30 Minutes to Fitness Home Gym Intervals

Kelly Coffey-Meyer
Year Released: 2014

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights) , Indoor Cycling , Treadmill/Elliptical/Running/Stairs

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Last year, I lost a ton of fitness, so this year I've restarted trying to regain fitness capacity. I started with about 15 minute workouts and have worked up to 40-45 minutes max. In the process, I've built up my cardio capacity and strength. I'm still not to where I want to be, but it's nice to see improvement. At this point in time, I'm looking for workouts that engage me and encourage me to work out for longer and harder than I have been able to for a long time and it's working.

When this DVD was anounced, I was surprised at my interest because I don't have a workout machine. But, I immediately wondered if I could use my gliding disks with this workout - doing my own thing sliding around the room while they are all on their cardio machines. After trying both workouts on the DVD, the results are mixed. I did each of the workouts and enjoyed them both - but I wondered if I would pull out the DVD again in the next few months to do them again. I guess only time will tell. I used my gliding disks and my Fitstix. It occurred to me that I could wear light hand weights to enhance the level of effort during the cardio sections. This conflicted feeling means that I think that the workouts are well done and worth doing - if you click with them.

Kelly leads these workouts on a bright and fairly plain set. She encourages you to use whatever machine you have and gives multiple examples: she and Sam are on treadmills; Lori uses an elliptical, and Marcus is on a spin bike. Both workouts are basically the same pattern - warm up on the machine, do a cardio interval for 1.5 minutes and then one strength move for a minute, and finally cool down on the machine. I liked the first workout more than the second; I thought the strength moves were a bit more fun in the first. Most of the time, you need just one dumbbell, although there were a few moves that used two. So, all you need for the workout is something for the cardio and 2 dumbbells.

Throughout the workouts, Kelly gives tips and form pointers for the different machines. She also tells people on treadmills to follow Sam in getting on and off the treadmill because she, Kelly, gets on and off at full speed while Sam slows the treadmill down before getting off. I'm not sure though that they always showed Sam at those times.

Overall, I liked these workouts and thought some of the strength moves were fun, especially the hot potato squat and the dumbbell throw (although I didn't let go of it). The strength segments seemed short since they were only 1 minute, so you always seemed to be moving, either on or off the cardio machines. For those who like to longer sets, this pattern might not be very good. The fact that I was getting on and off gliding disks made it easier to move quickly. I was engaged throughout the workouts, but I wonder if this might be a short-term like - I might get tired of these workouts sooner rather than later. We'll see.

Instructor Comments:
She seems to really believe in this workout and genuinely wants to give people with cardio machines a good workout.

Laura S.


Kelly Coffey-Meyer is probably my favorite current fitness instructor, and I own many of her workouts. I love her "30 Minutes to Fitness" series for its versatility (each DVD has 2 30-minute workouts plus lots of premix options). I was excited about this new offering in the series, Home Gym Intervals (HGI), because it incorporates use of cardio equipment that you already have at home. I have a recumbent bike that I don't use nearly enough, so I thought this would be perfect!

Kelly instructs this workout live on a newer set. She and Sam are using treadmills; Lori is on a elliptical, and Marcus is using a spin bike. The Main Menu offers chapters for Introduction - Workout One - Workout Two - Bonus "Waistline" - Premixes - Outtakes - Credits - Music On/Off. I have described each of the main workouts below.

WORKOUT 1 (32.5 minutes)
Kelly performs the 5.5 minute warm-up on the cardio machine. She gradually encourages you to pick up the speed over the course of the warm-up. For the workout, Kelly alternates between weight moves and 1.5-minute cardio intervals as follows:
*1 dumbbell, hot potato squat (pass or toss DB overhead)
*cardio interval
*squat to bent over row; step to opposite side and repeat
*cardio interval
*bent over row, side 1
*cardio interval
*bent over row, side 2
*cardio interval
*side step with "throw" (move) the dumbbell in arc at head height
*cardio interval
*"pendulum curl" (double bicep curl with side leg extension)
*cardio interval
*press and pull (overhead press with reach down to opposite foot), side 1
*cardio interval
*press and pull, side two
Following the last strength move, Kelly returns to the cardio machine for a 2-minute cool-down "walk." This is followed by 3 minutes of quick stretches for the upper and lower body, concluding with a one-leg balance.

WORKOUT 2 (28 minutes)
Kelly starts with the same 5.5 minute warm-up, and then she follows the same format of alternating strength moves with 1.5 minute cardio intervals.
*alternating single bicep curls plus two double hammer curls
*cardio interval
*double kickbacks
*cardio interval
*knee smash (bring 1 DB from overhead), side 1
*cardio interval
*knee smash, side 2
*cardio interval
*cable pull (1 DB to foot, pull elbow up and back), side 1
*cardio interval
*cable pull, side 2
*cardio interval
*push ups
*cardio interval
*triceps dips on floor
Kelly concludes with the same 5-minute cool-down/stretch. During this workout, she mentions that she is using 12# dumbbells, Marcus is using 15#, and "the girls" (Sam and Lori) are using 8#.

BONUS "Waistline" (9.5 minutes)
This section features Kelly alone. She starts with a standing elbow dip/crunch with a cross punch move. Next, she moves to the floor for a plank "pledge," touching the shoulders and the knees. Adding exercises including plank with a step in and out, a combination of four rib shifts/four punches down, "field goals," and standing crunches.

As always, Kelly includes a variety of premixes. Here is how they appear on the HGI premixes menu:
*Combined Workouts One and Two (55 Min)
*Kelly's Combined Mix One (33 Min)
*Kelly's Combined Mix Two (27 Min)
*Split Up #1 (30 Min)
First half of Workout 1 and Second half of Workout 2
*Split Up #2 (31 Min)
Second half of Workout 1 and First half of Workout 1
*All Dumbbell Mix (27 Min)

As always, Kelly did a nice job with this DVD. I particularly enjoyed some of the weight moves, such as the hot potato squat, the dumbbell throw, the press and pull, and the cable pull. Overall, however, I was disappointed with these workouts. Why? As it turned out, I did NOT like how the cardio was incorporated. I had expected that Kelly would perform several weight moves or sets, then go to the cardio machine. Instead, she does cardio intervals after EVERY strength move, which I found both tiresome and tedious. Furthermore, it made setup difficult--i.e., I was often rushing back post-cardio intervals to try to get into position for the weights. I also did not like that the cardio machine was used for both the warm-up AND the cool-down; this just served to increase the boredom factor for me even further. I tried doing the "All Dumbbell" premix, but the warm-up just dragged, and the workout didn't flow very well.

In the end, this DVD just did not click with me. As noted, it is well-done, and it certainly might be a better fit for the right person--perhaps someone who is using one of the actual cardio machines featured in the DVD (i.e., my recumbent bike doesn't have "hills" or other settings, another problem), or maybe just someone who enjoys the frequent cardio change-ups more than I did.

Instructor Comments:
I truly love Kelly as an instructor--I find her to be down-to-earth, encouraging, motivating, humorous, and real. She mirror cues, and I've always found her easy-to-follow. Unfortunately, I didn't think she allowed enough setup time in switching from the cardio to strength intervals here.

Beth C (aka toaster)