Staying Power

Tracie Long
Year Released: 2009

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights) , Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance



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Kath did an excellent job of providing a detailed breakdown of this workout! My own breakdown will be more of an overview.

This is the second DVD that I have tried from Tracie Long's newest LONGevity series. It is a cardio/weights interval workout which uses a medicine ball. Tracie all states that you will need "small and medium weights," but for most of the workout, she doesn't provide much guidance for how much weight to use. All of the Longevity workouts feature Tracie exercising alone on the same set:
the studio features a brick wall with covered windows and other background decor such as a corn plant.

The 4.5 minute Warm-Up includes moves such as spinal twists, side lunges, hamstring curls, and side-to-side slides with arm circles and leg extensions. The first med ball cardio segment follows. Tracie starts here with Figure 8 arms while moving the legs in a static side-to-side lunge; next comes a mambo side-to-side with triceps work. This is followed by a side squat, side lunges with weaving the ball, and finally, plies with an optional jump

The first weight sequence uses a single weight for a series of squats: squats with weaving the weight, squats with a kick, simple squats, and squats with a press forward. Tracie then picks up two dumbbells for upper cuts and jabs. After this she does a bit of cardio without equipment, this time involving hops to the front and to the side, shuffles, and more uppercuts/jabs; before repeating on the other side, she does a Tai Chi-like rest which includes sumo squats forward and back.

Tracie then picks up two dumbbells again for triceps work, which is done in a warrior position; she also does a lat row using this same stance and then finishes center for a triceps overhead press and squats with chest press. The med ball cardio segment which follows begins with what Tracie calls "sumo circle" (really just a squat with a knee circle) and also includes arms circling with the ball, knee lifts, and rocking horse. The final standing weights section uses two dumbbells for side leg extensions with overhead press and then inner thigh sweep with bicep curls; lunges front and back wrap up the standing strength work. The last med ball cardio series begins with step taps behind and then moves into v-steps and high jogs (these seemed out of place when the rest of the cardio was entirely low impact).

At just under the 18-minute mark, Tracie moves to the floor for floorwork. The first series consists mostly of plank/push-up work and includes moving between full plank and push-ups, going from forearm plank to push-up, and triceps push-ups. After a set of pec flyes, Tracie moves to hands and knees for about 5 minutes of leg lifts for the hips/glutes; a light weight is used behind one knee for some of these moves. The abs section which follows includes crunches with punches, windmills, and bicycles. The 4-minute stretch had a yoga-ish feel to it, as it consisted of moves such as butterfly, seated twist, wide-legged seated forward bend, and 1-legged seated forward bend.

The Main Menu of this DVD reads as follows:
Play All--Chapters--Premixes--About Us

The 3 Premixes offered here are:
Go Strapless (22m)--Lean not Mean (12m)--Belly, Bust, & Butt(12m)

Overall, this DVD offers a nice cardio/weights interval workout with interesting choreography that would be appropriate for intermediate exercisers. Personally, I wasn't a big fan of the floor work, but that's mainly because I dislike both plank and all-fours exercises; I did enjoy the standing portions of this workout.

Instructor Comments:
I like Tracie, but I don't think she is the best cuer--her cuing often feels a bit late or incomplete to me. Now that I have tried 2 workouts in the Longevity series, I think she may have been better served by including background exercisers, especially as this would have provided the opportunity to show modifications, something that Tracie herself does not do.

Beth C (aka toaster)

12/10/2010

This is the second volume of the Longevity series produced and led by Tracie Long. This workout is cardio focused (as she calls it, ďuntraditional cardioĒ) and has endurance work with light-medium hand weights and a medicine ball, followed by floor work. She works out alone in a small, pleasant gym setting with a brick background. The music during the DVD menu is really loud while the music in the actual workout is disappointingly quiet. The music itself is generic instrumental, not as good as the tunes used in her TLT workouts. The workout is well chaptered, and there are even three premixes. The workout clocks in at about 52:45 minutes. During each new chapter, the big blue ďLongevityĒ icon sort of swoops into the screen which is somewhat distracting but at least itís over quickly. Iíd prefer a seamless transition from chapter to chapter to add to the continuity of the workout, but like I said itís over with quickly.

