Tag Archives: workout dvds

Physique 57 DVDs: Volume 2

p57 dvd 002

I had the luck of receiving review copies of the newest Physique 57 Workout DVDs, which include:

Thigh and Seat Booster—30 Minute Workout

Advanced Express 30 Minute Workout

Classic 57 Minute Full Body Workout—Second Edition

p57 dvd 002

I reviewed the first editions, which I purchased myself, and thought they were great. Reviews here and here.

I wasn’t sure whether it was worth it to get the second volumes because the first are quite challenging, but after doing them once, I can definitely see enough variety and challenge in the second set to make them worth purchasing in addition to the first volumes.  In fact, the most cost effective way to buy the dvds is to buy the Ultimate Physique Workout Kit of 6 dvds and playground ball with pump for $99.

I consider this a first glance review since I have done each video once with one day in between.  I plan to follow the prescribed fitness plan of doing the dvds 4-5 times a week for 4 weeks and give an updated review in about a month.

Before I even launch into my thoughts, I must tell you this, INVEST in the PLAYGROUND BALL.  While it may seem like extra money, it will make the workout twice as hard, and allow you to get every penny of your money back in results.  And that my friends, is priceless.  The second set of videos seems to rely more heavily on the ball, so it becomes essential. While I am on my playground ball soapbox, I should buy myself a heavier set of weights!  But seriously, you need the playground ball to really feel the burn and get the most out of the exercises.  Like the videos, consider it an investment in your health, body and fitness goals.  Think about it this way,  the dvds and playground ball together are about the cost of one class in the studio. p57 dvd 002

So on with the review,  the  first DVD I tried was the Thigh and Seat Booster.  I was so so excited when I heard this was out because seat and thighs are definitely my trouble zones, and they are so hard to change!  This video was very good, it’s challenging!  I think it was the first video I have ever tried where my legs shook just like in the real class.  I will admit, my legs were already sore from the lunges I recently added to my routine, so I couldn’t go down all the way.  The video FLEW by, so I popped in the Arm and Ab booster while I was still on an exercise high.  This video is led by Shelly, who I love as a video instructor, she is encouraging, not annoying and helps you push through the last set strong.  She is also so ridiculously lean, yet cut that it is hard not to hope for similar results.

Yesterday I tried the Full Body Workout 57 Minute Workout—Second Edition.

This video is not a repeat of the first edition.  While it follows the same format, the new moves offer enough variety to make it distinct. I would say it is as challenging as the first one, which means it’s a great workout.  I was feeling very warm by the end of the warm up.  I think this video has a bit more stretching and a little more ab work than the first video.  I think my favorite difference is that the dialogue is toned down from the first versions, so it will be easier watching/doing to enjoy over and over. p57 dvd 001

Finally, I tried the Advanced Express 30 Minute Workout. I admit, I though the 30 minute original was KILLER, so I was a little afraid to try the advanced version.  But I did all three videos within 4 days, so I took a gulp and dove in pretty quickly. 

This is a GREAT workout.  It moves very fast, which allows you to work up a sweat.  It takes the moves and adds a twist to heighten the challenge, such as down leg lifts while doing tricep dips.  It also has a move I loved last time I took a class in the studio, you have the ball tucked behind your knee and your leg in hydrant position as you move your leg front to back.  It works the leg, thigh and abs all at the same time.  This video utilizes the ball A LOT!  The great news about this video was that it literally was over before I knew it.  When you factor in the stretching, the actual minutes of burning are brought down to about 24, not bad at all!

In sum,


  • These videos follow the Physique 57 format, so they are not drastically different from the originals, except the new Thigh and Seat Booster, but there is enough variety of exercises to make it feel fresh and exciting.
  • They are just as challenging as the first set.
  • They move quickly and are over before you know it!
  • You can start with the second editions, even if you haven’t done the first.
  • The instructors have found their video personalities in these videos and are even better than they were in the first.
  • I like these enough to totally feel like doing them 4-5 times a week is realistic, and now that I own 6, I have more than enough variety.
  • If you don’t live in the city, they are very close to the class in the studio.


