Sunday, December 2, 2012

Workout for Beginners with Jillian Michael's: review


Unlike the rest of the free world, I have never seen an episode of The Biggest Loser. I have never seen Jillian Michaels walk and talk before this video, either, though, I am, of course, aware of her. In this video, she was thorough, professional and seemed to really enjoy the people she was working with.

This video is a wonderful introduction to circuit training and weight bearing exercise. It is divided into two parts: One for the front side of your body and the other for the back (plus biceps). Each routine is broken up into 6 circuits and each circuit contains an excercise to elevate one's heart rate and then two, sometimes three weight bearing exercises. The circuits start with the larger muscles first and work their way down to the smaller muscle groups and then the abs.

Jillian includes several variations of each exercise in order to adjust them to individual fitness levels, so this video can be used as you progress.

Drawbacks are these:

Most annoyingly, there was no indication of the equipment I'd need for these exercises. Just so you know, you'll need a chair (a kitchen type chair, though some padding would be OK), dumbbells, a resistence band and a floor mat. Something to step on is a good idea for the areobic session in a couple of circuits. I marched in place.

 I did this in my smallish living room. I had to move from an open space (cardio) to a chair, to another open space and then to the floor sometimes all in one cicuit. Often, I had to move things out of the way between moves in order to make room. As well, Jillian is using past contestants from The Biggest Loser who are in much better shape than I am. By the time I managed to get off the floor in circuit 5 for example to start my cardio bit, the former contestant was almost done!

As well, Jillian talks. And talks. You really have to keep track of your own repetitions --even though 1/2 way through she'll ask the contestant what "number" they are on and talk them through to the finish. If you are on a different number, this will be annoying and distracting. I didn't keep track--I was just trying to keep up!

Good stuff:

But, for someone who has never done anything like this before, it was fabulous. I did the front workout yesterday and the back workout today. I was sweating at the end of each session--enough that I felt obliged to take a shower before I joined my family again. Both workouts felt like a terrific challenge which is as it should be. I was surprised that 3lb dumbbells for the front side work out were probably too light. But then, I have always carried a ton of groceries on each arm from the drive way to the house in order to save going back and forth through the yard!

I am using a copy from the library which includes both workouts on one dvd. I think, though, that each workout is now sold seperately (which is annoying). Nonetheless, I have asked for it for Christmas.

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