Total Body Workout

Tom Holland
Year Released: 1999

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights) , Total Body Workouts

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In Total Body Workout, instructor and exercise physiologist Tom Holland gets a lot done in a short amount of time. Although this workout is just 43 minutes long, it packs a punch: it's fast-paced, and Tom keeps you moving the entire time. Furthermore, the workout is filmed in "real" time, so there are no edits, no breaks. This is a circuit workout, with Tom alternating free-form cardio intervals (you can do whatever you want here: march, jog, jumping jacks, grapevines, etc.) with strength segments.

The Main DVD menu offers the option of playing the entire Total Body Workout or going to the Exercise Menu, which breaks up the exercises into 19 chapters as follows:

1. Squats
2. Bicep Curls
3. Plie Squats (inside quads)
4. Squats (outside quads)
5. Crunchs
6. Push-Ups
7. Shoulder Press
8. Static Lunges
9. Obliques
10. Dumbbell Rows
11. Front Lunges
12. Raised Bent Knee Crunches
13. Triceps
14. Alternating Front Lunges
15. Front Raises
16. Backward Lunges
17. Lateral Raises
18. Alternating Backward Lunges
19. Putting It All Together

Although it doesn't appear on the menu, Tom begins with a cardio warm-up (again, allowing you to choose the moves) and then does a few brief stretches; he does the same thing to cool-down at the end. The general format of the workout is weighted upper body work, unweighted lower body work, abs, push-ups (these are skipped in a couple of series), 1-minute cardio interval, and repeat. For the "Putting It All Together" segment at the end, Tom repeats every strength exercise once (no abs, push-ups, or cardio).

This workout has some upbeat music (performed by Tom's brother and including some lyrics), but it's just Tom exercising alone on a rather sterile white set. Furthermore, the moves are pretty basic and traditional, so there's not much of a "fun factor" here. However, if you are looking for a no-nonsense circuit workout to target your entire body in a relatively short period of time, Total Body Workout is a solid choice.

Instructor Comments:
Tom reminds me a lot of Gunnar Peterson (Core Secrets); he has a very similar demeanor, and he's there as your one-on-one personal trainer. He cues minimally and does not mirror cue, but overall, he's very likable.

Beth C (aka toaster)


I have mixed feelings about this workout. I love having more 45 min. total body strength options, and this one fits the bill. I like Tom Holland. I am trying to get my husband to try this DVD, because I do think this one will appeal to men more than a lot of my other strength workouts.

My biggest reservation is with the ab sections interspersed within the workout. I don't mind going to the floor the first few times, but later in the workout, when I'm breathing and working harder, I don't feel that I can go directly to the floor. Like the previous reviewer, I usually continue to do cardio during the later ab sections or skip them.

Still, this is a nice, time-efficient workout.



This is a no nonsense strength circuit workout. The DVD is not chaptered and was filmed in real time. Tom sweats right along with you. Gym style strength training alternates with 1 minute cardio sections. For the cardio, I use my rebounder which works great. I've read complaints about going straight from the cardio down to the floor to do abs. When I don't feel like doing that I just stay on my rebounder during the abs section and do my own abs at the end of the workout. Tom doesn't use weights for his lower body work, but you could easily use them if you want. The set is plain, music is loud and motivating, and this DVD gets the job done in 45 minutes.

Instructor Comments:
Tom is motivating and gives good form instruction.



This is an excellent 45 minute workout. It's already been broken down, so i'll just say that I'm glad to have a 45 minute long dvd that makes me feel well worked over.

Instructor Comments:
Tom is very friendly and professional. Likeable all around.



Ok, Tom Holland, you're pretty good. This is a no-nonsense circuit weight workout that covers each muscle group. The time went by very quickly and I felt he had covered it all. The warmup is just one minute of cardio followed by a few stretches. Tom then began alternating sculpting exercises for legs, upper body, abs and pushups, adding in 30 second cardio bursts (I chose to do jump roping, while Tom did pendulum swings).

What I liked was that Tom did the weights slowly, telling you to increase or decrease weight as you saw fit. I used a combination of 8, 10, 12 and 15 (back row) lbs. I was sweating by the end of the workout and it was short enough that it made me want to come back and do it again another day. It was not grueling, but comprehensive.

The set is plain and it is just you and Tom, but the music was noticeably good - very motivating.

Best part of the workout was how Tom had you do two sets of the upper body exercises (separated by leg exercises such as squats and lunges) and then you did 30 sec. of cardio followed by abs and most times pushups. It did not bother me to go to the floor after cardio, since it was short and rather lite cardio, not a full 20-30 minutes. He then put everything together at the end in groups of upper body, all abs, all legs and pushups for the final and third sets. Very nicely done.

