2-Week Turnaround: Strength

2-Week Turnaround: Strength contains three approx. 15 minute workouts and a 6 minute stretch. These workouts are led by trainer Chris Freytag and she also wrote a book by this title. There is a 2:07 minute intro in which Chris gives an overview of the 2-week Turnaround program as well as the strength workouts on this DVD.

As I mentioned in the 2-Week Turnaround: Cardio review, I used these workouts 10 years ago, after both of my heels were crushed by a drunk driver. Due to my current physical problems, I dug out both of these workouts. I remembered liking them but I didn’t remember much else about them. Having done them again, these are solid intermediate level strength workouts if you use heavy enough dumbbells.The strength exercises are done slow and controlled rather than briskly, so you cannot lift heavy and maintain good form using super heavy dumbbells, but the weights Chris and crew are using are very light. They look like 3 pound dumbbells. I used 5-15 pound dumbbells and could have probably lifted a bit heavier on some of the exercises. So the level of this workout is dependent on the weight you are lifting. If you are lifting 3 pound dumbbells then this is a beginner level workout. They are all short total body strength workouts. When I did them I did everything–Part A followed by Part B end ending with the Bonus Fast Track and finishing with the stretch for a 51:30 minute total body strength workout.

Chris also increases the level of the exercises in another way. She starts an exercise at the easiest level then halfway through the set she makes the exercise harder–usually by adding a balance challenge. She has two exercisers with her again–Jessica Smith is doing a more advanced version of the exercises (and so is Chris) and the other exerciser continues doing the easiest version of the exercise.

Part A: Upper & Lower Body is 15 minutes long; 1:30 minute warm up. You alternate upper with lower body exercises. Chris and crew have one set of light dumbbells. The dumbbells listed below are what I used. During each move, Chris adds an optional move to make the exercise more challenging.

  1. Reverse lunge and return to standing slow (to count of 3); add a slow front kick (15# DBs)
  2. Front raise, bringing DBs to shoulders, push DBs back out straight and lower slow; add standing on one leg (8# DBs)
  3. Repeat #1 on other leg
  4. In split stance, raise DBs out to side like wings and lower slowly; add standing on one leg (6# DBs)
  5. Deadlifts (down to count of 1, up to count of 3); change to single leg deadlift (balance move) (15# DBs)
  6. Standing bicep curls; add standing on one leg (10# DBs)
  7. Alternating scissor squat (squat out to side and raise up slowly to count of 3); add placing hands behind head
  8. Standing overhead tricep extensions (lower to count of 1, raise to count of 3); add a small narrow squat w/ alternating slow side leg lift (8# DBs)
  9. Bridge hip thrusts (lay on back, knees bent, feet on ground, raise hips and lower slowly to count of 3); add lifting one leg off ground
  10. Push ups w/ shoulder tap

Part B: Total Body & Core is 14 minutes; 1 minute warm up. Jessica and crew use one set of light hand weights. The dumbbells listed below are what I used. During each move, Chris adds an optional move to make the exercise more challenging.

  1. Forward lunge w/ slow shoulder press as you return to standing; add keeping foot off ground as you slowly raise to standing (8# DBs)
  2. Wide plie squat w/ bicep curls (squat on 1 and raise back up while also curling up to count of 3) (12# DBs)
  3. Repeat #1 on other leg
  4. Squat w/ straight arm press back (squat on 1, raise back up while also pressing back to count of 3); add alternating glute squeeze (leg raise) behind you as you stand (8# DBs)
  5. Renegade row on knees w/ a push up (lower to count of 1, press up to count of 3 then do renegade row at top); add doing move on toes rather than knees (15# DBs)
  6. In modified forearm side plank (bottom knee on floor), raise and lower DB in front of you w/ straight arm (raise to count of 1, lower to count of 3); add raising and lowering top leg to same count as DB (one 5# DB)
  7. In elbow plank, rotate hips side to side to count of 3
  8. Lay on back, legs raised off floor, knees bent, hands behind head and elbows out to sides, crunch up while bringing knee in close then extend leg slowly when lowering head/neck/shoulders
  9. Lay on belly and do breast stroke, bring arms back to count of 3 while raising head/chest

Bonus 15 Minute Fast Track is 16:30 minutes; 1 minute warm up. This is a cardio + strength workout. You alternate strength training moves w/ bursts of cardio. The cardio bursts are done for 90 seconds; every 30 seconds the intensity of the cardio increases. Jessica and crew are using one set of light dumbbells. The dumbbells listed below are what I used. Chris and Jessica always do all 3 levels of cardio, however the other crew member will do a low impact version of the cardio moves.

  1. Curtsy lunge w/ one arm side lateral raise (lunge to count of 1 and raise to a count of 3); add kicking leg out slowly to side as you stand (6# DBs)
  2. Cardio: lunge side to side w/ reaches; add a hop; changes to jogging in place w/ jump rope arms
  3. Stationary diagonal lunge w/ one arm back row (lower to count of 1, raise to count of 3) (15# DBs)
  4. Cardio: skater taps; add a hop; speed it up
  5. Lay on back and do chest flys while extending and bending one leg, bringing knee into chest (fly out to count of one, and close arms to count of 3); add raising feet off ground and doing an alternating bicycle maneuver with legs (15# DBs)
  6. Cardio: low impact half jacks; double jacks; regular jumping jacks
  7. Pass the bell (sit on bottom, torso leaned back slightly, knees bent and heels on floor, hold one DB in one hand, both arms are extending to side, raise DB overhead, passing DB to other hand and lowering to other side) (raise to count of one and lower DB to count of 3) (one 5# DB)
  8. Cardio: mambo, sashay; make move bigger and add a hop; wide fast feet

Cool Down & Stretch is 6 minutes. You use a towel to assist the stretches. Standing chest stretch (gripping towel in both hands at small of back and raising arms). Butterfly stretch. Seated forward fold (legs extended straight in front of you). Lay on back and do figure 4 stretch. Still laying on back, extend one straight leg to ceiling to stretch hamstring. Pigeon pose. Shoulder stretch.


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