Barlates: Old School Series

Old School Series is a collection of 4 strength workouts by Linda Wooldridge in which she has you lifting heavier weights than what she normally uses in her workouts (she usually uses 1-2 pound hand weights or body weight). She never goes super heavy in these workouts, but they are also pretty high rep workouts. You need to, of course, lift the appropriate weight for your strength level, not Linda’s. So keep that in mind. In the break downs I list the weight Linda used and the weight I used. I am assuming “Old School” refers to her use of traditional strength training exercises. But even though they are traditional exercises, Linda puts her own Barlates spin on the workouts to make them unique.

This is a great collection of workouts–particularly the upper and lower body workouts. They are all 30 minutes or less so they are perfect for combining together or with other workouts. None of these are available for free on YouTube so you have to purchase the DVD to get them (or purchase the downloads through Linda’s website). However, she did post clips for each workout on YouTube and I will be linking to each clip within the workout’s review.

Chest & Back is 22 minutes long; 1 minute intro, 2:30 minute warm up and 1 minute stretch. Equipment: 2 sets of dumbbells (Linda uses 8 and 10 pound dumbbells) and a fitness mat. Here is the video clip. I really liked this workout. I love it when the back is well worked and it is worked well in this workout. I also like the way, at the end of the workout, she does body weight only exercises to finish burning out the muscles she just worked with weights. I followed this workout with Arms (below) then I did her Upper Body Stretch which is free on YouTube for a 64 minute (total time) upper body workout. I can see using this workout in a lot of ways. Linda has some great upper body pyramid workouts that are 30 minutes. Start with this workout then do one of her pyramid workouts and finish with the upper body stretch. That would give you an upper body workout with extra back and chest focus–and in just under an hour. I already have plans to do that!

  1. Straight leg deadlift (Linda uses 10# DBs, I used 30# DBs)
  2. Deadrow (Linda uses 10# DBs, I used 20# DBs)
  3. Single leg deadrow, alternate legs; first do singles, then it changes to 3 rows each leg while still alternating legs; add back leg raise to rows (Linda uses 10# DBs, I used 20# DBs but I dropped to 15# when we changed to 3 rows each leg)
  4. Alternating bent over rows in single, single, double pattern (Linda uses 10# DBs, I used 15# DBs)
  5. W presses (start with elbows close to sides with elbows bent and DBs at shoulder height–push DBs up in a V in single, single, double pattern; add rotating arms/DBs toward each other in front of body, rotating back to side then pushing both arms up into V; ends pulsing arms in and out in smaller W/V) (8# DBs)
  6. Renegade rows w/ push up (Linda uses 10# DBs, I used 20# DBs)
  7. Chest press in single, single, double pattern (Linda uses 10# DBs, I used 20# DBs)
  8. Chest flys in single, single, double pattern (Linda uses 10# DBs, I used 15# DBs)
  9. Chest fly alternated with chest press (Linda uses 10# DBs, I used 15# DBs)
  10. Scoop presses (arms bent in front of you, press DBs up and across body in single, single, double pattern) (Linda uses 8# DBs, I used 10# DBs)
  11. Clasp hands together in front of body, elbows bent and raised at shoulder height and “kiss” elbows together (squeezing elbows in and out)
  12. Unclasp hands but keep them bent with elbows raised to shoulder height and do flys, arms crossing w/ each fly, alternating the height of arm w/ each fly
  13. Pulsing straight arm bent over rear fly (so arms held at top of move and pulse)

Arms is 34 minutes long; 1 minutes intro, 3 minute warm up and 2 minute stretch. Equipment: 2 sets of dumbbells (Linda uses 8 and 5 pound dumbbells). Here is the video clip. For this workout, you do all of the exercises with your lighter weights in a single, single, double pattern (singles means using one arm, doubles means both arms at the same time), then you repeat all of the exercises with your heavier weights but this time you only do doubles (both arms at the same time). This workout was deceptive. I previewed it in advance to create workout cards and choose what weights would to use, and throughout this workout I was decreasing or increasing my weights. I didn’t choose very well in advance! But in the end, once I had the proper weight, I got a great  workout. I didn’t have my 7 pound dumbbells nearby but for some of the exercises I used 6 pounds on, I might try 7 pound dumbbells in the future. Before I did this workout I did Chest & Back (above) then followed this one with her Upper Body Stretch which is free on YouTube for a 64 minute (total time) upper body workout.