  • You need to buy the playground ball to really get the full workout for the these videos
  • It’s too early to know if they are effective for me yet!


  • The music is not the music you hear in class, new top 40 jams.  That is the one thing I miss from the class.  The music is not as motivating, but due to copyright laws, no workout videos really have killer soundtracks.
  • These are more expensive some workout videos, but they are also the most challenging I have tried—and I own a lot!

That’s all about the videos, but who wants QUACKERS?

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for One Lucky Duck Rosemary Quackers!

Core Fusion Boot Camp Review

I am very excited to review my newest workout video: Exhale Core Fusion Boot Camp.

I now own three of the CF videos: Core Fusion Body Sculpt (review), Core Fusion Energy Flow (mini review) and obviously, Boot Camp.

Boot Camp is my favorite of the three.  As soon as I finished it, I wanted to do it again, so I have done it twice in 3 days with a 6 week 6 pack level 2  and elliptical session thrown in as well. 

The video follows the format of the other CF videos– it is divided into five 10 minute segments.  In addition, there is a stretch section and two bonus segments: core and thighs.  So it’s a pretty good bang for your buck. (If you’re into that kind of thing.)

The segments go a little something like this:

Cardio Flex

This is basically a gentle warm up and stretches.  The first half is pretty slow and there is not much real cardio, but the second half picks it up a bit with some more challenging squats and holds.  There is a lot more stretching than your typical warm up, but since I avoid stretching like the plague, it’s good to be forced into right in the beginning.

Cardio Sun Salutations

This section reflects the kind of yoga I love and crave.  It’s fast, it’s flowing, and it’s repetitive enough to allow you to lose yourself in concentration just enough to make it seem like yoga.

You repeat the sun salutation several times before switching it up with a squat/strength/balance mini break, then you do the second set of slightly different version of the sun salutation and another mini  squat break, finish with  and a final variation of sun salutations and one more standing mini series.  It’s fun and different, and it has just the right combo of om, stretch and sweat.

Jump Backs 1 and 2

The two jump back segments are pretty similar.  The are both based around jumpbacks-in case that wasn’t clear :)  Jumpbacks are done in six counts and repeated six times, there are 3 sets in the series.  Jumpbacks are like burpees, except done with a ball.  Lift ball over head, crouch and place ball on floor, jump into plank, jump back into crouch, move up to squat hold and stand.  repeat.

Each jumpback set concludes with a  plank and then set of push ups with one hand on the ball.  The beauty is that you only do five push ups each side, so even I can handle the real push ups.  By the end of the workout, you have done 60 push ups, but it never seems unbearable.  Don’t get me wrong, 5 is my limit at one time now, but at least that’s all they are asking.  After the push ups there is a squat series and a few other moves, then back to jumpbacks.

Abdominal Curl

I think the ab section in the Core Fusion Body Sculpt video is arguably one of the hardest 10 minutes of ab work you could ever hope to happen upon.  The Boot Camp ab section is also super intense, boy do you feel it with three pound weights for added resistance.

The great thing about all of these segments is that you know you only have to get through 10 minutes and you are on to the next thing.

While I think Body Sculpt is effective for toning purposes, I like that this video really ups the cardio.  It doesn’t hone in on the legs and arms as much, but it’s fun and it flows.  You do have a decent number of push ups and planks for the arms. And my legs did burn during a few of the squat holds, so there is some arm/leg work in there after all. :)

While I have been using this in conjunction with 6 weeks to 6 pack, I noticed that I was definitely sore in the tummy as I tried to get through the ab section on my second run through the DVD, so that’s a good sign. 

I highly recommend this video. I haven’t tried the bonus sections, but the glute work is a great addition to round out the workout.


