Barlates: Sweat Series

Sweat Series is one of Linda Wooldridge’s newer workout collections (the back of the DVD case says 2017). It contains four approx. 30 minute workouts and none of these workouts are available on YouTube for free–so you have to pay for these! Linda did post clips of each of the workouts and I linked to the clips in the individual reviews below. Other than Jack and Kick Sweat these are all low impact workouts (so 3 of the 4 are low impact). One thing to note about these workouts is that, because they are low impact, the key to intensity and calorie burn is speed and dumbbell weight. Now, Linda has created some pretty complex combos in these workouts that take coordination to do properly and with good form. Because of this, there were times in two of the workouts that I had to sacrifice speed for form. I still did the exercises at the fastest pace I was capable of doing them but with good form, which was sometimes slower than the pace Linda set. But trust me, I worked hard in every one of these workouts. In each review below, I note where/when I ran into this issue. It was never the entire workout, just certain combos within two of the workouts. I was able to match her pace (and maintain good form) in every combo in the other two workouts. Luckily, they are all excellent workouts that I want to return to. Hopefully, the more I do them, the better and faster I get at the executing the combos. These workouts are the perfect length for doubles workouts, so I do plan to revisit them frequently.

In summary, these are some pretty unique, advanced and challenging workouts. They all worked me very hard. I like them all a lot, but my favorite is Pyramid Sweat.

Up and Down Sweat is 29:30 minutes long; 1 minute intro, no actual warm up though Linda says the first combo acts as a warm up, and 2:30 minute stretch. You need one set of light handweights, Linda is using 1kg (2 pounds), I used 3 pound weights. Here is a video clip of this workout. This is a low impact metabolic workout made up of bodyweight combos that you sometimes use the light handweights to increase intensity.  The title refers to the fact that the combos are either standing or done on the floor in plank or beast–you alternate between the two–a standing combo followed by a plank/beast combo. This was tough! I was definitely sweating and working hard! Linda does these combos very fast. I’m not saying that isn’t necessary. For this to be a cardio workout, you have to do these combos at a brisk pace. But sometimes Linda moved so quickly I could not keep up and maintain good form. So I sometimes sacrificed speed for form. But I still got an excellent and intense workout since I was moving as fast as I could, while doing the exercises properly. This is one I’ll have to return to in order to get the flow of the moves. I did like it a lot, even tho it was tough and challenged my coordination sometimes. I could probably have used heavier weights (4 or 5 pounds–not much heavier) to increase intensity, but the first time through I was more concerned with coordination and form.

  1. Kick one leg back 2x while punching opposite hand forward, squat, reverse lunge, curtsy lunge and reverse lunge; alternate sides
  2. For this combo hands will remain on the floor the entire time (no DBs); start in plank, jump both feet up to hands, kick one leg up behind you 2x, lunge, cross back lunge, lunge, bring foot back beside other foot and jump back to plank; alternate sides
  3. (holding DBs again) Start in plie squat, slide one foot into 3rd position while doing a front raise, step back out to plie squat then kick leg across body while doing a front raise, return to plie squat and lift and lower one heel, lift and lower other heel, lift and lower first heel again; alternate sides
  4. For this combo hands will remain on the floor the entire time (no DBs); Start in plank, jump feet up to hands into wide plie squat, slide one foot to other in second position, bring foot back out to plie, kick foot diagonally behind other leg, back to plie squat then jump back plank; alternate legs; after alternating sides for a while you remain in plie w/ hands on ground and alternate heel lifts
  5. (holding DBs again) Start in plie squat, lift one straight leg diagonally (same side, not across body) while reaching opposite DB toward foot, return to plie squat, raise same straight leg out to side while reaching both arms overhead leaning toward same side, do one arm punch, hook, punch, hook; alternate sides
  6. In plank, w/ DBs on floor between your hands, bring one knee under body to opposite knee then swing it out straight to same side, return to plank and pick up one DB (same hand as leg that was working) and, while remaining in plank, punch, hook, punch, hook; alternate sides
  7. (holding DBs again) Side lunge and punch DBs down 4x, (still in side lunge) hop foot backward so you are diagonal (transverse plane) and do 4 upper  cuts, hop foot back to side lunge and punch down 4x, hop foot forward so you are diagonal again (but forward transverse plane) and do 4 hooks; keep moving between these lunges staying on same leg; after while you reduce your punches to 2 rather than 4–but some lower body
  8. For this combo hands will remain on floor the entire time (no DBs); Start in beast (all 4s but w/ knees off floor), step right foot up near right hand and pull left knee up to back of right knee 2x, return left foot to beast and hydrant right leg 2x, then kick that leg back 2x, return both feet to beast and jack feet 2x; keep repeating this combo
  9. Repeat 7 & 8 on other leg
  10. Core: Start in C-sit holding DBs close in front of you and do 4 Russian twists tapping elbows to ground w/ each twist then raise knees/feet toward torso 4x (like a full crunch but while in C sit)
  11. Core: Remain in C-sit but open knees and keep toes together/touching; raise feet tapping fingertips to toes between knees then close knees bringing knees into chest and touch fingertips to outside of heels; keep alternating these two moves

