30 Minutes to Fitness: Body Design

coffeyfit_bodydesign_coverKelly Coffey-Meyer recently created two new DVDs in her 30 Minutes to Fitness series: Body Design and Meltdown. Body Design is a whole new approach to her 30 minute workouts and I love it. Rather than two 30 minute workouts and a bunch of premixes like Kelly’s other DVDs contain, this DVD contains six segments ranging in time from 12 to almost 17 minutes, plus a warm up and cool down. Then she pairs them together to create 15 approx. 30 minute workouts. Fifteen. And those of you who enjoy her shorter or longer premixes? She has you covered there, too. There are two premixes that combine three different segments together for a longer workout (and these two premixes in particular look excellent) or you just go to the break down and do the individual segments with or without the warm up and cool down. Most of the workouts have tiny warm ups and cool downs built into them.

As I mentioned in the Meltdown review, neither of these workouts are available on Amazon at this point and the only place I know that they are currently available is Kelly’s website.

Another trainer did something similar recently: Jillian Michaels 10 Minute Body Transformation. I love Jillian’s new workout, but I have to be honest, in many ways Body Design executes the concept better. Though they are both excellent, Kelly’s is more comprehensive and well rounded. As I mentioned in my review of Meltdown, I really want to return to this and do more of the premixes (particularly that last 51 minute one), but all of my rotation planning is on hold, waiting to find out when Cathe‘s Strong & Sweaty ships. If we don’t hear anything by December 10, then I will start planning out my workouts out by the week–and both of Kelly’s new workout premixes will be going into that rotation!

The way I approached this the first time through was via the premix pairings. So I did two a day for 3 days as my doubles workouts. But if you want to do everything in one single workout? “Play All” is one hour and 28:30 minutes long and plays everything, starting w/ the warm up and ending with the cool down. And the segments play in the order they are reviewed below. However, if I wanted to do play all, I wouldn’t do it in that order. I always want to do my strength training first, when my muscles and my energy are fresh–not after I’ve worn myself out with cardio. So I would either just choose the segments individually or play a few premixes back to back (and skip over some of the warm ups and cool downs).

Having done all of the segments, I am so impressed with this collection. This is definitely one of Kelly’s best and she has a lot of amazing workouts that I adore. I can use this one in so many ways. I will be using it as doubles and as add on workouts. But the most valuable thing about this collection is one particular little workout: Upper Body Strength. That one is my favorite of the 6 and the one I know I will return to the most. The very best mini upper body workout I have ever come across.

The Warm up is 4 minutes and gets you warmed up for whatever you might be doing: strength work or cardio. A very mufti-functional warm up that gets the blood pumping and warms up all of your joints. The Cool Down is 3 minutes long and, like the warm up, is pretty mufti-functional. She first does a cool down before moving into the stretch, then stretches out both upper and lower body. There is a modifier present in most of the workouts.

Cardio Bootcamp is 12 minutes long; 1 minute cool down. This was a surprisingly intense little cardio segment. You will do each move for approximately a minute. Frequently Kelly will start the move and then increase the intensity of the move after a few reps. I was sweating and breathing hard by the end of this segment.

  1. Knee, knee, jump rope, jack; jump rope changes to 2 front kicks
  2. V hop forward, step back and back kick; alternate sides
  3. Fast air squats; add a hop to each squat; add a cross jack between each squat
  4. Cross tap step into a crescent kick w/ same leg; alternate sides; changes to just alternating crescent kicks
  5. Start in plank and raise hips up (down dog) and tap opposite knee, alternate sides
  6. 2 wide normal skaters + 4 fast more narrow skaters
  7. Cross jack, shuffle to side, one knee up; alternate sides
  8. Alternating reverse lunges; she adds a hop change to each lunge
  9. 3 quick heel clicks and pause (narrow plie hops)
  10. Alternating side lunges, touching the floor with fingertips with each lunge; add a hop between lunges
  11. High knee run; changes to “high insoles” (running but tapping hands to opposite insole); changes to 4 high knees + 4 high insoles

Kickboxing w/ Light Dumbbells is 12 minutes long; 30 second cool down. Kelly recommends not using anything heavier than 5 pound dumbbells. I used my 2 pound weighted gloves plus I held one pound boxing grips I own (but rarely ever use), bringing it up to 3 pounds. It actually worked so well for me, I might be increasing my boxing/kickboxing weights to 3 pounds from now on! This was a fun little segment. Not nearly as intense as Cardio Bootcamp, but still a nice little workout. Some cardio and if you are using some weight then some upper body conditioning. Just like in Cardio Bootcamp, you are doing each kickboxing combo for a minute.

