Wednesday, April 23, 2008

3-in-1 Total Body Fitness

THE WORKOUT: 3-in-1 Total Body Fitness with Desi Bartlett ($12.99 at Amazon)


WHO CAN DO THIS: This isn’t for beginners. The workout moves fast, cueing is sloppy--which can make for flustered, frustrated moments—and no time is wasted on discussion of form or safe handling of weights.

On the other hand, the audio track is in English, Spanish and Spanglish, so it is a multicultural workout.

THE BREAKDOWN: My first thought after pressing play: Wow, that’s colorful. The workout is done on bright fuchsia, purple and blue cubes set on a beach decorated with potted cacti and against an unnaturally blue sky.

My second thought was: My goodness, that music is fast. There’s no slow build here—the workout starts full speed ahead.

My third thought was: Holy cow, that’s some major boobage! Desi Bartlett is stacked.

But that’s neither here nor there.

The DVD has three 20-minute chapters: cardio, strength and flexibility. Choreography is very simple but everything moves fast and off-screen cuing is kind of a mess—by the time the voiceover tells you to prepare for a change, the three women on screen have already changed moves. Catching up isn’t difficult with such easy moves but if you’re easily frustrated, you will get frustrated. The workout is mostly low-impact with lots of emphasis on squats, lunges and plies. There are a few small jumps here and there but they’re easily left out if you choose. It’s not exactly a gripping workout, but the 20 minutes goes by surprisingly fast, which is a plus.

The strength section also is fast-paced. I’m not a big fan of fast lifting because maintaining good form is difficult and if you’re inexperienced, conking yourself with the weights is a risk. Still, this workout packs a lot into 20 minutes, combining squats, lunges and balances with curls, lifts and rows. There’s no time to change weights between moves, which was also a little frustrating. I found five-pounders a tad heavy for some moves (I have trouble with lateral lifts) but three-pounders would be too light for all the others. Mention is made at one point of modifying a move but no mention as to whether it’s modified to be harder or easier, who is demonstrating, and what the modification is. (Possibly lighter weights, since I noticed one demo chick holding weights of a different color.)

The flexibility chapter requires a certain level of flexibility already—what little mention is made of modifications just make the ultra-stretchy moves very stretchy instead. Still, a 20 minute stretch is always good to have around the house.

THE SWEAT FACTOR: Much sweating occurred, but I didn’t have the a/c on in my garage/gym. Still, the fast pace will probably bring at least a glow to even people more fit than I.

BUT IS IT FUN? So-so, no matter how many times Desi tells us that it’s FUN! and we should SMILE! It’s not a misery, but it’s no party.

WHEN IT'S OVER: You’ll feel worked out.

GEAR AND APPAREL: Supportive shoes, little bit of room, light hand weights, a towel for the flexibility chapter.

FINAL WORD: I’m conflicted. While I’m not terribly impressed, any cardio workout that ends before I realize 20 minutes have passed must have something going for it. I may have to do it one more time to decide if it’s a keeper.

1 comment:

Chelle Cordero said...

Okay, my exercise level consists of pushing the PLAY button!