Ultimatum

ultimatumI cannot even remember how I came across Ultimatum but it has been on my Amazon Wishlist for a very long time. It is expensive. The trainer is Lindsi Sanor and she created an intense metabolic weight training fitness program along the lines of Michelle Dozois‘s Peak 10 Cardio Strength workouts–except shorter. So I was definitely interested. I watched a clip and these workouts looked tough! You get 8 workouts and one 15 minute stretch. 6 workouts are cardio + strength workouts, one is a bodyweight only workout and the last is a kickboxing workout. Amazon sells it for $89.95. I couldn’t find enough information to decide if it was worth that much money so I bought it used on ebay for cheaper. Now that I own it and have done all the workouts–I think it is definitely worth it.

Before doing these workouts I previewed most of them to create workout cards (a chart with all the strength exercises listed to record the weights of the dumbbells I used–so I can keep challenging myself every time I do the workout) so I have a few observations up front before ever doing any of the workouts. First, these workouts looked very advanced and very challenging. This is evident just from watching the exercises but also from observing/listening to Lindsi during the workouts. Now, let me clarify this by saying she is a very good trainer, she leads the workouts well. She does the majority of the workouts, only stopping occasionally to point out form. These workouts wear her out. Big time. These are not high quality videos. Very well done for the obviously low budget but they did not take the time to test the sound. Her microphone records everything–heavy panting, gulping when drinking. Another thing is the music. All of the workouts appear to use the same music track. It is decent workout music–fast paced beat, but its pretty generic.

Now, having done all of the workouts, I have to re-frame my opinions. They are all awesome workouts (except the stretch). Very metabolic, but the level varies. Some are advanced, others are more intermediate. Some are more intense than others. I would also compare these workouts more to Cathe‘s Crossfire, To the Max and X10 rather than Peak 10’s Cardio Strength workouts. They all fall in the same category–metabolic strength training, but I found them more reminiscent of Cathe workouts. I think it is the fun factor. I find Cathe’s workouts much more fun than Peak 10 workouts. And Ultimatum workouts (to me) are fun. I love an intense and challenging metabolic workout that is also fun. So these are winners. In fact, I would go so far as to put the Ultimatum workouts that use dumbbells (so 6 of them) as a cross between Cathe’s above mentioned metabolic workouts and her circuit based cardio + strength workouts such as High Step Training and High Step Challenge–except Ultimatum obviously uses no step. In the two Cathe circuit workouts I just mentioned you get total body strength + cardio; you get that too in Ultimatum but Ultimatum does not give your muscles the same focus Cathe does in High Step Training and High Step Challenge (and in To the Max, Crossfire and X10 you get cardio + weights, but not a total body strength workout). So it falls somewhere in between–you do get total body strength + cardio, but not the same focus on each muscle group that Cathe gives them. Maybe I am putting too much thought into it? All I know is I really love these workouts!

The more intermediate workouts are the White, Blue, Purple and Bronze workouts. The most advanced one (to me) was the Red workout followed by Platinum. Black and Gold fell somewhere in the middle–maybe lower advanced or high intermediate. And remember–the level of the workouts will depend on the dumbbells you chose. If you are using 5 pound dumbbells you aren’t going to get an advanced workout.

You don’t get a lot of information about this program. You get 3 pieces of literature: 2 rotation calendars and 1 food list. One of the calendars rotates Ultimatum workouts only and the other has days in which you can insert other workouts of your choice. And you get a very barebones meal plan. It gives you breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack choices. It gives you daily calorie ranges base on sex and weight but none of the meal/snack choices have any nutritional information–so you have no clue how those meals/snacks fall into the calorie ranges given. Zero instructions. Extremely barebones.

Workouts: in the exercise breakdowns below you will see “(DB)”–all that means is that dumbbells are used for that particular exercise. Also, the workouts appear in the order I did them (so Blue workout was the first workout I did and Gold the last).