  1. Alternating jabs
  2. Squats w/ alternating hooks; add 4 cross punches
  3. Alternating knees + 1 side kick; alternate sides
  4. 3 alternating upper cuts, switch stance and repeat on other side
  5. Jab, cross, duck, shuffle (one minute each side)
  6. 3 deep bobs (so elbow touches top of thigh) and on 3rd bob torso circles; add 2 upper cuts + 4 flurry upper cuts
  7. Step to side, 4 punches + 1 hook; alternate sides
  8. Alternating reverse lunges; changes to lunge, front kick, lunge (keep alternating sides)
  9. 3 alternating hooks + one hop, 3 alternating jabs + one hop; the hops change to steps (step forward after the hooks, step back after the jabs) (one minute each side)
  10. Jab, cross, hook, upper cut then shuffle to other side; keep alternating

Light Dumbbell Cardio Sculpting is 12 minutes long; 30 second cool down. She tells you to use nothing heavier than 5 pound dumbbells and that is about as heavy as you can go. This is a fast paced metabolic workout. For some of the exercises, 5 pounds was almost too much! And for some it was too light. Others–just right. But the problem with workouts like this, is that it moves so fast, there is no changing dumbbells during it. So I stuck with 5s throughout. Though on one exercise (peck decks) my form was getting questionable by the end of the minute. Another excellent little workout! Tough with the right weight–I was breathing hard. Each exercise is done for approx. one minute.

  1. Lateral raises; changes to lateral raise and hold while doing a knee crescent; alternate legs
  2. Tempo tap backs w/ different arm/DB movements: pressing out in front of you, chest pressing DBs
  3. Alternating side lunges; with each lunge rock/lunge at the side 3x, add tricep kickbacks
  4. Scissor run 4x + shuffle 4x; add overhead press to the scissor run
  5. Squat side to side, bringing DB to floor w/ each squat; this changes to squat bringing DB to floor then abduct leg bringing DB overhead and return to squat; alternate sides
  6.  Alternating reverse lunges; add 6 fast alternating rows between each lunge
  7. Alternating straight kick to front while reaching opposite arm/DB toward foot
  8. 2 curls, 2 peck decks while tapping side to side w/ feet
  9. Narrow squats; changes to reaching arms forward when in lower part of squat (she calls this a folding squat because you are leaning head forward w/ arms/DBs); changes to a pattern: one regular squat, one folding squat, two reaching folding squats.
  10. Upright rows (alternate singles w/ doubles) while tapping heels forward
  11. Alternating side bends, reaching DB down same side leg; changes to a twist, bringing elbow to opposite knee; changes to alternating between the two moves
  12. Alternate knee raising, bringing elbows to knees with each raise, crunching abs

Stronger/Leaner Lower 14:30 minutes, 30 second stretch at the end. Equipment needed: dumbbells in various weights, a chair and ankle weights. This was an excellent little lower body workout. To be honest tho, it would never qualify as my only lower body workout. This will definitely be an add on in the future. With the right weights, it is an excellent add on to finish your lower body off. I don’t know what dumbbells Kelly was using but she only had one set. The weights listed below are what I used. For the barre work you will need ankles weights or I don’t think you will feel it. I used one pound ankle weights the first time because I didn’t know what to expect but in the future I will use my 2.5 pound ankles weights because it was too easy with just one pounders.

Weighted Legs (8 minutes):

  1. Front lunge, reverse lunge, side squat; alternate legs
  2. Squats (25# DBs)
  3. Alternating reverse lunges (one 25# DB)
  4. Deadlift/knee-buckle (straight leg deadlift and while hinged at hips, bend knees, straighten knees then stand) (25# DBs)
  5. Plie walk-outs (step out 3x into plie squat, stepping further out each time; the 3rd time is so deep you tap DB on ground) (one 25# DB)
  6. Alternating pulsing front lunges (15# DBs)
  7. Wide leg deadlift alternated w/ plie squat (one 35# DB)

Chair/Ankle Weight Work (7 minutes):

  1. Narrow/deep plie squats (feet are close together, heels come up when squatting)
  2. Hydrant raises behind you
  3. Stand beside chair; raise knee, rotate leg around behind you w/ knee still bent and when behind you, kick out straight behind you

Upper Body Strength 16:30 minutes, 30 second stretch at the end. Equipment needed: dumbbells, a bench or step at 12 inches. Wow. Everyone who loves Cathe’s Muscle Meltdowns from her ICE series–this is for you! In only 16:30 minutes Kelly hits every muscle in your upper body and (if you chose the right weights) she hits them hard! This is the upper body add on I have been dreaming of! What a treasure! This one will get a lot of use! The real unique thing about this segment is it is unilateral training, meaning you work one side of the body at a time–for every single exercise. For one thing, unilateral training automatically works your core. Unilateral training improves muscle imbalances. They also increase functional strength, since most of the everyday movements we do are unilateral (carrying your purse, carrying your child on one hip, carrying in one grocery bag, etc.). This is a surprisingly excellent and valuable little segment. At only 10 reps you are able to lift fairly heavy and since you are lifting unilaterally, one side of the body is resting while the other is working. This is the winner and the most valuable segment (in my opinion) of this entire collection. I loved every one of them, but this one is the gem.