The only negative was that the stretches were too short for me. I also decided to add weights to the lunges and squats, while Tom did not (he suggested the participant could add weights if they chose to).

Instructor Comments:
Tom's personality is very pleasant and he is working hard throughout the video. He even said at one point how he was sweating and that the cameras were not stopping. He knows his form and gives good cues throughout.

Janet O'Neil


I love this workout! It's a thorough, 45-minute, total body strength workout with short cardio intervals thrown in. Tom moves from one exercise to the next every minute or so, with no breaks, so I was sweating up a storm and I never got bored or tired of working one muscle too long. This is a basic, gym-style workout - nothing fancy or innovative, but it does the trick.

The music is pulsating "house music" similar to what you hear on Cathe's videos - not my taste, but I think most people would be okay with it.

I would say this workout is good for beginners to advanced and you can adjust the level by adding more weight.

Instructor Comments:
Tom is great. He's professional, pleasant and an all-around great instructor. Not much cueing on form, so you should be familiar with proper form for basic gym style exercises.



This is now one of my favorite workouts. The music is great, Tom is a motivating instructor with great form and the workout is just fun. If you are looking for a total body, no-nonsense, gym style, ciruit workout and only have 45 minutes this is the one for you. No equipment is necessary except a good set of dumbells.

I am not going to break it down because there is a wonderful review of this video on VF that does that. I would classify this as beginner, intermediate or advanced. That is what is so great about this workout. If you are a beginner, you can use light weights and work up to heavy. If you are intermediate you can do the workout as is. If you are advanced, you can heavy up, add weights to the lower body workout and kick up the cardio segments. I kicked it up by doing some of the cardio on my step at the highest level my step goes, adding hand weights while jogging, and doing high impact. However, if you are a beginner you can just jog or march in place. You do your own cardio so there are no dance steps to learn. This is a video that grows with you.

I would consider this more of a strength training video rather than aerobic - I didn't feel the 30 sec aerobic segments were long enough, however, this allows you to lift heavier than other combination workouts that have longer, more intense aerobic intervals inbetween weight work.

you do 30 seconds of aerobic movement - anything you want - jog in place, jumping jacks, etc. then you move on to either an upper body exercise - 12 reps or a lower body exercise - lunges, squats. For example, after your first 30 sec aerobics you perform a set of 12 alternating bicep curls. After that you do squats. Then you do another set of bicep curls. I found that I could really heavy up on the weight segments. This was because I was not exhausted from the cardio segments. In fact, I started my first set of bicep curls with 10lb and then did the second and third set with 12lbs. There are no chest presses and flys - just pushups - You can do them on your toes or knees. The ab work is classic - 15 reps of oblique crunches, regular crunches, upper and lower crunches.

The music is great in this workout and the beat is cued to the lifting. Also this is filmed in real time which is nice since there are not edits or fancy camera angles.

Since this workout is only 45 minutes, if you have the luxury of an hour to yourself, you could actually add a short 20 min or so cardio to this workout if you felt you wanted more of a cardio workout.

I felt this workout needed more ab work, however, since this workout is only 45 minutes, if you felt you needed more ab work, you can tack on an extra ab workout.

Instructor Comments:
Excellent form and technique. Not a lot of chatter during the exercises - very motivating and encouraging.

robin fleischer


I love this video! If you're looking for an excellent combination of strength training and cardio, with minimal equipment, that doesn't take up much space, and can be done in less than 43 minutes, you've found it.

The video is filmed in "real time" (no editing or breaks).

The set is a white set with 2 rectangular blocks with the "Team Holland" logo written on them. There is also a blue exercise mat, a small weight rack, and various-size dumbbells.

Tom wears a black tank top and shorts with black and white shoes that show up well against the white background.

The music is high-energy, club-style, not too overpowering or distracting.

