Gold Medal Fitness

Mitch Gaylord

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights)

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I picked up this DVD set at a used book sale. My cover says "Melt it Off - 4 Complete Workouts." I had previously owned some of the "Melt it Off" workouts that Mitch Gaylord did with fitness instructor Mindy Mylrea, and I worried that these might be the same, but they are not, they are completely different. Not only is there NO Mindy, but within the workouts themselves, Mitch never refers to "Melt if Off"--instead, he calls these workouts "GMF," short for Gold Medal Fitness, which is emblazoned across the set. Of course, Mitch Gaylord is an Olympic Gold medal winner (for gymnastics), so this name makes sense; I'm just not sure why the disparity with the outer cover of the DVD. The only thing that these workouts do have in common with the other "Melt it Off" set is the use of the "G Ball," a medicine ball. In these workouts, Mitch recommends 4, 6, or 8 lbs., and he sometimes switches it up.

Scott has given some great, very detailed reviews of the workouts on this DVD, so I'll just add my own shorter summary.

The Main Menu for the DVD reads as follows:
o Play All
o Introduction
o Melt in 10 Workout
o Play High Calorie Melt Workout
o Play Cardio Burn and Sculpt Workout
o Play Sizzlin Abs Workout
o Play Together Cardio Burn + Sizzling Abs

For each workout, Mitch is teaching live, and he is joined by two background exercisers. Mitch varies between performing the exercises and moving around the room coaching. See below for brief overviews of each class.

In this sequence, 10 moves are performed in 10 minutes. The introduction that precedes this workout is about 8 1/2 minutes long and explains all of the moves so as not to slow down the routine itself. Some of the moves appear in the other workouts on the DVD as well (e.g., iron cross); they are both strength-focused and cardio-intensive. This workout includes a short warm-up and cool-down.

Mitch repeatedly refers to this workout as Citius. I had to figure out that this is part of the Olympic motto (Citius, Altius, Fortius) and means "faster," appropriate for a cardio routine. This 58-minute workout uses the G-ball throughout Mitch is joined by Crystal and Jason, and the three perform three different levels of the exercises--helpfully referred to as Gold, Silver, and Bronze. After a nice gradual aerobic warm-up, the workout is performed in 1-minute of cardio rounds: you'll do 4-5 rounds followed by a core exercise (mostly push-ups), then repeat the cardio rounds. There were about three circuits of this altogether followed by a 4 1/2 minute cool-down-stretch.

Fortius means "stronger." Although this was the strength routine, it still moved quickly and had a pretty intense cardio component as well. Mitch is jointed by Liz and Sly, again demonstrating three different levels of the routine. The warm-up is similar to the one for the cardio workout, with the option of using the G-ball or not. For the strength portion, the first 16 minutes of the workout focuses entirely on the lower body with moves such as half squats, around the world squats, back lunges, side lunges, and on the floor, hamstring rollouts. Arms work included overhead curls, overhead passes, iron cross, and then a whole series of push-ups to finish, including a plyo push-up option. There was a nice 5-minute stretch, bringing in the total time for this workout at just under 40 minutes (39:58).

Mitch describes this workout as developing core strength without doing situps. It's pretty challenging! Mitch starts with his typical standing warm-up, using the G-ball or not. Moving to the floor with the G-ball, he performs exercises such as in-and-out extensions, tuck-ups, oblique rotations, kayak, scissor switch, and pike ups. Many of these moves are done for a high number of repetitions, making them even more difficult. Mitch concludes this 24-minute minute routine with a short cool-down stretch.

I am a daily exerciser, and I struggled to get through these workouts, mostly at the bronze level! I was using a 4-lb. medicine ball. There are places where you could probably sub a small dumbbell, but having the med ball is preferable. Although these workouts are a bit on the older side now (produced 10 years ago, in 2007), the simple studio setting does not feel overly dated. Mitch is a likeable, encouraging instructor, and I would definitely recommend this DVD to intermediate and above exercisers looking for great workouts with minimal equipment.

