Cardio Strength Remix is the latest brand of torture offered by Michelle Dozois. She has also come out with another Peak 10 cardio workout–Cardio Interval Burn Remix–which will be reviewed here soon. Michelle creates some very tough, very effective workouts. Of them all, the Cardio Strength workouts are the most brutal. They are a combination of very fast paced strength work (metabolic weight training), intense cardio and HIIT. She has quite a few of these super tough workouts. The ones that are available individually are under the “Peak 10” series. She also has a program called PeakFit (which I swear the review for that program will go up this year–I have had it for a few years now and love it) that contains 10 workouts that follow the Peak 10 structure.
Let me break down the structure first. I’ve already done it in other reviews so I will just paste it here:
Michelle’s Peak 10 workouts are based on a structure she calls “metabolic blueprint” which consists of a basecamp, an ascent, a climb and a peak. This workout is a cardio + strength workout that consists of 5 of these metabolic circuits, each repeated for a total of 10 circuits. Basecamp and ascent are the strength portion of the circuit. The climb is intense cardio and the peak is a plyometric/anaerobic HIITs of approx. 15 seconds. There is no real warm up. You could say the first two circuits are the warm up since there is no peak component in those circuits. However, it doesn’t feel like a warm up! The remaining 8 circuits all have peaks.
It has been a very long time since I have done one of Michelle’s Dozois workouts. Not because I don’t like them or they aren’t effective. They are actually incredibly effective and I like them a lot. I haven’t actually been doing workouts by any other trainer except Cathe Friedrich for more than a year. What can I say? I discovered Cathe and became obsessed with her workouts. I am making a point of breaking out again though and returning to old favorite workouts and favorite trainers. And just in time–Michelle came out with new Peak 10s!
The word “Remix” in the title of her newest workouts is misleading. It makes it sound like she is mixing up previous workouts. These “remixes” are fresh and new. I have also come a long way in my reviewing techniques, so this is getting a better review than the earlier Peak 10 workouts.
The workout is broken down in a way that you can control how much of it you want to do. As mentioned above, it is done circuit fashion. Since you repeat each circuit twice, she refers to them as “blocks.” The menu breaks down each block so so you can do however many blocks you choose–just two blocks if you chose, or three, or four. Or you can choose the option to do the entire workout. She also has the intro and a “movement” review listed separately. I suggest you watch them both. The Introduction especially if you are new to Michelle’s Peak 10 workouts. It is 3 minutes long and she explains the concept and what to expect. The movement review is something new (I think–like I said, it’s been a while since I’ve done anything but Cathe workouts) and much appreciated. Overall, Michelle’s choreography isn’t overly complex. However, her workouts are very fast paced. There is no learning curve and they are designed so that each move flows smoothly into the next. Therefore, on some of the more complex moves, it is helpful for a breakdown to preview them before you actually do the workout, and this is what the movement review does. It breaks down 7 of the moves in a 4 minute segment.
This is an advanced, high impact workout.
On to the review.
Peak 10 Cardio Strength Remix is 59 minutes long. The first block could be considered a warm up. It is intense, but more of a warm up than the first block of her other Cardio Strength workouts. Nevertheless, because you are doing strength work and intense cardio in the first block, I am not going to break down the time of the first block as “warm up.” Training time is 54 minutes and the cool down/stretch is 5 minutes. For this workout you need a set of heavy weights and a set of light weights. Michelle states that in her classes the women use a range from 5 pound dumbbells to 17 pound dumbbells depending on their strength. (5 pounds would be the lightest they used for their light weights and 17 would be the heaviest they used for their heavy weights). In the past, when doing Peak 10/PeakFit workouts frequently I used 8 pound dumbbells for my light weight and 12 pounds for my heavy weights. There are some exercises I felt I could (and should!) go heavier than 12 pounds, but due to the pace of the workouts and the way one move flows quickly into the next, there is no way you can change dumbbells in the middle of a circuit. And since 12 pound dumbbells were appropriate for most of the exercises, I just use that for all my heavy segments. Trust me, since it is a metabolic weight training workout, you do not feel like you are missing out with slightly lighter weights–it is still brutal!
As a breakdown reminder: you use dumbbells in Basecamp and Ascent. No dumbbells in Climb and Peak. Also, the Basecamp between the circuits in block one is about 15 seconds. All of the other Basecamps range from 20-30 seconds. The Peak is always approx. 12 seconds.
Ascent–grab one heavy weight.
Swings (kettlebell type swings with one heavy dumbbell)
Side lunge and row
Grab your light dumbbells
Squats into a standing leg stretch (bend at waist)
Lateral raises with lunge jumps
Squats with bicep curls and front raises
Alternating knee and side hops.
Double and single jacks
Burpee with side hop at the top (when standing)
Bascecamp–grab both heavy dumbbells and start squatting
Lunge lifting arms low and back then upright row at the top
Lunge and row 3 times then lift arms low and back
Chest lift with dumbbells while standing and raising knee
One leg deadlift
Push up then touch hand to opposite toe
In sumo/plie squat do double pulse squat to bicep curl
Change to setting weights on floor, jumping (while still in sumo squat), pick up weights and do bicep curl
Swing weights down while squatting then jump to standing and do overhead press
Reach and pull move
Shuffle forward, punches, shuffle back, 3 knees then reach and pull
Lunge jump with scissors
Touch down lunge to side to jump shot. Alternate sides
Basecamp–grab light weights and do curtsey crossover lunge
Pulsing curtsey crossover lunges
Turn this into a walk–curtesy over, tap out and step back (staying low)
Lunge to side, push weights in front of you then jump center
Squat center and pulse
Overhead press while lifting leg to side–alternate sides
Circle arms to side and overhead
Alternate overhead press
Side plank variation (in modified side plank jump out to full side plank, dip hips, then jump back in)
In tabletop position with hips lifted up pull hips back through arms/hands then back up to tabletop
Stay in tabletop and do tricep dips
“Karaoke”–crossover jog 3 times into 4 ski jumps, then jump once and tuck jump once
With legs wide and guard arms move upper body side to side then circle
4 wide outs (low jacks) and one power jack
Basecamp–grab heavy weights and do deadlifts
Deadlift and raise weights overhead
One leg back and alternate row
Power row–quick dynamic row, bring feet together, weights to shoulders, mini jump with mini overhead press
Hammer curls to the front and to the side
Controlled swing of arms–like running man arms
Plank and row, then while in plank raise weight overhead while twisting body
Push up and slide forward–pushing through toes
Slow mountain climbers then drop into push ups
In sumo squat do front swings (kettlebell type move)
Punch 3 times, knee, back kick, knee
Shuffle to side and alternate knees
Drop squats with double bounce
Runners lunge forward and back
Single knee power drive
Basecamp–grab light weights and do single leg squat
Continue single leg squats–non-working leg to side, toe on floor
Single leg squat–move non-working leg to front, heel on floor–lateral raise and raise knee of non-working leg
Overhead curls with ab crunch/knee in
Squat then stand and do overhead tricep extension
Stir the pot–slow
Deep squat lifting arms behind you (arms straight)
Alternating overhead Y press
Diagonal lunge to back corner then circle arms overhead at the top
Touch down squat into jumping jacks with scissor arms
Knee up two times, block and punch low
Much deserved and needed cool down stretch.