10 Pound SlimdownChris Freytag
Year Released: 2010
Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights) , Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance , Yoga
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These workouts are sold on their own and are also the ďrecoveryĒ workouts of the 10 Pound Slimdown Xtreme set (which is how I came across mine). In the Xtreme set, these are on their own DVD and each chapter is played separately (there are no play all or premix options). They are advertised as 20 minutes each but they tend to be upward to 25 minutes by the time the stretch is complete. I feel that for this short time frame, you do get a lot of bang for your buck. Chris works out alone in the nice studio with blue walls and brown cabinets in the back, I recognize the set because Jillian has used it in a few of her DVDs. The music is really pretty good and does tend to be in synch with the exercises (so itís not just background music), sometimes the music is so loud it drowns out Chrisís voice but itís not a big deal. The production quality is high. Chris uses one set of lighter weights, but I used a variety of poundage, to get the most out of the workouts.
Each workout is comprised of three circuits, each repeated once (often the second time around focuses on the second side of the body). Each circuit begins with two or three strength moves, then a cardio burst which is demonstrated at low intensity but can be increased to high intensity, and ends with an even higher energy burst before the quick 20 second active recovery (marching in place or step-touches), repeat the stretch/cardio/recovery (often working the other side) before starting the next circuit. Because exercises are repeated and Chris gets in several reps, you feel like you have a little more strength focus than say, Firm Express 20 minute workouts, which cram lots of exercises in with few reps and donít focus on one thing.
Upper Body: The first circuit is comprised of pushups (first slower, then at tempo), tricep kickbacks while on the hands and knees, hand and opposite leg working, then the cardio move is skaters (then high intensity skaters, then fast paced skaters). Repeat circuit (other tricep working). The second circuit is comprised of row then using the same arm, rear delt flies (not the best pairing, in my opinion, since you can use much heavier weight for the row than the delt flies), then pair these moves with a rear leg raise, then a front raise adding in a squat. The second cardio was jumping jacks, starting at low intensity, progressing to regular jumping jacks, then progressing to plyo-style jacks. Repeat, working back and rear delt on other side. The final circuit included alternating biceps curls in a static lunge, then pulling knee in for a balance challenge while continuing to curl, then immediately bringing weights together for French press while continuing to balance on one leg (a great balance challenge!), and a lateral raise into a military press. The final cardio was jump roping, starting with low intensity foot pedaling, to jump rope, to fast pace jump rope. I felt the workout was very well rounded for the upper body, with my only complaint being the pairing of the back row and rear delt (I quickly changed weights then had to settle for a lower poundage to alternate the exercises). I really liked the balance challenges and other functional type moves (such as triceps kickbacks with alternate leg back).
Core: This workout has three circuits, but the last circuit is not repeated (unlike the other workouts in the set, in which all three circuits are repeated). There is some standing work (repeaters, side lunges for one of the cardio bursts), but most of the work is done on the floor. She relies heavily on pilates inspired moves (which is fine by me!) such as boat pose, double leg stretch, and swimming, and some more athletic moves like crunch variations and bicycle with a bench press, as well as side plank pulses and elbow plank hold. There are also mountain climbers and a burpee type move (both done for a shorter amount of time) for the floor cardio bursts. I felt my core working hard, but I donít believe this was as intense as the other workouts, maybe because working the abs/core isnít such a calorie burner. In fact, I felt compelled to add the 10 minute bonus ab workout (from the Xtreme set) to really burn out the abs and core. It was a good workout, but probably on the lower intermediate side, and not one Iím likely to use again. The music was good, I recognized a tune from Firm Calorie Killer.
Lower Body: Full of lunge and squat variations (weighted and unweighted), Chris was able to surprisingly fatigue the legs in a limited amount of time (and unweighted at times!). High rep paired with some weighted work really worked the legs great. Due to my knees, I donít usually like to put so much emphasis on lunges (it seems like it was mostly all lunges), so I wonít be reaching for this often, but if thatís not a problem for you, it was an effective workout.
Total Body: This is an upper and lower body workout (with some secondary core work with twisting and balancing moves Ė no ab work), which includes some compound work and some isolated work, and cardio bursts. This was a super fun workout Ė I think TB and UB are my favorites. You get a lot done in a small amount of time (the whole workout is about 25 minutes), with squat and lunge variations, and there is also upper body work to include biceps, triceps, back, chest, and shoulders Ė so itís really comprehensive. I used heavier weights, 8-10-15# weights, and got in a great little workout. The cardio is fun, one of the bursts includes fast feet with sort of an agility drill, where when Chris yells ďdownĒ (I think), you touch your elbows to your knees, and you donít know when itís coming. That part reminded me of Barryís Bootcamp.
Yoga: Like Lindsey said, the yoga routine moves very quickly. Between each move is a vinyasa series, which creates a bit of a cardio effect Ė this is not relaxation yoga. Chris moves very quickly through the vinyasas and adds simple warrior, tree, chair, lunge, pigeon, plank poses in between (separated by vinyasa flows, not together). This is a tough little workout, especially as thought of as on par with the other workouts in the series, and not some kind of a recovery workout. This works muscle endurance as well as flexibility and went along at a fast clip, it is really a great workout to complement the weighted circuits. The yoga was not in circuit format nor had cardio bursts.
These workouts are really great. They are all intermediate, can be made harder or easier with poundage used and cardio intensity, they are all about 25 minutes so are very time efficient, they have comprehensive and functional strength work, balance challenges, and are just darn fun! Chris is great, and these workouts are very well thought out. Itís really an excellent program. With shipping I spent about $47 on the Xtreme set, and Iím really getting my moneyís worth (the Xtreme workouts are great too, same concept but longer and a little tougher). Overall grade A+!
