Good for You

Margaret Richard
Year Released: 2011

Categories: Total Body Workouts

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This DVD presents four total body strength workouts (including warm-ups and cool-downs). Each workout runs about 25 minutes.

All four workouts are presented by Margaret Richard, teaching solo and instructing live. The setting is lovely Ė we are outside at Cayuga Lake, New York. When she uses it, Margaret chooses good music but unfortunately it is very soft on this particular DVD.

For equipment you will want a couple sets of light dumbbells, a mat for floor work, and a chair or barre to hold onto for balance. Margaret wears leg weights for floor work but notes their use is optional. Also optional is a small unweighted playground ball for a few of the exercises.

In this DVD Margaret returns to her signature low-weight, high-rep style (after 2009ís Fight Age With Strength, which worked the upper body isometrically by squeezing a ball). In Good For You Margaret specifically selected exercises that are easy on the joints.

Collage Video rates Good For You as Beginner/Intermediate, which I think is appropriate, although of course the routines can be made more challenging with heavier weights. Margaret is always a good choice for those new to lifting weights given the quality of her instruction. The exercises are mostly based on classic weightlifting moves, but Margaret isnít afraid to tweak things a bit from time to time.

As always, Margaret presents in a warm, pleasant manner, and often makes whimsical little jokes (ďHow corny can I be? Very!Ē). She offers excellent form and safety instruction, but could be a bit better at cuing, especially during the all-fours hamstring work when it is hard to see the TV. All exercises are done at a controlled pace.

Good For You, like all of Margaretís DVDs, is well-chaptered. All four workouts have separate warm-ups and cool-downs featuring Margaretís usual flowing moves. She stretches briefly after each exercise set, but I like to do more comprehensive stretching on my own afterwards. (In fact, my current favorite exercise combination is a Margaret weight workout followed by Classical Stretch.) Margaret urges you to substitute if a particular exercise isnít for you, and even invites e-mail questions.

The four segments break down as follows:

Segment One:
-Back/obliques: She begins with upright rows, but quickly adds in several back row variations. Maybe it was just me, but I didnít feel that much oblique work here.
-Deltoids: Standing front and side shoulder raises, again several variations. (ďMy shoulders are singing Ė I think theyíre sopranos!Ē)
-Pectoral: Push-ups.
-Outer Thighs: Lying side leg lifts. Leg weights are optional, and Margaret says the weights can be worn above or below the knee. Note that Margaret will not do the exact same routine on each side Ė the focus is on fatiguing the muscle.
-Inner Thighs: Lying supine, legs up at 90 degrees, moving legs out to the side and back.
-Abdominal: Crunches. Margaret puts her feet up on dumbbells, and later raises the legs up to 90 degrees for oblique crunches.

Segment Two:
-Triceps: Standing French press.
-Biceps: Biceps curls to the front and side.
-Hamstrings: Done on the elbows and knees, but Margaret states you can do the same moves in a standing position.
-Gluteus: Seat tucks done supine with legs bent. A weight over the hips is optional.
-Quadiceps: Standing front leg raises, holding onto a chair or barre. Very kind to the knees!

Segment Three:
-Calves: Standing calf raises, using a chair or barre for balance.
-Inner Thighs: Side-lying floor work, supporting the bent top leg with the unweighted ball (or something similar) and raising the straight lower leg.
-Outer Thighs: More side-lying floor work, with different moves than Segment One.
-Abdominal: More crunches, this time incorporating leg raises. I kind of wish Margaret had done a plank section instead, as she did in Fight Age With Strength.
-Pectoral: Pec flyes.
-Deltoids: I like this routine, done lying on the side and working the top arm with a light weight.

Segment Four:
-Hamstrings: An exercise that I think is unique to Margaret. Both knees are bent in a shallow lunge, then bending/straightening the front leg. As you continue with the exercise you do feel it.
-Quadriceps: Lying supine with ball supporting the lower back, one knee bent, raising/lowering opposite leg. My favorite way to work the quads.
-Gluteus: Similar to Segment Two, except with the ball between the knees, then wedged under the knees.
-Triceps: This is done unweighted, and is very effective! Already it is my favorite triceps routine.
-Biceps: Regular and hammer curls, plus side curls.

Bottom line: Good For You is a very nice addition to Margaretís workout DVD collection. There isnít too much here that canít be found in her other DVDs, and this isnít the toughest Margaret DVD out there. However, Margaretís my go-to lady for traditional weight work, so I always love seeing something new from her. I like her low-weight, high-rep approach and moderate pace, and I love her gentle humor. The way her DVDs divide up well into half-hour segments makes them easy to incorporate into my overall fitness routine. I never feel any dread pulling out a Margaret workout.

As of the date of this review, Good For You is available at Margaretís website,, and also at Collage.

Instructor Comments:
Margaret Richard has been appearing in fitness videos since the 1980s. She is now in her mid-60ís, but is just as strong as ever. She presents in a warm, gracious manner with a whimsical, slightly off-the-wall sense of humor. Her instruction is excellent without being overwhelming, making her a good choice for those new to exercise and/or lifting weights.