I also just noticed that you can get The Core Fusion Collection, which is 1 video that has 15 (!!!) 10 Minute Workout Segments!  Holy overachiever!

It contains:

  • Body Sculpt
  • Pilates Plus
  • Glutes and Thighs

I haven’t done the second two, but it’s a great value at just under $19!

I know that not everyone is workout DVD fan, so here are some in person options:

The Steal:

Core Fusion Week of Transformationwhich I mentioned as a best fitness deal!


  • unlimited core and yoga classes
  • $20 gift towards select spa therapies
  • 10% off retail purchases
  • complimentary organic tea
  • complimentary use of changing rooms and amenities


Or the SPLURGE! 



A five day getaway to the Bahamas with Physique 57 classes, $300 for food, plus a dinner catered by Jean-Georges? Not to mention spa gift certificates and more.  Honestly, you could do worse for $1450!

Book your Physique 57 Ocean Club getaway here.

If Physique needs a blogger to review the Ocean Club, I can make myself available!

The new set of Physique 57 workout videos are next on my wish list.

Physique DVD Reviews and Running Groups

So I have now completed the Physique 57 DVD set (first review here), and I give it an 7.75 out of 10!

I am going to combine my reviews of the ARM and AB Booster and the 30 Minute Express Full Body workout since my thoughts on both were pretty much the same.

  • Challenge Level—8 out of 10.
    • There was definitely some  leg and ab shaking going on during both of these videos, but the good thing about this non-cardio type of workout is that you immediately recover, so you just have to push yourself through a few minutes of moderate to intense pain :)
    • The 30 Minute Express Workout seemed like the hardest of the 3, but it could have just been how I was feeling that day.
  • Enjoyment Level—9.5 out of 10
    • Both videos FLEW by!  There is nothing like being done with a workout before you know it!
    • I really like that Shelly and Tanya have different personalities, which makes it more like going to the studio and having different instructors.  Sometimes you feel like having a serious cheerleader, and sometimes you need a more laid back instructor.
    • Of course, my personal bias is a factor: I LOVE Physique.
  • Results–TBD
    • The Arm and Ab workout is great because it works the whole body while honing in on the arms and abs–of course!
    • I am excited to see how things go after a month of 4 workouts a week!
  • Practicality
    • These videos do require a fair amount of props. You can make do with pillowa, towels, chairs, etc.  But I think I will get more out of them if I invest in a playground ball rather than the throw pillows I have been using.
    • I also feel as though I need to buy a second set of weights.  Right now I just have three pound weights, but Tanya more than suggests investing in a lighter and heavier set.
    • Plan to spend a little more than the cost of the video if you don’t have a ball and weights–and you are serious about results. However, just remember buying all the videos, weights, and a ball is the cost of like 2 studio classes…bargain.
  • Bottom line:
    • I absolutely recommend buying the complete set to anyone who likes a non-traditional strength workout and covets the “dancer’s body.”  You might as well purchase for all three to give yourself some variety– and shorter options for busy days! These are great, fun, high energy videos.  The workouts are challenging and I think they will continue to be for some time.  Based on the opinions of others, you will see results, but I will have to get back to you on that one.


The next race I have on the docket is the NYRR 8000 on March 13th.  Anyone else?

I am really really tempted to sign up for the 13.1 Marathon—New York on April 3rd!

It’s a half marathon (obvi) that takes place in several cities  (LA, Chitown, Beantown, Miami, Minneapolis) including ours truly, NYC.  In fact, it takes place in the very special borough of Queens!

This race is appealing for many reasons:

First, the tagline is “where party meets the pavement.” Nuf said.

Second, the course is AWESOME.

The 13.1® New York will be run within historic Flushing Meadows Corona Park, home of the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fair.  The race begins in front of Arthur Ashe Stadium the venue that hosts the US Tennis Open. As your running tour begins you wind through the park passing the New York Hall of Science, the Queens Wildlife Center, and the Unisphere.  At the southern end the course loops around Meadow Lake, returning back into the park for a second loop and finishing in the shadow of the Unisphere for a great post race party

Third, I am 100% behind the race effort to help children and communities in Africa.  Obviously this is pretty dear to my heart after my trip this summer.