Blue Workout is 39 minutes w/ a 7:30 minute warm up and a 1:30 minute cool down/stretch. The Blue Workout was the first one I did in this series and I really liked it a lot. It wasn’t nearly as tough as I expected. Do not misunderstand–it was an excellent, challenging workout. But after previewing these workouts I was expecting something more brutal. She gives adequate rest between exercises so that I was able to push through the entire workout strong. You need at least one set of dumbbells for this workout. I used three sets–15, 12 and 10s. I primarily used the 12s. The last blast at the end, she gives you no breaks except the one I note. The first time through the Last Blast each exercise is done approx. 20 seconds, the second time through each exercise is done approx. 10 seconds. You do one after the other, no stopping.

 

Exercises:
Reverse Lunge w/ Bicep Curl and Squat (DB)
Plyo Lunges (DB)
Burpee w/ One Leg Push Up (DB)
Weighted Burpees (DB)
Renegade Row w/ Pull Across (DB)
Mountain Climbers
2 Bent-Over Rows, Burpee, Bicep Curl to Overhead Press (DB)
(2nd time through this circuit she adds Plank Jacks here)
Side Lunge w/ Tricep Kickback & Reach (DB)
Skaters (DB)
Repeat all exercises

 

Last Blast
180 Jump Squats
2 Jacks/2 squat jacks
Plank Ski Hops
Plank Lunges
Side Lunge w/ DB Switch (DB)
Sumo Swings (DB)
Combo Curls (alternate full bicep curl and half bicep curl) (DB)
Alternating Front Lunges w/ reach(DB)
Break
Alternating Front Lunges (DB)
Combo Curls (DB)
Sumo Swings (DB)
Side Lunge w/ DB Switch (DB)
Plank Lunges
Plank Ski Hops
2 Jacks 2 squat jacks
180 Squat Jumps

 

White Workout is 40:30 minutes w/ a 7 minute warm up and a 2 minute cool down/stretch. Like the Blue Workout, I found this workout easier than I had anticipated. Again–not easy, but it didn’t kill me. Maybe a little harder than the Blue Workout? But not by much. It was a great workout and I really enjoyed it. I used primarily 15 pound dumbbells for this workout but I dropped down to 12 pound dumbbells for the tricep work and I used 12 pound dumbbells in the Last Blast. In each cardio segment you get no break but you do get brief breaks during the strength circuit. And during the Last Blast–no breaks.
Exercises:

 

Cardio #1:
Burpees
Scissors
Fast Feet w/ Floor Touch
Plank In & Outs

 

Strength:
Side Lunge (DB)
Shoulder Press (DB)
Side Lunge to One Arm Overhead Press (DB)
Tricep Kickbacks (DB)
Static Lunges (DB)
Alternating Reverse Lunges with Bicep Curls to Tricep Kickbacks (DB)
Sumo Squats w/ Static Curls (DB)
Static Sumo Squat w/ Bicep Curls (DB)
Sumo Squat w/ Bicep Curl Combo (DB)
Back Fly (DB)
Deadlift (DB)
Deadlift w/ Back Fly (DB)

 

Cardio #2:
Plank Jacks
Mountain Climbers
Side Leap w/ Vertical Jump
Wide Squat Jumps/Jump Lunges
Break

Repeat Cardio #1

Repeat Strength
Repeat Cardio #2

 

Last Blast:
4 Point Reach and Press (DB)
Bicep Curl to Overhead Press (DB)
2 Squats w/ a Jump Squat (DB)
Fast Feet w/ Overhead Press (DB)
Straight Arm Jacks
Low Skaters
Pike Push Ups

 

Bronze Workout is 41 minutes w/ a 7 minute warm up and a 1:30  minute cool down/stretch. Like the others, this workout is a metabolic cardio + strength workout; the difference is, no dumbbells are used. All of the strength work is bodyweight only. I liked this workout a lot more than I expected to. Just like the others, it is an excellent and tough workout, but not nearly as tough as I expected it to be.  And fun!