Shoulders (12 minutes):

  1. Over head press in single, single, double pattern (Linda uses 5# DBs, I used 8# DBs)
  2. Bent arm lateral raises in single, single double pattern (Linda uses 5# DBs, I used 8# DBs)
  3. Raise arms in front of you to shoulder height and bend elbows, raise arms to ceiling in single, single, double pattern (Linda uses 5# DBs, I used 8# DBs)
  4. Upright rows in single, single double pattern (Linda uses 5# DBs, I used 10# DBs)
  5. Straight arm front raise in single, single double pattern (Linda uses 5# DBs, I used 6# DBs)
  6. Rear delt flys in single, single double pattern (Linda uses 5# DBs, I used 8# DBs)
  7. Overhead press (Linda uses 8# DBs, I used 12# DBs)
  8. Straight arm side raises (Linda uses 8# DBs, I used 8# DBs)
  9. Raise arms in front of you to shoulder height and bend elbows, raise arms to ceiling (Linda uses 8# DBs, I used 10# DBs)
  10. Upright rows (Linda uses 8# DBs, I used 12# DBs)
  11. Front raises (Linda uses 8# DBs, I used 8# DBs)
  12. Rear delt flys (Linda uses 8# DBs, I used 10# DBs)

Biceps & Triceps (11 minutes):

  1. Hammer curls in single, single, double pattern (Linda uses 5# DBs, I used 10# DBs)
  2. Traditional curls in single, single, double pattern (when you do “doubles” you supinate the DBs) (Linda uses 5# DBs, I used 10# DBs)
  3. Raise arms to shoulder height straight in front of you w/ bent elbows so hands/DBs are facing the ceiling, straighten arms in single, single, double pattern (Linda uses 5# DBs, I used 6# DBs)
  4. Tricep kickbacks in single, single, double pattern (Linda uses 5# DBs, I used 10# DBs)
  5. Straight arm tricep presses behind you in single, single, double pattern (Linda uses 5# DBs, I used 6# DBs)
  6. Raise arms to side at shoulder height, elbows bent and DBs are at shoulders, straighten arms in single, single, double pattern (Linda uses 5# DBs, I also used 5# DBs)
  7. Hammer curls (Linda uses 8# DBs, I used 15# DBs)
  8. Traditional supination curls (Linda uses 8# DBs, I used 12# DBs)
  9. Raise arms to shoulder height straight in front of you w/ bent elbows so hands/DBs are facing the ceiling, straighten arms (Linda uses 8# DBs, I used 6# DBs)
  10. Tricep kickbacks (Linda uses 8# DBs, I used 12# DBs)
  11. Straight arm tricep presses behind you (Linda uses 8# DBs, I used 8# DBs also)
  12. Raise arms to side at shoulder height, elbows bent and DBs are at shoulders, straighten arms (Linda uses 8# DBs, I used 6# DBs)

Push ups (4:30 minutes):

  1. Tricep push ups on knees (single, single, doubles–one arm forward the other close to ribs, swap arms, both arms close to ribs)
  2. Regular push ups on knees (single, single doubles–walk one hand out to side and do a push up, walk other hand out to other side and do one push up, one push up in center)
  3. Tricep dips (single, single, double–one one arm tricep dip each arm, then tricep dip w/ both arms)

Lower Body is 26:30 minutes; no warm up or stretch, 16 minutes of standing/weighted lower body work and 10 minutes of mat work. Here is the video clip. Linda states that if you want a warm up and stretch, go to her YouTube channel where she has a (free) warm up and a lower body stretch. Equipment: dumbbells and a mat (Linda uses a set of 10 pound dumbbells). The structure of the workout is intervals of 50 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. This was an excellent and intense lower body workout. The standing work is fast paced enough to get your heart rate up and the floor work will seriously finish off your lower body. Because it is so short you can stack it with other workouts. There are lots of ways I will probably use this workout in the future but this morning I followed it with Linda’s Squat & Kick then ended with her Lower Body Stretch for an hour long lower body workout. Next time I do it I think I will do her Pyramid Lower Body first then do this workout and end with her Lower Body Stretch. That would also give me a 63 minute workout. The weights listed below are what I used.