What is holding me back?

Well, while of course, I want to help the cause and I completely understand all the effort that goes into organizing races of this scale, I am trying to reign in my spending after a few months of being a bit of a spendthrift.  $70 is not a fortune, but in reviewing my spending of late, every little bit adds up.  I am trying to get back to the my more old fashioned self where I saved for the things I wanted and weighed options, rather than just buying on impulse.

Secondly, and perhaps more significantly, I am not really in shape to run a half marathon in a month.  Could I do it? Of course.  Would it be a smart idea, probably not.  This summer I learned that increasing mileage like crazy only works for so long before your body revolts.  I think going from 4 mile runs to 13 miles in a month would be too much.

Other races that look interesting:

The Long Branch Half Marathon on May 2

and the NYS Ranger Relay on May 14-15

  • This race starts in Woodstock and ends in NYC. It’s 178 miles in 24 hours.  Anyone else want to start a team.  Legs are 3-8 miles!

Speaking of teams.  I was thinking about trying to organize a weekly blogger/blog reader running group.  I know there are lots of informal groups, but it might be nice if we had something standardized so that any lovely little blogger would always have at least a buddy or two for a run.

Here are a few of my ideas for how this might work:

-Logistics-setting a weekend day and time.  Like Sundays at 9:30.

-Signing up on shared google excel sheet calendar where people can check off whether they would be joining that weekend. That way people can make sure at least someone was coming

–Social component: maybe once a month we could have a brunch. Perhaps on the last weekend of the month to celebrate.

-Adventure component-perhaps one week a month we do a route change, like the west side highway, prospect park, van cortland park, Astoria Park, etc.

–More logistics–depending on interest and need, we could break off for long and short runs, and maybe even pace groups.


Speaking of blogger meet ups, I am going to be in Boston from March 20-24 for a work conference.  If anyone is interest in meeting up, a morning run or whatever, please email me melissafitnessnyc@gmail.com!

Physique 57 Classic Full Body Workout DVD Review

My relationship with Physique 57 goes back to November 2007 when I discovered it as an alternative to running, which I was pretty burnt out on after the San Fran marathon.

I loved it instantly, and it has certainly remained one of my very favorite NYC workout classes.  I have mentioned it no fewer than 25 times on the blog, probably far more.  While I have always paid for my own classes, P57 was generous enough to donate class passes to all the bloggers that attended the March 2009 meet ups and to allow me to giveaway their full set of DVDs to blog readers a few months ago.  Clearly I want everyone to have the chance to experience the magic.

I am not saying that there are no Lotte Burke workout alternatives available, Core Fusion, Transfigure, the Nalini Method and The Body all provide similiar workouts, as I imagine the Tracey Anderson Method does as well.

However, Physique has definitely been the workout that I have both enjoyed the most and the one that has given me the best results.  I did a one month membership to P57 in December 2007 and lost a few inches in my waist line and a smidge from each thigh.   In short, after 4-6 classes a week for 4 weeks, I need to invest in belts.  Beyond that I became much more aware of my posture, my abs were flat and firm, and I had definitely gained arm strength.

In the spring of 2009, I did a month at Core Fusion exhale, also going 4-6 times a week, but didn’t really see a huge change in my body.  I enjoyed the workouts and the instructors, but there was no dramatic body or strength change to speak of.

So clearly I was excited to try out the Physique 57 DVDs, as they provide a far more affordable way of getting the P57  signature workout. I had heard glowing reviews from Diana and Tina, so my expectations were pretty darn high!

I tried the 57 Minute full body workout Thursday morning. This is what I thought…

Well, I have to admit, I expected it to be much harder.  It certainly wasn’t easy, but I made it through without too much trouble.

