Double Down

doubledownDouble Down is a new cardio + strength workout led by both Amy Dixon and Paul Katami. Two trainers I love, so of course I had to get it. The concept of this workout is to start an exercise, then at some point double your effort–hence the title Double Down. It is set up in 8 rounds and each round is 4 minutes long. That 4 minutes consists of 2 minutes of strength work and 2 minutes of cardio. Paul leads the strength work and Amy leads the cardio. For the strength work, your 2 minutes starts with one strength move for one minute, then another move is added to it, making it even harder/more complex compound move for the second minute. I did like this format a lot; however, it caused problems with weight selection since I could go heavier the first minute than I could the second minute and therefore had to change weights. This can be easily remedied if you keep track of your weights the first time through so that when you return to this workout you have what you need at the ready. They do give a brief break at the end of each round–long enough to check your weight sheet and get the next weights you need ready. Amy and Paul only had one set of dumbbells they used for everything, but I need more than that. I used anywhere from 5 pounds to 25 pounds. So, you can consider the first time through this workout your dry run for the strength portion at least, then when you do the workout again you can lift the appropriate weight immediately.

For the 2 minutes of cardio, the move intensifies every 40 seconds; so there are 3 levels in the cardio segment. The 1st level is the easiest, the 2nd level is intermediate and the 3rd level is the hardest. You start slow and it builds. The cardio varied. The first level was never difficult but level 3 of some of the exercises was very challenging and sometimes not so much. The intensity of level 3 was always higher than the intensity of level 1 or 2–it just wasn’t always killer cardio. And that’s ok.

I really enjoyed this workout. Amy and Paul both lead workouts well and have a great onscreen presence. I thought they worked well together. This workout falls in that metabolic blueprint, the way it alternates between cardio and strength. It hits every muscle group, too, though some more than others. So it’s nicely put together. Your back is hit the hardest. The muscles in my back are still stinging, hours after this workout is finished. I love back work, so that is a bonus for me. I also favor cardio + strength workouts, so this is a winner.

Finally, there is a timer in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen so that you can keep track of the two minutes.

Double Down is 50 minutes long; 4 minute warm up and 6 minute cool down/stretch. Equipment needed: one set of 5-15 pound dumbbells is what is recommended but I had more than one set and a much larger variety.

Exercises:

Round 1:
Strength: squat to reverse lunge; second minute add lateral raise to squat and front raise to lunge.

Cardio: high knee lateral shuffles; first 40 seconds you are just shuffling to the side and tapping, the next 40 seconds you continue the side shuffles but instead of a tap do a knee raise, last 40 seconds get the knees up and go faster.

Round 2:
Strength: single arm bent over row; first 30 seconds one dumbbell, second 30 seconds grab the second dumbbells (both in one hand); for last minute change to other arm. Note–for this I just used two dumbbells–the second one heavier than the first.
Cardio: first 40 seconds burpee, 2nd 40 seconds one leg burpee, last 40 seconds one leg burpee other leg.

Round 3:
Strength: first minute is a lateral lunge, alternating sides; for last minute, add double arm row at bottom of lunge.
Cardio: first 40 seconds alternate tapping feet behind you 4 times followed by 2 squats; 2nd 40 seconds 4 cross country skiers followed by one squat; last 40 seconds 2 jump lunges followed by jump squat.

Round 4:
Strength: a kettlebell move (but with a dumbbell); one dumbbell is on the ground, hinge at the hips to pick it up for a clean to rack (bringing dumbbell to shoulder) then hinge to set it back on the ground and alternate sides; for the 2nd minute, when the dumbbell is racked at shoulder, pivot to the side and do overhead press.
Cardio: for the first 40 seconds tap side to side; second 40 seconds do pendulum hops; last 40 seconds get down into down dog and continue pendulum hopping with the feet.

Round 5:
Strength: single leg deadlift for first minute (alternate legs); second minute add a rear delt fly when bent over.
Cardio: jumping jacks; for first 40 seconds do regular jumping jacks but do quarter turns with each jack (right, middle, left, middle, etc); 2nd 40 seconds change middle jack to a squat jack; for last 40 seconds do all squat jacks (while still doing quarter turn jumps).

Round 6:
Strength: first minute do basic push ups; seconds minute do a push up then press back into down dog and tap hand to opposite ankle, back down to push up; alternate ankles that are tapped.
Cardio: first 40 seconds is alternating curtsey lunge; 2nd 40 seconds add a hop; last 40 seconds add tapping hand to floor.

Round 7:
Strength: first minute do reverse bicep curls; second minute add overhead press with arms going up in a “Y”.
Cardio: Russian kicks; first 40 seconds you do them shallow; 2nd 40 seconds lower into a semi-squat; for final 40 seconds get on the ground into a crab and alternate fast kicks.

Round 8:
Strength: first minute is renegade rows; for the second minute, when you bring the dumbbell up in row, do 4 tricep kickbacks before moving to other arm.
Cardio: first 40 seconds do hamstring curls; 2nd 40 seconds add hop; final 40 seconds add squat (so you are still doing hamstring curls but before you hop you are squatting/loading the leg that is not curling then you hop).

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