Breathless Body 3: HIIT It BigAmy Dixon
Year Released: 2013
Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights)
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Title: Breathless Body 3: HIIT It Big
Instructor: Amy Dixon
Time: 60 Minutes
Level of Difficulty: Advanced
DVD menu: Play workout
Production quality: High
Equipment used: None
A little about me: I consider myself to be an advanced exerciser and use workouts such as Dream Body and Tonique consistently (less frequently Horizontal Conditioning and Zuzka ZCut cardio). During a sale I picked up Breathless Body 3 (don’t have 1 or 2 to compare) because it looked like a fun HIIT workout and I liked the variety of exercises. I was hoping with my Zuzka experience I would find the workout to be somewhat doable. I did find it to be challenging, but doable, and it was a very enjoyable workout!
Debbie already broke down the workout so I’ll just add my opinions. It is a simple format-just eight exercises then combine all eight at the end as a finisher-but I wasn’t bored at all. The actual cardio was about 45 minutes before going to the floor for abs. I enjoy drill style cardio, find it really gets my heart rate up and burns out the muscles a little too. Between each exercise Amy goes to each of her backgrounders (a woman to the viewer’s left provides easier modifications, and a man to the viewer’s right provides more advanced modifications) and has them demonstrate the move, then she demonstrates the intermediate. She was very clear in her instruction and there wasn’t too much downtime. I liked that there were a couple of horizontal circuits in there mixed in with the standing work. I thought Drill #6 (boxing) was too easy, even trying to up the intensity, to be considered “HIIT” although it was a refreshing breather for someone working themselves up to an advanced workout.
On the whole I think it is a great cardio workout and it seemed balanced enough so that for an hour long HIIT workout it didn’t leave me spent, but energized. I will say that even half that time with Zuzka is probably more intense, due to less rest time, longer circuits, and less lower intensity exercises mixed in, but not every single day I am up for a Zuzka workout. The ab portion was four exercises performed for 60 seconds, then repeat. The choice of exercises was challenging, but not killer. Overall I enjoyed the cardio workout and will definitely incorporate it into my routine. More intermediate exercisers can follow the beginner modifier, and advanced exercisers can the most out of the workout by following the advanced modifier.
Years ago I had tried Amy’s “Give Me 10” workout and I really didn’t enjoy the workout or her as an instructor. I liked her a lot of better in this workout, she gave good form pointers and the workout was much easier to follow. While I don’t desire to revisit her strength workouts again, I would be tempted to pick up the other Breathless Body workouts if I were to get them on sale.
Full disclosure: I received this as a free preview. There are eight drills in this workout, each drill is repeated 4 times, 40 seconds each time, with a 20-second recovery period after each round. The warm-up begins with squats, then moves into squats with a cat/cow stretch. This was followed by torso rotations with an added squat, jabs and jacks, knee lifts and kicks, then we alternate jabs, jacks, knees, and kicks before ending with side lunges and boxer shuffles.
Drill #1 “Lunge Pops” – lunges with a hoppy pulse jump. As Amy does these, she reminds you that “This is Breathless, not Mildly Winded!” Like all the drills, this is repeated four times (40 seconds each round with 20-second recovery after each round.) . Amy shows good modifications; I did the “easy” modification of alternating lunges.
Drill #2 “Knee Slam” – lift knee, then lower foot, turn sideways and punch down to the floor (like a woodchopper move.) During the recovery, Amy says “If you don’t need it, you didn’t earn it!”
Drill #3 “Plank Tuck Jack” – from plank position, jump knees under chest, then out wide, then alternate one-arm rows. I had a hard time with this one, so I eliminated the one-arm rows. Even so, this was a tough drill.
Drill #4 “Squat Bound Pistol” – from a standing position, jump forward onto one leg, then do a heel dig. Repeat other side, then alternate. I did the modification, which was to jump forward with BOTH feet landing on the ground, then do the heel digs.
Drill #5 “Mogul Burpee” – at least I think that’s what she said; maybe it was “Mobil Burpee?” Anyway, it was a variation of my least favorite exercise: burpees.
Drill #6 “Boxer Split” – knee lift, kick, then four alternating hooks. (The advanced version is kick, kick, then four alternating hooks.)
Drill #7 “Chugs” – jump forward and backward, doing the jumps slower in the “easier” version and faster in the “advanced” version.
Drill #8 “Scorpion Fly” – in the modified version you jump from side to side, bringing one foot behind the other (sort of like a courtesy lunge) and do a sort of graceful lean to one side. In the advanced version, you sink go lower and touch the ground.
Are we done yet? NOPE! Now comes the “Metabolic Finisher” where each of the eight drills are repeated for 30 seconds each, no break. Yowsa!
NOW are we done?? NOPE!! Next up is the “Core Blast” where you (1) roll like a ball (Core Roll); (2) do variations of pikes (Leg Drop Crunch); (3) do variations of “bird dog” moves on your hands and knees (Hover Sprinter; the more advanced version of these are done on your toes, with your knees lifted), then (4) a vinyasa push-up/cobra move (Superman Power Up). NOW we get to stretch!! We start in a plank position (this is a STRETCH??) then bring one foot up to shoulder level (“spider” move?) and lift first one arm, then the other, to the ceiling. Shift into downward-facing dog and pedal your feet. Repeat plank moves on the other side, then move back into downward-facing dog. Inhale to stand, then move into quad stretches and figure-four stretches. NOW we’re done!
This was one tough workout, but could be modified for those who don’t want to (or can’t) work at an advanced level; it’s one that you could definitely grow into. The DVD is not chaptered (except for the intro), so you can’t fast-forward past any of the drills that you might want to skip (like planks or burpees, LOL!) Amy was motivating and friendly in a no-nonsense kind of way. The music was generic, yet energetic. The industrial setting was fine, with brick walls and large round blue mats (now I want a mat like that!)