Prevention: 2-Week Turnaround Cardio

Chris Freytag
Year Released: 2009

Categories: Walking Aerobics , Yoga

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The goal of this exercise DVD by instructor Chris Freytag is to provide various workout options to get you moving every day for two weeks--hence the "2 Week Turnaround" in the title. Freytag offers two cardio walking workouts, each about 15 minutes long, which can be used together or separately, and a Yoga Strength segment which can serve as either a cool-down or a stand-alone practice. Freytag is jointed by two background exercisers, Christine and Jessica, who show easier and harder modifications, respectively. They are working out in a bright indoor studio with the Prevention logo appearing on the side walls. Names of the exercises appear on the bottom of the screen as they occur.

The first cardio workout is the Power Walk, and it clocks in at just under 15 minutes. It starts with about a 2-minute warm-up with simple moves like shoulder rolls, low kicks, knee ups, and step taps. Then, Freytag and Jessica pick up weights, training the upper body and lower body together to increase the cardio effect. The moves are easy-to-follow--e.g., walk forward with bicep curls, knee ups with shoulder press, side steps with shoulder lifts, and side squats--and Freytag strings them together in a simple combination. To add interest, she also does moves such as a "hill climb" (front lunge) combined with a rear glute lift. She concludes the segment with a box squat/running man (knee repeater) sequence and a "victory lap."

The second cardio segment, which is a bit longer at just over 16 minutes, is the Interval Walk. Here Freytag alternates 2 minutes of low-impact walking moves with 30 seconds of a more intense, higher impact interval. She continues to utilize very simple choreography, including knee ups, hamstring curls, heel touches, and half jacks. Most of the moves are more athletic in nature, although Freytag does include a mambo at one point. For the intervals, she offers the option of staying low-impact with Christine or taking it up with high knees, full jumping jacks, skiers, and the like.

Freytag does a nice job of leading the short (11 minute) yoga practice. She notes that because it can be a stand-alone workout, she includes some strength work, and so after the opening breathing, she moves right into chair and tree poses. The standing work also includes forward bend, down dog, warrior 1, warrior 2, and side angle pose. The finishing postures include cat/cow, boat, and reclined twist. Although there was nothing wrong with this yoga routine, I didn't feel that the posture selection/sequencing worked particularly well as a cool-down to the cardio workouts, and it's rather short to be used on its on.

Overall, I enjoyed the two cardio workouts on this DVD. I definitely think that they would be great for beginners; Freytag is an encouraging instructor, the moves are basic yet fun and interesting, and the addition of the two different background exercisers allow the routines to be customized to one's specific level. However, I am more of a high intermediate exerciser myself, and I found it to be a bit of a struggle to reach my target heart rate zone while using this DVD (I actually had to repeat the Power Walk to get my HR significantly elevated). In addition, I had some reservations about the yoga portion as noted above; I would have preferred a shorter stretch routine that was more specific to the workouts. But in the end, I did like both cardio workouts, and I would recommend the DVD.

Instructor Comments:
I found Chris to be encouraging, and I thought that she generally cued well--I can't really say whether she mirror cued because she never specifically mentioned left or right.

Beth C (aka toaster)