**Note: since I am doing two related systems together the first few paragraphs in both reviews are similar.
Pretty Fierce: Lean Out is the other fitness program I purchased by new-to-me trainer Lindsay Brin. She has a DVD series titled MIF/Mom’s Into Fitness. I bought two of her programs, Pretty Fierce: Weight Loss and this one because they looked pretty tough and I liked the length of the workouts. Oh, and they were priced very affordably when I bought them. I believe I bought Weight Loss on Amazon and it is still $34.99; Lean Out was on sale on another website for the same price, but it is no longer so inexpensive. However, Amazon is currently selling it for $42.99 which isn’t a bad price.
Pretty Fierce: Weight Loss has some strength work in it but it seems primarily targeted at cardio/fat loss and core workouts. This program, Pretty Fierce: Lean Out, is more comprehensive with more resistance training focus. Both programs come in nice clamshells. A card was inside both of the programs with a website address so you can sign up and get the rotation calendars plus meal plans, a smartphone app and other bonuses. She sends a series of newsletter emails full of encouragement and information and sometimes even bonus online workout videos.
Lean Out contains more workouts than Weight Loss does and more of the strength variety, which is one of the reasons I thought they would work well together. Lean Out has less core workouts and the exact same two short yoga workouts that are included in Weight Loss. In Lean Out you get a total of 13 workouts ranging in time from 9 to 55 minutes.
The first disk in the clamshell has the Fit Test on it. It is 10 minutes long. It starts out telling you what equipment you will need for the workouts in the program: a 8-12 pound medicine ball, a set of light weights, a set of medium weights and a set of heavy weights. However, none of these are needed for the fit test. The fit test is done at the beginning of the 60 days and again at the end. It is made up of 5 exercises you do for one minute each; you do as many reps as you can in one minute. In addition to these 5 exercises, you are also expected to time yourself running 1.5 miles; you plug your running time into a calculator on her website (URL is given on screen). Fit Test Exercises: 1. one minute of push ups; 2. one minute squat jacks; 3. one minute V-sit ups; 4. one minute switch kicks (jump kicks) each leg; 5. flexibility (several different stretches to test flexibility). You do the Fit Test at beginning of the 60 days then compare your run time, reps (exercises) & flexibility to how you test at the end of the 60 days when you do it again. I didn’t do the fit test since I am not doing this as a program.
Summary: Due to the fact I purchased Pretty Fierce Lean Out & Weight Loss at the same time, and did them at the same time, I am forced to compare them. So first, Weight Loss is more of beginner program than Lean Out. They both have challenging workouts, but Lean Out’s workouts are much more advanced. What I didn’t like was the fact some of the workouts have no warm up and/or no stretch. That does seem to be a growing trend in the new fitness programs I have been purchasing (primarily the lack of cool down and/or stretch at the end) but I still don’t like it. Unlike the others, at least Lindsay instructs you to do it on your own. I used Cathe‘s stretches and warm ups from her workout DVDs. Her workouts are always chaptered so it is easy to go straight to the stretch. As far as enjoyability goes, I didn’t love any of the workouts in either of the programs (tho I did like some a lot). Some I blatantly disliked, others were ho-hum and some I did enjoy and will return to. So that isn’t promising. I love to workout and be challenged. I workout every single day–so I expect to enjoy what I am doing. Even when I hate it, if that makes sense. Some workouts (like Insanity) I have a love-hate relationship with. That is not the case here. There is no love for any of these workouts–not love-love or love-hate. However, this program does do the job so it’s not a waste of money. The workouts I will return to are Anaerobic Capacity, Upper Body Endurance, Total Body Strength, Upper Body Strength (but probably only when combined with Upper Body Endurance), Lower Body Strength, Yoga and Total Body Express.