Instructor Comments:
As mentioned above, Mitch is extremely likeable. He talks directly to the viewer, encouraging you to put in your best effort while at the same time to choose the level that is right for you. He feels very genuine, which is one of the qualities I like best in an instructor.

Beth C (aka toaster)


Thank you for this EXCELLENT detailed review.

I was very interested in this workout and could not find any real information about, until I came across your review.



This along with all the other Melt It Off programs is a GREAT workout! In fact, I'd rate it as one of the best fitness dvd purchases I've ever made and I have over 200 programs in my collection!

Mitch Gaylord does a great job leading this program which I found (and continue to find) extremely challenging, a total sweat bath! This is a program I would consider a metabolic circuit where you are creating a metabolic disturbance in the body which should burn calories long after the workout is done (what Alwyn Cosgrove refers to as the "Afterburn"), plus a workout like this should help you build lean muscle mass which makes you more of a fat burning machine.

You are also working the body in multiple planes of motion so it has a strong functional strength component to it.

This is a detailed breakdown of Citius High Calorie Melt


1. Jog in Place (1 min 30 secs)
2. Stretch side to side w/ ball over head, legs in straddle position.
3. Slow motion Pivot Twist (w/ ball on sternum) Fully rotate torso/hips from side to side, feet wide w/ toes pointed out 12 reps
4. Slow Motion Squats: w/ G-ball on sternum
5. Reach and Roll Lunges
6. Thigh-Thigh-Shoulder-Shoulder in wide leg stance w/ bent knees 12 Reps
7. Around the world squats (Toes pointed out) Bring ball down as you squat, then sweep it around from left to right as you rise up, lower back to squat as ball comes back down 20 reps
8. Push-ups: Elbows by side (on knees, toes w/ wide feet, toes w/ one leg raised)

CARDIO Section I

1. G-ball jacks (raise ball above head as feet come wide) 30 reps
2. Around the world back lunges 20 reps (ball comes up and around to the outside of the front thigh…similar arm pattern as “around the world squats))
3. Pass Press Side Lunges: As you lunge to each side, bring the ball straight out in front (pass), then Press it overhead. Repeat lunging in opposite direction. 10 reps
---repeat previous 2 exercises
4. Knee up and overs: (High knee jog w/ ball moving side to side) 60 seconds
5. Push ups w/ both hands on the G-ball (on knees, toes etc.)


1. Side knee crunches (in a lunge position (w/ straight back leg) extend ball straight out in front of chest, then bring ball inward as you bring the same side knee forward) 10 reps
2. Straight arm Pike Press (ball is extended over head, it’s lowered down w/ straight arms to meet straight legs (hip flexion). Alternate legs. (Modification: bend arms and knees)
3. Iron Cross: Ball is extended over head, hold G-ball in one hand as you lower arms (adduction) until they are parallel w/ the floor, then raise arms back up, switch ball to other hand and repeat. 20 Reps
4. Squatting Teeter Totter: In a wide leg squat position, hold G-ball at sternum while you laterally flex the torso from side to side
---repeat numbers 1 thru 4---
5. G-ball twister (wide stance, swing ball side to side at waist level, keep hips stable and abs facing forward, not twisting) 60 seconds
6. One Arm G-ball pushups (do 4 w/ one hand on G-Ball then roll it over to the other hand and do 4.… 16 total reps)


1. Jump twist: Squat down, touch ball to floor, then bring the ball overhead as you jump and twist all the way to the back etc.
2. Around the World Front Lunge: Lunge 2 times forward (switching lead legs), then turn around and lunge 2 times back to the starting position. Do this for 6 Sets
3. Squat and Curl: Squat, then curl G-ball over shoulder, alternate shoulder each time you come up. 20 reps.
4. Squat and Reach: Squat, touch ball to floor, then press ball overhead as you ascend and raise on toes 10 Reps
5. G-Ball Hop-overs: Alternate tapping the ball w/ each foot or hop over laterally w/ 1 foot touching ball then the other, or hop w/ both feet (more plyometric) 60 seconds
6. Tuck Position (like chair pose w/ ball held between knees): G-ball between knees, squat w/ arms overhead 60 seconds
7. One Arm G-ball push-ups: Do a push-up w/ one hand on G-ball, one on the floor. Roll the ball to the other hand while you’re in the “up” position. There is also a “Gold” Medal version which is more plyometric. 6-10 reps