Pyramid Sweat is 29:30 minutes long; 1 minute intro, no warm up and 4 minute stretch. You need one set of light handweights, Linda is using 1kg (2 pounds). Here is a video clip of this workout. For this workout Linda creates a flowing circuit of exercises. For example, in Grouping 1 below, she shows you all of the exercises in a single combo in which you do each exercise once, each move flowing into the next. You run through this grouping/combo several times to familiarize yourself with it. Then you start adding reps. You add a rep to each exercise as you go through the combo. So in Grouping 1 you do 2 reverse lunges, 2 seesaws w/ knee up and 2 knee pulls in deep lunge. You repeat it again and increase each rep to 3–and so on, and keep going until you do 5 reps of each exercise–then she jacks it up to 16 reps of each exercise. Then you move on to the next grouping. This workout was intense! But it all depends on the weight of your dumbbells–at least for me. I started with 3 pound dumbbells but needed something heavier in Grouping 1 so I grabbed my 5 pound dumbbells and that worked really well for Grouping 1. I kept them for Grouping 2 and holy crap! That push me up into my peak zone on my Fitbit! I kept the 5 pounds and finished Grouping 2 w/out stopping but I was wiped out! Luckily Grouping 3 is lower intensity so I kept my 5 pound dumbbells and that worked. However when you repeat Grouping 2 on the other leg I grabbed the 3 pound dumbbells since the 5 pound dumbbells wiped me out (plus I was really feeling it in my arms by the end). But surprisingly, that lowered the intensity more than I wanted. 3 pound weights were perfect for Grouping 4. Luckily, I have a set of 4 pound weights I never use. So in the future I will use the 4 pound dumbbells for Grouping 2 and that will probably be perfect. I will definitely be returning to this workout. Very intense for a low impact workout. I am noting below what weights I think are appropriate (for myself) for each Grouping below. ***10/12/17 I did this workout + Cardio Sweat Sculpt (below) for my workout this morning. This was a super intense hour long workout. I am adding this update tho because I did some weight changes and they worked very well. I used 4 pound dumbbells for Grouping 2 and it was perfect. For Grouping 3 I used 6 pound dumbbells and that was perfect. Everything else remained the same.***