Aerobic Capacity is a very unpleasant workout. It was the second Pretty Fierce workout I’ve done and the first from the Lean Out program. So far I am thoroughly unimpressed with these workouts. They are tough so far, so they will do the job, but they are not enjoyable at all. This one especially. Let’s start at the beginning. As the workout opens, Lindsay talks for 1:30 minute about the purpose of this workout–it is cardio endurance and you should be at 70% of your maximum heart rate throughout the workout. She also says she would like for you to alternate this workout with an endurance run–4 to 5 miles or 30 minutes of running. The opening menu has 3 workout lengths you can choose from: 28 minutes, 38 minutes or 46 minutes. They are all the exact same workout. Here is where intense boredom sets in. The workout is made up of one 8 minute circuit and it is repeated however many times needed to fit into the time frame you select. So for the 28 minute workout you repeat it 3 times, for the 38 minute workout you repeat it 4 times, and for the 46 minute workout you repeat it 5 times.
There is a 3:30 minute warm up and no cool down/stretch. A banner runs along the bottom of the screen listing all of the exercises. There is a timer in lower right hand corner counting down your workout. And Lindsay leads the workout all by herself, no crew members. The music is generic, low key and boring.
The first (and last) time I did this workout I did the 46 minute version. And I hated it. It was very hard and it was very boring. I have done a lot of very hard workouts before. If you are new to this blog–please, peruse all I have done (and do) and love. So the difficulty of this workout is not what turns me off. The boredom factor is what I cannot stand. And trust me, I did not come to these Pretty Fierce workouts wanting to hate them–I wanted to love them. But alas, so far it is not happening. But it is early yet for me, so I may change my mind.
The warm up consists of 10 jumping jacks, 10 high knees, 10 mountain climbers, 10 stomp jacks (scissors), 10 plank pikes, 10 stomp jacks, 10 plank jacks, 10 fast cross punches, 10 high knees, 10 track runs (a kind of high knee skip); repeat all warm up exercises one more time.
As mentioned above, one circuit is repeated over and over again for each workout until you reach the workout’s time limit; it takes 8 minutes to get through one circuit. You get a 30 second break before you repeat it all over again. And btw–Lindsay only films this one time. You do the exact same 8 minute segment over, and over, and over, and over again.
20 tuck jumps to jumping jacks
4 high knees to 4 butt kickers 20x
50 mountain climbers
50 stomp jacks (scissors)
30 pike planks (jump feet from plank to pike)
2 stomp jacks 2 regular jacks 30x
30 plank jacks
100 cross punches
4 run up & 4 run back 15x
50 track runs (a kind of high knee skip)
30 second break
Anaerobic Capacity is 36:30 minutes long with 1:30 minute intro, a 2:30 minute warm up and a 2:30 minute cool down/stretch. After Aerobic Capacity I was dreading attempting this workout. Aerobic Capacity was miserable and I didn’t expect better from this one. Well, I was wrong. I liked this workout a lot! It was just as hard as Aerobic Capacity–maybe harder, but it was not boring. It was actually enjoyable and I was motivated to push through. A winner! Anaerobic Capacity is a HIIT workout consisting of 3 circuits. The first circuit consists of 10 exercises that you go all out for 40 seconds and have a 20 second recovery; the second circuit is 4 exercises in which you go all out for a full minute then get another full minute of recovery; the final circuit is the same as the first circuit except you do the 10 exercises in reverse order. It was very tough and I was pushing hard near the end. The warm up is a preview of many of the workout exercises except you don’t go all out and you only do each one for 15 seconds. Warm up: high knees, small jacks, mini suicides, mountain climbers, double ropes, speed skaters, switch knees, heel ropes and plank jacks.
Circuit 1 (40/20): 1. high knees, 2. jack/big jack (big jack=air jack), 3. mini suicides (1-2-3 high knee), 4. 4 mountain climbers to 4 high knee runs, 5. double ropes (jump rope 2x feet together and 2x feet wide), 6. speed skaters, 7. switch knee (like a switch/jump kick, but raise knee rather than kick), 8. switch knee other leg, 9. ropes (jump rope arms w/ 2 heel ropes and 2 high knees), 10. 2 plank pikes/2 plank jacks.