Repeat all three cardio sections (or if you want to do a “halfsie” forward to the “CORE” section)

1. Kayaks (Like Russian twists, except you bicycle your legs. Bring the ball to the outside of the flexed hip/knee.
2. Right-Left-Center Crunches: w/ bent legs, holding ball in front of you, crunch right, left and then center. Do this 4 XS then hold the last one in the center for 10 counts.

----Repeat Right-Left-Center Crunches again plus 10 count hold---
3. Right knee-Left Knee-Center: arms hold ball over head, legs are out straight. Bring ball to meet the right leg as it bends inward, then straighten out to starting position and repeat bending the left leg inward, then both legs bend into the center. After last rep, hold for 10 counts in the extended position (w/ arms straight overhead and legs held off of the ground).
4. Plank: either w/ arms out in front (on toes), bent arms in front (on toes), or bent arms in front (on knees).

Repeat entire CORE section (or for “halfsie” go to cool down)

1. Supine, pull knees into chest and rock side to side
2. Extend left leg out. Bring right knee to chest and twist right leg over (repeat to other side).
3. Put right ankle over left knee and bring it into chest glute stretch (repeat to other side).
4. Seated forward bend.
5. Cobblers pose (aka Butterfly)
6. Half dog (in front, then brings arms to right side, then left side)
7. Child’s pose (w/ hands along side of torso).

Instructor Comments:
Mitch is a great instructor, both in terms of explaining the exercises clearly and demonstrating them to perfection. He keeps a light attitude during the workout (no screaming or yelling), rather he motivates and inspires through his own example.

Scott (Yogadad)


FORTIUS (Cardio Burn and Sculpt) MITCH GAYLORD

All of the Gold Medal Fitness (aka "Melt It Off") programs are extremely well done. This program, Fortius is more of a pure strength workout from the Gold Medal Fitness series.

This is a detailed breakdown of the program.


1. Jog in Place (1 min 30 secs). You can pass the G-ball between the hands (optional).
2. Stretch side to side w/ ball over head, legs in straddle position.
3. Rotate low then high : (G-ball on sternum) Rotate downward to the left, turning your feet and hips, then rotate diagonally upward to the right, turning your feet and hips. 10 on one side, then 10 on the other.
4. Reach and Roll Lunges (alternating sides)
5. Half Squats: Set-up w/ G-ball behind head, elbows point out to the sides, toes pointed out. 20 reps.
6. Half Circles: Hold legs in half squat position. Start w/ G-ball down in front of groin. In a controlled manner, sweep the ball out and around to the right side until it’s overhead. Then sweep it back down to the right to the starting position. Do this 10XS to the right side, then 10X to the left side.
7. Knee raise twist: Raise one knee at a time while rotating the torso and bringing the ball to the outside of the hip (of the raised knee). Alternate right and left. 30 total reps.

Workout Section 1: Legs (Lower Body)

1. Half Squat: Start facing forward. Feet together, w/ ball on sternum. Do a half turn so that you’re facing the right side with wide legs, feet turned out. Squat down while bringing the ball to the floor. As you raise up, rotate the body to face forward, w/ feet together as you bring ball back to sternum. (10 on one side, then 10 on the other)

2. Around the world squats (Toes pointed out) Bring ball down as you squat, then sweep it around from left to right as you rise up (ball will be over head in this position), lower back to squat as ball comes back down toward the ground. Then repeat in the other direction. 20 total reps

3. Back Lunges w/ thigh circle w/ G-ball: Start w/ G-ball on sternum. Lunge back, bring G-ball under the front leg (from the inside of the thigh) passing it to the other hand, then raise up to starting position. Do 15 reps on one side then 15 on the other.

