Personal Training

Personal Training is a pretty cool workout DVD by trainer Chris Freytag. In the 4:40 minute intro, Chris explains how this DVD works. It contains multiple short strength and cardio workouts. Chose the menu option “Targeted Workouts” and you get a list of goals: Get Firm, Flatten Your Belly, Slim Your Hips & Thighs, Improve Your Health and Lose Weight. Choose your goal and you are taken to another menu that gives you a weekly workout schedule. Each day is a premix that combines the workouts in different ways to help you achieve your specific goal. Just click on the day of the week and it contains your workout for the day. There is also a customizeable menu in which you can create your own workouts by choosing whatever segments you want and arranging them in whatever order you want. The DVD also comes with a little handbook explaining this and showing the details of each Targeted Goal program.

This is another workout I purchased when rehabilitating from having my heels crushed 10 years ago. I really don’t remember much about it but since I got chemo the day before yesterday and am feeling very run down, this morning seemed like the perfect time to revisit it.

My impression is that it is a solid program for a beginner. It is fun, there are lots of ways to mix things up and you can build yourself up by starting with light weights and the beginner modifications and working your way up to no modifications and heavier dumbbells. But do not be afraid to challenge yourself with this workout. None of the strength segments have a lot of reps, so if it seems hard when you start and you are tempted to lower your dumbbell weight, try to stick it out. The most reps she ever does is 8 and you never repeat a strength exercise (though you will work the same muscle group again, just in a different way).

When I did this workout this morning I chose “Mix and Match Components”–which is the customizeable menu. I did every circuit but I arranged them in a way that seemed logical to me (I created a cardio+ strength total body workout, alternating cardio and strength circuits). It was approximately 66 minutes with warm up and stretch. I got an excellent workout for my current level. This morning it was just what I needed.

There is also a menu option called Smart Ways to Live Well and it contains 3 segments. Smart portion control is a 2 minute segment in which Chris gives you examples of how to reduce portion sizes so you can lose weight. Waistline checkup is another 2 minute segment in which Chris shows you how to measure your waist so that you can determine if you are at risk for disease (takeaway–the bigger your waist, the more at risk for disease). 4 moves to beat knee pain is another 2 minute segment in which Chris shows you how to strengthen the muscles around your knees by demonstrating 4 exercises. She recommends doing 10-12 reps of each exercise 3 times a week.

Warm up is 4 minutes and cool down is 4:42 minutes. There is a beginner modifier in each workout.

Cardio A is 13:15 minutes. This is a mostly low impact, low intensity cardio cicuit. Moves in the order they appear: grapevines, toe tap lunges, V steps, low jog, jumping jacks, pulse squats, hamstring curls, stomp + hip roll, skip w/ knee raise forward and back, narrow squats w/ arm pulls and toe taps, step touch side to side variations, cross punches, punch upward, speed bag. It ends with a short cool down–deep breaths, prayer lunges, stationary lunging side to side, squats.

Cardio B is 13:10 minutes. This cardio circuit is a bit more intense than Cardio A, but still nothing crazy intense. It does have more impact than Cardio A, but there is also the beginner modifier who does everything low impact. Moves in the order they appear: step touch, shuffle side to side, grapevine, high knee skips, jumping jacks, shuffle to side as you slowly turn (Chris calls it “shut that door”), side jabs, bob and weave, jump rope variations, pulsing wide squats then jump feet in to pulsing narrow squats, squat jacks, walk backward while “shimmy-shaking” your shoulders, lateral hops. It ends with a short cool down–reverse lunges, stretch arms overhead and side to side, plie stretches.

Total Body Toning is 10:03 minutes. Chris and crew have 2 sets of dumbbells–one light and one heavier. This is an effective little workout that hits most muscle groups in the body in just 10 minutes. As mentioned above, Chris does not do a lot of reps of anything, so don’t be afraid to challenge yourself with heavier weights. The weights Chris and crew were using looked very light–maybe 3 and 5 pounds. The weights listed below are what I used–and I used them when feeling pretty weak.

