Michele Lumadue is a new-to-me trainer who was recommended to me by a reader. I perused her workouts and at first was resistant due to the length of them (most are well over an hour long–pushing 2 hours–and many are over 2 hours long!). I do not have that kind of time in the mornings and even on the weekends when I do longer workouts I do not do TWO HOUR workouts. 90 minutes is the length of one of my long weekend workouts. However, I was interested enough to try at least one. So I chose a Saturday when I didn’t have anything going on until around 11am, and I chose her Back/Shoulders/Butt workout since those are the muscle groups I like to work the most. And I learned a lot. Now, I cannot say that what I learned in this one workout applies to all of Michele’s workouts but it might. To put it in workout DVD users terminology–if this was chaptered, it would be very easy to pick and chose from. Michele does this in distinct sections. First you do the metabolic circuit training and that, including the warm up, equals just over one hour (60:45). Next you do a bonus core circuit workout which is 28 minutes long. The final 25 minutes of the workout is stretch yoga. To be more specific, the first 15 minutes of the stretch you will stretch out your entire body. If you end with her downward dog pose, you will have a very nice and thorough 15 minute stretch. But if you stay for the final 10 minutes, she moves into a yoga flow. During this yoga flow you get more excellent deep stretching, but I am just showing you the various ways you could do this workout. For a nearly 2 hour workout, this was excellent and every minute was well used. But for my lifestyle, in the future I will not use this entire workout. I just do not have that kind of time. For a long weekend workout I will do the strength training and end with the stretch/yoga for a 90 minute workout. Or on days I want something shorter I would just do the strength section and either do the first 15 minutes of her stretch or do my own, shorter stretch. In addition, she has orange screens to alert you to section changes, which makes it easier to find. Or you can just write down the times and scrub to it (which is what I will do on my Apple TV).
So, with all that said, let me get into other aspects of this workout. This is titled “freestyle training.” Freestyle is Michele’s terminology for metabolic training. She has two videos on her YouTube channel discussing freestyle training and why she does it. I watched the shorter of the two videos and I recommend watching it if you are interested in her training philosophy. The first part of this workout is metabolic circuit training that focuses on the back, shoulders and lower body. There are many compound moves and most everything is done at a brisk tempo so this gives a definite cardio factor and also makes it difficult to lift heavy but I was working out very hard for a solid hour and by the time we got to the last circuit I was struggling to get through the manmakers. Michele uses lots of equipment but it’s not all necessary. Some of it is just to show alternatives to the home exerciser. She used dumbbells, a kettlebell, resistance tube, sand bag, sand bell, a body bar and a bosu ball. I used a step @ 10 inches (instead of the bosu ball), dumbbells, a kettlebell, an 8 pound medicine ball (in place of sand bell) and a resistance tube (I only used the tube for some of the core work but she showed how to use it during the strength work, too). Instead of the sand bag and body bar I just used dumbbells. And finally, there is no music so you will have to provide your own.
This was a thorough and intense workout. It worked my shoulders, back, core and lower body very well and also worked the ancillary muscles of my biceps nicely, too. Not much tricep or chest work but otherwise this hit every other muscle group and hit them very well. I had a nice burn going in my shoulders, back and lower body for hours afterward. Extremely effective workout. And like I said–some intense cardio, too. According to my Fitbit, during the circuit training and core work I burned nearly 600 calories. I changed the setting on my Fitbit for the last 25 minutes to yoga so I could separate the burn/intensity of the two parts of the workout. I obviously burned very little during the yoga stretch. For the most part Michele kept a brisk pace. She talked about form and options during the workout, and even had a long monologue about BCAAS and intermittent fasting, and still managed to keep rep count very well.
Like Fit Body by Julia, Michele does the entire workout breakdown below the YouTube workout, so I cut and pasted it below only made changes for formatting and clarity.
Freestyle Training: Back/Shoulders/Butt is 1 hour and 55 minutes long; 1:30 minute intro, 2:30 minute warm up, 28 minutes of core work and 25 minute stretch (stretch starts at 1:29:30). Necessary Equipment: resistance tube, dumbbells, kettlebell and a step or bosu ball. As mentioned above, Michele used a lot more equipment than that, but that is the minimum you need. The weights listed below are what I used.
Circuit 1 (repeat 3x):
- Right Leg Single Leg Balance Squat (on Down) Left Shoulder Press (back foot is elevated on bosu ball or step), 15 reps; (one 10# DB)
- Repeat #1 on other side of body
- Alternate Reverse Lunge, 15 reps (15# DBs)
- 2x Jump Lunge (or one jump lunge each leg) to Side Jump Squat, 10 reps
Circuit 2 (repeat 3x):
- Double Arm Bent Over (Close Grip) Row, 15 reps (25# DBs)
- Stand – Arms at chest – Open out & Press Overhead (palms face in) Open Out & Back Down & in (shoulder work), 15 reps (12# DBs)
- Around the World – Alternate Reverse Lunge, 15 reps (15# KB)
- Jack – R. Arm Overhead Pull 10x then Jack – L. Arm Overhead Pull 10x (one 8# DB)
Circuit 3 (repeat 3x):
- Right Leg Stagger Squat – Hold – Right Arm Row then Right Reverse Lunge w/ Right Overhead Shoulder Press, 15 reps (one 15# DB)
- Repeat # 1 on left
- Lay on Stomach – Lift Upper Body off Ground (Arms In Front of Head – Pull Elbows Back), 15 reps
- Side Ball or Sand Bell Slam Burpee 10x (8# medicine ball)
Circuit 4 (repeat 3x):
- Squat w/Front Kick & Punch (there was no punch–you touch your toe with your opposite hand when kicking), 15 reps
- Deadlift to Up-Right row, 15 reps (15# DBs)
- Side Raise – Palms Face up – Bend at elbows – then Overhead Press (Palms Face Each other), 12 reps (8# DBs)
- Manmaker w/Renegade Row, 10 reps (15# DBs)
Bonus: Abs 10/40 (repeat 3x) (this is 28 minutes long but the first 2 minutes Michele is demonstrating an exercise and talking about it):
- Right Side Plank – Tube on Left Foot – Left Press Overhead then Side Row to Press in Front (resistance tube)
- Repeat #1 on other side of body
- Right Lunge (hold) Weight in Right Hand and Crunch Left (one 15# DB)
- Right Side Plank – Left Knee Crunch to Kick Front
- Repeat 3 & 4 on left
- Elbow plank Hold – Punch Arms Out
- Elbow plank Hold Pelvic Tilt Crunch
- Flutter Kick (laying on back w/ straight legs lifted)
- Hyper-extension (laying on stomach–spinal erector training)