Just look at the title of this workout DVD? How could I resist? Tabata with Toys? A whole DVD devoted to tabata? I had to have it! Mindy Mylrea is new to me, so I didn’t know what to expect. (**I started working my way through this DVD before I did Intensity Overload; however because there are so many tabatas on this DVD, I finished the Intensity Overload review first.) The reviews I have read about Mindy called her “energetic.” Well, now that I’ve done her workout, I can agree with that. It is her personality that is very energetic. That’s not to say she isn’t physically energetic as well–she is–but the force of her energy is in her presentation. This is an advanced tabata collection and she actually got visibly tired during these–as you should if they are done properly. I really liked her. Another great new trainer! This collection turned out to be the gem I was hoping for.
Let’s start with defining what a tabata is. I like the description of tabata that is provided with this workout on Amazon: “Tabata Interval training is the most intense HIIT training on the planet. Each workout is only 4 minutes long with a work/rest ratio of 20/10 but you will work harder in 4 minutes then you would in 30 minutes of steady state.” In addition, in the traditional tabata protocol (which is what is used in this DVD), eight 20/10 intervals equals one tabata. This DVD contains 14 tabatas! Each is approx. 5 minutes long. There is no warm up or cool down. You can choose to do all 14 tabatas, one right after the other for a workout that equals 77 minutes. Or you can go to the chaptering and select which tabata(s) you want. If you choose to do it one tabata after the other, you do get a brief rest of approx. 1 minute between tabatas as Mindy explains each move that will be performed in that tabata. Also, Mindy does state during her descriptions that you should use that time to warm up (I guess you could do that if it is your first tabata–if it is one of many, then it is a good recovery period!).
As you can tell by the title, the theme of this collection is that you will use a prop or “toy” in every tabata. Equipment needed is: gliding disks, bender ball, bosu, ropeless jump rope, medicine ball and body bar. I own everything listed except for a bosu ball and ropeless jump rope, so I had to use substitutes for those moves. I used a square high step at 8 inches for the Bosu–you do not get the same effect as a Bosu because a Bosu is a stability challenge, but it’s better than nothing. And I used light handweights (2 pounds) in place of the ropeless jump rope and, to be honest, I have no clue how well it compares.
There is no introduction contained on this workout and what is written on the back cover of the DVD doesn’t give much more information, other than an overview of what it contains. So I don’t really know how Mindy intended this workout to be used (a visit to her website doesn’t illuminate this either). However, the fact there is no warm up or cool down makes me assume these are to be used as “add on”s to other workouts–so you will already be warmed up when you come to them and its up to you to cool down and stretch yourself out afterward. This works perfect for my needs. In fact, my first time through this DVD, I used it conjunction with STS Squat Rack Legs. I did my Squat Rack Legs workout, then afterwards I added on 3-4 tabatas. Gave me an excellent workout.
Now, most tabatas I am accustomed to use a lot of plyometrics to get your heart rate up. Mindy uses those, too, but she also uses a lot of other types of exercises that are low or no impact–but no less strenuous (some of them maybe even more strenuous!). Because of this, you are actually working a lot more muscles than just your glutes, quads and hamstrings, which is what most tabatas focus on due to the amount of plyo. In Tabata with Toys you get a lot of core work, upper body work and even inner thigh work–in addition to the glutes, quads and hamstrings. Overall, this is just an excellent, advanced and intense collection that I adore. If you have the time or the inclination, here is a great blog post Cathe wrote about HIIT/tabata workouts from her newsletter that will further illustrate the value of these protocols: 5 Reasons Why high Intensity Workouts Rock.
Each of the tabatas are 4 minutes; however, the chapters are approx. 5 minutes long because for about 1 minute at the beginning of each tabata Mindy demonstrates the 4 exercises you will be doing. Each exercise will be done twice for a total of 8 HIITs. There is a timer that counts down the work/rest periods. There is no crew–just Mindy. She is in a big empty building or warehouse and tho there is music, it is so low and nondescript, I didn’t really notice it.
As in Intensity Overload, the astricks are just for my information, to indicate which tabatas I like the best (for my future reference).
*Tabata 1 (Gliding Disks): 1. one leg pull in, which is fast slide back lunges (working leg on disk), 2. loaded sliding side lunge (working leg on disk), 3. snake–while in plank, both feet on disks, slide both legs in and out, 4. ab slide–with knees on ground and hands on disks, slide hands in and out. Each exercise is done twice.
