900 Calorie Burn is another workout from Ignite by Spri. This one is led by celebrity trainer Ashley Borden. Her little bio on the back of the DVD states she has trained Ryan Gosling and Christina Aquilera. I went to her website and she has also trained 9x UFC Champion Matt Hughes and many others. Impressive. I almost didn’t do this DVD as planned after being so disappointed by Hi-Intensity, also by Ignite by Spri–which was anything but high intensity. However, I stuck with the rotation I had mapped out and did it as my doubles workouts this week anyway. I am so glad I did! This one is so much better than Hi-Intensity. Now, it is not an advanced collection of workouts, but they are intense. They are also modifiable for any fitness level. I loved these workouts. There are no complicated moves. Just effective and intense mini workouts, all clocking in around 25 minutes. What I especially liked about these workouts is that they are true and intense metabolic weight training. In fact, if you only wanted to use this DVD alone, you could get intense cardio plus strength training. I have to clarify that I personally need more strength training then what this delivers, but that is not the same for everyone. For me, these are prefect as doubles workouts or add ons. But if you are short on time and money, I think you can get everything you need from this DVD.
Any time a calorie burn claim is made I feel forced to address it and since the name of this collection is “900 Calorie Burn”–something must be said. The asterisk at the bottom of the back of the DVD case says “900 calorie burn based on test group measurements using metabolic cart testing. Your results may vary based on starting weight and intensity of exercise.” The key words in this disclaimer are “starting weight” and “intensity of exercise.” The less fit you are and the more overweight you are the more calories you will burn. So someone who is very overweight and completely out of shape might burn 900 calories. It also depends on how much effort (i.e. intensity) you/they are putting into the exercise. That means, in order to even come close to a 900 calorie burn, you need to be obese, completely of shape and going all out–the entire 25 minutes. Giving every single exercise your 110% max effort. Now, because they made such a huge calorie burn claim, you might assume they are also adding in EPOC (Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption or afterburn)–so estimating the calories you burn both during and after the workout. However, you only use a metabolic cart during the exercise session–not afterwards. So…. they are saying you will burn 900 calories during the 25 minute workouts. This is very unlikely. In fact, according to my Fitbit I never burned over 200 calories during any of the workouts. And btw–I am ok with that. I’m in shape and not overweight, so I have to work very hard to get a 200 calorie burn in just 20 minutes (actual workout time if you minus warm ups and cool downs). This is just something you need to be aware of when you see these kinds of hyperbolic claims on workouts. It is unlikely the majority of people who do these workouts are burning anywhere near 900 calories.
Upper Body HIIT is 26 minutes long; one minute intro, 2:30 minute warm up and 3 minute cool down stretch. Wow! I was not expecting much after doing the other Ignite by Spri workout: Hi-Intensity by Brett Hoebell. That one was a huge disappointment and I almost shelved this one. I am so glad I didn’t! What a huge difference! This one actually deserves “HIIT” in the title! Every exercise isn’t HIIT level, but enough of them are to keep the intensity up throughout this entire workout. Plus–I really like Ashley! No complicated moves. A short, intense cardio workout. It is set up in 2 rounds; each round contains 3 exercises. You do each exercise for 45 seconds with a 15 second recovery. You repeat each round 3x. After you do Round One 3x you get a one minute rest before starting Round Two and doing it 3x. No equipment is needed except a fitness mat. There is a beginner modifier and Ashley and another exerciser are doing the more advanced version of the exercises.
- Plank Walk Up (low plank to high plank; alternate sides)
- Lateral Hops
- Prone Snow Angels (lay on stomach, arms/chest and legs raised off floor; arms are straight in front of you, palms facing each other and elbows pointed at ceiling; arms sweep from hips to in front of you)
- Push Ups
- High Knee Runs
Lower Body HIIT is 28 minutes long; 1 minute intro, 3:30 minute warm up and 2:30 minute stretch. Another excellent workout! I am so impressed with these workouts. Mostly because the other Ignite by Spri workout collection lowered my expectations so far, but they are very good in their own right, too. Now, if done as demonstrated only the first part of this workout is HIIT level, however the second part has a lot of potential. Part A is ladders. It is made up of two exercises. Each exercise is done an increasing number of reps. So exercise one is done once, then exercise two is done once, then exercise 1 is done twice and exercise 2 is done twice, then exercise one is done 3 times then exercise 2 is done 3 times–keep going all the way up to 13 reps. You use dumbbells for these two exercises and with the right weight, this is exhausting and will have your heart pounding! Metabolic weight training at it’s best. I used 15 pound dumbbells and had to drop to 12 pound dumbbells after 10 reps. Part B is tabata. A tabata is a HIIT cycle with a specific structure. You go all out for 20 seconds and recover for 10 seconds. You do 8 cycles of 20/10—one after the other (a total of 4 minutes)—to complete one tabata. A single tabata is pretty exhausting if done properly (all out effort). In Part B you do 2 tabatas, however they are not true tabatas as presented. They are not exhausting at all: elbow plank holds and air squats. They are both great exercises but your heart rate will definitely drop after the intensity of Part A. But there are ways to increase the intensity–even get it to HIIT level. First, the plank hold–add movement, such as alternating knee taps, alternating leg raises, stepping out and in, turn it into plank jacks, mountain climbers, bring knees to elbows, alternating shoulder taps or straight arm raises. All of these things will increase the intensity and help make this a true tabata. The other exercise is air squats. Done fast, air squats will elevate your heart rate but still not HIIT level. But add dumbbells or make them into squat jumps (or squat jacks), or even tuck jumps and that changes the intensity big time. And of course, no reason to do the same thing for every 20 second interval–change it up; mountain climbers for one, plank jacks for another, knee taps for the third and so on. Intensity w/ no boredom. So there is definitely room to grow and make this an all around awesome workout. There is no modifier for Part A–just use lighter dumbbells if it’s too hard. Part B does show a modification for the plank holds. There is a one minute recovery between part A and part B.