4. Side lunge w/ high and low circles: Start facing front w/ G-ball on sternum. Hold ball in the same hand as the front leg. Lunge out to the side, back leg rotates so that you’re on the ball of the foot. Pass the ball behind the back, then under the front leg (from inside the thigh). Do 15 reps to the right, then 15 to the left side.

5. Figure 8 squats: Wide squat (toes out) position. Pass ball thru the legs (from front to back), right hand pass it to the left hand (which is behind the body). Bring the ball up and over the left thigh and pass it thru the legs (left hand to the right hand). Bring the ball up and over the right thigh. Then holding the ball w/ both hands, touch the floor and raise up to starting position w/ ball at sternum. 12 total reps.

6. Front statue lunges: Holding the G-ball at the sternum, lunge one leg forward while turning the body to face the side. Then come back to starting position (facing forward). Alternate sides w/ each rep. 20 total reps. Note: the back foot can either point straight ahead on the ball of the foot or point to the side (like a warrior 2 pose)

7. Tuck Position (like chair pose w/ ball held between knees): G-ball between knees, squat w/ arms overhead 60 seconds

8. Hamstring rollouts: Lie supine, legs bent w/ both feet on the G-ball, arms out wide for balance. Roll the ball out until the back of the lower legs (just above Achilles) are on the G-ball, w/ the hips extending up off the floor. Then roll ball back in and lower down. (for Gold medal version, keep the hips off the ground the whole time. 10 total reps.

----Forward bend----

9. One legged hamstring rollout: lie supine, one foot on ball, other leg extended out front (about 45 degree angle). Press the sole of the foot into the G-ball and lift hips off of the floor, do 10 reps on one side, hold the last rep for 10 seconds. Repeat w/ other leg. Note: the further away the ball is placed, the easier it is.

Section 2: Arms (upper body) Section

1. Push-ups: elbows in close (no G-ball) 6-12 reps.

2. Over the shoulder curls: Start in fighter’s stance (a lunge-like position w/ staggered feet). Alternate bringing ball over one shoulder then the other. Do 20 reps slow, then 20 in double time.

3. Iron Cross: Ball is extended over head, hold G-ball in one hand as you lower arms (adduction) until they are parallel w/ the floor, then raise arms back up, switch ball to other hand and repeat. 20 Reps

4a. Overhead pass: part 1: Start in fighter’s stance, w/ arms extended straight out in front (palms up holding G-ball). Flex elbows and shoulders to bring the ball overhead, then bring ball back to starting position. 20 reps.

4b. Half Curls Over the Shoulder: part 2 continuing from previous exercise, hold the ball in front at shoulder level (elbows fully extended), then do half curls w/ the ball from shoulder to shoulder, returning to this extended position between reps.

5. Two arm G-ball push-ups: place both hands on ball, bring sternum to G-all (on knees or toes).

6. Repeat exercises 2-5 of “Arm” sequence doing 16 reps per exercise

7. Then do G-ball pushups (4 on one side, then roll ball over to other hand and do 4 on the other side etc.)

8. Repeat exercises 2-5 of “Arm” sequence doing 12 reps per exercise.

9. One-arm alternating G-ball pushups (on knees or toes), alternate each rep. 6-12 reps.

10. Kneeling Plyo Push-up: Start on knees w/ ball on sternum. “Fall” forward in a very controlled manner. Do a push-up and explode back to the starting position.
Var 1. (Gold): bring ball overhead after pushup as you come up (then return it to sternum to start next rep).
Var 2. (Bronze): After push-up, roll ball back towards you and pick it up to prepare for next rep.