Circuit 2 (60/60): 1. power slaloms (side to side tuck jumps), 2. burpee jack to tuck jump, 3. switch kicks, 4. switch kick other leg.
Circuit 3 (40/20): 1. 2 plank pikes/2 plank jacks, 2. ropes, 3. switch knees, 4. switch knees (other leg), 5. speed skaters, 6. double ropes, 7. 4 mountain climbers to 4 high knee runs, 8. mini suicides, 9. jack/big jack, 10. high knees.
12 Double Arm Rows (DB)
25 Pike Push Ups
12 Single Arm Pinky Flyes (DB)
25 Med Ball Push Ups (med ball under one hand; do push up, roll to other hand, do push, and so on)
12 Single Arm Lawn Mowers (DB)
Break12 Arnold Presses (DB)
12 W Bicep Curls (DB)
25 Med Ball Tosses
12 Single Hammer Pumps (DB)
40 Med Ball Tosses
12 Bicep Curls (DB)
25 Ball Tosses
12 Skull Crushers (DB)
10 Burpees to Knees to Press (w/ 2 DB or med ball)
12 Tricep Extensions (DB)
10 Burpees to Knees to Press (w/ 2 DB or med ball)
12 Tricep Kickbacks
10 Burpees to Knees to Press (w/ 2 DB or med ball)
Lower Back Series: lay on stomach with arms behind head and shoulders/head raised; raise one elbow and opposite, alternate sides; do 20 reps, rest and repeat. Next, get into superman with arms straight a head and legs, arms, head and shoulders raised; pull arms back into goal post then straighten them; do this 20 reps.
Finale Challenge: You do not actually do the final challenge as part of the DVD workout. Lindsay expects you to do the following two exercises on your own and to alternate them until you cannot do anymore.
30 sec Dips
30 sec Push Ups
Lower Body Strength is 21 minutes long with a 2 minute warm up and a 2 minute cool down/stretch. For only 21 minutes this is an impressive lower body workout. I really liked it a lot. This will be perfect for an add on or doubles workout. It not only did a great job working the lower body but Lindsay actually led the exercises at a slow and controlled tempo so you can get the most out of the workout! One of the few winner workouts in the program! There are a few and this is one of them! For this workout you need dumbbells, a sliding disk and a chair for the first exercises. Instead of a chair you can use a step at 14 inches or a workout bench.
12 Single Leg Chair Split Lunges (use chair, step @ 14 inches or bench & DB)
12 Single Leg Deadlifts (DB)
12 Dog Sleds (plyo move)
12 Releves Plies (one set of DB under heels and holding heavy DB)
12 Single Leg Deadlifts (DB)
12 Dog Sleds
12 Single Leg Hinges Curtseys (DB)
12 Single Leg Hinged Reverse Lunges w/ disk (DB)
12 Centered Curtseys (DB)
12 Single Leg Reverse Lunge to Extension (DB)
Total Body Strength is 54:30 minutes long with a 2:30 minute warm up and a 4 minute cool down/stretch. This is a good and varied workout that I did enjoy. It combines strength, cardio, plyometrics and core work together into one workout. She moves too fast on some of the strength moves to go as heavy as she encourages you to go–especially the chest presses. It was ridiculous how fast she was pushing those out. No way to go very heavy on that exercise and keep up with Lindsay; even using 20s (which is lighter than I would normally use for 15 chest presses) I was lagging 2 reps behind her. As for this being a total body workout, it is–but it’s not comprehensive. You don’t work every muscle group equally or well, but you do work each muscle group. You hit the lower body pretty hard, glutes especially, and the core. Plus lots of cardio. For this workout you need a variety of dumbbells and a medicine ball. You can substitute dumbbells for the medicine ball during the tabata drills and a chair or step for the medicine ball during the glute bridges. I used the medicine ball for the glute bridges and I felt it! Great glute exercise. The first time through the tabata/endurance circuit I used the medicine ball, the second time through I used 10 pound dumbbells; it was more challenging (i.e. better) with the dumbbells.