  1. One arm rows, 10 reps; 3 sets (30# DB)
  2. One arm side lateral raises (arm is coming from behind back), 10 reps; 3 sets (8# DB)
  3. Boxer pledges (hold one arm up in guard, the other is holding DB at side; curl DB up, bringing it to arm held in guard and tapping DB the length of forearm in guard), 10 reps; 3 sets (15# DB)
  4. One arm tricep dips off bench, 10 reps; 3 sets (Kelly does one arm tricep dips, another crew member does 2 arm tricep dips and the 3rd exerciser does one arm tricep kickbacks)
  5. Single arm chest press, 10 reps; 3 sets (20# DB) (the first time you will hold the DB in the standard position; the last 2 sets you hold the DB in a hammer/close grip position)

Yoga Flow Stretch is 13 minutes long. This was a great little yoga flow workout. Nothing too challenging but it flowed nicely and stretched me out. I liked it a lot. You do one yoga series 6 times. The first two times you run through it, you spend a little longer holding the poses but the last 4 times she takes the pace a little brisker. Here are the yoga poses as they appear: Chair into forward fold. Plank. Runners lunge. Reach arm overhead while in runners lunge. Down dog. 3 leg down dog. Cobra. Child’s pose. Warrior 1. Warrior 2. Right angle. Reverse warrior. Repeat entire series starting w/ chair pose 6 times total. It ends w/ a deep inner thigh stretch–in plie w/ arm pressing against inside of knees. Wide leg forward fold. Shoulder circles. Side stretches.

Premixes (most premixes include warm up and cool down):

Cardio Bootcamp + Weighted Kickboxing (31 minutes)

Cardio Bootcamp + Light Dumbbell Cardio Sculpting (31:30 minutes)

Cardio Bootcamp + Stronger/Leaner Lower (34 minutes)

Cardio Bootcamp + Upper Body Strength (36 minutes)

Cardio Bootcamp + Yoga Flow (29 minutes)

Weighted Kickboxing + Light Dumbbell Cardio Sculpting (31:30 minutes)

Weighted Kickboxing + Stronger/Leaner Lower (34 minutes)

Weighted Kickboxing + Upper Body Strength (36 minutes)

Weighted Kickboxing + Yoga Flow (29:30 minutes)

Light Dumbbell Cardio Sculpting + Stronger/Leaner Lower (34 minutes)

Light Dumbbell Cardio Sculpting + Upper Body Strength (36 minutes)

Light Dumbbell Cardio Sculpting + Yoga Flow (29:30 minutes)

Stronger/Leaner Lower + Upper Body Strength (38:30 minutes)

Stronger/Leaner Lower + Yoga Flow (32 minutes)

Upper Body Strength + Yoga Flow (34 minutes)

Cardio Bootcamp + Light Dumbbell Cardio Sculpting + Weighted Kickboxing (43:30 minutes)

Light Dumbbell Cardio Sculpting + Stronger/Leaner Lower + Upper Body Strength (51 minutes)






6 thoughts on “30 Minutes to Fitness: Body Design

  1. Pretty much agree with your review. I ran through all of the segments one after another on Monday and yesterday, was still feeling the effects of that unilateral, upper body training on the lats! I agree, the lower body is not enough to qualify it as a stand alone for ‘leg day,’ but when done with all the other segments all together, it was enough. I used a different order from you: starting with cardio to warm up the muscles more, then lower body weights, upper body weights, then cardio scultping (yes, 5 pounds is ENOUGH!!!) and kickbox sculpting (again, 3 pounds was great here) and ended up with the yoga flow. I stayed with Kelly for most of the flow, but there were a couple of stretches within that I needed more than others, so I left Kelly playing and stayed with the stretches I needed most. She does move fast in the yoga flow, but I think it is useful as, having worked out, cooled down and stretched, the yoga flow raises your energy levels a little, in a gentle way, to get you ready to leave the mat and rejoin your day feeling energized. This is a perfect workout for days when I don’t have enough energy for Ripped with HiiT, am too restless to just rest for the day and need to move everything just enough to feel it and cannot decide what sort of exercise to focus on! Thanks for the review Jen: love your blog, as always. I have it as a permanent tab on my computer for easy reference!!


    1. Hi Clare! I love this workout, too. I use it primarily as add ons–and mostly that wonderful upper body workout. It finishes other upper body workouts off perfectly. But I love them all.


  2. Thanks for another excellent review! I agree that this is one of Kelly’s best. I love the concept and variety in it. Very versatile.


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