10 Pounds Down: Cardio Abs

10 Pounds Down: Cardio Abs is a collection of 3 short workouts and a tabata bonus from Jessica Smith. There is a 2:15 minute intro in which Jessica talks about how gadgets and crunches are not the secret to flat abs. Cardio, strength training and a healthy diet are needed to reduce body fat. And that is what you get on this DVD. A cardio workout, a metabolic strength training workout, a core workout and even a short tabata bonus. And if you purchase it new like I did (via Amazon) she even emails you a “Great Abs Guide” which is a 32 page PDF with lots of healthy eating tips, a customizable meal plan, fitness tips, a 6 week workout schedule and links to some of Jessica’s free YouTube workouts that are included in the workout schedule. But if you bought it elsewhere (or used) she provides a link in the intro to get your guide. The meal plan is actually very sensible: 1500 calories a day and the recipes look tasty. There is no nutritional break down but she does list the recipes as being under a specific calorie limit (“300 calories or less”, etc.). Follow this eating plan, combined with Jessica’s excellent and intense workouts, and you will loose fat and even gain some muscle if you challenge yourself with heavy enough weights.

I loved these workouts! They were all excellent but especially Cardio Abs and Total Abs Transformer. These are the cardio workout and the metabolic strength training workout. As I always say, Jessica’s real gift is her ability to create intense, effective and thorough metabolic strength training workouts and she does that here with Total Abs Transformer. I loved that workout! Add the tabata bonus on to the end of any of the workouts for an intensity burst. When I did these workouts, I did them as my doubles workout (second workout of the day after I get home from work) and they worked very well for that, but I plan on using these for my morning workout by combining Total Abs Transformer and Cardio Abs then finishing it off with the tabata bonus for an intense hour long workout.

Cardio Abs is 26 minutes long; no warm up and 30 second stretch. No equipment needed but I used 2 pound weighed gloves. This was an excellent and intense little workout! I loved it! Jessica shows all of the moves both low and high impact. In fact, many times she starts the move low impact then kicks it up to the high impact/high intensity version but always tells you to stay at the low impact version if that is your level. I know my weighted gloves definitely added to the intensity but I think this would still be intense even sans gloves. I finished it off with the bonus tabata (below) which only adds 5 minutes to this workout. I got a very intense 31 minute workout! Winner! The moves in this workout include various punch drills, knee pulls, punch up and front jacks, scissor runs w/ overhead and front punches, torso twists w/ knee pulls, quarter turn hop twists, lateral skaters, crescent knees, front knee + back kick, basic combos like cross punch + knee pull and other moves. It ends w/ some plank based moves.

Total Abs Transformer is 26:30 minutes; 2 minute warm up and 30 second stretch. Equipment: at least one set of dumbbells and a mat. Wow! This workout was crazy intense! I know a lot of it had to do with the dumbbells I used but I really challenged myself and man, I was working hard! I burned nearly as many calories doing this metabolic strength workout as I did doing Cardio Abs + the bonus tabata! This was very intense! Again–the fact I used 18 pounds dumbbells for everything except one exercise probably had something to do with it. That was as heavy as I could manage while maintaining good form but I was definitely very challenged. FYI–you do 16 reps of the majority of the exercises; in fact, all of the exercises that use dumbbells are done for 16 reps. This is an excellent total body metabolic strength workout. And if you want a super intense full hour? Do this workout, follow it with Cardio Abs and the bonus tabata! Torch a ton of calories while also getting total body strength. I plan to do that, too. This workout is a major winner. But I shouldn’t be surprised. This is the type of workout that Jessica excels at. The dumbbells listed below are what I used. I do not know the weight of the dumbbells Jessica used. I used 18 pound dumbbells for everything except one exercise (#6) and I used a 15 pound dumbbell for that.

