Weight Watchers Start Getting Healthy

Michelle Dozois
Year Released: 2008

Categories: Athletic Stretch , Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance , Total Body Workouts

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I found a new (to me!) workout led by Michelle Dozois called [B]Weight Watchers Start Getting Healthy[/B], which is dated 2008. Michelle is one of my favorite instructors! I donít remember reading anything about this workout on VF so I thought Iíd be the first to review it. The chapters on the main menu are: Introduction, Eat Well, Move Smart, and Work Out. Iíll start with Work Out, since thatís why I bought the DVD, but the other sections are well done and Iíll talk about them at the end.

The workout is 60 min and contains 3 20-min workouts: Cardio, Toning, and Balance and Flexibility, and thereís an option to Play All. I would rate the workout as Beginner level in intensity, but you can easily increase the intensity if you want to. Michelle is by herself. The set is a brick-walled warehouse-type building Ė Iíve seen this set before Ė it was used in Michelleís 7-Day Solution, among others, but this time in the back of the room there are a weight rack, a rack holding rolled-up mats and balls, and a couple stability balls on the floor. Music was okay and upbeat, nothing I havenít heard before, and the volume was good.

The 20-min Cardio workout contains basic, athletic, low-impact moves Ė I really enjoyed the cardio! It begins with a brief introduction, about 1Ĺ min. The 4-min warmup starts with a march, shoulder rolls, big arm circles, mambo front and side (she calls this a rock step), two steps to the right and then the left (she calls it a drag step), wide march step-tap, side lunge with stretch, then repeats on the other side. The first combination is about 5 min and starts with what Michelle calls a ďstop step,Ē then V-step, cross-over with chassais, alternating step knee lift to the side, repeater knees to the front; then all these moves are repeated on the other side. Then there is some TIFTing. The second combination is about 5 min and starts with marches and taps to one side and then the other, walking forward and then back, then 4 taps on each side, step-touch forward and back, with a nice knee-lift combination that works the core Ė this was my favorite combo. Then thereís some TIFTing of this section. The third 5-min combination also works the core. It starts with step-tap to the side with a slide to the side. Next are leg lifts on the right and then core twists with left knee-up; then repeat on other side. This is TIFTed again. There is a short cool-down and stretch, about 2 min. Each combination is stand-alone, meaning they are not strung together at the end. I liked this cardio workout much better than Michelleís cardio in Weight Watchers ďNext Move,Ē which seemed to have endless TIFTing, where todayís workout was a lot more fun, less TIFTing, and I loved the variety of moves.

For the 20-min Toning workout, Michelle mentions you need a chair, mat, and light hand weights Ė 3 to 5 lb. I used my high step and 7-lb dumb bells; I think Iíll use 8ís next time. The workout starts with a short warmup and stretch, about 3 min, then alternating front lunges, with added rotation, then low step-touches with balance-hold. Then we pick up our weights for deadlifts with rows. Next are squats using the same weights, first slowly, then quicker with pulses. Next are biceps curls, then half-way up and half-way down. Next are upright rows, first alternating and then both arms. Then Michelle uses only one dumbbell for plies (I used both dumbbells) and arm lifts. Next is one-arm shoulder press. Next we used the chair (or high step) for one-arm back rows and then stationary lunges holding onto the chair. Michelle encourages you to try not holding the chair. Then we pulse the lunges, switch sides for the back row, and then do lunges on the other leg. Then she sits on the chair for lateral raises, then bent-over rear delt lifts, first slower and then at tempo. Then she does tricep dips on the chair (I did French press because of wrist issues). Then she stretches the triceps. At the 16 min mark, we move to the mat with our weights for chest press, first slower and then at tempo. After about a minute, we work abs with crunches, first slowly and then at tempo. Next are toe dips to work lower abs; then we extend our legs one at a time, first at a diagonal and then lower. At the 19-min mark we begin a 2-min stretch, so the workout is not quite 21 minutes. It's easy to increase the intensity of this workout by increasing your weight.

The 20-min Balance and Flexibility workout was wonderful Ė I felt great afterwards and wish it had been longer. For this one, you only need a mat. Michelle performs the workout barefoot but I kept my shoes on. It starts out standing, with a lot of flowy movements. It sort of reminded me of an Ellen Barrett workout. Itís hard to describe all the moves in detail, but to me they were standing pilates- and yoga-type moves, dynamic stretches, and balance/core moves. I donít do a lot of pilates or yoga because I donít like it (except for Ellenís) but I really enjoyed this workout. After about 13 min, we move to the mat for some kneeling spine stretches and opposite arm/leg balancing, a hover move, and childís pose. Then we change to a sitting position, and later supine, to work abs, and then ended with some floor stretches. I really enjoyed this workout!

Now a few notes on the other sections of the DVD. There is an intro briefly describing all sections of the DVD, hosted by a Weight Watchers member named Aransas Thomas, who lost 65 lb.

The Eat Well section features Chef Loretta Paganini and has the following chapters (and a Play All): (1) Equip Your Kitchen for Weight Loss Success, which lists Chefís top 5 kitchen gadgets. I only own one of these items (heavy stainless steel pots/pans) so I guess I need to go shopping for the others! (2) Up the Taste; Cut the Calories, where Chef Paganini shows how to make her favorite vinaigrette and her favorite tomato sauce. (3) Quick Cooking Techniques of the Pros, where Chef demonstrates steaming in parchment paper, pan searing, and grilling. (4) Recipes (you must insert the DVD into the computer to obtain the recipes). The Eat Well section of the DVD is 27 min.

The Move Smart segment is 23 min and is led by fitness expert Gina Lombardi. It has the following chapters (and a Play All): (1) Walk in Style, which discusses selecting the right shoe, what to wear to walk/exercise, walking form, and tips for staying motivated. (2) Home Exercise Equipment, which discusses items like hand weights, tubing and bands, stability ball, weighted medicine ball, step, exercise mat, and fitness DVDs (Yay!). (3) Finding the Right Gym for You, which describes what to look for in treadmills, stationary bikes, and elliptical machines.

General comments: I bought the DVD for the workout and Iím glad I did. I like to keep this type of lower-intensity level workout in my library because there are days when I just donít feel like exercising. However, I can always convince myself to do a workout like this. The other sections were informative, but I canít see myself watching them more than once or twice.

Instructor Comments:
Michelle is one of my favorite instructors. She's always professional and her cuing is superb.

Fit Kitty