Tracie starts with a warm up of about 4:30 minutes then moves onto the first medicine ball cardio tune. The medicine ball tunes are very core focused, with lots of figure-8 arm movements and torso twisting. There were side to side lunges with an under the leg weaving with the ball, also some French presses with the ball alternated with a bowling-like sweeping move. The first 4-limb work comes next with one arm lat rows and triceps kickbacks in a wide warrior stance. The next chapter is cardio with no equipment and includes skaters and some other high impact moves but is primarily low impact (but still challenging!). The second 4-limb tune follows and this time focuses on shoulders and legs (to even out the body from the first weight section), with several squats and lunges with overhead presses. The final medicine ball tune is last and includes more core-intensive moves. A brief cool down then on to the floor for a LONG pushup and plank session (three varied sets), then a thorough table work section with long lever legs out to the side with circles (Pilates style) then more traditional table work with a weight behind the knee. Onto a (comparatively) shorter ab set with bicycles and crunch variations, and a quick bridge exercise with the medicine ball between the knees. There is also a set of chest flies on the floor. The final stretch follows.

I wasnít feeling my best today so I took it easy, kept the cardio exclusively low impact and used a shorter range of motion, used less poundage on the weight segments and didnít use a medicine ball during the second tune. And I STILL got in an amazing workout. I agree with Collage Videoís rating of intermediate-advanced and can attest that it can be modified to low intermediate with modifications. This was the first Longevity workout that I tried and it was very good Ė it does have the feel of a TLT workout with a functional fitness, untraditional feel to it. I would compare it in intensity to the TLT Endurance for Movement which was also quite challenging.

Overall I am very pleased with my first taste of the Longevity series, although I agree with Kath that I really would have preferred a continuation of the TLT series instead. While there is still an infusion of functional fitness flair here (I recognize some moves from her TLTs) the Longevities are more traditional feeling than the TLTs were, which might make them less unique in a large workout collection. Also I just thought the music and the inclusion of background instructors (and by extension modifiers) makes the TLTs a step above the Longevities. But Iím a pretty dedicated Tracie fan so Iím pleased to work out with her anyway. I think any Tracie fan or an intermediate level looking for an untraditional endurance and cardio workout would be very pleased. I did enjoy the endurance challenges and I would not be surprised to feel gentle DOMS in my core tomorrow from all the twisting and rotating moves. Overall grade B+!

Instructor Comments:
I think Tracie Long is one of the most talented instructors in the field. She is thorough in her form pointers and cuing and she mirror cues. She was very down to business in this one. She has an amazing screen presence although I do miss her background exercisers. It would have been great for her to have a beginner modifier especially for an especially challenging workout like this.

Emily B.

12/10/2010

Tracie introduces Staying Power as Volume 2 of Tracie Long Fitnessí Longevity Series.

Iím reviewing this workout after doing it twice.

