Michelle Dozois‘s Ultimate Workout is a pretty neat concept. In her intro, she states that many of the people who come to her gym are looking for one class that does it all—strength, cardio, core and flexibility and in minimal time. That is why she created this workout. If you do all three segments you get a 74 minute workout that gives you some moderately intense cardio, an intense total body workout (including core work) and a long stretch. However, it is also set up so that you can do each section individually—a 30 minute cardio workout or a 30 minute total body strength workout or a 14 minute stretch. Hit “Play all” and that’s how they play—one right after the other, cardio followed by strength followed by flexibility. Even tho you can do them individually and they function nicely on their own, they are designed to be used together in the “Play all” format. Here is why—the cardio has a 7 minute warm up and the strength has a mere 1:30 minute warm up (and I am being generous by rounding up–it’s actually a bit less than that). In addition, the cardio and strength have minimal cool down/stretches—1 minute each (again, being generous and rounding up). So they are set up to flow right into each other and end with the long flexibility segment.
When I first got this workout years ago, this is how I did it. As a long 75 minute workout–so when I did it, it was a Saturday workout. I remember it being pretty intense and really liking it. I haven’t done it in years but on revisit, I did the workouts individually. I did Ultimate Cardio Blast and Ultimate Sculpting as doubles workouts and they functioned very nicely for that purpose. I tacked Ultimate Flexibility onto the end of a long Jari Love workout I did on Saturday. I really like this DVD and the different ways you can use it. If I wanted an hour long cardio + strength workout the cardio and strength workouts fit the bill perfectly–except I feel a longer stretch is necessary. It doesn’t have to 14 minutes long, but longer than less than 60 seconds.
Ultimate Cardio Blast is 30 minutes; 7 minute warm up, 22 minute training time and 1 minute cool down/stretch. I really liked this little cardio workout. The moves were all athletic and easy to do and they build in intensity to give you an excellent little cardio workout. It is set up in 3 cycles and each cycle contains 3 mini combos/drills. Each of these cycles is repeated once. In addition, the mini combos within each cycle get increasingly more challenging with the third one being the most challenging. There is a lot of high impact moves; however, there is a low impact modifier. It is not HIIT level intensity but still a pretty high intensity cardio workout that varies intensity in the same fashion a HIIT workout does.
Ultimate Sculpting is 30 minutes; 1:30 minute warm up, 27:30 training time and 1 minute stretch. This is really an excellent and efficient total body workout in only 30 minutes. Now, IMHO it is not sufficient to be used as your primary strength workout, but if you are short on time, or looking for a way to fit some additional strength work into your week, this fits the bill perfectly. She does hit some muscle groups harder than others, but she hits them all. I think the shoulders got the least work (**note to self: go heavier for shoulder work when doing this workout in the future). Everything else got their fair share! Triceps are hit the hardest. The next day I had some tricep DOMS. A lot of equipment is needed for such a short workout and it moves fast–but there is a lot to squeeze in in only 30 minutes, so the brisk pace is necessary. So have your equipment ready. A high step (square step) with 5 risers (14 inches), sliding disks, a mat and a variety of dumbbells. Michelle had heavy and light. I used 20, 15, 10 and 8 pound dumbbells.
You have a brief warm up using one heavy dumbbell to do kettlebell swings, overhead presses to the side with squats, and a rotation, circling the dumbbell overhead.
Deadlifts with wide back row
One leg deadlifts w/ wide rows
Regular back rows
Chest fly while lifting hips (feet on high step)
Plank w/ knee pulls, regular and diagonal as well as one leg and two leg (using disks)
Sit down & stand up on high step while doing hammer curl at top
Squat and hammer curls
Bicep curl variations
Weighted triceps dips off step
Tricep work: kickbacks, straight arm press back and behind the back upright rows
Plie squats on disks w/ upright rows
Side lunges; at top of move lean to side with dumbbell overhead
Step up onto high step w/ overhead press
Reverse slide back lunge variations with disks
Push-up variations (some use the disks)
Back extensions and swan dives (disks)
Abdominal work using disks
Ultimate Flexibility is 14 minutes. Not a lot to write about here. It is nice, relaxing, unrushed and she stretches you out very nicely. Worth the 14 minutes. You’ll need a mat and a towel.
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