Blast & Tone

Richard Simmons
Year Released: 2003

Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance

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With strength work, I am an intermediate exerciser, who doesnít really want to move up to advanced work generally, although I get there occasionally. I have really enjoyed getting into workouts on the ball and Pilates as an alternative to traditional strength training.

I had wanted to see this workout for awhile and someone was nice enough to send it to me for an SASE. Iím glad I saw it because now my curiosity is satisfied, but I wonít be keeping it. Itís just too easy of a workout. I think it would be good for someone who has learned good form on strength moves from other sources, but who is still at the beginner level. OK. Hereís my breakdown:

This workout is set looks like a workout studio with fake windows. There is a smaller group of background exercisers than in his cardio workouts, but there are still different shapes and sizes represented. Richard is his typical self Ė encouraging and enthusiastic. There are some form pointers throughout the workout, but he does not explain how to do the moves. The music was good and helped motivate my workout. There is a warm up, then an endurance section with lighter weights and a strength section with heavier weights, then he focuses on abs, and then he cools down.

ENDURANCE SECTION: Mostly upper body moves with plie squats and calf raises. Some moves he does slowly first and then more quickly. He recommends 1-5 pounds. I used 8 pounds.

STRENGTH SECTION: Again, most of the moves were for the upper body and plie squats. He recommends 3-5 pounds. I used 10 pounds.

ABS: Crunches, kick ups, and a few supermen

Instructor Comments:
He is his usual upbeat, supportive self.

Laura S.


Richard's cardio workouts are among my favorites- the music, the happy casts, the elaborate sets all make workouts such fun for me. But his forays into resistance training, or toning, have been flatly disappointing (with the possible exception of Broadway Tone), and this is no exception. after the warm up, the first segment is light weights. Richard calls it endurance, but it isn't a true muscle endurance set- its nowhere long enough. Mostly you do fast upper body moves while doing plies. Richard does not instruct lower body form at all and his form is bad. In plie squats, he seems to move to the side, and not straight down. You definitely need to know proper form for basic strength moves to do this, since Richard doesn't offer many form pointers. The next set is strength and Richard says to use 5-8 pounds, which may be fine to start but many exercisers will want to move up to heavier weights quickly, or will to customize what they use for which exercise. having said that, I think it would hard for most exercisers to go much higher than 10 pounds, since some of the reps in this set are still done at a fast pace (not as fast as endurance) but still not as slow as in typically demonstrated by more knowledgable lifters. And the transitions from one exercise to the next are very fast, so it would be hard to really use the right weight for each part. Next is abs- your basic ab routine on the floor with little instruction. While the music isn't well known hits, like Richard usually uses, these songs sound like pop music. Its got a good beat and didn't really stand out to me one way or the other. Overall, I'm not sure exactly who the target audience is for this- the simplicity of the movements, relative ease of the routine and Richard's presence seems to say beginners, but the lack of instruction makes it more appropriate for someone who has some weight training background. the music, and Richard are both fun, so it makes a nice little alternative for someone who wants to do a little light weights and little slightly heavier weights. It isn't really for me, but if you're looking for a fairly fast, easy, fun weight routine to do on off days, you could do worse. This isn't a good pick for someone new to weights, or to form the backbone of your lifting program, but as an easy weights option, for someone who doesn't mind Richard's style, this isn't a bad workout to consider.

Instructor Comments:
Richard is Richard- funny, encouraging, motivating. that said, he offers very little instruction for these basic strength moves, and his form is sometimes off, especially for lower body moves.