I love that it stayed true to the class workout and flowed from beginning to end.

The structure of P57 classes looks like this:

  • arms with weights
  • arms on mat, which plank intervals
  • legs at the bar (often with playground ball)
  • butt at the bar
  • legs either at the bar or in pretzel
  • abs in c-cruve
  • abs on mat/pillow
  • final butt/back section

All movements are small (lifts, plies, leg raises), but semi painful, with about 30-60 reps each.  There are brief stretch breaks between each body part section.

The workout was strong, fun and very fast for 57 minutes.  I felt the burn on the pretzel leg section and by the last ab section, but never fully achieved the compulsive leg/ab shaking that tends to ensue during classes at the studio–there it happens early and often.

While they offered many beginner options, I really wish they had more advanced options.  Since I have taken the class for over two years, I am fairly use to the caliber of pain in the basic and open classes, and try to take the intermediate/advanced levels.

I feel I must compare it to the Core Fusion DVD, which I actually find pretty challenging–particular for abs.  I would say, overall, the Physique workout was more fun, but probably not too much harder than the Core Fusion DVD.  However, the CF DVD is choppy and not at all like the class, so it’s nice that the P57 DVD stays true to the class.

I think my biggest surprise was how animated Tanya is in the video.  She is almost Jillian-like.  I have taken her class 2-3 times in the studio, and she is certainly one of the most vocal and joking instructors, but she takes it to a whole new level in the video.  It’s almost a bit over the top.  I wonder how I will feel after I have heard the same jokes and motivations the fifth time around.  Although I will say when Tanya said: look at your thighs and think about how many calories you want to burn, it hit home—big time!  Tanya is certainly fun and for the most part funny, and I never gave a thought to stopping with her constant encouragement.

It was just a change from classes where instructors tend to be ballet dancers who are authoritative, yet supportive but not necessarily wise-crackers.

To close, I am excited to try the other dvds and to stick with my goal of 4-5 P57 workouts a week.  I am concerned it might not be enough to really create change and i might get a little bored of the dvds, but it’s a bit early to worry about that right now!

Do I recommend the full body workout? Definitely.  Especially for those with out access to the studio (or wads of cash), it is much different that your standard gym class or strength workout–if long, lean and toned muscles are your goal, this is a great, and fun way to get there.

Before I make any more assertions about the effectiveness of the DVD, I will have to do it consistently for a few more weeks.  But I will let you know what I think of the other DVDs in the series.

Workout DVD Fail

There are times to save and there are times to pay a few extra Bens for what you really want. Yup, learned that lesson the hard way.

I was relunctant to pay $59ish dollars for the Physique 57 DVD set, but really wanted it, especially after Diana’s amazing review.  When searching for it on Amazon, where I would get free shipping, The Bar Method DVD came up.

The amazon reviews were great, and I have always had luck with amazon reviews, so I thought, this might be the solution.  In fact, one of the reviews said it changed her body far more than the Shred!  I find the Shred pretty challenging, so I was totally on board.  I spent about $12.60 with S+H and eagerly anticipated the arrival of my new P57 substitute.

It arrived while I was hope for thanksgiving, so I took it for a spin last night.

Meh, this is like Physique for kindergartners.  There were a few challenging moments and moves, but nothing like the thigh shaking, stomach burning Physique and Core Fusion classes.

Interestingly, every single move in the video, I have done in Physique 57 classes, but they were the easiest versions done with low intensity and very few reps..

The DVD had a few saving graces; it certainly wasn’t horrible.  The instructor gave very clear instructions, so you knew you were doing the move perfectly and I also found that the stretching really helped lengthen out.  And all told, the 45 minutes FLEW by.  But it wasn’t what I was expecting and it certainly wasn’t super challenging.  Definitely not $12 well spent, but I guess that is the cost of 1/3 of a class at Physique, so maybe I broke even.