  1. Grouping 1: Reverse lunge w/ arms overhead, seesaw forward into warrior 3 then stand raising knee (foot never touches ground), lower into deep lunge w/ hands/DBs on the ground and bring your knee in to chest (5# DBs)
  2. Grouping 2: Squat and stand raising knee and pushing DBs overhead, squat and stand lifting leg straight in front of you while pushing DBs overhead, squat and stand raising bent knee to side while pushing DBs overhead, squat and stand lifting straight leg to side while pushing DBs overhead (4# DBs)
  3. Grouping 3: Start in wide plie stance; plie squat squat, raise one heel and plie squat, raise other heel and plie squat, raise both heels and plie squat–hammer curl the DBs with every plie squat (5# DBs)
  4. Repeat Grouping 2 on other leg
  5. Grouping 4: Start in wide plie stance; cross punch then punch overhead while doing side bend, cross punch (other side) then punch overhead while doing side bend (other side) (3# DBs)

Jack and Kick Sweat is 32 minutes; 1 intro, no warm up and 2:30 minute stretch. You need one set of light handweights, Linda is using 1kg (2 pounds). Here is a video clip of this workout. This was another tough workout. And like Up and Down Sweat, this workout was made up of complicated combos that Linda does at a brisk pace. As the title states, the combos are jack and kick combos but there are balance moves and all kinds of level changes. Linda really is impressive because I found it impossible to keep the same pace as her on some of the combos and maintain good form–of course, her form remained perfect no matter how fast she executed the combos. So, just like in Up and Down Sweat, I sacrificed speed for form. I didn’t have to do that on all of the combos–but #6, 8, 9 and 11 I did as briskly as I was able–which was slower than Linda did them. BTW–I burned more calories doing this workout than I have in any other Barlates workout. So it worked me hard! I also had to make modifications. First, when I used dumbbells I used 2 pound dumbbells but for the moves where you put your hands on the ground (Linda put her fists on the ground in #8 I guess? Since she keeps holding the 1kg handweights in her palms), it was not comfortable to do them on my knuckles. There is no space between the floor and your hands when you are using such light dumbbells, so I just did the moves sans dumbbells. In the future, I will wear my 2 pound weighted gloves that I use for kickboxing since those leave my palms free. Also, for #9, I used my square step at 8 inches for my hands. The first few times I did the combo, I was able to do it with decent form, but my form deteriorated pretty quickly so I grabbed the step and that fixed my form problem. So the next time I do this workout, I will wear my weighted gloves and have my step set up right away.

  1. 2 cross jacks cross punching arms, 2 regular jacks w/ chest press arms, 4 side kicks w/ side punches; alternate sides
  2. Side knee raise, side kick w/ side punch, squat; alternate sides; this changes to staying on one side of body
  3. Front jack, back jack, front kick, back kick, front kick, back kick (all of these kicks are using the same leg); alternate sides
  4. (balance move) Raise straight leg and straight arms to the front and pulse up 2x, bring same straight behind you (foot never touching ground) and pulse 2x while pulsing straight arms behind you
  5. Repeat #4 on other leg
  6. One jumping jack, squat thrust w/ plank jack, crescent kick, side kick w/ side punch; alternate sides
  7. Crescent kick + side kick w/ side punch; alternate sides
  8. Start in a curtsy lunge stance w/ hands on ground, jump out to wide plank, jump feet in, side kick w/ side punch, back kick other leg w/ tricep kickbacks
  9. Place ends of DBs on floor and hold other end, legs start in curtsy lunge stance, keeping DBs on floor throughout combo (so you are bent over the entire time), side kick, come down on knee and kick other leg behind you, put that foot on ground again, side kick again and return to curtsy lunge
  10. Repeat #8 & #9 on other leg
  11. (no DBs) Start in plank and kick one leg under body 2x, plank jack, jump feet in to hands and back out to plank, push flexed foot (knee bent) toward ceiling 2x, jack legs, jump feet in to hands and back out to plank
  12. (no DBs) Start in plank and twist body around so you are sitting on one hip, one leg bent w/ foot on floor, the other straight and raise leg in this position 4x (inner thigh work), return to plank and raise same straight leg 4x
  13. Repeat #11 & #12 on other side of body
  14. (hold DBs again) Lay on back then raise legs and torso off floor  a few inches so you are resting on bottom; bring one knee into chest while raising torso, bring other knee into chest while raising torso, bring both knees into chest while raising torso, straighten legs (straight leg boat), pull knees into chest again then lower torso and legs to start position
  15. Lay on back and raise straight legs to ceiling, open legs in a V making a big circle while lowering legs so the meet a few inches off the floor then circle them around again so they meet w/ toes pointing to ceiling

