Cardio Barre Intro Workout

Richard Giorla
Year Released: 2008

Categories: Ballet/Barre, Instructional / How To Videos

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This is the introductory workout of the Cardio Barre DVD which includes Intro, Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced workouts. Yay for having multiple workouts on one DVD! The Intro workout clocks in at 21 minutes and is led by Richard Giorla. The music plays loudly in the background and is quick moving gym style music. The set has five barres set up with Richard leading four background all female exercisers. There isn’t a beginner modifier, maybe because it is just the Intro workout.

My only experiences with the infamous barre genre are Squeeze and Squeeze Stronger (which I love by the way but I know they are on the more “athletic” side of the barre genre), so I was really interested in doing this introductory workout to Cardio Barre and hopefully get some great form pointers and tips for the newbie in barre. I was disappointed however because Richard really didn’t utilize the Intro workout as an instructional / how-to, as I thought he would, taking moves slowly and explaining how you should be moving in each exercise. It was really more of a brief pre-beginner workout, sort of a prelude (I assume) to the actual beginner workout. He moved at a moderate, than double paced, time (think Tae Bo) for each move, moved quickly from move to move, and didn’t really give detailed instructions. He also didn’t mirror cue which further distracting me from executing the moves carefully.

Having exercised for several years, I was able to keep up fine and from my knowledge base was able to keep the exercises safe, but I do wish for more detail so I know I executed the exercises not only safely but also effectively. Could a different leg angle or stance have made the difference in how I worked a certain muscle? Was I getting the most out of each exercise? Unfortunately the answer to that is, who knows? I just have to assume my form was fine.

Richard started with various plie squats as the warm up, moved on to torso twisting, then proceeded to what he called “cardio,” which was really glute raises and standing crunches although they did have a cardio effect, then to a very brief arm set for the back and triceps using light weights (I used 3# doing a slower pace but might try 1-2# at the quick pace next time), then to the floor for a very brief set of pushups (two sets of 4), and some traditional crunches. Then a final (brief) stretch. He moved just so incredibly quickly (almost franticly like others have described-about the same as Billy executes moves in Tae Bo), so I usually stick to the slower pace to ensure the quality of my movements. Going at the slower pace I really felt the work in my core and legs especially. And I still got a mild cardio effect.

Actually it was a nice little workout for a day like today when I mostly just wanted to move my muscles a little but not exert too much effort. All in all, as a beginner, abbreviated barre workout I thought it was enjoyable; as an instructional I thought it was quite lacking. I certainly enjoyed it enough to pursue the more advanced workouts – I do not doubt that with continual effort and usage that Cardio Barre will be effective! Grade B.

Instructor Comments:
Richard is clearly enthusiastic and he demonstrates very good form on the moves. Generally I like it when the instructor works out with you instead of just commenting on others’ form, but since this was supposed to be an Intro workout, I would have benefitted from him pointing out the “do’s” and “don’t’s” of the moves while the background exercisers demonstrated the moves. Also, he did NOT mirror cue at all which got to be somewhat confusing when you are standing sideways and not facing forwards. He didn’t really give too many form pointers (only the occasional comment about what the exercise should be working, i.e., the hamstrings and glutes). But in general, he seemed charismatic and he didn’t appear to have any annoying tendencies.

Emily B.