Precision ToningTracy Anderson
Year Released: 2013
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Although I'm not a huge Tracy Anderson follower like some, I have and enjoy her Mat Workout. I particularly like the arms segment from that DVD and often do just the arms work alone, which is a bit of a pain since Mat Workout is unchaptered. I was interested in Precision Toning because it also offered short workout segments, but this time, in a chaptered format.
Oddly, the DVD case for Precision Toning says "4 Complete Cardio Workouts." These are sculpting/toning routines, NOT cardio, although it is possible that your heart rate might increase to an aerobic level on a few occasions, such as during the standing leg work. The Main Menu of the DVD simply lists the four segments, and so I have provided an overview of each below.
ARMS (16 minutes)
Anderson begins here with a brief (2-minute) introduction. This is followed by 7.5 minute of unweighted arms work similar to Anderson's Mat Workout. Unlike in Mat, however, here Anderson cues EVERY move, frequently counting all the reps as well (usually 8 total). After the unweighted series, Anderson comes to a kneeling position on the floor, picking up 3# weights for additional arms work. She then actually increases the weights to 5# for a few more moves, with the entire weighted arms sequence being about 6.5 minutes.
LEGS (14 minutes)
This segment involves standing leg work using a chair. Unlike in Mat Workout, however, where Anderson stood behind the chair, this time she has the chair to the side. She performs 25 reps of each exercise before switching to the second side. The standing moves are as follows: 1) deep squat with side kick, 2) fast side kick, 3) attitude side kick, and 4) deep twisting squat with attitude lift. Anderson then kneels to the side of the chair for two additional moves: 1) kneeling side kick and 2) kneeling back kick. This segment was TOUGH--I was winded by the end--and Anderson says that it's just to prepare you for the Butt work!
BUTT (15 minutes)
This section works the behind from an all-fours position. I found this segment VERY challenging, not only because I don't particularly enjoy all-fours work, but also because Anderson does FORTY reps of each move, which really seemed like overkill to me. She has a brief introduction (1-minute) in the beginning, and she explains that she will be using 1.5# ankle weights. (OUCH! I skipped those.) Here are the moves she includes: 1) inverted knee to straight side lift, 2) straight leg side to bent leg kick, 3) side straight leg to crossover attitude, 4) attitude lifts, and 5) inverted kicks.
ABS (13 minutes)
The first 8 minutes of this segment starts off with Anderson's version of crunches. These are general performed with the legs straight, lifting the head and shoulders in a straight line, although Anderson adds various leg movements (e.g., attitude, windshield wiper legs, etc.). I find that keeping my legs perfectly straight strains my back, so I tend to modify by bending them a bit. Anderson concludes this section with the following four plank moves (performed at a fast pace): 1) side touch and kick, 2) front touch and kick, 3) alternating hip drops, and 4) running knees.
Overall, I like this DVD. For awhile, I was doing the Arms work every other day--alternating with Anderson's arms work on her Mat Workout DVD--and I think that helped to tone up my shoulders after they had gotten a bit bulky from a particular weight training program I was doing. I also find the Legs a doable challenge for me. As noted, working on all-fours is not my preferred way to train, so the Butt segment isn't something I will use, but others are likely to love it. Finally, I am still trying to decide if Anderson's abs work is for me; I can't yet tell if my body responds to it yet. Still, I am glad to have this well-cued, well-chaptered Tracy Anderson DVD.
As noted, I don't have a familiarity with a lot of Tracy's work--mainly just Mat Workout other than this. Although I liked her in Mat, she is even more relaxed here, and I definitely appreciated the additional cuing.
I am a high-intermediate/low advanced exerciser in my mid-forties. I thought I'd try doing the Precision Toning DVD 10 times after completing Meta Omnicentric. The routine isn't as tough as some of the Meta levels, but it's longer (56 minutes) and a lot easier to follow!
This is definitely Tracy's most user-friendly DVD—she actually counts all the reps (staying even on both sides!). Some of the rep counts are in voiceover, but it's still great to not have to crane your head around to watch her when on all fours. The chaptering of each section makes it easy to break up—I work from home on some days, and I like to do arms/abs in one 30-minute AM session, then legs/butt in the evening. I need to follow the DVD to do the arms/abs, but I wrote out the legs/butt section so that I could do them while watching TV (or being outside on my porch).
I really like this DVD and am glad I bought it.
I am now using it occasionally as an add-on while I move on to Continuity—the arms/ab sections in Meta are a little too short sometimes.
Here's a break down of Precision Toning:
Precision Toning: 56 minutes
Arms: 14 minutes
9 minutes of un-weighted arms
5 minutes of weighted arms with 3lb weights + on knees with 5lb weights
Legs: 14 minutes, requires chair | 25 reps per move
1_Deep knee bend, then lift right leg into side leg lift at hip height
2_Lean over chair, extend leg at hip height, kick out to side at double time
3_Stand on one left leg. Bend right leg into attitude slightly in front of left knee, raise to side and kick straight.
4_Twisted deep knee bend, then lift right leg into an attitude lift
5_Kneel on one leg. Other leg in front lunge position. Extend leg to hip height and kick—then tap foot back in front lunge position. Lean on chair seat during move.
6_Stay kneeling on one leg. Other leg lunges to side, touch floor with right hand, then extends straight behind butt.
Butt: 15 minutes | 40 reps per move
1_Get on all fours, and invert right knee. Kick right foot up while dropping one hand to the elbow with each rep.
2_Stay on all fours, but move right leg to back corner. Drop left elbow to ground. Kick right leg up to sky, tap back down, repeat.
3_Stay on all fours with leg in back corner and left elbow on ground. Move right leg to leg in “windshield wiper move” — turn knee out at top of attitude leg lift.
4_Drop to both elbows and pulse right leg in attitude lift
5_Extend right hand out to side in a T position. Left arm is bent with elbow on ground. Invert right knee and pulse leg straight up (you are balancing on the left side while the right side is moving/destablized).
Abs: 13 minutes | 20 reps per move/each side
Ends with four plank moves (the plank moves move too quickly for me, so I do them at my own pace.)
1_Drop one leg down onto the side of the thigh, then kick that leg out to a side diagonal. Repeat.
2_Drop one knee down to floor, then kick the foot/leg back up to sky. Repeat.
3_Drop into elbow plank. Twist/drop down to the left side. Elevate back up, then twist/drop down to the right side. Repeat.
4_Stay in elbow plank. “Run” by dropping the right and left knees down quickly in succession.
Tracy is so much more normal and positive in this DVD — she explains each move and even gives form pointers. The form pointers are quite helpful. No pouting or sex-kitten faces. This is her most "normal" DVD—she is serious by friendly and encouraging.