Here is the workout breakdown (I'll comment on the workout following this):

Warm-up-1 minute
Light Stretches-1.5 minutes

Cardio Interval-30 seconds
Squats-15 reps
Alternating Biceps Curl-12 reps each arm
Plie Squats-15 reps
Alternating Biceps Curl-12 reps each arm
Toe-In Squats (done with toes turned slightly inward in standard squat position)-15 reps
Cardio Interval-30 seconds
Elapsed time: 8 minutes

Crunches-15 reps
Pushups-10 reps
Overhead Shoulder Presses-12 reps
Static Lunges-10 reps each leg
Overhead Shoulder Presses-12 reps
Cardio Interval-30 seconds
Elapsed time: 11 minutes, 50 seconds

Oblique Crunches (bent legs over to one side, lift upper body in crunch motion)-15 reps each side
Pushups-10 reps
One-Arm Dumbbell Rows-12 reps each arm
Front Lunges-10 reps each leg
One-Arm Dumbbell Rows-12 reps each arm
Cardio Interval-30 seconds
Elapsed time: 17 minutes, 15 seconds

Lower Abdominal Crunches (legs in air bent at 90-degree angle)-15 reps
Pushups-10 reps
Triceps Kickback-12 reps each arm
Alternating Front Lunges-10 reps each leg
Triceps Kickback-12 reps each arm
Cardio Interval-30 seconds
Elapsed time: 22 minutes

Crunches-15 reps
Alternating Front Raises-12 reps each arm
Backward (Reverse) Lunges-10 reps each leg
Alternating Front Raises-12 reps each arm
Cardio Interval-30 seconds
Elapsed time: 26 minutes, 15 seconds

Oblique Crunches-15 reps each side
Lateral Raises-12 reps
Alternating Backward (Reverse) Lunges-10 reps each leg
Lateral Raises-12 reps
Cardio Interval-30 seconds
Elapsed time: 30 minutes, 10 seconds

Lower Ab Crunches-15 reps
Pushups-10 reps
Alternating Biceps Curl-12 reps each arm
Overhead Shoulder Press-12 reps
One-Arm Dumbbell Rows-12 reps each arm
Triceps Kickback-12 reps each arm
Alternating Front Raises-12 reps each arm
Lateral Raises-12 reps
Front/Back Lunge (right leg moving, left leg stationary)-10 reps (watch count here)
Lower Ab Crunches-10 reps
Oblique Crunches-10 reps each side
Crunches-10 reps
Pushups-10 reps
Front/Back Lunge (left leg moving, right leg stationary)-10 reps each side
Cardio Interval-30 seconds
Elapsed time: 41 minutes

Stretch (same stretches as beginning)-1.5 minutes

Total Elapsed Time: 42 minutes, 30 seconds

This workout never stops. You keep moving from the time you start. The cardio effect is achieved three ways: no rest between strength training sets, PHA (Peripheral Heart Action) sequencing of the weight moves through most of the workout, and the actual cardio intervals.

The only complaints I have, and these are minor and easily remedied, are the following: one or two weight sets have miscounts, and the warmup/stretch and cooldown/stretch are very brief.

If you are counting the reps to yourself, just tack on the extra ones where the miscounts occur (this only happens twice, that I can remember). You can always add more time to the warmup, cooldown, and stretches when or if you feel the need to do so.

If you live in an apartment or dormitory, this would be an excellent workout for small spaces. And unless you really stomp and bounce around during the cardio intervals, your downstairs neighbors will probably not be bothered by noise while you do this tape.

Because you control the amount of weight you use, this video can be used at all fitness levels. It is definitely one that can grow with you as you get stronger. And since you get to choose your own cardio for the 30-second intervals, you can make it as challenging or as easy as you want to.

All-in-all, I think that this is one of the best exercise videos to come out in a long time. It left me feeling revved up, not exhausted. I highly recommend it!

Instructor Comments:
Tom is a very friendly, no-nonsense, down-to-business instructor. He cues well: enough to remind you of proper form without taking up too much time, tells you what's coming, gives other pointers where appropriate.

He also has excellent credentials: Master's Degree in Exercise Science; Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist; Certified by NSCA, ACE, NASM and AFAA; among others.



Nice try, but missed the mark. This is a true circuit workout with short bursts of cardio followed by strength moves. One major problem with it is that Tom goes from cardio right to abs on the floor. I thought this was considered a big no-no, and at any rate, I did not find it particularly comfortable to do.
I modify it when doing it, adding more cardio when he is doing abs. Tom tells you to choose your own cardio, throwing out several suggestions. He then proceeds to do the same cardio over and over-- a sort of jogging side to side shuffle. I usually do something like speed skaters, go up and down my high step, or do scissor steps.
You have seen all the strength moves before-- nothing fancy. That is ok with me. One problem, in my opinion is that htere are far too many lunges. Sometimes I did squats or step ups instead. I usually used weights, something Mr. Holland did not do with the lower body moves.
The set is white, white, white. The music is well, there. I guess. Tom Holland does not come across as particularly charming and is one of those men for whom body waxing comprises part of their fitness routine.