Strength (2 sets)
10 Burpee to 2 Tuck Jumps
10 2 Push ups to 2 Pike Ups
10 Plank Single Arm Rows (DB)
Endurance (tabata style/2 rounds)
Burpee to Tuck Jump
Pike Push Ups
Squat Jump Touches
1 Leg Tricep Dips
Recovery & Abs: hold row boat for 20 seconds then (while still holding row boat pose) bring feet in and out 20 times; repeat both the hold and bringing feet in and out. End with isometric superman.
Strength (2 sets)
15 Squats with Hammer Curls into Reverse Lunges (DB) (no bicep curls when you do the same move on other leg)
20 Front Lunge Presses (DB)
15 Plie to Releve (DB)
15 Med Ball Bridge Iso (one foot is on the ball)
Endurance (tabata style/2 rounds)
Ball Tosses (med ball or 2DB)
Burpee Presses (med ball or 2 DB)
1 Leg Dips
1 Leg Burpees
Recovery & Abs: 20 oblique twists while in C-sit, 20 knee raises while in C-sit; oblique twists to knee raise while in C-sit (15 each side).
Strength (2 sets)
15 Chest Presses (DB)
15 Lat Pullovers (DB)
15 Skull Crushers (DB)
15 Upright Rows (DB)
Recovery & Abs: 20 straight leg bicycle, oblique twist to single straight leg (while holding bicycle with one leg in air and other leg a few inches off ground)–15 each leg, 20 reverse planks.
Core Strength is 8:30 minutes. For this workout you need a 8-10 pound medicine ball or dumbbell. This is a tough core workout! I did like it better than some of the other Pretty Fierce workouts I’ve done to date. This morning I did Aerobic Capacity and finished it off with this. This is only the second Lean Out workout I’ve done. I definitely felt it in my abs. Lindsay starts out stretching out your quads and hip flexors.
1. 20 full sit ups bringing ball overhead at top
2. 20 sweet spot obliques (Russian twists w/ ball)
3. 20 transverse iso crunches (lay on back, legs straight and raised to ceiling, head/shoulders raises; reach ball toward feet)
4. 20 rectus iso obliques (legs straight out in front of you, torso leaned back slightly, arms holding ball straight out in front of you; twist and touch ball to ground beside you keeping arms straight; 10 on each side)
5. 20 core iso scissors (lay on back with legs straight and raised to ceiling, hold ball overhead with legs straight and head/shoulders raised; scissor legs)
Repeat all exercises
She has a finale but it is not actually part of the workout. Lindsay expects you to continue after Core Strength is over; she wants you to hold a forearm plank for 30 seconds, then hold boat pose for 30 seconds and alternate between the two until you are too fatigued to continue. I held plank while she was talking, but as soon as it returned to the menu I was done.
Yoga is 13 minutes. It is included on a DVD that contains a one minute clip explaining why Lindsay feels you need yoga and a 2 minute tutorial showing various poses and proper form/alignment. Also on this DVD is Yoga Hybrid. BTW–this is the exact same disk that is included w/ Pretty Fierce: Weight Loss–it just has a different picture on the face of the DVD; so Weight Loss does not contain different yoga workouts. The 13 minute Yoga workout is a pretty decent yoga flexibility workout. I like it. Lindsay starts out warming you up for the stretching with chair poses and knee raises. Next you will do a swan series where you bend at the waist, stretching your hamstrings/back, then you stretch your chest and end with tricep/chest stretches. Planks and updogs. Downdog on toes. Warrior 1 & 2 and triangle ending with wide leg hamstring stretch (do this series 2x on each side of body). Runners lunge. Hamstring stretch. Child’s pose. Thread the needle. Downdog w/ heels down. One leg down dog. Updog. Shoulder stretch. Figure 4 glute stretch. Bridge stretch. Deadbug. Roll knees/hips side to side.
