Difficulty level: Rating: Fairly easy
Sweat-o-meter: Rating: Minor sweat droplets
Overall rating: Rating: Great for beginners
Length of workout: (1) 20-minute level 1 workout, (1) 40-minute level 2 workout + 2 bonus abs features
Equipment needed: A pair of 3-5 lb. weights for the 40-minute workout
By now you should have sufficiently blown off your New Year’s resolutions, and are probably looking for an easy way to get back on the horse. This workout should make it easy to get back in the groove, if you can find a way to ignore the constant complaining from Valerie throughout the workout.
There’s nothing that makes me feel more smug than knowing that even the Hollywood celebrities can’t buy their way to losing weight. There are no shortcuts. A hard sweaty workout is a great equalizer.
Valerie works out with her personal trainer, Christopher Ross Lane, who shows her the proper way to perform each move.
Losing it: Body Basics, Level 1 – 20 minutes
This workout is for those of you who have never worked out, or if you are starting up your workout after a hiatus. Here is what you’ll be doing:
- Cross-body squats
- Sumo squats – A squat where you pick up your knee
- Reverse lunge
- Hip lifts – Which is a pelvic thrust lying on your back
- Hip lift while lifting your leg
- Pilates kick and bicycle kicks while lying on your back
- Reverse crunches & side rolls
- Side plank
- Standing rows (without weights)
- Lateral flies (without weights)
- Back to reverse lunges – with added tricep kickbacks
- Stretching and cool-down
Stick with this workout for a week or so – longer if you’re a beginner…then you can move on to…
Keeping Fit: Bikini Ready, Level 2 – 40 minutes
Now that you’ve mastered the basics, let’s move on to the harder stuff. I always skip the first workout and go right to this one.
The workout starts with a basic warm-up: Side squats, side lunges, curtsies, and pulsating reverse lunges. A hamstring stretch rounds out the warm-up exercises.
Sumo squats – Stick your bum out while doing this.
Traveling squats – More squats, more pulses. More complaining.
Reverse hip raise – This is the all-fours version of the pelvic thrust.
Crunches are next, followed by a one-legged pelvic thrust.
At this point it’s time to grab the weights. And maybe a muzzle for Valerie.
Chest press is next…moving into chest flies, then tricep extensions. Maybe I’m partial to the stability ball, but I feel these exercises would have more impact if you were performing them lying against the ball. Next, Christopher makes you do ab crunches with the weights, which is probably the best ab workout on this DVD. These rock! I’m a fan of any workout that makes my abs scream out in pain. So I always do a few extra.
Donkey kicks & fire hydrants – Baby boomers, you’ll remember these from gym class.
Advanced Superman – Now we’re doing superman with an added arm extension, followed by a tricep extension.
At this point, we stand up and grab the weights. Valerie thinks the workout is over.
Rows and what Christopher calls “Ys” – bringing your arms out to a Y position, followed by bicep curls (see photo at the end of this post). If you’re a beginner, I would suggest using 2-3 lb. weights here. Then we follow that up with squat presses and lateral shoulder raises – on one foot!
Side chops are next, which will do wonders for the oblique muscles along your stomach. Christopher then leads with another forward lunge holding the weight, followed by another complaint from Valerie. Last move – another variation of squat presses.
Cool down. Valerie is happy. It’s all stretching from here on out.
There are a couple of bonus ab workouts at the end, including an “abs challenge,” where Valerie warns you that she’s going to complain. And then she does. You’ll be happy to know that all of the workouts on this DVD can be done on mute.
This isn’t the most challenging workout, but if you’re trying to get back into a workout routine it’s a good one to start with – if you can tune out Valerie’s patronizing “yes Christophers” throughout the workout. You can watch some clips of the workout to see if this is the right workout for you.