 

Exercises:
Circuit #1
2 Count Lunge Jumps
Straight Arm Jacks
Repeat
Pike Push Ups
Pike Jacks
Repeat
8 Push Ups
8 Mountain Climbers
Repeat
Wide In & Outs
Squat Jumps
Repeat
Break

 

Circuit #2
Side Lunge to Curtsey Lunge
Tricep Push Up/Wide In & Out
Back Burners (in plank, raise one arm out to side and lift opposite leg)
Squat Push Up with Tuck Jump
Break
Plank V Lifts (in plank, raise one leg and tap it on the floor behind opposite foot)
Jump Forward and Back w/ Burpees
Side Plank w/ Top Knee to Elbow

 

Repeat Circuit #1

 

Circuit #3
Side Lunge to Curtsey Lunge
Tricep Push Up/Wide In & Out
Plank V Lifts
Front Lunge, Back Lunge, Jump Lunge
Break
Side Lunge to Curtsey Lunge
Tricep Push Up/Wide In & Out
Front Lunge, Back Lunge, Jump Lunge
Back Burners (in plank, raise one arm out to side and lift opposite leg)
Squat Push Up with Tuck Jump
Plank V Lifts
Jump Forward and Back w/ Burpees
Side Plank w/ Knee to Elbow

 

Last Blast (each move done for 20 seconds/no breaks):
180 Jump Squats
Scissors
Squat Kicks
Mountain Climbers
Jump Forward and Back w/ Low Jacks
High Knee Run w/ High Reaches (standing mountain climbers)
Squat Jacks

 

Purple Workout contains two shorter workouts. A 31 minute kickboxing workout and a 15 minute stretch. The kickboxing workout is 31 minutes long w/ a 5 minute warm up and a 1 minute cool down/stretch. Lindsi is the only one present for this workout–no crew. It is shorter than the other workouts and no equipment is needed, but it is still a good workout. I wore 2 pound weighted gloves to increase the intensity and I felt it in my shoulders and back. Primarily because this is drill based–even the combos are drills, so if you are wearing weighted gloves, your upper body will get some work. Also, this workout moves very fast. So even tho everything is pretty simple and straight forward it can be difficult to keep up with Lindsi and get even the uncomplicated punch combos down due to the speed. She also doesn’t have a good rhythm. Anyone who does a lot of kickboxing workouts (I fall in that crowd) knows there is a rhythm to it. Lindsi does not possess that rhythm, which makes getting the combos harder. Nevertheless, it is a great little workout. Also, when she does create a combo she builds it rather than throwing the entire thing at you at once. Here are the basic exercises in the order they appear: alternating front kicks; front kick/back kick; cross punches; cross punches w/ knee up; faster cross punches; cross-hook-knee combo; cross-cross-duck-duck combo, cross-hook-knee-cross-cross-duck-duck combo; high punches/low punches; side kick w/ punch comb; fast side kicks; alternating side kicks; jab-jab-cross-hook-knee-front kick combo; guard block-punch (core move), blocks only (core move).

 

The other workout on this DVD is the 15 minute stretch. I have several programs that contain extended stretches–STS, RIPT90, Asylum, Les Mills Pump, TurboFire, Chalene Xtreme, PeakFit, Weider Ruthless and more that I am sure I am forgetting. Plus Cathe‘s Stretch Max, Total Body Stretch and both Michelle Dozois and Kelly Coffey-Meyer include separate/bonus extended stretches on some of their DVDs. They are all better than this stretch. It’s not horrible or bad. It does the job. I don’t mind it. But it is almost entirely lower body focused and well, I just enjoy the extended/bonus stretches in all of above much, much more. So I won’t be returning to this. In fact, I am not even going to really break it down. Just know you are doing 15 minutes of primarily lower body stretching. And for some reason I don’t even like it nearly as much as other extended stretches that focus primarily on the lower body. I honestly can’t explain why. It just wasn’t very enjoyable and I love to stretch. So if I’m not digging it, then I am definitely not going to return to it.