- Squat Thrusters (w/ DBs at shoulders, squat then press DBs overhead)
- Side Lunges (complete all reps to one side before doing all reps on other side)
- Plank Hold
- Air Squats
Hard Core HIIT is 24 minutes long; 30 second intro, 3:30 minute warm up and 3 minute stretch. Another excellent little cardio workout. It is intense but maybe not HIIT intense. I say “maybe” because it didn’t feel HIIT intense but my Fitbit said I was in my peak heart rate a good 3rd of the workout. Which surprised me, to be honest. I did find it intense but it didn’t feel like I was going all out. But my Fitbit says otherwise. Perceived exertion, I suppose? Anyway, the workout has 3 sections; each section contains 2-3 exercises that alternate a cardio-based move with a core move. Each section is repeated 4 times. There are no breaks/recoveries within each section but between sections you do get a brief recovery while Ashley demonstrates the exercises in the next section. BTW–I really liked this workout. Another intense and effective workout.
Section 1 (repeat 4x with no breaks):
- Lateral Bounding, 20 reps (less wide/intense version of skaters–but I just did wide skaters)
- Plank w/ alternating reaches, 20 reps (get in elbow plank, palms facing ceiling and quickly reach your hands in front of you)
Section 2 (repeated 4x with no breaks):
- Alternating reverse lunges, 20 reps (lunge so that back knee taps floor)
- Side elbow plank rotation reach, 10 reps each side (reach top arm straight overhead then underneath body)
Section 3 (repeated 4x with no breaks)
- Straight arm plank w/ alternating shoulder tap, 10 reps (or 5 to each shoulder)
- Squat jack, 10 reps
- Butterfly sit up, 15 reps
Head-to-Toe HIIT is 26:30minutes long; 30 second intro, 3 minute warm up and 3 minute stretch. Another awesome workout! I am super impressed. I loved every single one of these workouts. They were all challenging. And this one was no joke! It is an intense total body metabolic strength workout. It contains 4 circuits; each circuit is made up of 3 exercises and is repeated 4x. You get a one minute recovery before you start the next circuit. Except for the first circuit, all of the circuits use dumbbells. I used 15 and 10 pound dumbbells and I was challenged. Here is what is weird. I did Hard Core HIIT yesterday and according to my Fitbit I worked harder yesterday than I did today. But it didn’t feel that way to me. I felt like I worked much harder today, I sweat a lot more and it took my heart/breathing longer to lower than it did yesterday. Perceived exertion. I don’t care what my Fitbit said–this workout was more challenging and worked me harder. I don’t know what weights the exercisers used. The dumbbell weights listed below are the ones I used. There is a modifier who shows easier versions of some of the exercises.
Circuit 1 (repeat 4x):
- Push Ups, 10 reps
- Butterfly Sit Ups, 10 reps
- Air Squats, 10 reps
Circuit 2 (repeat 4x):
- Bentover dumbbell row, 8 reps (15# DBs)
- Front Squat (DBs at shoulders), 8 reps (15# DBs)
- Push Press (powerful overhead press, pushing up from hips and hopping a little), 8 reps (15# DBs)
Circuit 3 (repeat 4x):
- Alternating Snatch (DB starts on floor between legs; squat, grab DB and snatch overhead; alternate sides), 6 reps (one 15# DB)
- RDL w/ rear dealt fly (single leg deadlift; alternate sides), 6 reps (10# DBs)
- Thrusters (DBs at shoulders, squat w/ overhead press at top), 6 reps (15# DBs)
Circuit 4 (repeat 4x):
- Manmaker (holding DBs, do one push up, row each arm, jump feet in to hands, bring DBs to shoulders in a squat, stand and do an overhead press), 4 reps (15# DBs)
- Alternating side lunge, 4 reps (15# DBs)
- Bent over straight arm push back (10# DBs)