Hard Work Conditioning 24/7

Patrick Goudeau
Year Released: 2009

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights) , Step Aerobics

Video Fitness reviews may not be copied, quoted, or posted elsewhere without the permission of the reviewer

Show oldest reviews first

This is the third Patrick Goudeau Hard Work Conditioning workout, preceded by the original HWC and HWC 2. Having done HWC several times and wanting to step things up a notch, I tried HWC 24/7 and this is such a wonderful workout! This is more advanced than HWC but is still very doable for the high intermediate/advanced exerciser. Patrick works out with two female background exercisers-I recognize them from some of his other workouts (HWC and Play Ball?). The music was very good and similar to his HWC workout, and the production quality is high. The exercises were mostly well synchronized to the music. The workout is filmed in a well lighted, airy studio.

The DVD menu is very difficult to follow: options include the warm up (Wake Up), Monday-Sunday (different premixes each day), the abs, and the stretch (Chill). Each day is different but Monday is the day which has all of the chapters in the main workout, so to play the entire 65 minute workout, you have to first choose the Wake Up chapter (6 minutes), Monday (46 minutes), abs (6 minutes), and Chill (7 minutes). So, unfortunately there is no play all option (definitely a pet peeve of mine but the workout is really good so I’ll continue to use it), additionally, all of the chapters have a brief pause between them so the workout does not flow as though it was filmed uninterrupted. This review is based on the workout done in entirety using the Monday premix.

The equipment includes a long step (I used the green part of the Transfirmer step which worked great) which is positioned perpendicular to the TV (rather than the long side being parallel to the TV) which sometimes made the positioning hard to follow when you are following them, and may also be an issue for people who have limited workout space (I don’t) but on the whole I think it is easy to modify and move around the step if needed. You could even go without the step although the cardio heavily relies on the step for intensity; the strength relies on it as well but you could more easily go without and still keep up the intensity here. He also uses two sets of weights, a heavy (I used my 10#s which seemed appropriate-he even mentioned one of his backgrounders also used 10#s, and a lighter set (I used 6-8# depending on the exercise). He mostly used the heavy weights. There is also a mat used primarily for one chapter which as an exercise lunging back into a kneeling position.

The warm up is very similar to HWC and includes diagonal overhead arm reaches with punches, into side to side lunges with touch to floor, and eight pushups, then repeat the entire sequence on the other lead. All those pushups definitely get your heart rate up!

Then back to the main menu where you choose Monday, and the sequence of each chapter is 2 minutes cardio followed by roughly 4 minutes of strength (each chapter is about 6 minutes long).

Cardio work was drill-based (no choreography here) and included fast feet straddled over the step (with step ups on one leg); up and over the step lengthwise sort of like a skier shuffle using the step; mountain climbers then flip over (facing up) then mountain climbers on the other side, alternate with burpees (that was probably the toughest); step up onto the step then run around to the other side and steps on that side, alternating (sort of an agility move); hopscotch using the step as added intensity hopping up on one foot at a slower and faster rate. Some of the cardio was easier than others but they were all pretty tough and really got the heart rate up!

The strength really kept the heart rate up as Patrick’s exercises were all functional and often worked several muscle groups at once. The chapters included: weighted squat thrusts adding renegade rows using heavy weights; MORE renegade rows with a plank walk side to side and add pushups and side plank with weight overhead all using heavy weight, drop weights to walk up and down step with hands in plank pose; lunge back to floor into a kneeling pose and back up again, all while holding one weight overhead, repeat, then squats while “tossing” the weight to other hand, all while using one medium or heavy weight, repeat on other side; lunge back and rest back knee on step for French press, then stand but same leg lunges back with rows, stay in low static lunge with bicep curls (“like you’re coming out of a cannon”) using heavy weights, then squat with bicep curls, repeat on other side; lay on step for chest flies, crunch into sitting position with shoulder press (slow deliberate crunch) and back with knee ins, using heavy weights, repeat; side lunge onto the step with a one-arm lateral shoulder raise into front raise and down (so making a triangle shape) into shoulder press with leg raise (balance challenge), then deep curtsey lunge touching weight to floor, using medium weight, repeat on other side.

The abs chapter went by very quickly and included crunch variations (weighted and not weighted) which worked both the upper and lower abs. Diagonal crunches with opposite leg lift (he likes this crunch variation and uses it in a lot of his workouts), weight in hand with static upper body in sitting position and slowly crunch knees to elbows, upper/lower crunch pulses into double leg stretch with weight; repeat these three exercises on other side.

Patrick did a very good job of sequencing one chapter to focus on legs, then switch to arms, and so forth, to get a bit of a break in between muscle groups. The core was worked throughout and there was also a more ab/chest focused chapter towards the end, and of course if you choose to add the abs chapter you get more there too. I also thought that the first two or three chapters were very intense and harder than the rest of the workout-which allowed you to really expend energy on the hard stuff but level out while your energy waned but still allowed you to keep good form. As usual, Patrick makes the workout FUN. He moves quickly but never rushed, he cues nicely and mirror cued. He always tells you which poundage to pick up (lighter or heavier). It felt to me like the exercises went by quickly and the chapters flew by as well, it didn’t feel like 65 minutes at the end!

I would rate this workout as low advanced and you can certainly make the workout harder by going all out intensity on the cardio and using heavier weights. Grade A+!

Instructor Comments:
I really enjoy Patrick and have many of his strength-oriented workouts (have never attempted his famously tricky-choreography cardio workouts). He is enthusiastic, gives out great form pointers, and has excellent form. He giggles and says “oh my gosh” a lot and even once said something like “I bet you’re happy I’m out of breath because now I won’t say ‘oh my gosh’ again!” Anyway I really enjoy his enthusiasm.

Emily B.