Melt It Off! Cardio Mix & Melt

Mindy Mylrea, Mitch Gaylord
Year Released: 2007

Categories: Balance/Medicine/Mini/Stability Ball, Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance

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It is my understanding that Cardio Mix & Melt was offered as a bonus workout to Mitch Gaylord’s original Melt It Off! series, which was sold through infomercials. This is the only workout I have tried from this series. Mitch, a former Olympic gymnast, leads the workout with fitness instructor Mindy Mylrea. Mindy actually instructs the bulk of the workout, but she turns it over to Mitch for the “Power Melts” (described below). There are two background exercisers, Nicole and Susan; Susan shows modifications throughout, although with the exception of some of the Power Melts, the cardio is mostly low-impact. However, the intensity remains high due to the addition of a medicine ball (which Mitch and Mindy refer to as a “G-Ball”). I used 4 lbs. and found this to be plenty heavy, but Mitch states that you can go as high as 6 or 8 lbs. to really up the challenge. At times, the ball is incorporated directly into the movements, but at other times, Mindy and Mitch just encourage you to do whatever feels comfortable with the ball.

The Main Menu for this DVD reads as follows (times added by me):

Play All Cardio (57.5m)
Play All Cardio Plus Power Melts (79.5m)
15 Minute Cardio Options
30 Minute Cardio Options
45 Minute Cardio Options
Cool Down and Stretch (4m)
Bonus: High Intensity Power Melts (22m; melts only)

There are four separate cardio segments in this workout (each is supposed to be 15 minutes, but they are actually slightly less). Each cardio segment features interval style work: you will alternate several minutes of low-impact cardio (taught by Mindy) with brief “Power Melts”: brief segments of more intense, sometimes higher impact cardio (led by Mitch). If you choose the “Play All Option,” you will get a workout of just under one hour which consists of all four cardio segments. If you select “Play All Cardio Plus Power Melts,” at the end of each cardio segment, you will repeat the power melts only from that segment before going on to the next cardio segment; this makes for quite a long, intense cardio workout!!! You can also choose to JUST do the Power Melts from all four cardio segments for a short (22m) but intense workout.

I have broken down each cardio segment in detail below.

CARDIO 1 (12.5m)
The first cardio combo consists of a mambo/cha-cha, a v-step, a front step with pivot, and ends with a power jump. For the first melt, you jump forward and out, jump to the middle and in, and jump out and back, continuing at a moderate pace.
The second cardio combo has squats, adding squats with side leg extension. The second melt consists of fast squats.
Cardio combo #3 starts with a jazz square and then adds a shallow curtsey behind; the power melt is fast skiers.
For the fourth cardio combo, you do a fun move where you do fast steps with your feet while making a Figure 8; you then move the feet in & out while tossing the ball. For the melt, you alternate fast feet and squats.
CARDIO 2 (14.5m)
The first cardio combo here involves knee ups, a step side lunge weaving the ball under, and then front and back lunges. For the first melt, you move into plyo lunges.
The second cardio combo starts with slow sumo steps forward and then a slow/fast squat to the side. The second melt involves jacks.
For the third cardio combo, you go from a side shuffle to a boxer’s shuffle front & back, then end with a squat and a slow front kick. Melt #3 consists of fast front kicks.
The four cardio combo is a nice functional fitness move: you do a twisting lunge, moving from waist level to thigh level to knee level and finally to the floor. For the melt, you stay on one side for fast knee lifts, then repeat the series on the other side.

CARDIO 3 (12.5m)
For the first cardio combo, you walk forward & back with three knees up on each end, adding in a hop forward & back, and then hopping side-to-side. The melt consists of hopping side-to-side, moving into fast knees up.
The second cardio combo starts with a squat/bicep curl, and then you add a quarter-turn squat. For the melt, you continue the quarter-turn squats at a faster pace, jumping them if you wish.
Cardio combo #3 starts with Charleston kicks and then moves into swing kicks to the front. The melt continues with the swing kicks, but at a faster pace and adding rotation.
The final cardio combo consists of a lunge to the side and “pass/press” arms with the ball; you perform heel digs to the front in-between sides. Melt #4 continues with the pass/press arms in a side-front-side pattern, adding hops if you wish.

CARDIO 4 (13.5m)
Cardio combo #1 begins with the ball on the floor as a marker. You will do hops in a U-shape around the ball, then perform skaters and 1-foot hops. For the melt, you move from 1-foot hops side-to-side into 2-foot jumps at a faster pace.
The second cardio segment is fun, but challenging because it moves fast: first you will weave the ball under your knees from side-to-side; then, you will perform a side lunge, weaving the ball under the knees again, and finally, you will combine the two moves. For the melt, you alternate performing fast feet while moving the ball around the body with side lunges weaving the ball under.
The third cardio combo begins with a simple front-side foot pattern which incorporates the ball; this is followed by a scoot forward and back. For the melt, you add the ball moving up and down to the scoot forward and back to increase the intensity.
The last cardio combo begins using the ball for a teeter/tooter arms move while holding a plié squat. You then perform wide knees up while moving the ball in a Figure 8. The melt continues with these same moves, but you do them at a faster pace.

This segment is all standing. First you bring the heart rate down with some side-to-side lunges. Then Mindy moves through stretches for the calf, hamstring, and quads, performing the stretches all on one side and then switching to the other.

Overall, I really enjoyed this workout. I consider myself to be solidly intermediate where cardio is concerned, and this was definitely intense enough for me. I love the idea of the “Mix & Match” options, and because of this, I can see myself getting a lot of use out of this DVD.

Instructor Comments:
If you have any experience with Mindy, she comes across here exactly as she does in her other workouts: she is very high energy, but not annoying, and she is extremely polished and professional in her cuing (which is mirrored). I was surprised by Mitch, as I was afraid that he might come across a bit cheesy, but that is not the case at all! He has a very nice, friendly, laid-back manner; the impression I got was of a very low-key personal trainer. Finally, there is a very good rapport between Mitch and Mindy--they seem to enjoy working together, and you are likely to enjoy working out with them as well.

Beth C (aka toaster)