 

Platinum Workout is 48:30 minutes long w/ a 6:30 minute warm up and a 2:30 minute cool down/stretch. This is more what I was expecting from these workouts after previewing them. This one was very intense. Not Insanity level intense, but as intense as a Peak 10 Cardio Strength workout! Excellent workout. I really enjoyed it and it wore me out by the end. It starts out intense right out of the gate with an intense cardio warm up, then some intense cardio circuits, some compound strength work and it ends with core work and a little bit longer stretch. Not much longer as Ultimatum stretches are pretty brief, but this one is a bit longer than the others. So far the most intense workout of the bunch–but I haven’t done them all yet!

Cardio 1:

Sprint w/ Tuck Jump
3 Way Jump Rope (hips turn side, middle, other side as you jump)
4 Jacks, 4 Front Kicks
1-2-3-4-5 High Knees
Break

Repeat Cardio 1 two more times (3 times total)

 

Cardio 2:
Low Jacks
Sprints w/ Hop Over
High Knees w/ Twist
Knee Ups
Break

Repeat Cardio 2 two more times (3 times total)

 

Strength:
Alternate picking DBs, alternate doing overhead presses (DB)
Bicep Curls w/ a Twist (DB)
Burn Out Benches (DB)
Overhead Shoulder Press (DB)
Chattarunga Leg Lifts
Supine Tricep Overhead Press (DB)
Tie Your Shoe (DB from toe to overhead) (DB)

 

Repeat Strength

 

Last Blast (do each exercise for 20 seconds/no break)
Squats w/ Upright Rows (DB)
Deadlift w/ Bicep Curl (DB)
Squat Jumps
Wide Sprint into Narrow Sprint
Jumping Jacks
Wide High Knees
Sprints w/ Hop Over
Angled Mountain Climbers

 

Core:
Full Sit Up w/ hands on hips, add rotation at top
Russian Twists
Start in C sit and crunch while bringing one knee in; 10 on each leg then bring both legs in
Reverse Crunch (legs to ceiling)
Raise and lower straight legs

 

Black workout is 36:30 minutes long with a 6 minute warm up and a 2 minute cool down/stretch. Another toughie! This one is a really excellent workout. I have loved them all so far, but this one is very metabolic. You start out with cardio using 10 pound dumbbells (or whatever size dumbbell workouts for you; Lindsi used 10 pounders and so did I) for the cardio w/ weights portion, then increase your dumbbells for the strength portion. Lindsi only had one set of heavier dumbbells for the strength portion but I used 12, 15 and 20 pound dumbbells for the strength portion. Like I said, I have loved them all so far, but I think this one might be my favorite. Two more to go tho, so we’ll see which one I love best.

Cardio w/ Weights:
Weighted Burpees (DB)
Weighted Skaters (DB)
Reverse Lunges w/ Bicep Curls alternated with weighted Jacks (DB)
Break
Jump to Side, Burpee w/ Push Up (DB)
Squat Kicks (DB)
Fast Feet w/ Overhead Press (DB)
Break

 

Strength:
Tie Your Shoes (bring one DB to shoe then overhead) (DB)
Combo Curls (full bicep curl alternated with half bicep curl) (DB)
Chest Flys (DB)
Squat w/ Shoulder Pull Back (DB)
Upright Row to Shoulder Press (DB)
Plank Pull Across w/ High/Low Plank (DB)
Lay Down Punches (alternating narrow chest press) (DB)
Break

 

Repeat Everything

 

Last Blast (20 seconds each/no breaks):
Plyo Squat to Lunge
Jacks
Wide High Knees
Front Jump Jack/Back Jump Jack
Pike Jacks
Squat w/ Bicep Curl (DB)
Back Row to Tricep Kickback (DB)
Standing Chest Fly w/ Overhead Press (DB)

 

