Weight Watchers 10-Minute Time Crunch Training with resistance cordStephanie Huckabee
Year Released: 2011
Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights)
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Renda did a good job of breaking down the workout, so I'll just post my general impressions.
I have tried Stephanies PowerFit workouts and this set and I have to say that I like this set better. It just seems to have more energy or flow or something. I really like that you can create a custom workout that works for you on that day and that it just flows from one segment to another.
Stephanie has two background exercisers. She does the intermediate level and one of the backgrounders does the beginner level and the other does the advanced level. I found it easy to blend parts from all three exercisers. I especially appreciated having a backgrounder who does the "easy" version without coasting through the workout. When she takes out the impact, she still keeps up the intensity.
Stephanie is her usual encouraging self in this workout.
I picked this up for a fellow VFer and she kindly let me give it a test drive before I sent it on.
Basics about me: lifetime intermediate and I am okay with that. I can't pick out a beat to save my life, therefore I don't notice things like music or if the instructor is hitting everything perfectly. I will say I have done a ton of Stephanie's workouts and they all seem to be right on target. The music for this workout is standard video background noise without it being too loud or instrusive. I did not see a music off option.
This is only available at Weight Watchers locations that are one-use facilities, that is, not in a church basement or community hall or business site.
It is $24.95, which is a price that makes me wince as I have all the cords I need or want and it is only a 60-minute workout. But it is totally customizable and well done.
It comes in a large box with the one DVD in a standard retail type case, the resistance cord and a 10-week exercise journal (looks like a checkbook, for those of you who can remember what a checkbook looks like). Oh, and a lot of those air-filled bags to take up some space in the over-large box.
The resistance cord I would classify as light and nothing special. It was comfortable in the hand and seemed as sturdy/secure as any of the other resistance bands I have.
Starts with an intro from Stephanie, pleasant, straightforward and on point.
Then you get a fully customizable menu. Since I wanted to make sure the DVD was playable, no glitches, I just went through the whole thing beginning to end.
The set is the current trendy loft/living room look. The flooring is black puzzle mats, which seemed a little different. The back wall that you see the most of has brick and there are two chairs placed in front of it. Side walls appear to be painted concrete. Nothing offensive, jarring or so stunning you want to recreate it.
Stephanie is front and center. Madison, the advanced exerciser, is to her back and left; Carrie is the lower level exerciser to the back right. These backgrounders are consistent throughout all the segments. I will say for a WW workout that is marketing itself to all levels of physical ability, I would have liked to have seen a heavier or an older backgrounder. But that is a personal pet peeve and it doesn't really detract from the workout. I will say if they are trying to make Carrie look a little heavier by putting her in an oversize T-shirt, it doesn't work.
The wardrobe is what you would see working out at the local gym. No matchie-matchie; no danger of anything falling out or in; if young kids are in the room they might learn the routine, but not body parts. You can see the various limbs do the moves, nothing on the wardrobes blends into the background.
The warmup is standard fare. It will play no matter if you do the workout in its entirety or if you customize it. It pops itself in automatically. It is five minutes long. Stretching, marching, lunging, dipping, jump roping.
The cooldown is just lovely. I would actually call it more of a stretch than a cool down. You stretch standing and sitting on the floor. There is nothing unique or new, it is just comprehensive and thorough. You may want to play it through twice to really hit where it needs to hit. It will automatically be added to any of the workouts you choose, just like the warmup. This means each of the segments is 20 minutes long if they are done as a stand alone.
Now, in between the warmup and the cooldown is the workout.
I started going through and listing everything in order for each of the sections, but I realized there is really nothing that an exerciser would need to be warned about. Nothing unique, tricky, terrifying. So I decided to not list it bit by bit.
If you play it straight through it goes Upper, Lower, Total, Core, Interval.
In the upper you will spend time on the floor doing pushups and planks. There is one "cardio break" which is nice. You hold the resistance cord during cardio break time, but it is merely a prop. You just lift and move it around. And then you are quickly back to the cord. With the cord you will do flies (flys?), lateral raises, rows, tricep kickbacks and the like.
Lower body, again, nothing unusual. The cord is used throughout. Quick moves, ever so small amount of TIFTing, but since it is just 10 minutes, it doesn't get annoying and it doesn't last an extended amount of time. This can be said for each of the sections as far as the TIFTing goes. There is a move, then another move, they are then mixed together and repeated.
There will be times you do the moves on the right, then on the left, then mixed together. You do squats, dips/lunges, running man, plies. There is floorwork with tables and leg raises.
The total body segment is merely the upper and lower done again, in a different configuration. A couple of "new" moves are thrown in, different variations on the early moves, but basically the same. Kind of like cheese and eggs. Sometimes you make an omelet with eggs and cheese and sometimes it is just scrambled eggs with cheese. Same basic ingredients, same outcome, just a slight different presentation.
Core is next (core is the four-letter C word for me so I didn't linger).
So you start with dips for the hip flexors. It is a nice warmup for the core. Then you do rolldowns, go to crunches, leg walks, planks, supermans (supermen, supermens?). These are done on each side. Can't give much more detail than this because I have selective amnesia on core work.
Then interval, my favorite. Just a 10-minute hi/lo. No cord used at all. I channelled Leslie throughout most of this, side steps, ham curls, marching, football runs, just the nitty gritty of basic cardio.
The way they make the levels harder is by changing how they hold the cord, sometimes levels 2 and 3 would hold each side in one hand; they add "air" for level three; they add speed and "air" for levels 2 and 3 sometimes. This part reminded me of Michelle Dozois's Pick a Level workouts.
For me I can do level 3 on some things, so I do; but overhead work sometimes bothers my right shoulder so on overhead moves I may be level 1 for the arms but level 2/3 for the lower body. It is very amenable to mix and match.
Bottom line: I liked the workout. If I didn't have both Powerfits, I would be tempted. I do think the Powerfits are better workouts, but I think that is because there is just more of them.
This was produced by Andrea Ambandos, of whom I am a fan girl. It is done well, all the bases are covered. Things aren't overdone, the camera is where it should be, the sound levels are where they should be and there is consistency in what moves are called and how they are done.
The 10-minute time is a favorite format of mine. You don't get bored. Even if there is a segment you don't like, well, it will be done in 10 minutes and on to something else.