Cardio Barre Beginners Workout

Richard Giorla
Year Released: 2003

Categories: Ballet/Barre

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This workout was shorter than I realized - less than 40 minutes. The sections are:

warm up - 7 minutes
waist - 4 minutes
cardio - 9 minutes
abs - 3 minutes
upper body - 4 minutes
lower body - 8 minutes
stretch - 3 minutes

It's a fast-paced energetic workout, but the short sections don't allow enough time to work each area thoroughly. I did enjoy this workout, though - the time flew by.



I enjoyed doing this workout very much and time flew by. It was 42 minutes from start to finish without the introductory clip.

This workout is nicely chaptered: Warmup
Upper Body
Lower Body

Others on the forum have said Cardio Barre was akin to Tae Bo with a barre, and I'd say that was an accurate description. It was just what I was looking for in a new workout.

The set is a clean-looking space with hardwood floors and several freestanding barres. Richard Giorla teaches the class with four women, one of whom appears to be ready to "lose her drawers" as my Southern grandmother would say. Since these very low waisted workout pants are the rage these days, I'll just have to endure. The music is inoffensive to me but still motivating.

The workout consists of standing waist twists at a fast pace. These are done free of the barre. Some of the twists are done with arm reaches and some with arms locked. Then it moves on to the cardio section which is barre work. This is all done standing, no leg on the barre at all -- in this level anyhow. This is not traditional barre work by any means but traces of ballet are in the plies, sweeping toe and other poses. The class moves on to abdominals, which are fast paced and on the mat. Upper Body is next, starting with one pound weights for the triceps. Like in Lotte Berk, I was astounded that my triceps could be challenged with so little weight. He moves on to pushups, and then it's on to the Lower Body section. This is on the mat again, on the back and sides. Again, Richard Giorla is consistent with telling where the work should be felt. He concludes with stretches.

Mr. Giorla constantly discusses alignment, posture, where the weight should be, how flat the back should be, not to bounce, etc. This is important in Cardio Barre because injury could easily occur with the fast pace of these exercises.

At issue here on VF: Richard Giorla's "appearance talk." Frankly, I was expecting much worse. He does refer to the mid glute as the "panty line area." My only guess is that it's coming from a sense of delicacy; I myself was raised not to use the word "butt." He says to one exerciser, "Gorgeous thighs Melissa" and "Good Jenna. Look at those legs. Her hips are looking good." He does this in an encouraging way with absolutely no leering. Leering disgusts me but I did not see a trace of it here. However, some exercisers do not tolerate any appearance talk whatsoever, so be warned. Like any workout, it won't work for everyone.He does makes a couple of comments that are impart unappealing visuals to me: "We're literally melting fat" and "Let's get rid of that guacamole we ate last night" come to mind. Again, not a deal breaker for me.

Workout level: To give you some reference as to my own cardio fitness level, I do Tae Bo Ultimates with a few modifications (slightly fewer reps on some poses). I'd probably classify myself as an intermediate.

While the workout is called Cardio Barre Beginner, it is not geared toward the new exerciser as there are no alternate poses shown or suggestions for modifying any exercises. I would definitely recommend this for beginner to intermediate exerciser who likes Tae Bo and LBM and mat work. I'm looking forward to the next releases from Cardio Barre.

Instructor Comments:
Richard Giorla is a fit man in his early 30's. In this workout he wears a black tank top and pants. He does make encouraging comments to the background exercisers on the appearance of their body parts. This may bother some people, but doesn't faze me in the least.



I wanted to like this since the concept is interesting, but it just isn't for me. First the exercises are done so fast, there is no control, no attention to form- just wildly flailing limbs. Richard doesn't offer much instruction, and his form is so wild its hard to see what you should be doing. If you like workouts that make a point of mentioning alot how beautiful you're body can be, you might like Richard's style. He seems to think exercise is all about being long and lean. Good health? Strength? Pah! Usually I can ignore these comments, or just process them with all the others, but Richard's singular focus on appearance, coupled with his frequent touching of his female exercisers really rubbed me the wrong way (pun intended). Richard also states that leg lifts will melt fat from your hips. Spot reduction, rearing its ugly head once again. Overall, I guess people who like frantically fast, ballet-influenced workouts might like this, but it lacks most of what makes a dance workout a dance workout- control, precision, grace and attention to form. I got it in a trade, and now it will move to my trade pile as well.

Instructor Comments:
Richard is kind of flakey. He shouts at times, and is also very touchy with his exercisers. He talks alot about their bodies, and how his workout melts fat and makes your body beautiful. There is basically no talk about health or strength. He also maintains that fast leg lifts will burn the fat from your hips. Apparently, he missed the memo that spot reduction is a myth. Finally, his form (and the exercisers) is so fast and out of control they seem to be using momentum, not control, so I'm not sure if they're sculpting beautiful muscles or not.