General workout breakdown: This 52.5-min. workout contains a cardio & weights circuit (aka ďintervalsĒ) followed by some old school-inspired floorwork.
- Warm Up (4 min.)
Youíll begin with squat with reach overhead, then lower arms and shoulder roll; this set reappears several times during the warm-up. It is followed by slow rotation side to side. Youíll then speed up the squats and alternate them with lunges, incorporating some upper body movement to warm up the shoulders and upper back. Next come hamstring curls with arms crossing in front. Youíll then sway the arms side to side with a squat, which becomes a single Ė single Ė double (with a double step), to which leg abduction is added.
- Medicine Ball Cardio (4.5 min.)
Youíll begin with legs wide and arms moving in a figure 8. Next move is a triple step or mambo with an overhead extension on one side and a serve on the other; this moves into a cross behind with a reach up into a low squat and reach down. Next come alternating side lunges, which leads into weaving the ball behind the leg. In between comes plie with push overhead, which becomes plie with a jump. The whole sequence is then repeated on the other side.
- Squats & Kicks (4 min.)
This begins with squats with figure 8 weaves behind the hamstrings, squat kicks (holding dumbbell in front of your chest), and squats w/ arms pushing overhead. Youíll then do a squat and pivot, which leads right into alternating upper cuts and jabs.
- High Intensity Cardio (just under 5 min.)
Youíll hop forward & back, then side to side, doing these in different combos. Youíll shuffle to one side and do upper cuts, shuffle to the other and do jabs. In between youíll inhale and ďpush it away.Ē Next come sumo squats walking forward and backward, followed by jumping jacks. Youíll then repeat the hops and shuffles on the other side.
- Triceps, Shoulders & Legs (almost 4.5 min.)
In warrior position, youíll bend the front knee as you do triceps kickbacks and 1-arm rows (w/ rotation at the top). Youíll stand with legs together for overhead French press, which then becomes a combo with a squat and chest press (bring the weights down to the front and push them overhead). Youíll then repeat the rows and kickbacks on the other leg.
- Medicine Ball Cardio (just over 4 min.)
This begins with a combo of sumo circles, heel lifts with push to the side, and circling the ball. Youíll then do repeaters, rocking horses, and take a walk with a push overhead and a tap back w/ rotation (this becomes a hop and a lunge back). The whole thing is repeated on the other side.
- Shoulder, Biceps & Legs (almost 4 min.)
Youíll do a mini squat into a leg lift with overhead press, then switch to leg abduction with biceps curls. Next come squat side to side with arms pushing; the squats then change direction, stepping out wide toward the back corner. Youíll then lunge forward & back, which leads into a combo with the back leg sweeping around to the front, landing and leading into pulsing deep lunges, then lunge backward & forward again. The segment ends with the beginning mini squat sequence, then squats with overhead presses.
- Medicine Ball Cardio (4 min.)
This begins with step taps behind with the ball circling side to side, then over the top and back. After some V-steps with a knee, youíll do high knee jogs. Your recovery step is to step out, then back for a triple step. Youíll repeat the v-steps, jogs, and recovery several times before returning to the cross backs.
- Chest & Core (almost 5 min.)
Youíll come down into push-up position, lowering & lifting the knees with push-ups in between. At first youíll be doing push-ups from the knees, but then youíll do them from the toes, with the final all push-up set on your knees. After a quick childís pose and chest stretch, youíll come back for alternating triceps and wide push-ups. Another quick childís pose follows before you lower from hands to elbows and back up again (this is called various things by various instructors, including spider push-ups and walking push-ups / planks). A final set of triceps push-ups followed, after which comes a down dog. Youíll then grab dumbbells for chest flyes on your back.
- Core, Hips & Butt (just over 5 min.)
This segment is about quadruped (on all fours) legwork, lifting & lowering the leg as itís straight out to the side, then walking it back toward the back corner for more lifts & lowers, circles, and knee to elbow & kick out. After that comes lift & lower straight behind with dumbbell behind knee; this is repeated on the other side, and then the rest of the hydrant series is done on the other side.
- Abs & Bridge (4 min.)
Begin on your back with 1 leg extended up and the other out for crunches, then quick punches toward the leg reaching up. Youíll then circle the straight legs, with a reach through at regular intervals. Next youíll bicycle the legs, then add the upper body rotation. Next comes a bridge series, first pulses with the med ball between your knees with both feet on the floor and then with one foot up.
- Final Stretch (just under 4 min.)
Youíll begin in butterfly with a forward bend, then a seated spinal twist, into straddle with a forward bend, then side bend. Youíll then stretch the hamstring in head to knee, lean to the side for a seated quad stretch, and maneuver around for a hip stretch in pigeon. Youíll then come up to standing, releasing your legs in a squat into standing forward bend and rolling up through your low back. This is a quick stretch to which you may want to add some additional stretches for the upper body.