I don’t like Yoga Hybrid nearly as much as Yoga. Yoga Hybrid is 14 minutes long. You need 3 or 5 pound dumbbells for this workout. It is a hybrid between dynamic yoga and core work. Since I didn’t like it and will not return to it, I am not going to break it down much. It starts out with a “warm up” that includes a move she calls the “sunflower” which is circling the arms while leaning forward in plié squat alternated with a plié squat; next plié squat while leaning and reaching toward same side ankle; pelvic tilts; the warm up ends with marches. Next you do some warrior poses with dumbbells, a right angle while raising and lowering a dumbbell to open the chest. Next is warrior 3s. Then triangle with the dumbbells. Get into plank and do inverted V. Elbow plank w/ hip tucks, child’s pose, threat the needle. Next you do some low back work w/ cobra and superman poses. Then two minutes of Lindsay’s tough core work. The final two minutes are on your back: bridge, happy baby and leg stretch.
Bonus Total Body Express is 39 minutes, no warm up or cool down. Lindsay suggests warming yourself up for 2 minutes and cooling yourself down for 2 minutes. Each exercise listed below is done for one minute before moving on to the next exercise. The segment ends with a 4 minute HIIT series in which you do 4 exercises, each for 40 seconds with 20 seconds of recovery. If you want this to be an approx. 20 minute workout (as the menu suggests; it says it is a 20 or 40 minute workout), you stop after going through the entire circuit once. But it doesn’t cue you to do that. As soon as the circuit is done once, it jumps right back into repeating it. However the workout ends after going through the circuit twice. There are no crew members–Lindsay only–and it is done with Lindsay speaking in a voice over as she performs the exercises, smiling constantly and unnaturally.
This DVD contains two “bonus” workouts: Total Body Express and Core Shredder. Apparently, these workouts are meant to be used outdoors. It is more obvious how this is done in Core Shredder. Total Body Express seems like an indoor workout to me. You would need to have the workout downloaded on your iPhone or iPad to do it outdoors–plus bring your equipment with you. She talks about doing it in your driveway. I’m not sure why I would bother when I have a well equipped home gym, but I know that isn’t the case for everyone.
I did like this workout. It is a pretty solid metabolic strength workout that manages to hit every body part in some fashion at least once (well, twice if you do the full 39 minute workout) and some muscle groups more than once (like the triceps). How often will I used this? I don’t know. Tho I did like it, the lack of a warm up and cool down is off putting. I used Cathe‘s Tabatacise warm up and cool down which added 13 minutes to it, bringing my total workout time to 52 minutes. Then I added on Core D from Pretty Fierce: Weight Loss and my morning workout clocked in at 59 minutes. Not bad!