*Tabata 2 (Gliding Disks): 1. lunge forward and back with working leg on disk (pendulum lunge, but with a disk), 2. plie squats with both feet on disks, 3. push up jacks with both feet on disks, 4. while lying on your stomach and both hands on disks, do a fast and large circular swimming motion. Each exercise is done twice.
Tabata 3 (Gliding Disk/Bender Ball): 1. burpee with both feet on disks and bender ball held between knees, 2. one legged burpee with bender ball behind one knee (non-working leg)–no disks, 3. prone one leg pull in–basically a snake (see Tabata 1 #3) using one leg, 4. supine hamstring curl–lay on back, both feet on disks and bender ball between knees, lift hips and slide heels in and out. Do each exercise twice.
*Tabata 4 (Bender Ball): The bender ball needs to be held stationary for this tabata sequence as you will only be using it as a marker. I set mine on a gliding disk. 1. Plie jump with ball touch at the bottom of the jump, 2. split jumps touching the ball at the bottom of the jump, 3. butt kick with ball touch, 4. air jack/tuck jump–alternate. Do each exercise twice.
Tabata 5 (Gliding Disks/Bender Ball): 1. tricep push ups, 2. tuck in (or snake–see Tabata 1 #3) alternated with push up, 3. cross under (oblique mountain climbers) with both feet on disks, 4. push ups with one hand on bender ball–after each push up you roll ball over the other hand. Do each exercise twice.
Tabata 6 (Gliding Disks/Bender Ball): side-to-side push ups–put the ball between your knees and use your disks as markers; on your knees or toes, do push ups, alternating the hands each time to have a disk between them, 2. V-sits–put ball in small of back and put disks between feet (gripping them to hold them); straighten and bend your knees while in V-sit position, feet never touching the ground, 3. staggered push ups–again using the disks as markers and putting the disks between your knees; on knees or toes, do push ups, alternating hands–one behind the disks and one over the disks (tricep work), 4. side-to-side V-sit–with ball behind back and legs up and off ground, rotate your torso and arms, touching the disks to the ground on either side. Do each exercise twice.
Tabata 7 (Bosu): 1, split squat jump, jump forward and back, around the world jump–all the while one foot is on the bosu, 2. get down/get up–hands free, sit on the bosu (reclining into banana pose) then get up (hands free!) and jump at the top, 3. squat jumps on the bosu getting progressively lower to the count of 3, 4. supine bug laying back on bosu. Do each exercise twice.
*Tabata 8 (Bosu and Gliding Disks): 1. Brazilian lunge with one toe on bosu and holding disk–as you raise and lower you touch the disk to the ground at the bottom of the move, 2. tricep dips–sit on bosu with each heel on a disk; as you dip, you alternate sliding one leg out in front of you, 3. straddle jump on and off bosu while holding disks–a the bottom of the move touch the disk to the bosu, 4. gliding lunge–front foot on bosu and back foot on disk, slide back leg in and out. Repeat each exercise twice.
*Tabata 9 (Body Bar): 1. plie squat jumps holding bar, 2. side lunge into narrow squat then overhead press with bar, 3. propelling lunge, side-to-side (jump lunges while holding the bar and alternating sides), 4. put bar on floor, do burpee then push up, pick up the bar and stand. Do each exercise twice.
*Tabata 10 (Body Bar): 1. narrow twist jump–moguls while holding onto the bar, 2. alternating back lunge while rowing with bar, 3. V-sit while rowing with bar, 4. skaters using the bar on the floor as a marker.
Tabata 11 (medicine ball): 1. chair pose holding ball overhead, 2. plie squat holding ball between legs and alternating heel lift (second time through raise both heels and hold for 20 seconds), 3. plank with hands on ball (she shows lots of variations), 4. V-sit holding ball. Do each exercise twice.
Tabata 12 (ropeless jump rope): 1. jump/high knee run while spinning “rope,” 2. slow, wide jack (plyo jacks) while spinning the rope with big wide arms, 3. side plank while spinning the rope and moving arm in wide circles, 4. in V-sit spin ropes with arms held out to side of body. Do each exercise twice.
*Tabata 13 (medicine ball): 1. high knee run, bringing ball side to side (to outside of leg), 2. squat jump while doing a figure 8 between legs, 3. butt kicks–lunge forward, bringing front leg up and kicking butt with heel while throwing ball forward and catching as you lunge forward, 4. side-to-side jumping squat while passing ball from palm to palm. Do each exercise twice.
*Tabata 14 (medicine ball): 1. burpee with the ball, 2. in V-sit, weave ball around legs in figure 8, 3. side plank push up, one hand on ball, 4. push ups with arm extension. Do each exercise twice.