Que sera sera.  I did just receive an email for free shipping on the p57 DVD set, so I think that will be my post-exam treat to myself!  The code is SHIPP57 if you want your own set.  12/15 seriously can’t come soon enough! Until then I am going to stick to my Core Fusion and Results Fitness DVDs.

Physique 57 DVD Giveaway!

Can you tell I am excited?!?

Physique 57 is hands down my favorite NYC workout discovery of all time–and Kelly Ripa’s favorite workout, too! P57 opened a whole new type or working out to me.  Not just the Lotte Burke-esque method, but the non-gym, non-yoga, studio work out environment.   In fact, physique 57 was the reason I started blogging about fitness in a general way.  The first non-marathon TNT related post i wrote was: Body Transformation is Possible at Physique 57.  Just for a little background I started my old blog The Little Runner that Could to help fundraise and discuss training for my marathon through TNT, and then stopped blogging for a while.  After I started taking P57 a few months later, I decided to start blogging about fitness classes in the city, working out, training, and running. And here I am today, lol.

I realize over 30 of my posts reference Physique 57 and after Physique so generously donated class passes to the blogger meet ups I organized in March—you also heard Diana’s, Dori’s, Missy’s, Sarah’s, Ashley’s, and Emily’s enthusiastic reviews.

The one thing I always grapple with is keeping my posts relevant and relatable to my fabulous readers in places outside of NYC.  However, as I mentioned a few weeks ago, I was thrilled to learn that everyone finally finally access to the Physique 57 workout!  P57 recently released the:

The Physique 57™ Complete 3-Disc Full Body Workout Set


  • Classic 57 Minute Full Body Workout
  • Express 30 Minute Full Body Workout AND
  • Arm and Ab Booster 30 Minute Workout

While I haven’t tried it myself yet, I have every confidence they will be fabulou sand life changing,  and I plan to buy them soon.   And I am offering one lucky reader the chance to win all three DVDs and have the magic of Physique 57 right in the comfort and convenience in your own home! 

So, how do you win?

Easy peasy. 

1.) Simply leave a comment in the comment section.

2.) For a bonus entry, link back to this comment in your blog, or  if you don’t have a blog, shoot an email to a friend telling about the contest and cc me.

Finally, I would love for the winner to write a review of the DVDs for their blog or mine. But that is optional obvi!

Contest ends Friday, August 28th at midnight!  The winner will be announced over the weekend.

Shred it Sister!

Hi everyone,

Thanks for bearing with me.  After Monday @ 5 99% of my life will be back, it’s funny how Monday is coming way too fast and way too slow and the same time!  Fortunately, my little sister just sent me a review of everyone’s favorite the 30-day shred! This was actually what she wanted for her bday, god bless her fitness loving heart!  She also has a few more energy bars–as you may remember, I brought her a ton when I visited in london.

So if you have missed the shred bandwagon or you just want to relive your first shred experience, here you go.  Way to be short, sweet and snarky widge!

30 day shred– I was so excited when I saw when I opened my birthday package and saw this!  My three roommates instantly agreed to start doing it with me but when the time actually came they all backed out (some people cannot handle the tough love of Jillian Micheals).

  I have to admit I was a little scared and pretty sure I’d end up in tears much like the contestants on biggest losers during their workouts as Jillian barked in their faces to keep going.  After the twenty minutes I finished with a smile on my face and that wonderful cold skin sweat that you get after a good workout, Jillian was actually nice and encouraging although she is no Denise Austin (tight tummies! Yes! Super Stomachs! Yes!) 

This is definitely a good workout for those who go to the gym with the best intentions and end up people watching on the elliptical (me) and not getting a good workout.”

haha, my sister and I were doing workout videos from the womb, Dennis, Gilad and Kathy Smith are just a few of my mom’s favs!

And onto her BAR REVIEWS!