Cool down

1. Wide leg upward dog (on toes) w/ fingers pointing outward., hold for a while.
2. Child’s pose
3. Half dog: Bring arms over to right side, left side and end in the center.
4. Knees into chest: from supine position, rock side to side.
5. Lying twist: pull right knee in, left leg straight, and twist. Repeat on other side.
6. Lying Glute stretch: Place right ankle over left knee, and pull it inwards (repeat on other side).
7. Forward bend (from previous exercise, bring both legs straight up in the air, then roll forward for forward bend).
8. Butterfly stretch (same as Cobbler‘s pose).

Instructor Comments:
Same comments as I wrote for Citius, Mitch Gaylord is a true inspiration.

Scott (Yogadad)


The Melt In 10 Workout has a detailed introduction of 10 exercises which is followed by the same 10 exercise circuit performed as an actual workout (w/ a warmup and cooldown).

Not only it this a great introduction to Mitch's approach and using medicine balls, but it's a great little workout when you are short on time.

I have also used it as a workout to use when I've had a layoff due to illness or injury (in my case I used it as one of the first workouts after cervical spine surgery once I had approval to begin working out again from my surgeon).

Here's a detailed breakdown of the program.


1. Knee up and over (march, bringing G-ball over the hip of the raised knee)

2. Reach and Roll Lunge (alternating sides)

3. G-Ball Jacks (do jumping jack legs while pressing ball up and down) Note: you can do these as half jacks (w/ the legs doing a “step touch”)


1. Thigh-Thigh-Shoulder-Shoulder

2. Pass Press (lunge)

3. Toy Soldier (G-ball overhead, bring ball down as you flex hip w/ straight leg to meet ball).

4. Around the world squats (Toes pointed out) Bring ball down as you squat, then sweep it around from left to right as you rise up, lower back to squat as ball comes back down

5. Teeter totter (wide squat (toes out) position, holding ball at sternum, laterally flex spine side to side).

6. Triceps extension: in slight lunge position, bring ball behind head and do triceps extension.

7. Biceps curls (same stance as previous exercise). Curl from shoulder to shoulder. Do them first slowly and then double time.

8. Squat and reach w/ calve raise: As you squat down, touch the G-ball to the floor. As you ascend, press the G-ball over your head while also raising heels into a calve raise.

9. Iron Cross: start w/ G-ball overhead, lower straight arms until they are parallel w/ the floor. Then sweep arms back up, switch G-ball into other hand and repeat.

10. G-ball twister (wide stance, swing ball, in a controlled manner, from side to side at waist level, keep hips stable and abs facing forward, not twisting)

Cool down

1. With legs wide, arms over head, leg stretch to left, then turn to face left leg into a one leg forward bend (then repeat these on right side).

2. Wide leg forward bend w/ arms clasped.

-then roll up, sweeping arms overhead and stretch it back and return to standing position.

Instructor Comments:
Mitch Gaylord is a natural and gifted instructor and demonstrates everything perfectly!

Scott (Yogadad)


This is Mitch Gaylord's Ab routine from the Gold Medal Fitness (aka "Melt It Off") program. There are some very challenging moves here that might not be right for everyone so use caution if you are an inexperienced exerciser.


1. High Knees Jog (You can pass G-ball from hand to hand).

2. Overhead stretch (side to side w/ G-ball over head)

3. Knee raise twist (High knee march while rotating the torso to bring ball to outside of the hip of the raised knee)


1. In and out extension: G-ball between knees, hands behind torso. Extend and flex knees. Bring torso towards knees as they flex inward (like “in and outs” from P90X) 25 reps

2. Tuck-ups: Lying supine w/ legs extended, ball straight overhead. Bring right knee in while your curl up and bring the G-ball to the shin. Then do this to the left side, then the center. 12 reps (right/left/center = 1 rep)

3. Obliques: Place ball between knees (w/ knees bent), hands behind torso. Rotate the torso from side to side (w/ feet off the floor). Note: Don’t lean back too far.

4. Plank: Bronze: on forearms (sphinx position) and knees. Silver: on forearms, on toes w/ wide legs (or they can be close together. Gold: on hands w/ arms out far in front, on toes. 1 Minute

5. Kayak: Like a Russian twist w/ bicycle legs. The ball rotates to the outside of the hip of the inwardly flexed knee. Note: you can also keep the ball stationary by the abs while you bicycle the legs. 25 reps (right/left = 1 rep.