Cardio Sculpt Sweat is 28 minutes long; 30 second intro, no warm up and 2 minute stretch. You need one set of light handweights, Linda is using 1kg (2 pounds). You hold your handweights throughout the entire workout. I used 3 pound dumbbells. Here is a video clip of this workout. Other than some low hops (#6) this is a low impact workout. Another very tough and intense workout. Like the others, this is made up of fast paced combos to elevate the heart rate. However, in this one (like Pyramid Sweat), I was able to keep up with Linda’s pace and maintain proper form. There are balance moves in the first part of this workout. If you are seriously balance challenged like me, I recommend having a chair or barre present and using one DB for those. It is always good to work on your balance, so I don’t recommend doing it without good reason but as I’ve mentioned in other reviews, my heels are full of plates and screws and lack range of motion–so I cannot stand on one foot for more than a few seconds. So for the second half of #2 & 4 below, I did the arm motions with one arm/DB and held the back of a chair with the other hand for balance. That is the only part of the workout that has a balance challenge. I still got a great and intense workout. In fact, for that move, I’ll probably use a 5 pound dumbbell in the future. But the 3 pound dumbbells worked fine for everything else.

  1. Later skaters, tapping DB to ground; add 3 knee pulls w/ running man arms creating a combo (3 lateral skaters + 3 knee pulls)
  2. Start in curtsy lunge and pulse down 4x then raise the back leg then raise the front leg; changes to just raising back and front legs (still in curtsy stance) while doing a front raise when raising front leg and a straight arm tricep press when raising back leg; changes to just raising back leg w/ straight arm tricep press; changes to just the front leg raise w/ front raise (more like a curtsy squat w/ low diagonal front kick)
  3. 3 lateral skaters + knee pulls
  4. Repeat #2 on other leg
  5. Start in plie squat and walk forward and back in plie squat while doing figure 8s w/ the arms; add 4 pulses w/ one heel raised between steps (so step forward in plie squat and pulse 4x then step back in plie squat and raise other heel and pulse 4x, when pulsing hold arms straight out to sides of body); changes to static plie squats while raising and lowering both heels and doing figure 8 arms
  6. Still in plie squat, jump one foot forward while the other goes back (remaining in plie squat the whole time) then jump back to regular plie squat and pull one leg in 2x (bending knee and bringing toe toward inside of other knee) while doing upright row arms (do front raise arms w/ hops)
  7. Side lunge into kick across body, side lunge again into crescent kick (while doing the side lunge do straight arm tricep lift behind body w/ one arm and when kicking reach other arm toward foot); changes to staying in side lunge then pushing up and raising the bent leg and touching heel w/ same side arm (when coming back into side lunge touch foot w/ opposite arm); changes to side lunge into kick across body (swinging arms like helicopter arms, tapping opposite hand to foot when kicking)
  8. Repeat #7 on other side of body
  9. Start w/ feet in warrior position; windmill arms down into right angle pose w/ one hand on ground and other extended toward ceiling and raise back up to warrior 2 (actually the bent leg straightens when you come up)
  10. In right angle (just like in #9), pulse down 4x and when you come up into warrior 2, you lift foot and bent knee off ground 4x while bending and straightening elbows (arms are held straight out to sides of body so that when you bend elbows you are bringing DBs to shoulders)
  11. In warrior stance, lift foot and bent knee of ground 2x then lift straight back leg off ground 2x–do bicep curls the entire time
  12. Repeat #9-#11 on other side of body








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