The Shape of Things to ComeKelly Coffey-Meyer
Year Released: 2005
Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights)
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This is the first DVD I've tried from instructor Kelly Coffey-Meyer, and I must say that I liked both the workout and Kelly very much. I found it very inspiring that Kelly, who has been involved in fitness for quite a long time, is a mom in her 40s, yet she seemingly had plenty of energy for this tough workout! This DVD contains a 50-minute circuit-style workout which alternates toning work with short cardio intervals. Some of the cardio work uses an optional step, but you could easily modify if you don't have a step (or substitute a small, sturdy stool, as you don't need much width). Kelly also uses two sets of dumbbells, which she labels "light" and "heavy"; I'm still trying to figure out what poundage is best for me, but for now, sticking to 5# the entire way through seems to work fairly well. The time breakdown listed on the DVD case is as follows: Warm-up, 4 minutes, Sculpting and Cardio, 34 minutes, Chest and Abs, 10 minutes, Stretch, 2 minutes.
The warm-up uses mostly basic, familiar moves, but somehow, Kelly makes them seem more fun! She includes knee-ups on the step and ends with some front and side kicks, which I loved. The first sculpting interval comes next and is focused on back/core. Using your "heavy" weights, you'll start with a very functional fitness-oriented "chop" move, first going halfway, then all the way down to the floor. Next comes a v-press, a front pull/press combo, and an underhand/overhand row, with the entire circuit repeated once. The first cardio interval begins with plyo lunges on the step (there is quite a bit of impact throughout the video, but again, it's easily modified), squat, slide, and step-knees. For the second sculpting segment, you'll focus on shoulders, this time using your "light" weights. Kelly begins with a unique side/front staggered raise, moves into a forward raise with upright row, and finishes with side delt raises and a shoulder press; again, the series is repeated. You'll then go back, repeat the previous cardio segment, and then repeat the entire shoulder work sequence once more.
The next cardio segment starts with jumping jacks--I usually hate these, but again, they were fun here! You do two jacks, a slow jack, and then a plyo X--a jump to each side while in a boxer's crouch--before finishing with hamstring curls on the step. The next sculpting interval consists of biceps work: hammer curls, side curls with a slow count down, half-up curls, and front elbow lifts; you then repeat both the jumping jack cardio series and the biceps work. The final cardio choreography has the most impact, and I found it to be the most intense as well. You'll do a wide jog, a skate from side to side, jump rope, and then plyo hops on the step. The last sculpting series works the triceps in several unique ways. First comes French presses and tricep kickbacks, but then you do a move which I've never seen before, sort of like an upright row behind your back, and you finish by lifting your arms straight behind you. The high impact-cardio and triceps work are both repeated.
Are you wondering when the leg work is going to come in? Well, the last standing segment is sort of a cardio sculpting series focused on the lower body. Using your heavy weights and moving very quickly, you'll squat and place both weights on the floor, squat and pick up one weight, squat and pick up the other weight, and then repeat the entire sequence MANY times (you may want to consider starting with lighter weights here). Next, you'll do what Kelly calls "a skater's lunge" but which I've usually seen called a curtsey dip: you'll lunge one leg behind the other on an angle, with the added twist of holding a dumbbell in your opposite hand and touching it to the floor in front of your static foot. You'll do all the reps on one side before moving to the other, then repeat the squat series (I was feeling pretty tired the second time through!), and finally, finish with the skater's lunge, alternating sides this time.
You're not done yet, though--now it's on the the floor for chest/abs work! Kelly lies on the step, but you can lie directly on the floor if needed. The chest series includes chest press, wide-angle chest press, 2-count chest flies, and lower chest/tricep pushes. The abs work was the only part of this video that I found a bit on the boring side, as it's just a simple series of crunches: crunch up, crunch lifting leg in and out, crunch lifting leg in/out and twisting to the side, and repeat on other side. Both the chest and the abs sequences are repeated once. Kelly finishes with quite a very quick stretch. Still lying on the step, she stretches the hamstrings, moves to seated for a chest/back stretch, stretches the neck on both sides, and yes, now you're done!
I really enjoyed this workout--the time flew by, particularly during the cardio intervals, and the toning work was fun, unique, varied, and had a functional fitness flavor (ie, mimicking movements from everyday life such as twisting). I would rate this as a high intermediate workout, but it would probably be doable for advanced beginners by using even lighter weights and going without the step (those wanting more of a challenge can heavy up on the weights if they dare and use a higher step). The DVD is very well-chaptered with various shorter workout options, such as just doing the cardio, completing only a single circuit, etc. Overall a great addition to my video library and highly recommended!
I liked Kelly; she was generally pretty low-key, although she has a lot of energy and says things like "you have to finish!" She mirror cued fairly well, but I sometimes wished she would remind us how many reps were left. She has 4 background exercisers here (on what seems to be the same CIA set as was used for Kimberly Spreen's Kickbox Boot Camp). If you are one of those who doesn't like to see exercisers in skimpy clothing, this is the video for you--the female background exercisers all wear opaque t-shirts and full-length pants, and Kelly herself is in an only slightly more form-fitting outfit. The music is very upbeat, energetic, and sometimes vocal.
This workout is about 60 minutes long (it actually seemed to clock in at closer to 50 minutes). Kelly alternates sculpting segments with cardio portions (I think she calls them active rest periods), some of which utilize the step.
There are about 5 sculpting segments that alternate with cardio portions, one for the back, shoulders, biceps, triceps & legs. I think she repeated each body part sculpt segment twice, with the cardio segment afterward twice as well (hope that makes sense). After that you move to the floor for chest work & abs. You also do the chest & ab portions twice.
Some of the moves were quite different than the ones you see in many other workouts that are out there. For example, for the triceps she has you put your hands behind your back and lift your arms, I definitely felt it. Also for the legs you pick up two heavy weights, squat & place both on the floor, squat again & pick up one and then squat once more picking up the other. You then repeat this sequence over & over until you feel a pretty nice burn. The movements felt like they kept my heart-rate up throughout the workout, so I felt like I got a good amount of cardio & strength in this workout.
Another thing I really liked about this workout was the music. It was not the typical canned CIA type stuff, I found it pretty motivating.
Overall I really enjoyed this workout & think it will be one I reach for again & again, especially on those days when I want both cardio & strength training.
I really liked Kelly. She reminded me a bit of Heidi Tanner from The Firm as far as her appearance. She was not too chatty but offered helpful form tips & smiled throughout the workout.