of each workout, and recommends a "6 for 6" eating program (6 days of 6 small high-protein meals, then one "cheat day" or shock day as it's called in P.I.N.K. fitness). The nutrition program lists out the nutritional content of food items and show 12 different "fitness meal ideas", no real detailed recipes. Basically everything that's in the exercise/nutrition guide is now on the PINKfitness.com website. The power training glossary has descriptions of each of the power moves, which is helpful since these moves are probably new to most exercisers.
The program recommends doing 3 workouts a week. I find that because the earlier workouts are so short that I'm able to do them 4-5 times a week and I don't feel I'm overtraining. The moves that have given me the most serious DOMS are the Olympic back & front squats - very low squats with your butt all the way down to the floor, whew! The shrug jumps really get my heart rate up. I'm half-way through the series and I feel like I'm really making progress with my form and I'm very excited about preparing to do the Olympic lifts at the end.
I feel like this is an intermediate level program just because the workouts are short and the barbell is unweighted. I've emailed Debbie and she has mentioned that she plans to turn out a series of more advanced workouts using up to 60 lbs on the barbell and doing only 2 or 3 reps of certain moves. She says she'll still include 10 reps of some moves using a lighter weight to get the cardio benefit. So I think the program can be made more advanced by adding weights to the barbell after you've completed the first 2-3 months using the 12 workouts as they were designed.
1) good production values - the picture is very clear and the colors are vibrant. The workouts are filmed on a nice set with several camera angles & closeups and the videos have good (not Turbo Jam-awesome) music.
2) good instruction - although Debbie doesn't always cue on time for the second & third circuits she instructs well and gives great form pointers throughout.
3) short workouts with little equipment - these are *so* appealing because the workouts are short and they feel like cardio as well as strength.
4) power moves are FUN - sorry, I gotta gush, power moves or Olympic lifts are just plain fun! They're different than anything I've ever done. I've tried before to learn these from Robert dos Remedios' book "Power Training" but it's a lot better seeing the moves and watching Debbie instruct others, including beginners.
5) inspiring instructor & participants - Debbie comes across as sincere, not a professional group fitness instructor but very knowledgeable. The participants obviously have made great health gains with P.I.N.K. fitness, if not in a traditional weight loss manner at least becoming very fit, losing inches, dropping their cholesterol and gaining energy.
6) 30-day money-back guarantee - I called the toll free ordering number before I ordered P.I.N.K. Fitness to make sure they had a money-back guarantee. They do - if you call them within 30 days of receiving the program, they will issue you a return authorization and you can get your money back minus the $14.95 shipping fee. Of course, you have to pay to ship back a 4foot barbell... at least it's only 5 lbs
1) price - I think the price is outrageous. If you look at what BeachBody packages with Chalean Extreme for the same price, it makes you feel a bit gypped to get basically a glorified brochure, a plastic barbell and four DVDs packaged in paper envelopes. Debbie says they had designed an entire fitness program book that did not make it into the final infomercial kit.
2) customer service complaints - there are a lot of complaints about the program's customer service. PINK has since switched all customer service over to Weider instead of Icon Fitness and I understand the service is *much* improved. I know they sent me my missing bonus workout right awaya and even emailed a tracking number.
3) progression for advanced exercisers - I think that a power lifting program will appeal to more experienced exercisers in general, not beginners, and it would be good for P.I.N.K. fitness to show a progression that would challenge advanced lifters. Maybe an add-on kit with extra barbell plates and advanced workout DVDs.
4) the barbell - it's a plastic barbell with a metal rod core, padded grips and here's the catch - the ends of the barbell are triangular so only Weiders' cute rubber plates will fit, as they have triangular plate openings so they can slide on. Can you say "gimmick"? I don't mind a plastic barbell but I think you should make it fit standard plates so folks can use their own equipment to progress. Let's make our fitness equipment environmentally sound too.
5) no warm-ups or cool-down stretches - I'm not a fan of warm-ups & cooldowns but they are industry standard and very important to folks new to power lifting. I think Weider should have included a boilerplate warm-up and cool-down with each workout. At the least they could have included one of those opening screens with suggested warm-up exercises in little preview panes, for example.
