Thursday, May 13, 2010

Step-by-Step Strength Training with Petra Kolber

THE WORKOUT:Step By Step Strength Training with Petra Kolber


WHO CAN DO THIS: Beginners can do it but, with the right weights and attitude, intermediates will find it useful too.

THE BREAKDOWN: So much going for this DVD. It has four strength and toning workouts: two 20-minute full-body workouts; a ten-minute upper body; a ten-minute lower body, and a bonus five minutes for abs. It's just enough to be effective but short enough to not be as incredibly boring as strength training can be. Plus, I always like Petra Kolber’s workouts. Every one I've tried has been snappy, efficient, and creative.

One full-body workout combines upper and lower body moves—your basic lifts and squats. The other adds balance challenges, which is a useful novelty. Balance is increasingly important as we age, and it can be improved with practice. Here, Kolber has you stand on one and foot and then the other as you lift and squat, and adds some diagonal moves that further challenge balance. Very smart.

The 10-minute segments are nothing earth shaking, but Petra is chipper and helpful and it all goes by quickly and pleasantly. Five-minutes for abs is not a lot, but at least you can feel good about yourself if you tack it on to whatever else you do. Sort of.
THE SWEAT FACTOR: The more segments you do, the more you sweat, of course, But one 20-minute segment, if you really try, can give you a good glow.

Fun enough. It’s not not fun.

: If you’re hit-or-miss about strength training, as I tend to be, you might feel your muscles for the rest of the day.

GEAR AND APPAREL: Light weights (I used five pounds), a chair, and a mat. And you don’t even really need the chair if your balance is good. Or the mat, actually, if your floor is carpeted.

: Yay.

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