30 Minutes to Fitness Plateau Buster

Kelly Coffey-Meyer
Year Released: 2012

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights) , Total Body Workouts

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NOTE: I received a free review copy of this DVD from the instructor.

Kelly Coffey-Meyer has become perhaps my very favorite instructor. Not only does she now teach in the town where I grow up, but also she's about my same age (mid-40s), and I just really click with her low-key, down-to-earth style. With PLATEAU BUSTER, Kelly has developed new workouts which will mostly likely appeal to intermediate exercisers like myself who want to kick things up a notch by performing heavier weight intervals with higher impact cardio drills.

Kelly works out here with two of her usual background exercisers, Sam and Lori, plus a new modifier, Noelle, who performs all of the cardio moves low-impact. The Main Menu offers options for Introduction - Workout One - Workout Two - Stretch - Premixes and a Music On/Off option. Kelly cues viewers to use a heavier and lighter set of weights; during the second workout, she mentions that she is using 12# and 7# weights (I used 10# and 5#, but may have been able to go heavier in some spots). She also uses a mat for the Stretch and Bonus segments. I have broken down each section in detail below, adding approximate times in parenthesis.

**WORKOUT #1 (28.5 minutes)**
This workout begins with an approximately 5-minute warm-up. Kelly starts with a march that moves into a knee/kick combo on either side. This is followed by a jog/shuffle combination, first throwing the arms up, then shrugging the shoulders down to loosen up the traps. Kelly then moves into side-to-side steps, adding a chest pull and hamstring curls. She also performs squats, moving into a rear lunge with a floor touch. Kelly finishes the warm-up with low jacks to full jacks, repeating the entire series of moves once. She starts the weight work with the heavy weights. In general, she tends to do two moves with the dumbbells followed by a cardio interval. The first strength exercise is a squat to either side with a shoulder press on the rise up. Next comes a step to the front with a reverse fly. The first cardio begins with a squat jump and moves into 30 seconds of jumping jacks. Going back to the heavy weights, Kelly cues a side lunge with a lateral raise followed by a plie with a biceps curl. For the next cardio series, she does a sort of toe tap/knee hop (kind of like a hitch kick) followed by fast repeater knees. At this point, she moves on to the lighter weights. The first move is a combination lunge front with punch/squat back. Next, she drops one of the dumbbells for "stir the pot." That's it for the light weights, but then the ENTIRE weight series is repeated from the first heavy weights exercise. At the end, Kelly performs a quick (<2 minutes) stretch, getting in the hip flexors and a Figure 4 stretch as well as few brief stretches for the upper body.

**WORKOUT #2 (27 minutes)**
Kelly starts the second workout with the same warm-up (see above). She again begins the weights work with her heavy weights: the first move is a squat with an alternating front arm raise. This is followed by a simple 1-armed row. The first cardio interval starts with a balance on one leg to a knee hop and then moves into a sliding skater before finishing on the other side. For the next weight series, Kelly starts with a hip drop (a bit like a bent-legged deadlift) with an upright row; this is followed by an alternating reverse lunge with bicep curl. For cardio, she performs split switches which develop into runs. Now it's time for the lighter dumbbells. The first move is an alternating step wide to the side with three punches to the front. The final move of the series is "shake the paint"--moving the dumbbell side-to-side in front of you to target the core. As in the first workout, Kelly then returns to the beginning to repeat ALL of the moves. She also again concludes with a brief (2 minutes) stretch similar to the one offered in the first workout.

**STRETCH (9 minutes)**
This is a nice option for those who want a longer stretch than what is offered in the main workouts. As is usual for her DVDs, Kelly is alone for the stretch, and although she does include some yoga-like moves, she is still wearing her shoes during the Stretch portion. Kelly holds the stretches a bit longer than she does in the workouts, but because she also targets many more body parts, the holds are still relatively brief (about 10 seconds). The first 2 minutes of the stretch is performed in a standing position. Kelly then moves to the floor, where she does stretches seated, on the back, and on the stomach. She finishes with a few additional standing stretches.

As with all of her DVDs in the 30 Minutes to Fitness series, Kelly has included plenty of premix options on PLATEAU BUSTER. Here is how they are listed on the Premixes Submenu, with the times as given by Kelly:

*Plateau Split Rounds (Round 1 then Round 2) 26:19
*Plateau Challenge (Both Workouts Alternating Each Exercise) 42:24
*Plateau Dumbbell's [sic] Only Mix (Workout 1 and 2 All DB's Then Repeat) 31:42
*Plateau Cardio Mix (All Cardio Sections, Workouts 1 and 2, Two Times Each) 32:18
*Plateau Combined Mix (Both Workouts) 45:16
*Plateau Kelly Harder Mix One (Workout One with Bonus Moves) 35:08
*Plateau Kelly Harder Mix Two (Workout Two with Bonus Moves) 32:11
*Plateau Bonus Buster (All Bonus Moves) 21:14

The Bonus Buster workout features only the warmup (the same as used for the main workouts) and 8 bonus moves, each of which are performed for about 30 seconds to a minute. The bonus moves are as follows:
*Forward roll attempts
*Side lunges
*Weighted squat thrusts
*Lying chest flies with leg raises
*Pommel horse
*Fast straddles
*Weighted pop squats
*Modified pullover with crunch

As always, Kelly does a nice job with these workouts. PLATEAU BUSTER will probably most appeal to those who enjoy performing compound moves with moderate weights. Although Kelly performs the weights moves at a controlled pace, it would be difficult to go very heavy with your weights, as she moves directly from one exercise to the next with no rests (unless you were to skip the cardio portions to rest). Rather, these workouts are more similar to the traditional Firm Aerobic Weight Training (AWT) model, where your heart rate stays up throughout the workout.