1. Plank jacks (band around ankles)
2. Plank clocks (3:00 & 9:00/band around wrists/step out and in w/ hands)
3. Moving jump lunges
4. Arnold Press (DB)
5. Push Up to Kick Through
6. Iso Tricep Push Ups/Iso Hershey Kiss
7. Iso Jump Lunge and Press (DB)
8. Trciep Dips
9. Hammer Pumps (DB)
10. Lat Pullovers to Crusher
11. Tuck Jump & Jack
12. Rolling V-Ups
13. Reverse Pull Ups (or regular pull ups) (DB) (rotating bento-over row)
HIIT Segment (40 seconds on/20 seconds recovery)
1. Mini Suicides
2. Burpee Jacks (burpee to plank jack to regular jack)
3. 4 Moving High Knees
4. 4 Mountain Climbers / 2 Tuck Jumps
Stop here for a 20 minute workout or continue, repeating entire round
Core Shredder is 10:30 minutes long w/ a 1 minute intro. The menu states it is 15 minutes long but it is not. It is included on the “bonus” DVD with Total Body Express. The idea behind it is to take this workout outdoors. You alternate the core exercises that are actually performed on the DVD with running drills that that are not performed on the DVD (tho she does tell you exactly what to do). She also states that if you don’t want to do the workout outdoors you can just do the core exercises, which is what I did. This workout is odd IMHO. It may appeal to some people, but I don’t like it at all. I am not a runner. I get my cardio in lots of other ways–running is boring and no fun. I supposed if you wanted to, you could just pause the DVD and do something else of your own choosing (jumping jacks, skaters, whatever), but that defeats the purpose of owning a workout DVD. The core portions of this workout are very challenging but also boring and zero fun. So yet another disappointing Pretty Fierce workout. Here is the basic layout. She does the core exercises with you then a screen pops up telling you what running drill she wants you to perform. So if you were doing this outdoors (if you purchased the download), you would pause the workout, do the running drill, then come back and continue on to your next core interval. If you are doing it as I did, it gives you a very brief (about 5 seconds) break before the next core exercise. So here is what you actually get on the DVD:
10 Single Rowboats alternated with 10 Rocking Rowboats (100 reps total)
Instructions: Jog 50 strides/Run 50 strides (repeat 5x)
10 Bicycles alternated with 10 Straight Leg Bicycles (100 reps total)
Instructions: Sprint 20 seconds/Walk 20 seconds, repeat until you reach 5 minutes
10 Plank Oblique Knees alternated with 10 Iso Planks (100 reps total)
Instructions: Jog 1 mile at a steady pace
Repeat everything and cool down on your own
8 thoughts on “Pretty Fierce: Lean Out”
Thanks for the recommendations!! I would say I am intermediate. I have always done my own routines with free weights at home but am bored and not seeing the progress. I will look at what you recommended!
Your reviews are great!! You changed my mind about this one. I have max 30 and love it, but I wanted some good overall weight lifting DVDs that are about 30 minutes. Do you have any recommendations?
Thanks! I’m glad was helpful. Lindsey Brin’s workouts are definitely not the best choice for focused strength training. My first question would be what level are you fitness/weight lifting-wise? If you are intermediate the I recommend Kelly Coffey-Meyer’s 30 Minutes to Fitness strength workouts. Muscle Up, Cardio Pump, Muscle Definition, Weights and Split Sessions. If you are more intermediate/advanced then Body Beast. RIPT90 and Anarchy also have shorter strength workouts. Anarchy is intermediate and RIPT90 is advanced. And finally, any Cathe strength workout. Cathe’s are generally advanced but most of them have premixes and frequently the premixes are around 30 minutes. For instance, Lift it Hit It: Back, Biceps & Shoulders has 3 premixes 30 minutes or less. And Xtrain Burn Sets you can do a single muscle group in approx 15 minutes, or a premix with 2 muscle groups at 30 minutes.
I hope this helps!
What a review! : ) Upper Body Endurance looks quite useful. This lack of cool down trend that you’re talking about is concerning isn’t it? Is it that hard to add 8 mins of cool down? I also generally don’t like to do “yoga” workouts by non yoga instructors. They aren’t that safe. At least Lindsay explains alignment ….that’s a very good thing. : )
Yes, I don’t understand it either. Especially since most of the trainers mention the importance of stretching but don’t bother to add a stretch on. And Upper Body Endurance is a tough workout! I did like it a lot but it bothers me that the back is barely touched.
Good point and just another general gripe from me about most workouts – they do not work the often weakest muscles enough at all: posterior delts and serratus posterior of our backs. When back is covered is it rhomboids and nothing else. (at least that is what I have been noticing). That is one thing I have to say about all the pilates I use to do (just got bored with it and use it primarly for recovery now) – it never forgets the back and just all the smaller muscles on the back of the body.
This probably isn’t a spot for my mini rant ….I just wanted to share with you. lol.