I have very limited experience with Chris Ė her only other workout that Iíve had and used is Preventionís Kick Start Your Metabolism, which I thought was just OK and wasnít crazy about it. I bought these more for the workout style, than for Chris, but she is a very good instructor. She is very smiley and encouraging, and gives excellent form pointers. She kind of reminds me of Jen Carmen from the old Firms.
Full disclosure: I received a free review copy of this workout.
I really wanted to really like this DVD. Chris Freytag has put out some workouts I love and I liked the idea of having short, yet decently intense, segments that I could do on their own or mix and match. The segments include five 20-minute workouts on it: total body, upper body, lower body, core, and yoga. All except the yoga section are set up in the same pattern: three cirucits that are done twice each with a cardio blast at the end of each circuit.
Chris often starts with the easiest and/or lowest impact option and then moves onto options that are higher in impact or harder. There are also multiple times that she is doing a move and comments on a way to alter the move. Those are the places where I miss having a modifier because I just don't process that type of off-handed comment in the middle of doing a move. First thing in the morning, all my brain processes are not firing.
My impressions of the segments are:
Total Body: The three circuits include combination strength moves. Some of them were fun. If you are leery of strength moves like upright rows and/or deadlifts, be aware that both are included here. The circuits were fairly fun here, although it was hard to have an appropriate weight since she shifted between moves that required different weights.
Upper Body: This is the segment I enjoyed the most and I'm not sure why. The circuits seemed to flow and I felt like I got a good, but not killer, workout in my upper body.
Lower Body: As Lindsey said, this segment has lots and lots of lunges, lunge variations, and side squats. My legs really felt this segment. I just went less low than she did with my wonky knees and felt like I got a good workout.
Core: This segment has one or two standing moves and the rest is on the floor. I really don't enjoy core work much and I followed along with more of it than I usually do in a DVD. There was core work and not a lot of crunches (which can quickly feel endless to me).
Yoga: I watched this segment and did not do it. There are a lot of moves supported on the hands, something I can't do with the arthritis in my hands and wrists. It seemed like a solid yoga flow workout. She gives good pointers, but doesn't explain how to do the moves to a beginner.
In the end, I decided my impression was positive, but not enough to keep the DVD. I liked the workout okay, but there are plenty of others I like more. I think there are lots of people out there though who want shorter workouts or workouts with shorters segments and this workout would be a good one for them.
I am an intermediate exerciser who is in her upper 40s and who has two kinds of arthritis - osteoarthritis of the knees and psoriatic arthritis that mainly affects the hands and wrists.
Chris is just so professional and pleasant to work out to. Even with her workouts that I don't enjoy as much as others I like her.
This dvd has five seperate 20 min w/o's on it; upper body, lower body, total body, yoga, and core. All except the yoga section include great cardio bursts. Chris works out alone on an awesome set- dark wood and pale blue fogged panes with fitness accessories around the perimeter. You will need dumbbells for this workout. There isnt a mix & match or play all feature.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE cardio splits as I call them- seperate upper/lower body workouts that include cardio and this dvd fits the bill perfectly. Im ALWAYS on the look out for more w/o's formatted like this so I was very happy to find this gem. The toning & cardio moves get progressively harder as she adds in balance challenges & more intensity as she goes. Each workout has 3 circuits and you repeat each circuit 2ce. Each circuit contains 2 strength sets and then one high intensity cardio burst followed by a recovery.
Upper Body: Some of the moves include pushups, tricep kickbacks on all 4's with a knee pull in, skaters, military press, jacks, bicep curls w/ a knee pull, french press while balancing, front raise w/ a squat, and jumproping.
Lower Body: Includes lots of lunges & lunge variations- flying lunges, stationary unweigthed lunges, runners lujnge, knee pull ins w/ hands on floor, hi knee pulls, curtsy lunge variations, and side squats into a power squat. My legs were fried by the end of this segment!
Total Body: Includes both upper & lower body strength work & cardio blast- the moves include: setting down & picking up your weights, squat w/ row, 1-legged deadlift, tire run, lunge-twist-balance combo, static lunge circling your weight around your leg, runners lunge w/ leg pull and bicep curl, kick w/ a floor touch, bridge- pec fly combo, a side plank-dumbbell raise, mini lunge w/ a back row, and a fast feet reaction drill.
Core: This section includes cardio work interspersed into the core work. Moves include: knee pulls, boat pose with leg extensions, lying toe touches, power side lunge twist, bicycle with bench press, full body leg extension w/ lat pull down, side plank, mt. climber, V sits w/ bow & arrow arms holding dumbbells, circle crunches, planks, leg lifts, and gorrilla walks w/a hop (tough).
Yoga: This is a 20 minute vinyassa type yoga segment (no cardio bursts) that moves fairly quickly (which I liked). You start w/ some breathing, cat-cow, forward bends, down dogs, up dogs, chataranga, chair pose, warrior, tree pose, low lunge, runners lunge, twisted chair, pigeon, and side planks.
I would rate this a solid to higher intermediate that is easy to modify up or down.Chris looks fantastic- even more toned than her previous dvds. This dvd is great to add onto other workouts, for days you are short on time, or to combine for a 40-120 minute workout. Chris' cueing is great, the moves are fun, unique, and effective. I received a copy of this dvd from Chris Freytag to review.