Lalo Fuentes
Year Released: 2008

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights)

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This was a pretty good workout. The "freeze" concept is that you pause for 2 seconds at the peak of each move to really engage the muscle being worked. All the moves are done at a very deliberate pace to remove any momentum.

There are four sections, with brief intermissions in which you see motivational phrases like "Celebrate Your Body" "Rest" "Commitment", fortune-cookie stuff, and Lalo's voice dispenses some quotable quotes.

Most of the moves in the first half are compound or combined. And most of them involve shoulders and legs. I was rather disappointed that there is no bicep work and very little of anything else besides the shoulders for upper body. Lunge back then stand and do a military press. Squat and press. Squat and deltoid flies, et cetera. There are some shoulder-only moves (front raises, side raises) and leg-only moves, like a one-legged balancing move where you reach down and touch the standing foot, or slow side "kicks" (Lalo tells you you're not supposed to really kick, but do the motion). There is a squat with alternating slow "punches" holding the weights. I found that 5 lbers were heavy enough for this workout. 30 seconds of cardio are interspersed throughout--jacks, jogs and side to side lunges.

The second half repeats a lot of moves. For instance you do a full minute of slow pushups (killer) and later on you will do yet another set. You will also do 2 sets of burpees, 2 sets of the plank move where you go from your elbows to your hands and back again, and 2 sets of bicycles/pilates-style bicycles. You do one set of sitting in a C-curve while alternating lifting your legs so that you can pass one weight underneath each leg continuously. You also do a little work for the triceps by doing a sort of tricep pushup while always in cobra position (your lower body stays on the floor while you raise your upper half into cobra position using your triceps, going up and down rhythmically).

The setting is a gritty warehouse, just Lalo, his shadow and a mysterious locked door behind him. The music is pretty good, techno-house-ambient whatever. (WHen you do the burpees, it briefly turns into heavy metal/industrial, LOL).

People were concerned about the voice-over thing. I didn't like it too much when Gin did it for one workout, even though there were 3 exercisers. Here, I didn't mind it so much. There is no counting of reps, you just keep your eyes on Lalo -- which isn't hard to do. :)I was afraid it would get boring with the slow and deliberate pace of the moves (most are done in reps of 15), but instead it kind of hypnotized me and got me focused on the work. Having Lalo apparently looking you right in the eye is almost too much of a good thing. The guy oozes charisma. He wears a simple white shirt and white sweats.

I like this workout and thought it really helped me to refocus on really feeling each muscle, but the moves can get rather repetitious and you basically nothing but shoulders and some chest, but no back, biceps and very little tris. So it will be something I pull out occasionally, not regularly. It seems to be the first in a series, so we'll see if the next workouts complement this one to make up for the emphasis on shoulders.

Instructor Comments:
Total eye candy. The voiceover was pretty good, with good if repetitious tips and motivational comments. I was a bit leery of the voiceover format but after a while I felt as if Lalo and I were silently working out together, both too intensely focused to speak! :)



I am probably a low advanced exerciser. Even though I usually describe myself as an intermediate, I completed one rotation of CLX this year and I'm considering buying 25-pound dumbbells, so I guess I'm feeling pretty cocky right now. LOL I'm doing various things post-CLX and wanted something new that used light weights. I decided to try this workout after reading about it on VF.

You can play this DVD in English or Spanish. That's the main menu. Then, from the submenu, you can choose to play the workout with music only or music and his instructions.

He does start with a warm up, but it's almost all stretching, with a little running in place at the end of the warm up. The first time I did the workout, I was totally turned off by the warm up. After doing the workout the first time and getting really sore and the soreness didn't go away until I stretched a day later, I started to see the benefit of - maybe. More benefit to me is inserting short stretches throughout the workout.

He then moves into the body of the workout. He does a series of moves, one after the other, and does each move for 10-20 reps. It depends on what the move is as to how many he does. He does several moves and then there is a short break where he speaks motivational thoughts and the words are on the screen. During this time, you are supposed to connect your inner being to the fitness you are acquiring, I guess. I drink water and stretch during those times. There is no set pattern to the moves. Some workouts, for example, do an upper-body move followed by a lower-body move followed by a core move. He hits all those areas in the workout, but not in each set of moves. Some sets (the combination of moves between those breaks when I stretch and drink water) are more focused on the lower body or the core, etc.

Overall, the workout hits the lower body HARD - in a good way. There are lots of squats and lunges in different forms. The variety keeps me with him. He tends to explain the next move as and after he actually starts it. Given that form is a big thing with me, I find this irritating. I do as he does, but I'd like to do as he SAYS from the beginning.

The workout it reminded me of was one of Tracy Long's workout. The ONLY thing that triggered that thought were some of the moves themselves. Many of them seemed "functionally" oriented. Those that weren't used body weight or light weights. I use 3-pounders.

The set is rather ugly, like an empty warehouse. It's somewhat dark, but seeing him is no problem. The music is good; instrumental, but not the usual workout techno music. He's alone in the workout.

Do I like the workout? I enjoy it when I do it now. My question is whether I will pull it out and do it long term. It's the kind of workout that I can like, but don't feel drawn to do long-term. So, we'll see.

Instructor Comments:
He is easy to follow visually. Verbally, he doesn't give enough information quickly enough. Given the instructions are given in voice over, there isn't a lot of interaction with the people on the other side of the TV screen.

Laura S.