Atletica 4 is another tough and unique workout by Ilaria Montagnani. This one is only 30 minutes but she burns you out in that short amount of time. Prior to 2012, Ilaria only had one Atletica (Atletica Vol 1) workout available and I love it. However in 2012 she came out with a flush of new workouts. I have bought most of them but not all. I did get Atletica Vol 2 and Vol 3, so the reviews for those will be up eventually. I have to finish STS first. She also has another (older–2008) body weight only workout called Abs & Pushups Plus that is also 30 minutes.
Atletica 2 and 3 were must buys, but I was on the fence about Atletica 4 due to length and focus. I just wasn’t sure I would do it very often. What finally sold me was my daughter. She is starting college soon and moving into the dorms. She caught the fitness bug from her mom years ago and doesn’t want to stop working out—but doesn’t know what she can do in the dorms w/out all of my equipment and my enormous workout DVD library. Of course, she has access to the university’s gym and plans to use it, but what she is accustomed to and prefers is to workout at home like her mom. So I got her Ilaria’s two body weight workouts. Certain to be challenging workouts + no equipment needed. And of course I had to review them myself before she leaves home with them. Now that I’ve done Atletica 4 it is back on my Amazon wishlist—I plan to get my own copy! 30 minutes may seem short, but for a workout like this, it is more than enough!
This workout consists of 3 components: pushups, core/ab work and burpees. She lets you know up front in the intro that you will be doing a total of 5 minutes of burpees. Luckily, not all together! There is no warm up, cool down or stretch in this workout. The lack of a warm up isn’t a big deal since the workout begins with burpees, but you need a stretch at the end of this workout! Desperately—so make sure you do one!
A few notes. The first is the music. Though I did like it, near the end it gets so loud it becomes hard to hear Ilaria sometimes. And as for the exercises, they are done in a controlled manner. This is not a fast-paced workout. It’s not slow either—controlled is the operative word. The moves are difficult enough and done for long enough periods of time that your heart rate gets revved anyway—especially with all the burpees.
Here’s the breakdown:
One minute of burpees
Push up to side plank—alternate sides
Sit ups with hands clasped in front of you; then more sit ups but at the top twist clasped hands to the side. Return to straight sit ups, hands still clasped in front of you; go back to twist sit ups but this time touch clasped hands to ground.
Two minutes of sumo burpees
Full crunches lifting both upper and lower body
50 alternating jackknife crunches
Push up and plank pattern: every 30 seconds you do 4 pushups and hold plank for the remainder of the 30 seconds, then start over for a total of 3 minutes.
Two minutes of one-legged burpees; you can alternate legs or do one minute on each leg. Ilaria alternated legs.
In low/forearm plank lower hips from side to side, touching hips to floor while stacking feet
Lay on back with legs straight in air and head/neck raised; alternate lowering and raising legs—legs never touch the floor
Ab/core pattern—alternate following two exercises 3 times each:
1st exercise: sit in C-curve w/ hips rolled slightly to the side, legs out and raised slightly off the ground; raise legs up and down never touching the floor. Do both sides.
2nd exercise: sit ups with one arm raised in front (Ilaria refers to it as holding your arm similar to how you hold it in a Turkish Get Up) and other hand crossed on chest.
Final exercise: in plank touch each shoulder with opposite hand, lift each leg then do two pushups. Continue this pattern for 3 minutes.
And that’s it! No stretch and trust me, your upper body is burned out by the end. I was forced to stretch my chest and shoulders!