Bodyweight Athletic Conditioning is Volume 3 in Michelle Dozois’s new BodyFit 360 series and it is a toughie! Athletic Conditioning is very different from BodyFit 360 Volume 1. Very athletic and much more cardio, whereas Volume 1 was very PiYo-like. Now, don’t get me wrong, these body weight workouts (PiYo and BodyFit 360 Vol 1) will make you break a serious sweat and breathe hard, so you definitely get a cardio effect, but Athletic Conditioning is clearly a cardio workout and since it is done by Michelle Dozois–that means it is very intense. I liked it a lot. Now I will be honest, I just finished 13 weeks of Body Beast last week in which I kept my cardio intense, but around 20 minutes a session. So this 40 minute session of intense cardio kind of wore me out! I’m not sure what to attribute it to. It was clearly an excellent workout, but I don’t know that it would wear me out this much under normal circumstances or if it was due to my body currently being unaccustomed to that level of intensity for a extended period of time.
Regardless, I found it an excellent workout. You actually get two workouts on this DVD. 40 minute athletic cardio and 22 minutes of active stretching. I, of course, used them together for a wonderful hour long workout. My legs were a bit achy and fatigued afterward; probably both from the cardio and from the very deep stretching.
This is a body weight workout, so minimal equipment is needed. A mat and a towel. Though the towel can be used to dry the sweat–that is not its purpose. The towel is used like a dowel or bar; you hold it with both hands, one end in each hand, and hold it straight and with tension. It will be used for arm movements. The mat is used in two ways: as a mat is generally used in stretching/yoga/floor work but also as a space marker. You will do a lot of moves around your mat; jumping over it, squats/fast feet/etc. with feet on either side of it and more.
Because this is primarily athletic cardio, I won’t break down every single move; but I will list the major ones in the order they appear. In addition I will not break down the Athletic Stretch workout move by move. There are some complex moves in the Athletic Conditioning workout. Michelle includes a 3 minute Movement Review section that breaks down those moves so that you are prepared for them (and can practice them) before the workout begins.
Athletic Conditioning is 40 minutes; 5 minute warm up, 31 minute training time and 4 minute cool down/stretch. The warm up starts with the towel; hold on to each end with some tension. You will be using the towel like this for various arm movements throughout the warm up (I’m not going to break down the arm movements; just know that any leg movement in the warm up includes an arm movement with the towel.) You bounce side to side. Squat. Squat side-to-side. Squat again. Reverse lunge while leaning side-to-side. Side lunge. Set the towel aside. Knee lifts. Two “walking” lunges backward, then 8 knee lifts. Repeat the knee lifts/lunges, but this time end with lunge jumps. Sumo squat. Get into plank. Push up to knee pull to nose. Cobra to down dog. On knees, do rotating hydrant. Runners lunge to hamstring stretch. Plank to sumo. Warm up is over. Squat pulses to side then jump to the other side. Jump side to side with curtsey lunges. Jog to the tempo of 1-2-3 knee up/hold (like 1-2-3 Heismans from Insanity). Sumo with knee circles. Reverse lunge while touching the ground with hand then raise knee at top; add jump. Long jump, plank, jump feet back in, shuffle back. Suicide runs from front of mat to back of mat. Butt kick run, high knee run, double jog. Sumo squat pulse with side kick. Jacks. Wide fast feet. Pogo jumps. V step high runs. Step side with 3 punches. Side lunge with hands on ground then bring outside leg next to other leg doing a sort of leaning side squat, hands still on ground (odd move, hard to explain–but Michelle does go over it in her Movement Review). Another odd move, “Ape walk,” standing bent over, jump/swing feet from one side of mat to the other, hands on mat during jump. Pulsing front lunge, pulsing squat, pulsing reverse lunge, pulsing squat. In/outs (sumo jacks). 2 scissors and touch down lunge. Transverse plane lunge to the back into curtsey forward. Fling jacks and side-to-side ski jumps. Jack forward, hamstring curl back. Knee raise skip forward and back. Kneeling to standing (no hands). Get into plank. Jump to side, kicking bottom leg out straight, step back to plank. Hitch kicks. Move to one side of the mat. Fast feet and hop over mat. Jacks. Raise knees/touch elbow to opposite knee. Raise knees to side touching elbow to same side knee. Quarter eagle (jumping 90 degrees–front, side, front, side). Add knee slap jump. Three small jumps with 360 degrees jump (or just continue doing the knee slap jump). Plank, jump feet in, roll back, roll up, jump back to plank, jump feet in and stand. Squat side to side. Grab your towel; hold it by the ends and pulled taut. (As in the warm up, you will be using the towel for arm movements I may not mention.) Front lunge and raise and lower arms. Put towel down and crouch over it (knees off ground); do incline push up and donkey kick. Go to knees and do tricep push ups (alternating front hand) then mountain climbers. Grab towel and stand. Get into squat, raise and lower arms, raise knee while bring arms down to the side of body. Burpees with overhead stretch at top. Side-to-side squats pushing arms (towel) out in front of you, then change to upright row. Set towel aside. Get into plank. Do push up, then flip around so you are sort of in crab but with one leg straight. Get in crab and do tricep dips. Jump kicks (while still in crab). Get into side elbow plank and kick straight leg in front of you. In elbow plank, tuck and extend knees. Get on all 4s; raise knees slightly with toes on ground. Do hydrants and push foot to ceiling in this position. Get in wide leg plank; alternate raising legs in this position. Grab towel again. Get on one knee, one leg extended straight to side; lean to the side, then twist ribs (arms/towel overhead). Lay on stomach and do superman type moves (spinal erector training). Lay on back and do lots of challenging and painful core work using the towel. Stretch.
Athletic Stretch is 22 minutes and it actually does have a 5 minute warm up to get your body prepared for some deep stretching, but obviously no cool down/stretch. The warm up is just active and dynamic stretches that flow and are never static. The last 17 minutes holds the stretches longer, but no stretch is held for a long time. You need your towel and Michelle says you may need a pillow or blanket to assist with some stretches (the pillow or blanket will go under your bottom for some moves). This workout is very yoga-like and very deep.