"I'm an internist, and I have recommended this video to many women in my practice. I have used both volume 1 and 2 for years. I like volume 1 more since the routines, though easy, have been effective in my experience. I recommend this video along with cardio daily. The routine that seems to work well for me and some of my patients is to combine the upper body workout (20 minutes) 3 days a week, alternating with lower body workout (20 minutes) 3 days a week with 30+ minutes of cardio 5 - 6 days a week as well as the abdominal exercises daily. I typically will watch my favorite shows or news program and do interval training by walking during the program and running/jogging during the commercials. In my experience, women's metabolism changes with hormonal change and we need to maintain the lean body mass for the tone and metabolism. One last thing, the video might look simple but ease into it so that you can see results without injury. Always have your physician clear you for exercises if you have medical problems or orthopedic issues to minimize injuries. Stay with it, and you should see results. Good luck!"
Unique weight training routines to keep you movitated
YogaKat | Oregon United States | 03/16/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an excellent way to strengthen and tone your body for both women and men. I have just recently discovered Kathy Smith's programs and this is one of my favorites! Her technique is unique in that it's high reps, followed by pulsing, then additional high-reps and she uses circuit training where she switches from one body part to another without rest. She makes it so fun and easy. There's lots of variety and options on this 2-DVD set that you will not get bored. You can easily mix and match for a short or long workout. There are two levels: beginner and intermediate and you can follow either one.
Here's what you get: 2 separate upper-body workouts, 20 minutes each 2 separate lower-body workouts, 20 minutes each 1 Core workout for abs and back, 10 minutes 1 abs workout, 10 minutes Stability Ball workout, 20 minutes Bonus: tips for great posture
You will need a set of weights: light, medium, and heavy + a balance ball.
Please check my other workout and yoga DVDs on Amazon."
Great strength training, not as high of caloric burn as anot
A. Chandler | Austin, TX | 10/19/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of my favorite fitness dvds is "Build Muscle, Shrink Fat" by Kathy. While this one was very similar, it didn't burn as many calories as that dvd.
And, quite frankly they were a bit TOO similar in the moves to need both. So while this is a FANTASTIC strength dvd, the other one kept my heart in the target heart rate zone but offered only one dvd where this one contains a set of two so you get more with it. So you decide what you need...
First, I'll note that, although I own several of Kathy Smith's dvds I am not biased towards her...I've given one or two of them just one star before when the cueing is bad.
That said, this one is a real winner!
How I measure caloric burn: First, let me add that I wear a bodybugg to monitor my daily caloric expenditure. I say this only so you'll know what I note is based upon scientific measurement, rather than simply perceived exertion. It can also monitor calories burned per minute and just during a workout so I have great measurement in how a fitness dvd does, regardless of whether I feel I'm burning a lot or not. And I've amassed a large fitness dvd library over the years because I workout to them 6 days a week so I have a few to compare it to...
Caloric burn: okay, so that said, I've learned that most dvds will fall into cardio dvds which tend to burn more calories as you do them and strength dvds which burn less during the workout but helps to continue burning more throughout the rest of the day and develps muscle which also raises metabolism. I have a much harder time finding a dvd that does both. One of the Crunch dvds does this and the Biggest Loser dvds are all pretty good at it as well. This one burns more calories than many strength dvds but isn't too high up there. Her "burn muscle shrink fat" burns almost twice as many in the same amount of time while still getting great strength training.
Cueing: Excellent. In some dvds Kathy can trip me up BADLY but this one is excellent and very easy to follow along to in spite of it being fast paced and full of energy.
Toning: Full body workout, but it's broken up into doing a upper body, lower body, and core. You can choose one or mix them up.
Cardio: This one is primarily strength and my heart rate was elevated, though not as high as some.
Equipment: You'll see her use a weight bench but you don't need it. On some of her moves she just sits on it and does bicept curls etc. You'll actually get great results if you stand and do these...you can lean and do them like other fitness dvds show. As far as laying down on the bench, you can do that on the floor or across a step. You can also use a bosu. (half ball) so no weight bench is needed. You will need hand weights. I use 6-7 pounds the whole time even though she suggests light, med, and heavy. If you find a good weight for you, you really don't need to swap out IMHO.
Instruction: Good instruction and advice on workout out safely and for the best effect.
Energy: good but not with some of the "wooop! "yeahs!" that Kathy has in some dvds that get a tad overdone and irritating at times...this one is upbeat without the silly screaming of the background exercisers that she has in some of her dvds...BUT...it seemed rather odd that she actually howled like a coyote several times in this one. I am not sure why but I think it scared my cat.
Muscle Toning: She REALLY hits the important zones on a woman's body on this one, including great targeting in the upper body not only to the arms but to the muscles that lift your chest. Your lower body moves are great on the glutes and hips and the abs moves are very effective. You will get a very thorough workout with this and tone up in the areas of most importance.
Conclusion: For the price, getting 2 full fitness dvds is great. I still prefer her "Build Muscle, Shrink Fat" for strength training since it has a higher fat burn during the strength training according to my bodybugg measurement of caloric burn...BUT...that said, this will offer you MORE of her strength moves on the two dvds so if you want a limited fitness library you do get more bang for your buck on this one to get your strength training in without boredom. A great dvd."
Depends on what kind of "beginner" you are...
Sparkles | Chicago, IL | 04/24/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"i bought this video for my 63 year old mother who was interested in a "beginner" video that had weights. my mom is very agile and active but hasn't really "worked-out" minus a weight class at our local community center. i watched it after she attempted and failed to do many of the exercises herself. i thought that the intro was really good, explained the importance of working out, lifting weights, etc but the video itself was poorly executed and should not be advertised for "beginners". it was really fast paced and having so many people in the video was confusing. in videos i have done that are more advanced, they have people doing different levels which would have been more helpful here. if you are looking for a video for a beginner, especially in the over 50 range, i would recommend any of the videos by mirabai holland."
Uma Charles | Normal, IL USA | 12/03/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's a really good exercise program! Worked all the major parts of the body that we struggle with. It really challenged me. And there were a lot of good tips like good posture and good eating habits as well."