Red Workout is 46 minutes long w/ a 7 minute warm up and a 1:30 minute cool down/stretch. Another excellent workout. I think this one is the hardest of them all so far. And since I am doing the workouts in the order they appear here, that means I only have one more to do before I have done them all. For this workout you have 3 circuits; each circuit gets longer. So for the first circuit you do 2 cardio moves followed by 2 strength moves, the second circuit you do 3 cardio moved followed by 3 strength moves and for the third circuit you do 4 cardio moves followed by 4 strength moves. Then you repeat all 3 circuits and end with one of Lindsi’s Last Blast finales. Very tough and intense but like all of the Ultimatum workouts, it is also very doable because she gives you that needed recovery time. For this workout I used 12 and 15 pound dumbbells.

 

Circuit 1:
Triple Hops (two squat jumps forward, 180 squat jump, 2 squat jumps back, 180 squat jump)
Scissor Lunges (2 jump lunges, 3 scissors)
Side lunge to Curtsey Lunges (DB)
One Arm Shoulder Pull (DB)

 

Circuit 2:
Wide Burpees
Squat with a Side Kick
Plank Triangles (plank jacks to pike jacks)
Crazy 8s (8 bicep curls half way up, 8 halfway down and 8 full bicep curls) (DB)
Squat w/ Reach-Press (DB)
Back Flys (DB)

 

Circuit 3:
2 Cross Jacks and 1 Tuck Jump
High Knees with Reach (standing mountain climbers)
Plank Run Ins
Plank Lunge alternated with Push Up
Squat with Overhead Press (DB)
Tricep Kickbacks (DB)
Deadlift w/ Bicep Curl (DB)
One Arm Delt Fly (DB)

 

Repeat all 3 circuits

 

Last blast (each exercise is done for 20 seconds/no breaks): 
X Jumps (plyo jacks)
Twisting Mountain Climbers
Triangle Pike Push Ups
2 Squats and 1 Jump
Low Skaters
4 Point Reach and Cross (DB)
Shoulder Presses (DB)
Lunge Jumps w/ Bicep Curl (DB)

Gold Workout is 44 minutes w/ a 6:30 minute warm up and a 2 minute cool down/stretch. Another great metabolic workout and the final one I did in the program. Red is still the hardest and I think Platinum is harder than Gold–but this one ties with Black, tho Black is more strength focused (and more fun, so Black is still my favorite). There is a lot of plank based moves in the first cardio circuit that you repeat 3 times and I am not a fan of mountain climbers–but other than that, I really enjoyed this workout.

Cardio:
Hammer Jacks
Burpee w/ 2 squat jumps
Plank Triangles (plank jacks + pike jacks)
3 Way Knee Ins (in plank, bring knee to same elbow under body, to same elbow outside of body and to opposite elbow under body)
Break
Defensive Slide w/ a Touch
Angled Plank Springs (angled mountain climbers)
Two Hops Back/Two Hops Forward

Plank Sprints (mountain climbers)

Break
Repeat cardio 3 times total
Break

 

Strength:
In and Out Bicep Curls (DB)
Alternating Overhead Shoulder Press (DB)
Side-to-Side Squat (DB)
Reverse Grip Bent Over Row (DB)
Figure 8s (DB)
Overhead Tricep Extensions (DB)
Break
Repeat all Strength exercises
Break

 

Last Blast (do each exercise 20 seconds/no breaks):
Lunge w/ Jump Kick (20 seconds each leg)
High Knee Runs
Pulsing Static Lunges (DB) (20 seconds each leg)
Side Lunge w/ Pulls (DB) (20 seconds each side)
Frog Jumps (wide squat jump forward and back)
Sumo Squat w/ Twist at Top (DB)
Break

 

Core:
Crunch
Elbow to Opposite Knee
Full Crunch
Reach for Toes (lay on back, legs straight/reaching to ceiling)
Alternating Toe Touches (while in C-sit)
Straight Leg Crunch

 

3 responses to “Ultimatum

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