Clif-Chocolate chip– So good! It tastes exactly like a chocolate chip cookie! I may even try this one warmed up in the microwave (I have not tried this and offer no guarantee that this is a good idea) This is definitely a clif bar worth trying and tied with carrot cake for my favorite clif bar ever!
Clif -chocolate brownie– This one had a weird protein/ low carb bar taste.  I was  not a fan and since ever other clif bar I’ve tried I’ve loved this was definitely not worth getting again
Clif Kids Z bar-Chocolate Chip brownie– These are so amazing! I’m confused about why I love these so much and yet don’t enjoy the clif chocolate brownie bars.  They are also way smaller at 120 calories so they are good snacks if you arent a meal replacement bar or the “save this half for later” type.
Fiber One Chocolate and Peanut butter bars– I love these both so much!  I hear a lot of bloggers talking about these bars incredibly scary and long lists of ingredients but they are delicious and I’m too deep into my relationship with them to give them up now.
Kashi Peanut butter & chocolate bar– I ate this late one night when I knew if I didnt eat something substantial I would end up snacking all night.  This was a perfect bar to do the trick.  It banished the sweet tooth all while filling me up like real food.


Just a couple of notes and giveaways!

Dori  and Missy just tried Sadie Nardini’s Core Strength Vinyasa class and loved it!  I reviewed it awhile back and also thought it was stellar, even if you find yoga to be a snooze fest—I admit I have actually fallen asleep in savasana–check it out, it’s awesome. If you are not in NYC, Sadie has a dvd too!

Also check out Time Out’s round up of the Most Intense Workouts  in the city.  Maybe we bloggers just think Physique and Core Fusion are killer :) 

Contest time!

Ashley is having her first giveaway— from Peanut Butter and Co!

Gena is giving away one of the ultimate raw food tools, but don’t enter I really want it!

Missy is giving away a fabulous sampler pack of Kay’s Natural Products!


Need a rockin’ playlist when your not in the gym, whether you are baking, cleaning or just having a dance party for one? Check out Ashley’s Official Sweet and Natural Playlist!

And while, I seem obsessed with music, my sister is actually the one who is an amazing singer and plays the guitar, so I asked for a few workout song recommendations.  Here are some of Kristen’s favs:

Day N’ Nite– kid cudi
Cry for you-september
Gives you hell-all american rejects
Show me what I’m looking for– carolina liar
New Work Out Plan– kanye west
Little of your time -maroon 5

See ya’ll on Tuesday!

Work it Out: Jillian Michaels’ No More Trouble Zones

Here is my second guest poster, please welcome Diana from Soap and Chocolate!  I was very excited that she offered to review Gillian Michael’s new workout video because you know how much I love 30 Day Shred!     A huge thanks to Diana for her great guest post!   I think the little break was good for me, it rejuvenated my waning creativity and idea store.  I should be back tomorrow with lots new on fitness, free yoga, deals, detox and of course news about my wonderful worldwind weekend…man I love to alliterate.   Without further ado, Diana:

Hi there! I’m Diana and I write a blog called Soap & Chocolate. It’s mostly about healthy eating, but a girl has to work out every once in a while too. Since I work out from the comfort of my own bedroom, I thought it would be nice to contribute a DVD review to Fitness NYC in Melissa’s absence. Here goes!jiam35
On Tuesday, when I reviewed Jillian Michaels’ other new DVD, Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism, I said that I thought it was her toughest video yet.
I was wrong.
THIS is her toughest workout yet. Actually, scratch that—every workout of hers that I have done is pretty much the hardest thing I’ve ever asked my body to do. It just never lasted a whole 50 minutes until now!
No More Trouble Zones follows the same format as Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism. There are seven circuits sandwiched between five minutes each of warm-up and cool-down; each circuit is made up of a five-move sequence repeated twice. Whereas BFBM is largely cardio and plyometrics and does not utilize hand weights, however, NMTZ keeps the weights in your hands for nearly the entire seven circuits.
For those of you who are familiar with any other of JM’s DVD workouts, you’ll recognize some of her favorite strength training moves in NMTZ (Supermans, lunges with shoulder raises, etc.). For that reason, I don’t want to describe in detail the new forms of torture she has come up with for this video. It’s no fun if there are no surprises! 😉 Suffice it to say that my jaw actually dropped open in shock at one point while performing a certain shoulder exercise—I was not prepared for it to be that difficult!
Now that I’ve instilled the Fear of Jillian in you, I want to conclude by saying, as I did in Tuesday’s review, that this was a fantastic workout. It wouldn’t be good if it weren’t so challenging, and it’s much more satisfying to finish a workout exhausted and red in the face, as opposed to feeling like you need to do something to make up for the lack of energy used. At some points I did feel like I’d have to stop short of completing all the reps of one move or another, but my mantra is that I can do anything, no matter how hard, for 30 seconds. Nothing ever lasts much longer than that in JM’s workouts. Therefore, I remain a devoted Jillian Michaels fan, and I have the sore body to prove it.
That’s it for me! Hope you enjoyed the guest post!