Level: Iíd recommend this to intermediate through int./adv. exercisers. Experienced low int. or even beg./int. who know how to modify to their level (Tracie does offer some suggestions, but she doesnít show them for long) should find this a doable challenge, something to work up to. Low adv. exercisers looking for an active recovery workout might find this useful, although you may have to find ways to increase the challenge compared to what Tracie shows (e.g. use heavier dumbbells, although you wonít be able to go truly heavy, maybe no more than 12-15 lbs., add ankle weights during the floorwork, etc.).
I consider myself an int./adv. exerciser. I found this appropriately challenging with the appropriate weight: the trick really is to go heavy enough that itís hard to complete the last rep or two with perfect form. Itís one of those workouts that leave me feeling worked out without feeling wiped out, so I can be more active throughout the day rather than feel compelled to flop on my couch for the next few hours to recover. According to my heart rate monitor this is just a tiny bit less intense than Staying Power, but theyíre pretty close, and YMMV depending upon what weight you use for dumbbells and the med ball, how much oomph you put into cardio moves, etc. (Both easily beat Defining Shape, however, but for me lag behind Step Forward, which I find very easy to spice up in terms of intensity and heart rate.)

Class: Tracie alone, instructing live.

Music: Iím struggling to describe the music. Itís instrumental and mostly upbeat, but itís hard to identify with a specific genre, nor does it have a real melody. Itís original stuff, although I thought I heard someone else using one of the tunes (and of course now I canít remember who). If youíre passionate about the music used in your exercise videos, watch as many clips as you can (currently Tracie Long Fitness, Collage Fitness Videos, and Total Fitness DVDs all have clips available).

Set: a bright interior studio with a brick wall, windows over which white shades have been drawn, and plants and exercise equipment neatly arranged around.

Production: clear picture and sound, although the music is sometimes on the soft side in relation to Tracieís voice, sometimes not. You should be aware that some people have been very vocal about the sound issues in the Longevity series, particularly fluctuations in volume with regards to the music and/or Tracieís voice, and to be honest I may not have noticed if people hadnít pointed them out, as I donít have a good sound system or the ability to crank up the volume.
The camera angles here are primarily helpful and straightforward.

Equipment: Youíll need a medicine ball (preferably one thatís soft touch or at least easy for you to palm, pass hand to hand quickly, etc.; I use 3-4 lbs., which is on the light side, but I think itíd be a bit much to go beyond 5-6 lbs.) and 2-3 pairs of dumbbells (I use 10, 8, and 5 lbs.). Youíll also want sneakers, and depending upon your flooring you may also want a mat.

Space Requirements: Tracie does the entire workout on 8 puzzle mats. If hers are the same size as mine, sheís working out in an area thatís 8í long by 4í deep.

DVD Notes: The main menu pops up quickly, with your options of Play All, Chapters (in addition to the Intro, see my general workout description for the chapter list), Premixes (Go Strapless, about 22 min.; Lean not Mean, about 12 min.; and Belly, Bust, & Butt, about 12 min.), and About Us.

Comments: Staying Power is the Longevity that stands out the least for me, mainly because it doesnít bring something that seems so unusual or different enough to the table, at least compared to the other Longevities and my video collection. Step Forward is (so far) unique among the series for its step cardio, Defining Shape has the balance and side-lying leg series which sets it apart, and Back Up is split into different types of cardio and strength training, making its organization different than the others. In many regards SP is the most straightforward and conventional of all of the Longevity series; it is less functional fitness-influenced and has more of the feel of your typical cardio & weights circuit. And to me it is the one that overlaps the most with the others and the TLTs because it uses so many of the same or similar exercises. Perhaps things like the fact the cardio is mostly low impact also keep me from making big mental sticky notes about this one, letting it fade into the jumble of the different workouts I try to keep catalogued in my brain. All that said, I do like this one. Iím not normally the biggest fan of cardio and weights circuits, but this one has a few things going for it that endear it to me: 1) its strength training segments actually accomplish something, 2) I like that at least some exercises have a functional flair or come from kickboxing, and 3) perhaps most importantly it moves along at a decent pace, devoting enough time to one thing but never too long (no frenetic ďLetís do weights! Now cardio! Now back to weights!Ē). Iím also not normally the biggest fan of quadruped floorwork and crunches, but these decently short segments are bearable.