6. Right-Left-Center: supine w/ bent legs, holding ball in front of you, crunch right, left and then center (lowering torso between each position). On the 5th rep hold the last one in the center position for 10 counts.

Rest for 5 seconds then repeat this exercise.

7. Tuck-up/V-Sit combination: Start supine w/ arms overhead w/ G-ball, legs extended and off of the ground. 1st tuck (bring knees in, ball touches shins), then move into a V-up (keep legs straight as you flex the hips inward, flex the spine towards the legs and touch the shins w/ the ball).

Modification: Do the tuck as described above, but for the V-Up, just bring in one knee at a time while the other leg stays on the floor). 12 reps

8. Plank (as before) 1 minute

9. Up and Over: Start in a pike position (w/ legs straight in front, hands behind torso). Start w/ the feet on one side of the ball, lift them up and over the G-ball, and then back to the starting side.

My note: Modification: do w/ bent knees 30 reps

10. Scissor Switch: Lying supine. Bring the right straight leg up in the air, the left leg extended out w/ the foot about 2 inches off the ground. Arms extended above the chest. Then extend the right leg to meet the left as you bring the G-ball overhead. Alternate legs, bringing the ball to meet each other in the center. At the end of the 6th rep, hold both the legs extended (about 2 inches above the ground) and the arms extended overhead. Take a 5 second rest and repeat this exercise.

Pike-Up: G-ball is between the knees, torso supine w/ hands down by the side, palms flat into the floor. Raise the hips upward w/ the heels to the sky. 15 reps.

12. Plank: 1 minute

Cool down

1. Up dog on toes: w/ wide feet. Note: you can rock side to side

2. Child’s pose

3. Knees to chest: Supine, rock side to side.

4. Lying supine twist: Start by bringing one knee into the chest w/ the other leg extended straight. Then twist. Repeat on the other side.

Scott (Yogadad)


I have only done the cardio, not the strength yet, but the cardio was a full hour. I had wrongly assumed that this would be geared to beginners and thus not that intense. I was wrong. I'm advanced, but this workout left me hurtin'.

It's three sets of various drills, and after the first half hour, you repeat the drills to make it a full hour. I used my 4-lb med ball from the Firm. Drills include jacks with the ball (perhaps the easiest of the lot!), lunges while swinging the ball over your head and to your torso, and side-to-side shuffles, ski hops or full tuck jumps over the ball.

There is the "iron cross" where you stand erect with your arms outspread. You hold the ball in one palm, then, keeping your arm straight, lift it over your head and shift the ball to the other hand. That 4-lb ball began to feel like solid rock!!!

There are tons of pushups using the ball, enough to make me want to cry. There are plyo jumps and squats like in P90X Plyometrics. There are "toy soldiers" where you lift one leg straight out in front, and touch the ball to the shin. These were deceptively easy at first and got tough real fast.

Lots of standing abwork. Torso twists and side to side crunches in a plie stance. You also end with a tough ab floor segment including two minute-long planks.

Set is a small gym room with hardwood floors. Can't remember much about the music -- it was there, with a beat, that's about it. I'm impressed so far, this is not just a former gymnast putting out a gimmick workout video. Although it's grueling more than "fun", it's a bona fide tough workout.

Instructor Comments:
I have to admit, there is a big drool factor. He is CUTE and fit in that slim, sinewy way, not bulky. He has a straightforward, brisk, no-nonsense manner. Keeps talking, but mostly to give constant pointers and tips and advice. It frankly kept me going. Good camaraderie with his background exercisers.

He categorizes exercise difficulty levels as Gold, Silver and Bronze and of course keeps urging you to go for the gold (within your limits, of course). His voice is always calm and professional, no-nonsense, but he does share some humor with the guy and gal backing him up. You can see the sweat begin to soak the guy's sweatshirt.