This DVD is definitely well-done, but I think that it may have a more constricted range of appeal than some of Kelly's other offerings. Beginners are likely to find the workouts too difficult/too high impact, even with the modifications, and more advanced exercisers may feel that the routines are too short and/or too easy in parts. I did feel that these workouts were definitely appropriate for my own intermediate level, although my personal preference is for more strength-focused work and less impact. However, for intermediate exercisers looking to step things up, PLATEAU BUSTER just might fit the bill.

Instructor Comments:
As always, Kelly does an excellent job with these workouts. She cues well (mirroring the viewer), is encouraging, motivating, and fun all at the same time. She also keeps things moving without ever making the workouts feel rushed (on the other hand, viewers may need more breaks between exercises than time allows).

Beth C (aka toaster)


Full disclosure: I received a free review copy of this workout.

When this DVD and Cardio Quick Fix were first announced, I was really interested in the Cardio Quick Fix DVD and ordered it. It took me longer to catch up with this DVD because when it came out I wasn't sure that I would like it. Well then, it totally figures that I would be less than thrilled with Cardio Quick Fix and that I would really enjoy this one, Plateau Buster. I do think that most of the people who like this DVD will be self-described intermediate exercisers or someone wanting that level of a workout for a change.

The main menu is pretty standard for a Kelly-Coffey Meyer DVD. It gives you the following options:

> Introduction
> Workout One
> Workout Two
> Stretch
> PreMixes

In each of the two workouts, you do two compound strength movements and then there is a cardio burst in between those. Each of the strength moves is done 12 times - she says something like, "We do 12 of everything." There are some cardio moves that are seemingly based on time and you do more than the 12 repetitions, but other that that, she sticks to the pattern. In both workouts, she does mostly compound moves that kept my heart rate steadily up. She starts with the moves that call for heavier weights and then toward the end of the segment, she switches to moves that call for lighter weights. She goes through all the moves and then repeats the sequence. Usually, I hate it when an instructor goes through a series of moves and then repeats it. However, in this workout, presumably because she does only 12 of each move, I didn't mind repeating them. In fact, the second time around went faster for me than the first. In both Workout 1 and Workout 2, I looked up to see the time on the clock when she went into the cooldown. The time just flew for me.

I did Workout 1 and Workout 2 twice each. Then, I decided to sample the premixes. I chose the harder mixes because they had footage I hadn't seen yet. I really like that Kelly films extra footage that she uses in the premixes. In the two workouts, Kelly workous out with three background exercisers and one of them, Noelle, acts as the modifier and keeps the moves low impact. In the bonus footage, Kelly is by herself. The duration of the premixes ranges from 21 minutes to 45 minutes.This submenu includes the following options:

> Plateau Split Rounds (Round 1 then Round 2)
> Plateau Challenge (Both Workouts Alternating Each Exercise)
> Plateau Dumbbells Only Mix (Workout 1 and 2 All DB's Then Repeat)
> Plateau Cardio Mix (All Cardio Sections, Workouts 1 and 2, Two Times Each)
> Plateau Combined Mix (Both Workouts)
> Plateau Kelly Harder Mix One (Workout One with Bonus Moves)
> Plateau Kelly Harder Mix Two (Workout Two with Bonus Moves)
> Plateau Bonus Buster (All Bonus Moves)

For advanced exercisers, I am not sure you will like this DVD if you are expecting it to give you a good workout ala Cathe or Michelle Dozois recent workouts or other leaders of advanced workouts. These workouts are intermediate level, even though it is true that you can use heavier weights to make the workout harder. However, note that the bonus moves are more advanced than the regular workouts, so doing the premixes with those moves in them leads to a more advanced workout than the two main workouts. The bonus moves include:

> Forward roll attempts
> Side lunges
> Weighted squat thrusts
> Lying chest flies with leg raises
> Pommel horse
> Fast straddles
> Weighted pop squats
> Modified pullover with crunch

I really like this DVD and the options it gives. However, remember that you must be able to do/like/accept the following in order to enjoy this DVD:

> You must like compound moves
> You must be able to get over repeating the moves
> You must not be looking for a beginning or advanced workout

To me, it felt like Kelly had a vision for this DVD in what she wanted to accomplish. Personally, I think she did accomplish her vision and a good workout was the result for those of who use this DVD. There are many workouts on the market today that want to shock people off a plateau and they go about it by offering really hard workouts. There is some high impact in this workouts (which is easily modifiable) and it can be a challenge to keep up. To me, it was a fun, moderate workout that is different than the other workouts I am doing presently.

Instructor Comments:
Kelly is like a really good forever friend to me. I really enjoy working out with her. In this workout, she is her normal supportive, humorous self.

Laura S.