Awesome Intervals is another workout DVD that I got at Mindy Mylrea’s $3.99 sale and it was another disappointment. During the warm up I nearly turned the thing off and stuck in Cathe‘s Cross Fire (always my go-to workout if another workout doesn’t work out for me). The step choreography for the warm up was immediately so complex that I was mostly standing behind my step getting 1 out of every 4-5 steps Mindy threw at me. It made me angry to be honest. I hate my morning workout to be a waste of time and that warm up pi$$ed me off. But once the actual workout started the step choreography became more basic. Some of it was still more complicated than I like but it was doable and I always caught on eventually.
Though this is an interval workout in the tradition of Cathe’s Imax workouts, it is nowhere near the intensity of a Cathe Imax workout (nor does it have the fun-factor). I did get a good workout. I cannot deny that. In 64 minutes I burned 500 calories and my heart rate was only in my peak zone during the final interval. So even tho none of the other intervals qualify as HIIT level, they are still intense. The structure is you do a step cardio combo then you do part of that combo with increased intensity–so faster, or plyo jumps are added to it, sometimes the medicine ball is used to increase intensity. BTW–if you haven’t figured it out, this is a high impact workout. The only interval I really liked was the final High/Low interval. The others, though they gave me a good workout, were not enjoyable. So, like Med Ball Madness, I doubt I will ever return to this workout. Not when I can just do a Cathe Imax workout and get awesome workouts without complicated step choreography.
On the main screen, if you choose “Intro to Workout” it will play the entire workout from beginning to end. If you choose “Mix & Match” it takes you to a chapter menu which is broken down by interval (as I break it down below) as well as the warm up and cool down/stretch.
Equipment: a step @ 6 inches and a medicine ball. There is a modifier who does easier versions of everything and never uses a medicine ball. I have no idea how heavy their medicine balls were. They looked like they were 8 or 10 pound balls, but when they did push ups on them, the balls squished down significantly and my 8 pound ball does not squish down at all when I do push ups on it. I don’t know if that means anything. I used my 6 pound medicine ball for this workout. However, having done the workout, I think I could have used my 8 pound ball to get an even better workout. Unlike some of Mindy’s other med ball workouts, nothing was done so fast that a heavier med ball would be impossible or difficult to use.
Awesome Intervals is 64 minutes long; 8 minute step warm up using the medicine ball at the end and 3:30 minute cool down/stretch. It is made up of 9 intervals. The first 4 intervals the step is horizontal. For intervals 5-8 the step is vertical in front of you. For the final High-Low Interval no equipment is used. Tho I do not do detailed break downs below, in every interval you have a low intensity step combo that ends in a high intensity interval–usually a portion of the step combo that is kicked up to a higher level/intensity. The medicine ball is sometimes used to increase the intensity of the intervals.
Step is horizontal.
Interval 1 (3:07) step cardio
Interval 2 (2:49) step cardio
Interval 3 (8:01) step cardio (uses a med ball last minute)
Interval 4 (8:26) first half is step cardio and the second half is a slower step work with the med ball (strength focused); ends w/ push ups w/ both hands on ball
Step changes to vertical placement.
Interval 5 (4:37) step cardio
Interval 6 (8:47) step cardio (uses med ball last minute)
Interval 7 (3:46) step cardio
Interval 8 (3:34) strength/conditioning lower body exercises on the step with the med ball; ends w/ more push ups with both hands on the ball
High-Low Interval (8:07) (no step) Each exercise is done for one minute. 1. 1-2-3 Heismans, 2. squat to side kick, 3. squat jacks & alternating jump lunges, 4. burpees alternated w/ jogging in place, 5. criss-cross squats + 2 scissors + one jump lunge, 6. plie jacks