Physique 57: Classic 57 Minute Full Body Workout

Tanya Becker
Year Released: 2009

Categories: Abs/Core , Ballet/Barre, Lower Body Strength , Upper Body Strength

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This is a good toning workout for the female form. It uses clever tools, like the playground ball, to get additional muscles to engage. The length is also nice - not too long or short.

The downsides are poor cueing and an instructor that babbles endlessly. Also a little hard on the knees and hip flexors to do every day.

My verdict was it is a fun once in a while workout but not something I would do every day or even every week.

Instructor Comments:
A little psycho but I know she is just trying to be encouraging



Physique 57 is a technique developed by Tanya Becker, a former Lotte Berk instructor. Tanya has succeeded in updating the LB Method while retaining its essence. The result is a challenging, high-energy, FUN workout that produces awesome results. P57 uses upbeat music (dance, drums, hip-hop) and it is a non-stop workout. I have tried and enjoy pretty much all “barre” workouts available and this is by far my favorite. It’s addictive!

The workout is set in a bright studio with wood floors, blue panels in the background, and portable ballet barres. There are seven background exercisers, all instructors or students from the NYC studios. They are fit and most are extremely flexible. All participants smile during the workout and seem to be genuinely enjoying themselves. Their enthusiasm is infectious! One participant (Shelly) demonstrates more advanced variations of the moves and another participant shows modifications for less experienced exercisers. Equipment required: A ballet barre or chair, two sets of weights (they recommend 3 and 5 lbs), a mat and thick cushion (or rolled towel), and a playground ball.

The Classic Workout is a total body workout that will leave you thoroughly worked out and energized. I love and adore this workout! Get ready to sweat and feel your muscles tremble… Here is a general breakdown:

Warm-up and Upper Body:
• Alternate knee lifts
• Bicep curl variations (different tempos and hand positions)
• Shoulder presses: small pulses with arms 90 degrees in front
• Lats pulldown
• Back row variations
• Triceps press / Shoulder extensions
• Pushups
• Full body plank with hip extension
• Forearm plank with alternate knee tap
• Triceps dips
• Stretch: Triceps, shoulders, pecs

The thigh work consists of plié and squat variations as well as knee dancing. I believe this is the toughest thigh series on DVD. Yow!
Set 1:
• Plié series with feet in a small V position and heels off the floor: (1) Pulse down; (2) Tuck hips under and release / plié down and lift up; (3) Pulse down; (4) Shake hips side-to-side / plié down and lift up; (5) Pulse down; (6) Plié down to heels and lift up
• Plié series with feet in a V position with heels all the way up: (1) Pulse down; (2) Circle the hips with a lasso arm move.
• Feet in 2nd position: (1) Plié; (2) Hold down and press knees back.
• Quad stretch
Set 2:
• Squat series with feet hip-width apart in a parallel position and a ball placed between the thighs: (1) Hold the barre and lean forward, pulse down alternating heel raise, then lower all the way to 90 degrees and lift up; (2) Stand up straight with heels up and shake hips side-to-side; (3) Lean forward and pulse, squeeze the ball, then lower to the heels and lift.
• On floor: Knee dancing (1) hips side-to-side, (2) Shake to one side, (3) Circle the hips around, (4) Up and down.
• Pushups
• Stretch: Quad, Lunge, Hamstring / Split

The standing seat work consists of variations on hip extensions, leg adductions and leg circles. All the moves are performed in a small range of movement (tiny presses) and include several tempo variations. After doing the standing seat work on one side, you immediately move to the floor to perform pretzel variations on that same side (press up, pres back, tap knee and toes). After a brief stretch you start everything on the other side. This format increases the intensity and challenges your endurance!

• Set 1: Isometric work performed lying on your back with various leg movements (toe taps, scissors, bicycles, etc.). To intensify, you raise the head and shoulders off the floor and use the abs to keep the upper body stable while the legs move. This series concludes with a set of triceps dips.
• Set 2: Same principle as the first set but this time you are leaning back on your forearms. This is an interesting way to adapt some of the work performed at the barre in a live class. This series concludes with a nice hip flexor stretch and a forearm plank with the hips twisting side-to-side.
• Set 3: With a towel placed under the lower back for support and the ball between your knees, you perform several small curl variations (center, side-to-side, double curl, etc.)

Pelvic tucks:
Lying on your back with the feet apart on the floor, you curl the hips under and release, using different tempo variations, feet positions, and directions (up and down; side-to-side). This is a nice way to relax the lower back while polishing off the glutes and hamstrings.

Back extensions:
Brief series that rounds out the core work.

Brief but thorough stretch focusing on the lower body.

Instructor Comments:
Tanya is a super dynamic, energetic instructor. Some exercisers might not enjoy her constant talking and “attitude” but I personally find her motivating, positive, and funny. For example, she cracks me up during the thigh dancing segment when she says: “This one goes over real well if you’re ever at a boring party.” She demonstrates a few moves but she mostly goes around the class teaching and showing different variations participants are performing. She does not interrupt the workout to provide alignment cues but she provides a lot of solid form pointers during the exercises.