Bodyweight Training

BWTBodyweight Training is another little collection by Mark Lauren. After doing (and loving) EFX, YAYOG and Mobility RX, I couldn’t resist. This one, however, appears to only be featured on Amazon. Mark’s website doesn’t mention it or offer it. A little odd. But that didn’t stop me from buying it! These workouts are based on his You Are Your Own Gym book and are structured differently from his other workouts. They are, of course, using only your own bodyweight. Workout 1# is a Strength workout, Workout #2 is an Endurance workout and Workout #3 is an Interval workout. And, like his other DVDs, there is one warm up and one stretch you use for all 3 workouts. Even tho they are listed separately on the main menu, when you go into each workout, it automatically plays the warm up, the workout and ends with the cool down.

Personally, I think this is Mark’s first DVD. I have no proof of this, but it doesn’t have any of the cool and informative graphic elements he uses in the other 3. Also the set is much simpler–none of the interesting aesthetics he uses in the others. Although I enjoy all of that in his other workouts this one is very simple and straight forward and I like that, too. Mark does illustrate and point out form, but he doesn’t pay the same laser-focus attention to it as he does in his other workouts. Also, he is a lot quieter. Again, this isn’t a big problem, but in his other DVDs he talks more–points out form, is encouraging when an exercise starts getting really difficult. I am not saying he never does that here, just not nearly as much. Finally, the music in his workouts never really stands out but usually fits with what you are doing so it adds to the workout but doesn’t call attention to itself; unmemorable. The music in these workouts either stands out because it is cheesey, or because it is good and appropriate (stretch song)–or it’s like his other workouts, it works but is not memorable. So it’s a mixed bag.

After doing all 3 of the workouts I like Endurance the best, Intervals comes in second and Strength is my least favorite. Though there are a few advanced moves, this isn’t the level of the advanced workouts in his YAYOG DVD. They are all solid, intermediate level workouts that do the job. I’ll definitely return to them as doubles workouts.

Warm up is 5:30 minutes long and consists of arm circles to the side then overhead, hip circles, good mornings (dynamic bending and straightening at the waist with straight legs and hands behind head), sumo squats, spiderman crawls (in high plank bring foot to hand on same side of body). The cool down is 6 minutes long and stretches hips, hip flexors, shoulders, hamstrings, lats, arms and chest.

Workout #1 Strength is 36 minutes long, 5:30 minute warm up, 24:30 minute training time and 6 minute stretch. Strength consists of 12 exercises. The exercises start out fairly easy and work their way up to more advanced (some very advanced). One thing to be aware of is that, just like in his other workout DVDs, every move Mark does is slow and controlled, so even exercises that are you accustomed to being easy are harder when Mark is leading. Exercises: 1. Iron Crosses (also called Windshield Wipers; lay on back, arms out at side, legs straight to ceiling; bring legs side to side, turning head in opposite direction), 2. Pointers (on hands and knees alternate pointing opposite arm and leg), 3. Mountain Climbers bringing knee underneath you to opposite elbow), 5. Thumbs Up (lay on stomach with chin/face off mat, arms straight to side with thumbs pointing to ceiling; raise hands/arms squeezing shoulder blades together; about halfway through you bring your arms to the front and raise and lower, then bring them back to the sides for the last few reps), 6. Pointers Push-Up Variation (same as #2 but you will be in plank), 7. Hip Raisers (sit on bottom with legs straight out in front of you and hands flat on ground by hips; push your hips up to the ceiling, bending legs and digging heels into ground so you are in crab, then lower hips back to ground), 8. Air Plunges (lay flat on back, arms straight and next to side of body, finger pressed into ground and legs straight up to ceiling; using your abdomenals and your arms (via the fingers pressed into the ground) press your hips into the air), 9. Side Plank Hip Raises, 10. Inverse Push-Ups (this is a backbend! Yes, lay on your back and go from back to backbend, over and over again–tough! the yoga name for this is Upward Bow or Wheel), 11. Mountain Climbers bringing knee outside of body to shoulder on same side, 12. Swimmers (lay on stomach with head/chin off mat and arms straight in front of you; alternate raising opposite arms/legs).

Workout #2 Endurance is 34:30 minutes long, 5:30 minute warm up, 23 minute training time and 6 minute stretch. “Endurance” in this workout means lots of reps. I loved this workout. Strength was ok, but Endurance was tough and had me dripping sweat into my eyes, kind of blinding me. But I didn’t want to stop to wipe the sweat because the whole point is not stopping during an exercise but enduring till he tells you to stop. Now, the moves aren’t difficult or complex (I take that back–the last exercise is!), but man do they add up. I was worn out. The workout consists of 7 exercises and you do each exercise for 3 minutes. You get a short break between each exercise. Exercises: 1. Reverse Lunges w/ a Twist (hands behind head, reverse lunge and twist torso toward front leg; alternate legs); 2. 4 Count (burpee to the count of 4); 3. Side Lunge (alternating side lunges bringing straight arms in front of you at bottom of move); 4. 8 Count Body Builder (burpee and while in plank, do a push up, plank jack, then come back to standing–all to count of 8); 5. One Legged Romanian deadlift (balance move; bend over with straight back while raising one leg straight behind you and touch the ground with one hand; you do this twice on each leg, touching the ground first with right hand, then doing it again and touch the ground with left hand; do the same thing on the other leg); 6. Burpee (squat, do burpee and jump at top of move); 7. Prisoner Get Up (start standing with hands behind head; step back with one leg and lower onto knee then tuck the foot to the side and roll onto back, bending other leg for some momentum and roll back up to standing, never using your hands).

Workout #3 Intervals is 27 minutes long, 5:30 minute warm up, 15:30 minute training time and 6 minute stretch. Intervals refers to the structure of the exercises. It consists of 6 exercises. Each exercises is done for 2:30 minutes but it is broken down in 15 second intervals: the exercise is performed for 15 seconds followed by a 15 second recovery; repeat this a total of 5 times. This is a good workout and I really liked it. It gets the heart pumping and works the lower body really well. Endurance is still my favorite, but this one comes in second. Exercises: 1. Dynamic Squats (squat jacks, touching the floor with fingertips at bottom of move), 2. Staggered Hand Push Ups (one hand forward, one hand back; alternate hands each interval except the last interval; for that one you do regular push ups), 3. V Up (lay on back, legs straight and raised about 6 inches off floor and head and shoulders raised; crunch up, bending knees and bringing them in to chest), 4. Hip Extensions (grab a chair, lay on back with heels on chair; raise and lower hips), 5. Mountain Climbers (these are done fast, knees to chest), 6. Speed Squats.

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