Workout DVD reviews

Well I am not sure about my video skills, but here is a few reviews for running products and workout videos.  The video is a little dark and slightly grainy, and I say awesome and intense about 10 times :).

I reviewed/showed my nike glove and hat set.  PS you get 20% off all clearance items at the online Nike Shop right now!

Core Fushion Body Sculpt by Exhale Spa

5-10 minute sculpt/stretch segments (arms, legs, butt, abs, stretch sculpt) based on the Lotte Burke Method.

Jillian Michaels 30 day shred: 3-20 minute workouts which feature  2 minutes warm up,  followed by 3 rounds of 6 minute circuits (3 minute  strength, 2 minute cardio, 1 minute abs) and a 2 minute cool down.  I should mention that you are only supposed to do one 20 minute workout in a day. So only a 20 minute workout, 7 days a week.

Jillian keeps you motivated and you can learn some good strength moves.

Like all workout videos, once I have done these several times, I will mute them and put on my own music to keep them fresh.

Note: after doing these several times, I think both are great workouts and will be effective.  The Core Fusion is probably the harder of the two, the ab section is KILLER.  You basically are in a hundred position, doing different exercises for 10 minutes straight.  To be fair the instructor does say: this is probably the hardest ab routine you will ever do.  Thank god it’s only 10 minutes.  Both provide modifications for different levels and excellent explanation of positions and form.

For older workout reviews see these

Fitness Finds!

First let me just say that I am so excited that my sister decided to join me for the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot!  Yay, I have asked her the last 3 years, and finally she agreed.  I have to say, I have never had much luck inspiring fitness to those around me.  I literally begged my 3 college roommates to go to the gym with me, and never, not once did they go.  It was less than a block away!  Even today, my roomies never use the gym, pool or free yoga, pilates or strength classes that our building offers.  Oh well, they don’t know what they’re missing. Maybe it’s good I started a blog :) Rant over. 

I am not sure if my sister runs or works out, but she is naturally pretty athletic, so I am sure she can wing it.  She is a senior at football crazy OSU, so I hear the school’s fitness facilities are pretty stellar!


Okay back to fitness finds, one of my friends just told me about: The Body.  A New York City workout studio that offers classes that sound EXACTLY like physique 57!  First class is free.  To any NYC girls, holla if you try it!

Next, I got great email from amazon announcing a bunch of new workout DVDS, here’s a peak:

Skinny Bitch Fitness: Body

Dancing with the Stars: Latino Cardio Dance

Dirty Dancing Official Dance Workout

Exhale Core Fusion Body Sculpt

Bollywood Booty

Tracy Anderson Mat Workout

Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred

Lisa Rinna: Dance Body Beautiful

I haven’t tried any of these, but the Amazon customer reviews are usually on point.  30 Day Shred has 541 reviews!

I enjoy the occasional home workout.  It’s amazing what you can do with a dyna band, some weights, a pillow and a stability ball.