  1. Alternating front lunges w/ one arm overhead press; continue the lunges but arms change to front/side raises (6# DBs)
  2. Squats w/ slow wood chop (6# DBs)
  3. Squats with hammer curls into overhead press w/ calf raise (10# DBs)
  4. Deadlift + 4 fast bent over back rows (10# DBs)
  5. Down dog to plank to push up
  6. Side plank hold w/ bicep curl (6# DBs)
  7. Side lying one arm tricep push ups
  8. Repeat 6 & 7 on other side of body
  9. Pilates teaser: lay on back w/ knees bent and feet on on ground, roll up touching hands to feet then roll back down; crunches w/ arms overhead and hands clasped
  10. Forearm plank hold with one foot stacked atop the other

Targeted Toning-legs & butt is 5:20 minutes. No dumbbells are used. A sliding device is used (I used sliding disks but you can use a paper plate or Frisbee if you are on carpet and a washcloth if you are on hard floors). This is definitely more of a beginner level circuit. Not the exercises themselves, but the fact there are very few reps. There just isn’t enough reps of any of the exercises to burn the muscle out. However, if you are a beginner, this might be all you need. And if you are needing more, combining several of the circuits that also hit the lower body is the answer.

  1. Clockwork lunges (forward lunge, side squat, rear lunge)
  2. Reverse slide lunges
  3. Plie squats w/ inner thigh sweep across body
  4. Lay on back on mat and do one leg bridges (lift and lower hips w/ one leg raised to ceiling)
  5. Pretzel lift:  sit on mat, one leg bent in front of you and the other bent behind you, so your legs are in a sort of Z or pretzel; raise both knee and foot of back leg off ground, and lift and lower; keep leg raised and extend and bend leg

Targeted Toning-abs & back is 5:12 minutes. One dumbbell is used. I used one 8 pound dumbbell. Like all of the others, this isn’t terribly challenging because there aren’t a lot or reps, but they are solid exercises and as long as you are combining several circuits, you are still getting a good workout.

  1. Weighted curls: lay on back, knees bent and feet on floor, holding DB in both hands, sit up, raising DB overhead
  2. Still on back, open legs into butterfly (soles of feet together, knees open) and do crunches, still holding DB in both hands
  3. Still on back, raise straight legs to ceiling and do reverse crunches
  4. In C-sit, raise feet off ground and hold shins (balancing on glutes), roll onto back then back up to glutes, keeping feet off ground
  5. Lay on on side (elbow and side of thigh), top leg extended behind you and arm raised in front of you, bring top knee in to top elbow then extend arm and leg again
  6. Lay on belly, arms extended straight in front of you and legs extended straight, raise arms and legs off floor and flutter then, as if swimming
  7. In straight arm plank, bring knee under body toward opposite elbow, alternate sides

Targeted Toning-arms & shoulders is 5:20 minutes. A light set of dumbbells is used. I used 8 pound dumbbells for everything. This one was (IMHO) one of the more effective circuits on its own. Even with only 8 reps of each exercise, I felt this circuit working my muscles more than the other circuits.

  1. Raise arms to side, bend elbows and do an overhead press then reverse the move
  2. Double arm overhead tricep extensions while in tree pose
  3. Start w/ DB against opposite hip then raise out to same side–overhead/to the side
  4. Bicep concentration curls (holding both DBs in one hand, lunge to side, elbow on inside of inner thigh)
  5. Repeat 3 & 4 on other arm
  6. On all 4s w/ one leg extended straight behind you, do single arm tricep kickback w/ opposite arm
  7. Kneeling on mat, arms extended straight in front of you, do bicep curls, keeping arms extended in front of you and bringing DBs to shoulders

Targeted Toning-chest & upper back is 5:10 minutes. A heavier set of weights is used. I used 10 pound dumbbells for all of the exercises, but if/when I return to this workout I would use heavier dumbbells for #4-6. With the right weights, this workout does a nice job working your chest and upper back–and your core!

  1. High wide rows
  2. In chair pose, do rows w/ palms facing ceiling and arms close to body
  3. Knee push ups w/ one leg raised
  4. One arm row w/ in full plank
  5. Chest press w/ feet raised off ground; add bicycle manuever
  6. Chest fly w/ feet raised off ground; changes to single arm flys

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