  1. Single leg squat; add side leg raise; add one arm bicep curl (18# DBs)
  2. 1 Push up + 4 mountain climbers; keep repeating this combo
  3. While kneeling and hinging torso forward, do fast back strokes w/ straight arms
  4. Repeat 1-3
  5. Stationary lunges w/ one arm row at top of lunge (one 18# DB)
  6. One arm overhead press holding DB by bell and standing on one leg (one 15# DB)
  7. Overhead tricep extensions while tapping one foot in and back (one 18# DB)
  8. Repeat 5-7 on other side of body
  9. Burpees (Jessica gives you 3 options–one arm burpee, regular burpee, or place your hands on an elevated surface when doing the burpee)
  10. Repeat 5-9
  11. Alternating chest presses w/ head/shoulders raised to engage abs (18# DBs)
  12. Kneeling double arm row w/ palms facing ceiling and torso hinged forward (18# DBs)
  13. In a deep lunge w/ hands on floor, tap back leg in and out, slow first then fast
  14. Repeat 11-13

Concentrated Abs is 26:30 minutes; no warm up and 30 second stretch. This one is my least favorite of the 3 workouts but it is an effective workout and I did like it. I generally don’t like long ab workouts (which explains why this is my least favorite) but Jessica works your entire core (front, obliques, back) and she works it in many different ways. So she doesn’t do 20+ minutes of mat based core work–which I hate. She keeps things interesting. You do some standing abs, some plank work, spinal erector training and yes–mat core work. She mixes it up so it never gets boring. And I did feel it! So it works nicely to round out this workout collection. The other two workouts (plus the tabata) are much more intense. This takes the intensity down but still works you well.

  1. Stand on one leg and raise knee in front of you then w/out touching foot to ground, raise it behind you, flow between these two moves; add reaching opposite arm overhead as you lift it behind you and touching toe when raising knee in front of you; changes again to extending leg straight rather than raising knee (still touching toe)
  2. Put all your weight on one leg, arms bent and held in guard, raise knee while twisting torso toward knee, then raise leg out straight to side while twisting torso toward leg, alternate between these two lifts; weight still on one leg, lift leg to sideand pulse it while pulling same side elbow down toward hip
  3. Balance on one leg, lift other leg out straight behind you while also hinging torso forward so you are in a warrior 3 w/ arms stretched out in front of you, pull knee and elbow in then extend both out straight again
  4. Triangle plank (straight arm plank with hands close together), in this position, alternate raising legs then alternate raising arms to side
  5. Lay on back with legs in butterfly and hands behind head, do basic crunches
  6. Still on back, one knee bent and foot on floor, other leg extended straight and out to side, do a cross crunch, bringing straight leg knee to bent leg knee each time you cross crunch
  7. Start sitting up w/ knees bent and feet on floor, roll torso down to floor then sit back up
  8. Repeat 5-7
  9. In elbow plank with legs wide, pike hips as you tap one foot to other foot, alternate sides
  10. Lay on stomach with arms extended in a V and legs open in a V w/ head chest raised, lift torso while tapping hand to opposite foot behind you, alternate sides
  11. Repeat 9 & 10
  12. In modified side plank (bottom knee on floor) w/ top leg straight and top arm extended straight overhead, bring top elbow and knee together while raising and lowering hip
  13. Lay on back, one leg extended straight to ceiling, other leg bent w/ foot flexed against/behind straight leg, lower leg to 45 degrees, in this position, do a cross crunch, raising legs so elbow comes toward knee
  14. In bridge pose, raise and lower straight arms overhead nearly to floor then to floor at sides
  15. Lay on back w/ one leg crossed across other knee and do reverse crunches
  16. Repeat 12, 13 & 15

Bonus Tummy Torching Tabata is 5 minutes long; 45 second intro. This is an intense little cardio burst to add on to the end of any one of the 3 above workouts. It will finish off any workout very nicely! A tabata is a 4 minute circuit that consists of eight 20/10 cycles–that’s 20 seconds of all out intensity alternated with 10 seconds of recovery. These aren’t the most intense tabata moves I have ever done but they still do the job. I was still working hard.

  1. Butterfly power squats (jump squats w/ large circle arms)
  2. Speed climbers (like mountain climbers but jumping feet side to side)
  3. Butt kick runs w/ jumping jack arms
  4. Windmill jumps (sort of side to side jump lunge alternating touching hands to floor)
  5. Repeat 1-4

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