The Method: All in One WorkoutJennifer Kries, Lakey Evans, Alexandra Mckechnie
Year Released: 1997
Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights) , Pilates/Core Strength
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I found the warm up boring and the dance routine to be a bit too dancy, although I plan to give it another shot. However, I loved the ab workout. I don't usually like mind/body type workouts like yoga and tai chi because unless I work up a sweat or lift some heavy weights I don't feel as if I got a good workout. This workout I felt. I liked it so much I bought the tape (I had borrowed this one from the library) and I also bought The Method Toning tape, which I like even more. I have been a Firm believer for years, but now Tracy Long has some competition as my favorite video instructor. Done with precision and concentration these exercises rock, but to tell the truth I may return the All In One Workout (since I haven't yet opened my own copy) and just keep the Method Toning tape.
I like the instructors, especially Jenniefer Kries. She has a calm no-nonsense approach which I enjoy. Bubbly instructors and extraneous chatter really bug me in a workout video.
The Method All-In-One is the only one of the series I own. It begins with a long warm up section consisting of deep stretches and a "warm up" aerobics section at the very end. Although it is long, it is beneficial in lengthening and warming up the muscles. I wouldn't call it challenging, but hey, it's only a warm up.
Next is Alex with aerobics and weight training intervals. The aerobics intervals are fairly short, so I don't get bored easily. The exercisers demonstrate them with great grace, somewhat differently than most traditional aerobics videos. Trying to mimic their smooth moves, I've found it requires a lot of muscle control. So while I would definetly not call the intensity "high", between the aerobics and weights, I work up a pretty good sweat without feeling like I'm pounding my joints. There are four segments each of aerobics and weights. Alex suggests using 3 - 5 pounds weights. I started with 3-lb and am now up to 4. I think you could even go higher than that. The weight segments are very effective in working muscles in unique ways (such as bicep curls with the arms extended straight out, working against gravity as well). You mostly work at reps of 8 - 16. I can already see a little definition in my arms. Again, the segments are short, preventing boredom.
The last section is basically ab work with Jennifer. This section is amazing at lengthening and strengthening abs. The teaser, the most challenging move, is last in the series and I was amazed when I first watched Jennifer climb up her extending legs to the "advanced" position. Well, after 3 weeks of doing the video, I can do it too! My abs are a lot stronger due to this video. Again though, the focus is on form and control. The reps are low and slow.
Overall, the video is fairly entertaining, and unique, and as an intermediate exerciser who is not crazy about high-impact, I enjoy this video a lot.
All instructors are inviting, but fairly no\nonsense. No whooping going on here. Alex misses a few cues in the aerobics portion and keeps saying "last time" for the last 6 times (!!), but otherwise is adequate and demonstrates the aerobics and weight segments well. My favorite instructor was Jennifer. Her form is impeccable and she is encouraging and intelligent-sounding. They all have toned muscular and fit bodies, which is always encouraging when doing a video.
This video is very good for someone who may be a dancer or someone who really likes dancing. I like dance but, this was fun just not challeging some thing i would do on a easy workout day. First section is with Lakey Evans, were she does some strethes and some dancy like moves this section lasts about 15 min. Then the second instructor (I can not remeber her name but I really liked her) does aerobics which are alot of fun but, not that instense as I would of liked. She also does some toning which is pretty affective. The section is Jennifer Kries she does the ab work and which I think is okay but, she not as good as the other two instructors in my eyes. But all in all it's a keeper I've donn three times so far and it seems to be getting better when I have the patince and time for the video it's pretty good. The tape is about 90 min long and for an intermediate exersiser not at all advanced. Easy to follow, exersisers not hard at all.
Lakey Evans is pretty good I would like to see her working out solo though. Jennifer Kries okay, very flexible.
This is one of the better video's of The Method Series. Lakey does a very thorough warmup with all sorts of stretching that will definately get your muscles warm and stretched out for the warmup. She does ballet moves and standing and floor stretching.
Alexandra does the next section with precision toning using very light 3lb weights with fun dancy choreography for the aerobics. She does a very good job on cueing and teaching the moves. She teaches the moves slow and then you speed it up. The toning was too easy for me but would be nice for a beginner.
Jennifer Kries follows with some serious ab work. I like more traditional crunches. This is method toning using a bar. Some moves are very hard. You have to use your legs. Some of the ab moves are where you do a full sit up which hurts my back. This section goes on and on. You really feel it in your abs. There is no music in this section.
The music is very upbeat tribal drum music that is played live in the background. This video has many other people in the background( 2 males and 4 female). The video was made in EP recording so it has a buzzing noise and sometime my automatic tracking would come on which was annoying.
Jennifer Kries does a good job on the floor toning, she has amazing flexibility. SHe used to be a top ballet dancer. Lakey Evens seemed nervous as she did the warmup. But she has perfect form on all the stretches and tells you what to do. Alexandra Mckechnie does a very good job on the circuit dance section although she got ahead of the back group once. She has an incredibly toned body which is very inspriring. She is very friendly too as she teaches
I don't have a lot of time to work out, so I try to get my cardio and toning all done together in one tape. I bought this because Collage rated this as advanced, but that's misleading. The arm and ab work are challenging, but the cardio is almost non-existent, with segments so short that you barely get your heart rate up. I liked the choreography - it's very modern dancy and though I'm not much of a dancer, I didn't find it difficult to follow.
The arm exercises are really effective, though, particularly as you work plies and lunges with the shoulder and bicep work. I really felt those the next day. The ab work is also really challenging. I can keep up with everything until the end - I can't manage to hold my body in a V-shape.
All in all, the video works pretty well from a toning point of view, but as a cardio tape, or as an "all in one" workout, you'd be better off with Karen Voight's Smooth Moves tape.
They rotate between instructors, both very calm and disciplined, not at all bubbly - sort of like zen masters. The cueing is a bit rocky and it took me awhile to get the hang of the sequences. Seems like the class is taught for people who have some classical dance ability (i.e. ballet)
As a former dancer, I really enjoy this tape. It's just enough for a mild workout on a regular basis. I started using it when I was very out of shape, and found it comfortable. As my fitness progresses, I find the arm and ab work still provide challenges.
The ab section is my favorite. Jennifer Kries puts me though the only really challenging ab work I've ever found that does not hurt my back. It does involve a few full-length sit-ups that might cause discomfort for some people. There are also some good spine stretches and relaxation moves. There's a more involved version of this segment on the Method Precision Toning tape, without the stretches.
I find the cardio segments a bit lacking, both in terms of the workout and the video production. Alexandra tends to lose the rythm or drop a move too often for my taste. Some of the patterns end up unbalanced bacause of it.
There is also one move with the hand weights which we never clearly see Alexandra do on camera. The background folks do several variations, and it seems to change after several repetitions.