6) unrealistic weight loss & inch loss claims - P.I.N.K. Fitness calls itself a "fat burning" program and promises you can lose between 1-3 inches in the first 72 hours, guaranteed. I think a beginner who followed a low-calorie diet with this program might lose inches in the first few weeks. But the nutrition program that comes with this program is far too skimpy to provide the type of meal recommendations, recipes, menus, snack ideas and so forth to support big results. I think Weider should have provided a more comprehensive nutrition program if they wanted to make these claims.
7) the PINK name - HATE it! I know it's supposed to be an acronym that stands for power, image, nutrition & knowledge - but I think the name doesn't imply a serious fitness program. I passed up this program twice because I saw posts about it and said "NAH, too beginner". I know Joe Weider's wife is a big fan of pink, do you think he had some input?
8) exercises not for everyone - this program features VERY low squats and explosive power moves that can be hard on the joints - including back, shouldlers, elbows & knees. I would think anyone who doesn't want to squat lower than parallel should probably pass on this program.
Overall I'm very pleased with this program and the fitness gains I've maintained with it but I think P.I.N.K. Fitness will have a hard time making this program profitable/popular due to the program's high price and women's fear of powerlifting in general.
I have my fingers crossed for Debbie because I think it's about time someone brought Olympic style lifting to the masses, making it a strength/cardio program that can be done at home, with short workouts that can fit into anyone's schedule.
I'll report back as I practice more power lifts as I get closer to finishing the program, so far I think it's a lot of fun.
ETA: I just finished workout #6 and it's K-I-L-L-E-R intense. You do shrug jumps (heart rate's up) then hang power cleans (heart's pounding out of your chest) and then Olympic front squats (Aaarrrggh!). Now I'm noticing that participants are adding plates to their barbell - this workout series may just kill me yet. At least it's hard to believe you wouldn't get results with it!
ETA again: Today I did workout #7 and I'm SO sore - and it's only 12 hrs later. I'm expecting major DOMS in my back, arms, legs & butt. Yikes!
In this workout we learn power jerk and 300 different variations of the shrug jump and I could have sworn she accidentally went through 9 rounds of everything instead of 3!
She does three sets of these partial squats - they start like a deadlift, lowering the barbell in front of you, then you drop you butt - first you lower the bar to the middle of your thighs for a set of 10, then below your knees for the next set, then to your shins. Then a killer series of shrug jumps, three different kinds all in a row - down like a deadlift, drop your butt like a squat, then jump up explosively straightening up and shrugging your traps. But each set of 10 is progressively lower - just below your knees, to your shins, to your ankles, below sea level, you get the drill. Then some dip & lockouts followed by power jerks (the most fun I've had in a workout) and some overhead presses and I can't even remember the rest. I may have lost consciousness. But she repeats THIS ENTIRE SERIES three times! It's the L-O-N-G-E-S-T 15 minutes of my LIFE.
This was the first time I had to pause a P.I.N.K. workout to catch my breath - not once, but THREE times...
How can you NOT get results with this series? I am going to clean up my diet, it's time for me to take some measurements and get serious.
And I think I will need to write a post-script review of this series, it just kicked up a notch to higher than high-intermediate - it's definitely getting more advanced.
ETA FINAL CONCLUSION: I've been doing PINK workouts off & on for 9 months, the longest I've ever stuck with any fitness program (New Rules of Lifting for Women comes in as a close second place). Workouts 9 & 12 are killer hard, basically advanced workouts. I am still huffing & puffing & struggling through all the clean & jerks in workout #9 with a 25 lb barbell (yippee!). And workout #12 is supposed to be shorter (it's all about the snatch) but I still can't get past 15 lbs, it's *so* tough.
I think these PINK workouts are the best thing since sliced bread. They are short, intense workouts like P90X compressed into 15 minutes with an added plyometric edge to the moves. Awesome! Best fitness money I've ever spent. I even put several workouts on my smartphone for when I travel.
If Debbie can figure out a way to make this program more available to the masses (package & sell it on QVC or in stores like Sears along with other Weider products) she'll be able to inspire millions of folks to stay fit using Olympic-style lifts.
I havent seen the video or know anything about this..09/26/2012