Older, Wiser, & Wonderful: Levels 3 & 4

Sue Grant
Year Released: 2013

Categories: Athletic Stretch , Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance , Lower Body Strength , Seniors/Seated , Total Body Workouts, Upper Body Strength

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

For some reason, I'm drawn to reviewing workouts for seniors. I'm 50 and don't do them, but I got my mom into workout videos a few years ago and I guess I keep an eye out for videos that she could do and might enjoy. As part of that, I wanted to try this DVD

This workout is done by Sue Grant with two seniors backing her up. One of them does easier modifications and keeps movements smaller and always has a chair by her as an option (she holds onto the chair whenever she is doing a balancing move). The other does harder modifications and gets into it. I thought they both did a good job. This DVD offers two levels of effort (that's what the 3 and 4 refer to). From the menu, you can choose the components you want and those include:

Warmup: 6 minutes - It involves warming up the joints one section at a time. I especially enjoyed the wrist and finger movements. They felt gooooooooddddddd!

Cardio, Level 3: 29 minutes
Cardio, Level 4: 38 minutes
The cardio sections are easy to follow and can get a little repetetive. The moves start with from traditional marches, arm swings and mambos. Then, Sue introduces "scenarios", theme-driven sequences where you do moves while she tells a story. Those scenarios include "circus," "steam engine" and "train robbery" (holding your arms with guns blazing...). Throughout the cardio segments, you do similar walking type movements where you do a lower body move (marching, mambos, side steps, etc.) and then you add in arm movements. The Level 4 cardio workout is nearly identical to the Level 3 cardio workout; it just has a few additional aerobic moves.

Strength & Balance: 31 minutes
This section uses weights, Level 3 exercisers are encouraged to hold lighter weights (2 pounds?) and Level 4 exercisers are encouraged to go a bit heavier. There are a number of combination moves where you do something like a shallow squat while you do a bicep curl or a shoulder press. There are also a number of balance exercises and you are encouraged to hold onto a chair with these. In this segment, she just tells Level 3 exercisers to stop exercising a few reps before the Level 4 exercisers finish.

Stretch: 15 minutes

Or, you can choose the entire Level 3 workout or the entire Level 4 workout. Each includes the appropriate cardio section along with all the other segments (warmup, strength, and stretch). So, most of the two workouts are identical.

As far as equipment goes, this workout calls for a sturdy chair with no arms and light-medium weights (4-6 lbs.). You need some space to move side to side (as in a double side step) and front to back (as in four steps forward and back)

Sue Grant is a capable instructor. She stresses that she based this workout on the principles of applied functional science and seems to want to offer workouts that will help exercisers with functioning in their real lives. I must include that some people will find her irritating. She is unrelentingly cheerful and tends to want to say multiple times how GOOD the moves feel and how much FUN we are all having. I was fine with this, but know that some people have a lower tolerance for perkiness than I do.

Overall, I think this is a good workout for those that need a workout for seniors with gentle options. The workouts are well designed for this population.

Instructor Comments:
She is enthusiastic, encouraging, descriptive, and very, very, cheerful.

Laura S.