Although Iím starting to appreciate the Longevity series in its own right Iím still disappointed these arenít a second round of TLTs, which were my introduction to functional fitness and are still unlike anything else on my shelves. (I havenít done any Tracie Long workout earlier than the TLTs, nor have I done any workouts from the FIRM or related systems, so I canít compare the Longevity series to those efforts.) Tracie has pulled back from the functional fitness feel of the TLTs, although she hasnít given it up entirely, to include more conventional gym-style training. From the insert included in the DVD and the workout itself I get the impression the Longevity series is targeted at 40-somethings who want to get back into shape so they feel and look better. (Full disclosure: Iím a decade away from falling into that category, and my main fitness goals are more to be happy and healthy, strong and fit, rather than to fit into a certain type of clothes or a specific article of clothing.) To that end the functional fitness aspects are there to improve health and functionality while the more traditional moves are to shape and firm up. Here, despite the title that might make you think there are more of the functional elements, the latter dominates. Like Defining Shape, this one promises to strengthen your core, strengthen and sculpt your lower body, and sculpt your shoulders, although I agree with Denise that your triceps get hit pretty hard here, too, with some added cardio in the hopes of burning off any fat on top so you can show off your muscles.
In some ways Staying Power strikes me as being to the Longevity series what Endurance for Movement is to the TLT series. Although EfM doesnít really have equivalent cardio intervals Ė actually, SPís cardio segments remind me a good deal of those in Strength in Movement Ė and SP doesnít have the stability ball bits nor quite as much challenge, both are total body strength routines with some good plankwork and of course some old school floorwork for the lower body and abs. Additionally, both work in some kickboxing moves that complement the muscles just worked with weights. (Tracieís Kick Back from the Focus series continues this theme, at least for the first two segments.)

Instructor Comments:
Tracie is the consummate fitness professional, focused on cuing the workout as she demonstrates how to execute the moves precisely. She might have a few comments about how this exercise is good for a certain body part or the upcoming segment will burn a lot of calories, but thatís about it for anything resembling extraneous chatter. I find her cues arenít the most descriptive, so I need to watch her closely to figure out exactly what sheís doing, although this isnít really an issue here compared to some of her others because the exercises are for the most part straightforward. Tracie does mirror cue.

KathAL79

11/27/2010

I did the complete workout this morning of Staying Power and really enjoyed it. Everything flowed nicely--the cardio segments, weights. The brief floor hip section had me screaming in mercy (ouch).

Staying Power uses the med ball in addition to non med ball cardio. Lots of tricep work in this one. (I'm glad as that is a trouble spot for most of us ) Tracie does a nice sequence consisting of kickbacks with a moving warrior that works the legs and then into some overhead triceps extensions. You'll also see sets of tricep pushups near the end of the workout. You will also see bicep curls, overhead presses, rows for the back, etc during weight work or intermixed with the cardio portions. I also love the way she incorporates the inner and outer thighs in most of the moves. I'm sure to feel it tomorrow! Tracie may add an inner thigh sweep or a side leg lift to the cardio, for example, to effectively tone those areas. I used light weights, as Tracie suggested, during the entire workout and still felt it!

As stated above the lower body gets a good dose of "ouch" with a brief mat sequence that will tone the glutes and outer hips. You'll also do some bridge work that really keys in on those hard to tone glutes! Tracie does a quick set of flies to work the chest to round out the body parts. You will also perform regular pushups along with those tricep pushups. Ab work is quick but tough. (bicycles and various "Tracie inspired" routines!)

The stretch was great. I didn't skip it, as I sometimes do, and was glad I didn't. You'll stretch the lower body effectively with pigeon, wide angle stretch, butterfly stretch, head to knee stretch, quad stretch and a few others including a nice twist pose.


Two thumbs up!

DeniseR

12/24/2009