Weights is just another reason why I am so thankful I discovered Kelly Coffey-Meyer. Weights alone is an awesome and versatile little collection of workouts! It is really pretty impressive. I’ve gone through most of my other new-to-me 30 Minutes to Fitness workouts (not all, but most) and I have recently been trying her pure strength workouts. And that’s what I thought Weights was… and it is–and isn’t! I did not prepare for this workout at all before I did it! I popped it in the DVD player and was overwhelmed with all of the options before me!
To start with, this is primarily two split session strength workouts designed for relatively heavy lifting. She gives guidelines on the DVD case for the dumbbells you should use: Beginners 7 and 5 pound dumbbells, Intermediate 10 and 7 pound dumbbells and Advanced 15 and 10 pound dumbbells. The way they are listed is respective to how they will be used. For Workout 1 (Back, Legs and Chest) you use the heavier weight and for Workout 2 (Biceps, Triceps and Shoulders) you use primarily the lighter weight but also the heavier weight for the last triset. I am advanced and for the first workout I used 25 and 15 pound dumbbells; specifically, 15 pounds for the first triset and 25 for the last two trisets. For Workout #2, I used 10, 12 and 17.5–not necessarily in that order. And for some of the exercises I could probably go a bit heavier in the future. It was my first time and a learning experience. But for the most part, the dumbbells I used were appropriate and I got an excellent workout. (**The next day my tricep, back and chest were sore).
My initial plan on how to approach this workout was to do Workout #1 and #2 back to back to get a total body workout, then explore the premixes. My cursory viewing of the premixes seemed to indicate there wasn’t a total body premix that included every set and rep of every exercise (but I was wrong–the Mixed Body Premix is both workouts put together with no active recoveries; it is 41 minutes long and sounds exhausting!) But once I started browsing through I saw that there were many ways to approach these workouts and I had a hard time deciding how to go about it.
So first let me break down the basic structure of these workouts. They are done in trisets–one exercise for 3 different body parts. So for Workout #1, one triset includes a back exercise, a leg exercise and a chest exercise. Then you repeat the triset. Each workout contains 3 trisets and each triset is repeated once. Now, here is where it gets interesting. Between each triset there is some type of active recovery. And there are THREE different workouts with THREE different active recoveries!!! So there are 3 versions of Workout #1 and 3 versions of Workout #2! Each version contains all the same strength exercises, the only thing different is the active recovery between trisets. And personally–I find that awesome!! And, BTW, all versions are 30 minutes, so I can combine any version of 1 & 2 and still get an hour long total body workout.
What are the 3 different active recoveries? In the main workouts it is standing abdominal work. In the two premixes, one is cardio and the other is floor abdominal work. In addition, you can do the floor abdominal work separately as a 12 minute bonus ab workout (more on that below). So here is the way I am reviewing this. I am going to give the list of exercises in each workout and where an active recovery falls, that’s all I will write: “Active Recovery.” Then you know, depending on whichever version you doing, that’s where the recovery falls. You’ll either do standing abs, get on the floor for floor abs, or do some cardio.
A note on the cardio premix. I did like it, but…. it wasn’t very intense. I am a big fan of cardio + strength workouts, but I expect my cardio to be somewhat intense. It doesn’t have to be HIIT intense (though I like that, too), but I should be breathing hard. I would say the cardio in Workout #1 definitely didn’t get me breathless, but Workout #2’s cardio was more intense. Again, not super intense, but better than Workout #1. And it is all very basic cardio moves–knee lifts, V-Steps, 3 point toe taps–which is why it never got my heart really pumping. In fact, the segments that got my heart pumping more in Workout #2 were actually due to my own modifications. She does a kind of quick lunge back, which I just turned into power/jump lunges. She also does some fast squats which I just turned into squat jumps. So I guess I need to clarify–Workout #2’s cardio was more intense because it was easier for me to modify into more intense moves.
The floor abs are pretty intense. I didn’t do the premix that used them as the active recovery; I did the 12 minute ab bonus as an add on to another workout, but it was intense and I can tell that when it’s used, it will not feel like much of a “recovery”! You do each abdominal exercise for 2 minutes each–nonstop–and it will burn your abs out! The ab exercises are: row arms side to side while in V-sit (with feet on ground), reverse crunches, full sit ups with an arm reaching movement, frog crunchs and oblique crunches. One of the two minute ab exercises is inserted between each triset for active recovery
The second time I did this workout, I did the two main workouts in which the active recovery is standing abs. I really liked this version. The intensity of the standing abs recoveries varies, but they all got your heart rate up. Some worked the abs better than others. BTW–in case I wasn’t clear before, regardless of whichever active recovery you choose–the strength work is intense if you are using challenging weights.
Finally, the warm up is 3 minutes long. If you are doing the main workout, you do the warm up then choose your workout. However, if you are doing a premix the warm ups are already added in. Kelly has also created a kind of chapter section–not “real” chapters, but close enough. It’s called “Workout Sections” and you select it on the main menu. You could do them all for an 80 minute total body workout with lots of abs and some cardio. Just FYI, all the active cardio rests aren’t included in theses snippets.
Warm up (3 minutes)
Active Warm up (7:30 minutes of the cardio active rests)
Workout 1 (29:30 minutes)
Workout 2 (27 Minutes)
Abs (12 minutes of the floor abdominals active rests)
Stretch (1 minute)
Workout #1 Back, Legs & Chest is 29:30 (stretch is 1:30); if you do the 3 minute warm up, total time is 32:30.
Triset 1: reverse flys, lunge hesitations, push ups with one arm planks; repeat triset
Triset 2: bent over rows, full squats and one leg squats, push ups; repeat triset.
Triset 3: one arm lawnmower row, single leg deadlift, divebomber push ups; repeat triset.
Workout #2 Biceps, Triceps and Shoulders is 27:00 (stretch is 1:30); if you do the 3 minute warm up, total time is 30 minutes.
Triset 1: hammer hesitation curls with hesitation squats (12#DBs), angled tricep kickbacks (10# DBs), front and side shoulder raises (10# DBs); repeat triset
Triset 2: half side bicep curls then lift away from body (12#DBs), overhead tricep extensions–behind head and in front of head (12# DBs), bent over lat raises (12# DBs); repeat triset
Triset 3: bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, overhead press; repeat triset (17.5# DBs for all 3 exercises).
Workout 1 with floor abdominal active rests (30 minutes)
Workout 1 with cardio active rests (30 minutes)
Workout 2 with floor abdominal active rests (29 minutes)
Workout 2 with cardio active rests (29 minutes)
Full Body (1 rotation of each exercise; includes standing abdominal active rests) (38 minutes)
Mixed Full Body Blast (no active rests) (41 minutes)
Time-Saver Full Body (2 exercises, each body part with no rest) (31 minutes)