AeroPilates Simply Cardio Level One

Marjolein Brugman
Year Released: 2010

Categories: Pilates/Core Strength , Rebounding

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Iím reviewing this workout after doing it 2 times.

General workout breakdown: This 10.5-min. Pilates reformer workout (not including the 1 min. of introductory material) uses the rebounder for a cardio effect, although youíll feel your abs, too. The idea of this workout is to raise your heartrate a little while building up your endurance for more advanced rebounder workouts.
The exercises include squats, jogging, jogging with different positions: parallel and v position, jogging with one leg, can can jumping, and both feet. Except for squats, which were introduced in the introductory AeroPilates reformer workout, all of these exercises are basically new to this level. Each exercise is done for 1 or 2 minutes at a time (so, 2 min. of jogging, then 1 min of jogging with feet parallel, 1 min. of jogging with feet landing in a v position, and so on).
I found this is the opposite of a party in a box. A certain distinguished member of the Forum, who shall remain nameless (because we love her and donít want her ego to reach new, ahem, altitudes ;-)), will say she finds Pilates as boring as watching paint dry. Normally Iíd disagree, but here I would not. Perhaps better music would lift this out of dullsville, but even then this workout wouldnít exactly be a barrel of fun. Pilates requires so much concentration; I find that effort rewarding for 8-10 reps, but for a whole minute of the same thing over and over? Yawn, both for being tired and for being bored.

Level: Iíd recommend this to exercisers who are already somewhat physically active, have some familiarity with basic Pilates principles, and have decently healthy lower backs (or at least have worked a little with a Pilates instructor, physical therapist, etc., on their rebounding technique before tackling this sort of thing on their own).
Normally I exercise at the intermediate / advanced level, including for Pilates, but after a year and a half or so of, well, life, Iím working my way back up to the intermediate level. This provided me with a decent workout at my current level, helping me get acquainted with this new reformer with its rebounder attachment (or, as my dh calls it, my slidey bouncey thingy) and build up some endurance.

Class: Marjolein performs the exercises alone, instructing via voiceover.

Music: light, repetitive instrumental music plays in the background.

Set: Marjolein is in a plain studio space, with her reformer on a round platform and some gauzy white curtains along the back wall.

Production: clear picture and sound, helpful camera angles, showing close-ups when appropriate. The name of the exercise, the number of reps, and the number of cords appears in text on the screen for a while at the beginning of each new exercise, but the text never distracts from the main image of Marjorlein performing the exercises.

Equipment: This is part of a series of videos designed to be used with Stamina AeroPilates reformers, although any at home reformer should work just fine as long as you have a rebounder as well as two cords or springs of lesser resistance on your reformer. I like that you donít need any other reformer add-ons: no cords or springs of extra resistance, no foot strap, no short box, no poles, no extender, nothing else. That said, I do recommend a head pillow, in addition to or in place of your (adjustable) head rest. I donít have one, so Iím using a rolled up towel to give my neck some extra support on my raised head rest.
I have the Stamina AeroPilates Reformer Premium 299, one of Staminaís most basic models meant for at home users. Marjolein is obviously using a different model, one thatís a little taller and has at least one more cord (mine has three; Marjoleinís has four). Mine worked just fine.

Space Requirements: You need enough space for your reformer.

DVD Notes: After the Stamina logo and warnings, the DVD starts right into the workout. There are NO chapters within this workout. Boo!
My DVD came with my reformer and was included in a DVD case with the introductory workout and three level one DVDs. Iíve seen this one workout sold separately for $29.95, which seems awfully steep to me. Iíd be willing to pay that for the 4-pack I have but I would NOT under any circumstances pay that price for this one DVD alone, especially since a) thereís so little form instruction during the workout itself, b) this workout is so short (OK, so Iíve paid close to $30 for a 30-min. workout - not something I like admitting to and certainly like doing - but I draw the line at paying $30 for a 10-min. one!), and c) this workout truthfully is something you can do better on your own with a timer and a music player, especially since you can work your way up to the length of time that suits your current abilities better.

Instructor Comments:
Marjolein speaks clearly, and although she has an accent sheís easy to understand; overall her voice is pleasant, and she speaks to the viewer as an intelligent human being.
Marjorlein mentions the length of the exercise, a very few form tips, and thatís it. (She doesnít even cue the end of the workout!) If you need someone who provides a lot of form instruction, especially if youíre concerned about your low back, Marjolein may not be your best option; her cuing works better if you already have some idea of what youíre supposed to be doing.