I never intended to purchase The Perfect Design: Level I Beginner, but my world has changed so much in the past few months that I decided to give this one a try. I have already done The Perfect Design Level 2 & Level 3 and enjoyed the lower body portions of both. Now that I am getting chemo I don’t know that I could currently handle Levels 2 or 3 (maybe level 2 but definitely not level 3), so I decided to give Level 1 a try.
I really enjoyed this workout. For my current situation I found it a solid mat workout. Definitely not the hardest mat workout I’ve ever done, but it worked my lower body and core very well. It is classic Tracy Anderson–she is wearing her silk pajama-inspired workout clothes. Her hair looks really pretty but she has that botox-looking lip pout she had going on in Level 2. This workout is done voice over like Levels 2 & 3 and cuing is non-existent. It was impossible for me to follow the warm up and the standing abs portions. She doesn’t cue and she never did enough reps of anything in those sections to catch on and start doing them with her. If you ever do catch on, she immediately changes to something else. The cool down was the same way. The arms section was hard to follow too, but easier than the warm up and standing abs which, again, were impossible for me to follow. And this is amusing/frustrating–at one point during the cool down she has you on the mat in child’s pose, forehead on mat (so you cannot see the TV), and gives you all kinds of arm movements with zero cuing. Really? How the hell does she expect you to follow that?
With all that said, the important parts of the workout (to me) were easy to follow–the lower body and mat core work. Those segments were excellent and easy to follow even with her poor cueing. She did explain how to do those exercises well, but not in a timely manner. The exercises were already well underway when she starts describing form. But like I said, I followed them easily just by watching her.
The Perfect Design: Level I is 50 minutes; 4 minute warm and 2:30 minute cool down/stretch. No equipment needed except a mat. If you want to increase the intensity of the lower body work, ankle weights would work well in this workout. For the warm up she has you doing a lot of her weird arm movements and ribcage shifts. There is also some lower body dynamic stretching.
Lower Body (23:30 minutes):
- Start in kneeling positing and bring the right foot out in front of you, knee bent, and on a diagonal (left knee is still on floor) so knee is turned out and foot is in plié position, lean forward into front/right leg then hinge forward, placing left hand on floor and swinging right leg out behind you, raising the leg in an attitude position
- On all 4s then raise one leg in attitude behind you and extend leg straight behind you then raise higher in attitude and extend leg straight toward the ceiling
- Still on all 4s, lean torso slightly forward while bringing same knee forward, on a diagonal toward floor, then extend leg up straight behind you across the opposite hip
- Lay on stomach, legs straight and open wide in a V, raise and lower one leg then bringing it across to meet other leg
- Roll onto left hip, left leg bent under you, bringing right knee forward to tap floor in front of you, then extend leg straight behind you and up while leaning torso forward (you will also be moving top arm in opposition to leg movements)
- Raise up into crab position (hips remain raised throughout), raise right leg and extended it straight out to the right side then bring it in and, with leg slightly bent, swing it over the left knee
- Start kneeling with both knees on mat then place one hand on floor beside you and raise the other leg out to side and extend it straight, then return to kneeling position (on both knees)
- Repeat everything on other side of body
Core (7:30 minutes):
- Lay on back, legs extended straight on floor and hands behind head and do basic crunches in this position (Tracy also adds in alternating arm reaches)
- In same position, open legs in a V and as you crunch up, bring one leg in, tapping heel to center of mat the opening back in V
- In same position as #2, raise one leg in attitude while crunching up
- Still on back but legs extended straight on mat again, extend one arm out to side, the other hand is behind head, crunch up, bringing bent elbow across body while also raising opposite straight leg a few feet foot off floor and also raising straight arm off floor, twisting palm to ceiling
- Still on back, one hand behind head and other hand resting on same side hip, head/neck/shoulders raised off floor, legs are straight in front of you, in this position, bring same side knee in toward elbow of hand behind head and when you straighten legs again, raise other leg a few inches off floor and do a small open and close of straight crossed legs before lowering leg other leg back to floor
- Still on back, legs are extended again in straight V position on floor, do one crunch with hands behind head and one crunch with arms reaching toward feet but on a diagonal
- Still on back w/ hands behind head, legs extended straight to ceiling, crunch toward knees then bend one knee and lower other straight leg toward floor, alternate legs
Standing Abs (2 minutes): not going to break this down, lots of hip and rib cage shifting and weird arm movements–like you are having a seizure at a dance club. As usual, impossible to follow because there is zero cueing.
Standing Arms (5 minutes): bizarre arm movements with zero cueing and zero logic, impossible to follow. And tho she says she is doing arms, she does some weird leg/hip movements, too.
Lower Body (3 minutes): she takes you back down to the mat for more lower body work.
- On all 4s, do one hydrant to side + one hydrant into a side kick/extension
- Still on all 4s, raise bent leg and extend behind other leg and touch toe to floor then extend leg straight to same side
- Repeat on other leg
Back to Arms (1:30 minutes): this time you are kneeling and doing her weird arm movements that include tapping the floor with hands with zero cueing or logic.