Standing/Weighted Lower Body:

  1. Plie squats (4 regular + 4 pulses) (20# DBs)
  2. Regular squats (4 regular + 4 pulses) (20# DBs)
  3. Narrow squats (4 regular + 4 pulses) (20# DBs)
  4. Step out squats (step to side and squat, step feet together and do a narrow squat, step out to other side and squat) (20# DBs)
  5. One plie squat w/ side leg raise (alternate sides) (20# DBs)
  6. Stationary lunges (4 regular + 4 pulses) (15# DBs)
  7. Stationary lunges on other leg
  8. Pendulum lunges (front lunge into rear lunge, stay on same leg) (15# DBs)
  9. Pendulum lunges on other leg
  10. Forward leaning front lunges, alternate legs (15# DBs)
  11. Deadlifts (30# DBs)
  12. Single leg deadlift (15# DBs)
  13. Single leg deadlift on other leg
  14. Single leg deadlift–alternate legs then do double left deadlift (15# DBs)
  15. Alternating side lunges w/ narrow squat between each lunge (15# DBs)

Mat Work (for mat work you are still do a 50/10 circuit but instead of getting 10 seconds of rest you hold the move isometrically for 10 seconds):

  1. Lay on side and do side leg raises
  2. Still on side, do inner thigh raises
  3. Lay on stomach and lift straight leg
  4. On all 4s, raise bent leg in a hydrant, at top of raise, kick leg out straight to side, bend back to hydrant and lower
  5. Pizza press (leg bent behind you w/ foot pointed to ceiling and press up)
  6. Repeat 1-5 on other leg

Abs is 22:30 minutes w/ 1:30 minute stretch. No equipment except a fitness mat. Here is the video clip. The structure of this workout is 40 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest. I have to give my usual disclaimer about long mat abdominal workouts–I don’t like them. However, I actually did like this one! It moves fast and at 40 seconds per move you don’t spend an excessive amount of time on any single exercise. And it is varied enough that you really don’t hit burnout until the end. The final exercise #20 is definitely the most difficult exercise in the workout. This is probably my favorite Barlates ab-only workout that I have done.

  1. Full sit up w/ legs bent and arms straight in front of you
  2. Scissor bent legs w/ torso leaned back and hands on mat behind you
  3. Lay on side w/ knees bent and arm overhead, raise knees and lower arm, tapping elbow to top knee
  4. In C sit w/ arms straight in front of you, pulse torso back
  5. Lean back on elbows and raised straight legs to ceiling and pulse legs in toward head
  6. Lay on hip and one elbow, raise bent legs off mat and bicycle legs
  7. Lay back on elbows and bicycle legs
  8. Repeat #6 on other side of body
  9. Repeat #7 but sitting up taller w/ hands on mat behind you
  10. In elbow plank, tuck hips forward and back
  11. In modified side elbow plank (bottom knee on floor and top leg straight), reach top arm overhead while pressing top leg out straight, then bring knee to elbow
  12. Lay on back, legs bent and do sit up reaching both arms forward then sit up while raising one leg then sit up raising the other leg, repeat pattern
  13. Lean back on hands, open knees and place soles of feet together, raise feet off ground and push them in and out
  14. Lay on back w/ one ankle crossed over other knee and one hand behind head, bring elbow toward opposite knee
  15. Sit on mat, torso leaned back and knees bent w/ toes on mat, raise legs straight so body is in a V reaching arms toward feet
  16. Full sit up w/ arms straight in front of you, at top of sit up first open arms wide to side then on next sit up raise arms overhead, alternate these two arm movements w/ each sit up
  17. In straight arm plank, dip hips side to side
  18. Straight arm side plank w/ top leg bent and foot on floor behind bottom leg, bottom leg is straight–raise and lower bottom leg bringing arm to touch toe then reaching overhead when lowering leg
  19. Full sit up while raising one straight leg and touching toe w/ opposite hand
  20. Suitcase crunch (full crunch but never touch feet/legs to ground or lower shoulders/head to ground)

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